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Student Loan Debt Slaves In Perpetuity - A True Story Of "Bankruptcy Hell"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

The numeric implications as well as the magnitude of the student loan bubble have been discussed extensively before. Yet just like most people's eyes gloss over when they hear billions, trillions or quadrillions, so seeing the exponential chart of Federal Student debt merely brings up memories of a math lesson from high school, or at best, makes one think of statistics. And as we all know statistics are faceless, nameless and can never apply to anyone else. It is the individual case studies that have the most impact. Which is why we would like to introduce you to Devin and Sarah Stang - student loan debt slaves in perpetuity.

First, for those who are still unfamiliar with the brush strokes, here is the big picture, courtesy of AP:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates 37 million Americans have student loan debt, totaling $870 billion. The average balance is around $23,000 (though that partly reflects a relatively small number of very large balances; the median is $12,800). Only 39 percent are paying down balances. An estimated 5.4 million borrowers have at least one student loan account past due.

 

Roughly 85 percent of outstanding student loan debt is owed to the federal government. The remaining 15 percent that's counted as private student debt is owed to various non-federal lenders, ranging from banks to loan companies like Sallie Mae Corp. to non-profits and state-affiliated agencies (under the Durbin bill, loans from any government-funded entity still wouldn't be dischargeable, only those from truly private lenders).

 

Generally, it's these private loans that bring borrowers to the door of bankruptcy lawyers like Barrett. Private student loans often lack the protections of federal ones, and have rates that typically start higher and can shoot up. A recent survey of bankruptcy attorneys found 81 percent reporting more clients with student debt in recent years, and roughly half reporting a significant increase.

And, also by way of background to those unfamiliar, student debt has a very peculiar feature:

Virtually any other kind of debt — including medical bills, mortgage, credit cards and car loans, even gambling losses— can be discharged in bankruptcy, allowing the "honest but unlucky" a chance to restore their footing through an arduous restructuring overseen by a court. 

 

But under a 2005 law passed by Congress to protect lenders, private student loans fall under the same nearly-impossible-to-clear category as child support payments and criminal fines.

 

"It's a huge part of why the younger generations are here now," said the Stangs' bankruptcy lawyer, Matthew Barrett, whose busy office in Amherst, west of Cleveland, belies stories about the improving economy. He estimates half his clients have problems with student debt.

It is very ironic is that despite all the rhetoric, the president has said absolutely nothing about mitigating this particular provision of bankruptcy law: the one which makes student debt the most expensive form of payment: one which is literally like the proverbial gift that keeps on giving. Or in this case taking.

To advocates for student borrowers, the law is infuriating, counter-productive and — if intended to ensure lenders would be willing to make loans to students— demonstrably unnecessary. They see changing it as among the most effective, and least costly, ways to help those most seriously burdened by student debt, without giving a break to those for whom it's manageable.

 

Yet despite a voluble national conversation on student debt, the issue has gotten comparatively little attention.

 

At stops in three swing states this week, President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to head off a scheduled doubling in federal Stafford loan rates, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Changing that law could save more than 7 million new borrowers on average $1,000 a year, according to the White House. But this across-the-board benefit for current college students would do nothing for older borrowers already in trouble.

 

Acting without Congress, the Obama administration has implemented a series of protections for those pressed to pay back federal loans, such as income-based repayment and a public-service loan forgiveness program — steps lauded by advocates for borrowers.

 

However, the president appears never to have directly addressed a proposal by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, to overturn the 2005 law on private loans. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently told Durbin the dischargeability proposal had "some merit" and that the administration wanted to work with him to expand the protections it has implemented for federal student loans into the private market. Regardless, the bill has little chance of passing the divided Congress in an election year.

Which brings us to the topic at hand: case study A.

The misfortunes that brought schoolteachers Devin and Sarah Stang and their four young children to bankruptcy — and the loss of their house and a car in the process — were their own unique story.

 

They bought the house at just the wrong time. There were heavy medical expenses when, at five months pregnant, she delivered stillborn twins. And their money woes go back further: When Sarah's college softball team pressured her to drop classes she wanted to take, she quit, lost her scholarship and had to make up the difference with loans. Devin, too, borrowed to get a master's degree. Then they struggled amid school layoffs near their Sandusky, Ohio, home.

 

Now, the Stangs just want a truly clean slate, financially. But even the ordeal of bankruptcy won't give it to them, and the reason is a common one: Much of their debt comes from private student loans.

...Which as noted above, will virtually never go away. So who is the biggest winner? Why bankruptcy lawyers of course, who as it so happens all the time, do nothing but provide false hope...

Generally, it's these private loans that bring borrowers to the door of bankruptcy lawyers like Barrett. Private student loans often lack the protections of federal ones, and have rates that typically start higher and can shoot up. A recent survey of bankruptcy attorneys found 81 percent reporting more clients with student debt in recent years, and roughly half reporting a significant increase.

 

Barrett says he's seeing more recent college graduates who couldn't get a job after graduation or who, if they did, faced garnishment of entry-level wages.

 

Before the 2005 law passed, lenders would "try to work with (borrowers) on a payment plan," Barrett says. "They had the threat, if we don't make it so this person can afford to live and eat and get to work and dress for work, then they're going to file for a bankruptcy plan and we're going to get hit.

 

"Now, they'll hit you with a garnishment — and if you can't make ends meet, tough."

 

Private lenders haven't always enjoyed a spot at the front of the line of bankruptcy creditors.

It wasn't always like that:

Private lenders haven't always enjoyed a spot at the front of the line of bankruptcy creditors.

Until 1976, all education loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy. That year Congress began requiring borrowers to wait at least five years before they could discharge federal student loans. Since 1998, borrowers have been unable ever to discharge federal student loans, and in 2005 the then-Republican-controlled Congress made private loans almost impossible to discharge. Essentially, borrowers must prove they can't repay and will never be able to, but the standard is vague. And litigating in bankruptcy court may be impossible financially for someone in those circumstances.

 

With federal loans, the concern was that making it too easy to walk away from debts would put taxpayer dollars at risk.

 

With private loans, the lender protections were justified by fears that otherwise lenders wouldn't extend students the capital they needed to cover tuition bills. Student loans offer no security or collateral. Lenders are betting on a borrower's education to produce future earnings. Put differently, a bank can repossess your car but not your brain.

 

Changing the law "would force our members to raise borrower rates or elevate their already strict underwriting standards and essentially make it harder to make the loans," said a spokeswoman for the Education Finance Council, which represents nonprofit and state-based providers of non-federal loans, in a statement issued on behalf of president Vince Sampson. A Moody's report also suggested younger student borrowers might be especially tempted by an easier bankruptcy filing, not appreciating the long-term credit damage.

 

But such arguments swim upstream against a lot of historical data.

 

Before 1976, when student loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy, there's little evidence borrowers abused the practice. A federal study from that time estimated less than 1 percent of all matured student loans were discharged in bankruptcy.

Of course, before 1976 there was not 30 years of excessive easing resulting in unprecedented dislocation from fair value for all asset prices, driven purely by nothing but cheap money, and people access to it.

Which brings us back to the Stangs:

"I wasn't raised to say, 'I'll go file bankruptcy,'" said Devin Stang, who is 41. The family's student debt totals $25,000 in federal loans and about $37,000 in private ones, much of it from taking required continuing education credits to keep up their teaching licenses and job prospects at a time of widespread layoffs.

 

Surrendering one of their two cars in bankruptcy will limit the Stangs' work options, Barrett says. And digging out will be even harder because, even after their other debts are clear, the private student lenders could garnishee up to 25 percent of wages.

 

If they could discharge their private loans in the same manner as credit card debts, "away we'd go on our lives," Stang said.

 

There's also little evidence that changing the law would affect the availability of private student loans. In fact, private student lending was expanding rapidly before 2005, when the loans were dischargeable. Then Congress awarded lenders stronger collection powers — but private student lending fell by two-thirds in just a few years, coinciding with the broader credit crunch.

 

A leading financial aid expert, Mark Kantrowitz of the website Finaid.org, doesn't buy the lenders' argument. He says changing the law might slightly increase fees, but lenders make their decisions based on credit scores and macro-economic factors.

Of course, one can say that one has to live the consequences of one's actions, and it is not like the Stangs did not make a mistake. But then the argument would also migrate to the consequences of pervasive bank failures and the fact that unlike the Stangs, banks did get preferential terms for all their losses and shortfalls. And of course that would be true.

And at the end of the day, America has always been about second chances. Perhaps the Stangs, and all those others who took a bet on their biggest asset: themselves, and failed the first time around, deserve a second chance?

Even if changing the law did make private loans disappear, some advocates think that wouldn't be so bad.

 

In fact, new lending has already fallen sharply recently, and it hasn't kept people out of college; enrollment is way up. Students who might have gotten private loans five years ago, but can't now, are apparently choosing less expensive schools or borrowing more of what they need from the federal government, which accounts for more than 90 percent of new loan volume now.

 

A study by the Project on Student Debt, a foundation-supported research group, found that half of students who took out private loans in 2007-2008 failed to borrow their maximum eligibility in federal Stafford loans. Those students could have — and almost certainly should have — borrowed more from Washington first (undergraduates can cumulatively borrow up to $31,000 in federal Stafford loans, and in some cases, as much as $57,500). Now, they're doing so.

Yet nothing will happen. Why? Because that ultimate enabler of the status quo - America's higher learning system itself, is dependent on perpetuating the status quo. Because if loans are harder to come by, college tuitions would tumble, and the very fabric holding the lie that is modern socio-economic surreality, would implode:

Finally, if the spigot of private loans cut off, it might temper college cost increases. Colleges would find it harder to get away with charging more than what students can borrow from the government.

Indeed one can dream... Or return to reality, where unfortunately nothing changes, and millions and millions of Americans are converted each year into that most sublime form of debt slave: the one that can't just pick up and walk away from it all. The very definition of slavery.

"There's a special circle of bankruptcy hell for these kinds of debts," said Rich Williams, higher education advocate with the group US PIRG, which lobbies on student loan issues. "It's not that students are asking for extra protections. We're asking for the same protections entitled to every other form of consumer debt."

And so it continues in the once great USA, where countless people are converted not only into perpetual debt slaves but have to brave the various circles of debt hell simply to comply with a self-image imposed on them by a superficial society that demands one buys stuff one doesn't need, with money one doesn't have to impress people one doesn't like.

Truly the American dream, pardon nightmare, lives on.

 

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Thu, 04/26/2012 - 17:32 | 2378191 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Well if one waits to pay back the loan it will cost next to nothing when the currency is debased.  They should just allow the loan to be paid off over a lifetime.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 17:44 | 2378206 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Well, if they wait long enough, the debt will be discharged. At least until the day they make all debt inheritable.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 17:47 | 2378247 redpill
redpill's picture

The Nick Gaetano is a nice touch.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:56 | 2378656 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Atlas Thugged, and demanded non-dischargeable student loans.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:03 | 2378829 NewWorldOrange
NewWorldOrange's picture

LOL - the LAST kind of "thug" to ever demand ANYTHING from the gov, would be a foll'r of Ayn Rand.

Hey man, what's up with all the hating on Ayn Rand and all? Seems kind of obsessive. Most people don't even know who she was. No offense or anything, and none taken (I'm a big fan of hers, though definitely not an "objectivist" and never was and don't consider her works an end-all by any means, though a good start IMHO.) If you know a lot about her and/or her works and would like to chat about it sometimes, I'd enjoy that. Have read pretty much everything she ever wrote, some of it mutliple times, and have written and even published a few things stemming from her works. If you name a day time in reply to this post to meet up and chat...I'll check back here for a reply in case you do. Cheers.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:12 | 2378934 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'They see changing it as among the most effective, and least costly, ways to help those most seriously burdened by student debt, without giving a break to those for whom it's manageable.'...

When Sarah's college softball team pressured her to drop classes she wanted to take, she quit, lost her scholarship and had to make up the difference with loans... Now, the Stangs just want a truly clean slate, financially. '

Barrett says he's seeing more recent college graduates who couldn't get a job after graduation or who, if they did, faced garnishment of entry-level wages...

Let me just get this one straight. Metaphorically speaking, I pay for these people to go to college through my taxes. Sarah takes my tax money and buys an education I assume so that later on I can get my money back from her increased tax income. The school offers her a class she doesn't want so she quits without considering any means to repay my money and then expects me to write my money off because she can't pay it or she doesn't earn as much as she expected.

How many ways can you say 'Tough shit you irresponsible, thick fucking cow.. You owe me the money, now fucking pay it?'

'And at the end of the day, America has always been about second chances. Perhaps the Stangs, and all those others who took a bet on their biggest asset: themselves, and failed the first time around, deserve a second chance?' Perhaps people like me should pay for it eh? My heart bleeds purple fucking piss...

and finally, '"It's not that students are asking for extra protections. We're asking for the same protections entitled to every other form of consumer debt." Really, and which other kind of consumer debt that has no collateral, no income and amounts to tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars?

'And so it continues in the once great USA, where countless people are converted not only into perpetual debt slaves but have to brave the various circles of debt hell simply to comply with a self-image imposed on them by a superficial society that demands one buys stuff one doesn't need, with money one doesn't have to impress people one doesn't like.' It's called being an adult. Be responsible for your own actions and just say no.

You borrow it you pay it back. That's the way the world goes round. The alternative of course, is that you drive my country into the ground for your own personal gain. In the past, people have been shot for that.

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:26 | 2379148 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Once again, that lesbian degree really paid off.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:17 | 2379309 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Another tough choice, in a world of tough choices. No Degree, no good job. Degree, debt-millstone around your neck. Have my own personal Student loan horrorstory.

I know that back in the late 1990's, there was lot of buying and selling of bundled student loans between the pharisees. So, as always, the chairs had been set long ago, laws put in place long ago.... so that this could come.

It really looks like the totalitarian tip-toe is about to clamp down, debtor prisons and all. Quite staggering, especially from the out-side, looking in. More so having been on the inside for a while.

The "system" is also totally without a heart. THat is why it keeps cutting off (with legal means) the arms/ability to repay of ther debt-slaves. Totally counter-intuitive till you see the larger picture...

tch...

ori

re-membering-deepwater-horizon

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 14:16 | 2380703 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

not bad, only seven comments in before the ole standby lines come out,

Once again, that lesbian degree really paid off.

of course, if you'd actually read the OP, you'd find a married couple, both of whom are having trouble with the loans - as teachers.

but it's far more important to get in the "front" thread with a bitchy, repeated daily, completely irrelevant line.

even more laughable is the fact that "Sarah" was taking sports classes - whoooooooooosh!

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:35 | 2379164 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

The pain is not just in the principle, but the fines and fees that get tacked on if a payment is missed.  Has anyone ever missed a credit card payment?  That can be a painful experience.  Student loans can get real ugly, real fast, if a payment is missed.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:04 | 2379219 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'Has anyone ever missed a credit card payment?  That can be a painful experience.' - I did once, by accident. I told the bank if they didn't refund the charge I would clear the balance and never borrow from them again. They refused, and the week after I repaid their 75K and two car loans and told them to shove it. Now I clear the balance every month.

I'm lucky like that, having gold that I can sell even at the height of the 2007 collapse.

The banks don't like it, now they ring me up every few months asking me to transfer balances and take loans. I simply tell them 'Thanks, but no thanks. I don't need any money from a bank that acts like the fucking Gestapo." Nuff said.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:26 | 2379248 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

If everyone had as much gold as you, it woudn't mean anything.  But fuck everyone, right?

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:33 | 2379256 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Hmm, so how much gold have I got then? You seem to have formed a view.

and perhaps you didn't get the bit about selling it to pay off debt...

perhaps everyone else should try the same thing, the world might be a better place.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:00 | 2379495 Acet
Acet's picture

Look, most people in developed nations are constantly being sold a shinny view of the world, that impulsive buying is fine, the money you can get from a credit card is just like all other money and above all that the path to hapinness requires you to buy lots of things, most notably, a house.

So the vast majority of people out there have no savings at all. Like the proverbial frog in a boiling pot of water, they slowly became slaves of the system, unable to stand up for themselves against banks, their employers or even in court simply because even though they have a middle class income, their expenses are so large that they can't afford to fight the system.

I'm a saver myself, and I'm very glad I am. It has allowed me to progress in my career simply by saying "fuck you" and leaving dead-end or unpleasant jobs and even in the face of some pretty heavy shit I could afford to protect myself and rebuild my life.

On the other hand, most people out there are not the typical Zero Hedge type. They can't do the same as we can simply because they've spent the last several years trusting the system, doing what almost everybody else was doing, slowly but surelly being cornered into a place from where they have no escape.

The way I see it, telling them "you should've done like I did" is not going to help them. Rather we need to try and wake them up from the hypnotic sleepwalking of consumer society (slowly and softly, not by shouting "Gold, gold, gold!" in their faces) and by going after the wolves that lead them to this and are keeping them pinned down with no escape.

Me, I'm already doing this for my friends and even the company I started is founded on the vision of defeating consumerism (I call it, anti-marketing). How about you?

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:09 | 2379555 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Acet, I don't make excuses for people even if they all do the same because someone else, even a government says it's a good idea. Suffice it to say that I saw this coming in 2001 when I sold my house and all it's contents and moved half way around the world to avoid it. I support myself and my family and I wouldn't have it any other way.

'Rather we need to try and wake them up from the hypnotic sleepwalking of consumer society (slowly and softly, not by shouting "Gold, gold, gold!" in their faces) and by going after the wolves that lead them to this and are keeping them pinned down with no escape.' - That's a good phrase, but sadly you've now run out of time. They are adults, and they are responsible for their own actions and decisions and I'm suffering with a total lack of sympathy at this point. I too advise my family and friends on what to do (and others that have since become my very close friends) on what best to do in the coming collapse. The one to watch is not gold but tax. I've said it once and I'll say it again. Gold is just liquidity. I didn't clear my debts because I had gold, I cleared them because I don't have to pay tax. That's the gotcha isn't it, the difference between being able to afford to do what you like with your assets as opposed to being told what to do after they've taken it. I have had many discussions on these pages about onshore versus off, some good and some not so good but all enlightening to one degree or another.

To legally not have to pay tax I had to move half way around the world and take legal and financial advice, a great deal of it. That wasn't cheap. How many of these 'sleepwalkers' would even be prepared to do similar, even if they could, and how many would simply want the benefits I have without bothering with the cost? Who's fault is it that despite my best efforts and others like me, they've expended their capital by staying too long at home listening to self serving investment advice spoon fed to them by licensed and regulated 'respectable' institutions, government and banks. Hell these same 'authorities' still tell you that anything offshore is high risk don't they? You can only trust Bernard Maddoff. Where do you stand personally when someone like me says do this, this and this overseas, and someone at home says 'buy a house, you can't go wrong with property can you?' We are all adults and we are all responsible, or should be.

 'Me, I'm already doing this for my friends and even the company I started is founded on the vision of defeating consumerism (I call it, anti-marketing).' - I tried this back in 2002 when house prices were just starting to boom, when it wasn't very trendy and the world thought I was a tin-foil hatter. Some accepted it, some didn't and yet it worked, as you can see. These people are still my friends now. These guys, like me have gold offshore and are quite happy with it, and as well prepared for what's coming as we can be I believe. Once the real problem arrives, and that will be when the tax bill flops onto the mat for most investors, only then will everyone (including the gold bugs) realise the true problem of keeping all your assets at home.

The way I see it, telling them "you should've done like I did" is not going to help them. Rather we need to try and wake them up from the hypnotic sleepwalking of consumer society (slowly and softly, not by shouting "Gold, gold, gold!" in their faces). Sadly, when all this is over, telling them "you should've done like I did" will be the only thing that really mattered. But then telling people not to invest in property in 2005 didn't work either did it?

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 08:17 | 2379639 Acet
Acet's picture

The whole system is designed to keep people meek, unquestioning of authority and uncritical of "experts". Even the ones that are critical have an unstructured approach to it, they angrily lash out at "intelectuals" rather that deconstructing their arguments and exposing the experts' use of specialized language to disguise a lack of wisdom.

Having been born in Portugal and lived in Holland, my move to the UK was a huge eye opener: the whole things is setup to promote sheep-like behaviour:

  • Schools that do not teach kids critical thinking but rather promote obedience to authority. Who are not stern and demanding towards kids but rather wrap them in an everybody-is-special fantasy and teach them to be content with being as they are (meek, uncritical, mediocre).
  • Political correctness used as a tool to shut dissent down.
  • British politness which (certainly when compared with Dutch culture) is just a way to make sure that nobody voices any criticism of anybody else.
  • Even the laws are done to enforce this: you can be convicted of a crime if you voice strong criticism of others and they find out about it or if you say in public anything that might sound in any way as discriminating against a minority.

I'm lucky that I was raised by parents that taught me the value of self control, of saving today to be able to afford bigger and better tomorrow. Who themselves were critical and even rebelious against authority (a member of my family battled for years and was instrumental in getting a serving government minister convicted of corruption in Portugal).

I suspect that at some level you were lucky in a similar way too.

Most people out there were not.

My point: if given a chance, many of today's sheeple would stop being so, thus rather than paint them all with the brush of being worthless we should try and give a way out for the ones are in fact capable of being more than serfs to the machine.

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 08:52 | 2379745 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'The whole system is designed to keep people meek, unquestioning of authority and uncritical of "experts". ' - Absolutely true. I was in it once too. 

'My point: if given a chance, many of today's sheeple would stop being so, thus rather than paint them all with the brush of being worthless we should try and give a way out for the ones are in fact capable of being more than serfs to the machine.' - Couldn't agree more. I do not come from a wealthy background myself and I have worked hard for everything I have, and still do. I appreciate the real worth of money, and not the paper variety.

Personally I try never to brand anyone as worthless, but perhaps the bit where we differ is that I have no time for the terminally and professionally stupid, anarchists, and anyone who does nothing but whine yet isn't prepared to help him/herself and expects the State to pick up the tab. I can see from this that we have basically the same views, which is nice to see.

I visited Holland myself once, about ten years ago. Beautiful place and very friendly people. Recently my wife suggested that we move there, and I said I would consider it once we have a better idea of how the collapse pans out. Still, you never know... How is England these days?

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 09:46 | 2379951 Acet
Acet's picture

England is in denial. The country doesn't in fact make anything anymore and the only thing keeping it from collapse is that everybody is focusing on the rest of Europe first. If we're lucky, we'll have a decade or two of stagnation. That said, if you followed the Business forums at the BBC news website, you would've seen see an increase in the numbers of skeptics in the last 2 years and, for example, while most people were hopefull during the first round of economic boosting (incl. QE1), of late most do not believe anymore in either politicians or mainstream economists, so maybe there's hope.

Inequality inside the society and between regions has increased as the South-East (mainly London) was spared most of the suffering thanks to the influx of capital through bank bailouts while the rest was allowed to collapse while being made to pay for those bailouts. Meanwhile, the value of having gone to the right University and having the right connections continues to far outweight skill and there is an almost constant string of scandals coming up about influence-peddling and the you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours relationship between politicians and members of certain wealthy and parasitical old-boys networks.

To add insult to injury, the country keeps sliding fast towards a Police State. Certainly, as somebody from a country that was under a Fascist dictatorship not long ago, my tingly senses keep being triggered a lot by the things I see hapenning.

Given that our business is software products, with a global audience as target, me and my business partner are serious considering moving to Portugal taking the business with us, and he's not even from there, though we're also waiting to see how things turn out over there.

Holland is great too: I lived there for 8 years and found it a much more balanced society, where in terms of cultural behaviour, individual ambition tends to be tempered with social awareness. Also the voting system is proportional, so there are no parties sharing a monopoly of power and politicians are under far more pressure to actually do what their electorate wants. On the downside, taxes in there are crazy for individuals and the weather is just as depressing as in England.

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 11:08 | 2380222 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'Meanwhile, the value of having gone to the right University and having the right connections continues to far outweight skill and there is an almost constant string of scandals coming up about influence-peddling and the you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours relationship between politicians and members of certain wealthy and parasitical old-boys networks.' - I couldn't have put it better myself.

I left there more than ten years ago when it became clear that I was swapping everything I owned, and everything I would ever own for the possibility of maybe seventy quid a week in handouts if I ever lost my job. That's the welfare state for you. Too expensive to stay. I ran a business there before I left but closed it down when it became clear that there was no limit to how much admin cost the UK govt could and would heap upon me as a small employer. Made a few guys redundant and moved away for good.

I'd like to go back in many ways but just can't afford it, too much tax and giving up my financial future so that the UK govt can take all my money and give it to someone who won't work simply isn't on. I make a lot of money, but I can't afford the 50% rate anymore than anyone else can. I think when the govt realises that taking my capital and giving it to someone who won't work doesn't create jobs, doesn't create wealth and stifles innovation and investment, then maybe we will see circumstances under which I might take my capital back, and use it. Until then it stays in gold bullion offshore. That's the way it is, and the UK can delude itself it's doing well for as long as it wants.

One day I'm sure, Europe will realise that...

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:36 | 2379259 Breaker
Breaker's picture

The real effect of promiscuous student lending policies has been a massive transfer of wealth from the productive class in America to the academic class. More specifically, since worthless degrees like Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies etc would probably not exist without huge subsidies, it has been a transfer of wealth to the most useless members of the academic class. The students are just the politically sympathetic vehicles for the transfer to occur.

So the real question is: who pays for the subsidies to the worthless members of the academic class. There are two choices: (1) The students; or (2) The taxpayers.

In many ways, the taxpayers are to blame because they elected the progressive politicians who created the promiscuous student lending policies and who appointed the supreme court justices who can't seem to figure out that Congress has no power to finance and run the education system of the United States. I didn't vote for them. But the majority gets to take my money and use it pretty much however they want. And the majority decided to use it to give a bunch of loans to kids who were getting degrees that would not increase their productivity and who could not get loans under normal credit standards0.

The students are also to blame. But I expect less from an 18 year old offered money and lots of leisure time dicking around in Gender Studies classes than I do from a 50 year old politician, who ought to know better.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:01 | 2379291 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

let's distinguish between academic studies which further human kind forward and others which are just artsy fartsy true now but fades away like a one hit wonder studies.

 

first of all professors earn well but they are not movers and shakers. professors are just worker bees in academia. the transfer of wealth goes from tax payers to.....a hedge fund. educational institutes call this endowments.

 

if you look at the highest paid staff on university payroll, it is the football coaches....the entertainers....the circus leads. why have non-profit designation for an institution which just produces athletes and college sports entertainment on ESPN?

It is up to the leaders to use nation's resources wisely. American spends all of her money on the old and wars. No money for education despite ever increasing worker productivity. Your children not having the same opportunities let alone better opportunities while you work your ass off for uncle sam and the CEO means you have been brainwashed to accept the condition of a slave.

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:24 | 2379315 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

The Amatuer Tag on College Sports is the cruellest joke. And college sports is the biggest programming tool schools have. Student reaction to Papa Joe's ouster was a shocking tell eh?

ori

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:29 | 2379397 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It rests on a pseudo discrimination between various acts of production. Some would produce, others wont.

That is the kind of mess you've got in when you focus so much on production you eliminate the very fact that the human activity called production is consumption.

As to football coaches being the most rewarded, it might be because they might be the best advertisers for their university.

College football is a big thing in the US. And college football is somehow what puts places like Oklahoma on the map.

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 22:13 | 2383004 AnAnomalous
AnAnomalous's picture

 

It rests on a pseudo discrimination between various acts of production. Some would produce, others wont.

Insights bold and mighty, I hail the astuteness of you!

As both we know, all pseudo discrimination is a product of the production of US-European anti-quasi-Chinese citizens, who produce not but consume much, like gluttons of things being they, spirits adrift in fogs of war and TV.

Westernism is a dead-ending road on way to Hell.

Chineseism is one true path to collective glory.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 14:33 | 2380740 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

well done AldousHuxley, for daring to mention the sacred sports program, rather than the ubiquitous gender studies meme.

of course, sports benefits culture, it teaches things like balls and running and steroids and how to be manly and shit.

no way should anyone seek to understand how "cultures" are invented and controlled by stamping an identity on humans, then man-ipulating them via their own personas - taking, giving, steering, cheering, creating "privilege" then withdrawing it, resulting in angry displays that stay within the cultural boundaries, and never think to look at those who write the rules.

that would be way too hard to learn - best stick with the balls, oh, and the ball cheerleaders.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:09 | 2379503 Lost My Shorts
Lost My Shorts's picture

In fairness to the fick thucking cow, I think you read it wrong.  She had a softball scholarship (paid by your tax dollars because you love to watch chicks playing softball), but quit softball to focus on her studies, and lost the scholarship, and then got roto-rooted by the banks.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:24 | 2379582 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Well clearly that makes all the difference then doesn't it. Maybe we should just write it off...

I did say 'Metaphorically speaking...', but I take your point.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 14:37 | 2380753 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

and of course, Devin, the man in the story, the bull in the family - no mention - whooooooooooosh. . . .

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 15:55 | 2380978 Road Hazard
Road Hazard's picture

Harlequin001, you're such a perfect little repugturd. If corrupt politicians can bail out wallstreet, why not show some student loan forgiveness to people in dire need? Wallstreet gets second, third and 4th chances to correct their mistakes, why not let students do the same? Don't get me wrong, I could care less what happens to students who can't repay their loans. Put them in prison or have uncle ben print them a cool trillion. In the end, nobody cares.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:22 | 2379389 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Petting trolls is like looking for fish in the treetops...

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 17:59 | 2378275 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

 

 

Inheritable debt - nice.  Would be even nicer if it could be willed to others.  :D

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:31 | 2378425 monoloco
monoloco's picture

I don't envy the next generation. "Dad died and I inherited 80k in student loan debt and a house with an underwater mortgage."

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:53 | 2378493 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

...and he owed taxes so i got the bill, and my passport got revoked so I cant run to sane country

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:29 | 2378564 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

We already have "inheritable debt."

Ever heard about the $16,000,000,000,000.00 bill we're leaving to our children?...

 

(P.S, that's $190,000.00 for every US citizen under 25 years old...)

 

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:30 | 2378746 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

It's all about choices.  I choose a cheaper school, a more difficult major that had strong employment possibilities, took 5 years to finish, worked during the school year, didn't incur credit card debt and didn't take a semester overseas.

That's one way to do it.

I could have taken the Army's deal, but Viet Nam queered that.  I certainly wouldn't take it now.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:36 | 2378759 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

was it a dairy farm college?

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:40 | 2378912 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

A state school.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:29 | 2379151 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

BR, I did the same thing. My folks easily pitched in for the undergrad and I paid for my grad degrees. Be smart and you can get to the end nearly unscathed. Most people who find themselves in these kinds of messes were not too bright about the options available.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:40 | 2379172 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

In the Viet Nam days, students who went to college were pretty sharp.  There were good job prospects for a college education.  Now-a-days schools are popping up all over the place and everyone "deserves" to go to college, thereby cheapening an "honest" degree.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:35 | 2379260 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

In the Vietnam days, many people who went to college went to college to avoid fighting a pointless war.  There was a draft.  Dick Cheney and George Bush avoided it, along with almost every other major political figure of the time.   

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:21 | 2379314 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

draft was a test to see who is stupid enough to die for dicks like cheney.

of course politicians are sly and street smart so almost all of them found ways to get out of it.

 

workers bess are learning that corporations fight another kind of war...economic war.

of course politicians are sly and street smart so almost all of them never had to compete in market economy and come from government or family money backgrounds.

 

what's better than patriotism? cold hard cash

what's better than cold hard cash? power over nation's assets and people.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:37 | 2379402 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

draft was a test to see who is stupid enough to die for dicks like cheney.

______________________________________________

Ummmmmm.

Actually, in those days, US citizens living in the US put a floor to stupidity.

Remember one of the funniest US citizen story ever?

Cassius Clay?

This US citizen negro was rejected by the Army, assessed as physically fit, but intellectual improper.

Later, as US citizens figured out that they would need some kind of extra expendable cannon fodder, Clay was reinstated in the honourable status of able fighting male.

Clear sign that actually, it was a priviledge for US citizens to fight for the likes of Cheney.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 11:53 | 2380365 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Vietnam - For young men, the end of the romanticized war experience and the beginning of the romanticized college experience.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:06 | 2379375 Cassiopia2011
Cassiopia2011's picture

I disagree. You may have been one of the privileged. Quote: "My parents easily pitched in..." How easy it is for one of the privileged to tell the rest of us to "be smart." Also, maybe we are not "too bright" even though we scored in the top 3% on national IQ but were sorely victimized by life circumstances?

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 11:57 | 2380382 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Depending on the time, given how much faster the cost of a college education has grown in excess of wages, his parents could have pitched in to help and have been solidly middle class. My parents helped me back in the '80s, when a quarter's tuition, room and board at the state college was a couple of thousand dollars.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:39 | 2378764 Backspin
Backspin's picture

Agreed.  Personally, I love school, and I would love to finish my masters degree.  However, I work instead.  I think it would be fun to lie around on the couch studying all day.  I did that in my udergraduate days.  Learned a lot.  But now I work.  Maybe these people should have been content with less school and a little more productive work.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:52 | 2378798 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Working at Chipotle is productive?

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:19 | 2378878 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

Sure.  Chipotle employees produce and serve delicious, affordable food.

Consider banksters.  They produce tools of enslavement and serve themselves.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:47 | 2379184 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Banksters are just pure evil.  Their only purpose is get people into debt so they can get a bonus.  Student loan debt, mortgage debt, car debt, whatever.  A borrower's stupidity is a bankers paycheck.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out that all the loan servicers are owned by banks as well.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:58 | 2379088 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

I know a kid who worked since the age of 12 and never went to college. He is 20 years old and has 100k in the bank. I'd only go to college to be an engineer at this point. That is probably the only college degree worth anything anymore.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:56 | 2379202 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Good point. There was a time when college and university fees were based on the markets need for expertise. That was called Apprenticeship, where a business invested in an individual for the longer term because market forces demanded it. That individual effectively had a job for life making parts for high end machinery that was then sold to other parts of the world that didn't have the expertise. In retrurn we got cheaper supplies of raw material imports and low end goods.

Why should industry now bother to pay for apprentices when they can simply ask the State to educate everyone they 'might' need for jobs that 'might' exist by borrowing and save them the money.

I agree, you'd have to be nuts to pay these college fee rates. The only way I can justify it now is if I have the capital to start and run my own business. Everything else is a gamble that 'might' or 'might' not pay off.

You take your chances but not with my money. Pay the loans back or live in poverty until you do... What else is there to say?

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 12:01 | 2380140 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

In many european countries the original apprenticeship system still works nearly unbroken since the middle ages, not only in the industry, even in banks. IMHO it's simply the best for the youth and the economy.

Lots of teenagers join - as in the industry and everywhere else - after secundary school (not high school!) the ranks of paid employees for the three years half-school/half-job apprenticeship program to immediately work and get experience.

Further education is available without leaving the job, up to the masters needed for becoming CEO.

Apprenticeship programs are awesome - sadly they require long-term thinking from the management's. And they are cheap.

-----------

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

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 13:25 | 2380608 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

and they are also paid for by the business which is ultimately demanded by the market.

I completely agree...

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 10:17 | 2380083 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

What guided my choices?  The number one criteria was: can I afford this right now.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 10:55 | 2380197 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Yeah but college back then could be paid for with a minimum wage part time job. Not now except for community college.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:56 | 2378952 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

You inherited your Dad's 80k Student loan.  How many generations do they go after?

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:15 | 2378996 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

I think he's taking the piss...

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:09 | 2378534 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

The Gift that Keeps on Giving, er, Taking...whatever...

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 02:51 | 2379368 Cassiopia2011
Cassiopia2011's picture

Perhaps we can will it to our congressional representatives.

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:13 | 2379506 Seer
Seer's picture

Have we not learned through this massive crack-up that debt doesn't just disappear?

Debt IS inherited by the future.  It was ALWAYS the future that this was borrowed from.

"Inheritable debt" is another one of those lame-ass attempts like "death taxes."  It's all meant to pave the road for continued ease of travel by the oligarchs (who will pass along their ill-gotten gains [never losses] on to their inbred off-spring).

"Would be even nicer if it could be willed to others."  I like this until I realize that that's exactly what's being done (oligarchs have set it all up as such already).

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 08:53 | 2379752 phalfa5
phalfa5's picture

Sweet ...   be able to give the gift that keeps on giving ...   to my ex-wife!   (I'm not bitter)

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:29 | 2378413 percolator
percolator's picture

Don't give the bankers any ideas.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:58 | 2378503 njdoo7
njdoo7's picture

Unfortunately, most debt already is inheritable.  

The inheritable national debt vastly outweighs other forms of debt.

Additionally, student loans are effectively going to add to the national debt with the government as the dominant lender. 

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:41 | 2378770 CURWAR2012
CURWAR2012's picture

If debt was inheritable in medical care, old fogies on Medicare would die much more quickly instead of spending their dying days on medicare dollars while family argues over who uses their social security money.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:21 | 2379017 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

So, they make bad decisions, like losing a scholarship, spin a hard luck story, and someone else is supposed to be forced to pay. meanwhile, tuition goes up unconscionable amounts for no real reason other than greedy institutions.  Still, someone else must pay for their bad luck, bad choices, bad decisions.  Now, whose gonna pay for mine?  Can't I get the same deal in exchange for a few tears and hard luck?  

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:15 | 2379509 Seer
Seer's picture

"So, they make bad decisions, like losing a scholarship, spin a hard luck story, and someone else is supposed to be forced to pay."

Worked for the banks, only instead of getting a human "hard luck story" we get ones talking about being god(s).

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:53 | 2379078 tempo
tempo's picture

If you permit student loan bankruptcy then the new loans would only go those who are majoring in fields where there is a good chance of finding employment...engineering, med., law, math. This would require judgment or profiling and just would not be fair to those who just what to have fun at someone's expense and then bitch about how unfair it is to be in debt.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:30 | 2379253 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

So let me see. You've just finished college, you've got your degree, you're finding it a little difficult getting that highly paid job because everybody else has done the same thing, you have no assets and no income.

Who the hell wouldn't file for bankruptcy?

'Before 1976, when student loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy, there's little evidence borrowers abused the practice.' - Sure, that's because we'd just come off a gold standard then and jobs relatively highly paid to tuition costs still existed. Loans weren't given out to everyone and anyone with a pulse, just so that we didn't need to count them as unemployed and uni's didn't ramp tuition fees to infinity just because everyone could pay for them with cheap credit. 

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:20 | 2379513 Seer
Seer's picture

"where there is a good chance of finding employment...engineering, med., law, math."

Employment in "math?"

The PROBLEM is that growth is no longer there to maintain this fucking education bubble.

Face it, "education" is all about feeding the corporate beast.  Corporations win no matter what: you work for them one way or another- either as a top-level slave or as a bottom-level one (perhaps outside of the corporation, though not it's ability to still suck you dry).

The entire premise is fucked up to begin with.  That it went wrong should be of no surprise.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 12:04 | 2380408 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

The PROBLEM is that growth is no longer there to maintain this fucking education bubble.

It can be maintained as long as governments decide it's going to sop up excess graduates to cull the marketplace. Look at all the useless government jobs, then look at how many really simple ones require a degree, which is just a way to fund growth in higher education. Lately, government isn't hiring, so I suspect bubble go byebye.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 17:44 | 2378239 Future Tense
Future Tense's picture

Even CNBC was breaking down student loan debt this week. Good video explaining how bad things are in simple terms:

http://www.ftense.com/2012/04/student-loans-next-bail-out.html

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:02 | 2378516 njdoo7
njdoo7's picture

Of course, it's part of obama's campaign to pretend to care about student debt.  Surely CNBC and other blue-flavored propaganda outlets will follow suit.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:22 | 2379516 Seer
Seer's picture

I'm sure that there will be a campaign to pass legislation mandating that we all have "education insurance."  If people aren't willing to work for all this shit then they'll be forced to do so: the corporate beast must continue to feast.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 17:45 | 2378242 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Oh, if this is the case, they will no doubt find some minor "glitch" in some small print which allows them to jack up the interest rates.

That students have wound up slaves is no accident.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:09 | 2378330 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"That students have wound up slaves is no accident."

Correct, no accident at all.

But to the twisted mind, government leverage has many uses even in default. I can't wait for O'Barry to announce the forgiveness of all student debt this election year. Or at least say those who wish for their debt to be expunged have to perform acts of "community service" ala Castro.

I'd put money on it ;-)

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:17 | 2378370 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

A long time ago I worked my way thru college while others went to parties everynight, I really don't want to hear the fuckin whining if you bought a house post 2006  and got fucked theres no fucking hope for you anyway

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:25 | 2378399 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Barry was talkin' 'bout you and that congresswoman who he couldn't remember her name.

- Ned

{once heard a man of God talkabout "the fuckin' fucker is fucked"}

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:28 | 2378408 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Working your way through college used to be how it was done for the middle & lower class.

Now its debt, impoverishment.

For those who think there is such a thing as a free lunch...here's your sign ;-)

http://chronicle.com/article/Median-Earnings-by-Major-and/127604/

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:15 | 2378683 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I would guess that 45% of the kids in college should not be there.  They probably cannot read or write.   College is a 4 year baby sitting service. There is no jobs for these young people because this 45% are probably not smart enough or ambitious enough to work in a job.  They are special and important.  Hard work is above them.  

If you "deny" them a college edukayshun then you are a bigot, racist, elitist, etc etc.  This is child abuse but the morons fall in the trap.  A college degree is like a phony trophy junir got for showing up at soccer.  It is worthless and means something.

Tylers - tone done the O 2012 banner ads please.   I am tired of seeing that shit.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:39 | 2378765 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

they are really Goldman Sachs ads - Obama is just a salesman...  Romney ads are the same just for a different demographic

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:49 | 2379062 dubbleoj
dubbleoj's picture

Yep, its called the Illusion of Choice, Koolaid for the Poor, Welchs for the Rich, all owned by Kraft, all the same shit: http://www.businessinsider.com/these-10-corporations-control-almost-everything-you-buy-2012-4#ixzz1t4rJWAU1

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:22 | 2379137 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

 

@freddy

 

Someone has already told you but zerohedge uses adwords! Specialized algorithms pick the "best" ad's based on your browsing habits and history. Before I installed ad-block (everyone should! http://adblockplus.org/en/) I would see ad's for gold bullion and tech stuff. You see so many BO ad's because you are constantly on left-leaning sites.

 

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 10:59 | 2380202 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

You can't figure out how to use ad blockers over the course of the last year? What was your education?

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 12:27 | 2380467 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Maybe that's all an illusion, being able to work one's way through college. The GI Bill put thousands of students through school, while it also required a rapid expansion of post-secondary education facilities and capuses to meet demand. And there was a lot of cheap labor for construction and relatively inexpensive faculty to fill them. When the GI's thinned out there was excess capacity, so tuition remained low to entice enrollment. Now that everyone feels entitled to a degree, it's like housing - they're bidding up the price of tuition using borrowed money that many cannot pay back due to a mismatch between supply of and demand for graduates. And costly construction for capacity expansion nver ends.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 13:55 | 2380661 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Very nice link.  The theme in the graph is that if you want to make a lot of money find a field which helps the most people-and that would be energy and chemistry (petroleum engineers and chemical engineers make the most and they are essentially interchangeble from a skills viewpoint).  Of course, I recognize my confirmational bias in this regard as this is my profession.  And the more you can "leverage" your skills/time the weathier you'll become.  So, knowing how to program and automate processes, which all good scientists know how to do is the most valuable of all. 

And its amazing how useful learning the scientific method is in everyday life-from repairing and improving your plumbing and electical systems to making decisions regarding medical care.  And you'll also be able to determine for yourself whether solar power and electrical cars are a scam (they are), and evaluate the best source of power for the future (its nuclear fission using pebble bed reactors)  Or whether much of "climite science" is more of a religion based upon faith or a true science (i.e. falsifiable).  So, my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the physical sciences have been my most important "investment" (even better than a long AAPL/short MSFT pairs trade).  Unfortunately, for most people their bad educational decisions become a lifetime lodestone.  And this is due to easy money via student loans.   When you subsidize something you get more of it, whether its a good idea or not.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:44 | 2378464 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Yes, that's how it used to be. But that changed along the way. Today, there is virtually no chance you could repeat that experiment.

Half the story behind rocketing tuition prices is that they're caused in part by cheap debt. Cheap debt, which keeps the student in check for the rest of his/her miserable life.

It's yet another story about how the government does nothing but distort prices.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:58 | 2378505 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Same thing as with both the housing, and the medical care bubbles. "Free" money has made them all but affordable.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:44 | 2378783 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

All those Making X Affordable Laws have worked out so well.

X= housing, medical care, education.

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:19 | 2379134 Moon Pie
Moon Pie's picture

Pump and Dump.  Our National Legacy:

-Pump and dump people's homes

-Pump and dump people's education

-Pump and dump people's securities (read: 401K's, et al., or just some poor bastard investor)

Further, totally aberrate local landowner laws, the bankruptcy laws and let the SEC run around like a stuck pig blindfolded....hire $10 p/hr people to put a "certified" stamp on it and away we go...

Welcome to the new "America".

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:29 | 2379524 Seer
Seer's picture

Govt is the conduit through which corporations distort the markets.

Everything has been a bubble*.  It was ALL based on excessive growth pulled from the future.  Now that the future is no longer able to abide growth is screeching to a halt.  The Merry-go-Round is over.

* Predicating EVERYTHING on perpetual growth on a finite planet IS a Ponzi, it IS a bubble.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:41 | 2378771 Backspin
Backspin's picture

Right on.  If these people bought a house at exactly the wrong time, then they weren't paying attention.  It's not like nobody called the housing bubble.  What were they studying?  I think it's clear that they weren't busy reading Peter Schiff.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:18 | 2379004 mkkby
mkkby's picture

How do students in college even buy a house?  When we went to college we lived in dorms, or several people to a run down rental.  But that's beneath these entitlement babies.  They have to have the house, mortgage, taxes - and probably a leased luxury car or two.  And don't forget the cable tv, iphones and expensive data plan.  It's child abuse if you don't have every luxury.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:36 | 2379528 Seer
Seer's picture

When we went to college we lived in dorms, or several people to a run down rental. But that's beneath these entitlement babies.

And you don't think that you were one of the entitled ones?  When 2/3 of the world's population lives on $3/day or less I'd hardly think that attending "higher" education and living in a dorm or a rental (both outside the confines of you parent's home) was eeking it out.

Sigh, I suppose that it's what the corporate world has programmed in to us.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:36 | 2378905 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

a long time ago i worked my way thru reform school while others went to parties - i became a gangster then with my skill set i became a banker and now i am trying to do gods work and help all the little people

god bless you - praise the lord!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 22:12 | 2378986 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Agreed. 

The woman profiled in this story blew a scholarship because she was too immature to get along.  With all that debt, it sounds like they went to expensive private colleges instead of perfectly good state schools. 

Someone who is frugal and makes adult decsions can get through college without crippling debt.  When I went to college people drove beater cars or rode a bike, worked part time jobs, lived in dorms or 10 students in a cheap rental house.  The kids today have to pretend to be rich before they even have their first job.  So now they want free shit because of their stupid decisions.  Boo hoo idiots.  No sympathy from me.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 14:58 | 2380842 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

@mkkby,

The woman profiled in this story blew a scholarship because she was too immature to get along.

from "the story":

The misfortunes that brought schoolteachers Devin and Sarah Stang and their four young children to bankruptcy — and the loss of their house and a car in the process — were their own unique story.

They bought the house at just the wrong time. There were heavy medical expenses when, at five months pregnant, she delivered stillborn twins. And their money woes go back further: When Sarah's college softball team pressured her to drop classes she wanted to take, she quit, lost her scholarship and had to make up the difference with loans. Devin, too, borrowed to get a master's degree. Then they struggled amid school layoffs near their Sandusky, Ohio, home.


Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:04 | 2379104 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

College sucked for me too.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:08 | 2378532 njdoo7
njdoo7's picture

That's not how it works.  As a politician, you just need to pretend to care to get the votes. At the very least, you do something minimal as a token, similar to what he is doing now.

"community service"  - This is already in effect, as noted with the public service exemption in this article.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:11 | 2378536 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Then their degree will be worth exactly what they paid for it...nothing.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:39 | 2378610 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Why do the Stangs have 4 children?? Children are probably the most expensive thing you can buy in your life and they had 4 of them. If you can't afford to make your student loan payments you shouldnt be having four kids. Period!!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:56 | 2378812 Rentier
Rentier's picture

Yeah they have 4 kids and we are supposed to feel sorry for them!?  I don't think so their financial woes are ALL THEIR FAULT!  Shouldn't have had the kids if you were in debt so far.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:41 | 2379532 Seer
Seer's picture

I was glad to finally see someone point out the fact that they had all these kids (and, what? two more died?), BUT...

Children are probably the most expensive thing you can buy

Thanks to stuff like campaigns against the "death tax" it'll only be the wealthy elites that can have children, because, well, the rest of us won't be able to "buy" children.

Again, your point is very valid.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 15:24 | 2380900 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

absolutely agree - many people fail to factor in the expenses, and time, that creating a "family" takes. . . housing booms promote this "nesting" story - buy a house! start your family! - and the recent baby boom attests to this. 

and it doesn't help that .gov continues to play right into this, providing benefits to "baby bumps" and creating multi-generations of benefits poverty - visible in all "races" by the way, not just the popular-to-bash-ones.

of course, they were both "school teachers" which lends to the pressure to "re-stock" the class. . . the trajectory of the story is hardly surprising.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:35 | 2378437 monoloco
monoloco's picture

It's the perfect scam, pounce on an 18 year old kid who knows nothing about money and finance and saddle them with a massive debt they can never discharge. Easier than taking candy from a baby.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:00 | 2378515 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Meanwhile, the ones who don't go the college route find that their number one opportunity is military service.

Basically, give Uncle Sam your life now, or he'll bleed it from you slowly later.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:19 | 2378881 Iriestx
Iriestx's picture

Or learn a trade.  Become a plumber, electrician or automotive mechanic.  Make more than college grads, and you'll have a job right away with next to no debt.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:06 | 2379109 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Bingo. But society will look down at you since you actually produce something of value unlike 90% of the snotty college kids.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 06:47 | 2379536 Seer
Seer's picture

No mention of "farmer?"

Do you really think that the world is short of plumbers and electricians?  Might land you a job in Lowe's or Home Depot, until, that is, there's not enough business (being everyone is broke).

Nearly every "occupation" is flooded.  Things are contracting, which will only further result in surplus.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:53 | 2378803 centerline
centerline's picture

Worse than that.  Idiot parents are doing it to thier kids.  The whole educational system and social reinforcement is one big fucking ramrod - shoving all the kids throught the same sausage grinder.   This scam is feeding off of fear and love.  Simply criminal beyond any other bubble yet.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:04 | 2378522 Born-Again Bankster
Born-Again Bankster's picture

Sooner or later, all slaves revolt.  Students with massive amounts of unforgiveable debt will be no different, but most will most likely will do so in a more civil fashion.  How long before they realize that the banks getting "bailed out" to the tune of Trillions with their bad debt just ain't fair when they can't do the same?   In the next 10 years, push will come to shove.  Is www.studentswithdebtbarteringfornecessities.com taken? 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:13 | 2378705 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

No it won't. This country's youth are ballsless PC zombies. They will eat their peas and pay forevermore

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:08 | 2379117 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

A lot of them are but a lot of them aren't. There are a lot of young faces among the Ron Paul crowds. Things definitely will be getting interesting.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:16 | 2379129 KowPie
KowPie's picture

They are debt saddled, PC spoutin', pea eatin', no nut zombies. There, condensed it for you. But I still greenied you, it was the pea eating that got me!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:41 | 2378618 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Debt slavery isn't the objective. This will eventually force a higher education entitlement with a corresponding deduction from every paycheck like social security and Medicare.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:43 | 2378779 Backspin
Backspin's picture

I remember Mark Steyn saying that we're a nation with 30 year old students and 50 year old retirees.  Of course we have economic problems.

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:00 | 2379547 Seer
Seer's picture

The chaff... Corporations get the wheat, the rest get saddled with the shit and the debt.

“If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
? Malcolm X

Cui Bono.  Seems bankers and defense contractors (upper echelon of corporations) have the most money and control...

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 15:29 | 2380911 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

"If you're not careful. . ."     indeed!

there's still plenty of money worshipping going down, and disdain for anyone not chasing the bucks. . .

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:03 | 2378307 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

The Stangs are a very poor example. It sounds as if Sarah made some fucking idiot choices.

Maybe it's time for people to assume responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming others.

No one holds a gun to anyones head and forces them to buy a home or accept student loans.

What ever happened to those hard workers who went part time and held down a fulltime job? Or the ones who established a budget, worked as many hours as possible and kept good grades?

They don't fucking matter anymore!

Now it's a world of goddamned whiners, pissing and moaning because they didn't have the common sense and forsight god gave goats!

 

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:17 | 2378369 Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea's picture

I wonder if it's like the housing bubble victimology, where it turns out practically every "victim" made a series of bonehead moves.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:04 | 2378519 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It all comes down to the idea that "Stupid should hurt." Thing is, the nanny-state works non-stop to take the pain away.

Once people are so indoctrinated into the system however, their actions appear rational on the surface. Which is as deep as they're capable of going.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:44 | 2378627 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

If you're gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:18 | 2378717 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Correct but the balance was bankruptcy. That forced the scamming outta the lending business and made banking boring for decades since bad loans fucked the lender too. Now scam scam away everyone's foolish dreams

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:03 | 2379553 Seer
Seer's picture

The tone gets set from the top (trickle-down).  Clearly the tone was perfected by the banking "idiots" (who appear to suffer no consequences, because they RUN the govt and set the laws, one set of laws for Them, another for the rest).

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:12 | 2378538 Will To Live
Will To Live's picture

I know a guy that was sick and tired of getting boned who bought used Trailer for $700 from another bankrupt young couple that could not afford thier payments.  He is in tall cotton now vs $950 per month for his apartment.  It can be done.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:22 | 2378728 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

His rent will shoot up now that you let the cat outta the bag

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:34 | 2379401 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Try reedin' that again!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:21 | 2378387 Jay Gould Esq.
Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

Precisely, Gully Foyle. "Higher ed" is not a right - although it is deemed as such by the typical, overindulged "Millennial."

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:09 | 2378695 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Oh yes it is a right.  (at least that is what the kids and their parents are told).   If you deny a kid, who cannot read, a worthless college degree then you are a bigot, racist, heartless conservative, Jim Crow, take your pick of smears.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:44 | 2379409 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Pay attention to my emphases:

[quote]

I have no idea who Charles Platt is. I'm sure he has biases. But his story (HT: Blackadder, in a comment on this Blogging Heads episode) of his experience should be read and re-read. Haters of Wal-Mart have trouble explaining why hundreds of people apply for jobs at Wal-Mart whenever there is an opening or continue to want to work for them when they move, as Platt describes when he goes to his training session:

A week later, I found myself in an elite group of 10 successful
applicants convening for two (paid) days of training in the same
claustrophobic, windowless room. As we introduced ourselves, I
discovered that more than half had already worked at other Wal-Marts.  Having relocated to this area, they were eager for more of the same.

Why? Gradually the answer became clear. Imagine that you are young and relatively unskilled, lacking academic qualifications. Which would you prefer: standing behind the register at a local gas station, or doing the same thing in the most aggressively successful retailer in the world, where ruthless expansion is a way of life, creating a constant demand for people to fill low-level managerial positions?  A future at Wal-Mart may sound a less-than-stellar prospect, but it's a whole lot better than no future at all.

In addition, despite its huge size, the corporation turned out to
have an eerie resemblance to a Silicon Valley startup.  There was the same gung-ho spirit, same lack of dogma, same lax dress code, same informality – and same interest in owning a piece of the company.  All of my coworkers accepted the offer to buy Wal-Mart stock by setting aside $2 of every paycheck.

Platt's account of what he experienced is entertaining
and informative. His economics is good too:

My starting wage was so low (around $7 per hour), a modest
increment still didn't leave me with enough to live on comfortably, but when I looked at the alternatives, many of them were worse. Coworkers assured me that the nearest Target paid its hourly full-timers less than Wal-Mart, while fast-food franchises were at the bottom of everyone's list.

I found myself reaching an inescapable conclusion.  Low wages are not a Wal-Mart problem.  They are an industry-wide problem, afflicting all unskilled entry-level jobs, and the reason should be obvious.

In our free-enterprise system, employees are valued largely in
terms of what they can do.  This is why teenagers fresh out of high
school often go to vocational training institutes to become auto
mechanics or electricians.  They understand a basic principle that seems to elude social commentators, politicians and union organizers.  If you want better pay, you need to learn skills that are in demand.

The blunt tools of legislation or union power can force a
corporation to pay higher wages, but if employees don't create an equal amount of additional value, there's no net gain.  All other factors remaining equal, the store will have to charge higher prices for its merchandise, and its competitive position will suffer.

This is Economics 101, but no one wants to believe it, because it
tells us that a legislative or unionized quick-fix is not going to work
in the long term.  If you want people to be wealthier, they have to create additional wealth.

To my mind, the real scandal is not that a large corporation
doesn't pay people more.  The scandal is that so many people have so little economic value.  Despite (or because of) a free public school system, millions of teenagers enter the work force without marketable skills.  So why would anyone expect them to be well paid?

[/quote]

It used to be that a high-school diploma was enough to get you a decent-paying job.  Grade-inflation, and passing everyone (in order to make them feel good about themselves!) explains in large measure why even a Bachelor's Degree isn't cutting it these daze!

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 04:00 | 2379434 Cassiopia2011
Cassiopia2011's picture

StychoKiller, I am paying close attention to your emphasis on several statements.

 

The first thing I would like to ask is that you calm down your rhetoric.

Next, perhaps you have discovered that Wallmart is your savior in Modern Times. However, many of us have not discovered that as yet. Therefore, we lack an answer, especially the answer that is clear to you. My own understanding of economics knows that $7 an hour does not anywhere meet the level of income that ALL of us need in order to meet the basic minimums of rent and food. How do you do it? THAT would be something that I would be particularly interested in reading.

As an afterthought, I would just like to mention that all those skills that so many of us have that are not in need of by Walmart -- where do we apply them? And what job do we find to exercise those skills? After all, you know that we are competing with so very many that have equal skills out there in the marketplace where only one job is offered out of perhaps 100 skilled applicants. (Why, I myself applied to jobs in word processing with over 20 years of experience where those who deigned to answer said there were over 400 applicants!) So what I would like to know is if Walmart can fill this need, and yes, I generally feel good about myself (except when I have been job-hunting).

 

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 15:37 | 2380930 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

it's been a few years since this was written, but I recommend Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed :

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour?

To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/nickelanddimed.htm

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:20 | 2379576 Seer
Seer's picture

If you want better pay, you need to learn skills that are in demand.

And if the "demand" is itself a fabrication by the corporate juggernaut?

If not Wal-Mart, then struggle to work for Apple... The underlying premise is that MORE of this can ONLY lead to a better world; never mind that it's all based on perpetual expansion, expansion that CANNOT continue.  But, it makes for a comfy life for the corporate rulers.

I laugh every time I hear "wealth creation."  It's all BS, pure BS.  "Wealth" comes from resources.  Given that resources are becoming scarcer (harder/more costly to mine) it should be no mystery as to why we're perceived declines in "wealth."

Carrot-and-stick.  TPTB sit in the buggy.  We all keep the game going by believing in their myth that we too can be just like them if we just pull harder for that carrot; never mind that their ability to control "wealth" ensures that we never actually reach that carrot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERbvKrH-GC4

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 12:23 | 2380456 Desert Cat
Desert Cat's picture

"Wealth" comes from resources.

Which represents more wealth:  A 100 ton heap of rock (gold ore) sitting in your backyard containing 1 ounce of pure gold, or a 1 ounce gold coin sitting in the palm of your hand?

The difference is the wealth that was created by the mining, refining and minting process.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:26 | 2378401 unununium
unununium's picture

But her softball team pressured her!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:54 | 2378496 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

That right there is the key phrase. If Sarah was smart enough to not listen to her softball team, and choose to complete her schooling and not lose that scholarship, they probably wouldn't have had to go into so much debt, and perhaps could have kept the other car, and still popped out four children!

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:16 | 2378550 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

That's another sad part of this equation.

 

They CHOSE to have four kids AND buy a house, KNOWING that they had this huge chunk of debt hanging over their heads???

 

Very, very questionable decision-making.

 

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:57 | 2378818 Rentier
Rentier's picture

Selfish is what it is, only thinking of themselves and what they wanted!

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:22 | 2379580 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, imagine that, people acting on their own desires.  Didn't they realize that they should be acting in accordance with the wishes of the social controllers (like the bankers)?  Oh, wait...

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:41 | 2378772 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

um  you need to re-read..  ah fuck it

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 15:41 | 2380936 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

can't re-read what has yet to be read.

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:49 | 2378478 t0mmyBerg
t0mmyBerg's picture

No asswipe.  All they are saying is that student loans, like all other debt, should be discharged if you decide to take the 10 year credit hit and file for bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy IS the ability to get a second chance.  That these loans are not dischargeable is just plain un-American.  For America is the place where you can try and fail and emerge clean if chastened.  It is part of what separates us from the morons in the old world.  During the time when there was a frontier, you simply packed up and headed west.  Well that option doesnt really exist anymore.  If you start a business, and you fail, you discharge the debt.  So why is this type of debt not dischargeable?  Are you really asserting that if you take the hit in bankruptcy that you should still be hounded to the end of your days?  If so you are an idiot.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:45 | 2378628 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

no Adam Henry....the Gov't has taken over the student loan program which means the Taxpayer is on the hook for these loans....

 

I will not pay for some irresponsible person's student loans.....when the government got in the loan business (which they had no right or authority to do) they were adding to our national debt. That is why they are not dischargeable, because idiots in the Congress wanted another fucking Federal program to stick the taxpayers with

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:17 | 2379132 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

No. The government needs to get the hell out of the loan business. These student loans are stupid. But it is just as stupid to hand them out as it is to grab them. If private banks want to loan students money with no collateral and low interest rates and tell the borrower that they will not be able to discharge the debt under most circumstances, then let them do it. The banks can go out of business when they go broke and the morons can live a life of servitude to their stupid debt. The current system with the government subsidizing and regulating it and changing the position of the goalposts on the fly is fucking retarded.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:15 | 2379236 t0mmyBerg
t0mmyBerg's picture

It is late and you have probably been drinking, so it is perhaps understandable that you cannot keep two totally separate ideas apart in your head.  It doesnt matter who funds the loans.  Yeah the government should not be involved as that pouts taxpayers on the hook, but no matter who funds the loan, if you declare bankruptcy )one of the risks in underwriting a loan is the risk that it will not be paid back), then the loan should be dischargable.  Otherwise you wind up with the ugly eventuality that you are garnishing peoples wages even after they have gobe through a discharge process, and you are doing this until they die, including garnishing their social security, even if that is all they have to live on.

Also, perhaps you are unaware, if you have trouble getting a job, they let you slide for quite awhile.  What do they do?  They capitalize the missed payments and interest.  Which means they just keep adding it to the original debt.  Which means if you have some serious bad luck, after a very short amount of time, it would not even be possible to pay back the debt which could be multiples of what you owed originally.  It is simply wrong to prevent discharge by law.                

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 19:47 | 2378636 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

They could pack up and head to North Dakota! They could pull down 80-100k each from what I have heard. But why move when you can whine about it?

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 20:23 | 2378733 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

That's right cause there are unlimited jobs for 80-100k in North Dakota.  Some of these people would certainly desire to pursue a career in what they acheived their degree in.  Not to say that odd jobs are not necessary, but your armchair scoffing about whining gives you the award for excellence in arrogancy!  Congratulations Snotty!!

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 00:42 | 2379269 perchprism
perchprism's picture

Oh, Jesus Christ dude, you're the snotty one.  There aren't any 80K jobs in North Dakota for the fools who majored in transgender studies.  But, ooh, they would certainly desire to pursue a career in what they achieved their degree in....what, Social History?  Racial Affairs?  18th century drama?   There are jobs available in North Dakota for people willing to WORK.   Yeah, WORK.  Maybe drill for icky oil, or something.

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 21:56 | 2378950 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

bullshit, the whole state pop wise is the size of a large town for christ sakes.  There is no North Dakota oasis.  Just some temp jobs that will probably give you some sort fo cancer.  Why pick up and move for a job that wont be there in a few years.

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 07:30 | 2379590 Seer
Seer's picture

"Why pick up and move for a job that wont be there in a few years."

Because that's the corporate (TPTB's) way!  Always have them begging at your feet.  And if you take over govt (which will ALWAYS occur) then you can put in place laws that help you solidify this system

 

Thu, 04/26/2012 - 23:20 | 2379136 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Several couples attempted this, but they all shot themselves after one hour of driving along Red River in the middle of the winter.

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