Let's End Student Loans from Uncle Sam

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A Problem with Higher Education

Some of the biggest problems in America are caused when politicians and bureaucrats decide THEY can manage something better than free market forces.  Education, specifically higher education, is one such problem.

 

Our current policy is to throw money at all would-be students no matter their attitude towards education or likelihood of success.  And what do we get for it…

♦ It allows universities to keep the price of higher education artificially high.

♦ It allows universities to pay no attention to the deportment of faculty.

♦ If allows universities to pay no attention to the actual intrinsic value of certain degrees.

♦ It encourages students and parents to take on exorbitant debt that many will never pay off.

♦ It produces dropouts and even graduates who are ill-prepared for the real world (and many in debt up to their eyeballs).

 

 

It’s time to put a stop to this mess.

 

But, it could get worse.  There are many a socialist nut out there advocating for “free” education up to and including college.  THAT would exacerbate the problem.  In fact, we should be going in the exact opposite direction by making college less accessible (note, I said accessible, not expensive).

 

The problem is government.  Think about this.  The government (GOP, Dems, all of ‘em) wanted everybody to own a house.  Sounds good right?  So, they made the banks load money to people who were not responsible enough and/or couldn’t afford a house; making taxpayers accountable.  And what happened?  The housing bubble, default, and debacle.

 

With that lesson completely ignored, the government (GOP, Dems, all of ‘em) want everybody to get a college degree.  See a pattern?

 

The Colleges:

Right now, colleges have no incentive to keep costs under control because everything is so heavily subsidized.  Meanwhile tenure is handed out like pez candy giving academia a license to do or say anything.  The money is flowing and shows no sign of letting up, so why improve the product, why be more efficient, why hold faculty accountable, why reduce costs?  Blindly subsidizing anything guarantees poorer quality at a higher cost.

 

 

Imagine though, if we reintroduced free market forces into this equation.  Imagine if universities competed for fewer students who were doing cost/benefit analysis on the university and the field of study.  What if there was incentive for universities to give “bang for your buck”?  It’ll never happen with the system we have.

 

The Students:

While there are many aspects of subsidizing higher education; one of the biggest is the student loan program.  Student loan debt is currently $1.5 trillion (more than auto loans, more than credit card debt).  Guess who is on the hook for all this debt?  Yeah, we are.  Again.

 

 

Because the money is so easy to come by, many “students” take it, party for about four years, don’t graduate (or graduate with a worthless degree) AND… enter society unprepared, in debt, generally pissed, and of the opinion they are owed something (like the forgiveness of the debt).

 

The solution is simple.  Reintroduce market forces into the process of making and receiving student loans.  This would be done by getting Uncle Sam out of the business; completely out of the business.  Turn this over to the private sector who will make loans on a risk reward basis.  Is the applicant going to a “party school”?  Is the applicant serious about why he/she is going to school?  Is the student likely to graduate, get a job, and replay the loan?  All good questions (and there are many more such questions) that should be asked, but given the current system aren’t.

 

Arguments:

I can already hear a few of the arguments… so let me address them.

 

Objection: But if we have less people going to college we’ll have less educated people and not be able to compete the global economy. 

Answer: First understand that those we’re trying to weed out probably weren’t going to college to learn and weren’t going to graduate.  Percentage and quality of graduates should increase making up for much of that.  Second, it is high time to reintroduce vocational training in our high-schools.  High School degrees need to be worth more, especially when applied to a specialized vocation.  We should have people exiting high school who know basic plumbing, welding, truck driving, (get the picture).  No… they won’t be professionals, but they should have the knowledge to get their collective feet in the door.

 

Objection: But liberal arts will suffer. 

Answer: Yes… to a degree, but maybe there are ways to mitigate for that.  Maybe a liberal arts degree shouldn’t cost as much as a more “practical” degree.  If it’s less likely to pay as much after graduation, let the market set the rate of the costs.  Certain colleges that have a passion for liberal arts should concentrate on liberal arts.

 

 

Objection: But degrees like Black Studies and Women’s Studies will all but disappear. 

Answer: Yes… and good riddance.  They’re worthless, less than actually.  Get a real degree and study hobby type stuff on the side.

 

Conclusion:

We have a mess our hands with higher education.  As with many, many such messes, the problem is… government doing more than it should (bread and circuses).  The solution is, get government the hell out of it.  A good place to start is with student loans.

 

College degrees are meaning less and less as is all education.  Many people (who were never mature enough or prepared academically) are dropping out of college with huge debt.  More and more people are graduating with degrees that are worthless.  Colleges have no incentive to change (tuition costs, faculty abuse, degree programs, etc…).

 

Return higher education to a modicum of sanity through free market forces.  Apply a little supply and demand to right this ship.

Comments

Rusty Smith Added Aug 8, 2018 - 10:58am
The cost of our our higher institutions of learning have spiraled out of control and are comparable to the housing costs just before the big crash in the 80's.  In a similar way potential students are being told the same BS that convinced potential homeowners to accept home loans that they had no chance of paying off; everyone is doing it.
 
Kids are being told they need a college degree and going deep into debt to get one, only to find out it they would have been better off investing the money in a retirement account.  Many graduate with useless degrees and spend the next 20 years working at Starbucks, living in a small apartment , and trying to pay off a debt that could have been used to get them in a house of their own.
 
Colleges have forgotten what their purpose should be, to prepare students for jobs in the real world.  They offer useless degrees taught by over paid arrogant teachers who would be working at Starbucks if the lost their teaching job.  
 
One of my local colleges has one of the finest theaters in the world, from a technical point of view.  It makes me sick to think of all the students the same money could have helped by lowering their admission costs.  One of my friends kids just got accepted in a nice college, he was the Val Victorian in his large High School, straight A's all the way though, and it will cost $87,000 a year for him to go there.  Before he's finished, he will have spent enough to buy a nice house.
Dino Manalis Added Aug 8, 2018 - 12:36pm
 Many things have to change, including banks have to start offering competitive student loans, while tuition rates have to be capped to inflation.  Recruiters need to advise students and schools about pertinent job skills and schools ought to play a decisive role in job searching and placement.
Spartacus Added Aug 8, 2018 - 1:44pm
The problem is not the student loans.  It is the worthless degrees.
Now that universities are getting sued for these worthless degrees, that should solve half the problem.
Leroy Added Aug 8, 2018 - 2:05pm
Nice article, and, as usual, spot on.  We have also had degree inflation.  What used to take a BS degree now takes an MS degree, at least at my former company.  If I were fresh out of college, they wouldn't hire me in the same position with a BS degree.  The remedy?  More education, more money, more debt.
 
Maybe it is all a good thing.  You used to have to get married, buy a house, and have children to go into that much debt.  Might as well break them in earlier and crush their dreams right out of college rather than give them hope of a future.
TexasLynn Added Aug 8, 2018 - 2:52pm
Rusty, There is a definite correlation between what is going on now and what went on with the housing bubble.  We're about to repeat that government inspired financial debacle; because the government hid who and what was really responsible so well.
 
Everybody needs a college degree has been a pervasive lie for years.  It's well past time that we put it to rest... but when you try the left goes nuts calling you anti-education.
 
Meanwhile they enslave more and more people to the system with debt and lies about the value of some degrees.  We're lucky if these people work at Starbucks, unfortunately many of them become wards of the state (either via welfare or government jobs).
 
Colleges have forgotten their purpose because they've been given a free ride; both through government subsidies and the funding of those they fleece.  Take away one (or better, both) and you'll see the free market fix that rather quickly.
 
The cost of some of these educations is not worth it and it's obvious to anyone; and it needs to be fixed.
 
Thanks for the comment.
 
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Dino, I can't agree with everything you wrote.  If we really want to fix this, then the free market must prevail in all areas.  Banks will compete for the loans.  Capping prices never works and is the antithesis of the free market.  Students need to become informed about colleges and degrees on their own.  Never trust a "recruiter" or anybody giving such advice; or at least learn their motives in giving the advice.  And finally, yes, schools should play a decisive role in job placement by providing an outstanding product (qualified graduates) that industry wants.
 
We didn't completely agree... but thanks for the comment as usual.
 
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Willam, I think we're mostly on the same page.  Worthless degrees are a problem... but they are made possible because the easy money enables colleges and students to ignore that fact.  I was not aware of the universities being sued for worthless degrees.  Good.  They are liable, and they should be.  But, I'm back to the point of my original post.  Get the easy government money out of the equation and this problem goes away.
 
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Leroy, I almost titled this post "Make a Degree Mean Something Again".  Saturation diminishes value.  Poor quality of product diminishes value.  Our current system seeks saturation with no thought to quality.
 
We (the human race) are stupid enough to screw up our futures all on our own... we don't need any help from Uncle Sam.
 
My grandfather used to say "Borrow ten thousand dollars from the bank, and the bank owns you.  Borrow a million dollars from the bank and you own the bank."  Meaning, of course, that the bank can afford to lose the 10K, so they can be a little rough on encouraging you to pay; a million is another matter, best to treat that customer with kid gloves.
 
Uncle Sam, unfortunately, sees no difference between ten thousand and ten million.  He has no skin in the game.
opher goodwin Added Aug 8, 2018 - 3:17pm
Tex - education is the most important thing for any nation - it is the future of the country. In my opinion you can't throw too much money at it. It is essential.
TexasLynn Added Aug 8, 2018 - 3:32pm
Partial agreement here Opher... but overall, as usual, not really.
 
Education is indeed one of the (not THE, one of the) most important things in a nation.  It affects the future of the country so long as the country isn't destroyed by other means (like foreign invasion, etc...)  BUT, proper education is essential to the future of any nation.
 
Where you are completely wrong is in the statement "you can't throw too much money at it".  The idea is, of course, asinine.  Money flushed down a toilet (or worse) does not call for more money to be thrown at the problem and in the toilet; which is the case here.  But you and other socialist/statist will always push for more government.  Thus, the mess we are in.
 
But, it's like I said, any attempt at education accountability will be labeled as anti-education by the left.  For you guys it's all about 1) the money and 2) government control.
 
Thanks for the comment.
Leroy Added Aug 8, 2018 - 5:19pm
Where are the high school guidance counselors?  I guess they have always been pretty useless.  But, they really could be helpful in guiding students towards college, vocational training, apprenticeships, or some combination thereof.  Vocation training IS an education and can have an immediate return.  There is NO shame whatsoever is having a vocational degree.  I'm sure many are laughing all the way to the bank. Apprenticeships are one thing we are missing.  You can pursue what you love in your spare time.  I took vocational courses in high school.  If it were up to me, I would have gone to a tech school.  I was anxious to start work.  My parents insisted that I go to college.  I appreciated it, I suppose, but I didn't take it as seriously as I should have.  I did my share of partying.  If it has been on my nickel, no way.   Having money throw at you went you are that age is not a good thing.
 
I had a niece that didn't graduate from high school.  Her teachers begged her to just make an effort and they would pass her.  She refused.  She did eventually get her GED.  Her mother sent her to beautician school, spending about $35,000.  She even bought her a place to live.  She didn't appreciate it and never pursued her certificate and moved out of her rent-free home.  Her stepsister got her a great job, going out on the limb for her.  She botched that up.  She never appreciated anything anybody gave her.   She manages a restaurant today.  She finally ran out of people willing to help her.  She is finally making something of herself.  There's a lesson there.
Spartacus Added Aug 8, 2018 - 8:25pm
Worthless degrees are a problem... but they are made possible because the easy money enables colleges and students to ignore that fact. 
 
There has to be accountability in the system. 
 
One simple answer, like you propose, is not realistic.  It is a complex problem wrought by years of lefty activists fucking with the education system.
Right now, students are the only people being held accountable -- the most uneducated and uninformed group caught between the gov and the educational system.  These are 17 and 18 year old kids and they will have to live with the consequences of a bad choice made where the government will never release those loans until death.  WOW!
The only way to make this change, while keeping a loan system viable is to make colleges and universities partner in the accountability for this money.  That's it.  If the kids can't pay, the universities fork over the payments.  The universities would change their curriculum & admittance policies faster than you could say, "guaranteed quality education".
Spartacus Added Aug 8, 2018 - 8:29pm
Latest news on this front.  Betsy Devos is doing something about this . . . small steps albeit.
Ric Wells Added Aug 8, 2018 - 8:31pm
First understand that those we’re trying to weed out probably weren’t going to college to learn and weren’t going to graduate.  You words not mine. This is a blatant assumption on your part with no scientific data to back it up. Also if you are an advocate of free market capitalism then you must allow everything the majority of the consumers wish. IE. Abortion, drugs, and in a drastic sense murder if that's what the majority wishes. Free market capitalism is an unattainable pipe dream. It is the balance of Socialistic/Capitalism that best serves and drives the economic system and the people.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 8, 2018 - 8:56pm
Jamie Dimon and his ilk make too much profit from student loans and corporations want employees cowed by mountains of debt for it to ever change. 
TexasLynn Added Aug 8, 2018 - 10:56pm
Leroy, I know it was a long time ago, but I remember "guidance counselors" being worthless.  I'd just as soon save that money, maybe apply it to a raise for the janitors. :)
 
The high schools should be much more geared toward vocational training.  I even think the high schools themselves should provide some of that or at least provide the springboard.  Right now, everybody is geared towards college credits and preparation... at least that amount of effort should be applied to vocation.
 
This society needs more respect and reverence for the working man and the paths he pursues to learn his trade.  As for apprenticeships... a friend of my brother when he got out of high-school couldn't afford college and didn't want to join the military.  So, he asked around and identified the best plumber in town.  He went to the plumber and asked to work for him for free for a month.  At the end of the month if the plumber thought he would carry his weight and be an asset then hire him... if not, let him go with no hard feelings.  You already know where this is going.  Today he owns his own business and is known as the best plumber in town.  And he makes a lot better living than most of his classmates that went to college. THAT is what we need more of.
 
My story was less impressive.  I went to a small (but good) local college and got my bachelors.  My parents helped me but did me the favor of making sure their help never covered all my expenses.  I worked 39 hours a week (at and just above minimum wage) all four years.  It allowed me to cover the difference, have a little spending money, and dampened my partying enough to keep me out of trouble.
 
We all know somebody (a brother, a niece, a cousin, a friend) who has royally screwed up.  Some of us are the screw-ups somebody else knows. :)  Sometimes you've got to let someone learn the value of something before they will appreciate it.  Sometimes they never learn.
 
A measure of a man (or woman) isn't if they screw up... because we all do.  The measure is what you do after that screw up. :)  THAT is when you step up to the plate... or walk off the field… or find a safe space…
 
Great contribution... thanks for sharing.
TexasLynn Added Aug 8, 2018 - 10:57pm
William >> There has to be accountability in the system.
 
Agreed... and I don't propose that mine is the only thing that needs done... but I didn't want to write a book on everything that needs done.  THIS is just something I think would have a significant impact.  I'm open to other things as well.  Don’t dismiss this idea because you want to also do something else… look at both.
 
BUT we agree that accountability is the problem... and throwing money at the system through these loans is enabling to all the bad players.  So... let's stop it.  The consider all the other ills that need reforming.
 
I do like the idea of the universities being more legally liable for misrepresentation and other misdeeds.  They do it because it's profitable and nobody has been held accountable to date.
 
Betsy Devos (thanks for the link) seems headed in the right direction, draining this section of the swamp so to speak.  I hope to see more.
 
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Ric W >> This is a blatant assumption on your part with no scientific data to back it up.
 
I challenge anybody to actually get any information on the number of students who don’t graduate but are heavily in (student) debt.  For some reason (and I think we all know why) it's (the data) not very prevalent out there.
 
Personally, I know a few "kids" who fall into this category.  They were dumb-asses and had a grand party for about 4 years and now have no degree, minimum wage jobs, and about 40K in debt.  Nobody in their right mind would have loaned these kids money had they done any due diligence those four or five years ago.  But due diligence is not Uncle Sam's forte so now everybody is screwed.  The road to hell is paved with what?
 
BUT on a grander scale... we do know that of students seeking a bachelor's degree, about 59% complete it within 6 years.  The numbers of course vary depending upon the institution... but that's the average.  And we know if you don't get it done within 6 years that percentage doesn't increase very much in years 7,8,9, etc...
 
THAT means 30-40% do not graduate.  Anybody wanna bet a good chunk of them have debt... some quite sizable?
 
It's hard to get "scientific data" when the system is geared to hide it.  But with a little extrapolation, you can come up with an educated guess.
 
Rick W >> Also if you are an advocate of free market capitalism then you must allow everything...
 
Huh!?  Of course not.  If I advocate for eating meat it doesn't mean I have to be a cannibal.  Supporting something forces you to support an n'th degree extreme is not an argument... it's a straw man.
 
Granted, no system devised by man will ever be perfect.  That doesn't mean you must therefore not try and throw all systems in the trash… or just the ones some have a specific grudge against.
 
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Jeffry Gilbert >> Jamie Dimon and his ilk make too much profit from student loans and corporations want employees cowed by mountains of debt for it to ever change.
 
OK, I'll bite.  Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan... and darling of the political elites.  Is JP Morgan directly involved in the student loan programs... or is this a I hate big banks and the 1% comment?  The question is sincere.
James Travil Added Aug 8, 2018 - 11:18pm
Overall I agree with the premise of the article. I was able to obtain a full college scholarship for my degree, and all three of my adult children have gotten grants, not loans. I know that everyone can't qualify for this, but if you are going to college you need to be looking for a degree that you can use in the real world and that you have the skills for. Enough with these nonsense degrees. Well unless one is rich and just wants to waste their own time and money. But otherwise let the banks compete for the best deals for those who want a good degree. 
Spartacus Added Aug 8, 2018 - 11:30pm
Don’t dismiss this idea because you want to also do something else… look at both.
 
I have to dismiss the idea of completely eliminating government student loans because I am a recipient and a benefactor of these loans.  I am a success story in this regard.
 
I paid off my loans and could have never graduated from a university in the sciences without these loan programs.  They work.  However, the abuse now is rampant.  It is an abuse by the university system . . . not the kids.  These kids just want a better life and are mislead or misdirected by a fucked up leftist education system promoting humanity and social degrees that will never pay.  The universities are promoting leftist degrees for THEIR political benefit and not the students.  It is this bad. 
It is not just about money but also a political advantage for the education system.  And when these kids fail to make payments, those same lefty "educators" blame economics and capitalism.  It is totally, and completely fucked up.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 9, 2018 - 12:07am
Is JP Morgan directly involved in the student loan programs... or is this a I hate big banks and the 1% comment?
 
A little of both. 
 
In 2013 JPMChase "exited" the student loan business. Last year they sold $6.9 BILLION of its loans to Navient and today are issuing student loans. 
 
Clearly there's a lot of money for the banksters to make both directly from the loans and packaging and selling tranches of loans. 
 
Leroy Added Aug 9, 2018 - 7:31am
"A measure of a man (or woman) isn't if they screw up... because we all do.  The measure is what you do after that screw up. :)  THAT is when you step up to the plate... or walk off the field… or find a safe space…"
 
Lynn, I had a roommate whose father always spouted these wise and sometimes quirky sayings.  He had one that was very similar that always resonated with me:
 
"It is not how you got yourself in a situation that counts; it's how you get yourself out."
 
The one piece of advice I didn't follow was:
 
"You can love a rich woman as well as you can a poor one."
 
TexasLynn Added Aug 9, 2018 - 10:34am
James, it seems we do agree, overall. Glad to see it.  I have no problem with any degree, as long as it can hold it's own in the marketplace of ideas.  Rich, stupid people waste their money on a lot of things... degrees like Underwater Basket Weaving can be one of them... as long as it's on their dime.
 
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William S, I see where you're coming from.  I don't deny that there are many who benefit from these loans.  Hopefully you don't deny that there are many that are hurt by them.  They’re not ready.
 
I'm not advocating getting rid of student loans, but rather transferring that function to the private sector who will look objectively at the value of the product being purchased... forcing those who produce the product to do the same.  Right now, all that objective due diligence is missing because that is not what government does.
 
There are other massive problems and other solutions as you have eluded to.  I'm sure we would agree on many of those problems and possible solutions.
 
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Jeffrey G >> A little of both.
 
Is JPMChase pushing these loans through Uncle Sam or is this all on their own.  If it's all on their own, that is what I'm advocating for; the people making the loan to have skin in the game... they suffer loss if the student drops out or the degree is worthless.  Also, the loans should be subject to bankruptcy just like any other debt.
 
Jeffrey G >> Clearly there's a lot of money for the banksters to make both directly from the loans and packaging and selling tranches of loans.
 
I have no problem with "banksters" making money on loans.  That's the business they are in; the service they offer.  I also have no problem with them making money on packaging and selling tranches of loans... as long as it isn't Uncle Sam, and the taxpayer isn't on the hook for them.  It's when you take the market out of the equation that you have problems.
 
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Leroy >> ...wise and sometimes quirky sayings.
 
I'm full of them; many of them passed down from my elders... many of them learned the hard way.  If only I could go back, visit my younger self and dispense some of this wisdom.  I think the first lesson would be... a kick in the ass. :)
 
Leroy >> "You can love a rich woman as well as you can a poor one."
 
True dat. :)
Spartacus Added Aug 9, 2018 - 11:02am
but rather transferring that function to the private sector
 
I'm sure you know, but these private school loans already exist.  They are not a 1:1 substitution because the interest rates are higher on private loans.
Jim Perlow Added Aug 9, 2018 - 11:56am
As someone from the business side of the equation, I can tell you the largest problem with higher education is it hasn't been able to keep up with industry.  The second and even more alarming part is the over the top financial compensation paid to the Deans and administrations of these institutions.  Want to bring cost down, start at the top. By the way the same is true at the High School level.  The teachers get squat while the administrators hall in the big bucks.  Almost sounds like business with one major exception:  They have no skin in the game or put another way,  the risks and finances it take to run a private business.
Spartacus Added Aug 9, 2018 - 12:25pm
By the way, the same is true at the High School level.
 
Almost true Jim.  At the High School level, we have the rubber rooms where dysfunctional educators sit all day and collect their paychecks/benefits.  To get rid of these deadbeats, it takes about $200k in legal fees . . . which no educational institution at that level can afford.  The unions certainly have no interest in cleaning house.  They get their money regardless if kids are educated.
Rick W. Added Aug 9, 2018 - 1:14pm
TL>But, it could get worse.
 
That line right there is the five-word definition of "What do conservatives think about ____?" :)
 
TL>There are many a socialist nut out there advocating for “free” education up to and including college
 
First, I'm not a nut, I'm a provocateur.
 
Second, while I agree the word "free" incorrect, why not have fully-taxpayer-supported colleges and trade schools? We extended fully-taxpayer-supported school to include mandatory high school 100 years ago. Was that a mistake? Do we not have more advanced needs today?
 
>I went to a small (but good) local college and got my bachelors. My parents helped me but did me the favor of making sure their help never covered all my expenses. I worked 39 hours a week (at and just above minimum wage) all four years. It allowed me to cover the difference, have a little spending money, and dampened my partying enough to keep me out of trouble.
 
My experience was similar, though I only worked half as hard (20 hours a week), and I partied as much as I cared to... which really wasn't much, after freshman year. :)
 
Anyway, sorry to burst the self-reliance narrative, but... your college education was publicly funded. You don't think the fees your family paid actually covered the state school's expenses, do you? Your folks paid for about 1/3 of it (in the 80s). Taxpayers paid the rest. Today, the state of Texas pays sightly less than 1/2 (at most state universities). Last year was the first year tuition (and other fees) had to cover more than 1/2 the expenses at a typical state college (including the one my older kid currently attends). They shared the data at a parent meeting last year, to help explain the tuition hike. Until then, I'll admit I didn't know how it all worked.
 
All that said... I agree that too many people take on too much debt for forms of education that do not sustain careers. I also agree that the student loan system is problematic. My solution is fully-publicly-funded college and trade school options across all 50s states, not "let's see what the free market will do with it." Because we know what they'll do with it. They'll make money on it, which means only taking on rich students. Educating poor and middle class kids is *always* a short-term money-loser. Most civilized countries still think it's worth it. :)
 
TexasLynn Added Aug 9, 2018 - 1:14pm
William >> I'm sure you know, but these private school loans already exist. 
 
I am aware of it.
 
William >> They are not a 1:1 substitution because the interest rates are higher on private loans.
 
Part of that is the fact that Uncle Sam is in the business.  You can’t compete in a market where your competitor can pay no mind to expenses or profit.  Get Uncle Sam out and the more volume and competitive rates should kick in.  I'm not saying that the private volume will equal what Uncle Sam does; but I don't think we need a 1:1 substitution.  The market is currently saturated by the prevailing wisdom that EVERYONE needs to go to college.
 
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Jim Perlow >> I can tell you the largest problem with higher education is it hasn't been able to keep up with industry.
 
I'm assuming you mean the skills the graduates walk out with are not adequate for the jobs out there.  The same goes for high schools.  We're failing all the way around.  You have the few ultra-talented who are going to be OK; but the middle and lower level people are not where they need to be.
 
Jim Perlow >> The second and even more alarming part is the over the top financial compensation paid to the Deans and administrations of these institutions. 
 
I think this is a very valid issue as with any executive/upper management level pay.  This is part of the overall equation that needs to be addressed.
 
As William mentioned, unions are a big part of this problem.  When they pull crap like this (protecting deadbeats) they need to be busted.  But you see that in a lot of industries where there is union abuse.  The recent SCOTUS ruling concerning stopping coerced union dues should go a long ways toward that end.
TexasLynn Added Aug 9, 2018 - 1:36pm
Rick W >> That line (it could get worse) right there is the five-word definition of "What do conservatives think about ____?" :)
 
True, but in this case,  we have a lot of nuts actively pushing it.  Many of the other issues we're currently whistling past the graveyard. :)
 
Rick W >> First, I'm not a nut, I'm a provocateur.
 
Potato Potatoe :P
 
Rick W >> We extended fully-taxpayer-supported school to include mandatory high school 100 years ago. Was that a mistake? Do we not have more advanced needs today?
 
No, though the beast has grown uncontrolled and it's time to rein it in.  I think there is a limit to how far we should go with this.  Eighteen and high school seems far enough.  Now if we want to discuss at what level graduates should be at by then... then let's do that; because that is severely lacking right now.
 
Extending subsidized education past high school, you’re basically punishing those who go straight to work or enter military... and there is a limit to what taxpayers can and should shoulder.  We're there... we're well past there.
 
But, by all means… let cities and counties and states show us how well this works using their tax bases.  If it’s such a great idea, we’ll see the error of our ways and follow suit.
 
Rick W >> Anyway, sorry to burst the self-reliance narrative, but... your college education was publicly funded.
 
OK... valid point and I know it's much more expensive today.  I concede, it is in the public interest to have public universities; but surely you can also agree that it's gotten out of hand; and part of that is the lack of accountability at universities.  That has got to be fixed... any suggestions before we go the full public funded route?
 
Because, I'm against expanding public education past high school.  I'm certainly not going to be moved in that opinion so long as this lack of accountability is still prevalent.  Pouring more money and students into the system before addressing accountability is just going to ensure more un-accountability in my opinion.
 
Rick W >> All that said... I agree that too many people take on too much debt for forms of education that do not sustain careers. I also agree that the student loan system is problematic.
 
Well, we have that agreement at least.
 
Good comments, thanks.
Rick W. Added Aug 9, 2018 - 1:55pm
TL> I concede, it is in the public interest to have public universities; but surely you can also agree that it's gotten out of hand; and part of that is the lack of accountability at universities. 
 
I too concede to your points here. It is out of hand. There are completely frivolous programs that, at best, should be supplemental to a complete, practical education. And I say that as an English major. :) Writing skills are important. Analyzing James Joyce is a hobby.
 
For my kids, who are also creative types who just don't connect with most of the STEM/business tracks, I've encouraged them to find that intersection between what they love and what the market will bear. One is heading toward being an art teacher (a growth field, in our area, due to growing population and wealth), and the other is heading into TV/film production (and is starting with a two year program at a community college, to see if it fits -- thus saving most of the college budget for what she decides afterwards). Neither kid will graduate with debt.
 
There is no excuse for going into major debt for a passion (or worse, fleeting interest), and more kids should be discouraged from doing so.  Want to be an actor? That's fine. Tom Hanks went to community college for two years, then transferred to a state school. Said he had great teachers at both campuses. I think most students want a piece of paper and a brand name attached to it, because that's how the marketplace conditions them (and their parents).
 
Is Harvard a better university than Collin (my community college)? Sure. Is it 50x better? I doubt it. You mostly get out of an education what you put into it. I have three friends who graduated Harvard. One sells real estate (something you can do with a high school diploma). One is a scientist (but he studied classics at Harvard, not biology, which is his field). One is a journalist (his career actually maps to his degree). None of their careers required the Harvard brand or expense.
MEFOBILLS Added Aug 9, 2018 - 7:30pm
Texas,
The government does not source loans for Students:
 
The solution is simple.  Reintroduce market forces into the process of making and receiving student loans.  This would be done by getting Uncle Sam out of the business; completely out of the business.  Turn this over to the private sector who will make loans on a risk reward basis.  
 
The loans originate at private banks, where new credit is then hypothecated into existence.  Because there was no collateral on the double entry ledger, private banks induced Government into co-signing.  In this way, the collateral became the taxpayer.
 
In other words, it became a tails I win heads you lose, as banksters off-loaded their risk onto taxpayers.  They get their usury no matter what.
 
Then professors had no compunction about raising prices on books and salary, to get rich on the indebtedness of their students.  
 
Canada had very low (almost free) tuition prices when they injected Debt Free money into the commons.  This sovereign money system built out universities with no debt, and hence students and teachers had little overhead costs.  
 
But, you know - since monetary history is not taught, then these sort of examples fall into the memory hole.  
 
By putting students into life-long debt it raises labor prices.  It means that the students must demand a high salary to pay debts.  This "privatization scheme" to put students into debt originated in the private sector, and its effect is to RAISE PRICES.
 
This idea that the free market is a panacea needs to be flushed down the shitter where it belongs.  
 
Government has a role, especially in inelastic sectors of the market.   Inelastic sectors must be regulated or government owned.  To have a well trained, educated citizen is a requirement for a republic (of which we do not have.)
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Aug 10, 2018 - 11:32am
"Our current policy is to throw money at all would-be students no matter their attitude towards education or likelihood of success."
 
The scam permits those with few academic skills to get some phony degree in basket-weaving or Black studies and then fail to get a good job while retaining the debt burden.
 
As you state, this subsidizes the left who overpopulate the 'education system, ' if you want to  play games with semantics. 
 
Barely 1/4 of our citizens are qualified for college due to cognitive skill deficiencies and more. 
 
Dump this program and make it private and give it to the Dems to finance with their monies. 
MEFOBILLS Added Aug 10, 2018 - 5:34pm
Barely 1/4 of our citizens are qualified for college due to cognitive skill deficiencies and more. 
 
Cognitive skill deficiencies?  You mean they are low IQ don't you?
 
People need to quit being pussies.  The first amendment gives you the right of free speech, and if others are offended, that that is their problem.  I don't speak any different here, than I do out loud in conversation.  
 
Being able to see problems, and then having the testicular fortitude to face them are two different things.  You need to have BOTH.
 
Much of the third world has IQ's in the 90's or lower.  This is as provable science as there is in all of  Social Sciences.  It is as provable as is the force of gravity.  It other words, there is no debate, the only debate is why people fall for the bull shit that all people are the same.  Let's IMMIGRATE MORE, to then pay the pensions!  Sub Saharan African's will be the next computer programmers and nuclear scientists!  
 
It is  entirely predictable that a high percentage of north east asians will be able to handle higher mathematics, and have high spatial reasoning, and be attracted to STEM and technical fields.  
 
What?  Do your lying eyes deceive you when you see this first hand?  The reason is there is group differences in IQ.
 
It is as statistically probably that inner city blacks have an average IQ of 90 or lower, as it is that the sun will rise in the East.  
 
This means that  false hope of college, and then putting this cohort into debt is cruel beyond measure.  
 
An education in alignment with ability to then provide a future income is the humane thing to do.
 
Liberal retards that go around maintaining that everybody should have a college degree are completely out of alignment with nature.  Black people especially know when a virtue signaling  liberal white person is blowing smoke up their ass.
MEFOBILLS Added Aug 10, 2018 - 5:38pm
I'm going to say it again in case it slipped through the cracks.
 
IT IS PRIVATIZATION THAT MADE COLLEGE COSTS HIGH.  
 
It was the finance sector that duped government into co-signing loans.
 
Before this "privatization event" public colleges were low cost.  
 
Here's the deal:  The public commons have to be regulated or government owned.  This then keeps monopoly at bay and delivers the lowest price.
 
If you have high prices, then you are not economically free.
 
I call libertarians as liber-tards,  Their impulses are correct, but they are not sophisticated when it comes to economy.
 
 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Aug 11, 2018 - 11:34am
MEFOBILLS
 
"Barely 1/4 of our citizens are qualified for college due to cognitive skill deficiencies and more. 
 
Cognitive skill deficiencies?  You mean they are low IQ don't you?"
 
Exactly. You can mumble and try to defend standardized tests that sort out all people by  their  cognitive skills, or IQ, if  you are unfamiliar with other terms. 
 
Schools and governments and such used  to publish unit test scores parsed for race as well as other attributes. If you sort the data and separate into racial cohorts and plot them  you find the highest averages [IQ 101-2] go to the Asians not the whites [IQ=100]and the blacks [IQ=85] and Hispanics[IQ 85-95 depending] score much lower. Read the Bell Curve.
 
This is just a fact of life and is stubbornly ignored by the left  because it puts their victims at a distinct disadvantage for college entrance exams and work applications with exams. With  a low IQ you cannot compete with folk with higher IQ levels. Fact.
 
The radical left just screams  that such tests 'discriminate' against [some] minorities and  that is very true. Live with it.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Aug 11, 2018 - 11:40am
MEFOBILLS
 
"Much of the third world has IQ's in the 90's or lower.  This is as provable science as there is in all of  Social Sciences.  It is as provable as is the force of gravity.  It other words, there is no debate, the only debate is why people fall for the bull shit that all people are the same.  Let's IMMIGRATE MORE, to then pay the pensions!  Sub Saharan African's will be the next computer programmers and nuclear scientists! "
 
Hilarious retort mixed with facts and an unqualified prediction. Sub Saharan African's will be the next computer programmers and nuclear scientists" even if they have low IQs??
 
"Let's IMMIGRATE MORE, to then pay the pensions!"
 
Import more poverty to stuff ballot boxes?! Worked in California. 
 
Not possible. 
MEFOBILLS Added Aug 11, 2018 - 11:45am
LoL  That was tongue in cheek.  I was stating a liberal position to show how intellectually bankrupt it is.
 
There are even UN reports that want to immigrate 200 million more people from the third world to the US.  
 
At the root of this, sometimes our plutocratic masters will let slip their motivations.  What is it?
 
They want their debt instruments and pensions paid.  Behind this conceit is that the replacement population is indeed replacement.
 
This conceit is premised on the idea that "work units" are all the same as all races are interchangeable.
 
The conceit is a lie of earth shattering significance, and this reality can be seen in real time today in Europe with Muslim immigration.  
 
Below an IQ of 90 some CANNOT BE TRAINED.  The U.S. Army has done these studies and there is NOTHING that a low IQ individual is useful for, they cannot be trained.
 
So, this is a very big problem facing the first world.  The importation of a permanent low IQ under-class will permanently screw the future.
 
Our Plutocratic elites are either malicious in their intent or they are brain dead, or both.
 
Eric Reports Added Aug 12, 2018 - 4:26pm
Generation Snowflake is the result of educated idiots running amok.  Morons who think Hillary Clinton is hip.  Lunatics who call Trump Hitler.  That's what they were taught.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Aug 12, 2018 - 4:53pm
MEFOBILLS
 
"Our Plutocratic elites are either malicious in their intent or they are brain dead, or both."
 
They intend to 'radically change' our society by attacking those with power and wealth. Nothing new here since 1848.
 
"LoL  That was tongue in cheek.  I was stating a liberal position to show how intellectually bankrupt it is."
 
Sorry I missed some of those. My error. 
 
Eric Reports
 
'Generation Snowflake is the result of educated idiots running amok.  Morons who think Hillary Clinton is hip.  Lunatics who call Trump Hitler.  That's what they were taught."
 
Have to agree here. The progressives have a very narrow and dogmatic agenda  that mandates elimination of capitalist elites and any condemnation of progressive  political operatives. They freaked out when DJT called Hillary a crook. 
 
I maintain that the leftists of all stripes cannot compete in  the capitalist arena so they have no choice but to plunder and attack those with conservative  views. Their only recourse is to try to grab or tax the wealth of others since they have few resources  of  their own. As such, they are angry parasites. 
 
They would use the ugly tactics of Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot or Hitler if they could, but history argues against  this bunch and their tactics. They still revere Castro, Chavez and Ortega, among other losers and murderers. 
 
 

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