The Student Loan Crisis

Pharmer spotted a document coming from the Campus Progress brench of the Center for American Progress on the Student Loan Crisis, and felt compelled to respond:

Our government has been selling the idea that college education is an absolute necessity, and should be accessible by everyone. Naturally this has led to an influx of students, some of whom are completely unprepared for college level classes, and who have obtained government grants and various loans to enter school. Many have absolutely no intention of repaying the loans.

All things administered and/or funded by the government will increase in price far faster than baseline inflation.
Education and healthcare are prime examples of this.

The real problem is NOT that a private lender is willing to give a loan to a student and gets the student to agree to a specific payment plan and interest rate. The true travesty is that colleges and universities are so eager to sell useless degrees and propaganda to students which are actually detrimental to their employment future. Many of the universities are willfully inculcating helplessness. Students are graduating with no job prospects in their area of training.
The problem is also not with the existence of for profit educational institutions. It is that the government is paying for unprepared students to go there, or granting loans for the same. Without this government intervention, many of the most problematic educational institutions would not have even been formed in the first place. The education bubble will pop just as the housing bubble did, because loans were made to people who could or would not repay them. This could have been stopped by requiring a significant down payment to be coming from the students themselves. The result of the education crisis will be similar to that of the housing crisis: massive loan defaults and a broken industry, with increased joblessness.

The increase in costs to the students is being blamed on reduction in government funding for educational institutions. Some people don’t realize that the debt for educational funding is passed to the students when they begin working.

The students will pay for education one way or another, by working their way through, by paying loans, and by paying the taxes which support our educational institutions with their bloated infrastructures and administrations.

The one difference is that the TAXES which will support the colleges and universities are paid by ALL tax payers including those who cannot afford to go to college. For one example, the pharmacy techs where I work, could not afford to go to college when they were young, but they are paying taxes for the children of other people to go straight through four years of college on the government dime, or on government loans which will often be defaulted. Some of the techs have slowly obtained college education as they work, and one by one, they head off into new careers.

The American people, who worked their way through higher education, and those who are still unable to do so, need to be informed that THEY ARE EXPECTED TO PAY FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WHO THINK EDUCATION OUGHT TO BE FREE!!!!

Nothing is free.

First of all we need to understand that college education is not for everyone. More than half of people don’t have the kind of academic acumen to get through a traditional four year program. They should be encouraged (never forced) to go into a career and education program that fits their abilities, instead of being propelled towards certain failure and crippling debt.

The solution is for the educational institutions to stop building useless infrastructure which wastes energy and resources, and to fire all of their excess/useless administrators. Our higher education has to be leaner and more cost effective. Too much of it is run by greedy, money grubbing, frequently leftist 1%-ers who need to be replaced by those who know where money comes from, and would be wise stewards of whatever funding comes their way. When these changes come about, the cost of education to students and to the tax payers will drop.

Currently there are private programs which pay grants to students to NOT go to traditional colleges, and go straight into industry. It’s an awesome experiment and may serve to tap the creativity of young people before the universities suck it out of them. Cultural education is being moved out of the universities and housed in on-line resources. Testing and internships or apprenticeships, have been added as university requirements to enter more and more professions which require high skill. This is evinces the failure of universities to provide the necessary preparation for real world opportunities. This provides a strong impetus for higher education to be “homeschooled” and obtained online.

In short, our creativity and inventiveness will only be preserved to the extent that we can escape governmental control of our access to educational resources and opportunities.

Greenies Should be Losing Their Minds Over This

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley and and Sons is a case before the Supreme Court this fall which threatens aspects of the 1908 First Sale Doctrine. That older ruling allows people who own a copyrighted item to resell the item without getting permission from the copyright holder. This new case before the court, depending on how broadly the Court writes the ruling, could require resellers of copyrighted items made in Europe, or Asia to get permission from the copyright holders before they sell such products. It could affect resale of numerous products and items which bear copyrighted programming, content and logos.

This case is touched off by the fact that books published outside the country, by American publishers, for use in other countries, are being purchased and brought back into the U.S. for resale.

The publishers, for example, of Pharmer’s son’s anatomy and biochemistry texts, have a version in the U.S., priced more than double that of the version they sell in other countries. Obviously students, who are being bilked unconscionably for tuition costs, are trying to save hundreds of dollars each semester on their book bills, and buying versions published in Southeast Asia or India, etc.

A Court decision against the right of first sale in this case could have far reaching implications:

1) It could impede the ability of individuals to recycle textbooks, and electronic devices, or buy international versions for cheaper prices.
2) It will encourage manufacturers and publishers to produce shoddier merchandise and/or increase planned obsolescence in order to push new items to a consumer less inclined to buy new if they can’t sell the old one.
3) Most significantly, it will exacerbate the problem of often toxic waste and mountainous landfills.

The greenies ought to be camped outside the Supreme Court building throughout the fall over this.

Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril – Jennifer Waters's Consumer Confidential – MarketWatch.

Waaaaahhh: Adult Baby Wants Apology From Tom Coburn

Stanley Thorton Jr., who gained publicity for himself and his website when Sen. Tom Coburn used him as an example of social security waste, now wants an apology.

Still hungry for publicity, Thornton notified the Washington Times that he had been cleared of fraud by the Social Security Administration, and expects an apology from the Senator.

Thornton has had to move out of the apartment shared with Diaz, now deceased, as he lacked the funds on his own to keep up with the rent. Perhaps a bit more recognition would allow him to sell ads for baby products on his website, and get him off of SSI.

Your Tax Dollars Working Overtime

The Washington Examiner lists some questionable projects funded by stimulus money.  Below are just a few.

– $2.5 million in stimulus checks sent to the deceased.  — maybe they voted for Obama courtesy of ACORN

– $6 million for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minn. — they don’t have enough snow.

– $173,834 to weatherize eight pickup trucks in Madison County, Ill. – pharmer’s mechanic husband says he  needs a new job in Madison ….

– $20,000 for a fish sperm freezer at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota.   stimulus after the stimulus?