Thoughts on the president's education proposal

Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at 8:09 AM
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  • I recently attained my dream job as an Economist with the State of Nevada. From 2001 to 2010, I attended college and worked. I was under the false premise that the education would get me the job. Especially, if I toughed it out and earned the Masters.

    Rude awakening. Just spending money and enduring exams/lectures was not enough. 1000's of resumes later, I was still at square one. How does someone with 3 college degrees not have better prospects?

    In the end, it was initiative that got me the job. Teaching myself stuff on the side and then using it was the magical key to the job. The lesson learned was that the degrees are nice but one has to be self motivated and take it upon themselves.

    To connect this, just having everybody get a cookie-cutter two year degree is not going to translate to better employment prospects. Just the degree alone is not going to magically help them rise out of the doldrums. Only they can do that

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Wed, Jan 28, 2015, at 10:46 AM
  • *

    Nine years. Your tenacity is admirable.

    I'm wondering how higher education will be transformed in the future.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/shai_reshef_a_tuition_free_college_degree?language=en

    -- Posted by Dave Thompson on Thu, Jan 29, 2015, at 7:15 PM
  • There are jobs out there. There are jobs right here in Idaho that are being filled by foreign contract workers. I find it incredible that Micron has to import workers from Taiwan.

    Could it be that they couldn't find qualified people that were willing to relocate to this bigoted homophobic state? Or could it be that they couldn't find workers willing to work for paltry wages?????

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 5:28 AM
  • And I take it you're not bothered by Micron importing workers rather than pay a decent wage all in the name of more profit?

    What's wrong with American jobs for Americans?

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 8:50 AM
  • We are falling further and further behind other countries in terms of an educated citizenry and that puts us at a distinct disadvantage. Other countries seemed to figure out that a state paid for education pays off in the end because they are better equipped to compete in the global economy thereby increasing workers wages and providing enough in the terms of tax revenue to pay for the cost of said education.

    I'm not saying that there aren't those who abuse that system or that everyone needs a diploma, but even getting a 2 year technical certificate can greatly improve a persons earnings.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 11:54 AM
  • Wow Old progressive!! Chill, you're starting to sound like a xenophobic old conservative with your comment about American Jobs for Americans. Sounds like something I heard back in the day from an OLD BIRCHER LOL

    -- Posted by Grumpy old man on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 3:30 PM
  • Hey Old progressive, one thing at a time how about jobs first so we can put all these over-educated freeloaders to work so they can pay off those student loans? I'm sure their parents would really appreciate that. And with a larger tax base we could start doing things like paying back Social Security. I know sometimes I even make myself laugh. Seriously though.

    -- Posted by Grumpy old man on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 3:40 PM
  • This proposal of Obama cheapens the product. If there is nothing special about attending college, sacrificing time/money/energy/sanity, and graduating then how are you to differentiate yourself in the market. What it will do is force students to go even further into debt.

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 3:42 PM
  • Interesting comments. I'll start with twil. I fail to see how providing students with the opportunity to obtain a 2 year degree or certificate so they can afford to finish college or enter the workforce with marketable skills cheapens anything. I do believe however that the requirements should be stricter as far as GPA. A solid B average should be required to get this aid.

    Grumpy, I almost choked on my coffee when I saw your comment about an OLD BIRCHER. I am old, but I dealt with far too many Birchers in my youth. If you add up the non-manufacturing jobs that have been shipped offshore or filled by these H1B1 visa's (I think that's what they're called) it would help get at least some of the well educated unemployed working, spending and helping drive the economy. Countries like India and Taiwan are snagging American tech jobs because they educate at least a large enough portion of their population to get the jobs shipped there. That and they work cheap!

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Fri, Jan 30, 2015, at 5:35 PM
  • Hey old progressive. No offense about the Bircher remark but as someone once said to Richard Nixon "boy for a republican you sure are Liberal" I think this proposal of Obamas is Lame why spend Money we don't have to educate for free when even IF they graduate from college there are no jobs to be had. Look at Mountain Home for example the majority of employment is on Base. And it takes a lot of luck to even get an interview at Marathon. Even if all our high school graduates attend college and graduate where are the jobs coming from when they return home in four years . That is if they do return home. The old adage how ya gonna keep em down on the farm. Once they get a small taste of all that's available (including jobs) in Boise or Portland , Seattle , Salt Lake. More jobs here would go a long way to curing our tax base problem, and more money available for schools. Oh I forgot you're just an old Bull ******, I mean Progressive.

    -- Posted by Grumpy old man on Sat, Jan 31, 2015, at 2:24 PM
  • I look at the bigger picture, not just small towns. Mountain Home is a nice town, but let's face it, it really doesn't have much to offer when it comes to companies looking to relocate or expand. The whole state of Idaho has issues. Cheap land and cheap labor just doesn't cut it anymore. Let's face it, being 48th or 49th in educational spending isn't going to attract a lot of looks.

    As far as Nixon, his Quaker background probably shaped some of his progressive views.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Sat, Jan 31, 2015, at 5:10 PM
  • Well then rewrite the constitution of Idaho and then close every single public school. Families with children will abandon this state in droves. The housing collapse of 2008 will look like small change compared to what will happen when they abandon their homes. With all the productive taxpayers living elsewhere there will be no money for roads, but by then they will not be needed. There's much more, but I'm sure you 2 geniuses can figure it out.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Sun, Feb 1, 2015, at 7:08 AM
  • Having a free first two years of college, helps Americans compete with people from countries like India so that we don't have to outsource so many jobs from there. That helps America's economy and is a natural progression of education in this country, which started out with no education being free and has gradually improved to the point where high school has been free.

    -- Posted by Sam_1776 on Sun, Feb 1, 2015, at 8:31 AM
  • The intent is to keep American jobs in America.They do educate to a higher level in other countries.That is one of the reasons that we loose jobs to out sourcing.

    In America everything is about how to make more money and that includes education.yOU find that education in some of the countries mentioned is not cost prohibitive.We are in a transition period,from a service oriented economy back to a production based economy, that we should have never left. The world recession did not leaves us unscathed nor did it make our businesses and exception to it's devastation.

    As far as education vs indoctrination, there are plenty of institutions that indoctrinate on both sides, so lets us remember that.If and institution doesn't indoctrinate the way you want go to another one, there are enough to go around.We do have the freedom to attend were we want.

    And educated population adds to the GDP of a country.ISN'T THAT WHAT WE ARE ALL ABOUT........MONEY !!!!!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by lamont on Sun, Feb 1, 2015, at 8:55 PM
  • Community colleges are public schools, therefore the analogy. Tuition at CWI is $8700 for 2 years minimum. That doesn't include the cost of books or labs. When those are added in the cost balloons to almost $20000.

    A 40 hour week minimum wage job pays about $13340 after mandatory taxes. That leaves $3340 a year to live on. That doesn't even begin to cover food and shelter. Grants help and there are some scholarships that aren't that hard to get, but in the end students end up saddled with debt. Student debt in this country is now over 1 TRILLION dollars. Payments on that debt deprive the economy of much needed dollars.

    Now the big question for those who oppose 2 years of free higher education, what is YOUR solution to the problem of Americans falling further behind other countries in terms of an educated population?

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Mon, Feb 2, 2015, at 6:39 AM
  • Can we get back on topic?????

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Mon, Feb 2, 2015, at 6:47 AM
    Brenda Fincher, Publisher, MHNews
    Yes, please and thank you.
  • Well mike we could start with BYU WEST in Rexburg.The point was that education of the basic population contributes to the overall wealth of the nation.The future will require more engineers and scientist. The nations that lead in math and the sciences will be the world leaders of the future.That would seem to be a no brainer. As a" working guy" I don't want my TAXES going to subsidize business.Our rep...PETE NIELSON stood in front of the parents in mtn home and said..we are going to take care of business first and then we will get to schools.For me they go hand in hand.When I ck'd and found out how many people here in this town receive gov't subsidies not to farm AND ARE MILLIONARES it made me sick.

    IF we don't like what a public institution is doing with our money we need to let our legistaures know.The problem is we don't find out till after it is done.

    NO everyone doesn't need to be and engineer but we need them in greater numbers than we produce them,common core addresses this problem. I don't neccesarily agree with it but I underdstand the why.The use of our taxe dollars and business is a conversation by itself.

    -- Posted by lamont on Mon, Feb 2, 2015, at 7:02 PM
  • Is giving a free education going to make those receiving it appreciate it to the point they strive to excel? Or, will they take it for granted, which is usually what happens when things aren't earned.

    -- Posted by CoolBreeze83647 on Sat, Jan 31, 2015, at 7:44 PM

    I simply responded to the above. You made the blanket statement about free education. You didn't say college education, just free education.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Mon, Feb 2, 2015, at 9:00 PM
  • "Appreciating it" is besides the point. A free 2 years pf college helps the country compete with the educated people in other countries and therefore provides extra revenue in the United States.

    I think that those who are against this are either too old to go to college (in their minds) or too lazy to compete with those that go to a community college.

    -- Posted by Sam_1776 on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 12:26 AM
  • The 112th congress outlawed earmarks which allowed the bridge to nowhere. Instead of making broad vague statements that include things that have already been resolved, try listing actual programs and $$$ numbers.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 7:18 AM
  • Yes there are things that still come out of congress that are wasteful. The problem is that they are attached to bills that need to be approved to avoid shutdowns. Items that could never survive on their own. Please tell me you aren't suggesting a government shutdown because of an item in a spending bill.

    At the end of the day I think we both want what is best for all the citizens of this country, but we differ on how to get there.

    Providing our citizens with the means to be more competitive in the global marketplace would seem to be a no brainer. Better education leads to better wages, which leads to a bigger tax base, which leads to more revenue which can lead to a lower tax burden percentage wise if done right.

    I don't know if we agree on one specific program, but it is a huge one. Over 400 billion for a fighter jet program that is way over budget and so late in delivery that it seems ludicrous to continue it.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 8:06 AM
  • Topic Reminder = Thoughts on the president's education proposal. Otherwise take it to the Political Forum. Thank you.

    -- Posted by Brenda M Fincher Publisher MHNews on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 10:58 AM
  • Understood

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 11:39 AM
    Brenda
    :)
  • The politics of the presidents suggestion is not worth the argument,to much hate and discontent about something that needs to be looked at in a serious way.EDUCATION IS THE FOOD THAT KEEPS US HEALTHY AS A NATION.You don't want to do it as suggested lets hear what you would do to eliminate the PROBLE, and it is a problem..We all know it will not be FREE. The question is how to pay for something we need for the future health of the nation.

    OUR children deserve a fighting chance to remain competitive in and envirement were NATIONS set goals and then put them in practice, such as doubling there engineers.They do it by incentives and creating markets for there needs.That is how nations have caught up to us and in some cases passed us.We need to stop looking BACK and look FORWARD to the future we face. TWO yr college degree's will help us in the future,all you have to do is look around.

    -- Posted by lamont on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 1:45 PM
  • "And will these future students have jobs waiting for them once they graduate, and how much will they actually earn?"

    Certified high pressure gas welders are earning as much as 6 figures on the pipelines and oilfields. Why? Because they are working upwards of 80 hrs a week because of the shortage of welders, and because of the shortage they can demand whatever they want as far as pay, working conditions, etc.

    Almost any good paying job in healthcare requires a minimum of a 2 year degree or certificate.

    MBA's and Phd's are a dime a dozen it seems because of the oversupply.

    This is at least part of the answer to the question raised in quotes.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 4:54 PM
  • "The Atlantic" had an excellent article about the free community college proposal.

    There was a lot of good information in it but these were some things that stood out for me.

    1. Making community colleges free desegregates community colleges between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.

    2. Making community colleges raises the bar to two years of college being the minimum needed, instead of just a high school diploma being the minimum needed.

    3. Since the states would have to pay for a portion of it something interesting is going to happen. Hard right conservative states like Idaho and Nevada who won't like this idea, will see themselves getting further behind more enlightened states that know that education is important and are willing to invest in it.

    4. As a political concept that is going to be argued out through every state, Republicans need to get on board or once again they will be identified as the blockers of progress, or as they sometimes call themselves: "the stupid party".

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/01/the-genius-of-obamas-two-ye...

    -- Posted by Sam_1776 on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 5:03 PM
  • This comment is meant to be on topic and not a poke in the eye to anyone out there.

    Back in the day, when a young person wanted to get into the trades, they would go down to the union hall and apply to the apprenticeship program. If they were accepted, they received a small stipend while they were in class until such time as they were ready to go out into the field and earn while they learned. With the massive decline in unions, this is no longer an option for far too many of todays youth. Instead they have to pay to go to a technical school like CWI and come out of school with debt and not even enough education to qualify as a 2nd year apprentice.

    Say what you will about unions, when you hired a journeyman anything, you knew that they were well trained and qualified for the job!

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 5:12 PM
  • Well unfortunately the founding fathers never adopted the Mike Bradbury rule of having to prove they can "can competently manage and budget what it gets now."

    Instead ideas like the community college being free comes up and the merits are discussed on whether this makes sense. Mike do you have a discussion on the merits of the idea? This is being done in Tennessee which has a Republican governor. A lot of people have signed up. Massachusetts goes even further with great success, IMO.

    -- Posted by Sam_1776 on Tue, Feb 3, 2015, at 11:15 PM
  • MIKE........you continue to change the subject and go on a rant with the same stuff you always say.........we got it !!!!!!!!! Now can we get back to the education thing !!!!!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by lamont on Wed, Feb 4, 2015, at 9:06 AM
  • Community colleges are public schools, therefore the analogy. Tuition at CWI is $8700 for 2 years minimum. That doesn't include the cost of books or labs. When those are added in the cost balloons to almost $20000.

    A 40 hour week minimum wage job pays about $13340 after mandatory taxes. That leaves $3340 a year to live on. That doesn't even begin to cover food and shelter. Grants help and there are some scholarships that aren't that hard to get, but in the end students end up saddled with debt. Student debt in this country is now over 1 TRILLION dollars. Payments on that debt deprive the economy of much needed dollars.

    Now the big question for those who oppose 2 years of free higher education, what is YOUR solution to the problem of Americans falling further behind other countries in terms of an educated population?

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Mon, Feb 2, 2015, at 6:39 AM

    Want to see what it cost in California??

    http://westvalley.edu/admissions/fee-schedule.html

    http://home.cccapply.org/money/bog-fee-waiver

    Run the numbers and see where community colleges are affordable.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Wed, Feb 4, 2015, at 12:23 PM
  • *

    Collage tuition in-of-itself is nutty expensive. And has a trickle effect to the end customer or citizen. Where does all that tuition go?? To the faculty? I argue..not. Looked at a collage professors income? It's paltry at best in relation to what they're doing. They're making producers! The facilities? I argue...not! I haven't been impressed with any of the campus structures I've recently seen. And many collages use tax and grant (otherwise known as tax) funding to build new buildings or remodel the old. So again I ask, where's the tuition going?

    I for one am curious how President Obama's plan will work. Because, I think the core (critical thinking) problem with our higher education programs is deeper. And like the Fed, collages should be audited to find out where the money is going.

    Long before my time, someone a lot smarter then me stated (paraphrasing) that college was nothing more than a money racket. I think as a country, we moved on to more important topics, and forgot how true that ideal was and is.

    -- Posted by Darksc8p on Thu, Feb 5, 2015, at 1:56 PM
  • It may be nutty expensive, but states that take education seriously, steps have been taken to make at least the first 2 years almost free.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Thu, Feb 5, 2015, at 4:18 PM
  • How about targeted increases in educational benefits to someone defending our country, like our troops?

    Isn't the person asking for two years of free college the same one who wanted to do away with tax exempt college savings plans (529's)?

    -- Posted by skeeter on Fri, Feb 6, 2015, at 7:09 AM
  • They and their families have sacrificed so much, and they have lost promised benefits already.

    Investing in people that have proven their commitment to our country only seems the right thing to do. More bang for your buck.

    -- Posted by skeeter on Sun, Feb 8, 2015, at 7:29 AM
  • SKEETER.......THE REASON 529'S were targeted is they were being used as tax shelters for far and above college tuition.THE AVERAGE PERSON COULD NOT AFFORD A 529.SO YES THEY WERE TARGETED.

    THE states that have targeted there community colleges are positioning themselves for a better job market and higher wages.I can testify to the worth of community colleges. ONE of my kids went to ISU IN A 2 YEAR PROGRAM TO BE A WELDER.The fact that he was a 2 year student of welding gave him the upper hand when he graduated the program.The wages he made, even back then were eye watering,all because of that piece of paper.I wont say what he made for 6 months as a super on keystone,lets just say he didn't have to work for the next year if he didn't want to.

    Nothing is totaly free and school wont be either.They will pay for something, be it books lab fee's etc.The point here is that the proposal should be given some serious thought,and each state should make inputs to taylor a program that would work.

    -- Posted by lamont on Sun, Feb 8, 2015, at 9:34 AM
  • Very well said lamont! Besides the job advantages for students there is the added benefit that our future voters will be better educated and maybe be more discerning on evaluating truth from fiction in political campaigns.

    -- Posted by Sam_1776 on Sun, Feb 8, 2015, at 11:02 AM
  • Lamont, With all due respect I have five 529's for some of my grand kids. I'm working on the sixth one now. I have seven more to do after that. (Although I have a two year old grandson who can read and maybe he will get semi-free schooling).

    I'm about as average as they come.

    As far as I know, it is hard to use a 529 as a tax shelter.

    I know nothing is free in life. I've worked for 60 years. I missed a day in 1985 for eye surgery.

    -- Posted by skeeter on Sun, Feb 8, 2015, at 12:08 PM
  • SKEETER.......ALL due respect my friend please take what I said in context.You may put away say ten thousand for the people they are talking about, that is pocket money.That was not directed at people like you and me.

    60 yrs,,,,,,,so when are you going to stop and enjoy those grankids and family before it's to late ?????? The memory's we leave them and the time spent with them cannot be measured in dollars and cents.I can tell you I have not regreted that I stoped,although I Still play music and things I enjoy,and they do those things with me makes me feel good.

    Anyhow there education means the world to me and I can see you also.Anything that facilitates them being ready for the future is what it's about

    I'll vote for 2 yr schools it cant hurt.

    -- Posted by lamont on Sun, Feb 8, 2015, at 3:51 PM
  • Lamont,, I've recently retired and am into trying to get patents on things I invent.

    Also, have been with the grand kids much more and fishing much more

    My wish is all young people do get a good education but Washington is not the solution.

    529's are bought with after-tax cash. The tax on income has already been paid.

    Around 95% of 529's are held by people who make less than 250k. and there are over 12 million plans with 244 billion in benefits (in 2014).

    Only 14k a year can be put into 529's, except front loading the first five years is allowed.

    The president and first lady took advantage of that and put 240k into 529's, I assume to lessen their estate taxes.

    I want to help pay for my grand kids, as I did my kids, but don't want to pay for other kids because of new taxes. I know it may sound mean, but it is my opinion, and I'm the world's foremost authority on my opinion. Good health to you.

    -- Posted by skeeter on Sat, Feb 14, 2015, at 7:24 AM
  • Mike, I met "Uncle Ronnie" in Guam. What a positive,cheerful person.

    -- Posted by skeeter on Sat, Feb 14, 2015, at 8:10 AM
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