I think that a very interesting starting point on this front would be to examine how free education is on the rise in rapidly developing economic powers like China. Obviously, there is something there in terms of offering free education, bringing more people into the realm of education and knowledge, and generating greater economic power for the nation. I think that a line can be drawn between all three in the instance of China to develop an argument or a thesis about free education. Education has always been seen as part of the democratic process and a part of the upwardly mobile. Few have ever made the argument that the more education one has, the lesser the chance social mobility is possible. In fact, the history of education would prove the opposite. The compulsory education and free providing of education that American Revolutionary thinkers like Thomas Paine put forth would indicate this. Paine argued that the new nation should feature free education, something that America ended up adopting much after the time of Thomas Paine. Education and its access has always been linked to social mobility, the strengthening of social fabrics, and the idea that economic gaps can be bridged.