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Free community college is just another education con game

To The Daily Sun,

With due respect to Dr. Ronstadt's commentary concerning free community college tuition. His article represents simply more populist, political pandering with a doctor's certification to increase the chances the reader will swallow the "free worm" along with his hook, line and sinker. This is precisely the type of "increased dependency logic on others" we have heard from Barack Obama for six years. We all know how well the lower 90 percent of this country has fared following the "free," "subsidy" and "welfare" path over the past six years.

Dr. Ronstadt's commentary follows the same "obfuscation model" education has used for the past 30 years. The results in education from K to grad school in this country are beyond a national disgrace. Dr. Ronstadt wants to double down on that failure again. This country spends more per student on education, per year than just about any country on earth while producing the most middling of results. Taxpayers wallets get surgically castrated by education. Dr. Ronstadt suggests we will get better results if we use a bigger knife.

The story always sounds so convincing. Its success depends on human weakness and envy. Always trying to get something for free, when it is well known what we appreciate most in life is what we pay for ourselves, and work hard to achieve. Giving something of great value for free dilutes its value to the person receiving it while it dilutes the living standards of the people paying for it. Reducing the stake of the stake holder only invites failure with little pain.

Have we already forgotten the tens of millions thrown in the street with "free down payment" mortgages debacle justified with the same Swiss cheese logic Dr. Ronstadt now uses. Populist panderers highlight "free" while conveniently forgetting the horror trail of unintended consequences tied to every one of these schemes. Of course that is the intention of obfuscating commentary. Ignore the negatives.

Free community college is just another education con game. In the same corruption league with "free money" from the state or the federal government with the supposed intent to lower the cost of education for all. Government and the states have conjured up endless reasons to throw money at higher education. None of it has worked. It will never work. "Free" money becomes a "slush fund" that allows colleges to ignore making the difficult efficiency and productivity decisions necessary to truly control and lower tuition costs to keep college affordable over the long term.

Macro education does all possible to avoid taking responsibility for its product. If it did tuition would not have increased faster than almost any product in Americas for decades. Education is "hogtied" by unions which abhor improvements in productivity and efficiency because that means reduced labor needs. Unions are opposed to paying the brightest and best most while it defends the worst of personal performance to the Supreme Court. Education has the absolute antithesis of a structure designed to produce the best product for the lowest price for all. "Free" only assures the continued quality decline while it gives the people who run education even more excuses to run education in the same failed fashion it has concerning cost and quality for the past three decades.

Tony Boutin

Gilford

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Creating jobs does not justify polluting our air, water and soil

To The Daily Sun,
Rep. Frank Guinta wrote to me on Jan. 30: "As you may know, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced H.R. 5844, the Protect our Public Land Act in the 113th Congress. This legislation amends the Mineral Leasing Act and would ban hydraulic fracturing on public lands. It was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and from there referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

Hydraulic fracturing is an energy extraction method in which pressurized liquid is injected deep into rock formations, creating cracks and freeing natural gas and petroleum. Raising my family in New Hampshire, I understand the importance of protecting our environment. The Granite State is home to thousands of acres of pristine forests, and people from around the world come to New Hampshire to enjoy our state's natural surroundings."

On Feb. 2 he wrote: "On January 28, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 351 with my support in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 277-133. As you know, H.R. 351 was introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) on Jan. 14, 2015. If enacted, this legislation would expedite the approval process of exporting natural gas from the United States to trading partners around the world. It would require the Department of Energy to approve applications to construct a liquefied natural gas export terminal within a specified period after an environmental review has been conducted.

"Increasing LNG exports will help strengthen our economy and create American jobs while increasing energy security. It is estimated that by 2018, the construction of new LNG export projects will create up to 45,000 American jobs. It allows us to send a message to oppressive regimes that we are not reliant on them for our energy needs."

So fracking is not okay, but it's okay to export LNG (liquefied natural Gas) to our trading partners? Has this LNG been produced by some other method than fracking? Fracking is one of the topics covered by Naomi Klein, in her new book, "This Changes Everything." Fracking should be banned everywhere in the world. It's dirtier than coal, permanently polluting our groundwater, despite what a slick TV ad says. But if the LNG is already here, we should make some money on it? Is that the idea? If it's already here, we should do something with it?

It has become obvious to me that we need to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, conserve more energy, and invest in renewables. Creating jobs does not justify polluting our air, water, and soil, anywhere in the world, and I still wonder how many new jobs will actually be created. Fixing our broken infrastructure and installing solar panels and other forms of renewable energy would probably produce many more jobs, strengthen the economy more, and increase national security more, in the long run.

Dick Devens
Sandwich

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