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  • A call to default on student loans

    Lee Siegel has stopped paying his student loans, and he's calling for millions of Americans to follow his lead.

    The author, a 62-year-old veteran of prestigious publications like the New Republic, New Yorker and Harper's, explains in a New York Times opinion piece over the weekend that the high amounts of debt he had to take on to attend a "small private liberal arts college" and then Ivy League graduate school degrees presented him with a dispiriting choice.

    "I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn't want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school," he writes. "Or I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society."
    BBC - Full Article

  • #2
    Colleges overcharge and force students into useless classes like music appreciation, shoehorned in to justify the existence of college teachers with no practical job skills, as part of their curriculum. Student loan plans are often predatory. A mass strike may be called for to shock the system back into rhythm.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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    • #3
      No one forced him to get degrees that wouldn't lead to good paying jobs. I don't always agree with Suzi Orman but on this subject she's right. She says to total up your debt for a certain degree and then research how much someone with that degree earns. If you can't pay off the debt with that income, do something else.

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      • #4
        The government started this whole horrible problem by giving out the loans in the first place.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johns624 View Post
          No one forced him to get degrees that wouldn't lead to good paying jobs. I don't always agree with Suzi Orman but on this subject she's right. She says to total up your debt for a certain degree and then research how much someone with that degree earns. If you can't pay off the debt with that income, do something else.
          That's it in a nutshell.

          I did the final review on an applicant earlier this year-she got a Criminal Justice degree from a good university. Her student loans equal five years of our salary, but since she can't possibly pass a police physical, she didn't get the job.

          So she has a degree of narrow application; if she was physically able we would hire her without any college all. If we had, she would spend a good chunk of her career paying off her loans. The Feds, where the big money is, prefer better majors than CJ, so she would have been at a disadvantage there.
          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #6
            He now needs some jail time to go with that education.
            My worst jump story:
            My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
            As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
            No lie.

            ~
            "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
            -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
              That's it in a nutshell.

              I did the final review on an applicant earlier this year-she got a Criminal Justice degree from a good university. Her student loans equal five years of our salary, but since she can't possibly pass a police physical, she didn't get the job.

              So she has a degree of narrow application; if she was physically able we would hire her without any college all. If we had, she would spend a good chunk of her career paying off her loans. The Feds, where the big money is, prefer better majors than CJ, so she would have been at a disadvantage there.
              It's worse than that. The government hands out loans and grants on the basis of income, not on the basis of whether the degree is worthwhile or not. So, lots of people go to college, trade school, etc., to get a degree or certificate in something nobody will pay squat as a job to do.

              A fine arts degree for 98% of those getting it isn't worth the paper it's printed on. I guess you could always join some Progressive Leftist advocacy group and become an ill-informed protester of something...

              Same goes for trade schools. Getting trained in pet grooming is not going to pay back the thousands it cost for you to get trained.

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              • #8
                The funny thing is the nimrod in the article is demoralized because he faces the terror of having to get a job.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                • #9
                  The sad thing is that if he were a decent writer, that would pay his bills.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                    The sad thing is that if he were a decent writer, that would pay his bills.
                    Yea, and the world needs more folk singers and bassoonists too...

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                    • #11
                      He went to college to study how to be a writer? I wonder how many of our most successful writers had to study to write?

                      And why can't he work and write. Many aspiring artists, actors, writers, extra had jobs. The guy sounds like he has one massive sense of entitlement.
                      you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                      CPO Mzinyati

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                      • #12
                        Before someone suggests a pity party for this guy, I feel like I should mention that I paid off my student loans. I felt so much better getting out from under them. Before I had gone a year after graduation, the college started calling my unlisted phone number asking for donations! I told the person they should really wait until after I had paid off my students loans, which would take about twenty years with what I could afford to pay. They have not called me back!

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                        • #13
                          Here is a link to his original opinion piece, in case anyone didn't see the link in the BBC article.

                          The best article response I've seen to Siegel's piece?

                          Sociopath Explains Why Heís Above Paying Off His Debts

                          Iím utterly fascinated by Lee Siegelís op-ed in the New York Times about how he was too good to pay off his college debts.

                          No really. Thatís the whole piece. Letís leave aside the basic moral question about whether or not one should feel some sense of obligation to repay oneís debts. Itís filled with lines like:
                          Years later, I found myself confronted with a choice that too many people have had to and will have to face. I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didnít want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school. Or I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.

                          I chose life. That is to say, I defaulted on my student loans.

                          and:
                          Maybe I should have stayed at a store called The Wild Pair, where I once had a nice stable job selling shoes after dropping out of the state college because I thought I deserved better, and naÔvely tried to turn myself into a professional reader and writer on my own, without a college degree. Iíd probably be district manager by now.

                          and:
                          Someone with character would have paid off those loans and let the chips fall where they may. But I have found, after some decades on this earth, that the road to character is often paved with family money and family connections, not to mention 14 percent effective tax rates on seven-figure incomes.

                          Emphasis mine, throughout. Siegelís ability to envision himself as an unappreciated ‹bermensch is something else. The whole essay drips with a massive amount of self-regardóseriously, bro, I think the world of letters would manage to survive without your contributions; even if it couldnít, if T.S. Eliot could write The Waste Land whilst holding down a job at a bank, you probably couldíve committed your scribblings to the page tooówhen it doesnít revel in mean-spirited condescension. ďIíd probably be district manager by now,Ē he sneers, pissing all over the people who do the work his dainty hands are too good to touch.
                          The Washington Free Beacon - Full Article

                          Well worth a read!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by andrewza View Post
                            He went to college to study how to be a writer? I wonder how many of our most successful writers had to study to write?

                            And why can't he work and write. Many aspiring artists, actors, writers, extra had jobs. The guy sounds like he has one massive sense of entitlement.
                            I'm a published author, and its never going to replace my day job.

                            Unless you're Stephen King, GRR Martin, or that small elite, most writers don't make enough to actually live on the proceeds of their writing.
                            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                            • #15
                              The price of an education is ridiculous.

                              Government doesn't pay its bills. Why should citizens?
                              "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                              BoRG

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