Today, June 24 2019, Bernie Sanders unveiled a new plan to eliminate college loans. Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan on April 22 2019. The point of this post is to highlight the difference in their plans and also communicate my issues with them.
A few disclaimers:
- I’m a Democrat
- As of today, I’m favoring either Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris for the nomination for the 2020 Presidential Election.
- I wouldn’t say I’m anti Bernie Sanders, but I don’t believe he should receive the Democratic nomination.
- I graduated with $25,000 of college debt and made $37,500 in my first year out of undergraduate school. I attended a private school, Santa Clara University and a public school, Foothill College. I received grants and scholarships for both schools. I am a GenX white male. I’m explicit with these facts as there could be biases to my argument and perspective.
- I do believe in SOME college forgiveness and REDUCED tuition for public schools. I don’t agree with wholesale forgiveness and completely free tuition for public schools.
Initially, I want to communicate my key issues with both their plans. First, the corporations who have made the most money in the high education market are coming out unscathed and have no liability/accountability. That is the core issue for me. Private universities, financial institutions who lend money to students , textbook companies and loan servicing companies should all contribute a meaningful amount of money if we are to forgive some loans and make public schools more affordable. The facts that both their plans totally skip these core players is either a lack of oversight , lack of imagination and/or they favorite these corporate players. It is unacceptable and a non starter for me to support either plan.
Secondly, the ideas they propose don’t address MY core systemic issues with universities. The curriculum is outdated and does not prepare most students for real world jobs. There should be no tenure for professors, it enables laziness, lack of accountability and outright malpractice. Our students today are not taught what they need to know to complete in a global economy and the professors who are teaching them are out of touch. There are blanket statements that apply to the majority of universities and professors.
Third, there is no reason why schools should be structured as four year institutions. You can learn core skills in two years or less. Reducing the number of years of school, will also reduce the total costs that individuals and/or corporation will need to pay. This point also ties to how schools are accredited, which is a topic that I’m not an expert on but I believe the process is flawed and needs to be restructured.
I can not take either of their plans seriously unless they address the three points outlined above.
Below is a google document that outlines their specific plans and how they compare:
I do favor Warren’s plan as it caps the amount of forgiveness and dictates who is eligible. The cost is $640B compared to Sanders’ $1.6T plan. If you make a decent amount of income, you should be able to afford some of you tuition costs.
Would love to hear your feedback, comments are open.