Monday, February 09, 2009

Stimulating Colleges

This is another thing that stimulus money would be well spent on - higher education. Though I don't like higher-education and K-12 education funds coming out of the same section of the bill, the idea behind it is sound.

Let us look at the myriad economic benefits of investing in colleges:

First of all, more students going to school lowers the full-time workforce and keeps other folks employed right now. I'm not even talking about college professors (them too), but all the support staff that make colleges go.

Secondly, colleges spend money to build stuff. Please see also: economic benefits of infrastructure improvements.

Third, supporting colleges and keeping tuition down helps keep money in parents' pockets. Some of that will be saved, and some of that will be spent - further stimulating the economy.

Fourth, supporting community colleges allows versatility in technical or academic education for folks who have to split the difference between work and school. They may have to hold onto their current job, but will be less hard pressed to prepare for a more economically stimulating job if community colleges are robustly supported.

Fifth, this will allow states more flexibility in budgeting.

It just works. Again, this is one of those "stimulus items" that Democrats could have passed individually already had they been thinking more strategically. Who would have opposed it?


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