All are worthy


Javier Cortez, Sports Editor

To say there are some people who are not worthy of a college education is absurd. It’s like saying poor people don’t deserve a chance to become economically prosperous, or minorities shouldn’t have a say in their rights.

Many people think that college is a choice, or that it is exclusively based on your merits as a student. That’s not true though, college, just by its history subjugates and excludes a certain group of people—poor people.

Going to school in Northeast El Paso, many of my friends came from humble households or were simply poor. They never took school seriously or cared enough to further their education. Now you might say that is their fault, but it’s not. What many of my friends and others around the country fall into is a cyclical process of not understanding their worth and education, which is brought on by pernicious rhetoric and unreasonable tuition prices.

What is pernicious rhetoric? Statements like “not all are worthy.” It might not sound as vicious and vitriol as other statements, but it is. What statements like this do is create doubt.

Everyone is worthy of higher education, it’s not as simple as some people decide to further their education and some don’t. Many people are already excluded from that choice from the moment that they are born. If we want people to do good in our faltering education system then stop excluding based off a broken system that is education in the United States. It’s the system not the people learning within the system.

Let me broaden my argument to give light as to why college needs to be free. There is a growing problem in the United States, and it’s the wealth gap between rich and poor. The wealthiest 1 percent have nearly half of the nation’s wealth. According to the Global Wealth Report, the United States has the fourth worst wealth inequality in the world.

Many things factor into fixing a problem like this—reshaping our taxing system, replacing trickle down economics and supplying chances for social mobility.

Supplying chances for social mobility, hmmm, I wonder what that would be. Maybe lowering the cost of higher education or making it free. Education is one of the biggest factors that goes into social mobility, and with education, the cyclical process of poverty can be broken.

There are trends in the United States that seamlessly go hand in hand. Social mobility in the United States has gone down in the last 30 years, while college tuition has sky rocketed. Now I won’t say that this correlation is in direct line with the causation, but it does play a role.

In European countries such as Denmark, Great Britain and Germany, kids born into poverty have higher chances of getting out of poverty than kids in America do. Also tuition rates for colleges are much lower in these European countries, once again this correlation is not in direct line with the causation, but man does it play a role.

Half a century ago, the U.S. had one of the best educated work forces in the world, this was because there was an investment in higher education. It was affordable and, more importantly, attainable. Germans are not simply smarter, better suited and better qualified they just care about investing in their future.

In the U.S., that has been lost, because turning a profit is more important than providing and caring for the welfare of this country’s future. To conclude having a problem with educational standards in this country is one thing, but don’t assume that the problems with a faltering system and the people in it are the same. We all are worthy of a free ride.

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]