FACT: The City University of New York (CUNY) was founded with the intention of making a college education available to low- and middle- class New Yorkers. But, that ended in 1976. Why? The bills came due for the progressive Utopia called "New York City."
Casting aside the lessons of history to the winds of hope for a different outcome, the State of New York is now going to give "free" tuition at both CUNY and the State University of New York System (SUNY). This includes community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.
The law's specifics reveal the best of the "sausage making" aspect of passing legislation.
One specific has angered advocates of free tuition: Those who receive free tuition must live and work in New York for the same number of years they receive free tuition. If they don't, their freebie "scholarship" will convert into a "student loan." However, the requirement can be deferred if:
- a recipient leaves the state to complete one's undergraduate education;
- enrolls in graduate school; or,
- experiences "extreme hardship" (whatever that might mean).
Of course, proponents of "free" college tuition--like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton--don't worry much about how a state, like the "Excelsior State," can generate $$$s ex nihilo. Why not? The $$$s to pay for this entitlement to benefit the low- and middle- classes will come from high-income taxpayers, namely, corporations and individuals.
Yes, indeed! Let's gouge all of those people who don't deserve to be rich. None of them deserves to be rich!
The logic: There's a bottomless pit of tax $$$s just waiting to be tapped.
The problem: There's no bottomless pit of tax $$$s just waiting to be tapped,
And that's the precise problem with progressive Utopians.
Theoretically, a state--like New York--can raise its tax rate to 100%. But, everyone knows that rate would drive businesses and individuals out of that state to more friendly climes. Then, among those left behind, the number of high-income earners (hence, those who are paying the big tax bills to provide all of those freebies) will decrease while the number of those paying zero in taxes will increase and, having few or no options, legislators will squeeze the middle class...due in part to the entitlement the legislators gave them!
That's how the free market operates.
When Andrew Cuomo was elected Governor of New York, that was the fiscal situation he confronted. To turn things around, Cuomo initiated the "Start Up NY" program that gave generous 10-year tax "breaks" (i.e., 0% tax rates) to startup businesses locating in New York.
Today, college students and recent graduates are fleeing New York to other states, so the number of qualified employees for those startups is far too low to support those startups. So, to stem the tide of this outflow of a qualified labor pool, the State is offering "free" tuition to lure students to remain in New York by expanding a centralized, impersonal, bureaucratic system exponentially.
Not only is there the cost of all that "free" tuition but there's also all of those state apparatchiks this "free" tuition law is going to have to employ..."minders" whose job is to lure unwitting college students to apply for and be awarded a "scholarship" and then to make sure they don't head off to better climes!
Of course, none of that matters to the progressive Utopians.
Don't be fooled. Extorting graduates to remain in New York after graduation and pay confiscatory tax rates isn't going to keep those businesses from relocating to better climes when those generous 10-year, 0% tax rates end.
Let the discussion begin...
To access the website identified in this post, click on the following link: