Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tuition free public colleges

Bernie Sanders was asked if this proposal to provide free tuition in public colleges also apply to students from high income families. His reply was that it applies to every student who is a resident of USA.

His basic principle is that public services, such as health care and college education, is available to all eligible persons, regardless of income.

It may appear strange to many people. Why should families who are well off be given the subsidy from the government?

The answer is straight forward - the well off families already pay higher income tax.

There is a big savings to the economy when there is no need for public officials to spend time to evaluate people who are eligible for the subsidy based on income and other criteria, and to disappoint people on the margin who are cut off from the subsidy. There is also the stigma for people who are considered to be poor and eligible for the subsidy.

Bernie Sander's approach make a lot of sense. It is productive and cost effective.

Singapore suffers from the waste of using many civil servants to spend their time on evaluating eligibility for welfare benefits based on income and other criteria. In some cases, the cost of the administrative is higher than the actual benefits provided to the recipients.

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