Free education implies a free service in the school sector to the citizens whereby the government provides the funds by allocating money collected from taxes. Charitable organizations also participate in the sponsorship to relief people from the burden of paying tuition fees. High costs of education are evident in the United States, and this brings disparities in the community as not everyone can afford to pay for the service. Current efforts to offer free childhood education in the United States mark a beginning of a journey that could lead to free education all the way to the graduate level (Melissa, 2014). Such an achievement may signify a new dawn in the country as it would eliminate disparities in education as all Americans would have a chance to study to the university level. This development would amount to a general increase in the standard of education in the whole community.
The Potential Impacts of Free Education on the Economy
According to Melissa (2014), free access to education would translate into the economic equality in the society. The high costs of education deter children from low-income families from achieving their education dream by locking out of the system or making them drop out of the course. The inability to study up to the university level promotes poverty as the affected people have no access to better-paying jobs and thus they have no decent source of income. The inability to earn high salaries pulls the families behind while their educated counterparts prosper. The result is the widening gap of economic inequality as there are extremely low-income earners and extremely high-income earners. Free education up to the university level may solve this problem by enabling children from financially unstable families to study and further their careers hence allowing them to earn a decent income (Mulhern, Spies, Staiyer, & Derek Wu, 2015). The trend shall eliminate or reduce the gap between the wealthy and the have-nots as every household will have access to education, better jobs, and high salaries.
Education is essential in the economy as it improves labor productivity (Melissa, 2014). By enabling access to education for all people, free education in the United States shall promote career development and the attainment of proper skills for work. Inequalities in education have a negative impact on the country. For instance, in 2008, the problem led to a loss of $2.3 trillion in productivity (Auguste, Hancock, & Laboissiere, 2009). Access to free education may, therefore, create a vast highly skilled workforce that translates into increased labor productivity. The presence of technocrats will lead to high levels of production as well as the production of high-quality goods and services that promote better living standards for all people. The purchasing power of the population shall also increase as many will have a substantial disposable income. The increased productivity and the high purchasing power would amount to economic development.
Education is a vital element for innovation and technological advancement (Mellissa, 2014). Free access to higher education for all Americans is favorable for the economy as it promotes career development for all people hence empowering a large number of scholars to invent new ideas and processes. Such inventions are necessary for the economic growth and development, and thus there is the need for access to education for all.
Illiteracy promotes unemployment hence facilitating crimes such as robbery and illegal trades/sales of contraband. Robbery discourages investment hence pulling the economy backward. Illicit trade is also harmful to the economy as it leads to loss of government revenue through tax evasion. Empowering the community through education promotes employment (Allen, 2007) as well as the growth of legitimate business hence lowering the level of crime and illegal trade (Melissa, 2014). Additionally, the idea is a solution for saving the taxpayer’s money used to fund incarceration of criminals hence diverting the money towards development. Providing Americans with free access to higher education, therefore, favors the reduction in crime and illegal trade.
The contemporary world witnesses a period of aggressiveness as countries try to wrestle the economic dominance from each other. The issue, therefore, means that individual countries need economic competitiveness at the international level. An economy with a highly skilled workforce, low crime rate, high levels of employment and increased productivity has a solid foundation in the global competitiveness. Free access to elementary and tertiary education is, therefore, essential for the development of economic competitiveness of the United States economy (Mulhern, Spies, Staiyer, & Derek Wu, 2015).
On a sad note, provision of free primary and higher education has its setbacks as it leads to increased taxation for the government to acquire funds for facilitating the delivery of the service. The issue means that tax payers will have to go deeper into their pockets to provide more money to the government. However, the burden of taxation shall be evenly distributed, and thus the load shall be lighter compared to when low-income families struggle to educate their children. Also, increased education in the society widens the tax base hence lessening the burden of tax on individuals.
In conclusion, high levels of education are significant for economic development. There are some benefits of the free access to elementary and high education. The development is favorable for economic equality through the provision of education to all people. The trend is also crucial for economic development, innovation, and technological advancement, reduction in crime and illicit trade as well as economic competitiveness at the global level. On the other hand, free access to education implies more taxation as a way of acquiring the funds. However, by increasing employment, free education widens the tax base, and the following even distribution of taxes reduces the burden on the individual citizens.