The Instigator
EugeneZ
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
robert.fischer
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Tuition Free High Education in US

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
robert.fischer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,210 times Debate No: 6297
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

EugeneZ

Pro

...If person is qualified: she or he can be provided access to higher education for free (private and public colleges and universities)
It will help US economy, stop outsourcing US jobs, etc
EU - made this change - why we do not?

Has this country ever done anything like this before?
Answer: Yes
the G.I. Bill, which provided access to higher education for 8 million returning veterans after World War II. It paid all tuition and fees, as well as a living-wage stipend for all qualifying veterans. Its impact on the nation has been tremendous. More than 40 percent of veterans interviewed who attended college indicated that they wouldn't have been able to without the G.I. Bill. A subcommittee of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee estimated that the G.I. Bill returned $6.90! in revenue for every $1 spent on educating these veterans, based on the resulting increased income and productivity.
/from http://www.freehighered.org...
robert.fischer

Con

I would first like to take this opportunity to thank my opponent for creating such an interesting and relevant topic. I look forward to an entertaining and enlightening debate!
To begin, I would like to address the absurd claim that subsidizing higher education (which is what such a program as tuition-free higher education would obviously be) would stimulate the currently dire United States economy.
Education costs money; this is obvious both to myself and my opponent. The question becomes, all merits aside, who is going to foot the bill? The answer is taxpayers. The government would, by subsidizing higher education, overnight add billions to it's already bloated and unbalanced budget, sending us even further into national debt.
It then comes down to three options; either the government raises taxes now to make up for the shortfall in the short term, which would further cripple our economy, or it expands the deficit and must repay the debt with interest later on down the road, and thus raises taxes in the future to ridiculously high levels to pay down this now massive debt.
Either way, you cannot defer the immense cost of such a program forever. The chickens will come home to roost, so to speak, and will devastate taxpayers' pockets.
The third option is even riskier, and it's outcome more certain. The government could just print the needed dollars (or, create them electronically), and use this new "free" money to foot the bill. This route would be even more devastating; the already devalued and inflated dollar would become a worthless currency.
The point being, despite any merits my opponent may show subsidized higher education to have, the cost is prohibitive, and thus the program should not be undertaken.
Next, I would like to demonstrate that such a program has no Constitutional support, and thus must be rejected on purely Constitutional grounds.
Nowhere in the Constitution is there an allowance made for the federal government to interfere in higher education. The Constitution is not a document that spells out the few things the government is forbidden to do; it is a document that spells out the few things that the government CAN do, and denies it all others. Education, let alone higher education, is nowhere provided for in the Constitution.
If my opponent wishes to amend the Constitution to allow for this kind of program, or if my opponent wishes to ignore the Constitution (as is becoming the norm), please let him do so in his next speech. Otherwise, this program is invalid because of unconstitutionality alone.
Now I will show that subsidization will likely destroy the value of higher education.
The federal government has made a track record of failure for itself. For evidence, I ask you the following: which are you more satisfied with, your (privately owned) local box office, or your local DMV? From FEMA to the Wars on Drugs and Poverty, the government doesn't seem to do anything right, let alone efficiently.
Our government and it's programs are unnecessarily bureaucratic, which makes them needlessly expensive. Subjecting schools to further federal interference subjects them also to the litany of federal rules, regulations, and flaming hoops to jump through. The beauty of our higher education as is (especially private schools) is it's amazing variety; federalizing almost always leads to standardizing, which would destroy this variety, which currently allows students to pick precisely the institute that fits them.
Furthermore, even now private schools far outstrip public schools in almost all areas, except perhaps athletics. Private institutions have a strong incentive to be better, and competition has honed such schools as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and the rest to be outstanding, while (insert state name here) State Universitys across the country flounder and become much less prestigious.
To address the issue of students being unable to afford higher education, I would like to submit the following.
Private academic scholarships are currently available in significant quantities; any student that wishes to can work hard, achieve good grades in high school, and be granted enough scholarships to mostly or completely pay for their education.
Is it unfortunate when somebody is denied higher education due to finances? Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is that the costs of education, coupled with academic scholarships, makes higher education a prize to be coveted, which has two benefits.
The first is that such a system virtually ensures that the most qualified applicants are able to attend, thus helping to alleviate the problems of poorly allocated resources (which is how we must look at the dollars involved). Spending thousands of dollars to help a mediocre student get a degree, when that money could have been used to further the education of an outstanding student, is indeed a misallocation, no matter how you look at it.
The second is that it makes higher education a privilege, which tends to make those who achieve it take it more seriously. One need only look at the overwhelmingly poor state of some of our high schools (especially in urban areas) to realize how treating education as a right, rather than a privilege, diminishes it's quality.

I look forward to my opponent's next speech, and wish my opponent the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
EugeneZ

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for so nice speech…
----

I am sorry for after midnight answer…
Please see my comments marked [EZ] below:
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< I would like to address the absurd claim that subsidizing higher education ...stimulate the United States economy>
[EZ] tuition-free higher education would obviously stimulate the United States economy.
For example "G.I. Bill" (officially titled Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, P.L. 78-346, 58 Stat. 284)
In 1988, the Congressional Subcommittee on Education and Health of the Joint Economic Committee produced an analysis of how much the country benefited from the GI Bill's investment in education. The following are the major results of the report:
For every dollar invested in the GIs' higher education, the government and economy received at least $6.90 in return
<=> - stimulated economy of the United States
More: http://www.freehighered.org...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
< Education costs money…The question becomes, all merits aside, who is going to foot the bill? >
[EZ] Hmm, where can we get money?
we have money – taxpayers have already paid the money!
Question: where have they gone?
Answer: War in Iraq->Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $800 billion of US taxpayers' funds spent or approved for spending through mid-2009.
/ more: http://usliberals.about.com... /

Question: What could we do with the money?
Answer: Have 101,437,848 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR Free High Education
More:
http://www.nationalpriorities.org...
I hope we found the money …
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< such a program has no Constitutional support…Nowhere in the Constitution is there an allowance made for the federal government to interfere in higher education.>
[EZ] Answer: Higher Education for …."Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"
United States Declaration of Independence

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EZ- We are talking just about free- education – not education..
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Yes, we are talking about academic ability, not the ability to pay (brian_eggleston)


[EZ]
…Actually, Government is < Spending thousands of dollars to help a mediocre student get a degree, when that money could have been used to further the education of an outstanding student, is indeed a misallocation, no matter how you look at it.>
Many that students are coming into higher education without
adequate preparation…
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

...it is a privilege as privilege to get any education: different levels of academic ability open door to appropriate level of school – not money ..
Thank you for reading ….
robert.fischer

Con

I will begin my speech in this round by addressing my opponent's rebuttals to my claims.
First, he claims that his data shows that "for every dollar invested into the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 ... the government and the economy received $6.90 in return."
The source for these numbers is a publication entitled, "A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Government Investment in Post-Secondary Education Under the World War II GI Bill," Subcommittee on Education and Health of the Joint Economic Committee, December 14, 1988 and Labor Institute and Public Health Institute, Corporate Power and the American Dream: Toward an Economic Agenda for Working People. New York: The Apex Press, 1997.
In other words, the agency providing the numbers is the very agency that needed to prove that the GI bill 'worked,' in other words, the US Government. This is a conflict of interests, and I challenge my opponent to find a source that does not cite government figures to reinforce his $6.90 figure.
Furthermore, even if a return was accrued, there is no way to know if this money could have been spent more wisely, resulting in (hypothetically) a $6.91 return. Without any comparison, there is no way to prove or disprove that this money was well spent, as measured by it's return on investment.
Additionally, to say that the Government received a return on its investment has nothing to do with the economy receiving any benefit. The US Government and the US economy are distinct entities, much (I'm sure) to the chagrin of the Labor Party and Debs - Jones - Douglass Institute, who created and sponsor the site that my opponent has repeatedly cited.
To address my opponent's response to my question, "all merits aside, who is going to foot the bill?"
My opponent had the following to say:
"Hmm, where can we get money?
we have money – taxpayers have already paid the money!
Question: where have they gone?
Answer: War in Iraq->Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $800 billion of US taxpayers' funds spent or approved for spending through mid-2009.
Question: What could we do with the money?
Answer: Have 101,437,848 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR Free High Education."
Okay, that's all well and fine, but this is the same $800 billion that is sending us into an outrageous deficit that cannot be sustained for any reasonable amount of time. This money ought not be spent at all; neither on a ridiculous war, nor a frivolous federal aid campaign.
The only way to fund such a campaign, even if we completely eliminate all funding for our military overnight, would be deficit spending or increased taxes. Period.
Next, my opponent offers up the quote, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," as refutation of my claims of unconstitutionality. This is wrong on two levels. The first, and most obvious, is that (as he correctly states) is from the Declaration of Independence, which is most emphatically NOT the Constitution, and so is irrelevant anyway.
Furthermore, trying to construe fully subsidized higher education from, "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" is tenuous at best, and could be quite dubious. If we can get a "right" to subsidized education from such a statement, could we not also get a "right" to subsidized adult novelty shops? It would certainly be happiness for many people.
The facts remain - such a program is not only unconstitutional, it is also financially devastating!
I want to help people; that is why I donate to private charities. I also contribute to funds that provide award-based scholarships to outstanding debaters. I encourage you to do the same.
Debate Round No. 2
EugeneZ

Pro

Ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for being with us during the debate:
first and I hope not last debate about education in our beautiful country- United States of America.
The main goal of education related conversations to illuminate positive and negative moments of the process - due to make it much better then we have…

And now we will continue the debate…
… Unlike my opponent I believe that the "G.I. Bill" related information is not fabricated : my dear opponent, please feel free (next debate) to prove I am wrong and bring your sources (are you sure we can trust them ?  )
So from monetary point of view, the 100% subsidized Higher education is clearly profitable for our people- for our country.
I could just say to my opponent : Higher education must be free for the exactly same reasons why the primary education is free in our country…
The right to education is recognized as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 26:
Article 26
1.Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2.Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3.Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Education : the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process
…knowledge arises in the mind of an individual when that person interacts with an idea or experience.
…We will continue the conversation about what is education later (I hope next debate (s))
Now I would like to concentrate on why we need education (simplified version):
-Education was privilege for long time: it has been way to control people
-Education –knowledge freed people to some point – >level of education….
------------
..for long time people did not need any school education , later work environment required them to have elementary school education and so on.
Today, High school education is not enough : jobs require Higher educated employees…
And we need more and more .
As result we need to boost enrolment into higher education based on qualification criteria that potential students must meet to get the free goods.
I have never said the colleges\universities must be open for everyone ( as it is open now if you have $$$ and \or in many cases current qualification criteria is very low – and it is effecting quality of higher education- waste of taxpayer's money!)

This debate is about free tuition not about quality of education: if student is qualification he\she must get free education (no slavery via loans) in any US higher education institution.

Good news the free higher education processes has been started:
"100 Free College Rides You Don't Need Daddy to Pay For"
http://www.advantageedu.com...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is the law in Europe:
"DO WE NEED ALL THAT HIGHER EDUCATION?
EVIDENCE FROM 15 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES"
http://www.etla.fi...

Bad news:
The Rising Price of Higher Education
http://www.highereducation.org...
And last:

Unfortunately, we do not need 101,437,848 Scholarships - $800 billion…
As result: ~$50 billion per year (money that we already have) could be not so big price for brighter future:
"Higher Education--Institutions and Enrollment"
http://www.census.gov...

Thank you very much for reading so far…
robert.fischer

Con

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for this opportunity to debate an issue that I feel strongly about; it has been a good one, so far as I am concerned. I look forward to any opportunity to debate my opponent in the future.
My opponent claims that education is a right; he uses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 as proof of this. However, this document is not of the United States, it is of the United Nations.
This brings up an interesting side debate (that I hope my opponent will indulge me in when this debate is concluded) or whether or not we, as a sovereign nation, ought to subjugate our decision-making to a supranational body. By enacting legislature and policies that affect American citizens at the behest of such a supranational body (i.e. the UN, NATO, WTO, etc) we de facto enter into a submissive arrangement with said body.
This is completely unacceptable. Our forefathers have not fought and died to grant us our national sovereignty only to have us throw it away, granting our decision-making to an international, conglomerate, international body made up of members that our citizens did not elect. We hardly have a choice on who our UN ambassador is (sure, the Senate must approve of the nominee, but it does not go to general election); we certainly have no control over the delegates from other states. Allowing UN policy and decree to dictate our national decision making is tantamount to allowing foreign governments to have a hand in our own.
Again, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
My opponent then goes on to say that, "This debate is about free tuition not about quality of education: if student is qualification [sic] he\she must get free education (no slavery via loans) in any US higher education institution."
There are several problems with this statement.
The first is his claim that quality of education is irrelevant. This is absurd; quality of education is of tantamount importance. We must use quality of education as a criterion with which to measure our resolution; there is no point to having "free" higher education if such education is so poor as to be actually a detriment to students (for example).
The next is that my opponent claims that loans equate to slavery. This is also absurd. I'm sure that, at 44, my opponent has in his lifetime purchased a car or a home (or both). Unless my opponent had thousands of dollars sitting around, he must have taken out a loan at some time or another. And what about credit cards? Has my opponent never used one of those either?
The fact of the matter is, loans are entered into voluntarily; you agree to the terms thereof, and both you and the financial institute you borrow from are subject to obey the terms of the agreement. You pay the financial institution for the privilege of being fronted the money to make a large purchase that you would not have been able to otherwise. This is not slavery, which is the involuntary, usually permanent, ownership of another human being complete with the right to dispose of said person as one wishes, a completely horrible practice. The two do not equate. Ask anyone who has been a slave. The fact that my opponent would suggest that the opportunity to buy a home or go to college by borrowing the needed money is the same as slavery is offensive to the extreme.
The third problem is that my opponent claims that students must be granted admission to, "any US higher education institution."
What if I start Robert Fischer University, and I decide that I don't want to accept any government money for tuition.The wording my opponent uses seems to suggest that I would be forced to. The words, "any," and, "none," are strong words. If prospective students have a 'right' to be granted 'free' admission to 'any' institution, Harvard would be swamped overnight, and the intrinsic value that it has (as a respected institution) built up over the years would be almost vanished overnight.
To address my opponents final point, that only $50 billion would need to be spent annually:
$50 billion is a lot of money. We seem to forget this, what with ridiculous spending daily and huge bailout being proposed monthly (it seems). But $50 billion is a lot of money, many times more than I, my children, and my grandchildren will probably ever earn in all of our lifetimes put together.
This sum of money, while paling in comparison to some of the other outlandish figures our government proposes to spend, is still large. Especially at a time when our deficit is huge and billions of dollars of our money is spent annually on interest payments on past and current debts our government has incurred alone, any additional spending that is not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY is ludicrous; this applies as readily to pork barrel spending as it does to the program in question, corporate welfare, and bailouts.
All political and philosophical objections aside, at this point in time, our government needs to buckle down and live within its means. We have spent too much money that we did not have for too long. It is time that our government pays down it's debt and ceases any non-critical spending (at least for the time being). If we don't, our nation may collapse under the weight of this insane fiscal policy's debt.
While I would still argue that the government has no place in education at all, at least not in the respect that my opponent advocates, for philosophical and political reasons, the fact remains that, at this point in time, even an advocate of such programs must use common sense and realize that this is not the time for this type of program.
To close out this debate, I would like to say the following.
In order to uphold the resolution, my opponent would have had to demonstrate that subsidizing higher education for all students in the United States that meet minimum standards would result in a net benefit to all citizens of the United States.
At no time has he put forth what standards would be used to evaluate whether or not a student would receive the subsidy (what about a wealthy student who can afford it on his or her own? Would this person receive the money, and if no, why don't they have as much a right to it as anybody else?).
At no time has he demonstrated a convincing net benefit. His argumentation has been fractured, incomplete, and at times absurd. I have refuted many of the supposed benefits, and shown many downfalls, all of which casting into doubt his claim that such a plan would be beneficial.
Furthermore, I have demonstrated that subsidizing higher education would not only be ridiculously expensive, inefficient, and bureaucratic (thanks to the nature of the US Federal Government), it would also be an inappropriate action for the Government to take when weighed against our own Constitution (which must, and does, take precedent over any UN resolution).
It is for these reasons that I urge you to vote for CON.
I graciously thank my opponent for this debate; I also thank you, the reader, for taking the time to read and judge this debate.
I sincerely wish my opponent the best of luck in all future debates, and (as I have above said) hope for the chance to debate him again.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by EugeneZ 8 years ago
EugeneZ
at least this one did better :)
More People Should be Helped by the Government into College
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by EugeneZ 8 years ago
EugeneZ
Thanks robert.fischer- it is my pleasure
... I hope it will trigger another related to this topic debate(s): such as "quality of education in ES, MS, HS, etc..".
More debates about our education ->more chances for the debate to be on the 1st Google search page (:))....
Posted by robert.fischer 8 years ago
robert.fischer
Good debate, EugeneZ!
Posted by EugeneZ 8 years ago
EugeneZ
brian_eggleston: good one!

academic ability it is main criteria
Money x n (or more).. will come back after graduation: not just TAX also via good qualified work and maybe less errors that brought down our economy by management of companies
(good football players but without academic ability..)

Who will pay? employers -for future employees,
government...

Higher education: Europe vs. the US
http://publiceconomics.blogspot.com...
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At the world level, the United Nations' International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, guarantees this right under its Article 13, which states that "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education".
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
Access to higher education should be based on academic ability, not the ability to pay.

The taxpayer funded my education so I don't mind funding the next generation's education.
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Puck
"and if its free, how would you pay the profs?"

Read carefully. Clearly its not free but tax payer funded i.e theft.
Posted by questionmark 8 years ago
questionmark
yeah, id love to go to harvard, but then it would lose its place among the top if it lets anyone in. and if its free, how would you pay the profs?
Posted by EugeneZ 8 years ago
EugeneZ
check
A scholarship is an award of access to an institution, or a financial aid award for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
I am talking for free - would you like go for free in Harvard if you are good HS student ?
or pay per year
Tuition: $32,896
Room & Board: $14,183
Health Insurance Fees: $2,830
Books & Supplies: $1,904
Misc. Personal Expenses: $3,177
Posted by EugeneZ 8 years ago
EugeneZ
... No everyone is qualified for scholarships
Did you see "21"
http://www.sonypictures.com...

...what did Ben needed to be Harvard medical school? 300K
He was smart ... but without money or chance to get money-> ... he was lucky (happy end)
How many like him without money and scholarship out of High Education - just because of lack of $$$
or\and connections -> it is not right:
Not everyone has mama like Forest Gump had.
And what should you do if you do not play football ....?
Posted by dvhoose 8 years ago
dvhoose
How does this resolution differ from scholarships? Doesn't this already happen?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by EugeneZ 8 years ago
EugeneZ
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Vote Placed by KyleLumsden 8 years ago
KyleLumsden
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Vote Placed by robert.fischer 8 years ago
robert.fischer
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bsufan101
EugeneZrobert.fischerTied
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