“Free” ideology will be the death of America

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Esteban Alarcon, Copy Editor

“Free”—America’s second favorite four letter f-word—defines the detrimental mindset that expects government handouts and a utopian economy at the same time.

Free college. Free health insurance. Just another apple in the Garden of Eden. The leftist mindset, exemplified by “free” enthusiast and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, associates itself with a socialist ideology that encourages a Big Brother styled government which, consequently, insults independence and incentive.

“Free college tuition,” Sanders proclaims, “could reduce crushing debt loads which now exceed Americans’ credit card debt.”

Sanders and like minded constituents only care to coddle the symptoms—debt—and not the virus itself—financial incompetence. Rather than tending to the crumbling foundation, Americans continue to normalize the toxic debt culture that leaves the average American household at $137,063 owed.

Debt fabricates a safety net with the strength of dry spaghetti, similar to that of “free” handouts. Sanders.senate.gov proposes that $70 billion from federal and state taxes “would replace what public colleges and universities now charge in tuition and fees.” However, for the sake of transparency, one can look at the $70 billion as a blow to the American economy—particularly to Wall Street.

“The federal share of the cost would be offset by imposing a tax on Wall Street transactions by investment houses, hedge funds and other speculators,” ironically suggests the web page.

But why leach from Wall Street—a capitalist institution that “drives the U.S. equity market, which in turn is a bellwether for the global economy?” Because the “free” mindset sweeps the damage it deals under the rug and punishes the “evil” brokers and investors for the success that they worked for.

Reasonably enough, college students need this $70 billion handout since no system exists where students can apply to the U.S. Department of Education, universities, or private companies for grants—oh, wait a second. A whopping $46 billion in scholarships makes itself available to college students in the U.S., not including the $12,000 in Federal Loans for each college student.

The concern that the grants’ funds would not cover the student population forfeits legitimacy when considering that “$2.9 billion in free federal grant money [was] unused over the last academic year.”

Of course, we face reasonable oppositions. First and foremost, that “countries like Germany, Denmark, [and] Sweden [provide] inexpensive higher education for their young people.” Consequently, college debt does not burden students in Europe as much as it does in America. Although, the illusion of Europe’s free college can only work with mirrors, fog machines, and magicians that would not make it in America, one must consider the fact that these countries’ college enrollment rates remain lower than that of the U.S., not to mention the infamously higher taxes paid in Europe.

Evidently, it takes less effort to feed a small family as opposed to a big one. Germany, the country with the largest population out of the three previously mentioned, claims a modest 2.7 million college and university students, while the U.S. peaked at 21 million in 2010.

In the same fantasy where Marxism actually works, one can expect the U.S. to fulfill a quota of handouts while maintaining the world’s most powerful economy. In layman terms: a capitalist reality and free college cannot coexist.

Yet another reasonable opposition asserts that humans would rejoice in a society free from currency, expenses, competition, and hard work, but the wretched reality trumps this fantasy—and there lies the misconception of the word “free.”

Evidently, to flirt with the “free college” idea would reveal America’s lack of incentive and challenge the principal of “you get what you work for”—in other words, America would start its southward trek towards socialism.