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Guest Post: Students - You Are Exploited Debt-Serfs

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Students: You Are Exploited Debt-Serfs

Students and parents, wake up: your only salvation lies in political engagement and action.

Of all the exploitative systems in the U.S., none is more rapacious than the Education Cartel
. Like the proverbial frog that is unaware that it's being boiled because the water temperature rises so gradually, college students and their parents are unable to recall what higher education was like before students were herded into debt-serfdom.

Apologists for the Education Cartel like to blame Corporate America or the banks, but the reality is that the Federal and State governments and the employees of the Cartel are willing partners in the exploitation and fraud
. How did we get to the boiling-water point where students are expected to take on $100,000 or more in debt to attend college--even a mediocre one?

Answer: immensely profitable Government-backed loans
. If the Central State wasn't partnered with the Education Cartel, today's debt-serfdom would be impossible.

The partnership plays out on multiple levels. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that "Liberal" U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi is fighting vigorously to defend the debt-serf-based empires of for-profit "colleges." Why? because these billion-dollar empires give her hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions (duh!).

("Conservatives" love for-profit "colleges" for the same reasons, of course.)

There is nothing remotely educational or liberal about an exploitative Cartel that provides no measurable value to its students while graduating 10% of them. As reported in The New Republic, when General Accounting Office (GAO) investigators posing as prospective students applied to 15 major for-profit "colleges," every one made misleading sales pitches.

The largest for-profit, the University of Phoenix, graduates less than 10% of its students within 10 years.

You may not get any useful skills or a meaningful diploma, but you will end up with $100,000 in debt that can never be written off. Loans imply risk: nobody forces a lender to take on the risk of lending money to a borrower. If the borrower ends up being unable to pay his debts and declares bankruptcy, the debt is wiped off the books and the lender loses the money that was at-risk.

Thanks to the Central State's partnership with the Education Cartel, student loans cannot be dismissed even in bankruptcy. This makes them unique in the world of credit and debt.

Banks lobbied the Central State for guaranteed, no-risk student loans, and the Government was pleased to oblige. The Status Quo fully supports colonizing the "home" population of vulnerable students and turning them into debt-serfs that banks can hound til death and beyond; they're much more pliable and less troublesome than foreign populations who might rebel against the Imperial lash. (This is drawn directly from the Survival+ critique.)

The Education Cartel has mastered the art of propaganda. You can read hundreds of media stories on the plight of K-12 education in the U.S., and the only salary numbers you will find are those for entry-level teachers--usually poverty-level wages below $30,000 in low-income states and in the mid-$30,000s in coastal states.

This careful pruning of published salaries naturally creates the impression that teachers everywhere are toiling away selflessly for poverty wages.

But this is not the case for senior teachers in high-wage states. Courtesy of correspondent Anthony T., here is a database of Illinois teachers salaries, compiled from data provided by the Illinois Board of Education (ISBE). Here are a few sample salaries:

Salary: $172,163
Position: High School Teacher
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: Physics (Grades 9-12 Only)
Years Teaching: 30.5
Degree: Master's

Salary: $163,526
Position: High School Teacher
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: Driver Education
Years Teaching: 32
Degree: Master's

For comparison's sake, this is twice the salary of an Associate Professor at one of the top public universities in the world, the University of California.

These high school teachers' salaries are more than triple the median household income in the U.S., which according to the Census Bureau is $49,777 annually.

This is not to suggest that all teachers are pulling in salaries in this range; the point is the Education Industry is extremely selective about which wages, pensions and benefits packages (for teachers and administrators) get publicity.

Apologists for the Education Cartel always compare these salaries with bloated CEO compensation. In other words, $170,000 a year and $120,000 a year pensions (not counting medical benefits) are "cheap" compared to $30 million pay packages.

Missing in this snapshot is the relative scale: there are about 5,000 CEOs of publicly traded companies which can support bloated CEO pay, while there are 22.5 million public sector employees, millions of employees in the Education Cartel and tens of thousands of bureaucrats, senior teachers, etc.

In other words: let's say we just expropriate ALL corporate profits for Central State spending. Corporations skimmed $1.6 trillion last year, record profits, and companies without GE's tax-avoidance Panzer divisions foolishly paid some $350 billion in corporate taxes, leaving $1.25 trillion to be expropriated.

Given the $1.6 trillion Federal deficit and the states' $150 billion deficits, that means taking every dollar of corporate profit would still leave us a $500 billion Government deficit. If we look at government expenses, we find that roughly 80% are personnel-related: salaries, benefits, pension costs, outside consultants, etc. Most of the Federal entitlement and Defense spending is also direct transfers to beneficiaries and employees.

One person's "waste" is another person's $150,000 a year salary and $100,000 pension.

Since the Federal government spends $3.8 trillion and state and local governments spend another $1.5 trillion, then we can estimate that the State (all government) accounts for $5.3 trillion, or 36% of the entire U.S. GDP.

The state of California currently spends $3.3 billion or 3.2% of its annual budget on the University of California system.

In other words, it's not that there's "no money for education"--it's that trillions of dollars are being squandered on other "priorities" like prisons, $1,000 per gallon fuel in Afghanistan, $170,000 a year "defense consultants," pension payments, etc. etc. etc. Public-sector toadie California Governor Jerry Brown is out whipping up support for his "increase taxes or else you all die" campaign by threatening students with higher tuition and fees--as if they haven't already been stripmined for years by skyrocketing fees: Brown warns of soaring UC costs in all-cuts budget.

In other words, if you don't give us more tax money, we're going to nail students--even though the UC system accounts for a meager 3% of the state's bloated expenses.

This is propagandistic thuggery at it's best/worst.

Meanwhile, The S.F. Chronicle published an article stating that 30% of K-12 spending had nothing to do with what goes on in the classroom--it's all educrat bureaucracy
. On the university level, here is a chart illustrating the same trend in the UC system: administration headcount climbs regardless of any other conditions, as do administrative salaries:

Students, wake up: the reality is actual classroom education is not a spending priority, on any level
. The priority is herding you into lifetime debt-serfdom. The state of California is whining that it's broke and can't support its public universities, yet the UC system absorbs a trivial 3.2% of its budget.

Where the state once subsidized about 2/3 the cost of its public university education, that has shriveled to 20% as tens of billions are funneled into bloated pensions and skyrocketing healthcare benefits for retirees and current workers.

As education costs outstrip inflation by leaps and bounds, who's looking at where the education funding is going? Those benefiting from the Education Cartel are like the nephews and nieces living in the alcoholic, abusive, rich relative's rotting mansion. They are silent about the abuse because their only goal is to get their share of the swag.

How many educators refuse to oil the debt-serf machinery? How many are willing to publicly broadcast the endless gaming, graft, fraud and grifting that plays out in the Education Cartel? How many speak truth to power as bloated administration costs crowd out classroom spending?

How many other public-sector employees are calling for cuts in the 97% of the state budget which isn't spent on the university system so more funding can be channeled to the top-tier education that everyone agrees is the future of our economy? How many voices are there in favor of slashing administrative headcount and costs back to 1996 levels so the funding could be redirected to classroom education?

Expecting the system to reform itself is a futile fantasy. Expecting tuition costs to double every few years and students to fill the gap with another trillion dollars in borrowed money is not just self-defeating for society, it is rapacious. Courtesy of the excellent, here is a chart of inflation from 2000 to Q1 2011. In a low-inflation decade, tuition has more than doubled. This is the acme of unsustainability. Students loans are the only sector of credit which is expanding, and they now exceed $900 billion.

By all means, blame the rapacious banks for student loans, but please note the banks' partner is the enabling power and the enforcer: the Central State, and the Education Cartel which feeds off the rising costs and debt-serfdom of its "customers," the students.

Oh, and don't forget the mainstream media, that willing handmaiden to debt-serfdom. My oh my, the vaunted, self-glorifying Washington Post reaps most of its profit from its ownership of a for-profit diploma-mill, mostly funded by debt-serfdom and Central State swag: How Team Obama is Wreaking Havoc on The Washington Post.

Wake up, students and parents. It's time to become politically aware and politically active. You're not going to escape debt-serfdom passively accepting passage to the slaughterhouse. You'll have to demand radical changes of institutions and fiefdoms which "came to do good and stayed to do well," and demand an affordable education for the real world instead of a gatekeeper's worthless stamp of approval.

Related entries:

The Ratchet Effect: Fiefdom Bloat and Resistance to Declining Incomes (August 23, 2010)

The Irrationality of Public Teachers' Pay Scales (January 5, 2010)

It's Time to End the Student Loan Rip-Off (February 25, 2010)

The Lifecycle of Bureaucracy (December 2, 2010)

Inflation Is Rampant in Tuition, Healthcare and Property Taxes (December 1, 2010)


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Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:58 | 1161801 hugovanderbubble
hugovanderbubble's picture

MuniBonds CDS ready to get long...


Most of US states runs under default mode...but who cares...

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:08 | 1162074 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

When I was earning my masters many moons ago... there was no such thing as student debt, let alone 90% of the nation being underwater.Muni CDS are troublesome. Danger ahead for sure.

Good thing... things are speeding up in Japan.

The sooner QE3-infinium comes along the sooner the banksters get pushed out.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 21:00 | 1163650 morkov
morkov's picture

i hope educational inflation wipes out fashionable teaching trades from teenagers-internationale curriculum

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:58 | 1161802 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

To top it off, said students like to run around and protect said system. Look at Madison.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:39 | 1161951 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Yup. It's like the Stockholm Syndrome, for god's sake.  I remember when I was in high school and college, I regarded all my teachers and professors and the administrations of which they were a part as vaguely my enemies.  I had no illusions that they *all* deeply cared about me and my education.  They were in it for the money at least as much.  Somehow these nitwits now are naive to the point of lacking sentience.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 20:55 | 1163639 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Student brains as soft as shit? ...that's exactly what a State education is designed for

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:58 | 1161805 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

Morally latent and rapacious is how to describe not only this scam, but the scam that has become the democratic process and policymaking in this fucked country.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:14 | 1161843 Popo
Popo's picture

Yet another example of how government assistance *always* leads to higher prices.   Homes, education,  etc.

Helping people 'borrow' money they don't have to be able to 'afford' something simply drives the price higher.  It's so painfully obvious that it's excruciating to listen to politicians talk about "assistance".

The only game in town in America is debt.   Debt, debt, debt.   Housing, credit cards, education.   The creation of demand that would not otherwise exist.   Artificial stimulation of the overall economy, and serfdom for the suckers.

If you play the game you lose.   Do not, under any circumstances play the game.. unless you plan to default.  In which case:  You win.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:58 | 1161809 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

"Challenging the myths of modern schooling"

Alex Jones also had a good segment on our education system not too long ago.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:31 | 1161925 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Thanks to Mr. Gatto, I was convinced to overcome my inertia and pull my kids out of school.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 15:11 | 1162626 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Thanks to Mr. Gatto, our kids will never darken the doorsteps of a school.

I'm always amused when people say that they'd homeschool if their local school was bad but their school is one of the good ones.  I don't even bother trying to discuss the idea that the entire system is a trap, "good " school or "bad" school.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:03 | 1162810 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I think you just described the political situation as well.  My Senator is great, but yours sucks.  So, I'm gonna keep voting for my crook.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 09:49 | 1164870 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

I think you are correct, sir.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:42 | 1161960 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

I've got one of his books.  It's really eye opening stuff.  Imagine the shock of the educational establishment when they gave him some sort of teacher of the year award and they subsequently realized that he's against the whole pathetic edifice.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:51 | 1162262 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

The above sounds a little like a Steve Eisman presentation about reasons for shorting the for-profit colleges.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:09 | 1162070 velobabe
velobabe's picture

Truthdig -Why the Unnited States is destroying its educational system , chris hedges. 4/10/11

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:15 | 1162099 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

“The greatest evil perpetrated,” Hannah Arendt wrote, “is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.”

Great quote by a German Jew.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:47 | 1162250 tamboo
Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:31 | 1162920 forexskin
forexskin's picture


also try:


it made the rounds at my step daughters U, and she gets it on the debt thing - finally.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:02 | 1161812 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

worse than the debt and cost is the brainwashing and indoctrination

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:19 | 1161881 Holodomor2012
Holodomor2012's picture


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:20 | 1161889 indognito
indognito's picture

Right on. Way too much institutionalized thought is instilled and not enough critical-thinking development.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:43 | 1161965 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Ahh the hallowed halls of higher education where liberalism takes its root and starts to sprout. Pretty much any job beyond grocery boy or cart wrangler at Walmart requires a college degree these days though so you are forced to play their game unless you are independently wealthy or don't mind asking people if they want paper or plastic.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:03 | 1161815 4xaddict
4xaddict's picture

Doesn't U Phoenix only graduate 10% of students because most are online courses people complete along with their other work commitments and also just those wanting to try something new.

The entry requirements being so comparatively low are always going to attract many more of these kinds of students than Ivy Leagues where those who "really" want to study have had to jump through hoops already to show their commitment levels.

It's like drawing comparison gyms and saying they are a rip off because so few of their clients end up sticking with it and getting fit etc.

I would be interested to see how a serious private university's graduation numbers stack up compared to a faux-university like U Phoenix.

CHS' work normally always timely and informative but sensationalizing things like this just detracts from the overall content. Sounds more like a general gripe than a serious issue.

There is little doubt a very heavy debt burden laboured onto new grads in the US however it's partly the responsibility of the student and parents to weigh up the costs vs the career benefits at the time surely. We can't hand feed every decision to people.

There is reality and it lies somewhere in between this article and the current system imho.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:10 | 1161841 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

University of Phoenix is not a college.

You will never convince me that it is equivalent to a college education.

A trained gerbal can get a degree from UoP

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:28 | 1161909 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Educations no matter where you get it from is becoming useless. Pile on debt is the only thing folks will have to show for. The propganda machine continues. UOP at least provides a education for folks who think they want to advance albeit things whih I do nto agree with and what makes other instituitions  great, Professors who has been in teaching all of their lives? So in essence a text book problem solving world. Great more idiots in the making.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:08 | 1162065 4xaddict
4xaddict's picture

Most of the decent content you can get from the web for nothing and encourages people to all think they're arm chair experts however society is missing the key ingredient in any solid education - what to do when things go wrong rather than how to theorize about the most efficient ways to achieve synergies according to Professor Wankmasters laws of business.

Text books all seem to be missing the troubleshooting guide for when things don't go as planned.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:11 | 1161846 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Even public state university have a horrid graduation level.  I attended Party State and I believe at the time I believe was running a smooth 41% graduation percentage.  Since been gone a few years looks like my alma matter has DOUBLED instate tuition prices, not bad for being gone 3 years...friends telling me they are set for another big rise in the 20% ballpark this next year to.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:05 | 1162053 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Public state universities have a horrid graduation level because every soccer mom thinks their child needs to be college educated.

The college system in this country is in a bubble because there are a lot of unprepared adult-sized children who attend classes there.

If you send your little irresponsible idiot to college, the college will be happy to take your money and present information to them, but don't blame the college when little Johny fails to take responsibility for his education.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:08 | 1162077 4xaddict
4xaddict's picture

people blindly think that education means a safe secure future however they never seem to do the research into demographics and growth in the sectors they are considering studying.

People have forgotten how to think for themselves.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:22 | 1162136 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Exactly - who's responsibility is it to tell the student there are no jobs in elementary education, but that's a hell of a decision to make and a large sunk cost.

The problem, as I see it, is that kids are swept into college after high school.  Most of them should spend some time in the real world before they go, so they know why they are there.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:10 | 1162350 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Not every baby is an 'Einstein', people.

That goes for yours as well.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:36 | 1162917 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Trade schools!   See what a plumber, heat/air, painter, sheet metals, trim carpenter, brick/stone/tile setter, electrician, mechanic, or a welder is paid.  And I don't mean the union guys.   Local fellas who show up, do the job, get paid, and feed their families.   They do quite well and are the real backbone of the labor force.   I have had a real estate broker license since the mid 1970s and had an HVACR license for many years.   The building downturn has made a lot of the less skilled workers, or less savvy business oriented, hit the pavement; but the real pros always have work (or can go where the work is).  I've worked with a lot of these fine guys (and women) and they are our national treasures.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:58 | 1163017 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Part of that is because of the monolithic propaganda from Obama all the way down how the only road to success in America is through a college education. Probably 99% of parents and their children believe this meme.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:01 | 1161820 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Hilarious how the most resilient stocks today are the "Metrosexuals":




That basket of stocks must be the "Trade of the Decade" plays.

Plus, they are Fed-sponsored and TPTB-supported.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:09 | 1161832 Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

Let's see you post some evidence of an actual trade, just one.  Otherwise all your posts are full of shit.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:13 | 1161857 Mises
Mises's picture

FSG...there's your trade

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:41 | 1161957 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I post numbers with my trades. I have given robo the benefit of the doubt for too long. I am quite positive he.doesnt make a living day trading like he claimed. He should put up numbers like me.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:07 | 1161834 anony
anony's picture

That's it?

No seriously endowed femme fatales?

And WFMI is not a metrosensual institution.  Their Asian pears, coupled with a bottle of their eau de vin, and steeenky fromages, is to die for.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:20 | 1161886 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"No seriously endowed femme fatales?"

I think even Robo is getting tired of Robo's act.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:47 | 1162246 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

You forgot LULU, robo.  Up half a percent today and metro as all the other. 

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:01 | 1162321 Cow
Cow's picture

Your post has nothing to do with this article.  As usual.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:04 | 1161825 anony
anony's picture

College/University for the most students is the new Senior High School.

A playground for professors who abhor students and teaching, students who find learning tedious, and since curiosity about important matters has been substituted for b.s. that passes for curricula these days, it's more of a pleasant purgatory for most so-called students and scholars.

The ones serious about their education are a fraction of the entire nationwide student body. 

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:48 | 1161977 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

I will agree with you...however there are some exceptions.... Local state community colleges are much more affordable and accesable without going into debt.  Many of them teach real world skills that can be used.   ex:  x-ray tech, sonographer, electrician, HVAC   etc.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 17:01 | 1163021 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

My take is for many students college is daycare for young adults. Four years (or more) of Friday parties, hooking up, and copious consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:07 | 1161828 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

I'm wondering if TPTB is trying to turn the dollar here and cause a meltdown in foreign currencies.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:58 | 1162296 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

Where do you think the dollar goes in the next couple months Robo? Think it will breach 72 or will demand destruction kill oil and send people back into cash and treasuries as a safe haven (I  still belive the dollar is the safe haven simply because other currencies are in worse shape not because of the Benankenstein monster.)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:09 | 1161833 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

Oh, if ever there was a posting that speaks to me, this is it.    This country's precious young people were TARGETED !   ....targeted by the BUSH ADMINISTRATION & all the monied interests ... target our youth with cheap money & unlimited credit & be DEBT SLAVES.    When I was young, NO BANK in their RIGHT MIND would have ever lent out unlimited credit !!!  

Not only did they plunge our youth into debt, but, now these young people are so saddled with student loans that they cannot afford to buy houses !!   

"Wouldn't you like to borrow more money, little girl, little boy ?   Pay it back with cheaper dollars !   Investing in yourself is the best investment ! "  ~~ except over 8,000,000 jobs were offshored during just the past ten years ~~  

going to college is going to go the way of the baby boomers ~~ colleges & universities expanded now it is also their turn to contract ~~ goodbye worthless professors.    

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:15 | 1161856 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

oh fuck

Bushs fault. That gets so old.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:20 | 1161888 Holodomor2012
Holodomor2012's picture

He works for the Vatican you know?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:28 | 1161916 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

Ever notice our world leaders bow and kiss the popes ring? Just go back to work and dont forget to keep the holy sabbath. K?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:30 | 1161918 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

Ever notice our world leaders bow and kiss the popes ring? Just go back to work and dont forget to keep the holy sabbath. K?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:36 | 1161944 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

it's o.k., junk me, i can take it.   It's a fact that under the BUSH ADMINISTRATION that the private student loan companies sprung up & flurished, getting the bulk of the young people in debt.   It was policy at the very top of government & Wall St. that created the so-called "student loan industry" ........ & they sure did bag themselves a bunch of youngsters, youth who really didn't understand what was happening to them, "newbies" to the system, just ripe for signing their names to unlimited credit without realizing the reprocusions.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:51 | 1161980 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

And you know what's funny?

Most of the lower income are minority based. So you know what that means? If the banks didn't lend to the lower income than the Bush and the banks would be labeled racist for not providing loans to minorities. You know they would be. Same thing with the price of oil, back in 08 everyone was blaming this on Bush/Cheney and their oil company cronies for pushing up the price of come you don't hear that same rhetoric now? Because it's Bushs fault right? Right...

And honestly, I'm sorry if you're taking out loans you can't pay back. I know people RIGHT NOW who are taking their student loans and going to the Indian reservation to gamble. How bout all those kids in the ghetto riding around with 22 inch rims that they took a 3,000 loan out for?

I have no sympathy. Don't take a loan if you can't pay it back...if an extenuating circumstance happens declare bankruptcy and move on, it's been happening for hundreds of years in this country.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:53 | 1161991 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

I agree with you Bob , except I thought student loans couldn't be included in bankruptcy?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:57 | 1161995 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

You's not common practice. You can also hypothetically defer forever. I spend a lot of time talking to people and I met a lady the other day who has been defering for 8 years already.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:11 | 1162090 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I think the parent is commenting about the "banking" industry that was setup that has no risk but takes profits by simply adding a few points of interest to the loan.  Sound familiar?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:51 | 1161983 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture


Did you know Bush is actually a Jew?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:57 | 1162015 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

L>O>L> ...... i'm sure.  isn't everyone ?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 17:03 | 1163032 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

lynnybee, you are pathetic. It's Bush's fault, huh? When every other day it seems like Obama is touting the importance of getting a college eduction and talking about how his administration is making it easier for students to get loans.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:06 | 1162333 Cow
Cow's picture

"can't afford to buy houses"

They won't be able to afford having children, either.  Thank that's a trivial item? Think again.  Big demographic problems are coming.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:09 | 1161837 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Well at least all the turmoil and boat rocking in the currency and commodity market will have no impact on the holders of JLL, which is up today and on the brink of printing new highs.

I guess everyone is still clamoring for this real estate stock, even though it only has a yield of .19%.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:42 | 1162949 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

What IS your problem?  Do you have trouble focusing?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:11 | 1161840 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

I chose my username based on the fact that I am a pissed off student loan debt serf.


this problem is just going to grow.  maybe this will finally wake up what is left of the middle class.  doubt it though.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:35 | 1161937 Clampit
Clampit's picture

What exactly happens if you don't send in the check? All savings in PM's, self employed, when there is no willing conspirator to coax you into doing the "right" thing what happens? Much like non-payment of federal taxes I gather at some point people show up at your doorstep - what then? Especially if you're better armed and acquainted with the premises passive (and active) security. And a half dozen or so neighbors are watching the festivities up to a mile away through the scope of a .308 rifle...

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:48 | 1161974 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Before that happens, I think they work some legal arrangement whereby part of your paycheck goes DIRECTLY to pay off your loans before you ever see it, straight from your employer to the banks.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:56 | 1162009 Clampit
Clampit's picture

Self employed - and my customers aren't really sympathetic to the plight of the banks.

Seriously though before this I expect secession will lead to larger perimeter defenses. If we really have reached peak government the path to the other extreme will see increased usurping of power locally.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:35 | 1162196 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

if you get paid in cash/PM, maybe you can get away with it for a little bit.  they will call your bank and sieze a percentage of your funds.  you can fight them for awhile though.  i know people who have been doing it for years.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:52 | 1162280 Clampit
Clampit's picture

Once again, expectations that the system will step in to do government's bidding. Trouble is PM's don't require a bank ... that's the whole point of this fiatsco. States are looking to step up my right to pay local taxes in bullion - why? As for people fighting this for years, agreed; that's why the federal government doesn't collect property taxes. They couldn't, at least not from a huge chunk of the more independent midwest. So lever up with corporations and legislate in favor of big corporate business, problem solved.

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:13 | 1164244 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

At first I was cheering the states that called for taxes to be payable in bullion, as if it would legitimize PMs for general use. Then I learned that the Romans in fact did this, but the people were expected to do commerce in the rapidly devaluing fiat money. I fear that's where we're headed: that PM's get unfair tax treatment (cap gains plus "collector" tax) to discourage people from using/saving them, while payments to the state are ultimately due in terms of gold. That's the worst of both worlds!

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:42 | 1162953 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Bank?  I don't think you're getting what Clampit is trying to say here.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:11 | 1161845 Mises
Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:11 | 1161847 Lone Mad Minute...
Lone Mad Minute Medic's picture

The beauty of the whole educational ponzi scheme is that they get brainwashed during those years to accept the serfdom without even thinking about it. It is completly fantastic! It's like watching up close magic! They get to hang themselve with the debt rope and don't even know it at the time. Isn't life in America wonderful?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:11 | 1161848 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

Add on the textbook scam. New edition every semester at $200.  One word changed? 

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:10 | 1161849 Zina
Zina's picture

How lucky I am for living in Brazil, where we can attend very good public universities paying a grand total of... $0.

And the selective process to enter the public universities is a completely fair and impersonal process: written examinations. If you are among the best scores, you are in.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:47 | 1162961 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You're saying it's free lunch.  Ain't no free lunches.  All the folks at the schools work for free?  Reminds me of my neighbor who just got a huge "tax refund".  Right.  He got back the money he had lent free of charge to Sam.   Where do these people come from?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 18:37 | 1163245 4xaddict
4xaddict's picture


where indeed

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:10 | 1161850 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

... and here I am buying PMs while my friends are racking up all this debt!

The Higher Education bubble is searching for its pin. The fallout from this should trigger a second banking panic and send the US economy tumbling down into Depression

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:00 | 1162029 BDB8
BDB8's picture

haha me 2 and im the idiot for not going to college????

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:12 | 1161853 colonial
colonial's picture

The student loan system is the new housing bubble.  There is NO DIFFERENCE.  The federal system does NOT act to lower costs for college.  Instead it provides a funding system.  Academia, understands this.  It raises prices accordingly. 

Hey, Tyler.  The Washington Representatives database tells a great story.  An enormous amount of money is spent by colleges and universities on federal lobbying.  What are all these lobbyists working on?  Years ago, when I examined the education lobby I was stunned.  You might want to do a cut and paste for readers here.

Great post!

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:15 | 1161873 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

There is a very big difference.

Student loan cannot be defaulted on.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:19 | 1162111 AhhhItBurns
AhhhItBurns's picture

For a while there, you could get a shit job, a liars mortgage, a helo, pay off your student debt, let the whole deal fall and have trash credit for 7 years but no debt. Ahh, the housing crisis.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:20 | 1161854 Mercury
Mercury's picture


If you get into a top school - Go.

If you can get some one else to pay for any school - Go.

Other than that, you have to do some serious math first and scrutinize assumptions. $180k in debt and a degree in 'Global Studies' isn't a ticket to anywhere.  Replace "college degree" with "homeowner",  reflect on some recent history and you'll get an idea of where this is all going on a macro level.

Camile Paglia (last of the libertarian Democrats!) writes good stuff on this whole subject.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:15 | 1161865 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Greatest scam ever invented. People put themselves in debt bondage to pay for their own re-education camps.


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:14 | 1161866 digalert
digalert's picture

In high school I knew a guy that won a full scholarship at a reputable school. While I dropped out of college and went to work for the man. Four years later I stopped in a Jack in the Box and there was that guy...flipping burgers. Thirty years ago, felt sorry for the guy. Now we got these kids graduating into the new normal. Soaked

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:18 | 1161867 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Yeah but good luck changing this before it blows up.  Eventually one of a number of events will unfold.  Either there will be some way to discharge the student loan debt, or the costs will become so silly that some will simply not attend and those that do will simply never pay the amount back.  But then in interesting situation where have a mass of unemployed, nominally educated, angry, massively indebted young people.  Lot of interesting things can spark out of that.

Personally I think morale hazard will win the day, reason I took on more debt then I needed to.  And I went to school on scholarship both times, just used the fixed interest money to pay expenses while I invested the rest, so far doing great.  Now I expect either one party or the other will offer a system to get out from under the debt for "the youth vote" or the dollars shuddering demise will make it easier to pay off for us young folks who also have assets to back up the debt.  So I guess I could be wrong and the economy will straighten out, the young will get jobs, and Zimbabwe Ben will make King Dollar reign a thousand years, that's cool I can still easily pay the monthly vig.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:55 | 1162251 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

As someone who also has enough money to pay off the debt, if this happens, it will be the last straw for me...  I managed to be lucky enough to rack up 3 degrees without any debt, however my wife was not so lucky.  She graduated approximately 3 years ago w/ ~$60k in debt...  she's down to ~$17k and the rest will be paid off before the year is over...  to accomplish this feat, it has taken a conservative approach to our financial affairs...  And, moreover, reducing debt is a necessary component in surviving stagflation...  (so as to not fight a two front war).

I fear you may be correct...  but I hope that you are not.  If any students are to get out from under the debt, it should occur in one of two ways: either they repay it or they negotiate a settlement with the lender/holder of their debt.  The problem with the second approach is when the government becomes involved...  So long as there is a public bagholder for the creditor's loss, then no settlement can be made in good faith.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:10 | 1162351 Shameful
Shameful's picture

In the bizzaro world we live in the irresponsible are rewarded and the responsible are punished, so I simply assume the trend will continue. While I agree it would make a lot of people angry I think it's a slam dunk politically. "We have to help these young people make sure their lives are not started upside down". Besides it's what under a trillion? Is that even real money anymore?

Also you notice the Uncle Sugar is deeply in the loan market now? Not only gets the youth vote, but also helps secure the vote of the academia complex. Or as I said the dollar gets shelled and I can move hard assets into currency and pay in devalued dollars. And if have a harsh deflationary depression without student loan forgiveness just expect violence in the streets as the young people go nuts.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:14 | 1161869 contrabandista13
contrabandista13's picture

Here's a great post by Glenn Greenwald if you would like to know just one of the facilitators of this scam....


The Washington Post's dependence on the government it covers


Best regards,



Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:14 | 1161872 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Good article.

We need more like this, and then we need to work to get them out to the masses watching the shadows on the wall of Plato's cave.


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:19 | 1161875 smartknowledgeu
smartknowledgeu's picture

This article says what I've been saying for years and I wholeheartedly agree. Not only is the education system a means instituted by bankers to put young adults in debt so they can became indentured servants to serve their corporatocracy, but the attainment of business degrees and MBAs are, in reality, worth less than zero because they fill students' minds with a bunch of lies. Students who pursue MBAs and business degrees actually pay the banker-run educational system to be misinformed, lied to, and deceived. Look at all the shills that have run, taught, and/or presently teaching in the Ivy League system's business programs that are highly connected to the world's top bankers and the government (i.e. Larry Summers, R. Glenn Hubbard, Ruth Simmons, Frederic Mishkin). So young adults not only pay top dollar at US institutions of "higher learning" but pay top dollar to be misled by these paid-off hacks that bow down to bankers to teach young adults a bunch of lies so that these "educated" students eventually graduate and have no clue as to why food prices are soaring globally and why the purchasing power of the US dollar (and Euro and Pound Sterling and Yen) is plummeting.


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:18 | 1161878 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Of all the debts I took on in the US, th ehardest one to repay was of course my student loan. Even with a hefty scholarship, I was still 50-75K in debt. Painful.

And of course, it (my degree) only opened doors, never gave my any practical learning or skills (it was an MBA after all)...

In India, education is becomeing a business, copying the US/UK model. Fast. And Student loan shops are springing up faster than you can say Loan.

Painful to watch.


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:17 | 1161880 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture





All at the HOD.  Once again, investors are still anticipating in a consumer spending boom.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:29 | 1162157 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Target is ok. walmart is a overblown dog.

Home depot is weak, and will have to close stores in certain regions. I have 5 stores within 20 minutes. Maybe they should start selling food, like aco hardware does. LOL

Lowes is in bad shape. I have overheard employees there say how bad it is. I call anyday they will go the way of circuit city.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:37 | 1162204 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Trade mostly futures GC, TF and Cl, when calm and careful, but sit my hands as of late.

Long PSLV    Puts on RIMM, BAC (not doing well) Calls on AVL (rare earth) been in and out this for the last month and is decent. Puts on EWJ (japan) Lotto tickets. hey they were cheap.

Was long calls on USO, now out, using profits to piss away on the previous.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:07 | 1162345 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

You really think Lowe's is going the way of Circuit City? There are two Lowe's and two Hope Depot's with in five miles or so of me so I agree something has to give. Do you think this will happen soon?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:21 | 1161890 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

That is a pretty select sampling of teachers pay.  Before everyone draws conclusions from this very one-sided article, you better look at non-union states in the south where it is pretty clear that you get what you pay for.  I definitely tend to hire people coming out of the classrooms of those teachers with higher pay, they tend to be much better prepared, but hire who you like, personally I would rather be successful.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:28 | 1161913 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

Agreed.  Starting pay in our rural TN county is 32k/yr.

My wife with 30 yrs experience and a PhD, makes 70k. Her first year in 1982, it was 12k.


To the article:  Probably the most valuable thing college kids learn today is "WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING ?"

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:57 | 1162025 optimator
optimator's picture
Look at the University of Connecticut, taxpayer's nightmare.  Chief of Police makes half a million bucks a year, more than the NYC chief.  They have autonomy, they can do whatever they wish.  The only tie to the State is to draw money.
Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:19 | 1161892 gwar5
gwar5's picture

...and wants to ban private loans (read family loans) for such things as education. For our "Consumer Protection" courtesy of financial reform.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:20 | 1161895 dogismyth
dogismyth's picture




Why are we reading this article now?  This has been known for years?  Should we rethink our course of action?  LOL.

Let's face it....NO ONE GIVES A SHIT!

Please the Mouse Trap Parable (google it).  Then tell me again why you don;t give a shit!

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:22 | 1161897 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

I advised my nephew to study Criminal Law so he could get a nice comfortabel job on Wall Street with some guaranteed Fat Bonuses....the Nerd is studying philosophy instead!?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:28 | 1161917 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Masters in Criminal Justice with a focus in Homeland Security, or Disaster response are available.

Growth industry if ever I forecast one.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:10 | 1162356 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

I saw several young DHS agents today (couldnt miss em with the big letters) after i got off the train. It was weird. Never seen 'em before. They were young.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:25 | 1161898 indio007
indio007's picture

Did ZH link to a story about how being a plumber led to a higher standard of living than a doctor because of the associated debt and taxes a doctor incurrs?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:33 | 1161924 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Old fashioned blue collar trades are making good money now that the average guy looks at his car, or refrigerator, and thinks they run on magic.

People think they are quite handy these days if they can change their own oil. LOL.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:39 | 1161946 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

It is true in many cases. Read the book the.millionaire next door. I tell lots now that they should consider the trades and later if they aresmart and ambitious open their own shop. It is amazing what small trades-business owners make.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:42 | 1161961 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

My dad bought me a 67 Firebird with a blown motor, and told me he'd pay for parts, but I could have my driver's license only after I'd rebuilt the motor to his satisfaction.

I thought he was an asshole, but the older I get, the smarter he seems.

I miss him.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:02 | 1162326 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This.  I've posted the story on here before, but whenever any kid from my former alma maters calls trying to beg money for the alumni associations, I tell him to leave college and get a technical degree.  They've since quit calling...

I'm a lawyer, and for the forseeable future, I would not tell anyone else to be a lawyer...  obviously if you have a free ride and/or a job certain up graduation, that's another story...  but for the vast majority, it's simply an exercise in futility.  You would be much better served with a technical degree.  Debt is risk and in the present environment, debt is incredibly risky, especially nondischargeable (or, at the very least, incredibly difficult to discharge) debt.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:43 | 1162480 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture


What he also did was build a lifelong love of late 60s muscle cars.

The last project we did together was a 68 RS/SS convertible Camaro, that I claim I will be buried in.

Gear shift in fourth, Stairway to Heaven on the radio, and it is as close as you can get to a Viking burial these days. Maybe a M1 in the trunk. ;)

Although, I have to admit the fastest car I ever had was the '71 Vette with a 454. Good God, but that thing could fly.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:55 | 1162988 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Recently sold my '66 Chevelle SS.  I'm 62 years young and anyone who says that a 396, 4-speed, 12-bolt posi won't buy youth is full of BS.  

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:12 | 1162361 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

Sorry about your dad but that's a great story. +1000

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:25 | 1161900 American Sucker
American Sucker's picture

My name refers to the student loan scam.  Seven years of post high-school education including a Tier One law school, and I'm bound to $900 a month in payments until 2028.  Legal job prospects are dismal, and I only survive through intermittent contractor work.  I'm one of the lucky ones.  Google "law school scam blog" and you can read about a generation of law students drowing in six-figure debt with no jobs.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:32 | 1161921 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Know what you mean.  Finishing up at a tier 1 law school myself...have a job in IT.  The legal field is a barren wasteland.  Most of my friends in law school have no jobs lined up and a surprising number into that 6 figure debt.  What really gets me is how high morale is even while marching into the maw.  Seems that can't admit to themselves they made a mistake, I know I did (only finished because a twisted obligation to my mom's pride).  What's worse is some employers will not look at law grads for non law jobs (like in IT), so it's actually a net negative in many cases.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:36 | 1161936 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

The US has 5% of the world's population, but 70% of the world's lawyers.

Even in our overly litigious society, that gold paved road had to end.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:42 | 1161962 Shameful
Shameful's picture

No argument from me.  I got involved because I was young, stupid, and pushed by my parents.  It's an awful profession that really exists mostly as a parasite.  But then partially need more lawyers then other societies because of the insane number of laws and regulations.

I would like to see the subsidized student loans end, that would probably clear up a lot of the law school problem.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:08 | 1162078 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
Benjamin Franklin

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:10 | 1162353 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The larger the economy, the more lawyers needed...  it's that simple...  now that the economy is falling off a cliff, guess where the need for lawyers is going.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:48 | 1161979 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

all you young lawyers should try and do some good .....start taking on the banks and the fraudclosures of robosigning and fraudulent chain of assignments .......oh yeah not only will you be doing good, there is millions sitting there for you as well, but for some reason no one seems to want that pot of gold....wonder why ??

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:15 | 1162365 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I would strongly suggest against this...  setting bad precedent is enough of a risk to deter us from wanting bad lawyers pursuing important cases pro bono. 

There are already many, many, many lawsuits against TBTF, et al, for fraudclosuregate, toxic securities, you name it...  cases get decided every day...  there are a shit ton of lawyers who want to take up the fight and are doing it daily...

Further, a good lawyer working for the purported holder of a note/mortgage is going to STOP a fraudulent foreclosure...  there isn't some requirement that every good lawyer has to be on the side of a defaulting debtor...

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:21 | 1162400 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

Tier 2 here (a TRUE waste of money), I had no debt from the state school I went to.

I was lucky that I had worked for a big firm before law school and they hired me. (of course they put me to work for bankster slime and i had to exit before i lost it, though that took 5 years).

I knew the first day of school that I was surrounded by ridiculous, Type A assclowns and that I would hate it, but I did not quit b/c "I am not a quitter."  Stupid me!!!

I tried to branch out, interveiwed with a small tech firm as low man on the totem pole, they weren't having it.  "But you are a lawyer, why would you work here?" 

So now I make chicken change working in the state judiciary.  I can't complain too much, luckily my wife is doing very well.  Other attorneys I know are temping, making $23 an hour and getting fired for sneezing.  Kids graduating today can not even get those jobs.  Soon AI will replace all the doc reveiw jobs.

Law is the biggest higher ed scam going.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:31 | 1161926 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

"a generation of law students drowing in six-figure debt with no jobs."


Well, I can think of more amusing ways to kill lawyers, but in a pinch, I guess that will do......

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:36 | 1161943 Shameful
Shameful's picture

While I will not defend the lack of morality I have observed among my fellow students, but how much worse do you think it will get when these young attorneys have Uncle Sugar on their backs screaming for money?  I expect to see a new level of scum and villainy.  Just goes to show, no matter how bad things are government intervention can still make it worse.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:20 | 1162406 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

I actually know people who are fighting back against the loan companies.  One guy even won.  Angry, unemployed attorneys are one of the few groups of people who will fight.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:15 | 1162371 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You gonna represent yourself when someone steals from you?  When the government takes your land?  When you're up on criminal charges?  When you're trying to figure out whether the home you're buying has any chance of a clear title...

Lawyers are the devil until you need one...

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:22 | 1162405 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

By that point I would expect that the bullets will start flying.  Hence, why it is so important to have like-minded neighbors.  Eventually the devil eats his own.  At the end of the day there can only be one devil after all.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:51 | 1162517 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

So if the town's historical society decides your house is "historical", you're gonna start shooting?  If the highway department wants to build a highway through your property, you're gonna give em a lead salad?

I mean, really?  This is where you draw the line in the sand?  The point is, there are an incredible amount of things that could happen that are not worth dying over, but require legal help... 

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:58 | 1162552 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

No, the point is, deciding what I will or will not fight to the death over is my business, not yours or the business of any government.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:49 | 1162973 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

If fruitful change factors into your decision making process, I'd think that category would get a zero for any likely scenario you would accomplish via that method.  See generally, flying your plane into an IRS building...  Hell, you won't even be on the news in a few hours...

Obviously the second amendment protects your right to defend yourself against both neighbor and country...  but, that doesn't mean it's the best option...  (or even a remotely good one).

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:23 | 1161902 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

From today's nyt article:

Susan Dynarski, a professor of education and public policy at the University of Michigan, said student debt could generally be seen as a sensible investment in a lifetime of higher earnings. “When you think about what’s good debt and what’s bad debt, student loans fall into the realm of good debt, like mortgages,” Professor Dynarski said. “It’s an investment that pays off over the whole life cycle.”

good debt, like comment

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:39 | 1161947 headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

Sorry. I agree with 'American Sucker', and I have first hand knowledge also.

The borrowers are holding ALL the risk. I know of people all over the place who are at least $40,000 (at low end) in debt and have $11.00 an hour jobs.

It's a scam.

The only people that are getting out of the debt or have pay high enough to cover the payments are those working for Government jobs, like in Homeland Security, NSA, or who have gone to the RIDICULOUS colleges Harvard, Yale, Columbia (all pathetic schools that are turning out terrible Supreme Court justices and Presidents of US that are obviously those kinds of people that will do all the "right" stuff for the 'SYSTEM' they Orwell's world).


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:54 | 1161998 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Maybe I should clarify...the NYT article justifying student debt thoroughly disgusted me

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 17:20 | 1163069 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

In the Seattle Times this Sunday was an article about a "certified financial planner" who was advising a teacher struggling to make ends meet to go back to school to get his PhD. The planner told this poor schmuck that the $50K in additional debt he would take on was a good investment because, according to the planner's models, the teacher would earn an additional $675K over his lifetime because of his doctorate.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:15 | 1162106 ParisianThinker
ParisianThinker's picture

Sadly Sir, you are right.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:29 | 1162432 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not really...  the problem with repaying student debt is the same problem that occurred in taking it, no sacrifice.  For every person that only took as much money as they needed for school and a meager existence (maybe a little beer) there were two that were buying useless crap and racking up more debt than needed.  For these latter persons, the party has never stopped and there has never been this hard nosed determination to repay the debt at the expense of their expected standard of living and consumptive habits.

My wife and I went to state schools for ~15 years combined, racking up 5 degrees in the process.  All associated student debt will be paid within 3 years of graduation...  and neither of us works for uncle sam...  In fact, I'm about to start my own pawn shop...

While I agree with the general statement that students are graduating with a bleak jobs picture, the respective scope of their debt holes are of their own doing and, further, are not without resolve...  The largest problem is that everyone expects to "make it" simply by virtue of a degree...  Rather, a degree is only a starting point for you to have a chance to "make it"...  the rest is up to your ingenuity and determination. 

Given the debt trap, prospective students would be better advised to go to trade school, skip the trap, and be productive members of society...  while, generally speaking, wages were formerly higher for degree holders, that is changing/has changed.  As a speculator, it is important to understand these trends and plan your future accordingly...  [students never acknowledge the speculative nature of their educational endeavors, much like homeowners].

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:23 | 1161903 billwilson
billwilson's picture

The big scam:

High paid profs teach very few classes, mostly to upper years with few students. Most of the peasants (first years) get taught by far lower paid profs, despite being in classes sometimes numbering in the thousands.

The big issue is that highly paid profs can rarely teach well, yet they are often the cause of bloated tuition fees.


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 14:30 | 1162435 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Another walking contradiction.  You better educate yourself about how most Universities work, especially private ones.  Those highly paid professors are NOT paid by student tuition.  They are paid off the contracts and grants that they bring into the school.  This is especially true in the sciences where big companies have problems that need solving.  I have paid faculty to solve problems for us because we didn't have the expertise.  Of course many of these same professors have many government grants too but more to your point, you know the old saying; "Those who can not do, teach".  Funny thing is it also applies to the modern University.  Those big shot professors are big shots because they actually know their shit and get shit done.  Those that can't hack it and bring in contracts and grants, teach.  As it turns out, contrary to what the average American thinks, there really are experts out there that really know their shit and actually have the smarts to develop drugs and new technology.  It doesn't happen over night and in some cases takes a lifetime to be recognized (due to corruption - yes there is corruption in science and engineering too).


But hey, believe what you want.  A fool and his money are always soon parted.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:26 | 1161906 headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

Well, the way I look at it, living in the US you have at least two choices that come to mind (in regards to this article).

1. You can go ahead and keep supporting the immoral and deadly system the U.S. feeds you.

2. You can become a temporarily immoral person by taking out as many student loans as you can and

putting the excess money into a safe account someplace. Once you have your degree leave the U.S. and use your money to restart someplace else.  Is this stealing? Yes, it is because it is your intent not repay. But you don't have much choice anymore do you? You can stay here in this sick society filled with psychopaths (The U.S. has more people without a conscience than anywhere in the world) and ignore the suffering of others or join in on their exploitation.



Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:34 | 1161930 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I am sure you are an expert in sociopathy and have epidemiological studies proving a higher rate of sociopathy in the usa?

Othetwise i will just consider you another rather ordinary america hater.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:49 | 1161985 headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

What "studies" do you need? All you have to do is look around you and listen to the people and the 'leaders'. My proof that there is more psychopaths (and/or sociopaths)? Just in the last 9 years we the American People have killed or are responsible for the deaths of approx. 1 million people. Other than a few Anti-war sites and occasional protests I hear nothing about how sick this is. Most Americans applaud it....

That is all the proof you need.

You know psychopaths by their "fruits".

The only reason people are bitching now, is because they are becoming economically insecure. THEIR interests are getting sacked and THEIR money is going down the drain. They don't give a damn about what they did to those in the middle east. They are just worried about feeding their fat faces.

The thing is, Americans have been supporting this system and say nothing when stuff like student loan laws are passed making it nearly impossible to write off.

They do nothing!!!

The American People are as much to blame as the stinky Government everyone wants to pin it all on.



Tue, 04/12/2011 - 13:16 | 1162107 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture
"Give me just one generation of youth, and I'll transform the whole world."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin The socialists in the US, via the Dept. of Education,  have given him two generations. How's that working out? Same as all the bankrupt socialist nations. Prepare for the worst.
Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:29 | 1161912 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Full ride, bitchez!  And finished in 2.5 years.  It pays to be a genius.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:38 | 1161942 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Competing with a world of incompetents also helps.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:28 | 1161914 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

When the government got involved in funding healthcare the costs exploded.

Same thing happened after government got involved in funding education.

Education institutes lost their ethics ( just like us doctors) when there were no constraints or supervision of the money stream.

Two year technical programs were turned into four year degrees to get more government money. Administrators pressured teachers not to fail students, and a huge number of fluff degrees were created to entice students. I have seen masters degrees in recreational therapy unable to write at what should be a basic level.

Just be careful and.dont.get a worthless degree.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:35 | 1161933 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

Very good read here:   Gross is right, we have all been SKUNKED!!!!

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:36 | 1161941 spank-of-america
spank-of-america's picture

The ease of getting a college degree with debt also decreases the value of a degree. More people with degrees means they are less valuable. Sure, you can get a Masters or PHD, but this just means more debt… Hmm it's like it was all planned this way...

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:40 | 1161953 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

alex jones is a low down sorry stinking no good liar........

man, every once in a while it does me good to hear this from bill cooper.....

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:44 | 1161968 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

The Student Loan Industry ......... since when is loaning out unlimited credit to young people who really don't know any better now considered an "industry" .   ............ it's really called FRAUD-BASED ECONOMY.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:50 | 1161987 gall batter
gall batter's picture

LynB, so much that is "industry" and the economy are fraudulent.  

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:53 | 1161988 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

well think about it. these people get out of school and owe large sums of money on government backed loans, that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. what does this do to these young minds full of mush?  it makes for great little slaves that do what they are told and shut up. here lately they are getting out of school , and owe money on these loans and they cannot even find a good job. so now they are in a fix. i tell them if they ask me. just work your way through and don't get any student loans. but, they never listen to me. they should listen to their uncle HPD. for instance. this one girl i know, got out of A & M , in college station with a teaching degree and she now owes 40,000. not a small sum for a teacher. now she is whining about having to make the payments. much to her chagrin, her parents nor her relatives are stepping up to help her on it. she made her bed. she should lie in it. enough said.

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