Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Generation Wising Up?




Today, The New York Times published a fluff piece about how high school students must consider prospective debt as the main factor for choosing a college.  The article also touched on the reality that many parents push their children toward the most expensive and elite colleges regardless of the tuition or the scholarships, if any.  Within all of the mush about how The Next Generation Will Endure, the article breezed over an interesting study about the relationship between students and elite colleges.  Unsurprisingly, the study found that children in the 1970s who attended elite colleges fared better in life (financially) than similarly “smart” students today.

As with most mainstream media, the article seemed to miss the overall problem.  Sure, students will be locked into their “class” based on the unaffordability of the top colleges, where the tuition functions as a purposeful barrier to social mobility.  Yet, the cost of college, especially the top schools, bears little resemblance to the benefit of the degree, as an undergraduate degree even from an elite school opens few doors for the unconnected.  But even if cost were not the issue, the degree still holds little value because few jobs exist, and almost half of young people have a degree from somewhere.  Sure, a person with a Harvard English B.A. may fare a little better than a person with a CUNY English B.A., but it is still a race to the cubicle job and the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle…for the lucky ones.

Hopefully, articles like this one portends a paradigm shift in how society thinks about higher education and student loans.  However, when something like a basic gun background check bill, popular with 90% of the population, cannot pass the Senate, I have little hope that the messaging debate and political process about student loans can be won in our lifetimes.

17 comments:

  1. "However, when something like a basic gun background check bill, popular with 90% of the population, cannot pass the Senate, I have little hope that the messaging debate and political process about student loans can be won in our lifetimes."

    Absolutely unnecessary to include.

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    1. I meant it as a reference to the broken legislative branch, which cannot pass popular legislation or even function in a routine manner due to the corrupt lobbying-centered pay-for-fillibuster system. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the problem of legislative gridlock was a generally accepted reality. I have no strong opinion about the gun legislation and indeed forget how...emotional the topic makes people (see below).

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    2. You're correct on gridlock, of course, but still, the 90% popularity grossly simplifies the debate (gun control as an issue does not resonate with the public at large, so even if 90% agree with X provision or Y provision, 90% of the 90% won't care how their Senator votes on the issue), perhaps explaining the unhinged rant of the person below me.

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    3. Yesh, how very unhinged to question the veracity of a political polling firm's bullshit "statistic."

      That being said, I think your point could be better stated as "the [CLAIMED - Ed.] support is wide, but not deep."

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  2. First of all, you've been tricked yet again - a heavy lift, I am sure. The defeated gun control bill WASN'T "popular with 90 percent of the population." If anything, the senators who voted "no" had calls and emails from their constituents running 9-to-1 AGAINST - a fact that is undoubtedly evidence of some kind of supercharged-corporate-fascist-9/11-was-an-inside-job-Illuminati-style-conspiracy from America's arms merchants to trick the poor gullible senators into opposing such a universal crowd-pleaser. You can be sure that I gave my reps an earful.

    I seriously question the sincerity of gun control agitators' "grief" over Sandy Hook. I'm willing to bet that many of those turds came home from work that day acting like they had won the fucking LOTTERY or something. Well, your unseemly and pathetic "OH-YEAAAH-BABY-JAAAACKPOT!!!!" moment went up in smoke.

    Secondly, it's short-sighted to tell people that high tuition at elite colleges is a "barrier to social mobility." The real outrage (and it is a fairly new one) is that it now costs just as much money to attend the elite college as it does to attend one that nobody's ever heard of.

    And finally, it's "fare," not "fair." And you did it twice. Read a book, man.

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    1. Yes, standardized tuition regardless of quality is yet another symptom of uncontrolled unlimited loans. I have no idea what the rest of this rant is about, but this site will be moderated now due to spam and the ocassional trolling. This is fair warning to anyone with irrelevant poems, vulgar personal attacks, or other flame including the ocassional attempt to agitate our dear painter who has seemed to have moved on to greener pastures.

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    2. I trust this was not directed at Maurice Leiter, whose sublime poems are such a compelling feature of this blog.

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    3. There once was a girl from Nantucket.... ;-)

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  3. Isn't this a blog about the law school scam? You assholes make it about guns because of one side note presented in the article and the thread is lost.

    This is part of the reason why the country is so messed up and nothing can get done. The idiots we have elected to Congress are just like many of the commenters here: faux intellectuals with a bone to pick about everything. STFU.

    Fuck all of you.

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    1. 3:57 - yaaawwwwnnnn.

      To the mods: here's how to deal with trolls like this idiot. Let his posts stay here for the rest of the day, let the troll think that his message is funny or cool or poignant enough to remain. Then he keeps checking back all day long (like this troll seems to do every few days), adding to his body of work, spending hours and hours and hours here. Then at the end of the day, delete every single one of his posts.

      Then he realizes that he's just wasted a whole day here with nothing to show for it.

      If you delete comments as they appear, he knows he's getting to you and wasting your time. Let him spend hours here, crafting his oh-so-clever comments, and then come in at the end of the day and spend thirty seconds deleting the whole lot.

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  4. the real problems are that america is a pseudo-democracy, and that was the intent of the Founding Aristocrats. They designed american federal governmental structure to allow folks with money to run things. And that is exactly what is happening. And americans do not even realize this. Until they do, things will only get worse.

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    1. They designed it to prevent what it has become. Read Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. Congress' powers were very limited. There's nothing like lobbying and political contributions to skew politics in favor of the rich.

      There is no form of government anywhere that doesn't work this same way. So-called "communism" and "socialism" are also corrupted. Get used to it.

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    2. The federal government was clearly supposed to be some sort of Republican/Plutocratic hybrid with the Senate basically killing any knee-jerk reform and keeping the federal government limited in scope and size to the bare necessities, i.e. military, coinage, and interstate relations. The moneyed and educated were always supposed to run the federal government and handle foreign affairs.

      At the state level, it was anything goes. A lot of people miss/ignore this aspect of the constitution. In theory, Nebraska could be the most communist place on Earth and New York could be run by wealthy elites in an oligarchy, as long as both guaranteed "Republican" government under some constitution that respected federally-protected rights.

      What the founders didn't see was that they created a system where state power would inevitably erode to the very federal leviathan they wished to avoid, at least publicly. So they set up a system where expansive federal power, run by the wealthy elites, was all but inevitable.

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    3. james madison, who designed the constitution, wrote that the PRIMARY PURPOSE of the constitution was to preserve wealth inequality. Doing a pretty job of that right now. He also wrote that the structure of the fed govt created factions in the populace that would prevent the majority from discovering their common interests and uniting against the rich. Thus, madison wrote, the fed govt would 'protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.'

      Madison was worth about 100 mill once he got his inheritance. The founding aristocrats were wealthy, evil men.

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    4. THEN LEAVE. You are far too pure to live in this filthy, evil country - OR to accept even a single penny of its dirty money.

      I'm sure any other country on Earth would be thrilled to have you.

      So go. You don't have to stand for this exploitation and mistreatment.

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  5. A generation not wising up:

    http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202596087682&More_PreLaw_Students_Are_Planning_NonLegal_Careers

    "A survey of pre-law students found that 43 percent planned to use their degrees to find jobs in the business world rather than in the legal industry, while 42 percent said they would attend business school were they not already set to go to law school."

    Someone talk sense into these children. They are cattle stepping onto the conveyor belt at the slaughter house.

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    1. I agree, and blogging only goes so far.

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