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How To Tackle Ballooning College Costs

Student loans, front and center again as the President and more push for change in how we pay for college.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, joined by other women of the Senate, holds a news conference on her bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, that would allow people with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, joined by other women of the Senate, holds a news conference on her bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, that would allow people with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

College costs are through the roof, and student loans, student debt, are beyond that.  A trillion-plus in debt for American college grads.  Yesterday, the President moved to cut the college debt burden for several million Americans, capping monthly payments at ten percent of “discretionary income.” And calling on Congress to cut interest rates on federal student loans.  Republicans called it a partisan political stunt.  Critics said it ducks the question of high cost.  But it’s something, on a big American sore point. This hour On Point:  student loans, student debt, and the cost of college.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nirvi Shah, education editor for POLITICOPro. (@NirviShah)

Kevin Carey, director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation. (@kevincarey1)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. (@SenWarren)

Elizabeth Baylor, associate director of post-secondary education at the Center for American Progress. Former senior investigator for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. (@littlebethb)

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico:  President Obama to order help for student loan debtors — “Federal student loan debt reached more than $1 trillion last year, an amount that has some economists concerned is creating a chilling effect on spending, home-buying and other economic drivers.

The Guardian: Obama woos student borrowers with executive order on loan repayments – “Obama extended the four-year-old Pay As You Earn initiative, which has lowered monthly payments for student who borrowed federal student loans for the first time between 2008 and 2011. The program lowered monthly payments to 10% of a borrower’s after-tax income. Borrowers who graduated before 2008 or after 2012 had access to another program, which limits student payments to 15% of income. Monday’s executive order will extend the initiative to anyone with a federal student loan.”

Washington Post: Where the average student loan burden is largest – “Per-student higher education spending, adjusted for inflation, has dropped in all but two states—North Dakota and Alaska—since before the recession, which has been matched by sometimes-dramatic tuition hikes, CBPP found. In Arizona, for example, average inflation-adjusted tuition at a public, four-year college rose more than 80 percent from the 2008 to 2014 fiscal year. On the bright side, however, tuition hikes last year did slow to their lowest level since the early 1980s, thanks to tuition freezes and increased funding across states, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports. “

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  • Arkuy The Great

    Elizabeth Warren was elected on a platform of bringing Wall Street to justice, not to underwrite the poor financial decisions of Main Street when it comes to educating Biff and Muffy or the rapaciousness of Ivy Founders’ Hall. Since taking office her priorities have shifted and not necessarily for the better.

    Tell us, Liz, why creeps like Jon Corzine still walk the street unmolested.

    • LinRP

      I worked on Warren’s campaign from start to finish. If you think Wall Street was her only platform, you obviously weren’t paying attention to her total message, as you comment clearly indicates.

      You can keep your kids low information, but most of us want our kids to go to college, and the best ones that they can attend. I went to MIT on grant and loans, and it has made all the difference in my life, the “Miffy” that I am.

      Everyone I know who values education is grateful for the student loan focus, if not for own kids then for our neighbors and students in our society overall. Most people I know don’t make these decisions lightly.

      I will agree, however, that the issue of cost overall needs to be dealt with, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Who was her debate coach?

        • TFRX

          Still sore about Glamour Boy getting his pretty face whipped when confronted with someone better than Martha (Low Bar) Coakely?

          Don’t worry, he’s now a honest-to-goodness man of the people in whatever state he’s in.

      • Arkuy The Great

        “If you think Wall Street was her only platform, you obviously weren’t paying attention to her total message”

        S’cuse you! Liz’s mug was on the teevee quite regularly amid copious infographics about Wall Street taking excessive risks in the ‘naughts and now needing to be held to account. That was a central plank in her campaign and you know it! Don’t try to talk it down now as unimportant because it sure was not then. Or, perhaps, you have just revealed that Lizzie, along with her fawning minions, is no less a lying politician than all the rest, denying her core campaign promises once securely in office.

        • northeaster17

          The TEEVEE was not the whole campaighn

        • Human2013

          “Lizzie” ain’t perfect, but I think she can handle more than one issue at a time. “Lizzie” i’m sure is aware of the connection between Wall Street and Big Education — their hedge funds growing graciously. I haven’t tracked her every move, but she is the only one speaking with compassion about student debt. Think Progess has an interview on their site with her discussing the matter.

    • red_donn

      Anyone who expected the election of a single Senator to reverse the course of protecting moneyed interests was living in a fairytale world. The best one can hope for are some protections against the financial-political marriage.

      In fairness, the proper regulation of rapacious financial markets includes the exploitation of loans made to students. There are appropriate times to remove the financial incentive from a decision-making process, particularly when that process has been so thoroughly propagandized. One could say, indeed many have said, similar things about Main Street regarding the housing crisis, expecting people whose families had never before owned a house to properly consider the financial structure of ARM’s and dismiss the social push to acquire a home.

      The government has done a great deal to aid and abet the creditors in both cases, leaving students and (former) homeowners to founder while protecting the lenders from losses, or barring bankruptcy.
      Since one cannot politically say, “Let the lender beware” then at least let’s not say, “Let the lender exploit.”

  • Coastghost

    While the data considered here hardly merit controlling today’s narrative, certainly they are pertinent to the discussion soon to ensue:

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/01/college-class-of-2011-by-academic-discipline-and-gender-the-selective-concern-about-gender-imbalances-is-imbalanced/

    (Even on the internet, it’s not easy finding a single source that shows clearly the academic areas in which undergrad degrees are being earned: how many loopy sociology majors do we really want or need? how many majors IN EDUCATION [rather than a subject area to be taught] actually promote delivery of sound pedagogy? what are the actual employment and earning potentials for grads in gender and ethnic studies, both inside and outside of insulated academic existence? how much of today’s academic enterprise [Universities, Inc.] consists of little or nothing more than [self-]indulgent self-perpetuation?)
    Addressing concerns like these would not be unwelcome PRIOR TO arguments being proffered on how to pay for this stimulating academic ferment. (Looks a LOT like yet another case of Boomers having helped themselves quite generously at the expense of their own offspring.)

    • jimino

      So you’re for central planning of the specific educational path for students to meet the needs of an economy as determined by some bureaucracy? If not, how are your ideas implemented?

      • Coastghost

        Nay nay: but students are ill-advised by one and all to pursue academic degrees yielding scant prospects for robust economic performance upon graduation. (Id est: if gender studies constitutes suitable mouthware for baristas everywhere, they’re welcome to remain lifelong baristas, right? I mean: if they ARE “college attendees”, they’re supposed to be equipped to exercise SOME individual initiative, right?)

    • red_donn

      I find it concerning that most discussions revolving around education spending never fail to include popular comments along these lines. It is not to say concerns regarding the relation of college to later life are without merit, but I am altogether leery of arguments apparently against funding education on various grounds bordering on the anti-intellectual, and certainly of the anti-liberal, bent.

      I am quite entirely in agreement with you that people of my millenial generation, and the subsequent generation, whatever we shall call them, have been fed the false narrative that all one needs to succeed is to go to college. This is partially a holdover from the days where it was more truthful, and partly driven by the financial interests in accruing profit off student debt today.

      It is my opinion that the proper redress of this issue should be driven home well in advance of the college admissions process, including by removing much of the financial incentive to profit off hapless students who really believe the propaganda. Removing the massive profit motive for reckless promotion of college by economic powers is necessary if one is to expect students to arrive at a rational and informed decision.

      There is, however, a further concern. Without an understanding of history and various social studies, the world is incomprehensible, and without literature or philosophy, any comprehension feels meaningless. The near total lack of any serious education in these topics drives many to pursue them in college, in the commendable interest of learning how the world actually works. I would preferably address these topics in general public education, if it were at all possible (let’s have some works by Gore Vidal in the classrooms) by developing as many educated citizens as possible in the first place.

      I’d rather have an educated working and middle class independent of the collegiate system than a mess of sociology majors. If people are not left desperate for a taste of the humanities, and not fed the lie that they, rather than the loan holder, will profit by pursuing this interest in college, we might see a shift in collegiate culture. There may be those who then still have the real interest and talent to pursue the humanities as a vocation, and they should be allowed funding in the same manner as STEM, though that may not mean the same interest rates.

      In the interest of full disclosure, I studied finance, accounting, economics, and programming, so I don’t speak in order to defend my own choices. To the point of our discussion, I chose economics and programming over a history major due to the factors of the former field of study, despite my passion for the latter. It is that passion, however, which provides me with the understanding to properly critique the variably corrupt or incompetent “neo-” theories of politics and economics.

  • John Cedar

    It should be simple to solve. Take all the buffoons intent on voting for a minimum wage increase and put them in a room to vote on a law for the maximum tuition to be $5k per year.

    • northeaster17

      Buffoons?

    • Human2013

      If we could do that, we would be living in a democracy, but we all know this is no democracy.

      Minimum wage is so deplorable and threatening to over 1000 years of human struggle to bridge the gap between the lord and his serfs. It completely undermines human worth and equality.

      As it stands now, labor wages are so low that we can now liken them to slavery. The master had to pay to feed, house, and clothed his slaves, but somehow the CEO doesn’t. How did we get hear???

      • harverdphd

        The failure of pubic education, probly.

  • John Cedar

    Executive order on student loan payments? Is that part of the powers vested in Obamacare?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Yes, President Obama does everything just to annoy people like you. I guess you’re special?

    • jimino

      And I thought there were only 3 stooges. 6 and counting.

  • Yar

    Two years of public service pays for two years of college! Any person in America between 18 and 24 can participate with citizenship promised after service is completed! Pell grant can be used during public service. This will put service in competition with college forcing them to lower tuition.

    • John Cedar

      ACORN changed their name, so scratch that.

      • Yar

        Has nothing to do with anything. Why do you see the worst in people and ideas?

        • northeaster17

          He got his. The heck with the rest of ya.

        • John Cedar

          Why do you come up with the worst ideas? Why do you hate America?

          • Yar

            I love the concept our founders built into the constution that all are created equal and work for equity for all. Education is essential to democracy, so I promote its virtues. Public service is part of education. Why do you think I hate?

      • TFRX

        Keep JAQing it about ACORN, bub.

        • John Cedar

          Little strokes, fell great oaks.

  • andrewgarrett

    I don’t trivialize debt, but the average wage for college grads is higher than for non-grads. So if you have to borrow money to do it it is still worth it. “Buying” a house also involves massive debt, but plenty of people do it anyway.

    • hennorama

      andrewgarrett — you’ve hit on the two things that may be most worthwhile going into debt for: higher education and homeownership.

      Unfortunately, for many who go into debt for the former, their ultimate level of indebtedness precludes the latter.

  • andrewgarrett

    Plus, people should consider studying something useful when they are spending huge amounts of money. I certainly wish I had.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Yes having a highly educated citizenry benefits the whole society, so why are we allowing usury lenders to extract a quick profit from the people who are trying to work their way to productive careers?

    • Arkuy The Great

      I think you will find that the biggest offenders are traditional “non profit” schools. Of course they would like nothing better than to deflect attention to their upstart competition, not that the latter has clean hands in all this.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I think you will find that the for-profit colleges and universities have the highest rates of loan defaults, and they also target veterans, and that they have very questionable results. Their promises are very often misleading.

        • Arkuy The Great

          And you will find that the highest number of graduates with expensive-but-useless degrees come from traditional 4-year institutions. There is enough blame to go around here without singling out one sector and sparing others.

    • OnPointComments

      In a Senate hearing last week on student loans, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said the the student loan industry had “snuck” a provision into the 2007 student loan bill so that student loans aren’t discharged in bankruptcy. He repeated this statement several times, and added that he couldn’t understand why student loans aren’t discharged in bankruptcy.

      First, only a member of Congress can “snuck” a provision into a bill. Second: Imagine you have money to lend. Would you lend tens of thousands to someone who has little or no income, assets, or collateral, especially if you knew that once the borrower got all the money after 4 years of college, they could discharge the debt in bankruptcy? I wouldn’t.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I’m shocked – shocked I tell you – that a Congressperson did the bidding of ALEC, or some lobbyist!

        • OnPointComments

          The favorite scapegoat of Congress for the laws passed by Congress is anyone other than the members of Congress.

          • Don_B1

            Neil was not, repeat not, trying to set up a scapegoat for members of Congress. But it is often useful to understand the motives of people, particularly when they do bad things.

          • OnPointComments

            Every time a member of Congress talks about the corrupting influence of money on government, I wish that reporters or another member of Congress would ask “Who? When? How much? Name names.” How much did ALEC or a lobbyist pay to have the provision snuck into law? Who did they pay? When did they pay it?

        • TFRX

          The first rule of ALEC club is “Don’t Talk about ALEC Club”. You have been warned!

  • Coastghost

    “College costs are through the roof”, Tom Ashbrook, or “college administrative costs are through the roof”? Be sure to ask Harvard Media Advisor Warren about that . . . . Harvard grad Arne Duncan and Harvard grad Barack Obama haven’t been so forthcoming.
    (I see no grad students and TAs on your guest roster.)

  • Coastghost

    BTW: what would 10% of a Federal borrower’s after-tax income be for a recently-minted recipient (say, a 2010 graduate) of a baccalaureate degree in gender studies?

  • northeaster17

    From Forbes online…….”By concentrating risk on individuals – who are least able to mitigate the downsides if something goes wrong – our current student loan system has made college more expensive, turned higher education into an individual, rather than a communal, good, and generated serious negative economic and social risks.”

    From me…….If an educated population is a communal good communities should help bear the costs. High cost student loans hamstring students by delaying their ability to make life choice investments (houses) as well as entrepreneurial
    investments that increase jobs. Students should not be seen as profit centers for economic vultures.

    • Coastghost

      Why have college-educated university administrators as a class been so predatory? All signs suggest they’ve not been sharing their ill-got gains with faculty and teaching staff. Poor deployment of economic resources seems intrinsic to university administrations, not to financial markets and the broad economy per se.

      • northeaster17

        Good question. If student loan debt is closing in on a trillion dollars I’d like to see the breakdown between admin (not housing and classroom costs) and loan costs.

        • Coastghost

          According to guest Nirvi Shah, most student loan debt is Federal (public) debt and is not derived from private sources.

          • northeaster17

            Just shows what the GOP house thinks about students and education

      • northeaster17

        The evils of straight capitalism have sunk their tenticales into our education system. That’s how it looks to me

        • Coastghost

          The cumulative historical thrust of the past century and more has been to make education a “public good”. The broad advent of public education dates from the close of the 19th century. (Which explains why most existing student debt is tied to FEDERAL student loans.)

          • northeaster17

            That worked until the 80′s when college funding was cut by the states and the bankers were given the keys to the kingdom. I was there.

  • Jeff

    What we really need is a complete reform of the higher education system, there should be an option for students to go through a 6 month to a 1 year program to gain in demand skills. That would help with older people who have found their jobs being taken over by machines or being outsourced as well as offering younger people a pathway to the workforce without giving up 4 years of your life and going $50k+ in debt. All this current legislation does is drive up college prices higher and nothing changes.

    • northeaster17

      Sure but Obama’s pay as you earn plan may be a good start

  • AC

    it will take deflation for any real changes to occur, EVERYTHING is over-priced,and i can’t imagine people will take a cut in pay to balance it back so something else will suffer first….
    i don’t want to be around when that happens…:(

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Agreed! It’s very hard for people to let go of a sense of entitlement. Everyone wants the benefits but few want the responsibilities.

      • AC

        it’s not just entitlement – i mean EVERYTHING is expensive. i was wondering how people can afford homes in some places. then i found out investors went in during the housing crash cash in hand and bought up a ton of property – now everything is a rental and those are outrageous too. investors drove up the cost – bastards. i was looking at a crappy vinyl home that needs tons of work for over $600k. what a joke. people need the salaries to live – remember the whole ‘middle class shrinking’ thing. your money doesn’t buy what it used too. when i hear what people paid for apartments in the 90s and early 00s, i feel sick with jealousy….

  • John_in_Amherst

    The GOP/FOX watcher defenders of the U.S. “dumbocracy” seem really wound up by the notion that the nation needs to make education easier to get. Heaven forbid should we reverse the trend of Americans increasingly doubting the rolls of science and humanities in shaping and guiding public policy. After all, why do we need to compete in the realms of research and technological innovation when we can just dominate the world with our military presence? What need do we have to educate the drones in a service economy?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Its the Fed. Again. Everybody wants the free lunch but doesn’t like the consequences when the bubble pops.

    Cheap money creates malinvestment bubbles. Bubbles pop. Finance class makes money on the loans and fees and the traders play the predictable (to them) highs and lows.

    Thanks for playing along.

    Meanwhile, huge numbers of ill-prepared grads who feel entitled to a 75K salary because they jumped through the hoops.

    And, by 40 years of age, high school grads who had no debt, have a higher net worth that college grads that have debt……

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-17/what-san-fran-fed-did-not-tell-you-about-student-debt

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-09/obama-unveils-student-loan-debt-bubble-bailout-live-feed

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-18/student-loans-hit-record-108-trillion-delinquent-student-debt-rises-all-time-high

    • northeaster17

      It’s not so much that grads feel entitled. There is an economic necessity for the loans to be paid. The banks don’t wait and there is no longer any protection from them. Unlike the protections afforded the “wiser” business men who are able to game the system repeatedly.
      The distain for students by the right is amazing to me.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I agree with your realistic assessment of the gamed system. But I also think our recent notions of the college production line and expectations of rewards for finishing have been a bubble economics illusion.

        I think parents and students should be more practical and targeted and goal-oriented in pursuing education.

        Easy money always makes us act and spend without thinking (malinvestment) at all levels of the economy. And the the various bubbles will always pop, and the vampires will always profit from the bubble games.

        • northeaster17

          Most of the bubbles that have popped in my times appear to be speculative in nature. Young people starting out should not be placed in a bubble along with other banking interests

    • adks12020

      Sounds to me like you haven’t been in the job market for a while. College graduates are being hired for jobs that once didn’t require a college degree and all positions are being paid less. Those without degrees are primarily relegated to very low wage service sector or to labor jobs (construction, engine repair, hvac, etc.) that pay pretty well but are scarce. I don’t know any grads that “feel entitled to $75K”. I graduated from school in 2005 and received a master’s in 2012. I’d be pumped to make $50-55K but things are so competitive that employers have no incentive to pay well. They got used to doing with less, and paying less, during the recession and aren’t going to change that any time soon. Luckily my girlfriend and I together make almost $90K so we can afford our loans, car payments, mortgage, etc. Single people are not so lucky.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Thanks for the reply. What you describe sounds more realistic. Sadly, I think we have been in a bubble economy for a long time, and expectations have become very skewed. While of course its easy, and right, to resent the elites who rig the system, and always fight for them to participate in a level playing field, I think the notions of us all doing abstract jobs as opposed to honest labors more related to feeding housing and clothing us, and basic health and elder care, has been an illusion.

  • Human2013

    Why would we expect the cost of college to be reasonable in this error of reprehensible Capitalism — not possible. If you haven’t been watching, capitalism is nothing more than a system of wealth transfer.

    Also, the issue isn’t the cost of college per se, it’s the cost relative to wages. If our student we’re leaving college with inflation adjusted wages – close to the inflation of college costs – this wouldn’t be an issue. We need to focus our attention on wages because it’s clear that the former will continue to grow.

    I don’t know how any middle class person in the US can divorce themselves from the fight on minimum wage — it’s your fight too. If you believe that your going to live in a country that allows corporations to pay $/7hr to some and your going to continue on with your $100k salary, it ain’t happening.

  • rvl1

    Public funded education through college should be a right for every citizen. If they can do it in Europe, why not here. They can cut corporate welfare to pay for it.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Europe doesn’t maintain perpetual war against everyone all over the world. Hoober Doober

    • Andrew_MN

      Europe taxes people more, has strict controls on immigration to limit the citizenry that can benefit from these programs, and freeloads on US defense spending so they have ‘extra’ money for social programs.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      You can learn more on the internet in a summer than you get out of most degrees.

      The attitude of jumping through hoops and getting a deserved reward is perverse.

      We need to have reason, a goal, in seeking education, what are we trying to learn? Why? What are we trying to create? What do we need to do to achieve that?

      Giving everyone a Debt-based (personal or government) nebulous degree so we can all be more interesting at cocktail parties is misguided.

      Necessity should still be the Mother of all Invention.

      • TFRX

        That is so cute. Do you envision a world in which millions of people don’t have to have any degrees or certification to get a good job? Or is this more of your Galt’s Gulch shat?

    • TFRX

      Many states have hollowed out what used to be very affordable state higher ed options. This isn’t something which gets discussed enough.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Reduce the loan rates and see the colleges scramble to compete for students with lower prices.

    Of course the U. Administrations and their bloated bureaucracy will kick and scream as they need to be downsized to lower tuitions…….

    Our fantasy of us all living large via Debt is really out of control.

  • Andrew_MN

    Remove the gov’t guarantees on loans and watch the costs start to come down. Whenever there’s a third party making or guaranteeing payments there is absolutely no incentive to keep costs under control.

    • OnPointComments

      Everything subsidized by federal tax dollars is expensive.

  • Charles

    The problem starts before college, when we don’t give kids (and parents) more options suited to their (kids’) abilities.
    Not every kid needs to go to college, at least in the traditional ivy-walls 4-year sense. Some just don’t have what it takes, and we have to accept and even reinforce that IT’S OKAY. You can still contribute very positively to society.
    But since we do encourage college for all, we get a
    bounty of unremarkable 4-year schools where folks fritter away money and leave unprepared to do anything, when they could have been in the Army, Peace Corps, or learning to weld. It sounds mean (and trite), but a liberal arts degree from a mid- or low-profile school is probably not going to give you good returns.
    We have to de-stigmatize trade education and form some new CCC-type organizations to allow kids to explore the non-academic side of life.

    • adks12020

      Good points but re: Peace Corps….check out their requirements for acceptance. It’s ain’t what it used to be. I considered Peace Corps AFTER I graduated from undergrad and wasn’t qualified. I was so surprised.

    • John_in_Amherst

      You are on the mark with the need to destigmatize trades and offer new avenues into the work force like the CCC. However, critical thinking ability and creativity are being sacrificed in favor of “teaching to the test”, and if citizens aren’t being taught these skills in highschool, will they be acquired in trade schools? A year or two of “liberal arts” in which students learn logic, statistics, and get exposed to arts and ideas beyond entertainment media is hardly a waste.

      • Charles

        Agreed.
        We should incorporate the liberal arts more robustly into schools from a much earlier age. Kids should be free-thinkers when they GET to college, not learning the skills at that point.

        How we accomplish THAT, however, is a different debate entirely.

  • DJJS

    Please ask your guests about the amount of PUBLIC FUNDING that private colleges are able to “bank on” such as Pell grants and bonds and tax breaks on new construction. Yet at most private colleges, the trustee meetings are closed TO EVEN STUDENTS AND ALUMS, the minutes sealed for 50 years, and the public despite its “investment” in these colleges cannot FOIL to find out how taxpayer dollars are being spent there. Best of both worlds for these private colleges if you ask me….

  • OnPointComments

    Why not make federally-subsidized student loans unavailable for any college that does not have a satisfactory graduation rate and satisfactory employment rate after graduation?

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    College executive compensation has gone through the roof while more teachers are working part-time for less. Meanwhile, student costs are soaring.

    But, one has to ask if easy-to-get student loans have a lot to do with too much fast money and the distortions that follow.

  • AC

    10% of your monthly income!!! that’s a lot!! even after taxes!! is there a max?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      And the interest on the total still accrues to the lendor. HD

      • AC

        if i paid 10% of my monthly income, i wouldn’t have to worry about interest – the entire loan would be paid off in <5yrs ! ! ! i think it shouldn't depend on what you make

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      That is the maximum.

      • AC

        jesus, i could buy 2 new cars for less a month!

        • Charles

          Ummm, can I have a job where you work?

          • AC

            we are in need of people who will work in Qatar and Singapore and China….what’s your background? lol

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    After the Clintons deduct “contributions to the nation” on their 1040, we probably owe them money every year.

  • twenty_niner

    The easy access loans takes the price elasticity out of college, allowing costs to balloon with little effect on demand.

  • X Y & Z

    Senator Warren helped to pass Obamacare, which was supposed to be deficit neutral, but according to the GAO, Obamacare will add $6.2 trillion to the national deficit.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/341589/gao-report-obamacare-adds-62-trillion-long-term-deficit-andrew-stiles

    If adding $6.2 trillion to the national deficit was Elizabeth Warren’s idea of fixing health care in America, then we should all be very concerned about her ideas for fixing ballooning college costs.

    • Ray in VT

      Not according to the GAO. According to the GOP, with their own set of considerations.

      • X Y & Z

        http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/651702.pdf
        Read it for yourself, straight from the GAO, Obamacare adds $6.2 trillion to the national deficit.

        • Ray in VT

          Care to provide an exact quote from the report to that effect?

          • jefe68

            Why do you bother?

          • Ray in VT

            Curiosity.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — I had an extended exchange with it over the weekend, concluding that in addition to being a drone-bot, it is

            Cowardly Lyin’.

          • Ray in VT

            I saw a bit of that.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — you didn’t miss anything in the unseen portion.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, were great evidence and overwhelming facts not provided in support of arguments made?

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — Yes, and claims about [hennorama]‘s writings were made, and despite 5 challenges, were bravely unsupported.

            AKA: Cowardly Lyin’.

          • jefe68

            If one keeps feeding the trolls they will keep posting.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, they’ll post anyways.

          • jefe68

            True that. I suppose it’s a kind of sport.

          • Ray in VT

            SVP & Russillo sort of addressed this on Friday, as Scott Van Pelt is prone to arguing with everyone, including, but not limited to, people trolling him on Twitter.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — indeed, but this drone-bot drones on regardless.

          • X Y & Z

            “Cowardly”?

            That’s a good way of describing the deserter Bergdahl, that you defend and drool over like a dog in heat.

          • Ray in VT

            Hennorama and Bergdahl are best friends?

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — hardly, but facts are irrelevant to the dronebotic Cowardly Lyin’.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, for all I know you’re a long time family friend from out in Idaho. ;)

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — nope, but I’ve been through southern Idaho.

            I particularly enjoyed the Perrine Bridge at Twin Falls (as I was about to take some photos, a BASE jumper leapt off, and I nearly dropped my camera in surprise), the Craters Of The Moon National Monument, as well as the Doh! moment I had upon seeing the Ore-Ida packing plant on the border of Oregon and Idaho.

            Never been to Hailey, ID though.

          • Ray in VT

            That is what someone looking to obscure his/her Idaho roots/connections likely would say. ;)

            Those do sound like some nice sights to see, though.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — HA!

            That particular road trip was during very hot weather; my sneakers stuck to, and left footprints in, the parking lot near this cinder cone:

            http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/province/4CRAT-32sm.jpg

            The view was worth the climb, and the asphalt on my sneakers, too.

          • Ray in VT

            My wife has asked me why I occasionally climb a mountain, and the view is the answer that I give her.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — indeed.

            In the case of the cinder cone above, and the Monument in general, I viewed it as an opportunity to walk where astronauts may have, and took full advantage.

            See:
            http://www.nps.gov/crmo/historyculture/astronauts.htm

          • hennorama

            X Y & Z — please, drone alone, Cowardly Lyin’.

          • X Y & Z

            Gladly Chicken-Little.

          • hennorama

            X Y & Z — adding to your lies does not help you.

            Cowardly Lyin’ again.

          • X Y & Z

            A deserter is a deserter.

          • jefe68

            But it ends the same every time.
            This guy is an only here to create an argument and post anti-Obama memes.

    • hennorama

      Drone-bot Alert.

      • X Y & Z

        Yawn.

      • StilllHere

        Alert-bot Drone?

    • TFRX

      Stick to your drone shat.

      • X Y & Z

        You’ve taken one to many soccer ball hits to the head.

  • skelly74

    Typical. Lets have the U.S tax payers cover the cost of overpriced education. Forget about teaching students the value of budgeting and selecting affordable college alternatives. I did.

    Let us not overlook the hyper hypocritical boastings of Senator Warren, who has benefited immensely from overpriced college fees that are surely wrapped in a loan, that may be forgiven, at the liability of the tax payer. A complete conflict of interest.

    • jimino

      Do you feel the same way toward home builders and sellers, who benefit from the mortgage interest deduction? Or how about every person who gets their health insurance paid for by their employer who gets to deduct the cost without the employee counting it as income?

      Those tax payer supplied benefits monumentally dwarf what you complain about.

      • skelly74

        I believe the student loan interest is deductible also. Actually, the student loan “forgiveness” would be taxable as income if we would keep with tradition.

  • Coastghost

    In other words: Sen. Warren is eager to Federally subsidize corrupt university administrations (with requisite reserves of passion and feeling, no doubt). Brilliant.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      She has not been on the show, yet. Where are you getting this?

      • Coastghost

        Nirvi Shah just finished saying that most student loan debt is Federal (public), not private. (I conflate this with the clear impression I’ve gained that most of the higher costs associated now with higher education go towards university administrations.)

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          “I conflate …” Full stop.

          • Coastghost

            Perfectly sound epistemic strategy, in itself.

  • northeaster17

    When I got out of college I had rent, a car loan and a student loan. There were some rough patches and once I called the bank to say my student loan payment would be late. Of course the person on the phone was not happy. I explained that I had a car payment to make. And that the bank could take my car but not my education. We all have choices to make. I payed off the loan but the economy was much different and so were loan structures. Our economy has not kept up with the costs

    • TFRX

      The economy and loan structures were much different.

      And college was a lot cheaper when I was there. When many ofthepeople here were college-age.

      That doesn’t get taken up often enough.

      • northeaster17

        Very true. I went to a state scool. By working two jobs over the summer I could cover a whole semester…Almost. Kept my loans down and a little from dad did the rest. Try that today. I know my kid is in a pickle over this.

        • TFRX

          “A little from Dad”?

          Hey, nice to know that taking Mitt Romney’s advice works for people sometimes. Good thing you had the right parents.

          Seriously, nobody’s talking about that.

        • hennorama

          northeaster17 — thank you for contributing to my list of Typos/Freudian Slips/Autocorrections That Make Me Smile:

          “state scool”

          • northeaster17

            Hey don’t knock the state schooles. Good education…Great cost

          • hennorama

            northeaster17 — Then cue fore yore response.

            Not knockin’ ‘em in any way, just enjoying your humanity.

            Thanks again.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Teach your children debt is evil and credit is for emergencies and maybe a mortgage.

    • TFRX

      “Maybe a mortgage?”

      What I hear is you saying “Teach your kids to be a serf, a peon. But hey, they’ll have that freedom that white male landowners had in the 17th century.”

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Because debt is your ticket out of serfdom?

        Just do some saving first and make bigger down payments before borrowing for a longer term investment if that is what you mean.

  • Leonard Bast

    The cost of college has exploded because of the incredible rise in the number of school administrators and the extravagant increase in their salaries. Cut the number of administrators and slash their pay, and you’ll have taken a first step towards dealing with the problem.

    • Human2013

      College is nothing more than a replica of the big business model. So capitalism creeps into education — why are we surprised.

      • twenty_niner

        No it’s actually closer to the housing bubble. Easy access to excessive credit dampens price elasticity. The same thing happened with housing when fireworks stands were going for $.5 million, but who cares, it’s all funny money that won’t have to get repaid.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        That is so wrong. It is precisely a cheap credit, Federal Reserve and Banker elite problem. That they fuel crony capitalism and crony big government should not be surprising to anyone except those committed to looking the other way, because partisan affiliation is more important than the truth and our future.

        • Human2013

          Can you divorce the Fed and Banker Elite from Capitalism and education.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yes, if you would take the time to explore libertarian sound money positions instead of reverting to knee jerk stereotypes of them.

    • OnPointComments

      A $6 hammer costs $6,000 when it is paid for with federal tax dollars. The same is true of the cost of a college education.

      • TFRX

        There’s something sooo funny about how “TPCs” never say this when Republicans are in power.

        • Jeff

          Sure they do, you just aren’t listening…I spoke out against Bush back in the day…but you weren’t listening.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      You must ask where they got the money to do that. They don’t just hike the staff levels and tuition willy nilly. If nobody could pay, they would go bankrupt that way.

      It all starts with the lending. Whenever you have cheap credit, you will get industries that game that system to get that easy money, in the name of the well-intentioned goal. But it always ends badly, and the one step forward for the masses ends up being 2 steps back.

      People historically don’t like bankers for a reason.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Nothing in education or any other major societal situation is going to be improved so long as American Capitalism is essentially the practice of: Beggar-Thy-Neighbour.

    Remember Pogo Possum!

    • Human2013

      This is nothing more than a symptom of a chronic disease known as capitalism.

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        It’s a killer app. Literally. HD

  • X Y & Z

    Mr. Ashbrook, while you have Senator Warren on as a guest, could you please ask her to reassure your audience and the nation, that reason one million Americans left the labor force in April, had nothing to do with the negative economic consequences of Obamacare, but was all due to the weather.

    Thanks Tom.

    • Ray in VT

      Then please ask about the hundreds of thousands of people who joined the labor force in May. Did the ACA do that too?

      • jefe68

        It’s clear by the comment that this person is not serious. That they just want to post memes.

        • X Y & Z

          One million Americans dropping out of the labor force in April is very serious, but obviously not to you.

          • Ray in VT

            Care to provide some research about the underlying factors that have been compelling people to leave the labor force of late?

          • X Y & Z

            Next you’re probably going to claim that the economy didn’t shrink either, and that On Point made that up as well, right?

          • Ray in VT

            What a bizarre claim to make in response to a request for information/ research that supports your position. May I take it, then, that you have none?

          • X Y & Z

            You’re denying that the economy contracted? Even On Point reported that!

          • Ray in VT

            Care to point me to where I claimed that?

          • X Y & Z

            You asked for proof, I informed you that is what On Point reported.

          • Ray in VT

            That is not proof. Besides, I thought that you claimed that people leaving the work force in April caused economic contraction in the first quarter. How does that work?

            I asked for information/research regarding factors affecting changes to the work force. Research that I have seen says that the ACA is not making any significant impact upon the LFPR.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — hey, the drone-bot claims “Virtually everything that comes out of this incompetent Administration is a lie,” and then uses sources that use reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other Federal agencies, which are part of the so-called “incompetent Administration.”

            Logic is not its strong suit, clearly.

          • Ray in VT

            I did notice that one. If one is going to allege that the administration and the BLS are cooking the jobs numbers, then why cite BLS numbers? The claim was also made that the BLS cooked the GDP number for Q4 2013.

    • hennorama

      Drone alone, drone-bot.

      • X Y & Z

        Chicken-Little is on the clock.

    • Ray in VT

      Also, I am unfamiliar with any sort of mass weather event or events in April that could have impacted the labor force. Care to provide details, as well as who is making the claim that weather caused a drop in the labor force in April?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “Explaining in simple terms and for the broadest audience Paul Grignon’s ‘Money As Debt’ explores the baffling, fraudulent and destructive arithmetic of the money system that holds us hostage to a forever-growing debt – and how we might evolve it into a new era. Get your popcorn ready.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsmbWBpnCNk

  • http://www.collegevalue.info Mark Bilotta

    Sen. Warren’s book, ‘All Your Worth’ (2005) has a great formula she and her daughter call the Balanced Money Formula which allocates after-tax monthly income to 50% for Must-Haves, 30% for Wants, and 20% for Savings. It’s a great example on how to teach responsible borrowing without sacrificing future quality of life.

    • anima mundi

      I wish this sort of thing was taught in high school – not as an elective, but as part of the core curriculum.

    • StilllHere

      It would be great if she applied this to her budgetary stance as a senator.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

    -Henry Ford

    “He was right about at least one thing– it’s true that hardly anyone on the planet really understands the monetary system… or the way that central bankers manipulate the entire global economy.

    I’ve met some seriously smart people who are very high up in finance. Senior bankers, traders, fund managers, etc. And even -they- don’t really understand it.

    Everyone just presumes that there are some really smart guys and gals who make policy decisions from their ivory towers. We’re told that they know what they’re doing, and we’re just all supposed to trust them.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-09/how-not-massive-conflict-interest

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Welcome to the battle of the women Democrat book authors. Suppose you can find any who aren’t lawyers?

  • anima mundi

    This makes fiscal sense. One important consideration is the fact that these students, laden with school debt, cannot step on the first wrung of the property market. Having no first time buyers to move house sales affects the entire chain and the whole economy.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    When everyone has a college degree, no one has one.*

    * It just resets the bar.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      No, it doesn’t work like that. If we are all smart – then we are all stupid?

  • Coastghost

    Why should taxpayers gladly subsidize loopy utopian academic enterprises, Harvard Media Advisor Warren?

    • northeaster17

      Jefferson Franklin and the rest of them would just shake their heads with wonder. Oh the loopyness of education

      • Coastghost

        Much loopiness is at large in shoddy education.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, that does explain the TOP and its libertarian allies.

  • Jeff

    Warren doesn’t understand basic accounting, I wonder if she thinks we should get rid of the SUBSIDIES for alternative energy? Or should we be talking about the normal TAX DEDUCTIONS businesses and individuals use!!! BTW, stop spending money we don’t have, this woman is spouting lies left and right.

    It’d be nice if the host could challenge her on her rants.

    • TFRX

      Let’s get rid of all the subsidies for extractive energy while we’re at it.

      Typical Libertarian–when pressed, say something that sounds Republican.

      • Jeff

        I’m willing to have a debate about tax reform in general but removing the mineral depletion allowance ONLY for oil/gas companies seems like picking and choosing. I’m not going into demonizing a particular industry because it’s politically advantageous.

        BTW, I don’t care about what you think I sound like, I care about doing what’s fair and let’s have the adult conversation instead of demonizing things that this woman obviously has no understanding of.

        • TFRX

          I don’t care that you don’t care how you come across.

          You took special pains to say something that sounds very Diane Sawyer/FoxFive approved. It’s stupid for any lefty to then trust a goddamned thing when LIbertarians say “I don’t like Republicans either!” later.

          Unprompted, why do Libertarians just go for the GOP talking points? At this point I don’t care about your answer–you’ve already done it.

          • Jeff

            I’m glad we can have the adult conversation I asked for…oh wait, you just slapped a random label on something without understanding the meaning. Talk about prejudice…when you’re ready to grow up and have that conversation I’ll be waiting.

          • TFRX

            And I’ll be waiting when you want to tell Democrats “join me because I really, really want to stop pet GOP-made government programs when Republicans are in power–trust me!”

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            You’ve got it backwards, per usual. GOP flunkies use libertarian talking points, or, yes, even grass roots tea party talking points, to try to stay relevant to people who actually have principled, reasoned, convictions.

            Just as the DNC plays so many for fools.

        • StilllHere

          You are wasting your time with this guy. His expertise is political cartoonists, at least according to him/her/it.

          • TFRX

            Hey, it’s Charlie Brown, here to cheer on Joe Shlabotnik!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      How do you know what she understands?

      • Jeff

        I’m listening to her talk, she doesn’t seem to understand much. Add basic interest rate changes to that list!

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          That sounds like your problem.

          • Jeff

            You are literally bringing nothing to the conversation, if you want to have a real conversation instead of being a jerk I’ll be ready for that.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Sea level rise will never occur so long as rich people are not taxed. Don’t forget: the planet must come first.
    –Republican Party of America

    • AC

      what? is this a real quote?

  • Coastghost

    Exactly HOW MUCH does the gender studies industry contribute to the US economy? in employment? in tax revenues? Yes, Harvard Media Advisor Warren?

    • Jeff

      That brings up the idea that we might shift funding into majors that we need to help the economy more than some liberal arts degrees that have no job prospects outside of academia. Perhaps we should offer scholarships and extra funding for STEM majors, more than other types of degrees.

      • northeaster17

        As a liberal arts major who has worked in the public and private sectors I can tell you now that you are so very wrong

        • Jeff

          Wrong about what? STEM majors are needed for our future and they have better job prospects than most liberal arts majors.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Congress is dragging down the whole planet.
    Repeal Article I.. and we might have a fighting chance.

  • DeMisty Bellinger

    It would be nice if the interest rate is dropped, or if people could
    file for bankruptcy, but to prevent overwhelming debt from student loans in the future, states should fund schools more. Every news story on the costs of college blame the schools. Hardly anyone talks about how the levels of support from states to state schools are below the rate prior to the recession (http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4011). If we start there, tuition will go down and the need for large loans will disappear.

    • Geheran1958

      Why stop there? Fully fund a college education for all. Such a program would be in good company: over-the-top pension programs that will bankrupt not a small number of states and cities. Not to worry though – another tax on the Rich will solve the problem.

  • Human2013

    The whole capitalism model is based on DEBT — your debt is another’s asset. Those asset holders have corrupted SCOTUS and the tax system, have undermined human equality, rigged the markets, axed pension plans, demolished collective bargaining, have kept wages artificially low, scoured the globe for countries with the least human dignity and set up shop, incarcerated more people than the world has ever seen, and now digs their teeth into all levels of American education.

    We CANT have an affordable system in higher education under this economic model!!!

    • Geheran1958

      You left out one indisputable point. While not perfect, the free market system has lifted untold millions out of poverty. China is but one recent example.

      • Human2013

        …..but for how long

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Bipartisan: the sham that solutions are in the works.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    You can sympathize with their good intentions, but we should run for the hills from those who truly believe that elite government and technocratic management will solve our problems and the challenges of the human condition.

    Basic safety nets, sound money, progressive taxes at large wealth levels- recycled directly back to the people. From there, let people make choices and spend money in a free, organic market that is bound by a transparent, equally applied, Rule of Law.

  • S Jason Wang

    Ugh. As a recent graduate with $96,000 in student loan debt, I am disgusted at this completely non-serious “plan” to reduce debt. It’s a blatantly obvious political play and is insulting to those of us who live with these loans. They Democrats are trying to strengthen their base, but I think most people will realize that it is a completely self-serving plan which can only benefit the politicians themselves and has no hope of actually benefiting student borrowers.

    • Geheran1958

      Right. Let’s get on with it. Everyone has a right to a college education just as every American deserves the right to own his/her own home regardless of whether they can afford it.

  • rvl1

    Senator Warren is one of the few honest politicians with a sincere desire to represent the average citizen. We need more like her.

    • Geheran1958

      Right. Full speed ahead, the consequences be damned!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It costs the taxpayer to inspect meat. It costs the nation to not inspect it. A conundrum we can’t figure out. Heavens, what are we to do?

  • KWF

    I have long been a fan of Elizabeth Warren and support this idea generally, however I do not appreciate her tone in the sentence”…Daddy will pay for tuition (sic)…”. First of all, we do not need more polarization in this country than we already have and I think she is better than that, or should be. Secondly, a lot of the “Daddy’s” she is referring to have worked very hard to be able to send their child to college, so why denigrate them? This is not a message that helps anyone so please stop it.

    • SJW

      I agree, she is NOT being constructive and this is not an honest conversation.

    • Jeff

      In her mind Daddy=Federal Government…not a good thing.

    • Arkuy The Great

      Warren’s goal is to keep the flow of government money moving to traditional colleges and universities while making the pain of doing so less apparent to students and their families. They want to privatize the gains and socialize the losses, just like Warren and others of her ilk accused Wall Street of having done last decade.

  • AC

    someone please mention the ‘d’ word – it’s going to have to happen at this point…..

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-17/what-san-fran-fed-did-not-tell-you-about-student-debt

    “The San Francisco Fed is absolutely wrong in not distinguishing how one funds their college education. Because the bottom line is that college educated households which took on student debt have a net worth of $8,700, which is less than the $10,900 net worth of not college educated households who don’t have student debt!”

    Based of Pew Research Data

  • James

    It seems like Warren’s plan is entirely unfair, at least to me it is, my parents aren’t rich. But I went to state school and have lived at home with my parents and paid down most of my high interest loans.

    • Andrew_MN

      You’re right. The whole thing seems tailored to subsidize the irresponsible.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Too Big to Fail. Bailouts. Zero Accountability.

        We love it!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      How is it unfair? To whom is it unfair?

      • James

        Well if I knew that I could lower my interest loans, it might have affected how and how much, I paid it down.

        • jefe68

          In some cases if you consolidate you can get a lower interest rate. Be careful though as once you do that it’s a done deal. Do your research.

    • TFRX

      When?

      • James

        Went to SUNY Fredonia for 4 years, 2005-2009. That didn’t really work out, then I went back and got another bachelor degree, with I got going to school part time over 2 years.

        • TFRX

          Thanks. I almost want anyone to ask this, when they went to college. Because I’m older than you, and the populace of this board runs more like my age than yours, and non-prestige colleges (like my alma mater also) were a heck more affordable when I was there. But it’s not something that comes up enough when older folks talk about “kids these days”.

          Freedonia? Wasn’t Groucho the dean of students?

          (Yes, I’m mixing up “Duck Soup” and “Horsefeathers”.)

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    My god, the “stimulatory to the economy” kool aid is so pervasive today we are doomed.

    A real market lets prices fall, when organic demand does not support the oversupply anymore.

    Bubblemania reigns supreme. We just can’t handle the truth.

  • streetglide

    The senator represents one of the many things wrong with the Washington thought process these days. How about we lower the interest rate to 1/2 of 1% and cut government size or spending to make up the difference? I couldn’t help but chuckle at the way she stated, “Even at 3.86% the government would still make a profit.” Guess what senator, at any interest rate above 0 the government would make a profit on money loaned.

  • sjw81

    finally a real senator and one that speaks for the middleclass and real issues. we created this debt crisis and bubble the same way as the housing debt and bubble crisis. too much loans too easy to get them and over inflates the price ..if fed govt stopped all loans as aid tomorow then college tuition would collapse overnight and correct itself to reflect what we actually can afford to pay or borrow to go

    • Jack

      And everyone who went to school in the last decade (because everyone from parents to counselors to teachers told them to go because that was how you got a good job) should feel the pain of that decision good and hard, right? I mean, it worked to blow up the housing market, after all: homeowners couldn’t make their payments, but the market corrected itself and now everything is OK with housing…oh, wait, I forgot, it’s still impossible to buy or sell in some parts of the country.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Borrow big
    Go to college
    Graduate
    Then can’t find a job*
    Move back home
    Repeat
    Eventually you’ll die of old age. Everybody wins!

    * Commensurate with new skills and experience, and their costs.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Increasing loans feed the rising costs. There is only one solution to that.

    You don’t need a degree to understand this stuff.

    But perhaps you do to believe it.

  • Human2013

    Can we talk about college endowments, PLEASE.

    Please stop trying to play us and talk about the ELEPHANT in the room.

    “College endowments made a comeback last year, gaining an average 11.7% in the 12 months that ended June 30 amid a rally in stocks.”

    Harvard is at $32,000,000,000 and growing.

    • Human2013

      Just curious, did anyone see a 11.7% gain in their investments last year?

      • StilllHere

        The stock market was up 33%.

        • Human2013

          Who saw a 33% gain, was it you????

          Please remember that’s an average and doesn’t indicate all investors had a gain of that size!
          Also, it’s nothing more than another BUBBLE — stocks are overpriced!!

          My 401K is up 4.5%

          • StilllHere

            Fire your adviser.

          • Human2013

            Do you mean I should tell my Corporate employer of 20K employees to fire their fund administrator — get real.

          • StilllHere

            The fund admin is only putting up the funds from which you can choose. Fire the guy who’s telling you what funds to choose.

      • Jeff

        My stocks have doubled over the last 4 years but yeah, it’s pretty rare in the history of economics to see the constant increase that college tuition has enjoyed.

        • Human2013

          You may want to start drawing back — we’re due for another crash.

      • hennorama

        Human2013 — Yes, in fact far greater, but “individual results may vary.”

        • harverdphd

          bullcrap

          • hennorama

            harverdphd — With such evident eloquence, you should consider a career in communication.

  • twenty_niner

    Just like housing, just like health care, where costs are significantly outpacing inflation, where’s the plan to curb these costs? Why is the preferred solution to the two biggest expenses in life, your house and college tuition, to borrow ever more money and to continually lower the hurdle to do so; with part B of the solution to then absolve the debt.

  • skelly74

    You can’t repossess a college degree, but you can nullify the effects of education by becoming a conservative pragmatist. There is still hope for us all.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Borrow big
    Go to Hogwarts
    Graduate
    Apply spell to turn loan papers into field mice
    Open private practice: solving student debt problems*

    * Remember: any private venture is worth 10 public ones.

  • http://www.collegevalue.info Mark Bilotta

    When students and families are searching for a good academic fit, it would be helpful if they also used the online tools that help with ‘financial fit.’ Folks can get an early estimate for their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), or use a college’s Net Price Calculator to get a sense of what their financial aid package might look like of they were admitted. Use these in junior or early in the senior year to help strategize on their Reach, Match and/or Safety schools.

  • StilllHere

    Government involvement seems to be perpetuating inflation here and creating a vicious circle. We already saw the bursting of the housing bubble, many think student loans is next.

  • Coastghost

    Just say these words, Tom Ashbrook: “predatory college and university administrators”. (Repeat as necessary.)

  • AC

    i already mentioned it – deflation……….

  • Human2013

    Tom, DO NOT end this show without talking about college endowments.

  • regretfulstudent

    Thank you Senator Warren for being the only voice raising this issue! Yes, the cost of college is too high, but that cost is what I planned on when I took out the loans. But I pay nearly $1000/ month in INTEREST alone on my student debt. I can’t afford to pay down the principle and I have good job. It is not about forgiving any of principle but simply cutting back the money the goverment MAKES on students.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Now that you are a victim, learn about the Federal Reserve and the Washington/Banking/Wall St elite and vote accordingly (if you can find a candidate).

  • KWF

    There are going to be more and more things lining up for that money from the wealthy tax loopholes. I’d like to see more thought put into college loans so that kids aren’t getting the caviar and champagne edition and then unable to pay for it. The Feds, States, AND colleges need to put their heads together and come to some larger plan.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    How come the marginal costs of attending college are not spiraling downwards? It works with bakeries and power plants.

  • Coastghost

    Ms. Baylor doesn’t advocate EFFECTIVE change: she merely advocates “change” . . . which changes nothing.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Add a bit of Hope and were all set.

      • Coastghost

        Oh, and passion, lots and lots and LOTS of passion.

        • TFRX

          Really? What happened to all the entrepreneurial stuff about “doing what you love”? Is that just shat now?

          • Coastghost

            I see discontinuity between “entrepreneurial spirit” and “educational bureaucracy”.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Give every individual an annual 30K guaranteed income and knock off all this economic and social engineering and reduce the size of the State.

    Learn hard, work hard, stay sober and be productive.

    If you choose not to do the above, thats fine, its a fairly free country, but accept the consequences.

    http://reason.com/archives/2014/02/19/time-for-a-guaranteed-income

  • Amy Proietti

    College students with Work-Study are proven to get better grades and be more likely to persist until graduation. The last time the Federal Work-Study program funding was increased at the college where I work was 1998! Where are the solutions that actually help students?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I’ve got it! Fed backed loans AND Mandates for Universities AND Price Controls!

  • Coastghost

    Notice, “On Point” devotees: not one university apologist is advocating the entire elimination of post-secondary remedial education programs, not one.

    • Jack

      Well, if students learned the basics in secondary education, we wouldn’t have to teach remedial courses. Unlike secondary schools, there is still an expectation that college graduates will actually know something when they leave, and the level of what they are expected to know isn’t receding.

      • Coastghost

        Exactly: and the manifest failures of public secondary education are directly attributable to the manifest failures afflicting public primary education.

        • Jack

          Yes, but until the primary and secondary education are “fixed” or expectations of what a baccalaureate degree means are significantly diminished, there will be not adequate resolution to tertiary institutions (colleges and universities) teaching remedial coursework out of necessity.

          • Coastghost

            Post-secondary institutions demonstrate no manifest competence or efficiency in administering remedial education programs geared for post-secondary attainment.
            Post-secondary remedial education programs instead undermine the value of the baccalaureate degrees the institutions confer.

          • Jack

            I fail to see how that is the case for the majority of post-secondary institutions. I’m sure there would be a perception of inferiority if an Ivy League school started offering remedial courses in a subject, but more to the point, if post-secondary institutions shouldn’t offer remedial courses for students who need them and secondary schools will not bring up their quality of instruction, how do we educate students who may be prepared for post-secondary work in all respects but need remediation in one specific area?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Gee, I guess Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan – weren’t such geniuses*, after all, huh?

    * Genii? Perhaps Gee-nil.

  • twenty_niner

    E Baylor keeps pointing to the costs of public universities rising because of state disinvestment, but that doesn’t explain the same cost curve for private universities. The best way to lower costs is with price elasticity. Shut off the spigot, and universities will figure out how to get costs down in short order.

    • Jack

      The cost curve for private universities is partly psychological: private schools are supposed to cost more, so as the tuition goes up at state, it goes up for the private schools. A rising tide raises all boats (I’m pretty sure I heard that somewhere…).

      The other part of the problem is that private schools are still in the same facilities arms race as public schools; without bonds, the only way to pay for buildings is to raise tuition…

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Free didn’t exist until the Babylonians invented zero.

    Hey: I’ve got a Berea broom!
    https://bereacollegecrafts.com/shop/broom-making

  • AC

    hmmmm. didn’t you just do a show complaining about how many foreign students are coming here? spec. China. they’ll pay the price….

  • Human2013

    Easy Question: They actually care about their citizens!

  • Geheran1958

    It doesn’t take much ‘dead-reckoning’ to figure out where this loan relief debate is headed: next plot “loan forgiveness” for certain ‘hardship cases’ followed by a universal bailout which leads us to – you guessed it – free college for all those who qualify. This debacle in-the-making smacks of the flood gates opened by Frank and Dodd: “every American deserves the right to own their own home” regardless of whether they can afford it or not.

    • StilllHere

      This is how we reward poor choices.

    • jimino

      The debacle was the creation of the Bush administration. You can read all about how much they bragged about it here:

      http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/achievement/chap7.html

      Not that I expect facts to change who you blame.

      • twenty_niner

        And we have a winner, the first one to blame Bush.

        Now, who will be the first to blame Reagan.

        And you don’t see a lot of blame being thrown Nixon’s way, so don’t forget about him, nor Eisenhower.

        • jimino

          Bush was to blame for the debacle this low info right winger blamed Dodd and Frank for. Can’t you read?

          • twenty_niner

            “Bush was to blame for the debacle”

            Assigning blame to one entity is low brow and completely inaccurate. Blame spans multiple administrations, both parties, banks, hedge funds, GSEs, and central banks.

          • jimino

            Way too complicated for someone who thinks “Dodd Frank” should be blamed. Maybe a little consciousness raising will help. Maybe.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    How many degrees can I publicly finance for each Obama drone? Anyone know?

    Anyone? Buehler?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It’s time for the federal government to quietly go out of business and give us back the proceeds. We’ll organize ourselves in future, thanks for trying.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Bubble Economics and Debt Serfdom.

    Yippeeeee!!!!!

  • AC

    universities will keep the prices they as is. they’ll just take on more foreign students….is there a law that bars them for doing that?

    • Jack

      It depends; there’s no federal law, but some states (like mine) are insisting that the already meager funding they provide is contingent on the ratio of in-state students we admit. Anything below 50% would be considered bad.

  • Human2013

    Tom, you get quote of the day: “Just blow it up and start all over”

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Engineer phrase: scrape the pad. Hoober Doober

  • jefe68

    Great Britain does not have a free college system.
    Students do have debt and in some cases quite a lot of it.
    There is the cost of living and fees.
    Germany, Denmark and France all have free tuition.
    Sweden does as well but students still end up with debt, but they have low interest rates and are easy to manage.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      It’s why the UK is a liveried theme park run by toffs. How well does that work for them? HD

      • jefe68

        Um, that’s an intelligent and well informed answer. Well, not really.

    • Jack

      Yes, but the amount that is paid in tuition in the UK is significantly lower than what is typically paid in the US. Part of that is because the UK government hasn’t decided to eviscerate their contributions to the universities. In the US, public institutions which received better than 50% of their budget from state funds at the beginning of the century are now sometimes below 15% state funding. A great many state funded schools are state funded only in theory at this point.

    • twenty_niner

      “College in Sweden is free but students still have a ton of debt. How can that be?”

      “And 85% of Swedish students graduate with debt, versus only 50% in the US. Worst of all, new Swedish graduates have the highest debt-to-income ratios of any group of students in the developed world”

      “College in Sweden is free. But rent isn’t. And food isn’t. Neither is the beer that fuels the relatively infrequent, yet legendary, binges in which some Swedes partake. ”

      “In Sweden, young people are expected to pay for things themselves instead of sponging off their parents.”

      http://qz.com/85017/college-in-sweden-is-free-but-students-still-have-a-ton-of-debt-how-can-that-be/

  • OnPointComments

    I wonder if Molly did the calculations before she borrowed the money.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Calculation?

      That’s so………..1700′s!

    • Coastghost

      By her candid admisssion, she was “slightly naïve”. (So much for the analytical skills required of prospective psychologists.)

      • Joe Mahma

        Aren’t they all, and that’s really the problem. First it was credit cards, and then colleges.

      • OnPointComments

        To me, Molly sounds incredibly stupid. She was “burned out.” Welcome to the real world Molly. Next she’ll probably need time off to find herself.

    • StilllHere

      The only calculation she did was that she could get the loans to pay.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The caller demonstrates is perfectly. Just pure, unrealistic thinking. And she wants to be a psychologist? With all due respect.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    My IIS deferment was a great impetus to staying in college. Then I lost it.
    Anchors Aweigh.. US Navy Veteran*

    * Redeemed by the GI Bill.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Are you just copying and pasting these quips from a list your boss gives you?

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        Self-employed. Thanks for checking. Hoober Doober

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Ah, “self employed” i. e. a contract worker …

  • Joe Mahma

    .
    Wow. $250K… for a college degree. One thing is for sure. Most colleges are a scam in America.
    .

  • http://www.collegevalue.info Mark Bilotta

    While students and families can’t control a college’s cost, it’s important for them to realize that they CAN control their own spending. Getting into your reach school may be great for your ego, but unless the college meets full need or the family is wealthy, a reach school is typically not a great fiinancial fit. However, students can get a great education at their match school, or even well researched safety schools. A match school may offer more institutional aid. A safety, even more…if they have a strong endowment.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Please read this….

    “college educated households which took on student debt have a net worth of $8,700, which is less than the $10,900 net worth of not college educated households who don’t have student debt!”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-17/what-san-fran-fed-did-not-tell-you-about-student-debt

    Based on Pew Research data.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    College: today’s chain gang. Don’t break your back. Cool Hand Rufus

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Why are all you racist tea-baggers demanding that people make responsible decisions and denigrating Big Education?

    • TFRX

      And people call Libertarians unfunny.

  • TheronC

    One thing few mention is that colleges run ahead of inflation because they can not ship their jobs and labor costs to low-wage economies like so many other industries. Thus they can’t take advantage, for better of worse, of a method that other industries have used to keep their inflation low.

    • StilllHere

      They ship in adjuncts.

      • TheronC

        Depends on the school. Not every school can do that, particularly if they don’t have big graduate program or or not situated in a place where schools are dense on the ground. My school specifically tells us to reduce our use of adjuncts – in effect, make sure expensive full-timers are being fully utilized before hiring adjuncts.

        • jefe68

          That’s not the norm.

    • jefe68

      The cost of teaching those classes has gone down.
      I hope you are aware that over 50% of the professors in this country are adjuncts. I know someone who teaches at North Eastern, they have over 300 adjuncts and and they are not investing in the classrooms or equipment unless they have to.

      • TheronC

        Sure, but 50% are still full-timers. There are entire industries that no longer have any jobs in the U.S. outside of management and sales.

        • jefe68

          My figure is very conservative.
          It’s over 50% if you use the AAUP’s numbers.

          http://www.aaup.org/issues/contingency/background-facts

          • Jack

            Yeah, so imagine what the costs would be like if universities weren’t squeezing contingent faculty like over-ripe oranges and actually created more tenured positions.

          • jefe68

            You might want to look where the cost rises are coming from, hint, it’s not the faculty. If one looks at the this they would find that even if there were tenured and 60 plus percent was the norm, the lions share of costs would be in administration and building projects.

          • Jack

            Oh, I agree with you completely. I was merely reconciling your point with that of Theron: you can’t offshore teaching, but you can hire (comparatively) cheep labor. Everyone complains about adjuncts teaching classes, but they would be up in arms if classes were (primarily) taught by regular faculty. Of course, parents and students would still want the five-star cafeteria and the apartment style dorms with private bed and baths…

          • jefe68

            In that lies the rub. What people want versus what they are wiling to pay.

  • liz

    What no one has acknowledged in complaining about rising costs is that colleges are caught up in a kind of arms race. To compete for the students they want, they have to offer fancier, plusher dorm rooms and gyms with state-of-the-art equipment. We won’t even discuss the competition for best food. The colleges are in a no win situation. To lower costs, colleges have to all agree that they won’t compete at the level of “amenities” and that just won’t happen. Part of the fault is with the expectations of prospective students and their parents.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Get great grades at a modest state school, then if you know what you want to do, go to grad school, which often pays a stipend. Otherwise learn a trade and get a job.

  • Lynne51

    How about tackling the very roots of this problem:

    1) high schools get higher ratings the more students they send to colleges. Enrollments have escalated, so the college bubble is fostered by high schools
    2) instead of pushing students into 4 year colleges, restructure and promote trade schools. What would be considered a trade school career in Europe (with internships and likelihood of employment afterwards) is diluted with the requirement of a four year degree in the US.

    We have the possibility of the best of both worlds (opportunity yet direction to trade for some from middle school onward) yet for some reason think everyone deserves a four year education. This dilutes not only our colleges but also our high schools.

    • Allen Horner

      Amen!

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Universities serve their Administration and union staff, not the students or faculty.

    Just like any organization that spends other peoples money and gets to benefit from cheap loans.

  • Arkuy The Great

    We have an industry that charges a huge price for a product or service that provides questionable benefits and saddles its customers with large, unbreakable debt burdens that shackle them into permanent obligation and servitude. By all reason, this industry should be broken up wholesale under RICO and its principals incarcerated for serial fraud. But this is “education” we are talking about so it gets a pass.

    • northeaster17

      The benifits of a college education are not questionable. They are real and trackable. Our society demands education for leaders specialists and even academics. We would not survive without it. The question is how to do affordably

      • Arkuy The Great

        Those benefits are not worth any price. And when so many graduate with useless majors, are unable to find a job and are saddled with the equivalent of a mortgage before even leaving the starting gate the value is very questionable! You are highlighting exactly what I think makes college, as now construed, the equivalent of a racket.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

      Then again, such truisms are just so………………

      1700′s!

  • Chris Jordan

    Has anybody took the extortionate cost of collegiate sports into consideration? The full ride scholarships, the equipment, the venues, the tour buses, etc.

    • StilllHere

      … and now we have to pay the players and their union bosses and creatine suppliers.

      • Jack

        Athletic departments are usually revenue generating. Coaches salaries and player scholarships are paid for by ticket sales and booster donations.

        • Chris Jordan

          At major universities I can see that being the case, but not at most of America’s smaller universities. I’m not saying that’s the main factor in the cost of education, but it certainly doesn’t help. Most of these kids on full rides could care less about the education aspect of their college years. College is about academics and higher learning, not sports training, the have camps for that.

          • Jack

            I agree with what you’re saying in principal, but I don’t think your claim can be extrapolated from D-1 schools to D-2 schools. You don’t see too many millionaire coaches at, for example, the Boise States of the world. In addition, the truly elite level athletes are only going to go to schools where they can get major exposure (i.e., the schools where the AD can afford the million dollar coach) to raise their draft stock; you won’t find too many first rounders at University of Region-of-the-State.

            Now, that’s not to say that there are not significant problems with the way athletics are run at the universities (or that the money generated on ticket sales couldn’t be better spent elsewhere), but we should be focusing on that debate and not bandying about saying that paying for athletics is the cause of high tuition in and of themselves.

      • TFRX

        Keep JAQing it, bud.

    • TFRX

      This is a concern, and another hour spent on it wouldn’t begin to suffice.

      Athletic prominence has costs and benefits. And surely certain places get increased donations from it, plus applications. And some schools really don’t figure out it’ll be them who won’t make money when going to Div 1 or taking their program to a bigger leve. Plus there are issues involved in having to compete in sports where there is little success to be able to play whey they’re good (four words: Duke basketball v. Duke football. Or, on the public sice, Indiana football v. Indiana basketball.)

  • Allen Horner

    Sorry I couldn’t call in while driving and listening to this program but I have two points to consider that I would have like to state on the air:

    1) My blood boiled when one of the gentlemen made the statement that you need college to be a success in this country nowadays. What a lame-brained statement! While I have a BS, am a licensed professional and have done graduate studies, one thing in my 60+ years I have seen is that success in your chosen career depends on YOU, not a college degree. My plumber (who my wife says is a brain surgeon and I tend to agree), my electrician, medical techs and many other non-college educated people I’ve been associated with have done marvelously with their careers. The statement, that you need college, is a myth told by a myth maker. And I bet these tradesmen didn’t have a $100k of college debt over their heads when they started work — which they probably started right out of public school!

    2) I did not catch the entire program but I suspect this was deftly avoided — the cost of exorbitant sports programs in the big universities. The cost of those programs are passed along, with administrative costs and salaries, to the tuition-paying students. So when they come out of a school that garnered public note for its basketball prowess, they can feel comfortable that they, the educated, will be paying off a good part of their $100k education debt so some sports star can go off to the NBA and make a million bucks a year and can’t spell “dog.’

    Parents owe it to their kids to not just send them off to college willy-nilly but give a critical look to other options for being productively employed and satisfied with their adult lives. And stop listening to this self-serving prophesy by the educational establishment.

    • Jack

      In response to 1), I completely agree with you. In response to 2), I will reiterate what I have said earlier: athletics are paid for by ticket sales and fundraising among boosters. Are there better ways to spend that money? Absolutely. Has anyone’s tuition gone up because of the coaches’ salary? Not that’s I’ve seen. I agree we need a serious look at college athletics, but repeating tropes like you have does not get us to that serious look.

      • Allen Horner

        But avoiding the discussion (as I am sure was done in this presentation) doesn’t give a serious, unbiased look at the issue either.

        • Jack

          I don’t disagree with you there, but if we spend out time saying “tuition pays for athletic scholarships,” which is demonstratively untrue, then we have done ourselves a greater disservice than not talking about the issue at all. Rather, we should talk about the issue from the perspective that I mentioned: is there a better use of athletics revenue than making a football coach a multimillionaire?

    • northeaster17

      You got the B.S. and the salary. Now you say its not necessary. Nice.

      • Allen Horner

        I can’t change what I’ve gotten but what I would do today if I was a young whipper-snapper would be to explore other alternatives, not just college. Am I unclear about that or are you just a snark?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Yes, this was deftly avoided:

      “the bottom line is that college educated households which took on student debt have a net worth of $8,700, which is less than the $10,900 net worth of not college educated households who don’t have student debt!”

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-17/what-san-fran-fed-did-not-tell-you-about-student-debt

      • Allen Horner

        Excellent. Didn’t even think to evaluate it on a net worth basis but this also proves the point. Thanks!

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      As to your sentiment:

      “Parents owe it to their kids to not just send them off to college willy-nilly but give a critical look to other options for being productively employed and satisfied with their adult lives.”

      Parental guidance? Critical thinking? Establishment skepticism? Productively employed?

      That’s so………… 1700′s!

      Have you been called a racist tea-bagger yet?

      • Ray in VT

        Obviously those things were only widely adhered to in the 1700s or by those today who seem to regard that era as having the magic cure-alls for 21st century problems.

        • jefe68

          Well, there were work houses and debtors prisons. Not to mention indentured servitude. Lets not forget slavery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=32606540 Brian Belgard

    I went to a small state school in NH and graduated in 2011. I have a great job that I love, but have nearly 80k in debt. I have a brother who attended the exact same school for the same number of years and graduated with under 20k in debt.

    The reason? New dorms, an immaculate campus, unnecessary renovations and research libraries that were completely un utilized. NH pays virtually nothing to state schools, so our Administration would just raise tuition to pay for these new amenities that they believe are necessary to attract students. In a business world this would end when students saw the cost of the education and the utility of the education diverging, but because of easy access to student loans, ignorance/apathy/immaturity of students (like myself), and the qualitative goals of a small public college the situation continues unabated.

    I see improved state funding as a way to rein in this gross perversion. A situation where state residents (through their representatives in Concord) could say “Is this new project really necessary?”, “does this provide high quality and affordable education for working and middle class students” would do wonders to keep costs reasonable for both students and state residents.

  • Joe Mahma

    .
    What a recipe for disaster. You take a 17/18 year old and force them to make a decision about what possible career they might want to pursue, then you give them the ability to easily accrue $50K-$100+K in debt over 4 years at a time in history when 4 years means a complete change in workplace demands.
    .

    • Sy2502

      I come from a European country in which the type of high school you choose determines what college degree you will choose. So we get to make that choice around age 13. I didn’t think it was too early, and I certainly don’t think 18 is too early either.

      • northeaster17

        In Europe the education you recieve is much more heavily subsidised. Try throwing our U.S. debt on Euro kids. See what happens.

        • Sy2502

          My comment was regarding the age at which you are supposed to decide what you want to do in life.

          • northeaster17

            Sorry for the misunderstanding but when your sold big debt as a kid it is a life long ball and chain.

          • Sy2502

            Yes it is, but then so is a car loan or a house mortgage. If you want to buy a certain house, but the mortgage is too big, what do you do, you still buy it?

        • twenty_niner

          As posted below:

          “College in Sweden is free but students still have a ton of debt. How can that be?”

          “And 85% of Swedish students graduate with debt, versus only 50% in the US. Worst of all, new Swedish graduates have the highest debt-to-income ratios of any group of students in the developed world

          http://qz.com/85017/college-in-sweden-is-free-but-students-still-have-a-ton-of-debt-how-can-that-be/

      • Joe Mahma

        We have similar high schools here and technical schools we can attend during the final years of high school.

        I’ve seen many, many 4 year college grads come out of school and decide almost immediately to pursue something completely unrelated as a career. I’ve seen some graduate after 4 years and then decide inside of a few years to change direction. And I’ve seen many that just were not very good at what they were doing after 4 years of study and a few years in the workplace.

        18 years of age is really young and more often than not, these kids blindly decide on what to major in during college.

    • northeaster17

      They do the same to soldiers recruited from the same high schools. How can those kids possibly comprehend combat and all it’s side effects.

      • Joe Mahma

        Absolutely. It should be a crime.

  • DeJay79

    The true base cause of escalating cost for both Higher education and Health care is the same. All decisions about how much to charge and How much to pay for these services have been horribly skewded because the really cost has been hidden from the end consumer.

    When you go to college they say “can pay that’s fine here is a lone, just worry about it later” before you need health care someone some where gives you health insurance and that insurance does things like makes your decisions easier because your not going to have to pay for it anyway or at least not all of it.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that higher education is a great necessity of the great majority of the population and I believe No One should ever go without healthcare, especial those who can’t find a way to pay for it.

    Might point is if you ask the question of “why?” have cost gone up so much so fast . The answer is that the end consumer has been separated from the true cost of those services either by the means of insurance or by easy to get high value loans. When the end consumer stops caring how much things cost then the supplier has no incentive to keep cost down. In fact the contrary is true. They now have ever reason to make cost sky rocket because the things that consumers are now valuing are not “how much” like we do at wal-mart but instead only “how good?” and to that end the supplier charges more to make sure that they can supply only the best!

    How many times have we heard that “we have the best Healthcare available in the world?” and “we have the best higher education institutions in the world”. The idea of having the best has been beaten into our heads to the point that now we the people are really having to pay for it.

    • Sy2502

      Wonderful post! As long as there’s some more or less bottomless pit of money to fleece, it will be fleeced. And especially where “endless” public money is involved. I come from a country with socialized healthcare that is so bad that everybody prefers to go to private practice. Because private practice is pay as you go, if they want customers they need to keep prices low or nobody will afford it. And that’s how regular people, including low income can afford to give birth in private hospitals and not break the bank. Meanwhile on the public sector, people are prescribed useless medical tests just to rake up truckloads of public money. I always marvel at how so many people don’t see this rather obvious consequence of throwing public money around, but I have to constantly remind myself that I have seen both systems first hand and got to experiment personally which works best. Sometimes lessons can only be learned with practical first hand experience.

      • DeJay79

        pleae see my reply to smoog. above

        • Sy2502

          I find it interesting that we both agree on the problem, but come to completely opposite solutions.

    • Arkuy The Great

      “The idea of having the best has been beaten into our heads to the point that now we the people are really having to pay for it.”

      I.E. we should blame ourselves for perpetuating a pernicious and expensive myth. Food for though…

  • tbphkm33

    There is a direct correlation between the exponential rise in the cost of higher education and the relentless drive of the Republican Party to create an artificial finance market. Voodoo and trickle down economics are just the tip of the ice berg. The interjection of cheap financing in the early 1990s led directly to the competition between institutions of higher learning, which underpinned the relentless cost increase of a college degree.

    This artificial “capitalist” market was a cornerstone in the Republican’s drive to “privatize” everything, the attack on the public sector by lies and falsities. In fact, the artificial financial market has only been a vehicle to drive the growth of wealth by the 1% at the expense of everyone else. It is all artificial crony capitalism. Cheap financing sinking its teeth into every corner of what is no longer a open, fair or free capitalist economy. The U.S. is a rigged economy, that is increasingly behaving in errant ways similar to what was witnessed in the waning days of the command economies of the Soviets.

    Want to trace back the $17 trillion of U.S. national debt (which does not include state, local and pirate debt) – look no further than the Republican drive in the past 30 years to rewrite the financial markets – which has only had disastrous effects for 99% of the U.S. population. Only question left unanswered is how bad will things get before they start turning around – because do not fool yourself, the conservative vultures are not finished picking at the carcass of what was once the preeminent open, fair and free capitalist market in the world.

    • Coastghost

      Bill Clinton and Bob Rubin were the geniuses behind repeal of Glass-Steagall, which repeal Nancy Pelosi I seem to recall voted for herself: Democrats have been fully complicit every step of the way.
      You also fail to note guest Nirvi Shah’s observation that most student loan debt comes from Federal student loans.
      You also fail to account for the chief driver of post-secondary tuition increases: Federal loan subsidies themselves and the predatory appetites of college and university administrators.

      • northeaster17

        Clinton and Rubin were the geniuses behind the repealing of Glass Stegall, however the impetus came from Republicans and banker bought Democrats. I do not know for sure but I’d bet that about the only R to vote against the repeal would have been Ron Paul. Many Dems were opposed but not enough to sway the vote. All in all killing Glass Steagal worked well for financial poachers, but not the rest of us.

      • Ray in VT

        Is that why the so called Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 is more officially known as the Clinton-Rubin Act?

        • Coastghost

          I am unable to account for their modesty (QUITE uncharacteristic in Clinton’s case).

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, is that why it isn’t known as the Clinton-Rubin Act? Their modesty? Perhaps it has more to do with how the legislation was sponsored by Republicans in Congress.

          • Coastghost

            Rubin was gunning for repeal of Glass-Steagall as early as 1995, I seem to recall, and I don’t know that his views were dictated by Republican bullying.

          • Ray in VT

            Rubin being for it didn’t force the Republicans to put it in the bill, unless you have some evidence of that.

          • Coastghost

            I’m not arguing the Democrats repealed G-S singlehandedly, Ray: in my post above I allude to Republican and Democratic complicity.
            (Funny how Glass-Steagall and Goldman Sachs share the same initials.)

          • Ray in VT

            You aren’t “arguing the Democrats repealed G-S singlehandedly”, yet you only name Democrats and say that it was Clinton and Rubin who were behind the repeal. Where was the blame for the GOP in there?

          • Coastghost

            I was specifically countering tbphkm33′s bogus contention that repeal was exclusively a Republican ploy: but now that I see he views THE GUARDIAN as a Republican propaganda rag, I’m a little less sure of the quality of any of his assertions.

          • Ray in VT

            Deregulation has largely been a part of the GOP’s “government is the problem” mantra from the past 35 years. Of course, at times, some Democrats have also foolishly supported that line, and in this case much to our detriment.

        • twenty_niner

          Documents show that Clinton administration was all over this, but they didn’t want their fingerprints on it. Hence the term “Slick Willy”:

          Wall Street deregulation, blamed for deepening the banking crisis, was aggressively pushed by advisers to Bill Clinton who have also been at the heart of current White House policy-making, according to newly disclosed documents from his presidential library.

          The previously restricted papers reveal two separate attempts, in 1995 and 1997, to hurry Clinton into supporting a repeal of the Depression-era Glass Steagall Act and allow investment banks, insurers and retail banks to merge.

          A Financial Services Modernization Act was passed by Congress in 1999, giving retrospective clearance to the 1998 merger of Citigroup and Travelers Group and unleashing a wave of Wall Street consolidation that was later blamed for forcing taxpayers to spend billions bailing out the enlarged banks after the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

          The White House papers show only limited discussion of the risks of such deregulation, but include a private note which reveals that details of a deal with Citigroup to clear its merger in advance of the legislation were deleted from official documents, for fear of it leaking out.

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/19/wall-street-deregulation-clinton-advisers-obama

          • Ray in VT

            Again, Clinton, or his advisers, being for it didn’t make the GOP put it in the bill, unless you have evidence to the contrary.

          • twenty_niner

            “Again, Clinton, or his advisers, being for it didn’t make the GOP put it in the bill”

            The point is they were all for it. Both parties jumped on the financialization band wagon.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, they were for it. A terrible position to have taken, and most of the opposition to it in Congress came from Democrats, so to blame Clinton for the effects of legislation sponsored by 3 Republicans is bull. He and his advisers, though, should certainly be blamed for their role in those “reforms”, but it was a part of the tide of deregulation that has gone on through much of the past 35 years.

          • twenty_niner

            “and most of the opposition to it in Congress came from Democrats”

            And you never know how much of that is window dressing. Once a bill is sure to pass, legislators vote nay for political reasons. Case in point: the second TARP vote, which had more Republican nays than yays. If the passage of the bill were in doubt, a lot of those nays would’ve been yays.

          • Ray in VT

            That is a valid point, however it certainly isn’t, I think, prudent or correct to explain away too much of the opposition upon such grounds.

      • pete18

        Spot on, there’s no market pressure to bring costs in alliance with ability to pay.

    • twenty_niner

      Why not pop down one of those red pills and realize that both parties are two sides of the same coin.

      “Wall Street deregulation pushed by Clinton advisers, documents reveal”

      “Previously restricted papers reveal attempts to rush president to support act, later blamed for deepening banking crisis”

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/19/wall-street-deregulation-clinton-advisers-obama

      • tbphkm33

        More Republican propaganda trying to deflect the blame on others.

        This country is not going to turn the corner until the Republican’s grow up and accept responsibility for their disastrous ways.

        • warryer

          I really would like to know why you think its all the Republicans fault. If it was so obvious wouldn’t everybody be thinking that way?

          • tbphkm33

            Look at the approval ratings of Congressional Republican’s… you see that a large number of people blame the Republican’s for the situation the country finds itself in.

          • warryer

            So your argument is that because everybody thinks it’s the republicans fault that it’s their fault.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

            I figured as much.

        • twenty_niner

          Why not address the quote?:

          “Wall Street deregulation pushed by Clinton advisers, documents reveal”

        • Coastghost

          Republican propaganda? from THE GUARDIAN???

        • red_donn

          I gave your first comment an upvote, on the general critique of neoliberal/conservative policies. However, I second twenty_niner’s assertion that, in these matters, there is little substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans. Clinton’s economics were as much, or even more, in line with those positions as Reagan. The fallout from the recent crisis grotesquely favored moneyed interests under both Bush and Obama – one can go on at length. The Democrats are more “conservative” now than Republicans were in the 80′s, while the Republicans are strictly reactionary.
          Differences in civil rights issues and the occassional social welfare debate do not substantiate a true difference when it comes down to standard economic policy. Certainly, one might put forward a conservative healthcare solution (the ACA was proposed in the Chicago School of Economics) and give occasional paliative to the unemployed or hungry, but the “neo” party is the only one in power.

  • John

    My wife and I have not been in college since 1988. I have no student loan as I was educated in the UK. My wife borrowed approx. $30000 for graduate school, through health and other reasons we now owe $80000 and are looking to retirement (what another joke) (in our mid 50′s)
    During the recession my wife was laid off twice because she had a PhD so another period of forbearance ( compounded interest added to capital) Sally mae needs to be accountable for all of our hardship.

    Also locked in at 9%

    • Kyl

      Didn’t the paper say 9% when she signed it? I bet it did. I bet it also didn’t say that if you wait long enough, maybe you can get other people’s money (taxes) to pay for it. So why do you think that should happen?

    • James

      Wait, your bitching because of a 30,000 in student loans from 25 years ago and that you can’t retire in your fifties? Am I reading this correctly?

      • John

        No , I’m bitching because we’ve made payments whenever we could, over 25 years and a 30000 load has turned into an $80000 loan. You don’t think when you’re young and take out the loan that you might get ill.. And that for the period you are sick and unable to make payments that it will more than double your loan. Or if you take allow paid job because that’s all that is available and your choice is food or loan payment , forget about healthcare. Etc…
        And no, I don’t expect to retire in my fifties but from where I am now retirement is not going to be an option atanyage I won’t live that long. Get it now?

  • northeaster17

    “Not making certain that everyone has access to a college education will just ensure that the gap between those who struggle and those who have more than they could ever need will continue to widen.” Thats exactly what some want

  • tbphkm33

    Hmm, why not implement a progressive tax structure? Does it make any sense what so ever to have billionaires pay less taxes than their secretaries?

    • Arkuy The Great

      Actually, a more regressive tax structure will capture far more % of GDP as tax revenue. The success of VATs in doing just this are testimony thereof. Of course, regressive taxes hit hardest on those least able to pay.

      Or perhaps the solution is not taxing and spending more but to make more prudent use of what we currently collect. Now that’s a revolutionary idea…

  • JS

    Maybe if that “group of people” didn’t have tax advantages that the average person is unbale to make use of, people wouldn’t look to “lay the burden” on them?

    • Beth

      What unique tax advantages are millionaires privy to that the average person is not?

      • twenty_niner

        It’s not millionaires per se, but people who generally live off of investments (usually, if you can do this, you’re a millionaire), you get taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of 20% (was 15%), which is considerably less than the top income rate of 39.6%.

        Further, if you’re clever, you can funnel earnings into off-shore shell companies (such a real estate holdings) to avoid tax liability.

        • Beth

          Thank you for the answer. Much appreciated.

      • JS

        Can’t remember the last time I got to write off my private jet.

        • James

          I just hate this argument, the richest among us pay the highest taxes. Nobody gives a damn about the 10,000 dollar tax rebate when you pay 75,000 in taxes.

          • JS

            Highest taxes, not the highest rate.

            It’s a mathematical certainty that the rich will pay the highest amount no matter the rates. It takes hundreds of people making 20,000/year to equal the tax payment of one person making 1,000,000/year.

            Not sure what you mean by the second point:
            They dont give a damn because money is no object to them?
            Or they dont give a damn about the 10K rebate because they are still paying 75K?

            If its the second, I would’nt mind cutting my taxes by about 12.5%

          • James

            Second point, they are already paying a substantial amount of taxes. Indeed the rich provide most of the funding for the government.

          • JS

            LIke I said, its a mathematical issue even if rates are the same, yet a lot of “rich” pay 15% or less and Middle and working class pay 30+%

            And, after you take out living expenses, Middle and working class pay upwards of 50% of whats left, while for the “rich” the percentage hardly budges.

  • X Y & Z

    After Warren’s support for the fiasco known as Obamacare, any major legislation that she puts forth, has essentially no chance of passing.

    Now insurance companies are asking for federal bailouts (courtesy of the US tax-payer) because of Obamacare. One insurance company is asking for a $450 million dollar bailout.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2014/02/06/obamacare-bailout-for-one-insurer-450-million-in-2014/

    Thanks Obamacare. Thanks Elizabeth Warren.

    • Ray in VT

      How has that changed, given that enrollments surged for some 2 months following the posting of that story?

  • DeJay79

    Based on the replies I got, yours and others, I feel I need to emphasize that I am not making a point or argument either way in the “public vs. Private” financial debate. The problem is the SAME whether it is a For Profit insurance company providing coverage to a For Profit hospital on behalf of the end consumer or a government funded subside paid to a government supported hospital on behalf of the end consumer.

    Private and Public Universities have all had raising cost to students and the students don’t care if the Loan that pays for it is a government backed low interest loan or a privately held regular loan. The fact that there is a financial source in between the provider and the end consumer leads to a lack of concern on both parties to the true cost/benefit that should be considered in these decisions.

    I am 100% in favor of, at the time of use, completely free health care and higher education. I believe that Health care is a basic human right and no one should ever be left sick or turned away from a hospital because of the cost. And free higher ed would be a game changer for this country. A well informed public is the surest defense for any democracy and would be the greatest shot in the arm for our economy.

    But payment should not come from a bottomless well of public funds and private institutions do work best and fighting to provide the best service at the lowest cost.

    The model I propose is good for the great many but disliked by the most powerful and rich because it would mean that their money could not by them any extra favor. In the world of higher education and health care we would all be truly equal.

  • marygrav

    The top one percent and their lackies have never worried about Americans being educated. To be truly educated a student must develop and intellect and an intellect calls for change.
    What the elites have depended on is draining the brain power from the so-called Third World and Europe, where education plays a major part in class status. The reason that the US gets so many Nobel Prizes for Science and Medicine is because of its foreign educated professionals.
    It was not until post-WWII when Operation Paper Clip brought the captured Nazi scientist into the United States. The brightest of which was Warner von Brun. From there physics too off and the path led to the Lion’s share of Nobel Prizes.
    As long as the people can be kept ignorant like they were prior to Sputnik, when all children and adults were taught that the Russian were dumb because the were Communist, have Americans been so lacking in Academic Skills.
    Public education in America is like in the Third World and Britian is based on class. If you have money or contacts you have a world class education and can move on up. Education has never been stressed in America, just as children have in this culture been devalued because they have no earning power and Slavery is over.
    One caller talks about luxury living in dorms and gyms. If you have ever travelled to many colleges, they build dorms because the old ones were built sometimes in the late 19th century and are fire traps. If you build, you must build to the expectations of the day. Americans live longer because of medical advances, and gyms reflect this. And finally, “Let each man/woman be worth his hire.” I want the best teaching me and my children; not some bargain rate network hack. Knowledge has value and must be paid for.
    How much has the Invasion of Iraq cost the United States and how much is the Pentagon paying for unusable equipment to fight 20th Century wars. Our Congress is forcing this useless material on US instead of helping to support public education.

    • hdesignr

      Ask yourself this, how many of our current politicians, both republican and democrat are part of the 1%. They are the ones in charge, create and enforce the laws of the land.

  • IHateFatChicks

    Anyone taking a loan out to study psychology, sociology, English literature, or other such worthless tripe will guarantee that they live in poverty and be unable to meet their financial obligations and repay the loans they took out. People need to be realistic about what is practical field of study to further their career goals and objectives. It’s that simple.

    • sonny malone

      The student who had $250K in debt and two MAs. Tom’s response was ‘what were you thinking?!’ / The answer from a guest speaker was that we need more education on what it means to take out loans. I can’t believe the narrow perspectives here.

      Taking out a progressively more expensive debt is not necessarily a reflection on one’s financial intelligence. I have 1 year to go in my PhD, I have $100K in debt (great expensive schools’ diplomas don’t mean much when there are no jobs) and I also have every intention of taking a last loan for my last year in school. Why? At this point, it’s that or walk away.

      Many have already been side-tracked in previous careers from downturns in the economy. And isn’t another possibility that children of the 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s have been sold–literally–the American Dream? We were supposed to go to college to be as good or better than what past generations had. America has changed. We must change. I’m not stupid for having spent a lot of money on my education, but maybe I am for listening?

      • IHateFatChicks

        Tom was right. Your employment prospects depend entirely on what you’re studying. What is your Ph.D. in? If it’s in a non-STEM related field you’re in for a real wake up call and a very difficult time. So, what is your Ph.D. going to be in?

  • hennorama

    BREAKING (Off-topic): AP is reporting that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th CD, to a TEA Shindigger.

    Wow.

    The TEA Shindigger, David Brat, is an economics professor. Whatever will the conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers who are in the anti-intellectual elite camp do with that biographical info?

    Source:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/10/house-majority-leader-eric-cantor-loses-virginia-gop-primary-ap-reports/

    • pete18

      The Tea Party is dead.

      • hennorama

        pete18 — TYFYR.

        Please explain.

        Question: can something that does not exist die?

        • pete18

          That would be called whistling past the vacuume.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Please explain. I am not familiar with that particular idiom.

          • pete18

            You explain your first ontological question and I’ll explain the idiom.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Brat’s D opponent is a Prof at the same college.

      An interesting fall at the faculty lounge?

      • hennorama

        WftC — TYFYR.

        Strange loungefellows, indeed.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Cantor lost his primary because of his support for immigration reform and his sellout to the Chamber of Commerce.

    Chamber of Commerce clout appears dead tonight.

    Cantor raised ~$5M
    Brat raised about $200K.

    • HonestDebate1

      I think the talk of the Tea Partier’s demise was a bit premature. I was originally hoping for the Tea Partiers to take over the Republicans Party. 2010 was very encouraging, so much so the democrats went ballistic. Whoda’ thunk they would get so nasty?. There was IRS targeting, accusations of racism and a full-on effort by the media to denigrate them; relentless for years. Then we got gut punched when Obama was reelected. It seems to me the Republican Party is coalescing. The voters are taking a more pragmatic approach to the Tea Partiers. This is not the only success. I am encouraged.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Yes, a reason for cautious optimism. I just saw brat interviewed and he isn’t a right wing nut like the Dems are portraying. I guess that is all they got.

        • HonestDebate1

          The Tea Partiers are salt of the earth mainstream Americans. The democrat party, not so much.

      • jefe68

        I did as well. Then that would mean the GOP would eventually become a party of right wing extremist and never win a general election, ever.

    • StilllHere

      What! That’s another nail in the coffin for the theory about election buying. We need more money in elections.

  • Karen

    I appreciate Senator Warren’s effort to lower student loan interest rates. I guess it’s a help. But what we really need to do is figure out how to bring down college tuition to a reasonable amount. People have made good points about kids getting degrees that won’t provide an income, and not everyone needs to go to college to get a job and be successful.
    All fine. But we are no closer to a solution of how to educate the kids who want to go to college without saddling them with debt, dragging down the economy, and stripping parents of their retirement savings.

    I’ve said this before but kids are expected to pay based on what their parents earn. The numbers are insane if you are middle class or upper middle class. There is absolutely no help. So you have to figure out how to afford it and usually this involves loans. Seems unfair that these kids are strapped with all the debt.

  • Kyl

    This issue highlights the insanity that has taken over in this country. Everything our government does rewards people for doing the wrong thing, and punishes people for doing the right thing. When our children were born, we started to put money away for their college. We skipped vacations, luxury cars, etc.

    Then when it was time for college, we told our children they can only go to colleges that we could afford. Additionally we had discussions about only working for degrees that had reasonable job prospects after graduation. Our reward for being responsible for ourselves has been the following. We fill out our FAFSA to find out that since we did the right thing we get to pay full price for tuition, while those that didn’t bother to save a dime get to go courtesy of other people’s money (taxes).

    Now with all these wacky proposals, we (through our taxes) get to help pay for somebodies $100,000 degree in the sociology of 14th century French basket weaving! Whatever happened to individual responsibility? Remember the “Ant and the Grasshopper” fable. This country has rewritten it. Now at the end of the story, the government forces all the hard working ants to turn over their food to the grasshoppers.

    • jefe68

      Umm… It’s called freedom of choice. Which works both ways now does it not? Taxes are what we all pay. I don’t like paying for wars that are pointless.
      By the way people don’t get degrees for basket weaving.
      You have soiled your argument by being hyperbolic.

      • Kyl

        I was obviously being facetious. Remember even President Obama has been quoted pointing out the foolishness of being an art history major.

      • James

        What do you mean by freedom of choice? Are you talking about the freedom to spend frivolously and have others hep fund college through FAFSA? Or are you talking about the freedom to chose a career and completely ignore the risk involved?

    • HiFi

      What you’re saying is: only young people from well-to-do families should be able to go to college. Yes?

      • Kyl

        No. We are not a “Well to do family.” We are a family that worked hard and prioritized what we wanted to save for. We drove old cars, and stayed in the same house instead of McMansioning. My point is why should tax dollars be taken from me to finance the college educations of families that didn’t think ahead. What all these government loan schemes do is punish people for doing the right thing, and reward people for doing the wrong thing.

        • HiFi

          Because the family isn’t the one getting the education.

          • Kyl

            I guess you are just not going to understand it. The government is not your parents. The two people that brought into this world are supposed to be responsible enough to get you educated and started off in life. The fact that that has broken down in this country is why all the other social/education problems happen. Don’t worry though, you are not alone, the 51% of the people in this country that voted for Obama think just like you do.

          • The poster formerly known as t

            “The two people that brought into this world are supposed to be responsible enough to get you educated ” The income required to get a student into a selective, high quality education has and always be expensive as long as there is civilization.

  • http://xoanna.wordpress.com/ ohnova

    We can thank Reaganomics for starting and then Clinton for doing nothing but perpetuating all these problems with total short-sightedness for the future of the middle-class/middle-income people (the majority of America). Since then, it seems a mixture of arrogance, miserly 1%ers running the nation and an apathetic general public who’d rather squabble rather than confront all these corruptive problems head-on, hasn’t done anything but make it all worse and worse. This goes without saying that our ”news” and mainstream media has only worsened things having embraced an internet-era model of nonexistent investigative, raw reporting or journalism and instead becoming hyper-reactionary ”aggregators” of rumored/unverified news (much like the game Telephone we all played as kids) or blasting garbage OpEd propaganda (which could probably put Stalin-era USSR to shame) and stacking people up against other people – i.e.: dems vs reps (vs anyone in disagreement with an opinion) driving a wedge further and further between Americans and ultimately skewing many of the REAL problems this country is facing.

    Nevermind the fact that the ever-increasing exorbitant price of pursuing an education at a 4-year university at the very minimum (which pretty much has become the ”unwritten law” before any prospective employer will even contemplate reading ones resume/CV). Taking a loan out for a McMansion that you’ll be paying of forever is NOT the same thing as taking a loan out to attend college. One MUST go to college if they evert want to be competitive in todays workforce. A loan for an oversized McMansion (or a fancy home-theater) are non-essential, frivolous (bad) choices whereas getting a quality education to better ones life successes and future family are almost mandatory now. However, the WTF costs to do the latter just keep increasing every damn year which leaves few people needing to take on huge, burdensome loans that they’ll pay off for the rest of their life. Forget about saving for your kids college tuition when you’re still paying back your own loan from 10-15 years before. But wait. Why save money for kids future when they can take out a loan just like the parents did. Why save for anything, really? What’s the point if University’s psycho tuition costs and the gov’t turning a generation, and generations down the line, into near-literal indentured servants to the state *cough* I mean Fannie Mae and the banks. *cough cough*
    So much for freedom. American Dream is looking more like an American Nightmare more and more. Hopefully we’re just in the throes of some American Sleep Apnea before thing come back around.
    When will the line ever be drawn?

    • Karen

      Everyone should ready your reply because you are talking about the majority of Americans. I can not understand why everyone is just throwing up their hands (especially our representatives in government) and perpetuating this downward trend, ever increasing college costs, student loans, and uncertain economic future.
      I hope everyone looks far enough ahead to see that the young adults who are graduating today with all the loans
      will NOT be living the comfortable lives some of their parents live. The job opportunities have not increased nor the salaries, just the money they owe.
      These are our kids and grandkids and we’re letting it happen.

  • cp10000

    Our president can solve this problem by opening a bid competition for new ideas, new financial models for higher education using new technologies. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, IBM,…possibly in collaboration with established universities could bid. In the bidding race, the government could set clear financial goals. The technology is already there to create distributed classes of over 10,000 students to one team of professors and also using recording technologies like video streaming, DVD, Internet.

    • Kyl

      The government needs to get out of funding for college, not deeper into it. It was the easy money of government student loans that lead to the cost of college doubling in ten years. The college presidents used this fast cash as excuses to pay themselves exorbitant salaries, hirer huge staffs that had little to do with teaching, build extravagant dorms, fitness club facilities, and most importantly giant gyms and stadiums with their names on them in big brass plaques.

      Another thing, grade creep. Almost everybody passes, and the most prevalent grade these days is an A. Why, to keep those checks coming!

      • Jack

        Three things: first, the faculty involved in doing research primarily or exclusively bring in a lot of cash, cash that supports their research and supports other programs (including teaching) in departments. And, even “research” faculty teach by mentoring graduate students or taking on post-docs. Second, regarding facilities, if students and parents didn’t want private bed/bath dorms and gyms with rock wall, saunas, and resort style swimming pools, then no one would build them.

        Third, blame the expectations of parents and students for grade creep. Yes, it is a problem, but I blame parents on this one. They are the ones who have been telling little Johnny and little Suzy that they are exceptional individuals, little luminescent beings of light who’s brilliance colours the drab and dreary existence of the rest of us. You hand a student like that, who has had everything handed to them already, a C or D (or even a B sometimes) for not being up to snuff and they go bat-crap crazy! You deal with that enough and your standards start to decline because you just don’t want to get yelled at by some entitled brat anymore. On the off chance you do hold your ground, you frequently have the parent trying to give you what for, only blow their stack when they you tell them that you can’t really discuss the matter with them due to federal education privacy laws, not to mention the “I pay your salary” argument. To be honest, I’m exhausted just thinking about it…

        • Kyl

          I don’t agree with your first point because isn’t most of that “research money” government grants? Doesn’t that just fuel the federal governments costs involving education?

          I agree with your 2nd and 3rd points. There is enough blame to go around. Regarding facilities, I was shocked at how elaborate some of them had become when going on college choice visits with our children. A lot of the push undoubtedly came from “helicopter” parents.

          With regard to grade creep, I am sorry that you are stuck teaching the “soccer” generation. Everybody plays, everybody wins, everybody gets a trophy, everybody gets ice cream.

          • Jack

            On the first point, I can see where you might make that assumption, but the answer is that it depends. A lot of federal grants in the natural sciences come from NIH, CDC, and NSF, not DoED (who does have a smallish research program in disability and rehabilitation education). Out of $3.5 trillion dollars, only $68 billion is spent on research by the federal government, and that includes “in house” programs like DARPA. If you’re doing the math, that’s $0.02 spent on research for every dollar spent by the federal government. And, keep in mind that every dollar of research funding is competitive: colleges compete with one another and with private companies for those grant dollars.

            Second, a lot of money comes into universities from private corporations, private individuals, and other non-governmental groups to pay for research. Depending on your field, it can be some of the funding your department gets or it can be all of it. For example, aside from the very, very lucky few who can get a NEA or NEH grant, the vast majority of research in the humanities and arts are supported by the private sector or the university at large. So it’s very difficult to say that federal government funding is supporting the problem because there are a lot of sources of research funding and a lot of the money comes from the private sector.

          • Kyl

            In my mind it they are still taxpayer dollars whether they are DoED dollars or other agencies. However I will concede the research money point since you know more about it than I do. I don’t really know anything about that part of it.

            My area of expertise is as a dad 2/3 of the way through paying full freight for college educations with nobody helping me but my own 24 years of saving money out of every paycheck.

            I enjoyed your grade creep comments. I see it at work all the time. Millennials. You can see it in their faces. Nobody has ever told them before that their work is not good enough. They go into shock when they are told that they better shape up or they are going to ship out.

          • Jack

            I take your point that it’s still taxpayer dollars; my point here is that these types of grants, such as they exist, aren’t made by the government to support university researchers, but researchers from the academy, public sector scientists, and private industry. Whether one thinks that is an appropriate expenditure of tax dollars is another argument altogether and tangential to the topic of conversation here.

            I will say that I do sympathize with your plight. Not being able to have children is something my spouse and I won’t have to worry with, but that doesn’t keep me from recognizing that the cost of tuition is a problem. But the cause of the problem is mufti-faceted, and it’s difficult to get your hands around. I confess it’s not a topic I think a lot about (comparatively speaking) because higher education and finance are, for the most part, beyond the scope of my own research.

            I do know, however, that blaming research professors as the cause, administrator salaries as the cause, declining state appropriations as the cause, athletics as the cause, is ultimately unhelpful because none of these things (by themselves) are the cause; all of them, and more, contribute to greater or lesser degrees. I tend to think that public divestment from education, especially post-secondary, is a significant cause (state schools were a lot more affordable when I was an undergrad and state funds were about 50% of the budget). I think a close second is the expectation of five-star accommodations by parents and students (especially the ones built at the expense of classroom facilities), but you won’t find me defending upper administration compensation by any stretch (lower admin personnel, the ones working with students, and contingent faculty are typically grossly underpaid, in my opinion). Again, that’s just to say that this is all complex, and the solution were complex; if it were easy, we wouldn’t be talking about it right now.

            I’m glad you enjoyed my little venting spree there, though it is probably wildly inappropriate. Most of the students I see are good kids who do passable work, no worse or better than my generation (Gen X), but they have a different set of expectations than my generation did. Still, I do empathize with them: the current jobs climate is no picnic, even worse than when I graduated. One can’t help but feel a little bit badly that they got dealt such a poor hand.

          • Kyl

            Good points. You have convinced me on the research issue.

            If you look at many of our national problems, there are multiple entities to blame, nobody knows exactly how it got this bad, and nobody can agree on a solution because they might lose something. However since we are 17 trillion dollars in debt, we better come up with some solutions soon.

            I enjoyed exchanging some ideas with you. Good luck in life!

    • Jack

      I can tell you from experience that students don’t want this type of education. When it comes to education they are paying for, even a little bit, they want in-person classes with dedicated faculty, not team taught MOOCs. Besides that, you’re not going to be able to reduce the number of faculty needed to teach by creating MOOCs; the maximum number of students a given faculty member can manage, again based on my experience, is around 200, depending on discipline and subject, and that is across all courses. Any more than this and it is unlikely that the individual faculty member will be able to keep up with the grading load. So, in a course with 10K students, you still need 50 faculty just to teach that one course. Considering the average full-time student takes five courses, you’re suddenly up to 250 faculty members just to teach 5 required courses. If you assume only required courses are taught and students can only major in one subject, that’s 1,000 faculty members. Sure, you can serve 40K students but is mass-produced education the way we really want to go? Given the complaints I hear from students and parents about students being enrolled in 100+ person courses with almost 0 personal interaction with the instructor, I can tell you that this idea, while seemingly sensible on the face of it, is economically no better than the current system and would fail under market forces.

  • Kyl

    Good luck to you and your daughter. I went to a Community College in the 70s. I thought I got a great education there.

  • Kyl

    Asking for their money back? Does that work in Vegas? Choices have consequences. Putting yourself on the hook for $100,000 for a degree with no job prospects is as foolish as putting down $100,000 on a roulette wheel. Now those people want someone else to pay for their foolishness. If they want to learn about the history of Cubism, go to the library and the art museum, don’t make me pay for it.

    • John

      Whilst I agree in principle with your argument Kyl. the loan companies do a pretty hard sell and lead people to believe that their earning power when graduated will be at the very least on the high side of the median income for that particular field of study. We are also talking about people who probably haven’t had a loan before.

      • Jack

        In these discussions, I’m always struck that people bring up the arts as a useless degree. I will agree in principal that studying art history, in abstract, has no practical utility in the sense that it does not provide you with a trade. On the other hand, if you want to learn a trade, isn’t that what tech schools are for? Even STEM fields don’t always have good job prospects in and of themselves. I know plenty of biology and math majors who are graduating without employment because there aren’t jobs out there for those fields, even though a lot of people wouldn’t regard those subjects as “frivolous” the same way Kyl thinks of art history. The point is that any college major provides theorietical knowledge, but in this economy most employers really want people with experience, and given the number of Xers and late Boomers out there looking for work, they can afford to buy experience and a degree; why wouldn’t you take the complete package over a Yer with just a degree?

        But, to get at the underlying theoretical argument, if you look at the TV, based on the number of reality shows, we need people who can interpret art and history and religion to the masses, or at least can preserve an understanding of those subject because in a generation our citizens will be unable to understand them on their own. By contrast, if you’ve read Dilbert any time in the last 20 years, you can see that the MBAs we’re producing don’t seem to have much practical benefit or application. Personally, I’ve never thought that “business” had a place in the academy, and I’ve been buoyed in that suspicion by the fact that I have seen relatively few business deans who had doctoral degrees in anything.

  • IHateFatChicks

    You also can work for any number of pharmaceuticals or in University research. That’s a fact. You get the best opportunities you can negotiate and obtain. It is that simple.

    • Jack

      If you can get the work. With an average of three applicants for every one job, it’s tough. Also, if you don’t have a Ph.D. in your discipline, you can forget about university research…you might even employeed as support staff, but your degree will only give you a slight edge in that regard. Most research jobs that don’t require a doctorate are given away to grad students and post docs because A) they’re students and need the experience and B) because they are considered students, they are a lot cheaper to hire.

      • IHateFatChicks

        You must do something to set yourself apart from the field of competition. This is how life works.

  • StilllHere

    This is the housing debacle all over again. Government gives taxpayer money to anyone in order to get re-elected and borrowers get in over their heads. Same old, same old.

  • Steve Ford

    i had to delay house and marriage in to my 40s because of my masters from RIT.
    ive been teaching in europe, in Holland, basicly we could fail out as many freshmen as we wanted but anyone we let into the second year should be able to finish. and if they graduated then their tuition was a gift if they failed out, it was a loan that must be repaid so the students were motivated. Iin Norway one of my students graduated into as 65000usd a year job. no student loans, no health care cost. he is ready to take on the world.
    the US has to make a degree more valuable to employers and cut the cost to the students.

  • red_donn

    “The last 30 years have been very good for the economy” according to GDP and tax revenue levels, yes, but not according to median incomes. The increases in tuition over that time have paralleled the increasing shift of income towards capital and the growing wealth gap in the country.
    I haven’t looked into it yet, but I wonder which financial institutions are drawing money off this market. Theoretically Fannie and Freddie were supposed to be institutions to hold loans necessary for the public interest, and not about private profit, but the housing bubble was built off the ability to get guaranteed profits by creating and transfering mortgages to the government.

  • The poster formerly known as t

    In many cases, it is the only field that is hiring in significant numbers.

  • Regular_Listener

    If governments are serious about trying to reduce college costs, one of the pieces of the puzzle they need to address is the numerous legal requirements that continue to get heaped onto colleges – everything from programs for disabled students, to making sure there is no illegal discrimination, to requiring vaccines, etc. Whenever one of these new edicts comes along, new people must be hired and new departments created.

  • ExcellentNews

    Elizabeth Warren for President !!! And we need to sweep the gerrymandered republican lizards from Congress who have been protecting the billionaire CEOs and bankers at the expense of the American middle class.

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