Manwhore issued me an infantile challenge to put up a post about education. I took some of his request and am writing about the value of an education vs. the cost to get it, and to make the point that there are no job guarantees. While doing the research, I came across a timely and telling story, in the NYT of all places, dealing with the fact, despite the NYT blatant attempt to spin this in the most positive way possible, that some of the young people that disproportionately helped elect Obama are finally getting how bad he is for them.
LAS VEGAS — For much of the presidential election of 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign was Emma Guerrero’s life. She was one of a dozen volunteers who showed up at an Obama campaign office here every night, taking time from her studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to be part of what she still remembers as the most exciting period of her life.
It was largely because of Ms. Guerrero — and hundreds of other college students like her across the country — that Mr. Obama assembled a formidable machine that helped him roll to victory in 2008, a triumph that included putting Nevada into the Democratic column for the first time in 12 years.
“We did everything,” she said. “We went canvassing. Phone banking. Cleaning the offices. Taking out my bosses’ dry cleaning. Whatever they needed. It was such an amazing time because we all believed and wanted him to get elected.”
Ms. Guerrero said that she did not blame Mr. Obama for the 13.4 percent unemployment rate that has gripped this state, and that she was still likely to vote for him. But as she looks to graduation this June and her job hunt ahead, the emotion she feels is fear, and she cannot imagine having the time or spirit to work for Mr. Obama.
“I don’t think I could do it anymore,” she said. “That campaign was an amazing experience. But I don’t think I’m in the same mind-set anymore. He hasn’t really addressed the young people, and we helped him to get elected.”
You got that right Emma: not only did he not “address the young people”, which I suppose means address their needs & concerns, but he made everything worse for them. The thing is that I am certain Emma has no clue how bad her generation and those after are going to have it socked to them. Young people are amongst the ones most disproportionally affected by the high unemployment that the last 5 decades of social engineering gone awry coupled with the last 3 years of Keynesian spending gone mad, have all but stuck us with for the foreseeable future.
Young people are also disproportionately being straddled with the exploded debt caused by the massive deficit spending of the last 3 years as the wealth transfer policies of this administration , which shift the financial burden from the elderly – the big recipients and beneficiaries of SS, Medicare, and most welfare programs – to the young. The left used to complain the youth had it bad in 2006, things are orders of magnitude worse these days, making 2006 look like the golden years. The many fiscal/social obligations of our government continue grow and to climb in cost, while revenue has become stagnant. More frightening is insolvable problem caused by the belief held by some that government should confiscate more wealth, they call it revenue, to keep up the nanny state, and the indubitable negative economic effect that funneling yet more money from the private sector into the public coffers, for a government that would need to take far over 25% of GDP to meet its expenses, will have. Nobody but the ideologues believes that giving government more money will address the problem. Past history should leave no doubt that they would just spend, it and the debt would keep growing. And as the nanny state grows, the wealth transfer needs that keep these politicians in power will get worse, and worse. Many economists already predict that the current generation of young kids, the ones born in the last decade, will be the first to not experience access to the same opportunities to increase their standard of living that was available to their parents.
And then we come to the whole educational morass Manwhore wanted addressed. The cost of all education has grown drastically. Since 1978 its up an unbelievable 900 percent. It continues to grow at a drastic pace, while most of us see that the quality has continued to drop. No where is this more evident than in secondary education. There the cost of a degree has skyrocketed at several times inflation – which now is rearing its ugly head, but that is another topic for another post – and way too many students these days, It costs too much, delivers too little, and is more of a fun ritual that leaves people indebted and way in over their heads. Now add to that the dying Keynesian economy we are living with, and things look really bad. Lets not forget that College has been oversold.
Don’t worry your pretty head though. The Community Organizer in Chief has a plan Basically it allows students to consolidate their loans with the government, portends to lower their monthly payments – which might be impossible if the rates are going up next year as some pointed out – and forgives them their debt in 20 or 25 years, depending on who is talking about it. In its simplest form it is just another wealth transfer scheme really, as government makes tax payers suck up the difference. I wonder who will pay for that, considering how many other outstanding – like Obamacare – we already have. The students have not been too enthusiastic about it though, because most want to have their debts forgiven completely considering they can’t even discharge the damned things in bankruptcy. To me this is just another bubble being created so it can burst, and I am not alone there.
Lucky for us some get that this plan is more of the same stupid of the last 5 decades. Student debt has surpassed credit card debt. Students owe someone or another close to $1 trillion dollars, and the number is growing. Bear in mind that his plan does nothing to address the problem itself: the unholy alliance between government regulations, the loans they provide, and the teaching institutions that have no incentive to control costs when the gravy train is backed by Uncle Sam. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If it doesn’t I would encourage you to look at the whole housing bubble and the role government regulations that forced lenders to give loans to unqualified people, because that was “social justice”, affected home prices and worked out for us all.
And that brings us to the last topic I wanted to cover: not all degrees are created equal. I could probably write the most here, but simply will leave you with STEM. In case you don’t know about that it is a government program to encourage people to pursue technical degrees. That’s because we in the US have a big gap in these fields.
Hope you have fun with it Manwhore. I even left out the OWS whiners, but you can bring them up if you want.