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Fifty years ago, the US National Student Association (The United States Student Association’s predecessor) declared its support for “the establishment of free public higher education throughout the United States financed by the local, state and federal governments, with the purpose of furthering the freedom of the individual and the critical spirit which ensures a dynamic and democratic society.”
We welcome the president to the fight for free college, and we believe that all public higher education in the US should be free! Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the 21st Century attributes lower wage inequality in Scandinavian countries to their “egalitarian and inclusive” system of higher education. He goes on to write if America invested more in broader access to education, this would surely be among the best ways to ameliorate inequality.
The Occupy Wall St. movement undoubtedly laid the groundwork for Piketty’s work on inequality to be met with critical acclaim in the US. 2014 was the year that minimum wage fights won across the country. 2015 and 2016 will be the years that we build a new movement with a clear and comprehensive demand: free college. If you’re on a college campus, plug into our local chapters; if you’re not, talk to your elected representatives. To be clear: our movement is not simply legislative in scope. We are doing this by building a nonviolent, direct action-oriented movement. And we will win.
The views expressed in this post are the author’s alone, and presented here to offer a variety of perspectives to our readers.