So I don't know if this might be the right place, if it isn't I'd appreciate if anyone can link me to the right place. Anyways here is the question.
I've read up on what are the cons of printing more money and that's basically inflation. But that only happens because we are injecting that printed money directly into the financial system, in this case, everybody has more money which leads to inflation. Consider a different case.
Suppose we want to make education free (zero tuiton/fees etc), but how are we supposed to pay all those professors and people working in these universities?
We could start printing more money and give those people money from government's reserves. Now you would say, But this in-turn means people all over the country have more money since they don't have educational expenses for their children.
How about increasing the tax rates for anybody who has children, to compensate for this? This way people who didn't have children remain unaffected, while those who have, have to pay more taxes which minimizes the difference of what they gained by not spending on their children's education.
You would say that this doesn't change the overall outcome, so what's the use of this sort of system. Well this means international students could study for free, children living in orphanages could as well. I don't know if children in orphanages are getting education or if there is an another system for it though.
In the end I don't see how this could cause inflation or other problems as everybody still has the same amount of money.
EDIT:- For people who don't understand let me summarize the situation.
1) Print more money. Use this money to pay salaries for university staff.
2) Increase tax rates for people who have children so that they don't have more money left due to not paying educational expenses.
3) Foreign and orphans and other students with similar cases (basically people with no children), don't have to worry about taxes. They can get free education if of course they pass the eligibility criteria for that university
EDIT:- (in response to erik's edit)
So try thinking of it this way. Is it more likely that people continue living their normal life and ignore this high quality education which they possibly can't afford or they choose to pay for this education and bring their living standard down?
If it's the latter, then yes it causes inflation but if it's the former then no it doesn't since they still have the same amount of money.
An example to explain it better. Suppose I want to do Masters from USA but it costs me 2000$ (idk the actual amounts so it's an assumption). Well If I collect all the money from my banks and savings I can manage to get this education but I won't have anything left for other life expenses (food, clothes, entertainment, etc). So I decide to not do this Masters from USA and carry on my with my never changing life.
However if the government pays this money for my education. Do I have more money now? The answer is NO. It's just I'm getting the education free, I ain't getting any money.
The alternate view of this is with people who can afford it and are paying this money from their own pockets. They will see the difference as they will be saving their own money if the government pays their expense.
However do you really think that this bunch of people can cause really such high inflation the government fears? First of all the likelihood of these people hogging all the international seats are low. Secondly making education free means they will have more competition from people all around who couldn't afford it before (I think the latter are greater in size than the ones who can afford)
In any case looks to me the gains far outweigh the losses. Eliminating poverty in this way will lead to much better economy later on.