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By William Benson
This is an independently submitted opinion piece for our Quill section. The opinions and statements made in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Tower.
$700. That’s what my parents had to pay recently to have a plumber come to our house for an hour. According to NPR, “While the shortage of workers is driving up wages in the skilled trades, the financial return on a bachelor’s degree is weakening, even as the price — and the average debt it plunges students into — continues to rise.” This begs the question, if a plumber can earn $700 in one afternoon, what is a college degree worth?
President Biden’s recent plan to “cancel” or “forgive” $10,000 in student debt is a grave injustice to the American people, many of whom did not go to college. Making people without a college education pay for the higher education efforts of others reveals the extreme contempt Biden has for the average American. Without stating the obvious, college is expensive, so imagine paying for the degree of someone you don’t even know. Those of you who are working hard and planning to pay off your student loans, well now you can keep paying them off. Always through your taxes.
What is the value of education? us are they paying? Unlike here at The Catholic University of America, it’s certainly not a great liberal arts education. It is not the use of education to enrich the body and soul. Rather, at many American colleges, you’ll find lessons of various leftist issues that not only divide our country, but have no educational or professional value. Furthermore, the educational value of such a degree is useless. Where is the real “education” to back up the title? The only value it has is social value, or entry into an elite “educated” class of people. Children going to college need to be exposed to an education that is valuable and beneficial to their development.
As political commentator Michael Knowles points out“The worst aspect of Biden’s ‘student loan forgiveness’ is neither the corrupt (albeit common) practice of buying votes nor the massive spending in a bad economy, but rather that it will encourage more Americans to go to college.”
Many students have little or no knowledge of the terms of student loans. Ask a random fellow in your class, and they’re unlikely to know the details, myself included. That is wrong, and every student has a duty to find out what they are getting into. Every fall, millions of students flock to college without understanding the financial debt they are taking on. There is enormous pressure on many high school students to go to college, but college is not for everyone. Making the university an idol and an accessory to intelligence and professionalism is not only dangerous, it reveals a society that is unwilling to support some of its most essential industries: plumbing, electricity, water, all dignified and very successful ways of working.
Instead of forcing all children to seek massive debt and a title they don’t need, we should enact policies that promote all meaningful forms of work and the common good of society. This is not simply telling students that they have options besides college, or telling everyone to become a plumber, but rather a call for a fundamental restructuring of how our country views education and conducts business. A college degree shouldn’t be the answer to financial problems. Instead, our country should reflect on the hard work of millions of Americans who are unable to attend college and craft policies that allow them and their families to live and work in dignity. In addition, we must subsidize education in the trades. This is a fair proposal because it supports our most essential industries and the individuals and families who would benefit most from it. Now, as more Americans pay off student loans, the value of a college education will be increasingly questioned.