Clinton’s education plan more realistic than Sanders’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders are the two leading horses in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton’s campaign recently released its “New College Compact” to curb debt incurred by college students. However, staunch advocates for Sanders remain skeptical about Hillary’s plan in comparison to the elementary plan provided by her opponent.

From his entrance into the presidential race, Sanders has identified himself as a democratic socialist, citing the education systems of Denmark and Sweden as examples that the United States should emulate. But the radical idea that higher education past K-12 is a public good is more idealistic than realistic. The United States’ higher education system is dependent on incentive for hard work. Many public colleges reward students regardless of socioeconomic status based on their work ethic in high school. Viewing a university education as a public good removes the incentive to upkeep academic rigor in earlier education in hopes of earning scholarships to attend university.

Garrett Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons” theory is often used to explain the degradation of publicly accessible goods. Similar to how common land would be overgrazed, one can argue that the liberation from economic accountability will lead to the deterioration of the American higher education system. Sanders’s simple plan hits a roadblock.

Although Sanders’s campaign has commended Clinton’s “New College Compact” as a “step in the right direction,” the campaign has expressed disinterest in Clinton’s inclusion of expanding the work-study program. The inclusion of the work-study program, however, keeps in American capitalistic spirit.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s statistics on patent applications, the United States receives five times as many patent applications as those of the whole Europe. Now you have to decide between changing the American education system to emulate those of European Socialist states and buttressing those in need while keeping incentive.

Sathvik Palakurty is a freshman majoring in chemistry.

Feature photo courtesy Pixabay user cleverdesigner

August 29, 2015


Sathvik Palakurty

5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Clinton’s education plan more realistic than Sanders’”

  1. Regs says:

    This article is very insightful. I, for one, am very excited for a woman to be in power

  2. Sathvik Palakurty says:

    1. Bernie Sanders holds the view that higher education is a public good. Public goods are commodities that are accessible to everyone. The slavery to Bank of America is possibly a legitimate concern that Hillary’s plan also addresses. “The New College Compact” provides a loan-free option to go to school.
    2. Work study is not enough. That is correct! The status quo is not what is being discussed in the article but rather the plans that the presidential candidates hold for the future of higher education.
    3. World Intellectual Property Organization’s statistics are definitely relevant. While my argument might not be deductively valid, it is definitely inductively strong.
    Bernie Sanders indicates that we should emulate socialist European states with regards to higher education. Empirically, socialist European states have not produces as many patents OR academic papers as the universities in the United States. The statistics simply raise the question that emulating socialist European states may not be the best option. Clinton’s plan does not emulate socialist European states.

    I understand that Sanders wants to give every American the right to quality education. I am simply raising the possibility of the degradation of quality. Hilary’s plan is quite thorough and more pragmatic than that of Sanders. That is simply the argument of the article.

  3. Student says:

    1. You incorrectly assume that free college would be open to everyone. The Sanders plan removes students from slavery to Bank of America while enriching American education.

    2. Work study is not enough. It pays a small fraction of college costs, and free college removes the need for federal work study.

    3. Your patent statistics are irrelevant. They are not a measure of competitiveness. How does that advance your argument at all? Your logic follows that ANY change to the American education system would make it Socialist.

    Hillary Clinton simply works at the edges of the problem, while Bernie Sanders wants to give every American the right to quality education.

  4. Sathvik Palakurty says:

    I am making the argument that the plan that Sanders provides is innately flawed. I also think it is absurd for the Sanders campaign to criticize Clinton campaign’s inclusion of work-study in its “New College Compact.” Hilary’s plan removes barriers for those who cannot attend college while keeping incentive in play. More people going to college is definitely a good thing, but the path to getting increased university attendance is also important.

  5. Student says:

    The author makes the argument that more people going to college is a bad thing.


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