Do you rely on other people for your well-being? Do they supply you water and food and transport and sanitation and power? How are things supplied in Somalia?
There are markets in Somalia no doubt, unregulated ‘free’ markets.
What’s the difference between Somalia and the US?
In part, it is that people are educated in such a way that they can contribute to the well-being of everyone… they know how things work and there are systems and organizations in place to organize how it all works.
As the earning capacity of one’s parents doesn’t determine the value that their children may provide to society if well-educated, it is better to treat education as a common good and pay for it.
I would go further and claim that learning is hard work that ought to be compensated. Especially so as the rate of change in information is changing so fast that a large percentage of time will need to be devoted to re-learning.
Educated people add value when they apply their learning. But the student also adds value as they work to create a new ‘educated person’ (the product of our education institutions).
We pay many people to create educated people: professors, tutors, security guards and accountants, everyone who works in and supports education institutes… but we don’t pay the one person who does all the work to create an educated person: the student! They are the only one who can turn information into knowledge (information understood by a person), they are the only person who can create the product, all the rest are just ‘inputs’.
If it is so valuable that we pay $billions to create educated people, we ought to pay all the workers in the process, including and especially the students.
When an educated person applies their knowledge, they are adding value to society via the goods and the services they help to create. Their income reflects the value they add and is reward for the work they perform at the time. In buying a good, the market does not pay for your education, it only pays for the application of your knowledge.
If we were to pay people to learn, how much more learning would we get! And we could have performance measures just like in any job, so people who failed to apply themselves would get the sack from their learning job.