Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

15 responses to “Raimondo: free college proposal ‘could be a game changer for Rhode Island’”

  1. jgardner

    The only way that is going to happen is if the people of Rhode Island have the training and education that is required to get these good jobs

    I understand the sentiment, but what I haven’t seen is any plan around actually executing on that idea. For example, we’re told STEM-based industries represent much of the future of job growth. Is the “free” tuition only going to apply to students working towards STEM-related majors, or will students working towards Sociology or Religious Studies or Liberal Arts degrees etc… also get this handout? If it’s the latter then it would seem the Governor more interested in the idea of “free” tuition than she is in actually making sure RI students are prepared for these new jobs.

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    1. Johnnie

      @jgardner: “will students working towards Sociology or Religious Studies or Liberal Arts degrees etc… also get this handout?”

      What is the worldview of someone who calls public education a handout? It is the worldview of the elite, someone who thinks a livable wage, affordable food, shelter and healthcare for people is an option.

      “How does the 10% manage to amass and preserve their wealth over three very different centuries, the apparatuses of repression and justification.” — Thomas Piketty

      “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” — Frederic Bastiat

      I know America is too poor to provide free post-secondary education. I hear the ruling elite telling us all the time that we are always looking for freebies, and that the costs of all our ‘entitlements” are why we are so poor. We need to be more thankful for what they share with us.

      Here is a list of some of countries that not only provide free university and post-graduate studies, but also give foreign students the same opportunities to study for free. This includes Master’s degrees and Ph.D’s.

      These are advanced, civilized societies who view education, housing, food and health care as a right — and where the concern is for the collective well-being of everyone.
      https://www.student.com/articles/countries-american-students-study-free-europe/

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      1. jgardner

        These are advanced, civilized societies who view education, housing, food and health care as a right

        Since they require resources and/or labor to provide, those things you listed are goods or services not rights. In order to exercise your “right” to healthcare, for example, it requires you to force the doctor to provide his labor for free, or in the more likely case, it requires you ask the government to use or threaten the use of force to extort resources from others to pay for the doctors services. This does not make you a compassionate helper of those in need, it makes you a gutless thug.

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        1. PinkHatLib

          All the Property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
          — Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris, 1783

          Perhaps a move to somewhere more “free” would be in order. For instance, no one will force you to pay for anyone else’s healthcare in say Somalia. Why not move there?

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          1. jgardner

            Somalia!

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  2. cailin rua

    Right to work! Cuz, “it’s the right thing the thing to do”, as Wilford Brimley or Ammon Bundy would say to all the Breaker Boys and Girls of the Age of Innovation, as Edith Wharton might have referred to it. Technology will save the technocrats. Everyone else most are uncertain of; but after the era comes to a close we may finally arrive at a point where we will all finally know the price of beans, and that, we must conclude, is progress!

    A cynic is one who knows the value of everything but not the price of beans. What wastrels they be!

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  3. leftyrite

    As usual, cailin’s is the more entertaining response.

    Edu-ma-cation.

    What is it, really?

    And do jgardner and Gina hold the keys??

    STEM cells have formed.

    They’ve been cultured all over the advanced world.

    People need direction, purpose, and inspiration.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, he’s our man.

    If he can’t do it, Amal Clooney can.

    Or, maybe Meryl Streep.

    or caitlin.

    (enter Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis:) …and I mean that.

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  4. leftyrite

    I’m in a rare mood, so you’re going to hear more.

    Chuck Berry and Jimmy Breslin are no longer with us.

    But, look at what they left us to work with,

    Right among us all, the whole Olneyville carnival.

    Johnnie B. Goode. Norman Mailer for Mayor.

    the taste of steak.

    the Prometheus Unbound sandwich.

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  5. Johnnie

    @jgardner: Inequality cannot be sustained without a morality to justify it and institutional structures to enforce it. I think you have things a little mixed up when it comes to who is stealing from whom.

    I know this is difficult for you, but try to imagine why every industrialized (wealthy) country in the world has a national healthcare system. Why do these countries see healthcare as a right while you do not? What do you think they would say to you? And why would some countries see higher education as a right while you do not?

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    1. jgardner

      Inequality cannot be sustained without a morality to justify it and institutional structures to enforce it.

      Unequal ≠ immoral, unless you believe it’s immoral that people are born with different strengths and weaknesses.

      Why do these countries see healthcare as a right while you do not?

      Because they ignore the reality that the resources needed to provide these “rights” are finite, and they have warped the definition of “human rights” beyond logical bounds. If there is a right to healthcare or food or housing or any other good/service you can think of but there are simply not enough resources in existence to provide everyone that right, arguably that means people who need X but are not receiving it are being denied their “basic human rights.” At that point there are two paths available:
      1. We decide that X isn’t a “basic human right,” which then turns “basic rights” into “arbitrary rights” based on circumstances.
      2. We decide that it is a “basic” right but since there isn’t enough to go around we must decide who receives the right and who doesn’t. This turns “basic human rights” into “government-granted human rights” and leaves us in a class-based system — those with rights and those without.

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      1. Johnnie

        @jgardner: “ Unequal ≠ immoral, unless you believe it’s immoral that people are born with different strengths and weaknesses.”

        Because we are born with “different strength and weaknesses” some should eat and others should not? Because we are born with different strengths and weaknesses some should receive livable wages, healthcare and shelter fit for human beings, and others should not? This is undisguised social darwinism and it puts you in the same camp with the Nazis, along their eugenics program. They also had a rationale and justification for their Aryan “morality.” Maybe we should begin to sterilize and euthanize those whom you feel are unworthy and ill-equipped to “compete.”

        Some of the educated youth in particular are seduced by your Libertarianism. Despite all its talk of freedom and choice, and its left posturing, it is little more than a right-wing, reactionary worldview. It takes society backwards, not forward. It is an extension of what students learn at the university: that they are unique, special and smarter than those who do manual labor. One has a “right” to most of the wealth produced collectively because they contribute more to society — or so they think.

        “If there is a right to healthcare or food or housing or any other good/service you can think of but there are simply not enough resources in existence to provide everyone that right”

        There are “not enough resources?” What school you went?

        There was time when society had not developed its productive forces to a point where it could feed, clothe and shelter all its inhabitants, and provide healthcare. But that time has long since passed. We put people on the moon and explore outer space, but we can’t feed, clothe and shelter people? We don’t have the resources? The more you speak and try to justify a position that is indefensible, the sillier you sound.

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        1. jgardner

          Because we are born with different strengths and weaknesses some should receive […] and others should not?

          Even if I agree with you that it is a moral imperative that we help those in need (which free market capitalism does not preclude), it does not logically follow that government is the most effective vehicle for delivering that assistance. And by using the coercive force of the government to fund those pursuits you waive all claims of moral superiority over those who disagree with the method or the cause; it’s not charity if it comes at the (implied) barrel of a gun.

          There are “not enough resources?” What school you went?

          A school that taught me virtually no resource is infinite and that virtually all resources have competing uses. There is not an infinite supply of doctors to treat the ill or an infinite supply of raw materials with which to build homes or an infinite supply of arable land to grow crops.

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  6. leftyrite

    The idea that those so inclined have a right

    to look around and learn something

    before they commit themselves to a life of work

    is good and humane.

    But, what are the realities of this

    Brave New World

    in which we live?

    Do they square with broadening oneself

    and developing some sort of intellectual independence?

    Or, are they training, indoctrination and “security” oriented?

    Note to the Security crowd: Shifts happen.

    Do Gina and jgardner want people to work with them–or for them??

    Thanks. No.

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  7. cailin rua

    Way off topic but that’s where things have gone on this thread. Laissez faire economics is coercion by passive aggression. Some believe ‘passive’ aggression is what it takes to wash one’s hands clean, like the cyclist on a bike in the dark wearing trendy camouflage without a headlight, barrelling toward you on Hope St., on a dare, invisible, as you attempt the make a left hand turn, in an automobile. There’s no kind of aggression like passive aggression with a very active state behind it until one needs something like healthcare. I wonder if Thomas Malthous would have approved of the introduction of wolves to thin out the urban population. Personally, I don’t think you could do better if you just denied the bottom 47 healthcare. Do property ‘rights’ actually Trump human rights? Yeah, property mostly Trumps human rights, or at least they have so far. My, what high ideals. Judge Taney, judge Taney and his legacy. They don’t call people property for nothin’. Ya gotta pay and pay, dontcha? Render unto Trumpers what is theirs and render to them what is yours, too, cuz there is no right quite like might.

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  8. leftyrite

    Hey, how about this idea:

    We pretend to be still writing the bible.

    Every day is a new day for us

    because we’re still writing.

    still imagining.

    We love the human drama.

    We want to know what’s happening

    in the agora, in the market place.

    The girls are still cute,

    and even they know it.

    we still have love.

    we need to show it.

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