You may have recently heard that I have joined Bernie Sanders in calling for “free” public college for all students. You may have also heard, however, that I have a great deal of difficulty with the truth, so some of you may be misunderstanding what I mean by a “free” college education, actually thinking that you’ll get a free, high-quality education. I don’t want to leave individuals in the same position as those who were foolish enough to think that when President Obama said, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan,” that he meant you would actually be able to keep your plan, rather than switch to one that cost more and provided lower benefits, as he really meant. That misunderstanding left him needing to apologize and say that he was sorry people were actually stupid enough to believe what he said, and therefore left themselves in a less than ideal position. In a rare moment of truthfulness and clarity, I therefore decided that I would express in clear terms what to expect so that you won’t be disappointed later.
Some of you may think that “free college” will mean that you will go to college just as you do now and it will cost you nothing. In actuality, what is meant by “free college” is that you will pay for college not only during the years when you are there but from every paycheck that you make before and after college, as well as any paychecks you make during college. You may also make payments while you’re buying things since we will probably create a Value Added Tax – think sales tax on steroids – to collect more money since individuals might just stop working if they see more than half of their paycheck is going towards taxes. Note that those who don’t go to college will pay for college as well. If this sounds unfair, realize that those who do choose to attend college will probably make more in salary, so they’ll probably pay a bigger portion of the costs.
Note also that I talk about free public college. If you choose to attend a private college, you will still pay for the public college you could have attended. We appreciate the sacrifice that you’re making by paying for college twice, and also for making things a little more bearable for those at the public colleges by making it a little less crowded. While this may seem unfair to pay for an education you don’t use, realize that your parents’ ability to afford a private college education, after the additional taxes are extracted from their paychecks to pay for public college, means that they must be successful and therefore taking advantage of others who are less successful; therefore, they should be punished for their success.
As a second consideration, realize that when we say “college of your choice,” we really mean college of our choice. You cannot attend whatever public school you wish, so why would you get to attend whatever public college you wish? We reserve the right in the future to specify exactly which public college you may attend and charge you tuition if you decide to attend a different public college out of convenience or due to fear for your safety.
Now note also that when we say that college will be free for all, this does not mean that it will be a free-for-all, in that all will not be able to attend college. Instead, due to the limited number of slots available and the large amount of demand that making college free will cause, many of you will not be able to attend college despite your paying for it through your taxes. To be fair and not give advantages to those who are more gifted mentally, and therefore are privileged to start with, or have done better in school due to their unfair ability to focus and do their school work, the slots at colleges will be assigned using a lottery system. Of course, to maintain diversity at colleges for the betterment of those who get to attend, the number of slots available will be further divided based on race. Despite being the majority of citizens, because white males have had an intrinsic advantage for centuries, the number of slots available for white males will be limited to 10%, with 15% of slots available to white females, 25% available to hispanics, 15% available to undocumented aliens, 25% of slots available to blacks, and the remaining 14% of slots being open to the remaining races and transgenders. Note that 1% of the slots will be reserved for campaign donors and bundlers.
Finally, note that while tuition will be free, or at least paid for through taxes throughout your life, you should still expect to leave college with substantial amounts of student loans. This is because room and board, beer, and travel during your college experience will still be the responsibility of you and your parents. Of course, you can shirk this responsibility and dump it on other taxpayers if you choose to pursue a career that will keep Democrats in power such as work for social justice or union organizing.
Hopefully this clears everything up and there will be no misunderstanding in the future. Hope to see you on the campaign trail and that you’ll vote for me at least once.
Sincerely (yeah right),
Got an investing question? Please leave a comment.
Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI
Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.