Suggestions such as free colleges will not address the rising students’ debts. It will, however, increase the middle-class taxes and contribute to a shrinking middle-class. The solution would be investing in higher education worth paying for.
Rising debts, high tuition fees and high cost of living have resulted in many demanding solutions to fix these problems. Many, including the current democratic presidential candidates, have suggested free college as the solution to these problems. They have also indicated that they are willing to go further and cancel the student debts currently owed.
Free college is a bad idea
This, however, is not a solution to the current job market demand for students leaving the universities. Free college is actually not free and would result in higher taxes for the middle class to be able to achieve it. Debt forgiveness of over $1.5 trillion would also end up raising taxes to meet these forgiven debts.
The fact is, the future of the US workforce will depend on a higher education worth paying for. Take, for instance, the IT industry, which in the last three months, 918,000 positions have gone unfilled due to lack of skilled workers. The IT job postings have also continued to rise, although there are not many to fill the positions.
This means that for students currently pursuing IT-related courses, they will have value for their money spent on education. Regardless of tuition fees paid, there is almost a guarantee that these students will end up in higher-paying jobs, and these will have been worth their time.
There is also the fact that, for students who are taking these courses and using student loans to facilitate their education, they will have an easy job repaying these loans in the future.
In 2030, the demand for skilled workers will exceed the supply by more than 85.2 million. This will result in the US losing more than $1.7 trillion in revenue for US companies. These will be equivalent to a loss of six percent of the US economy.
To address this and ensure this trend does not reach to such unimaginable levels, the government needs to focus on solutions to address skilled labor before solutions on free college education. These solutions are cost-friendly compared to tuition-free solutions and debt forgiveness.
Solutions that cripple the middle-class citizens through high taxations would end up devastating the economy. The projected benefits would be wiped out by poor living conditions and accelerated higher costs of living. Addressing the gap between the student debts and the market requirements of college students should, therefore, be a priority.
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