“Free” College in San Francisco


by Brian Hayes

People love to scream that Education is a right. Teachers work hard. Their days don’t end when they leave the classroom. My opinion is that education is a service. No one has a right to someone else’s labor.

You have to be foolish to think that anything is free. This education has to be paid for. The reporting on this new plan is that it will be paid for with an increase of the transfer tax with homes worth over Five Million Dollars.

Let’s take a look at the rule of unforeseen consequences, or maybe I should say shortsightedness. The idea is that the millionaires buying these homes will just pay the transfer taxes. My opinion is that rich people are good at not spending their money. We will see many more houses that used to go for five plus million going for 4.9 with creative ways to work things out with the seller, and there will always be the option of the suburbs. The buyer who is on the fence about city or suburbs will gladly go for the cheaper transfer fees in a suburban community.

On top of this, the city said they will put $5.4 million a year towards the program and low income full time students are going to receive $250 a year for books. $100 for part time students. There will clearly be an influx of students who would have otherwise gone to other schools.

Eventually education with no tuition will become part of the budgeting of parents. Why save money for college? More vacations, a summer home in the country, etc.

People who can afford to pay, will choose not to, and the expense will increase.
As you read deeper into the article, you realize the desire was an end result of more enrollment. The school was failing, almost lost accreditation, and the enrollment went from 90,000 down to 65,000 full and part time students.

Then there’s the comparison to Europe. The proponents of free education love to point to Germany, where the government pays tuition past their equivalent of K through 12.

That’s nice, but they have a high VAT tax, and their model doesn’t have a one size fits all solution of university education. Like Mike Rowe from Dirty jobs advocates, they guide many students to trade school. Working with your hands is still seen as honorable in Germany. Our educated elites often look down upon such work.

Let’s see what happens. Bernie Sanders and his supporters are advocates of this, the proponents in California want it to move statewide, and opponents say it can’t be paid for. I myself just can’t wait to see what happens.

Sources: ATTN and SF Gate