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A call to default on student loans

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  • #31
    I'm getting another useless degree to add to my collection, this time a masters in journalism - which go together with my history and political science degrees.

    However, the only reason I am actually going to college to get that degree instead of something more practical is because the school is actually paying me to go there - I only have to pay for room and board.

    That means that, due to my scholarships now and during my undergraduate years, plus the money I made working jobs between college trips, I actually will end up having zero debt when I get my diploma.

    Getting a "useless" degree doesn't have to bankrupt anyone. The key is research, hard work, and making sure one knows exactly what they are getting into. Which has all been mentioned before.

    The problem is for those kids who don't know this or aren't fully aware when they go to college. It's one thing to just shrug one's shoulders and say "well, they should have known better", but that seems both impractical, illogical, and a tad hypocritical.

    If the end result is that a kid ends up with a useless degree and mountains of debt, it seems like there is a problem, even if it was their choice.

    I guess I just see a growing problem in the United States where education is becoming less accessible for a larger swathe of the population, and that's truly tragic. I'm a big believer in education being the best tool for creating equality and opportunity in this nation, because it doesn't rely upon taking from one group and giving to another to force it but acts as a means of giving the poor a better opportunity.

    But that education has to be affordable. Considering how important a 4-year degree is to so many fields, I believe with all my heart that any American child should be able to go all the way from kindergarten to college graduation without having to take out a loan.

    The difficulty is in how to make that a reasonable possibility.

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    • #32
      Student loans explained:

      You are a student going to a university. You pay $500 a semester to go.
      The government starts a loan program and offers to give you $500 in low interest loans that don't have to be repaid until you graduate.
      The university sees this loan program. They know you can pay $500 to go to school and that the government will give you $500 to go to school. So, they raise tuition to $1000 and offer to help you get the $500 loan. Now, they don't do that in one fell swoop, but over time they do do it.
      You are left with little choice but to get the loan and still pay $500 out of pocket. The university makes more money and they really don't give a rat's patoot that you are going to have thousands in loans to pay off after graduation, that is if you graduate.

      That isn't their problem. The university is in business and that's true regardless of whether they are a public or private institution. They have to pay employees, pay utilities, and produce "product."

      So, the solution is obvious: Remove government from the equation and watch tuition rates plummet.

      Comment


      • #33
        I too got out of college debt free. First, I used my GI Bill benefits. That paid for nearly everything back in the 80's. But, I also used my training as an electrician to get a job as an industrial electrician making about $12 an hour back then (about $25 an hour today). Since the company didn't care when I worked, just that I kept everything working I could go to school and show up at odd hours (preferably when people weren't using the equipment) and get things done.
        Lots of money for college, money left over to have fun on, and time to get college and work done.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          Student loans explained:

          You are a student going to a university. You pay $500 a semester to go.
          The government starts a loan program and offers to give you $500 in low interest loans that don't have to be repaid until you graduate.
          The university sees this loan program. They know you can pay $500 to go to school and that the government will give you $500 to go to school. So, they raise tuition to $1000 and offer to help you get the $500 loan. Now, they don't do that in one fell swoop, but over time they do do it.
          You are left with little choice but to get the loan and still pay $500 out of pocket. The university makes more money and they really don't give a rat's patoot that you are going to have thousands in loans to pay off after graduation, that is if you graduate.

          That isn't their problem. The university is in business and that's true regardless of whether they are a public or private institution. They have to pay employees, pay utilities, and produce "product."

          So, the solution is obvious: Remove government from the equation and watch tuition rates plummet.
          Good points, it's just missing the key involvement of privately owned banks and the role of diminished funding for state/public universities. The banks are making a pretty penny on the system. I'm always happy to throw the first brick at government myself, and while most student loans are of the federal kind, the banks are also involved in keeping the system afloat as well.

          Also, the fact state universities have had their funding cut time and again over the last few decades, as it's a quick way to save money to spend on other, more politically beneficial projects.

          Here is some information from Texas State University on their funding sources:
          Texas State’s operating budget is funded primarily by tuition and registration fees (49%), State appropriations (30%), and sales & services (19%). Gifts and grants are not defined as operating funds in the Texas State University System because of their uncertain and restricted nature.

          State Funding Per Semester Credit Hour

          The burden to pay for going to a state university has been radically shifted onto the students themselves over the past decade.

          Here is the information on their revenue and expenditure:




          One of the issues concerning faculty pay is that, like in the corporate world, the benefit has increasingly gone to the men and women "at the top" rather than the rank and file teachers. It always depends on what field a professor is in, of course, as fields that have competition from the private sector (business, for instance) pay more. A history professor is not going to be making much more than a high school teacher without a doctorate under their belt.

          Washington Post - Here’s what the average full-time professor made last year

          That's one of the findings in an annual study of professors' pay and college spending, released today by the American Association of University Professors. It reports that for the first time in five years, average pay increases for all full-time faculty members slightly beat the rate of inflation, rising 2.2 percent on average. Full professors at public doctoral institutions made $126,981 in salary in the 2013-2014 academic year, and instructors at those schools made $50,032.

          Presidents of public doctoral institutions, meanwhile, saw their salaries rise 11.3 percent on average over the past seven years. And presidents at top private universities saw even higher average raises: 17.3 percent over the same period, compared to 7.2 percent for professors at the same schools. (Private schools tend to pay their faculty more.) Pay for senior administrators, such as chief academic officers or chief financial officers, saw increases similar in scale to their presidents, or even higher, at both public and private doctoral institutions.
          Emphasis mine.

          It's not the teachers that are reaping the benefit, it's the administrators who are really raking in the cash.

          Comment


          • #35
            I have a cousin (female) who got a BA in Rhetoric from Berkeley. The guy she ended up marrying, who she met at Berkeley, got his degree in Chemistry. Guess who's bringing home the bacon in their family? Hint: It's him. When she got her degree I had no idea there was such a thing and what you'd do with one if you had it.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Steve573 View Post
              I have a cousin (female) who got a BA in Rhetoric from Berkeley. The guy she ended up marrying, who she met at Berkeley, got his degree in Chemistry. Guess who's bringing home the bacon in their family? Hint: It's him. When she got her degree I had no idea there was such a thing and what you'd do with one if you had it.
              If you're Karl Marx a degree in Rhetoric would be very useful... If you aren't...



              There's always room to move as a fry cook!

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                If you're Karl Marx a degree in Rhetoric would be very useful... If you aren't...



                There's always room to move as a fry cook!
                Except they're looking to automate that job because of the whiny losers trying to get $15 an hour...
                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.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                  Except they're looking to automate that job because of the whiny losers trying to get $15 an hour...
                  You should be happy. High unemployment will keep you in a job.
                  Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                  That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                    Except they're looking to automate that job because of the whiny losers trying to get $15 an hour...
                    Why do you despise your fellow human beings? Why do you constantly insult groups of people and make snide comments? It hasn't been once, twice, or even thrice, but almost every thread you post in. Show some compassion for others once in a while. It will do you good.
                    First Counsul Maleketh of Jonov

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      AJ happens to be right. The people expecting $15 an hour for serving french fries and burgers are in for a rude surprise, and they are whiny little losers. No one promised them they would get rich working in fast food, and it was never intended to a be a lifetime career field for losers.

                      Want to make more money? Work your ass off; move up and move on.
                      Don't snivel and cry and pretend to be a "victim". The world does not owe you a living.

                      Based on your posts, I'm guessing you're young and inexperienced with little practical knowledge of what really makes the world go around.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Steve573 View Post
                        I have a cousin (female) who got a BA in Rhetoric from Berkeley. The guy she ended up marrying, who she met at Berkeley, got his degree in Chemistry. Guess who's bringing home the bacon in their family? Hint: It's him. When she got her degree I had no idea there was such a thing and what you'd do with one if you had it.
                        That's sounds like a degree for making speeches and debating. What good is something like that? Oh, wait - is that what Obama has?

                        Kind of like a degree in women's studies or black studies...good for patching holes in the walls.

                        We used to call those "sandbox diplomas", as in: "I see you played in the sandbox long enough to gt a degree in it. Now take out the trash."
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                        • #42
                          Actually in the small towns working at the local fast food restaurant can be good way for people with families to earn a living. If you qualify for health insurance, vacation pay and other stuff, it gets better. I still remember when our bus pulled into a Burger Chef in Opelousas after my High School JV played the Opelousas High JV. From my high seat I saw some workers in the back look at us and register shock! There were no High School students working this place. It was all Mothers and Grandmothers and one middle aged male (manager?). I have ran into the same phenomena getting off the interstate to eat at say a MacDonalds.

                          Here North of Houston Hispanic husbands and wives can almost get by with both working for Mickey D's. I have seen pairs walking home after their shift was over. I gripe sometimes when the Hispanic crew screws up my order, but my daughter says she loves her 'Merry Mexicans' working these places near her work.

                          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"

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            Student loans explained:

                            You are a student going to a university. You pay $500 a semester to go.
                            The government starts a loan program and offers to give you $500 in low interest loans that don't have to be repaid until you graduate.
                            The university sees this loan program. They know you can pay $500 to go to school and that the government will give you $500 to go to school. So, they raise tuition to $1000 and offer to help you get the $500 loan. Now, they don't do that in one fell swoop, but over time they do do it.
                            You are left with little choice but to get the loan and still pay $500 out of pocket. The university makes more money and they really don't give a rat's patoot that you are going to have thousands in loans to pay off after graduation, that is if you graduate.

                            That isn't their problem. The university is in business and that's true regardless of whether they are a public or private institution. They have to pay employees, pay utilities, and produce "product."

                            So, the solution is obvious: Remove government from the equation and watch tuition rates plummet.
                            Or alternately, punish universities for gaming the system.

                            That's one area where I disagree with you. The fault of high tuition isn't that the government is giving student loans, it's that the universities are abusing the system. Cutting student loans would stop the practice at the cost of taking loans away from students who might need them. Since the universities are engaging in price gouging, have Uncle Sam take them to the woodshed and beat some honesty into them.
                            A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                              Except they're looking to automate that job because of the whiny losers trying to get $15 an hour...
                              Not as much as you might think. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you in principle, it's just that we need to remember how much the Obama administration screwed up the economy. In the good old days working at McDonalds was the realm of high school/college kids and stoners. But these days you have a lot of people working in the food service industry just because that's all that's available. These people have families to raise and would be glad to take a "real" job if there was one open. But under a contracted economy, that isn't always the case.

                              Now I happen to believe that the better solution in lieu of raising the minimum wage is stimulating the economy with deregulation and tax cuts and getting these college educated food service workers employed in their respective fields (and they didn't all take basic basketweaving). But people need to understand the realities of the Obama economy. People asking for higher minimum wage is a symptom and the cure isn't telling them "go get a job". Nobody chooses to work at McDonalds who is trained to work anywhere else. The cure is "giving them the job they are qualified to get".

                              It's not an entitlement problem. It's an economy problem.
                              A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I see the employment problem today as a situation caused from several primary sources:

                                First, the government got involved in making all sorts of restrictive labor laws. This has made employers reluctant to hire anyone without a proven track record. Education, previous similar employment, and the like are now necessary to even get considered for many jobs.

                                Entry level jobs for teens are nearly non-existent too. My first job at 16 was in the hardware department at a WT Grants store. I made keys, handled chemicals, all that sort of thing. Today, that'd be illegal for me to do at 16. Labor laws would prevent me working in a "hazardous" job like that.

                                Then there is the transition we're going through from the Industrial Age to the Electronics Age. Industrial Age jobs are evaporating. Manufacturing is being automated. Office work has been automated. All that has left many who could have gotten a decent wage in the Industrial Age by being able to show up for work everyday and do some menial task with a few week's training are now gone.

                                K to 12 schools are still stuck training students to prepare for the Industrial Age. That needs to change too.

                                But, the major underlying cause is simply too much government in the market place. Until government gets out of the way things will only get worse.

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