Mom's Couch, USA (Nashville?)
RE: Economics Lesson
Today I wanted to bring three articles to your attention in my continuing efforts to educate you on economics and depress the living hell out of you:
1. "Only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges Are Worth the Investment: Former Secretary of Education."
[Former Secretary William] Bennett assessed the “return on investment” for the 3500 colleges and universities in the country. He found that returns were positive for only 150 institutions.
He found college is “worth it” if you get into a top tier university like Stanford, or study an in-demand field like nuclear engineering at even a lower tier school.
2. "Sallie Mae Profit Boosts College Endowments And Pension Funds As Students Pay More."
University endowments and teachers’ pension funds are among big investors in Sallie Mae, the private lender that has been generating enormous profits thanks to soaring student debt and the climbing cost of education, a Huffington Post review of financial documents has revealed.3. "Rising Student Debt Is Slowing Growth as Young Spend Less."
The anemic economy has left millions of younger working Americans struggling to get ahead. The added millstone of student-loan debt, which recently exceeded $1 trillion in total, is making it even harder for many of them, delaying purchases of things like homes, cars and other big-ticket items and acting as a drag on growth, economists said.Ha! You see what they did there? I love journalism.
On the other side of the equation, many college graduates now in their 20’s and early 30’s should eventually be able to make up for lost ground. Students who take on debt to pay for higher education commit themselves to paying off huge sums, but they usually lift their lifetime earnings by substantial amounts. And they are in a better position to insulate themselves against economic bad times, given the profound rewards the job market provides to the college-educated.
For most young workers, gaining a college degree remains well worth it in the long run, even if it delays some purchases in the near term.
It's beyond obvious what's happened in American higher education in the last twenty or thirty years or so. A generation saw a generation it could exploit, and it did so. It pushed the four-year college degree as the path to middle class living and the dopey kids bought it. With guaranteed loans and hard-to-discharge debt, lenders and higher educators found a group where they could simultaneously raise the price and collect higher, somewhat-guaranteed returns on the repayment side.
This being America, we love such free-market money-minting set-ups. This whole situation could have been avoided - and could end very quickly - if legislators would have done or would do one simple thing: return purchaser/debtor-side leverage.
Not happening, fuckos!
You know why? Because myths don't end. The intelligentsia of this country simply refuses to believe that higher education behaves like other products and that it can become a bad thing to purchase at too high of cost.
So kids, here's today's ProTip: set up a four-year college. It can even be online. Heck, set up a law school if you want. Seek accreditation, and when they deny you, SUE their anti-competitive asses like you're Thomas Cooley on a rampage. Saddle students with as much debt as possible and reap the profits. Ignore the fact that you're doing nothing for their careers and act intellectually concerned when some ne'er-do-well tells you the economy suffers because of your actions. You can do all of this from mom's couch. JOIN US, YOU FOOL.
Given the pervasive myth of education as a holy good, that seems easier than getting the government to pass a one-line bill and fix its own mess, doesn't it?
Sincerely (not really),
Law School Truth Center
P.S. The guy in the Times article is a 33-year old teacher with 85k in debt. He should have gone to law school. With a law degree, he'd be making $160k in New York to start, which likely would be around $365k by now given modest raises and bonuses, and his debts would be long gone.
P.S.S.: 2014 is SO going to be a rebound year.