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Recently, I had a conversation with a 26-year-old college student who supports the nomination of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic candidate for President. “We’ve tried capitalism and it’s not working, why not try socialism?” said he. Difficult as it was for me to fault such clear logic and such a concise question, I thought that perhaps, I owed it to him to take a stab.
In my experience, every time the government makes a move toward socialism and away from pure capitalist principles, it is our liberty and freedom that suffers. Sure, you can point to benefits for some people as a result of every government hand-out program, but as always, where there are winners, you are sure to find losers, as well. There are many examples of this all around us. Look at the Interstate Highway System, for example. When this great national roadway was first proposed, it was sold as a way to evacuate large American cities quickly, in the event of a nuclear attack by the USSR. The Interstate became very popular once it was implemented, but many small towns lost the traffic that sustained their small businesses when Interstate routes bypassed them, and some have become shadows of their former selves, or disappeared entirely.
Many homes and businesses were removed using eminent domain legislation, in order to accomplish the “greater good” of completing the Interstate. Any time you hear the term “the greater good” you know that there are two sides to the story. The greater good cannot be accomplished without somebody’s sacrifice, forfeiture, loss, immolation or ceding of something, be it property, liberties or money, therefore, any act accomplishing “the greater good” must be undertaken thoughtfully and carefully, if at all.
Our founding fathers left us a valuable gift, a trust fund of civil liberties and rights, along with the ability to amend the Constitution, which is the vessel of these, as becomes necessary. As with any trust, it is imperative to the eternal nature of the idea that you avoid depleting the capital. Some examples of changes that were required to be made include the banishment of slavery and the recognition of all men and women as citizens and rights-holders and the equal rights under the law of everybody regardless of religion and personal practices. In my opinion, we have done a pretty decent job of staying true to the original idea of America, and have not dishonored the memory of those thousands of men and women who fought and died defending the flag that represents, as a standard, this great nation.
Soooo, now a segment of society is willing to throw all of this under the bus in the name of “fairness”? Recently, there was a march on Washington that organizers billed as “The Million Student March” where, presumably, a million students held a “National Day of Action” and submitted their demands for us, the eager public, to digest and acquiesce to. The demands included free public college, cancellation of all student debt and a $15 minimum wage, according to Keely Mullen, one of the organizers. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Ms. Mullen thinks so, what with the big bailout of Wall Street and all of those banks 8 years ago, surely the time has come to help the younger people in this country. Get the heavy hand of the Federal Government to right the societal wrongs that make it so a tiny percentage of people control a huge percentage of all of the wealth. Level the playing field!
The problem is, the Federal Government cannot simply wipe away the $1.3 trillion in student loan debt that is outstanding. There would have to be compensation to the banks and institutions that hold this debt. That would dwarf the $700 billion TARP bill that Congress passed to bail out the banks originally. Would we just tack this on to the $18,532,854,382,822.00 national debt that we already owe? That wouldn’t even begin to address the cost of actively providing “free” college educations for all Americans. Does this only extend to young people, I wonder? Can everybody get a free degree? Does it have to be a degree in something that society needs, or can it be anything, Muskrat Anal Gland Studies, or something? What about those who took out student loans and paid them back? Are they deserving of compensation as well?
When you pursue socialistic solutions to problems such as this, the first thing you will find is that the people in charge get paid first. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The only way to bring the cost of college down is through the old-fashioned principle of supply and demand. Demand an education that means something, that furnishes you with a skill or discipline you can actually use to generate enough money to pay for it! If schools won’t provide this, students need to stop attending these sham institutions and seek out schools that WILL perform. YOU are the customer, they are the vendor. You have to pay back the money you borrow, so you have the right to demand this. This is the revolution we need!
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