Can We Really Afford to Cancel Student Debt and Student Tuition?
Yes! Like early childhood education, this is a government program that pays for itself (see my earlier post, https://kamloopsndp.ca/listening-to-the-science-on-early-childhood-education/). How? Because college graduates, as a group, earn more money – and therefore pay more taxes. And they pay higher taxes from the time they complete university in their early 20s until they retire in their mid or late 60s. The extra tax dollars that government collects over 40 years more than pays for the cost of a 4 year degree.
People who go on to become professionals – doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers – are in school longer, but earn even more when they enter the workforce, and therefore pay back more in their taxes over the course of their careers.
Grade school and high school are free. We recognize that, on the whole, people who complete high school do better in life than they otherwise would. Among other things, they earn more money – and pay more taxes. Governments provide free public schooling, and are amply rewarded by years of higher tax revenues from the people they benefit. We should do the same for post secondary.
Society benefits in many ways when more and more people receive education and training. And for government, free tuition is a money-making program over the long run. This is why countries like Finland and Norway, who have no more resources than Canada, are able to offer free university tuition to their citizens. We can do it too. We just need to work together.