The NYT has another opinion piece dealing with insane student loan debt, and while the author gets lots of the pieces right, he seems to miss the big picture IMO. Let’s start with the obvious:
We are reaching a crisis point in this country’s higher education system. As college tuitions rise and state and local funding for higher education falls — along with median household incomes — students are taking on staggering levels of debt. And many can’t find jobs that pay well enough to quickly pay off the debt. This has long-term implications for our society and our economy, as that debt begins to affect when and if young people start families or enter the housing market.
The student debt crisis may become a dangerous “new normal,” according to a report this week by the nonprofit State Higher Education Executive Officers Association: “In the ‘new normal,’ retirement and health care costs simultaneously drive up the cost of higher education, and compete with education for limited public resources. The ‘new normal’ no longer expects to see a recovery of state support for higher education such as occurred repeatedly in the last half of the 20th century. The ‘new normal’ expects students and their families to continue to make increasingly greater financial sacrifices in order to complete a postsecondary education. The ‘new normal’ expects schools and colleges to find ways of increasing productivity and absorb ever-larger budget cuts, while increasing degree production without, we hope, compromising quality.”
In constant dollars, state and local educational appropriations per full-time student reached their high in 2001, at $8,670. In 2012, those appropriations fell by nearly one third, to just $5,896. The cost of tuition, on the other hand, has increased dramatically. According to a September report by CNN Money: “Over the past decade, average annual tuition for a year of community college has risen 40 percent to $3,122, according to the College Board, a nonprofit group that runs the SAT exam. At four-year public universities, the cost has risen 68 percent to $7,692 a year.”
Oh no! The amount of “free shit” has gone down right at a time when income is going down and the economy is being destroyed (by stupid collectivist policies this author and the NYT actually not only like but promote, but I doubt you will ever hear that from these bozos)! Look, the reason the “free shit” is going down is because government is running out of other people’s money to give the free shit. But seriously, the problem is not that there is less “free shit” but the fact that any “free shit” causes distortion, and government “free shit”, does so by orders of magnitude. The reason getting a secondary education has become so prohibitively expensive is precisely the congruence of government, government “free shit”, and colleges & universities that because they are guaranteed massive cash flow, can thus keep jacking up costs, which they have.
Combined with the horrible lie that any college degree guarantees you higher income over your life, and that students should pursue their dreams because, as if all degrees are created equally, this has resulted in a slew of stupid debt. Debt I want to point out that can never be gotten rid off, even in bankruptcy, short of death. And then pity the cosigners. From the article itself:
Meanwhile, a September Census report shows, median household incomes fell by nearly 7 percent from 2001 to 2011. And there are now more Americans living in poverty than at any time since record-keeping began more than half a century ago.
This confluence of trends has led to higher borrowing by students.
An analysis last month by Donghoon Lee, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, found that “student debt is the only kind of household debt that continued to rise through the Great Recession” and is now the “second largest balance after mortgage debt.”
According to Mr. Lee, student loan debt is fast approaching a trillion dollars, up from less than $400 billion in 2004, and both the number of borrowers and the average balance per borrower have “increased by 70 percent between 2004 and 2012 (7 percent per year).”A September Pew Research Center report found that “a record one-in-five households now owe student loan debt.”
That report also found that student loan debt as a share of household income was 24 percent for families in the lowest income quintile. That was at least twice the share of any other quintile.
Another unsustainable socio-engineering monster is creating yet another bubble that will cripple the economy when it goes off. How the hell has student loan debt nearly tripled in under a decade? WTF is going on? Even a bad economy or kids suddenly becoming so lazy that they do not work to pay for their schools is not enough to explain such a jump. My guess is that what comes out of high school these days simply is so immature and woefully unprepared that most businesses have decreed they need college degrees for basic entry level jobs that in the past did not require any of that. Also the fact that there are so many idiots that bought into the lie that any college degree, regardless of cost, is a great deal. The girl bagging my groceries the other day was telling the cashier how pissed she was that with the womyn studies degree and a fuckton of debt she could only get the same job as the pimply faced high school kid bagging groceries in the next isle. It took a lot of effort for me not to laugh at the dumb woman. What a waste of money, time, and 4 years. Anyone showing up with one of those type of degrees IMO isn’t qualified to do much more than work fast food, the grocery store or retail, or in the sex industry.
Look, I am not dissuading people from going to college. I am not even telling them they can not do what they want to. But they need to wise up. Racking up even 4$0K for any kind of soft degree, like any of the vaunted “studies degrees”, is simply stupid. When you do it for close to, or over, $100K, you have committed a criminal act against your ability to succeed. As an employer any student with that combo would be someone I would skip offering employment to because they lack common sense.
At this point we need to break the unholy and incestuous relationship between colleges & universities and government. As long as these institutions get free money from government and do not share in the risks students taking on massive debt do, they haven’t got the incentive to lower costs, to provide value, and certainly to screen students and discourage those that should not be racking up insane debt for shitty degrees. Of course, since the educational establishments most hard hit by breaking up this unholy alliance are the ones that do the most leftist indoctrination, I doubt either side want to see that lucrative and politically convenient cabal go broke. That’s why these students will keep doing this dumb shit until there are so many of them they bring the whole house of cards down. Of course, it will be the productive tax payers that will foot the bill for that, just like for every other failed socio-engineering program.
With people like these “helping” you, I would rather take my chances with those that hate me.