Making higher education free of charge won’t make it free to provide.
It is the examined life that both George and West view as the purpose of a liberal-arts education. Its goal, that is, is to encourage critical reflection on the biggest questions; to lead us into an intellectual engagement that fulfills our nature as thinking beings; to help us achieve self-mastery; to enlarge our souls.
The value of liberal arts fields lies not in their specific application but in the way they inculcate a set of problem-solving tools. That corporate recruiters consistently report a preference for liberal arts majors over majors in “practical” fields is testimony to the reading, writing, and analytic skills students develop in those programs.
Collective punishment is unjust. This is the case whether it is employed by governments, corporations, teachers, or parents.
Like any other economic good, the value of a higher education degree is determined on the market, at the intersection of the subjective valuations and appraisements of those constituting the supply and demand of that particular good.
“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” — Milton Friedman