Student Loan Debt $1.5 Trillion

Student Loan Debt $1.5 Trillion

By Chris Freind Student Loan Debt $1.5 Trillion

Ahh … spring. The time of year for renewal, flowers, baseball games – and sheer panic for many parents.

Why? Because May is college-decision month.

Sadly, instead of marveling about the possibilities that lay ahead, parents are left fretting about their children’s future – and their own.

While college has always been sold as a path to success, its staggering costs have resulted in a far different reality.

Truth is, the current system has outlived its usefulness, being directly responsible for increasing despair, destroying the earning capital of young people, and demoralizing an entire generation of college graduates living in their parents’ basements because of insurmountable debt – their liberty and dignity stripped away.

The numbers bear out the crisis:

• Student loan debt now stands at nearly $1.5 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T”). By the end of the next decade, that figure will be almost $3.5 trillion. The amount owed is now more than the total debt on credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.

• The average debt of 2016 graduates exceeds $37,000. And that’s not including graduate/law/medical school debts, which can easily be six figures.

• Not surprisingly, the default rate is skyrocketing. The balance defaulted on exceeds $137 billion – for which the taxpayers are on the hook, since the federal government subsidizes many of those loans. The similarities to the housing crisis are eerie.

Naturally, many are wondering if college is worth the investment. The majority believe otherwise, largely because so many college grads face a significant underemployment problem. Yet parents and students continue taking the plunge. To what end?

All their lives, children are told that they can achieve the American dream, with college playing a big part in that equation. But for so many, the truth crashes down hard after graduation, with massive debt and mediocre job prospects crushing hopes and dreams, often for decades.

It goes something like this: Work hard to impress colleges (get good grades, play three sports per season, pay for individual coaching, volunteer 30 hours a week, join 17 clubs, and open a nonprofit making flipflops for the world’s poor); graduate with a boatload of debt; discover that you need an advanced degree, which incurs more debt; realize that your expensive MBA landed you a job at a 1990s salary level; get married – but no kids until you move out of the 700-square-foot apartment; spend years paying down the debt, then several more building up equity for a house; be cash-poor for years thereafter; and end up having just one child despite wanting more – all while watching your marriage dangle precariously from the cliff (if you’re not already divorced) because of the stress trying to make ends meet.

Welcome to the generation with the dubious distinction of not doing better than their parents. And it’s only getting worse, as incomes are growing more slowly than the rate of tuition increases.

What can be done? Here are some ideas:

1. The college tuition/student debt situation, just like the nation’s $20 trillion debt, is a house of cards that will, with mathematical certainty, collapse. It’s not a question of if, but when, as the system is unsustainable. But since these problems are always pushed off to future generations, that point serves only as a harbinger of what to expect.

2. The problem lies in basic economic theory. The more something is subsidized, the more its price increases. Therefore, until the federal government’s gushing student loan spigot is turned down, colleges have no incentive to hold the line on tuition. And obviously, they haven’t. Since 1978, college tuition costs have risen 12-fold – more than 1,200 percent, compared with just 250 percent for food. Tuition even outpaced medical costs by a factor of two, which is really saying something. Between 2008-2010, public universities jacked up their rates an average of 15 percent, with some private colleges increasing even more. Time to break universities’ addition to the federal trough by restricting how much is loaned.

3. Since most colleges are nonprofit, and thus tax exempt, their lavish endowments should lose tax-free status unless two provisions are met: A) tuition costs do not increase by more than 2 percent per year, and B) the endowment does NOT grow by more than 6 percent in a given year. If either requirement is not met for that specific year, they would pay taxes on all gains and income – thereby creating an incentive to use such funds to control costs.

4. If colleges banded together to lower tuition, it would be illegal, with administrators likely prosecuted. Time to revisit that law so that collusion doesn’t apply to price reductions.

Without that reform, almost no school will reduce tuition for fear of being labeled “inferior.” Sure, applications would surge in the first year or two, but would decrease soon thereafter. How ironic. Despite our anger about college costs, we would feel that a lower-priced college wouldn’t be up to snuff. Don’t believe it? Gauge people’s reactions to the lowest-priced Mercedes or Porsche – right or wrong, many sneer (even if they can’t afford one), viewing them as a diluted “poor man’s” luxury car.

5. More college-level courses, both online and in high schools, should be offered, and colleges should be pressured to more readily accept the results. Yes, many high schools offer AP courses, but colleges, fully aware that they reduce a student’s tuition, often create needless obstacles for students to gain credit. And colleges should offer more competency tests to incoming freshmen so that they can “test out” of courses not related to their field, such as math courses for English majors. Striving for well-roundedness is one thing, but mandating pointless standards as a thinly-disguised money grab is unacceptable.

6. How about making highly compensated professors teach more than just a few hours per week? Seriously, how much “research” can they possibly be doing? It’s salt in the wound for parents paying $45,000 per year to learn that their child is being taught by a boring teaching assistant simply regurgitating slides, with students learning nothing except how to best sleep in classroom chairs.

7. Time to control the purse strings. This author is not a big advocate of federal mandates, but since virtually every college in the country accepts federal aid – in addition to federal student loans – there should be common sense stipulations. No federal loan should be used for a university’s capital projects. Dorms and salaries are one thing, but unlimited taxpayer money should not be spent on lavish, and often unnecessary, pet projects – costs that are then passed on to future students. Colleges must always improve to compete, but making them do so with non-federal money would generate a heretofore nonexistent accountability.

8. Tax breaks should be offered to companies sponsoring students specializing in fields beneficial to that business; in turn, students would commit to working for that company for a pre-determined time. Everyone wins: company, university, economy, and most of all, student.

Numerous other areas should be explored: Tuition-free community college; public universities selling assets not related to their core business; outsourcing services to the more efficient private sector; capping salaries and administrative costs; and employing graduates in public service programs to forgive debt. We could even consider a program where universities that fund students’ education would be entitled to a future cut of a graduate’s earnings – thus motivating the school to produce a superior product.

Congress has thus far earned an “F” when it comes to reining in exorbitant college tuitions. If our children, indeed our future, are going to have any shot at realizing the American dream, reforms must be implemented. And you don’t need a college degree to understand that.

Student Loan Debt $1.5 Trillion

Anti-Science Rules Academia

Anti-Science Rules Academia — A Penn prof has found that almost all papers published by scientific journals are propaganda.

Only one-tenth of 1 percent of the published works conform to the scientific method says J. Scott Armstrong, a professor of Marketing at the Wharton School. He says the criteria is well established  yet the works claiming to authoritatively reveal truths about nature blithely ignore them.

Why? Follow the money. Getting bucks in academia means telling those who control the grants what they want. Hence, bizarre claims ranging from sexual norms to falling skies are made by highly credentialed people causing policy to be emplaced impoverishing ourselves while enriching the connected.

Armstrong says there is a bright spot though.  Public Library of Science One actually follows scientific principles and has become the largest journal based on papers published.

Anti-Science Rules Academia

Anti-Science Rules Academia

 

 

Nova Prof Kills Skewed Gaming Study

Nova Prof Kills Skewed Gaming Study — A Villanova psychology professor has helped cause the retraction of a highly influential report that claimed video games caused violence.

Nova Prof Kills Skewed Gaming Study
Beware the battle cattle but don’t fear the battle cattle.

Psychology prof Dr. Patrick Markey, along with Dr. Malte Elson of Ruhr University  found that “‘Boom, headshot!?’: Effect of Video Game Play and Controller Type on Firing Aim and Accuracy” had numerous irregularities that suggested it was skewed towards a predetermined conclusion.

The paper by Dr. Brad Bushman, who teaches psychology at Ohio State, and Jodi L. Whitaker, who was his Ph.D. student, was published in Communication Research and the conclusions were repeated by establishment media.

So kudos Dr. Markey for keeping academia honest. You make us want to go out in the street and belt out a verse of Rise Rapture Rise.

Nova Prof Kills Skewed Gaming Study

George Ciccariello-Maher Self Loathing Is Not Funny

George Ciccariello-Maher Self Loathing Is Not Funny — Drexel history assistant professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted on Christmas Eve: “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide”.

He doubled down on the holiday itself tweeting: “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.”

Now the poor little snowflake is getting all sorts of grief from the general citizenry, and his employer has scheduled a meeting with him after calling what he did “utterly reprehensible” and “deeply disturbing”.

The  consequences of Ciccariello-Maher’s actions should be handled in a business-like and impersonal way, much as a plumbing firm would if it became known that one of its employees didn’t know how to change a washer.

Does this guy being on the faculty make it more or less likely for parents to shell out $52,037 per year — not counting room and board — to send their kid to this private institution in West Philadelphia?

George Ciccariello-Maher Self Loathing Is Not Funny

Just business, Georgie. You  would find a better way of assuaging your white guilt anyway. How about getting a job with the city school district and teaching 10th graders at MLK?  OK, bad idea as it would be very unfair to the kids. How, about getting a janitorial job there and cleaning the toilets? There you go, guilt problem solved and you don’t screw up any lives by professing garbage.

By the way, the Haitian genocide of 1804 and Nat Turner’s Rebellion in 1831 did a pretty good job of squelching abolitionist movements in states with large slave populations and leading to misery that could have been ended decades earlier than it was.

Of course, as a history professor you knew that right? LOL.

George Ciccariello-Maher Self Loathing Is Not Funny

Professor Watch List Compiled

Turning Point USA is compiling a Professor Watch List of those in academia who are more interested in propaganda than education, and squelching dissent rather than engaging those with different views.

You can find it here.

There is always a danger in the pendulum swinging too far the other way and it should be made clear that it is not liberal teachers that should be driven from the academy but bad and dishonest ones. As bad and dishonest ones, however, have been defended for more than a generation lists like this are necessary.Professor Watch List Compiled

Hat tip Donna Ellingsen.

Professor Watch List Compiled

Morgan State Professor Sows Division

Morgan State Professor Sows Division –Lawrence Brown, an assistant professor in the Public Health Department at Morgan State University in Baltimore, thinks of himself as an oppressed black man.

He says “white allies should deposit their unearned wealth into black accounts“.

Well, considering his obviously unearned salary is funded by tax dollars from “white allies”, one kind of wonders what more does he want.

Brown is a childish idiot who is looking for attention by saying shocking things with the expectation of praise from other childish idiots.

He is not fit to hold a respected title.

Hopefully, the Trump administration takes a far harder line on public funds for “higher” education and limits disbursement to fields that can show objective results, or at least not sent to people sowing division like this guy. Morgan State Professor Sows Division

By the way, the phrase “white privilege’ so beloved by those who want to banish thought should be banished itself and replaced with “father privilege”.  Children raised in homes where a loving father is present are far more likely to to have success i.e. become “privileged” than those who are not. When 70 percent of human beings who describe themselves as “black” are raised in homes sans father, far fewer will end up “privileged” than from groups were most are raised in traditional families.

We don’t know much about “Professor” Brown’s background but if one had to bet, the safe bet is that he doesn’t have father privilege.

Hat tip Mary Ellen.

Morgan State Professor Sows Division

 

George Gawrych Shouted Down At Cal State Northridge

George Gawrych Shouted Down At Cal State Northridge — Bob Small of Delco Debates forwarded from Eugene Volokh about how a group of Armenian students shut down a lecture by scholar George Gawrych at California State University Northridge.

Gawrych’s subject was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It was part of “Ataturk Week” which involved events in Southern California scheduled for Nov. 9-13.

Kemal was an Turkish army officer who became leader of that nation in 1923 after years of war and chaos. He modernized the nation and was bestowed with the surname “Ataturk” meaning “Father of the Turks”. George Gawrych Shouted Down At Cal State Northridge

Armenians, however, blame Ataurk for expunging their people from Turkey claiming he drove off those Armenians who survived 1915 Genocide during the Turkish War of Independence.

Ataturk is not considered to have been involved with the genocide itself.

Regardless, speakers should never be shouted down at any university and schools must respect the rights of all invited speakers to have their say.

George Gawrych Shouted Down At Cal State Northridge

Loves Humanity Hates Humans

Loves humanity hates humans is the punchline to an old joke about a fill-in-the-blank liberal i.e. progressive. Loves Humanity Hates Humans

It concerns how those with that particular set of politics shriek for justice for the fashionably oppressed group of the moment but when it comes time to help a needy individual they are either not around or exhibit an unexpected cruelty.

Dr. Marsha Levine shows that tale is less of a joke and more an anthropological observation.

Dr. Levin is a retired Cambridge academic who lives in England and is considered an expert on horses. Shachar Rabinovich is a 13-year-old Israeli who had a question about horses so she e-mailed her.

Dr. Levin, who is Jewish but of the self-loathing kind,  told her she would only answer her questions about horses “when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine . . .You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people,”

Well, that’s sure telling her Dr. Levin. But we do kind of wonder why you haven’t left your nice comfortable retired-academic environs and move to the West Bank or Gaza to assist this “oppressed” peaceful (LOL) people.

If it’s a language thing maybe you can just move to San Bernardino.

Hat tip Bob Small.

Loves Humanity Hates Humans

 

Mizzou Mess Caused By Cowardice, Hypocrisy

By Chris Freind Mizzou Mess Caused By Cowardice, Hypocrisy

College has become outrageously expensive, leading many to question if higher education is worth it.

But not so fast.

After witnessing the events at the University of Missouri this past week, it’s apparent that college can still teach priceless lessons – lessons that are reverberating around the nation, and sowing the seeds for more to come.

Unfortunately, they’re all the wrong ones.

Both the president and chancellor at Mizzou resigned this week due to pressure from a small group of students who were – what else? – “offended.” Their issue was a perceived lack of action by the administration in dealing with a few “racial injustices” on campus.

Like clockwork, the demonstration grew, since the new modus operandi in America is joining the dissent du jour, protesting against every damn thing under the sun that isn’t to one’s particular liking. Once upon a time, our protests actually carried relevance (civil rights movement, Vietnam), where people of all races united behind common-sense ideas rooted in fairness. But now, demonstrations have devolved into it’s-all-about-me affairs, with the professional protesting class more concerned about getting on TV and becoming “viral” social media sensations than fighting for anything of substance. It doesn’t matter that objectives are usually vague pie-in-the-sky rhetoric, or that many protesters don’t actually know what they’re protesting. As long as the protesters’ narcissism quota is met, life is good for the “aggrieved.”

As the media exposure at Missouri grew, so did the ranks of the offended, including one student hunger striker, a football team that went on “strike” by boycotting team activities (actions condoned by the coach), and some faculty threatening a walkout, all with the goal of forcing President Tim Wolfe out the door.

Well, they succeeded, and then some. But not because of admirable goals, but the cowardice of university officials who redefined “caving in.” It’s bad enough to capitulate, but to do so because you think appeasement will solve anything – while getting zero in return – is not just naïve, but idiotic. And it sets the bar higher for the next protest, where it’s a certainty that even more ludicrous demands will be made – and met – to the benefit of a few, and the detriment of everyone else.

Let’s look at the “lessons learned” in the Missouri debacle:

1) Cluelessness: It’s great to be anti-administration, but A) specifically, what did the protesters expect the president and chancellor to do, and B) did they really think their resign-or-else demands fit the “injustices” that occurred?

Let’s talk about the white elephant in the room: The incidents on campus, which, while unfortunate, were mere words:

• People in a pickup truck yelled racial slurs at a student. (Which brings up a not-so-insignificant point: Since we don’t know who they were, it’s possible they weren’t even students, rendering President Wolfe with no recourse).

• An allegedly drunk white student used racial slurs against the Legion Of Black Collegians. While abhorrent, does that really merit calling for the president’s ouster? (A president who had already ordered diversity and inclusion training, and whose administration called racial bias deplorable and “totally unacceptable.”)

The biggest impediment to closing the racial gulf is the feeling of resentment among many that protesters don’t want equal opportunity for all, but special treatment for some. We will never progress as “Americans” until we view each other through color-blind glasses, and no amount of protests will change that immutable point.

• There was a swastika smeared on a dorm wall; that is a crime (defacing property), and should be dealt with by both the university and law enforcement.

Reports Wednesday indicated a longer series of incidents that have troubled the campus community for years, but specifically that’s what the current focus erupted over.

Not to downplay those acts, but that’s it. This whole uproar is because of a few insults. That’s an ugly part of life, and thankfully only a very small percentage of people stoop to that level, but ousting a university president and chancellor over them is not keeping the situation in its proper perspective.

And while we need to teach the values of justice and equality to our children, people need to grow a thicker skin. What’s next? Protesting bosses who don’t ooze compliments every five seconds, but instead may use harsh language to demand accountability? Calling for coaches to be fired who use colorful (but not racial) words to motivate a team?

Should the president have banned certain behaviors and imposed a speech code? And who would determine what that censorship should entail? If there is a zero-tolerance for racism and insults, will it still be acceptable to play music with questionable lyrics, and those calling police “pigs,” and glorifying the killing of cops? Should single-race fraternities and clubs still be permitted? Or will those things be acceptable because they don’t “offend” the protesters?

Censorship and selective “justice” solve nothing, and only throw gas on the fire. Yet clearly, we still haven’t learned our lesson.

2) Cowardice: Instead of resigning with a whimper, the president should have come out strongly with the following message: “Any football player who boycotts a team activity loses his scholarship – immediately. You want to protest, do so on your own time, and own dime. But under no circumstances will you abuse the taxpayers’ money; since the university is publicly funded, your scholarships are, in fact, subsidized by the people. And if you lose it, you pay your own tuition bill (just like everyone else), or you’re gone.”

(Out of curiosity, one wonders how many football players who went on “strike” continued to eat university-provided food, sleep in university dorms, and enjoy the lavish benefits afforded them. If they really believed the president presided over a racially insensitive campus, they should have manned-up long ago and eschewed those things in “protest.” I’m guessing none did.)

The same message should apply to teachers: Protesting is your right, but when it affects your job (and disenfranchises tuition-paying students), you need to go. Period. There should be zero tolerance for that type of behavior.

3) Hypocrisy: Good thing the protests were about racial equality, and that the media was a godsend in broadcasting the demonstrators’ message. Except it became abundantly clear that neither were true.

After ”winning,” protest organizers turned hostile to the media, trying to boot them from the protest area – except that, since they were on public property, that request held no weight. And the hunger striker who was given headlines across the country? Sorry. He couldn’t be bothered giving any more interviews.

Protesters sent out a number of tweets lambasting the media for not “respecting black spaces.”

Gee, with leadership like that, it’s great knowing the systemic oppression of racism and inequality at the University of Missouri will finally be banished. Except, of course, when it comes from them. But since they are part of the offended entitlement movement, they can do no wrong.

Before rushing blindly into the next misguided protest – and fawning over narcissist organizers – maybe the media should keep both eyes open so it doesn’t get burned again by the very people it puts on a pedestal.

When are we going to wake up and realize that appeasement doesn’t work? That double standards are wrong? And that attempts to solve racial discontent with solutions rooted in race will continue to backfire?

Evidently, not anytime soon. And that’s the most tragic lesson of all.

Mizzou Mess Caused By Cowardice, Hypocrisy

Temple Football Hypocrisy

Temple Football HypocrisyTemple University’s minor league NFL franchise is surging and the “state related” university wants a $100 million stadium. Twenty million of the cost is coming from a state grant with the rest coming from donations.

Tuition, at the non-profit institution that now has eight other campuses throughout the world apart from the main one in North Philly, starts at $14,398.

Can you just imagine if the Temple rulers took that $100 million and use it for scholarships for neighborhood children? Why, 6,945.4 poor minority kids would learn how to be teachers and lawyers and dentists, and wouldn’t have to sacrifice their bodies and minds for the entertainment of soft and hedonistic academic progressives and other rich, powerful types.

Can you say “Hunger Games”?

If the academic honchos really want to keep getting their vicarious gladiatorial thrills, there is an publicly -owned $512 million stadium just a short subway ride down Broad Street that isn’t used on Saturdays. What’s wrong with continuing to use that? The football team’s fans aren’t adverse to using environmentally responsible public transportation are they?

Temple Football Hypocrisy