I mentioned this during my regular Tuesday, 2:00 p.m., appearance on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM today, but it’s definitely worth a post. Ponder this, from AP reporter David Klepper’s article on New York State’s new “free tuition” law:
The tuition initiative, which [Democrat New York Governor Andrew] Cuomo said is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less. Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit. They must repay the money as a loan if they take a job in another state.
“Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education and then you pick up and you move to California?” Cuomo said during a call with state editorial writers. “The concept of investing in you and your education is that you’re going to stay here and be an asset to the state. If you don’t want to stay here, then go to California now, let them pay for your college education.”
Those of us who think this “free tuition” idea is foolish will surely sympathize with the requirement for students to remain in the state for a time, but think about Cuomo’s construction here. If you’re a student heading from high school to college (or the family advising that student), he expects you not only what college you want to attend, but also what area of study you’re likely to pursue and in what state you’ll find work.
How realistic is that? It’s as if the policy has been put together with actual people as not even an afterthought. What we need are policies that give people the flexibility to live their lives.
Under this progressive vision, like the “Life of Julia,” the government promises you Easy Street, provided you stay on the paths that central planners have envisioned for you. Talk about the “welfare cliff“! Under the Cuomo scheme, a young New Yorker deciding between an OK job in the Empire State and a huge opportunity elsewhere — even a hop over the boarder into a neighboring state — would have to factor in not only any differences in risk or immediate pay, but also the prospect of adding a student loan to the monthly bills.
How many opportunities to help themselves and the world will the up-coming generations skip for this reason alone?