Tag: Education economics

How much does this cost again?

Let’s level set and get something out of the way here before I go on my rant about how Harvard now has an anal sex 101 class it will offer, and while I love the idea – because the chicks attending that class are going to be easy and game for some anal. Sure the risk is that the class will be full of dudes that are into this stuff, and believe me as a lesbian trapped in a man’s body I empathize with gays, but bagging even one of these freaky chicks can be entertaining – this is just wrong on so many levels.

I have always felt that college was the only major expense where the majority of Americans partaking attempt to actually get the least return for their huge investment. Partying hard, last I checked, when you are plopping down tens of thousands of dollars a year, while avoiding as much of the work as you can get away with – especially when you already pick out a one of the many fluff degrees these esteemed institutions still charge an arm and a leg for so you can avoid real work – appears to be the experience of practically all college attendees, with a few exceptions. When you have a masters degree program with some 450 students in it, and only 3 of us are not from some other country, you know that’s a degree you got to bust your ass for. The people at the bar every night of the week, and home only because they had no money to go there, prove my point.

This phenomenon of avoiding work seems to be even worse today. Way too many of these colleges and universities have dumbed down their curricula on top of that. Paying a lot of money, or worse, hocking your future by accruing anywhere from $50-150K in student loan debt for degrees that will never pay back that investment in the first place, seems like an insane exercise to me. Harvard ain’t cheap. When you are dropping close to $55K a year for your kid to go there, finding out they are taking a class about butt seks may be something that affects your blood pressure, and plays into my conviction that today’s college education ain’t worth the cost anymore.

My advice to the young today is to learn a trade and get some real work ethics, and avoid college unless they are actually paying for a degree that will return on the investment. I think it is becoming pretty obvious that working hard, especially when you are offering a service that will not be obsoleted, offshored, or outsourced, is far more of a guarantor of success and decent income than the accrual of huge debt and a piece of paper for a fluff degree. And as more people wise up to this reality, things are going to change. In the meantime, pine for the butt seks classes and the lost opportunities.

The Ivy league ain’t what it used to be.

Why am I not surprised? (UPDATED)

The other day I wrote about what I felt would fix the broken higher education machine and help us gain control of the student debt bubble, but I didn’t go much into the reason I did it much. See I suspected that whatever scheme the leftoids would come up with simply be a tax payer funded giveaway to those connected people they always favor, and now it looks like I was right:

The difference is likely to be small for many borrowers, but will be much more generous for those who earn bigger salaries, he said.

For someone earning $27,000 in adjustable gross income, for example, the average loan payment will drop from $128 per month to $85 per month. But for someone earning $80,000 per year, payments will plummet over $200 per month, from $619 to $412.

“The people who will see the biggest reductions are people earning higher incomes,” Delisle said. “That is the effect of this change. You put that together with the loan forgiveness, and this is tailor-made for graduate students.”

If you are one of those leftoid special interests – lawyers, doctors, and other such hoi-polloi money earners that lean left because of their guilt – you make out like a bandit. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe the system needs to be fixed to encourage people to actually get a college education in a field that isn’t going to harm their earning potential, but this isn’t the way to do it. The reason is that it doesn’t do anything to break the incestuous relationship that exists today in any meaningful way, or for that matter curtail the insane rise in cost, all while seeing a steep decline in return/value, that the higher education field has expeienced. We need less government involvement, and more liability on part of the schools, so they shed that top heavy administrative system that is sucking up all that big money, and actually shift back to valuing the professors teaching.

UPDATE: Well as I suspected, there had to be some kind of payoff in the new student loan racket Obama was pushing, and it looks like I was right. Basically what Obama has done is made it easier for others to have to bail out student loan debt, which means that you can be certain that the costs of secondary education will yet again soar at factors of magnitude compared to what inflation does. In short, what we have here is a progtard making tax payer subsidize one of the major brainwashing entities the left depends on to push out more low information voters. It looks again like what absolutely must happen is that relationship gets severed and that schools get held liable for the way they are ripping off people.

L.A. Times misses the real picture

The L.A. Times has a short article titled Record number of educated women are ‘marrying down’, where they bandy the following set of statistics:

A record number of American women are “marrying down,” tying the knot with a husband who is less educated than they are, according to a new study.

Nearly 21% of married women in 2012 were better educated than their spouses, a threefold jump from 1960, according to the Pew Research Center. By contrast, a bit less than 20% of men had more formal education than their wives.

In the more than half-century that Pew has tracked the issue, this is the first time that a higher percentage of women than men have married down.

Considering how hostile the education environment has become to males, I am not surprised this is happening. The subject has been researched by many, but most of the time it gets ignored outright by the powers that control the education establishment, because the results suit the agenda. Behavior that used to be categorized as “boys will be boys” now a days lands you on a psych’s couch and results in a whole spectrum of behavior disorder diagnoses ranging from ADHD to ADD, all resulting in kids being drugged into submission. And the touchy feely shit, more concerned with promoting self esteem and preventing kids from actually doing hard work (all because the feminized system pretends competition now is a bad thing) that passes for education these days, drives young boys to boredom, and results in them checking out. If I had had to go to school in this system, I would likely have given up on it too.

Of course, the L.A. Times could not be bothered with trying to figure out why young men are quitting the failed educational establishment in record numbers. As I pointed out, the agenda supersedes the outright destructive result the left’s education agenda has caused on young males. So they only point out that more women go to college now, and that means that when they go look for someone to marry, they find fewer and fewer people to marry up to. But that’s not the statistic that caught my eye in this article, because I already expected this to be the case.

Among college-educated newlyweds, 39% of women pledged their undying devotion to a non-grad. Only 26% of men did the same.

Even with their superior education, however, women aren’t necessarily marrying down when it comes to income, according to the report.

About 58% of better-educated women earned less than their husbands. Only 39% of women earned a higher salary.

So the L.A. Times wants to stress the “war on women” bullshit again, because despite more of them having a college degree, they still don’t earn as much as their less educated counterparts. Of course, I can immediately see a very logical reason for why this happens that I suspect the L.A. Times types would never even factor in, unless they were beaten about the head, neck, breasts, and chest with, and that is that not every college degree is worth the same while some non college related careers come with serious income.

My suspicion is that a very large percentage of these college educated women ended up studying the same stuff. They seem to all be attracted to certain professions or educational tracts, and no, I am not being misogynistic in pointing that out. When I did my BS work there were no women in that entire class, and when I did my MS, there where like maybe 5 in over 400 students. Most women flock to the same type of degrees, and they tend to be degrees in already highly contested professions or of little damned employable value (“womyn studies” anyone?). This imbalance as the already crowded employee pool gets swamped with even more candidates results in a glut in the market, which then results in deflation of value or compensation. If, for example, most women studied education, a profession already difficult to get work in because there are so many people looking for the same jobs (usually so they can get the summers off), then they are not going to get paid much when the balance favors the employer.

Conversely, many boys, now completely turned off from the educational experience and aware that college will be more of the same, are flocking to the trades. Plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, HVAC technicians, and so on, are professions that can’t be outsourced easily and traditionally pay real well. I had a plumber in the other day to do some work I didn’t want to do myself, and for about 30 minutes of work the guy – which I add is a friend and gave me a rate cut – charged me a little over $275. Electricians do even better. To avoid my insurance company not honoring my homeowners I once decided to let a certified electrician do some bullshit work I could easily have done myself. The guy, which I knew through someone else pocketed $900 for about 4 hours, of which he spent less than 1 doing any work. When I commented on it he told me he had given me a big break. I checked, because I thought he had fleeced me, and it turned out he did give me a break.

A few years as an apprentice and a BA in some business related school, and you can open your own shop and make a serious killing. The opportunities abound. Heck, even if you choose to work for someone else, if you have a decent work ethnic, know your shit, and apply yourself even a bit, you can make a killing. And if you happen to score a job working for a unionized shop doing work for the government, you are going to be rolling in the dough. Especially if you are in an area where there is a deficit of these available handy man types. So these non-college educated males can suddenly make a real good income, while their educated female counterparts with the traditional female centric degrees are experiencing the exact opposite.

I think what the L.A. Times should have reported on was the fact that we all need to revisit the whole “A college degree will let you earn more” debate. Some degrees will do that. Some, especially if they leave you indebted, won’t. Ever. And more importantly, some of the older trades that have fallen out of favor still afford people an opportunity not at just an honest and decent living, but can allow hard workers to make a serious killing. In short, there is no magic bullet, and it all rests with the person involved. How you get your education, how you pay for it, what you learn, how hard you work and how good you are/get at it, all factor into the equation. It is no wonder that so many women are turning to government to supplement for their lack of security. This is not accidental either, IMO, but part & parcel of the agenda.

And if you want to accuse anyone of conducting a “War on women”, then you should be accusing the assholes that control the educational establishment and the political class that has told a couple of generations the lie that hocking your future by straddling yourself with an education related debt that is akin to a mortgage is a guarantee for success, of being the ones doing it. Educate yourself before you let the system send you to the school of hard knocks to find out the system took advantage of you and made you into a dependent serf.

This is probably why so many of you can’t get a job

I have become convinced that college no longer is an investment worth making for most people. The simple truth is that not every degree is created equally, and it is more than what college the degree comes from. While many people are impressed when someone tells them that they have an Ivy League degree, I have to admit that I often have the opposite reaction. I have dealt with too many Ivy leaguers that were full of themselves, thinking they knew it all, and knew it better, but were seriously deficient skill wise. And maybe I am biased, based on my own academic path, but I have often found that practically all people with degrees outside economics, medicine, the hard science fields, engineering, and law – although not of late – had been given a raw deal: they paid far more than they got for that money. Plopping down anywhere from $100K to $200K, for a college degree that leaves you woefully unprepared for the employment world, and compounds the pain by also leaving you with a head full of bullshit liberal claptrap, is definitely a big mistake.

The problem, as I see it is this notion that kids get told going to college is enough to guarantee them more success. Things don’t work that way. What you study, and more importantly, what you choose to learn in that field of study, and its application in the employment world is critical. Especially when you factor in the cost. Sure, if mommy and daddy are willing to blow $200k for their snowflake to attend an Ivy League school and major in junk like “Womyn Studies”, that’s their choice. But when your parents, or worse, you yourself, have to carry a loan debt that equals a mortgage to pay for the same kind worthless experience, you might as well find a tall building to throw yourself off of. Don’t be surprised when you can’t find any employment other than flipping burgers or ringing out people at the cash register. Sure you can argue that it is just my opinion, but those “skills” you paid so much for are worthless to any employer in the real world.

So when I read an article like this one, I can’t help but feel vindicated. If your college experience is to party hard and avoid any and all serious work, don’t feel slighted when employers shun you like they would a crack addict. College is the only massive investment people seem to be willing to make where so many work so hard to avoid trying getting the most for their money. Heck, I am not saying it needs to be hell and you can’t have any fun, but shit, how hard is it to figure out that if the only things you come out having learned after that investment of time and money is how to avoid work, how to party, and a massive case of douchebag progressive entitlement and ideology, that no employer running a decent business will really see any value in you? About the only thing you are qualified for are minimum skill and wage jobs and government employment.

We need to stop lying to kids about college. Not all degrees are equal. And your employment opportunities are directly tied to how hard you work to learn skills valuable to a potential employer. Pursuing what you love when what you love has no real world value to employers, is a recipe for disaster. Now if we could only reform the K-12 system to actually teach valuable skills instead of the indoctrination that passes for an education these days.

Another bubble is about to pop

In this case we are talking about another subject we have bandied about here at Right Thinking, the student loan bubble, which president Obama just recently pretended to want to fix. From the article:

The largest bank in the United States will stop making student loans in a few weeks. JPMorgan Chase has sent a memorandum to colleges notifying them that the bank will stop making new student loans in October, according to Reuters. The official reason is quite bland. “We just don’t see this as a market that we can significantly grow,” Thasunda Duckett tells Reuters. Duckett is the chief executive for auto and student loans at Chase, which means she’s basically delivering the news that a large part of her business is getting closed down.

The move is eerily reminiscent of the subprime shutdown that happened in 2007. Each time a bank shuttered its subprime unit, the news was presented in much the same way that JPMorgan is spinning the end of its student lending. “It’s no longer sustainable and not the right place to allocate capital in the future,” HSBC Holdings Group Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan said in a statement the day HSBC shut down its subprime unit in 2007.

Oh shiz. This is going to screw a lot of people over. I am worried that as someone that did the right things I will still be the one tapped to pay for those that didn’t do the right things. That’s what Washington D.C. has become: the place where you can make others pay for your mistakes, after you humiliate them for not wanting to do just that.

My predictions about Obama’s new plan to fix college costs.

I am going to go out on a limb and point out that just like Obama’s plan to fix healthcare this move is nothing but more of the same stupid. In the end it will do nothing tostop the rising costs tied to a college education, make college even harder to get into for people that do not get special treatment, and even harder for the unqualified poor that get a free pass to finish, reduce the quality of the education they provide by even more than it has already dropped in the past 2 decades, as thinking was substituted with regurgitating the liberal PC mantra, and finally fuck over the poor idiots that hock their financial futures to follow this bullshit.

The left is hard at work putting lipstick on this pig, but the truth is that it is precisely the incestuous relationship that already exists between government an colleges, all the free money without any guarantee that the people racking up the debt get anything of value back. The problem is a simple one, but one no one on the left cares to fix, because it would seriously undermine the agenda.

Colleges are dominated by leftists and leftist ideology. Thinking is out: conforming to the PC shit is the bomb. They crank out oodles of morons that have swallowed the left’s bullshit hook, line, and sinker, primarily in the humanities departments, which also tend to be the college disciplines that provide the worst return for the massive investment. It is no wonder that Obama and the left think the solution is to strengthen this incestuous relationship even more by making tax payers pick up a good chunk of the bill. In the end, you can bet any proposal from a leftist to “fix” college, will do exactly the same as their proposals to “fix” healthcare, mortgage lending, or energy have done: they will destroy the system while making connected leftists super rich.

Want to fix the cost of college and make sure that the degree earned is worth the investment? Hold the colleges accountable for their student’s ability to earn. I guarantee you that when colleges are told charging people $50K a year for a womyn or other such idiotic studies degrees that leave them unqualified to do anything but work service jobs at fast food places, will result in them paying off the loans that this practice dies. Of course, it will kill the massive humanities liberal PC idiot making mill, so there is no way the left will go along with this proposal. Instead we will get the shit Obama is now peddling which will neither hold back cost nor improve the value of the degree students get for the rip off. All we will get is an even larger number of poor idiots that graduate with a frightening debt burden and an even bleaker jobs prospect because our economy is constantly under assault by other liberal pipe dreams like the ACA and the green energy bottomless money pit. And tax payers will be told to fork over more, yet again, so the left can keep changing America into a shithole.

I am so glad my son is doing the military and then a trade school to learn HVAC, electrical or plumbing. He will work and get experience, and then go get a 2 year business degree to help him own his own company. He will make good money, not have to worry about losing his job to outsourcing, and learn something of value while avoiding the liberal indoctrination machine. His plan, not mine for him. Contrast that to some his friends that are asking their parents to fork over $50K a year to go learn poetry some other such bullshit – they are really going to party hard for 4 years, is my guess – and you have got to wonder how so many parents still have not figured out how bad they are being had by these colleges and their partners in government. It’s a scam. My kid might avoid the big bill from a near worthless education, but I am afraid Obama and the other leftists will make him pay twice as much in taxes for doing the smart and right thing. After all, they get to decide who is a winner and who is a loser, and there is no way they will let anyone that doesn’t kiss their ass and worship at the blood covered skull altar of the leftist’s religion succeed.

Competition Will Not Be Tolerated

This surfaced a few weeks ago, but it’s worth bringing up:

In Louisiana, there’s a new voucher system to help poor kids get out of failing schools. Students who come from households with income below 250 percent of the poverty line who are enrolled in public schools that have been rated C, D, or F by the state accountability system are eligible for a Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence—a voucher they can apply toward tuition at a private school of their choice.

Needless to say, the teachers unions aren’t thrilled about the prospect of kids bailing out of schools under union control and taking their funding with them. The union sued, but on July 10, a Baton Rouge court refused to stop the law from going into effect, so the teachers union launched Plan B: Bully private schools by sending them threatening legal letters, so that they will be afraid to accept students bearing the new vouchers. The union’s lawyers, Blackwell & Associates, sent out nastygrams to 95 private schools.

You can read the letter at reason.

This is pure legal thuggery. Any lawyers out there can comment, but I can’t imagine a school can be sued for participating in a legal, court-sanctioned state program. The unions are hoping that the private schools, most of whom can’t afford a legal fight, will buckle under the pressure and the voucher program will be gutted from within.

It’s a times like this I really wish Louisiana had a loser pays system. Imagine the teacher’s unions having to forget out legal funds to 95 schools they tried to threaten.

That’s because they get it Part Deux.

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.

School of Lawyers

The states are desperate to get control of their finances. With government subsidies stimulus funds running out, they are cutting back on schools.

Well, you didn’t think the Educational Industrial Complex would take that lying down, did you?

States have slashed education funds by a combined $17 billion in the past two fiscal years, with more cuts on the table in many states, among them California, Texas, and Florida, according to this recent WSJ article.

Now, many courts are being called upon to decide whether states should be required to dole out more money to public schools.

A landmark lawsuit is due to begin trial today in Denver, accusing the state of failing to meet its duty of providing a quality education to all students, according to this article by The Gazette in Colorado Springs.

Brought by Children’s Voices, a nonprofit school advocacy law firm, the suit contends that the state’s financing of public schools is not “thorough and uniform and particularly fails to meet the needs of the growing numbers of minorities, English Language Learners, those with severely disabling conditions, special needs and gifted learners and other underserved children.”

Similar lawsuits have been brought in 45 states. In New Jersey, the Courts have already reversed some of Christie’s budget cuts.

I was going to rant and rave about judicial activism, about an overzealous interpretation of state law for political purpose, about the failure of more money to solve education problems. But instead, I want to ask this:

Where the hell have these guys been before now? Where were they when the states signed contracts making bad teachers almost unfireable? Where where they when the states put in “credentialing” initiatives that waste time and money? Where were they when merit systems were gutted? Where were they when the successful DC voucher program was killed? Where were they when bureaucrats so tightly regulated teaching as to strangle classroom freedom?

When schools couldn’t expel dangerous or disruptive students, where were the lawsuits on behalf of a quality education? What about useless testing or boneheaded standards or absurd salary structures?

All of the above have a bigger impact on schooling than funding levels. And yet, it is only when a dime less is flowing into the system that these lawsuits appear. These guys aren’t fighting in the public interest. They are fighting for a very very specific interest. And it’s a pity that the media, the Democrats and the Courts are so determined to empower them to circumvent the legislative process on behalf of that interest.