We all want to believe that all men are created equal. However, men exist in societies that have various divisions. One of the major divisions that have persisted in this great nation is between the haves and the have-nots. As the new president, you are taking charge of a highly divided country on many fronts, chief among them being the differences in income. Unless urgently addressed, the income inequality will continue to grow, and the society will become greatly divided, and in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, a house divided against itself cannot stand. The best way of bridging the divide in our nation is providing the opportunity for equal access to higher education.
Education is fundamental to the economic development of a nation. No single country has been able to attain sustainable economic growth without significant investment in its human capital. Education improves people’s quality of life as it raises their creativity, productivity and promotes technological and entrepreneurial advances. All these skills are essential in securing the social and economic progress of a society and significantly improve income distribution that is necessary for bridging the economic divide in America. Mr. President, in “making America great again,” more students have to graduate with a four-year degree, with less debt to their name.
Having explained the importance of education in improving the income distribution is this country, I now turn my attention to how to make the education affordable. In 2015, Germany eliminated higher education tuition because the government believes that having students pay 1,300 dollars every year discourages learners from pursuing a college education. Sweden, Norway and Finland, some of the countries with the highest income per capita in the world and some of the closest societies offer higher learning almost free of charge. Part of “making America great again” is doing the same for the US learners.
Part of bringing down the cost of education is cutting the interest rates on the student loans substantially. Currently, interest on education loans is charged at 4.29% instead of 2.37% charged in 2006. It does not make sense that a person can get an auto loan at a 2.5% interest rate while millions of students are paying at rates between 5-7%. America should be able to refinance the student loans at the prevailing low-interest rates. Lowering of interest rates should be accompanied by need-based financial aid for the lowest-income learners because the whole idea is to have more American students accessing higher education. The low-income students would use college, state and federal financial aid to cover board, living, room and book expenses.
Moreover, by imposing a 75 billion dollar tax on just a fraction of just a percentage of Wall Street speculators, the federal government can pay much of the college fees. Over a thousand economists are of the consensus that tax on Wall Street is appropriate as has been practiced in China, France, Britain, Switzerland, and Germany. Through these means, we can ultimately make university and college education tuition free and debt free in this great country.
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