Proudly Training the Next Generation of Indentured Servants

indentured_servantsIn the latest example of do-gooders creating social injustice, we now hear that nearly 7 million Americans have gone at least a year without making a payment on their federal loans.

As of July, 6.9 million Americans with student loans hadn’t sent a payment to the government in at least 360 days, according to the latest quarterly data from the U.S. Department of Education, reports the Wall Street Journal. That translates into 17% of all borrowers with federal loans being delinquent. Millions more are behind on their loans but haven’t hit the 360-day threshold that the government defines as default.

Absent a change in legislation, student loan debt can’t be dismissed through bankruptcy. Of course, do-gooder politicians, who urged laxer lending policies to begin with, now are falling over themselves to find ways to ease the debt burden incurred by the intended beneficiaries. Hillary Clinton, for instance, has proposed a plan that would cost $350 billion over 10 years and would be financed by a reduction in tax deductions for affluent taxpayers.

Summing up the problem: the United States higher ed system experiences endless administrative bloat… the costs of which universities pass on to students by means of higher tuition and fees… which the U.S. government makes easier to pay by allowing nearly unlimited borrowing… while no one addresses the underlying problem of rising costs. And the solution to the debt problem? Stick it to affluent taxpayers!

What a racket!

The rise of massive student indebtedness, now approaching $1.2 trillion, is as a clear-cut example of social injustice in the United States as you can find, but it is not portrayed is such because (a) the building blocks were put into place by social justice warriors themselves, and (b) the primary beneficiaries, universities, are bastions of do-gooder thinking.

This is only one of many examples of how the social justice crowd has immiserated the poor and working class in the United States through misguided policy. Before “helping” with student loans, the social justice crowd pushed for lower credit standards for mortgages in order to promote home ownership. The result: a deluge of foreclosures on sub-prime loans causing one of the greatest liquidations of wealth among the poor in U.S. history. Now the social justice crowd wants to “help” the poor by jacking up the minimum wage to levels that will, according to reputable estimates, result in the loss of 5% of such jobs in the short run, increase automation of low-wage jobs in the long run, and make it difficult for the poor and young to find entry-level jobs.

— JAB

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25 responses to “Proudly Training the Next Generation of Indentured Servants

  1. I totally agree with the description of the problem but I differ with you on the politics and here’s why.

    I expect the tax & spend crowd to do what they have always done – no surprise there.

    But where are the Conservatives on this? What legislation have they put forth to deal with this? What has the GOP General Assembly done about this?

    you can go on forever blaming the do-gooders bit show me what the folks who you speak for in blaming the do-gooders have done themselves?

    Where is the Conservative plan for dealing with this?

    talk about pointing at shiny objects.. that’s all the Conservatives do now days.. they can’t actually deal with the issues – they’re reduced to blathering about those “liberals”..

    Even worse, the Conservatives seem find with cutting things like Head Start and other early childhood education.

    geeze.

    where’s the BEEF?

  2. Jim, your criticisms may be valid, but the persuasiveness of your case is much diminished by your unnecessary smearing of those who have sought to address the problem of funding students’ education. They may be mistaken, economically off-base, and so forth, but why label them “do-gooders”, the “social justice warriors” and so forth. We’ll make no progress in this country if we exacerbate our polarization by name calling or belittling.

    Your point should be to applaud those seeking social justice but to point out that we have other, more effective ways to achieve these laudable goals. Moreover, you need to work toward convincing those on the right that social justice is something they should be more overtly concerned about. It’s not at all clear that they are, as our division of wealth has continued unabated, exemplified by the appalling change in the CEO to worker salary ratio, inter alia, since the 1970s.

  3. re: “social justice” and “do-gooders”.

    Malcom is dead on.. this is the quality of the dialogue from
    the right these days..

    it’s no longer about proposing solutions..

    it’s how to “properly” phrase the blame so that you don’t have to off
    nothing yourself.. just affix the blame and walk away.

    works with health care, immigration, education, transportation…

    Oh.. and GAWD FORBID if regulation is uttered as part of the solution.

    the no-tax, no regulation, free market is the answer.. no matter the question.

    I think Conservatives should put their money where their mouth is.

    Just vote to repeal student loans all together – because there is no way to do with without that nasty “do-gooder” .. “mission creep”.. and besides if schools take that money .. then the government gets to tell them how to handled sexual misconduct…

    according to Conservatives – Liberals have created a mell of a hess and it’s unfixable .. so the only Joy is in affixing blame.

  4. This has become the standard for dialogue from the left. First, the right identifies a problem, the cause of the problem, and who created the problem. This is far more than the left is capable of doing, with the exception here of Larry G, who agrees that the problem has been correctly identified by Jim. Remember, it’s usually a huge task getting that far in the discussion. See, e.g., the recent Planned Parenthood mess. The leftist media (there’s no serious argument here that the media is mostly leftist, is there?) simply does not report it, follow up on it, ask questions about it, etc. Only one of two conclusions can be reached: 1. “the problem doesn’t exist”, or 2. “it exists, but if we ignore it, we’ll be able to dodge the problem and keep on going, status quo”.

    Or take Obama’s refusal to identify ISIS as islamist extremism.

    OK, so in this case the problem couldn’t help being identified. What next? “Well, you Republicans didn’t do anything about it.” The left, which created the problem and won’t identify it unless caught with its pants down, wants Republicans to take the laboring oar to correct it, never mind that the leftists have contributed nothing to the solution, refused to talk about the problem, refused to even recognize it as a problem, and at one time held the complete power (e.g. 2009-2011) to do something and failed to do anything about any of the problems except add to them (Obamacare mess). Nothing on immigration reform… absolutely nothing. Not even talk about the issue.

    So now, when Republicans talk about the issue, and correctly assess blame, leftists try to turn it around and blame Republicans for not doing anything. It’s too rich for the human mind.

    • Crazy JD – it’s not the the left does not recognize the problem.

      BOTH the Left AND the RIGHT – agree with respect to providing college loans.

      you’ll find PLENTY of support from the right !

      but the Right is so feckless now days – that they won’t even step up and give their alternative.

      not just with this – with other issues like Immigration and health care .. they’re basically AWOL.. their main game these days is blame!

      they can’t even agree among themselves on some issues..

      as far as Planned Parenthood – and leftist media – are you familiar with Faux News, Limbaugh, Laura Ingram, Anne Coulter, Brietbart, Town Caller, Newsmaxx and dozens of others?

      the “problem” is that the right is opposed to abortion but a good number of them are ALSO opposed to birth control and contraceptives.

      99% of what Planned Parenthood does – IS contraceptives and other services not related at all to abortion and none of that is funded by the govt but what does the right wing want to do? they want to cut the funding for contraception …

      that’s your problem CrazyJD.. no answers.. just more idiocy..

      Obama and ISIS – who killed Bin Laden and who killed the number 2 leader of ISIS this week? And what does the right say? they say that Obama ought not to be using drones to do this.. because it causes collateral damage! As if air strikes and troops on the ground don’t cause collateral damage.

      again and again – the GOP has no alternatives others than wacko bird ideas like repealing the 14th amendment, “de-funding” govt agencies and pointing fingers.

      Here’s what principled opponents of the college loan problem would do:

      1 – identify the problem

      2. – propose a solution and take it to the American people for support

      3. – stop blaming others.

      own the problem and propose solutions that deal with the problem and stop acting like 4yr olds holding their breath if you have failed to gain majority support.

      The GOP has turned into a bunch of anti-govt vandals.. who are unfit the govern Va nor the Country…

      their solution is to get enough of a majority to “rule” – to impose their solutions.. over the objections of the minority.

      and that’s not working.. the GOP spends all of their time obstructing and saying – “we’ll act once we win the next election”.

      so their excuse is they won’t act until they can rule.. and don’t have to put up with those that disagree with them.

      Used to be – the GOP – Ronald Reagan himself – would fight for his principles but then when the time came – he knew half a loaf was better than nothing.

      the take-no-prisoners, all or nothing, our way or nothing – GOP these days are unfit to govern – and you’re talking to someone who has voted GOP about half the time – until now.

  5. You mean college education isn’t completely free yet?
    Free shelter
    Free food
    Free medial care
    Free cell phones
    Etc.
    Who doesn’t love free?
    Oh, BTW, $18+trillion debt and climbing.

    • community college, 21st centry VoEd needs to be free but 4yr college should not and , in fact, should require far more skin in game than it does now.

      People who get student loans should have to work – .. period.
      no excuses, no if, ands, or buts – if you want a loan – you gotta work during college and I’d not provide loans for anything that is not for education for which there is a demand in the economy.

      If you want to follow your dream – more power to you – but do it on your dime not the taxpayers.

      we’re headed for a financial disaster on college loans.. but that’s not the worst of it.

      we’re paying tax dollars for education for which there is no demand for in the 21st century economy.

      As with K-12 – the purpose of tax dollars is to produce an employable worker – not someone who has a PHD in guitar stringology or music art.

      Kids – and the parents no longer want to take the hard-core courses that the 21st century economy requires.

      they want a soft path to a degree.. end up 30K in debt and the only thing they qualify for is a job that will never pay enough to pay off their loan.

      there has to be a nexus between the loan and the how it would be ultimately paid off.

      this is where “liberals” and “conservatives” do – legitimately diverge.

      liberals believe education is a public good – any kind of it – is a benefit to society and deserves to be funded by taxpayers.

      that’s just not the fiscal reality but Conservatives these days are not much better at dealing with that.. either..

  6. Today’s political discussion reminds me of the classic movie “Trading Places”. In the movie two rich commodities brokerage owners (Dom Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) make a bet regarding the fate of two people from different socio-economic backgrounds (Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy) who will trade places. At first the characters played by Aykroyd and Murphy go out of their ways to cause the other to fail. Ultimately, they realize that they are being played against each other by the Duke Brothers (Ameche and Bellamy) and they form a team and exact their revenge.

    The sequel of that movie is being played out in today’s political arena. Instead of the Duke Brothers we have the elite. While our elite don’t always agree with each other they are completely and categorically more cohesive as a group of elites than they are in cohesion with the hundreds of millions in the non-elite huddled masses. Like the Duke Brothers the elite find it in their best interest to pit the hoi polloi against one another. It is both entertaining and profitable for the elite to do so. In the movie it was Murphy vs Aykroyd. In our political world it is Republican / Conservative vs Democrat / Liberal. Unfortunately, it seems that the American public lacks the intellect displayed by Murphy and Aykroyd. Instead of ousting the elite the American public empowers the elite with a mindless battle of left against right. No doubt, somewhere in DC, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Cruz are enjoying a highball and a good laugh together over all this.

    The key to the political elite keeping the masses at war with each other comes, in large part, from carefully selected rhetoric and talking points. For example:

    1. Mr. Baldrige writes about the growing disparity of CEO salaries vs worker salaries. This is a common rhetorical artifice designed to keep the masses at each other’s throats. In 1930 there was quite the scandal when Babe Ruth signed a contract paying him more money than the President of the United States ($75,000 vs $80,000). This was widely seen as an obscene escalation in the payment to an elite baseball player. To his credit, when asked about the scandal, the Babe said, “I had a better year than President Hoover.”. Today, it is common for top baseball players (in one year) to make 5-8 times the annual salary of the President of the United States. In fact, the MLB minimum of $507,500 per year compares favorably with the president’s salary of $400,000 per year (plus $169,00 in expense accounts, etc). It was scandalous when one baseball player made more than the president. Now they all do. However, nobody decries the growing difference between the pay for baseball players and the earnings of the average fan. Why? The elite know that it won’t inflame the masses. Therefore, it doesn’t go into the talking points.

    2. Conservative elites declare themselves to be pious, family value loving believers in the rule of law. Naturally, they explain to the masses, that makes the liberals Godless, whoring sleazeballs who ignore the law with impunity. In fact, all of our elites are Godless, whoring sleazeballs who ignore the law with impunity. The Conservative elite screech about removing the 10 commandments from the courthouse square but can’t quite seem to read the commandment that says, “Thou shalt not kill” when capital punishment becomes a topic of discussion. Conservatives point an accusing finger at Bill Clinton over the Lewinski affair but struggle to explain Dennis Hastert’s present predicament. Meanwhile, liberals shun conservative Bill Cosby while flocking to hear another person accused of serial sexual assault – Bill Clinton. Republicans love the “rule of law” except when they want to overturn a long standing US Supreme Court ruling by trying to legislate and regulate abortion clinics out of existence. Suddenly, the part of the US Constitution which compels the Supreme Court to interpret the laws doesn’t count. Or when the Virginia Constitution requires all electoral districts to be “compact and contiguous” and the Republican-laden General Assembly draws Gerrymandered districts that look like amoebas on acid. I guess their love for the “rule of law” was suspended for those efforts.

    I started with a movie and I’ll end with a movie – The Matrix. In that movie one of the main characters (Morpheus) tells another main character (Neo) that he (Neo) is living not in the world he sees but rather a computer simulation. That movie has spawned many internet memes where Morpheus says “what if I told you …” and the meme creator adds a phrase.

    Here goes. “What if I told you that America’s elite used these mindless “liberal” vs “conservative” faux-controversies to keep the masses distracted from the grand scale larceny they are collectively perpetuating against us?”

    Given the large and growing number of working age non-elites out of the workforce I guess we all better hope that the elite continue to find a use for us.

  7. I appreciate my being mistaken for Mr. Baldrige, which happened as soon as he came to D.C. where I’d been for some time. Then, of course, he died. But I haven’t yet.

    Thanks, Larry, for carrying on the good fight. We need to focus on solutions, not on the conservative-liberal split (neither of which labels fits the Burkean or Mill beginnings, but so be it.) The questions ought to be on what will work — financially and administratively – who bears the costs, who gains the benefits. Some historical perspective can help, by learning what we can when income disparity was far less, when regulations were fewer, and — most vexing — when globalization and technology were less intrusive.

    So much for engagement here. I’ve sheep and vines to tend on a fabulous day.

    • Baldridge, Baldwin, DonR, Donner, Cupid and Blixen. What’s in a name? Yesterday was a fabulous day. Sheep and vines? Don’t let the NoVa liberals know. They go quite GaGa for white wine and cheese. The good news is that they will never find you. They are quite convinced that those items are manufactured at the local Dean and Deluca store.

  8. I don’t have a problem with CEOs being filthy rich nor do I think we should be paying people higher salaries just to relieve income disparity.

    People need to have motivation and hard work to achieve and an equal opportunity to pursue it.

    Jim is throwing the social justice word around here but he’s also been one of the biggest apologists and blamers for kids of economically disadvantaged demographics attending a wretchedly bad neighborhood school – under-resourced by the same school district that has well resourced schools that do provide genuine opportunity .

    that’s where we fail.

    we prioritize the kids headed for a 4year college at the expense to programs that focus on the economically disadvantaged and those who are not headed for 4yr college.

    and we do this at great economic harm to the country and to taxpayers.

    we keep blathering about “creating jobs” and “income disparity” as if the 21st century economy is not how jobs are created and income disparity truly addressed.

    we’re cranking out greater and greater numbers of kids – even the 4yr college-bound that are not equipped to compete for the jobs in the global economy.

    we whine about jobs that immigrants are taking or exported to workers overseas – as we continue to turn-out under-educated folks who will need entitlements.

    In most counties in Va – we pay millions of dollars in additional taxes to schools – over and above what the State requires but we don’t spend it in producing a workforce equipped to compete for 21st century jobs.

    we pay that extra money for resume-padding for the college bound while short funding K-5 and Vocational education to assure jobs for those not headed to 4yr college.

    and what do we talk about? “libtards” and “leftists”.

    and the Conservative’s “fix” – kill common core, academic standards and free vouchers…

    gee. I wonder if we should do vouchers for college also?

  9. Go talk to professors….Not administrators at universities and not think tanks that have an ideological bias against “liberal” higher ed……And even more specifically….STEM professors.

    You wanna know what? Most will agree that that administrations are bloated. BUT…and it’s a huge BUT….they’ll tell you 3 other things that are just as responsible for rising college costs: 1.) Focus on Research; 2.) Economic Development; and 3.) STEM, STEM, STEM

    All 3 raise costs substantially. Every major flagship university is now in the game of “economic development”….There is enormous pressure on business, engineering, and computer science programs to “inculcate” a “start-up” culture in their states. Guess who gets to pay for these economic development initiatives? Students through tuition increases. I recently heard about a computer science professor at UT-Austin who quit because he got so fed up with all of the economic development idiocy. He’s a professor, not a budding Zuckerburg.

    Research? Sounds like a good game, doesn’t it? If a university attracts research dollars, it should be able to lower tuition costs, right? But go look at Johns Hopkins and how well it works with tuition. In my opinion, Hopkins is the best research university in the world. If their professors ask for research money, it’s almost a rubber stamp. Yet despite this ability, Hopkins has raised its tuition as much as or more than other elite universities in the past decade. Why? Because research is usually a net loser if you could quantify soft costs. Think about how many soft costs are associated with research (legal, compliance, HR, patent office of the school, etc.). These costs don’t ever get mentioned, but they’re there. And guess who picks up the soft costs? Students paying tuition for those much-bemoaned “bloated administrations”. That’s right…a lot of that “bloat” goes towards funding staff that helps bring in and keep research funding. IP attorneys and professionals aren’t cheap, and nowadays with research….every school has a massive IP office with associated export compliance professionals.

    Finally…STEM. Most flagships now have less than 10% of kids majoring in the humanities/arts in 2015. The STEM STEM STEM mantra of the past decade has seen STEM and business majors soar. But a STEM or business degree is much more costly (equipment, capital facilities, lab assistants, faculty salaries are much higher in these fields, etc.) than a humanities degree. So…..it is pretty logical that tuition costs would rise as STEM has become dominant and the humanities/arts shrink.

    So there are 3 reasons that higher ed costs seem to be exploding. Which should we do away with? Economic development? Research? Get kids to major in humanities rather than STEM?

    • I read significant parts of a study (which, despite my huge connection of soft documents, I cannot find) that looked at the correlation between college teaching load and compensation and research conducted and compensation. The study found that too often those that made the most simply did not teach the most or conduct the most. Are colleges paying for “names”? Should those who produce the most make more than those who don’t?

      As I recall, the study was done by researchers in Texas. I cannot recall whether this was done at the behest of state government or not. But, in any event, it spoke volumes.

    • All generalizations are false. I learned that in a STEM class at UVA.

      Anyway, here is a link to a study that estimates the cost of undergraduate degrees by degree (from 2009). DonRifact rates your contention that STEM classes are more expensive as “partially true”. Engineering degrees cost the most but math degrees cost less than average.

      https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1GPEA_enUS318US318&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=cost%20of%20stem%20degrees

      • Interesting charts.

        As someone in tech, I wanted to ask your opinion about something I heard recently. A friend is general counsel to a VC firm. He told me that the most important aspect of “start ups” is knowing the right people. It’s not technical skills or an engineering/computer science degree. It’s simply being able to access capital. He said there are plenty of technical experts with great ideas, but they don’t know the right folks and can’t pitch their ideas in order to get pocketbooks to open. He said that a degree from Stanford or Harvard is probably more valuable today (if you want to get into the start up scene) than it was for kids in the 80s who wanted to go into finance….those 2 schools are wired up and down the tech food chain.

        Thoughts?

  10. I agree in part with what you say here. But I’d like to see a breakdown by university (if universities are capable of breaking down their numbers that way) by the three categories you cite. That would be illuminating.

    I’m all in favor of the economic development component, but if state government wants its public universities to pursue economic development, they should darn well help pay for it rather than shift the cost to undergraduate students.

  11. This like the housing crisis, which will come back soon, is not the responsibility of either liberals or conservatives…it was created by both.
    For example, when the conservatives found that if students made use of loans they, the conservatives, could reduce the funds allocated to higher education and they could either spend it on their interests or give their friends a d tax cut. But then higher education complained and the states reduced control over institutions which led to bad practices: higher administrative costs, lower investment in instruction and investments in all sorts of entertainment and social activities – football coaches saw their salaries jump by 400% over the past 10 years and president’s salaries almost did the same thing. In 2000 the president of VT was paid some $200k and now the last president of VT who just retired made $850k or a 450% increase. Same for football and some basketball coaches etc.
    And they all went on a building spree with multiple Starbucks, recreation centers and social activities to be paid for by students via loans.
    All of this came about because legislators wanted to invest in other things and could reduce the cost of college to the state by allowing colleges to be unsupervised and unaccountable. And this has occurred across
    America.
    Easy credit and the hunger by public officials, governors, presidents, congress, state legislatures, agency heads and on and on has led to the coming crisis and it will be as bad as the housing crisis which may return shortly.
    So liberals like big spending regardless what it is on and conservatives are willing to play a shell game to redirect resources to their friends and supporters.
    So America has a fundamental problem in governance which only Trump seems to recognize these days.
    The chicken is coming home to roost.

  12. re: ” 1.) Focus on Research; 2.) Economic Development; and 3.) STEM, STEM, STEM”

    I’m pretty skeptical of this.

    I’m like Bacon – I’d like to see something to back it up.

    One would think if more money is spent on these things – you’d see the things it’s being spent on.

    my impression of STEM is that it’s in the minority of the grads..

    here’s what would be interesting to me.

    show the number of employees of UVA , Tech on the last 10-20 years.

    I’m betting the cost driver for escalating college costs is rooted in salaries and it would be interesting to know what kind have been hired in the last 10 years.

    • Here’s a good article on the decline of the humanities:

      https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/26/where-have-all-english-majors-gone

      Here’s a good article on the rise in STEM:

      http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/27/more-students-earning-degrees-in-stem-fields-report-shows

      Throw in business, health sciences, and economics majors….there aren’t many history, French, and English majors (very cheap for colleges to educate…thus “profit centers”) walking around on college campuses. STEM and health science (to a lesser degree business) students are expensive….no wonder college costs are rising.

      I’d love to see the numbers as well. Perhaps if I get time, I’ll go through some Virginia university numbers.

      As to sports and “hip” restaurants/dorms/gyms…..eh…..just like anything else, it’s about the consumer (student). If there wasn’t the demand, I don’t think universities would do it. But go look at a lot of Virginia Tech marketing materials….they tout that they have the best campus food in the nation. I’m really not kidding. And it does help draw students. And Division I sports also draw a number of students. So….while it’s easy to say “sports and gyms and restaurants” are “obscene”….the market of consumers seems to want “more, more, and more” of them.

      • ya.. more data would be good..

        we keep hearing that colleges are not turning out folks that are educationally equipped for the jobs that are available – and too many of them end up “under-employed”.

        what percent of UVA grads are actually STEM?
        what percent of UVA are non-STEM?

        I think the issue is – are we graduating folks who are educationally equipped for the 21st century global jobs that are available?

        I’m not opposed to anyone following their dream – I just think taxpayer dollars should be prioritized to providing an employable workforce, powering the economy and generating folks who pay taxes and don’t need entitlements.

        I’m not opposed to tax dollars for other things also – I just think we cannot pay unlimited amounts for all thing to all people – and I DO think it’s wrong for anyone to take a loan and then renege on paying it back .. especially when it is tax dollars.

        we can’t do that.. it’s going to damaged us fiscally and ultimately it will damage higher education also as bad stuff happens and draconian cuts are needed – demanded by taxpayers.

        we have to run a fiscally responsible education system.

        right now – I think the Universities are scamming …. they’ve optimized their operations to steer students to loans – and then to budget their operations based on what they think they will get between self-pay and others with loans.

        it bothers me to no end – that it has some resemblance to the way the for-profit education providers are operating.

        You bring the prospective student if – you tell them that getting a loan is no problem.. you enroll them.. and the debt piles up with the student hardly noticing.. and in the back of their mind – they know they can default without any real consequences.

        we’re setting up a financial catastrophe.

  13. Since it is acceptable for a corporation to declare bankruptcy simply for the purpose of rearranging debt, or to dismiss its obligations to its workers (something that became legal with Reagan), it should be acceptable for individuals to dismiss debt without cause.

    For that matter since the Supreme Court has ruled that a corporation, created simply to reduce the liability of the owners, can restrict the rights of its workers, then an individual should be able to dismiss undesired debt.

    It is time that the conservatives/ right wing/’borrow and spend crowd’, or whatever else they/you want to be called, became minimally consistent in both the opinion uttered and consequence thereof.

    • there’s a big difference between a corporation going bankrupt and the investors and bond holders taking the haircut…..

      and taxpayers – eating the debt.. from students who have no skin in game – no consequences of defaulting.

      students have to have responsibility for the debt.. it’s going to end badly if they don’t.

      ultimately taxpayers are going to support no-tax candidates who will promise to cut education… already happening.. Kansas and NC.

      • I am not talking about corporations ‘going bankrupt’ as in can’t pay the bills and basically fold. I am talking about corporations selecting the bankruptcy route to dismiss selected debt, invariably to employees, just to distribute more to bonuses and sometimes dividends.

  14. There are a lot of people with recent college degrees who cannot find a job they desire. Recently, here in Northern Virginia an office had an opening for a front desk receptionist. They advertised and got 32 applications with 23 have a college degree and four of those having a master’s degree.
    And there a lot of engineers unemployed or under employed. A friend whose son has a degree in mechanical engineering from a well-known Virginia university lost his job 4 years ago and I saw him working at Home Depot the other day. His wife is in real estate.
    Almost half of the college graduates under 28 years of age in America are unemployed or underemployed.
    If we used the standards used by EU in determining the unemployment rate ours would be 12%-14%.
    The idea that we can lose 50,000 manufacturing jobs across Virginia, NAFTA, since 2005 we can produce more college degrees to make up the difference. And besides those hundreds of middle age people working in factories can or will get degrees of some type and get a good job is not real.
    And as a former engineering professor I have trouble with all the emphasis on STEM anyway.

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