"free" community college

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    What are the main economic arguments against Obama’s plan to make community college “free”? While I haven’t really looked into what exactly his plan is from what I’ve heard he wants to make community college “free” in the same sense public school is”free”. What are some good economic reasons to oppose this? A few arguments I’m aware of are that it would lower the value of a college degree to basically that of a high school diploma, it would cause community colleges to become more inefficient and expensive, it would put an even bigger burden on tax payers, and it would suck more money out of the market.

    Am I missing any other arguments? I feel like my argument isn’t strong enough to convince the average person it’s a bad idea.


    A person who thinks government-run schools are a model for colleges to emulate might be hard for you to convince along merely economic lines of argument.

    You might, however, try a reductio ad absurdum. If it’s a good idea for the government to set the price of a college education at zero for students and then raise the funds to pay for the resources used to provide such education by taxing other people, then why not do the same thing for automobile production or tablet computers. If fact, if it’s such a great idea, then why not have the government provide everything for free by taxing everyone.

    Links to several articles on public education can be found here:


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