Letters to the Editor

Sees additional impediments to education plan

There are two additional reasons to the “6 reasons why Obama’s free {community} college plan won’t fly” (the article by Anita Kumar of the McClatchy Washington Bureau that appears on page A3 of the Jan. 10Bellingham Herald).

I believe the seventh reason is that it is not focused enough on two real educational needs: The first need is training people for specific and existing jobs that would provide a livable salary with decent benefits in the communities they live in. This sort of employer and community college cooperation for the designing of programs and their modification based on their performance is increasingly common. We are helping my step-son-in-common-law (my wife’s daughter’s long-term partner) in such a program and it is wonderful.

The second need is more difficult and complex: helping people who have dropped out of the labor force re-enter. America’s labor force participation rate is lower than it has been and should be. Many people have just stopped looking for work and this is bad for the individuals and their family and friend, and culturally and economically bad for the larger society.

The eighth reason is the real and fatal reason it “won’t fly.” The above issues, among others, are technical and could be worked out as the policy is implemented. The stonewall that this initiative will die against, I believe, is the conservatives in Congress, whose strength and confidence has recently increased. I believe they think it is morally harmful to individuals and society for the government to help others. They do not know that humans are a social species that needs others to function normally. I believe Republicans are also publicly committed to giving Mr. Obama no successes, regardless of the harm to America. Especially ones that may motivate large numbers of people to vote Democratic in the 2016 election.

Gerald Beroldi

Bellingham

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