I heard a guy in Subway a couple of years back loudly ranting about public schools. He finished with “They want us to pay to educate other people’s kids! That’s how you destroy a country. That’s how you bring down America.”
He was talking about PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
I had this brief happy vision of a giant Monty Python thumb coming down from the ceiling and just crushing him into jelly. Silly ninny. Those young people — other people’s kids — are the ones who will eventually shoulder the load of making the world work. Not just doing all the physical and mental labor, but learning about the world, understanding it, and making decisions about it. They will be tomorrow’s movers and shakers and VOTERS. Tomorrow’s doctors and inventors and scientists and, hell, DMV workers.
Having them educated — as opposed to ignorant and helpless — is a damned good thing. Having them educated a LOT is a double-damned good thing. That part of my taxes that goes toward education — as opposed to, say, military spending or giving tax breaks to big corporations — oh boy am I happy about that.
This business about free college that’s come up lately — I see people reacting to it as if it’s some monstrous idea proposed by people who hate America. But I can’t help but think that investing in the minds of the people who will someday soon run the country and some significant portion of the world, that would be a good thing.
Yes, somebody has to pay for it. But no, it’s not the sort of point-of-a-gun robbery some people are making it out to be. Education is not an Xbox or a Ford that starts to lose value the day you take it home. It’s not you paying for your neighbor’s above-ground pool. It’s an INVESTMENT IN THE WORLD, one that pays off and pays off and pays off, over and over, for all the time to come.
I’d rather live in — and grow old in — a society filled with as many educated people as possible.
So: Free college? Yeah, count me as a supporter.