Student Loan Bubble To Exceed $1 Trillion: "It's Going To Create A Generation Of Wage Slavery" And Another Taxpayer Bailout

Tyler Durden's picture

First, this is the total amount of student debt in real time:



While one of the biggest complaints of #OccupyWallStreet protesters, and much of the balance of middle-class America, continues to be the burden of student loans, the paradox is that, as the USA Today reports once again on one of its favorite subjects, student loans are set to surpass $1 trillion in total notional for the first time in history on what appears to be relentless demand and interest for this cheap form of educational financing, making this debt burden the single largest form of consumer debt, well bigger than outstanding credit card debt, and smaller only compared to mortgage debt. "The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year. Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what's owed on home loans and credit cards." What explains this insatiable demand for this kind of debt? Well, it's cheap, it's easily accessible (the collateral is education), and it is fungible - a student can take out a loan, yet use part or all of the balance for tangential purchases (that iPhone 4S sure would make me cool). But this, like every other debt, comes at a price.

Per USA Today:

Taxpayers and other lenders have little risk of losing money on the loans, unlike mortgages made during the real estate bubble. Congress has given the lenders, the government included, broad collection powers, far greater than those of mortgage or credit card lenders. The debt can't be shed in bankruptcy.


The credit risk falls on young people who will start adult life deeper in debt, a burden that could place a drag on the economy in the future.


"Students who borrow too much end up delaying life-cycle events such as buying a car, buying a home, getting married (and) having children," says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of

Naturally, just like in the credit bubble days, when NINJA loans were fast and furious, the lines in front of banks stretched around the block. Banks may or may not have known that the loans would be repaid, but nobody pressured borrowers to live in that big McMansion that "demanded" $1 down and a 99.9% LTV. Sure enough, when the day of reckoning comes, it is never the fault of the person who probably should have shown some restraint, but no: after all everyone else is doing it.

Well, it is the same thing now. And with generations of people indoctrinated that only those with a college degree can be successful, it is only obvious that student debt is now the next big bubble.

"It's going to create a generation of wage slavery," says Nick Pardini, a Villanova University graduate student in finance who has warned on a blog for investors that student loans are the next credit bubble — with borrowers, rather than lenders, as the losers.


Full-time undergraduate students borrowed an average $4,963 in 2010, up 63% from a decade earlier after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. What's happening:

Granted, unlike with the mortgage bubble collapse, this time we know, as Zero Hedge reported earlier in the week, that everyone is on the fraud. We quote from "The Fraud At The Heart Of Student Lending Exposed - The One Sentence Everyone Should Read"

A key reason why a preponderance of the population is fascinated with the student loan market is that as USA Today reported in a landmark piece last year, it is now bigger than ever the credit card market. And as the monthly consumer debt update from the Fed reminds us, the primary source of funding is none other than the US government. To many, this market has become the biggest credit bubble in America. Why do we make a big deal out of this? Because as Bloomberg reported last night, we now have prima facie evidence that the student loan market is not only an epic bubble, but it is also the next subprime! To wit: "Vince Sampson, president, Education Finance Council, said during a panel at the IMN ABS East Conference in Miami Monday that lenders are no longer pushing loans to people who can’t afford them." Re-read the last sentence as many times as necessary for it to sink in. Yes: just like before lenders were "pushing loans to people who can't afford them" which became the reason for the subprime bubble which has since spread to prime, but was missing the actual confirmation from authorities of just this action, this time around we have actual confirmation that student loans are being actually peddled to people who can not afford them. And with the government a primary source of lending, we will be lucky if tears is all this ends in.

So... debtors know it's a bubble, lenders know it's a bubble, everyone knows it's a bubble, yet it is growing faster now than ever before.

If nothing this is a fantastic exercise in observing a slow at first, then fast-motion train wreck from the side. It is without a shadow of a doubt, that not only will the student debt bubble pop, but writedowns on amounts outstanding will be massive, potentially resulting in another hit of 50% to total notionals, or about $500 billion. And since the borrowers will be fully tapped out, and the lenders will plead ignorance, and control the regulators and administration any way, is there any doubt who will once again be forced to pay for this upcoming bail out? This is something that does not require a college degree to figure out...

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redpill's picture

Undischargable debt = institutionalized, legalized slavery.


Maybe the vote of those with student loan debt should only be worth 3/5ths of a full vote, too.

Don Birnam's picture

"Full-time undergraduate students borrowed an average $4,963 in 2010..."

Hold the phone -- a debt apocalypse precipitated by a mere forty-nine hundred bucks a head ? The average undergrad frat boy/sorority chick has more outstanding on their A&F card than that indicated balance.

traderjoe's picture

That looks like an annual number, banker shill.

Quixotic_Not's picture

True, you fulltime debtors have got to borrow that annually; get educated beyond your intellectual capacity; and then join OWS to DEMAND cancellation of all the nasty debt that the BAD wittle banker shills forced you to volunteer for...

Can't Obummer just give you all that FREE money all at once, so you can party like Elvis in Viva Las Vegas? ROFLMAO

traderjoe's picture

What a curious response. I'm no debtor, but I do favor a nice debt jubilee in a massive monetary reset. And I do think college is a racket that doesn't teach any marketable skills for most - though I don't assume much about others intellectual capabilities because I respect others for their own value. And I don't fault others for their indoctrination, perhaps I might try to lift the veil a bit...

i-dog's picture

You can't just push 'Restart' every time the goblins get you in 'World of Warcraft'! (you'll have to excuse the accuracy of the characters in this ananlogy: I don't play those games - but you should get the drift). The computer gaming generation has learned some very dangerous lessons.

But the point I really want to make is that a 'jubilee' fixes nothing, other than their immediate spot of bother: the system of debt for unproductive pleasure (whether for acquiring symbols of wealth or symbols of intelligence/usefullness - neither of which is accurate) is the real problem.

A second point I wish to make is that this ponzi debt bubble has been engineered for a purpose - and that purpose was not simply to make bankers wealthy (they already were), but to funnel the ownership of title in all persons and all real property in the US and Europe into a single organisation that is colloquially called "TPTB". After that is to come the debtors prisons, work camps, and obedience to the exalted ones at the top of the hierarchy that has been sorely lacking in the upstart peasantry since the beginning of the "Renaissance" (which, in French and to those of us in the Third Estate, means re-birth but, to TPTB, meant something far less attractive).

traderjoe's picture

You seem to agree that the current monetary system is a fraud to scam and transfer ownership. Then why wouldn't you want a jubilee? The way to destroy the current debt-money system would be to forgive the debt. United States Notes. Republic. Free men. Gold and silver for barter and stores of value. No standing armies. End fractional reserve banking. Etc.

Melin's picture

So, if a "free" man wants to create a bank, entice customers by providing a provable safe store for their wealth, take deposits, determine and reserve the amount of money he'd likely be required to cover withdrawals, make loans, pay for insurance in case he errs...he should be barred from doing so?  Do I misunderstand fractional reserve banking?

jeff montanye's picture

imo, no.  the "free market", in many cases made clearest by a close reading of the 1880 to 1932 period, has flaws of major proportions.  

often the market degenerates into oligopoly and monopoly.  producers pollute, make defective products, etc. because the market has poor pricing for air, water and ugly; buyers and sellers have asymmetric information, etc.  financial panics, waves of bank failures produce enormous burdens for the entire economy, many of whose members made no transaction with the institutions originating the calamity.  

whether or not government (or something else) can countervail, regulate or ameliorate these flaws for long, given the tendency to regulatory capture, is a good question.

like adam smith said, the tendency for capitalists to subvert capitalism is undying.

AldousHuxley's picture

unrelated to the thread but relevant on the topic:


Entrepreneur Peter Thiel, co-founder of Pay Pal, board member of Facebook; president, Clarium Capital, Says College Isn’t Worth It

the Fellows will pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow. During their two-year tenure, each Fellow will receive $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from the Foundation’s network of tech entrepreneurs and innovators. The project areas for this class of fellows include biotech, career development, economics and finance, education, energy, information technology, mobility, robotics, and space.


Laura Deming wants to extend the human lifespan for a few more centuries—at the very least. She started working in a biogerontology lab when she was 12, matriculated at MIT when she was 14, and now at 17 plans on disrupting the current research paradigm by changing the incentives embedded in today’s traditional funding structures. Too often, researchers design quick incremental projects to please grant-making bodies instead of taking on risky, long time horizon problems. With her fund IP Immortal, Laura plans on commercializing anti-aging research, bringing therapies out of the lab and into the market sooner.


Andrew Hsu started doing research in a pathology lab when he was 10. By the time he was 12, he had matriculated at the University of Washington. Soon after, he graduated with honors degrees in neurobiology, biochemistry, and chemistry. He was a 19-year-old 4th-year neuroscience Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University when he left early this year to pursue his start-up, Airy Labs.


John Burnham believes that the search for new resources has driven exploration, expansion, and innovation—from the discovery of the Americas to the California Gold Rush. Likewise, he believes the key to colonizing space is to make it possible to extract valuable minerals from asteroids, comets, and other planetary bodies. John plans on using his fellowship to develop space industry technologies to solve the problem of extraterrestrial resource extraction.


Jim Danielson is working on building a more powerful and efficient motor for electric vehicles. He has already electrified a Porsche 924S, including power electronics of his own design. He is currently co-launching Makt Systems LLC, a start-up to commercialize his research and design. Before becoming a Fellow, Jim co-founded the Electric Vehicle Club at Purdue and was president of Purdue Innovations, the university’s entrepreneurship club.


Dale Stephens flaunts non-conformity in most aspects of his life. At 19, he leads UnCollege, the global social movement that applies the methods of unschooling—the self-directed brand of homeschooling with which he was raised—to the realm of higher education. His first book, a guide to hacking your education, will be published by Perigee/Penguin in early 2013.


Jeffrey Lim wants to increase the amount of voluntary exchange and cooperation in the world by revamping some of our core economic and social institutions. He believes it’s time the means of exchange caught up with the Information Age. Once he stops out of MIT, Jeffrey plans on using his fellowship to create technologies that will help people self-organize to solve social problems. He’s particularly interested in helping people protect the wealth they create from the harmful effects of inflation.

Bring the Gold's picture

I have to agree with Trader Joe, I don't understand the defense of the debt as money system in this thread. I also don't understand why folks think it's good and even noble to own debt (eg the pensioner holding debt). As though somehow getting first in line at the debt ponzi by pure luck of an earlier birth entitles you to enslave later generations. The solution is debt free money plain and simple. "Pensioners" existed in prior times by helping out their families and being helped by their families. Now days everyone wants to break the family unit down to the smallest possible, the individual vs. the created corporate entities. How's that working out for everyone?

Buying into the bankers system (defense of debt, dragging out grandma as a reason the 20 somethings need to be bent over the barrell etc.) means you ENDORSE the bankers system. Do away with debt or else you aren't really against the bankers system, you just want the game tilted in YOUR favor.

Student loan debt is among the most odious due to the age at which the debt is issued at (the same age the military targets due to lower risk/benefit analysis capability compared to mid-twenties and older adults), the fact that one cannot remove it by bankruptcy and the fact that it is insane to charge our citizenry to become more productive (potentially, but those bullshit degrees are side effects of the student debt ponzi). Everyone should get a free education to help improve our society. This is something the ENTIRE REST OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD agrees on. Once again American exceptionalism at its finest. What's the most hilarious part, is those who hate bankers will come by to give me a thumbs defend the bankers debt system.

dwdollar's picture

The reset is going to happen with or without a jubilee. Banks always extend themselves too far. Presumably, a jubilee would be a more organized default.

bankruptcylawyer's picture


your first comment shows you lack insight into the meaning of jubliee. if somehow, the people are able to push through a social political movement that extiniguishes the vast majority of their debt, then they've succesfully destroyed the current banking system based on the fed. a true jubilee results in destruction of the banking system. a fake one just shifts costs of debt forgiveness from one group onto another group of plebians and leaves the debt issuers in essense a special interest bailout for students at the expense of a different group of proles and consumers. 


trav7777's picture

so all the debtors get to walk away but all the pensioners who own that debt get fucked...yeah, and let's cut SS too.

Someone is gonna suffer

RafterManFMJ's picture



My pension isn't in debt, the blood of the children and unborne but in real money - sweet silver and gold. For how long will the old suck the blood from the young, the living? Until their marrow is gone and their bones dry and clacking?

batterycharged's picture

Hey you lazy bum, go get a job and if you can't find one, go back to school!

Hey you dumb loser, it's your fault for taking out that $100,000 loan that you can't pay back trying to get an education and a job!

You have to love the cold-hearted mentality in this country. I think people love to set people up to fail so they can ridicule them either way.

Realize also that many people bought expensive houses because.....THAT WAS ALL THAT WAS ON THE EFFING MARKET.  It's a bubble for a reason! People assumed they could always sell the house.

Jeez. People get caught up in these ponzi scams and you blame them for trying to participate honestly in society??

Willzyx's picture

These pensioners really expect to earn a return by lending to students?

i-dog's picture

"your first comment shows you lack insight into the meaning of jubliee"

Au contraire. I contend that it shows I have insight into the effects of a jubilee. There are many factors at play and I'm just throwing it out there for [rational] rebuttal.

Firstly, the banking system, including the European CBs, is busily transferring all their toxic shit onto the books of the Fed. After which, the Fed will be buried (which is why I don't expect them to do any more QE...just accumulate more "assets"). OK, toxic derivatives out of the way - now, who owns what? (One factor that I haven't looked into--because it doesn't affect me--is what the effect of a jubilee will be on student loans. Given that they can't be absolved in bankruptcy, does the fine print also pre-empt government-declared jubilees?),

Secondly, when the currencies collapse, the person holding the title will be holding the asset. If, however, there is a jubilee (and the bankstaz may even volunteer one), good luck finding your title and claiming "your" property after the "accidental" mixups of MERS! Also, don't be surprised if/when a skeleton is dragged out of the FDR closet that [finally] sheds some light on who actually owns each serf with a SSN and numbered birth certificate (unless, of course, it is only a forged/photoshopped one from the early '60s).

Thirdly, unless the system that built the ponzi - ie. the state (including its guiding high priests and bankers) - is removed from the equation for the 'restart', the ponzi will just start afresh. As a wise friend once said: "If you were to stop the world tomorrow and redistribute everything absolutely evenly then, within 6 months, I suggest the rich would be rich again and the poor would be poor again"!

zen0's picture

I would just like to point out that the main feature of a Jubilee is that it is predictable 50 years in advance. After a Jubilee, money becomes cheap. As time goes on, it becomes expensive. Consequences ensue.

Melin's picture

I was already "in a spot of bother" by Tyler's gratuitous attack on Apple, “(that iPhone 4S sure would make me cool)” when the "unproductive pleasure” assault on thinking people with information devices reared its ugly head, yet again. 

There are numerous arenas one can choose to criticize our society. If we're to incur voluntary debt, I can't think of a better "unproductive" pleasure than that provided by instant connectivity with billions of people.

Keep bloggin' people.  Individuals with "unproductive devices" worldwide are tuning in.

i-dog's picture

LOL (and condolences). 1 green from me. My life would be quite different now, too, if it weren't for all the spending on fast cars, wine, wimmen, song, toys and travel ... particularly on wimmen. No regrets, though ;)

flacon's picture

A nice "Debt Jubilee"/"Debt Forgiveness"... does that mean we get to party like it's 1999 again? Beers for everyone - this life is too easy. 


There aren't any negative unintended consequences of Jubilee Party are there? It's FREE right? The government can pay for it, right? Right?

AldousHuxley's picture

OWS should demand that government only pay 100% scholarships for top 10% of graduating class. Rest get no aid.

This way shitty schools and shitty majors die off intead of living large off of tax payer education subsidies.

This way college degrees mean something.

This way banksters stop pushing shitty loans to those who shouldn't go to college.

This way dumbasses can face reality and go into production jobs. Hey about joining NYPD?

This way intelligence gets respect back and teachers too since grades mean money.

You want a giant football stadium? pay it with ticket prices not education subsidies.



Manthong's picture

Dont' forget the effect and cost in real world terms of faculty and staff that skews the curve to maintain the churn.

traderjoe's picture

Crash the money. Crash the gov. Lots of consequences.

tmosley's picture

No, the implication of a debt jubilee is that there is a real and pervasive risk of another in the future, meaning higher interest rates and less borrowing by everyone.  This is a good thing.

Of course, we will have a debt jubilee, but it won't be so explicit.  Rather, we will simply have hyperinflation and a total monetary reset, just like every other time a nation-state has spent more than it has.

JB's picture

"the implication of a debt jubilee is that there is a real and pervasive risk of another in the future"

I'm not sure if it's an 'implication,' but Israel, where jubilee originated, practiced/celebrated it every fifty years. Every sixth year they would plant double, and every seventh year (the Sabbath year) the fields would lie fallow. At the conclusion of the 49 year 'week' (7 'weeks' of 7 years) would be the jubilee.

topcallingtroll's picture

A plumber who owns his own business is often making 80 to 90 thousand per year. Not too many people go into plumbing. All the non college bound want to be mechanics in my area.

Plumbing is the way to go.

d_senti's picture

Hey fellow ZHers, I'm considering going back to school and looking for some advice. I'm late twenties, wife and young son, and have a crappy security job. I live in North Dakota, where the economy isn't doing too badly.

I'd like a decent job. I've been considering going to a tech here/online (legit school), probably to get an accounting clerk certification. It'd take a year if I went balls to the walls full-time, but I could do it. I considered trades like plumbing, carpentry, mechanic, etc., but I'm partially disabled and so that makes those things very difficult.

I'm quite certain that student loans are a racket, and the fear of being stuck with a debt I can't ever discharge has discouraged me so far. To do it full time and as quickly as possible (maximizing value, as far as I can tell from the numbers I've checked), I'd have to quit my low-paying job, which means to get by I'd need to take out something like 10k for the year in loans. From what I've gathered, there are quite a few job opportunities for accounting clerks, so barring TEOTWAWKI, I'd be likely to find a job.

My question is: is it worth it? I've never been in serious debt before for anything (besides our mortgage, wife and I are debt-free). I've searched in vain for a decent-paying job for a year and a half (with multiple interviews that didn't pan out). I'm willing to work my butt off to provide for my family, and I'm a pretty smart guy. In the seventies, I'd have just found a decent job and worked my way up, but today? You need the piece of paper, no matter what you know or are willing to learn.

So what is your collective advice? Are there other fields you think I should enter instead? Is it worth the debt? We are dirt poor and save what we can (no movies, cable, eating out, etc.) but there's always something. That's life, and I'm fine with it, but it limits my options when it comes to saving up for anything, and the little savings I do have are in PMs for my SHTF collection (food, ammo, blah blah).

So let's hear it, and thanks to anyone who replies!

Short Squeeze's picture

I think that would be a BIG mistake. You are going to spend a year in school, making no money, and have to pay back the student loan.  I dont see a whole lot of need for bookkeepers or accountants a year from now. Maybe i'm being pessimistic, but there are years worth of recent graduates still trying to get that same job you are looking at. All that debt with no guarantee of a job would scare the hell out of me.  I have a college education, but i ended up going into a skilled trade instead. I learned the ropes while getting paid, then started my own business. Even in this sucky economy, i'm still making 100k+ a year. Just my humble opinion.   I realize the disability limits your choices, but maybe there is a trade you could do? Good luck!


dark pools of soros's picture

he's disabled?  Just collect free checks and spend your free time protesting and lobbying for more


why fight the rip tide?

Janice's picture

No it is not worth it. Sorry, I got interrupted. I am a CPA and I do not recommend that you take an accounting clerk all, period, nada. You either pursur an accounting degree or don't bother. If you want to break into accounting, I recommend that you learn quickbooks. If I were counseling you, here's what I would suggest. Start applying for jobs as an accounting assistant. They will teach you all that you need to know. Look in the phonebook or google "associations" in your town. They usually have entry level jobs. Google bookkeepers and see if they have jobs. Work as an assistant, go to community college, get your two year AA and move on to university if you want. OR, work as an assistant, learn, move your way up. I worked with a lady who had a high school degree and was making 45k. You can make 35k - 85k with little more than an associates degree with experience. I do not recommend that you sit for your CPA, but you give it much consideration. I have found my CPA license to be more of a hinderence than help. Don't get into tax at all. Tax accounting and the preparation of tax return sucks. Lots of busy work, liitle reward.

Janice's picture

Let me also say this. Happiness comes from being content with what you have. It's bad to say, but no one is ever satisfied. They always want more, work harder and are enslaved by their desires. With money and higher positions comes stress and anxiety. I hear you trying to eek out a living, but our current economic environment will not allow it. Only a few are "making it" and those that are usually spewing money like a leaky faucet. In one hand, out the other. If you had saved money, where would you put it? In the bank, you'd be lucky to get it back and inflation will eat it away over time. You are better off to reduce your cost of living than to make more money, for example, tracfone instead of verizon. Our cable goes full tilt during football season, but gets reduced to basic service from Feb - Aug. Your labor is money, money is precious, don't waste it. Lynard Skynard had it right, "Be a simple kinda man, be someone, you love and understand." And with that, you've heard the advice that I give my own family.

d_senti's picture

Hey, thanks everyone for the replies. Very much appreciated.

Short Squeeze, I definitely considered the backlog of graduates, and it makes me hesitant too. A trade would be possible if it were something that didn't require much for physical labor, but there is very little that falls into that category obviously. I'd love to learn a trade but I really don't think I'd be able to do it. Have any that fit the bill in mind?

Dark Pools, haha, that's one way to do it. But I'm not a leech; I'm getting by alright, and won't go on the government dole unless I'm a step away from homeless (and even that is pretty much only because I have a family to care for, as I'm opposed to most/all those programs on principle).

Ahmeexnal, no way I'm becoming an enforcer for the debt charade. But I'm sure there'll be work available!

Janice, thank you very much for your advice. If you'd be willing, I'd like to talk to you a bit more about it given your experience. Hate to have to do this, but given the lack of options, my email is my username above at hotmail. Please no one else spam me. And I entirely agree with being content with what you have. I'm not looking for big money; what we want is for my wife to be able to stay home so she can care for our son and home school him. I'm only looking to make something like half the median income to get by (minimum). Anything I saved above and beyond that goes to preparation (PMs, etc., as mentioned above).

Janice's picture

Will email....cabinet building is the only other thing that I can think of that is relatively within your parameters. Oh you know, my cousin is an electrician and he repairs elevators. Elevators have to be inspected every year. He is making 80K plus. No college, just pisses me off, but he's a smart, good guy. No boss on your back because he has to drive from location to location. Company truck to take home. Job can't be outsourced to China.

defender's picture

d_senti, you might want to consider machinist as a trade.  Most of the time is spent watching the machine to make sure that it doesn't screw up in the middle of the run.  Also in your favor, many of the people that are in the trade are baby boomers, which means that they will be hiring when you graduate.  After you have saved up some money, you can buy your own machine (they are cheap if the world is falling apart) and make a little cash on the side.  The only thing to watch out for is the sweat shops that think they own you. 

d_senti's picture

That's very interesting, and would definitely be a useful skill in any environment. Do you have personal experience with this? I will absolutely look into it, thanks.

Conrad Murray's picture

FWIW, the vast majority of jobs listed around here are either CNC or RN. Both seem to have good placement out of college also. If you have any aptitude in either of those fields, or feel you might, explore them.

defender's picture

Sadly, my only experience is in passing.  My dad had a hobby machine shop when I was a kid, I wasn't smart enough then to take the time to learn the trade.  Every manufacturing plant has at least one machinist, and there are a lot of smaller shops that do mostly machine work.  I would suggest the manufacturing plants b/c they have better pay and benefits, and they usually treat their machinists well.  You can take classes from most of the community colleges, and you don't have to go full time to get a degree.  Also, once you get a few classes under your belt, you can switch jobs to something that uses the skills that you are learning.

Good luck to you.

defender's picture

Also, do anything CAD that you can get your hands on in college.  It is worth its weight in gold, and especially for a machinist.

e-recep's picture

It ain't that simple. Enemy is lurking outside. It is hungry, it is greedy, it is scrupulous. You constantly have to make progress to defend your being, your enemy never sleeps. And that progress comes with a price. You can't sit idle and hope to live happily ever after. 50's, 60's and 70's are long gone. It's time to fight for survival. Evolution never forgives species that are content with what they have.

OldPhart's picture

To give the private, corporate side of what Janice said.

I am a corporate controller for thrity two companies spread across California and Arizona (Nevada was shut down in 1992).  I passed my CPA exam however did not get licensed because I never had my minimum field audit work.

From what you said, I have to assume your around my vintage...50's or older, due to remarks about getting work in the 70's.

First, TAKE NO LOAN.  Student loans will rob you of ANY income you may scrape together.  I can attest it can be to the point where your bank account is frozen, liened...etc.  I found out the hard way because I didn't realize that I actually had two loans, to two similarly named accounts.  I went to school in my late 30's and got my associates, bachelors and most of an MBA in three years.

Second, I actually hire accounting clerks from time to time...but haven't since 2005.  If you were to come to work for me you would make about $30k per year, IN CALIFORNIA, and you probably wouldn't see any sort of raise until the economic crash reverses.  We haven't had a single wage/salary increase since 2007.

Avoid Health Care.  There are so many enrolled in health care there will be a glut in a couple of years.  On top of that, unless(until) Obamacare is repealed, lower echelon healthcare workers will be frozen in place wage-wise, and theere will be a mass of 'qualified' people to fill each position.  There was a time when I was a paramedic, though volunteer, and with my mom as the earliest family nurse practitioner with the first FNP clinic, along with step-mom and step sister in health's not something you want to do as an entry level geezer.

What you might want to think about is communications technology...fiber optic splicing, cablesystems monitoring...hands on stuff.  Alternatively, you might want to think about old cobbling (making shoes), tinsmithing, weaving...similar stuff.

If/when our fantasy economy collapses we're going to be in a weird sort of state where we have all this technology infrastructure but no basic skills to supply every day items.  Shoes, jeans, shirts, coffee pots, blankets and most everything else are imported these days.  I'm expecting that those imports will cease in a dramatic and sudden fashion.


Bumblebee Tuna's picture

What might often be overlooked about schools is that it isn't the student loan itself that is a racket, but the tuition.

In my case, I attended a graphic art school.  Tuition was about 10k/year for the full time program, but after one semester it became clear that the only valuable information was in about 2 of the 6-7 courses within the program.  By the second semester I pulled out of full time and took the important courses as a part-time student.  It saved thousands.

This may not apply in your case, but I found school put a lot of filler 'fluff' in their programs to justify making it full time.  In the end, it just pads their pockets and causes students to have bloated student loan debt.

Maybe it doesn't occur so much in the accounting schools.  I think school can be really valuable if they remove the garbage.  A few good courses and the connections you make while attending will likely serve you well if you're motivated.

davepowers's picture

on top of the tuition racket is the college textbook racket. Eighty-ninety bucks for a thin, very thin, dog earred paper back. More for the dog earred hardbacks.

And then they change texts so you can't sell them back. or some massively overpaid prof issues a 'new edition' of his or her previously issued boring text. or so forth. 

And many of these texts are works that people would never buy if not required to buy. 

The college text book price bubble can't implode soon enough.


AldousHuxley's picture

They have PDFs now so almost zero distrobution costs


you want cheap textbooks? go get a past version for quarter of the price and just copy over the corrections in the latest version.



Ahmeexnal's picture

The little prince is used to wearing the season's latest A&F, lining up to buy the just released iDebt gadget....and you are asking him to buy older books?? G-d forbid you suggest he buy a *gasp* used book.

d_senti's picture

You're overgeneralizing (if that's a real word). I grew up with plenty of those d-bags, but I also grew up with plenty of people who are just as annoyed by it, including myself. Virtually everyone I know that went to a university - including those from rich families - bought used books when at all possible.

AldousHuxley's picture

Because makig anything more than $150k a year for 50 something parents is considered too rich, so even the "rich" kid has to suffer. Also, no college gives you living costs which is probably $10k/year.


Plus parents might foot the bill for $30k undergrad, but when it comes to $200k law/med/MBA school, parents aren't going to pay and neither the government or the school. It is all on the kid's debt books.


So in the context of hundreds of thousands of dollars, $50 A&F shirt to last you 4 years is nothing. That's like two days of taxes saved by not paying in California for illegal aliens.







d_senti's picture

No idea who you're talkin to, but it ain't me. I just said that not all people my age are gadget-obsessed spoiled brats. They're just the most prominent.