Tuition Free & Debt Free College is a Moral Right

downloadDo you remember the times when our nation thought big and did substantial things?

There was a time when we did thing big. We overcame the Great Depression, fought and won two World Wars, rebuilt Europe on the Marshall plan, and yes we passed and upheld the Affordable Care Act.

We thought big when we passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (the G.I. Bill), which provided veterans with many benefits including grants to cover tuition and living expenses for college, graduate school or professional training.

Just think about it. We provided free college to thousands of veterans then and now we still provide tuition-free college to veterans. Perhaps it’s not such a crazy idea to expand that to cover more people. Perhaps a higher education should be a human right.

 “[the G.I. Bill] contributed enormously to the release of economic and intellectual energy that caried postwar America to the summit of the world.” Historian Arthur Schesinger Jr. Wrote (Swig, Mar et. al.)

Thus, if the G.I. Bill was able to allow more people to get a college degree which created an infusion of new minds that pushed our nation forward then, why not now?

I propose, that we do make public colleges and universities tuition and debt free. I believe that this is necessary for several reasons.

  1. It is the moral thing to do. I believe that higher education is a basic human right.
  2. It will create more jobs by the influx of new students.
  3. It would raise the education level of our nation.
  4. New energy would be infused into our science fields and our economy.

Need more reasons?

I believe we should because of the outrageous cost of a college education in the U.S. Just in 2014, the average student-loan debt was $28,950 which was a 56 percent increase from 2004 where the average was $18,464.

The tuition for undergrads was $13,222 for a year at the Universtiy of California in 2014. At Penn State, it was $18,464.

How can we do this?

I have looked at several plans to do this. I have come to the conclusion that a combination of two of the plans from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sec. Hillary Clinton might be the best.

The plan that I think might work the best is the following. However, I think that it should be passed in a larger bill that has provisions that would take effect at certain time intervals after the passage. This way we can so-called “lean” into tuition and debt free college.

  • Refinance Student loans (within first year)
    • Allowing students to refinance their loans at current rates
  • Enroll in income-based repayment (within first year)
  • Cut student loan interest rates (within first year)
    • Set a formula for student loan interest rates to go back to where they were in 2006 to 2.37%
  • Require states to freeze and lower tuition (within 6 months)
    • Stop the skyrocketing increase in tuition and lower them to earlier years.
  • Re-institute the Buffet Rule (within 30 days)
  • Create a financial transactions tax (within 60 days)
  • Tax the wealthiest by 1%
    • Tax those making $100 million or greater by an additional 1%
  • Eliminate college tuition for working families (within 1 year)
    • Families making up to $200,000 will qualify to pay no tuition.
    • the income threshold will increase by $12,000 each year over the next eight years.

This can be done. Already, states are making community college tuition-free including Tennessee (2014). If Tennessee can make community college tuition free for in-state students, then we can begin to have a serious discussion about making public colleges and universities tuition and debt free (Wiener).

Take a look at other industrialized nations such as Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, they all have free college. In France, working families pay nothing, while wealthier families pay about $200 a year. We also have Germany who did introduce tuition, but over the years every state in Germany has abolished it (Wiener).

To even start working on this we must elect a Democratic president.

Works Cited

Anderson, Sarah et. al. “Want Debt-Free College? Tax the Rich” The Nation, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Swig, Mary et. al. “In the Spirit of the GI Bill, Cancel All Student Debt” OurFuture, 10 Oct. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Wiener, Jon. “It’s Time to End Tuition at Public Universities – and Abolish Student Debt” The Nation, 6 April. 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Who are you really?

Do you really know what you stand for and will fight for? Are you really what you say you are?

I believe that we do not really know who we are until we are faced with a serious even and our realities are challenged, when our lives are thrown upside down. These are the times that define us all.

Personally, I believe that the majority of us do not know who they are. I think this is because of society and how it teaches us to fit into the perfect model of a consumer and where we live to work. To the point that we do not challenge the way things are in the world.

Many people similarly situated to myself, who are and have faced death, have had their eyes forced open, they realize that having the newest Iphone or best dress is not important. That what is important is enjoying life and getting the most experiences out of it.

Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends on how you look at it), this may have made many of us a bit blunter or “lacking social cues” because we don’t quite see the need for unnecessary pleasantries in social situations or politics because life just maybe too sort.

Maybe we have also seen how that fighting over the little things like voting for a third party candidate over a so called “major party” candidate and the person that they are thworing their vote away is just not necessary. Even how there is this huge fight over making sure that Hillary Clinton is elected when she cannot do much if we do not have a progressive House and Senate.

Just the grossness in politics and society is a problem and at least for me it is sometimes very hard to deal with people because fo the experiences I have had that has given me a different perspective on life when I just don’t see the logic in even worrying about stuff like that. Such as getting the latest car, a great house, or the fancy clothes.

This is who I am.

I am a fighter, a transgender woman, a Democrat, a sexual assualt surivior, a feminist, and a student.

Let’s fight on and change this world! Let’s challenge the social norms!

The Revolution continues!


Is Sen. Bernie Sanders a Marxist?

In my opinion, Senator Bernie Sanders uses Marxist sociological theory in his political activism. Does this make him a Marxist? I don’t believe it does. While Bernie uses Marxist theory in his political activism, I don’t think he is a Marxist. Instead, he uses the theory to better understand the world and the conflict between the rich and poor. Therefore, what is Marxism? It is a sociological analysis of class relations and social conflict.

History of Bernie Sanders

bernie_2Bernie’s story began in Brooklyn, New York where he attended high school and later college before he transferred to the University of Chicago. Within Bernie’s first year at the University of Chicago, a scandal erupted when an interracial group of students uncovered the systematic housing discrimination at the university-owned apartment buildings. At the time, Bernie was a chapter leader of the Congress of Racial Equality (which organized the Freedom Rides) and launched sit-ins at the office of the university’s president to end the policy. After 15 days, a compromise with the administration was reached.

This was Bernie’s first experience with class conflict. In this case, socially constructed classes were forced against each other. the classes included white students with the privilege of being able to live in the apartments, the people of color who were not, and the property owner (the University, with the most power). In this situation, Bernie chooses to be a participant and take direct action or revolt against the property owners (bourgeoisie).

Additionally, Bernie has been politically active since college. He witnessed racial and economic inequality which pushed him to find answers. Bernie used his passion for justice and equality to become Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. He did this while even self-describing himself as a “socialist.” He also was elected to the U.S. House and then U.S. Senate in 2007. Bernie has become the longest-serving independent politician in Congress.

Inequality and Exploitation

Bernie has proved that throughout his life, he has been fighting for the working class and against the exploitation of the workers. He has done this through his work as Mayor of Burlington, Congressperson, and Senator. He has been talking about income inequality and injustice, and his message hasn’t wavered. He understands the struggles of the poor and the working class, including the origins of injustice and inequality. Therefore, I believe that Bernie uses Marxist theory to help him understand these complex inequalities.

Thus, during Bernie’s political life and campaigns he has shown that he does indeed see the problems of capitalism. This is evident in his work and his messaging during his campaigns. More on this later.

Bernie’s Understanding of Marxist Theory

During the Democratic primary for president, Bernie called out the bourgeoisie for their growing power over the government. “We are living in an increasingly undemocratic society in which decisions are made by people who have huge sums of money,” said Sen. Sanders (Kruse). I believe that what Bernie is saying here is similar to the same idea that Marx had about capitalism and its control over the government. And this is what both Sanders and Marx were getting at. “It has agglomerated population, centralized means of production, and concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralization” (Marx in Calhoun 2012, p. 159).

Furthermore, Bernie calls for a political revolution. “I am talking about bringing in the voices of millions who have given up on the political process,” said sen. Sanders (Johnson). He works for this because he understands that the only way for the proletariat to gain equality in all forms of life is to acquire political supremacy. This is an idea that many revolutionaries get from Marx. “Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of word” (Marx in Calhoun 2012, p.169).

He also calls out the exploitation of the work who works longer hours for low wages even though technology has made productivity increase. “Do you think it’s right that despite an explosion of technology and an increase in worker productivity, the average worker is working longer hours for low wage?” said Sen. Sanders (Kruse). This is another point that shows his influences by Marx where he believes that as productivity increases so should pay.

“Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of monetary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce” (Marx in Calhoun 2012, p. 160). This quote from Marx is talking about where we are at today. It is talking about why we have so many poor. It is because of the phenomenon in capitalism where people must work to live, and their lives revolve around work, where prices continue to go up, and profits for the wealthy continue to rise, but wages are stagnating.

Marx saw this then and Bernie sees it now. “Is it right that the middle class continues to disappear while there has been a massive transfer of wealth from working families to the top one-tenth of 1 percent? Trillions of dollars in the last 30 years have flowed from the middle class to the top one-tenth of 1 percent, ” said Sen. Sanders (Kruse).


Is Bernie Sanders a Marxist? No, he is not. However, he is influenced by Marxist theory in a way that helps him understand the world and the exploitive effects of capitalism. He uses class conflict in his campaigns where he explains how the working class’s interests are inherently different from that of the top 1 percent to mobilize millions of people to stand up and get involved in the political process to create the change that they seek.

Works Cited

Kruse, Michael. “14 things Bernie Sanders has said about socialism” POLITICO, 17 Aug. 2015 Web. 9 Oct. 2016.

Johnson, Dav. “Sanders’ Socialism Speech: America is For All of Us, Not just Wealthy” Campaign for Ameria’s Future, 19 Nov. 2015 Web. 9 Oct 2016.

Life Update

Hello everyone,

It is time for a life update.

I have moved on to the University of Iowa. I am working on my BA in psychology and sociology (until I perhaps change that to a minor and finish it up later, perhaps). I do indeed live on campus. This is an interesting situation.

Here are the classes I am taking

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociological Theory

I am actually doing well in these classes. I personally cannot believe it because I think I talked myself down. Told myself that it was too hard for me to do. But I pushed through and focused on studying and doing the readings and at the moment I have a B in all of the classes.

Now, for my medical update. Well, this one is a bit more difficult. I have been okay, no life threatening updates. However, I have been to the Emergency department several times.

  1. I was there for a migraine that just wouldn’t go away. After they gave me IV meds it did go away.
  2. I had chest pain, shortness of breath, and nearly passed out walking up stairs
  3. I had chest pain, shortness of breath

Following up with my primary care physician to see what it was. I am diagnosing myself with dehydration at the moment.

Emotional state, oh my this is quite difficult. Since I moved here there has been several situations that have caused me to have difficulties. Thus, some medications were adjusted.

  1. My younger sister was hospitalized (has cystinosis as well), and was doing very bad. My family were not sure if she was going to make it and thus there were talks if I needed to make it back to Omaha to visit her.
  2. A friend passed a way from suicide.

Both of these events took my mood from doing pretty good with moderate depression to severe depression and anxiety.

Let’s Build a Progressive Country

lets-work-together1Together we can win! Together we can build the progressive United States where everyone can get a high-quality education, free to low cost health care, and a fair living wage. We can do this!

However, we cannot do this without electing strong progressive candidates. We need to take back the Senate and House from regressive Republicans and corporate Democrats. We need to elect progressives regardless of party affiliation.

By doing this, we can stand up to the gun lobby, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour or higher, pass a paid family and medical leave act, provide clean alternative energy, and pass single payer health care. We can do this when we stand up to those who say no!

Yes, this does mean voting for Hillary Clinton for president. As Senator Bernie Sanders says, 

This is the time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of peope to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be.



Thus, we need to elect progressives in all levels of government. The following are some candidates who I think you should support.

U.S. Senate
Russ Feingold (Democrat – WI)

Russ has been endorsed by Our Revolution.

  • Represented Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate from 1993-2011
  • Russ opposed the Iraq War
  • Only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act
  • Co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law
  • Supports Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan to allow students to refinance their student loans

Go here to find out how to help Russ win! Our Revolution

Tammy Duckworth (Democrat – IL)
  • Serves in the U.S. House
  • Former helicopter pilot in the U.S Army
  • Former Director of the Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs
  • Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Go here to help Tammy win! Tammy Duckworth for Senate

Patty Judge (Democrat – IA)

End Citizens United endorsed Patty Judge

  • Elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992
  • 1998, she became the first woman elected Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture
  • 2006, she was elected Lieutenant Governor
  • As Lt. Governor she advocated for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Iowa’s civil rights code

Go here to help Patty win! Patty Judge for Iowa 

U.S. House
Tulsi Gabbard (Democrat – HI)

Tulsi has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, IBEW, AFSCME, NEA (National Education Association), Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, PDA, HRC, LIUNA, and Our Revolution.

  • Serves in the U.S. House
  • Served on the Honolulu City Council and the Hawaii’s State Legislature
  • Severed with the Natural Guard and was deployed to the Middle East twice
  • At age 19, she co-founded Healthy Hawaii Coalition (HHC), it’s mission was to protect the environment and improve individual and community health
  • Opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Co-sponsored 14 LGBTQIA equality bills including bills to end bullying and harassment, the Healthy Families Act, and the Equality Act

Go here to help Tulsi win! Our Revolution

Pramila Jayapal (Democrat – WA)

Pramila has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Keith Ellison, Former Governor, Secretary of Commerce, and U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Democracy for America,, EMILY’s List, Wendy Davis, Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL, NEA, SEIU, UAWU, Our Revolution, and many more.

  • Serves as a Washington State Senator
  • In 2013, she was recognized as a White House “Champion of Change”
  • Supports single-payer healthcare
  • Supports making all public universities and college tuition free

Go here to help Pramila win! Our Revolution


By the way, I also support the continuation of the political revolution that was started by Senator Bernie Sanders and thus I stand with Our Revolution!