In­vest­ing in free tu­ition would pay off for so­ci­ety

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE -

In the Aug. 11 op-ed, Mr. MacDow­ell asks a ques­tion: “Why should the tax­payer help un­der­write an ed­u­ca­tion that will de­liver more money to an in­di­vid­ual over their life­time?”as if there is no rea­son­able an­swer. How­ever, there is.

In coun­tries that of­fer sub­stan­tial ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tance, the logic is this: An in­di­vid­ual re­ceives tax­payer-paid fi­nan­cial help to at­tend col­lege. Yes, that in­di­vid­ual then ben­e­fits from a bet­ter-paid oc­cu­pa­tion. How­ever, that higher-paid job trans­lates to greater taxes paid, elim­i­nat­ing the in­vest­ment cost and pro­vid­ing a re­turn on in­vest­ment.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the greater num­ber of trained and ed­u­cated in­di­vid­u­als re­sults in a more suc­cess­ful so­ci­ety for all.

In Amer­ica, we dis­trib­ute bil­lions of dol­lars to se­lect in­di­vid­u­als as “in­vest­ments.” That money typ­i­cally is dis­trib­uted to in­di­vid­u­als who own the ma­jor­ity of this na­tion’s wealth. In Penn­syl­va­nia, mil­lions of tax­pay­ers dol­lars are be­ing dis­trib­uted to a se­lect few via Al­len­town’s NIZ.

Some­how dis­tribut­ing tax­payer money to the wealthy is a great plan but in­vest­ing in the mid­dle class is a bad one? I think not. Paul Kraft Beth­le­hem Town­ship

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