03 Sep 2019

Student Debt

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That clever old curmudgeon Victor Davis Hanson argues that colleges have been burying young people in student loan debt in return, too often, for worthless degrees in left-wing nonsense.

[T]he modern university has wrought has now outweighed its once positive role.

Let us count the ways higher education had done its part to nearly harm the United States. A new generation owes $1.5 trillion in student debt—a sum that an increasing majority of debtors either cannot pay back or simply will not.

One’s 20s are now redefined as the lost decade, as marriage, child-rearing, and home buying are put off, to the extent they still occur, into one’s 30s.

Bitterness abounds when graduates gradually learn that their liberal anti-capitalist professors and administrators were part of a profit-rigged system by which peasant students became financial cannon fodder. For all the hipster left-wing campus atmospherics, the university operated more or less as a Madoff/Ponzi scheme: for each new admitted class of students, the fed backed another round of usurious loans that could never be paid back by those of little means, and the university upped its prices.

The result was reduced teaching, a bonanza of release time, administrative bloat, Club Med dorms, gyms, and student unions, and epidemics of highly paid but non-teaching careerist advisors, and counselors.

The university was now in loco parentis, a sort of granny that babysat men and women of arrested development and encouraged the idea that they were helpless. The more students were considered “adults” in matters of loud and boisterous protests, obscene speech, binge drinking, common drug use, and hook-up sex, the more they wished to be treated as Victorian children. Suddenly kids were shocked that the inebriated acted dangerously and boorishly, upset that the targets of their attack did not like them, and furious that sexual congress without commitment and love was often manipulative and embedded within male callousness and deceit.

Adolescent-adults were oblivious to changing public attitudes that no longer put up with “college antics” but saw the university and its students and employees as pampered, hypocritical, intolerant, and often obnoxious. Shrill campus protests seemed like Antifa boot camps without the masks and clubs. …

Indebted students, many with largely worthless degrees, and few employment opportunities sufficient to repay their loans, have become a loyal progressive constituency. How odd that an entire generation, in psychologically and financially suspended animation, is seen as useful by the very politicos who created this labyrinth of exploitation in the first place.


3 Feedbacks on "Student Debt"

Seattle Sam

This year there will be almost TWICE as many people receiving college credentials as 20 years ago. Anyone who has taken Econ 101 (which excludes most of these students) would understand that when you double the supply of something, the value of that thing decreases.

My father got a job in 1940 because his employer was so impressed he had a college degree. He had something 95% of the population did not have. Today over a third of the adult population has a college degree, and the educational product itself has been diluted to the level it must to accommodate the masses who want the credential.

The cruel joke is that the credential has become far less valuable at the same time it has become more expensive to obtain. Who is pushing that hoax? Why, the government, of course, that issues the vast majority of student loans. The same government that pushed mortgages for people who couldn’t possibly repay them.

If I were a cynic, I might actually conclude that government WANTS more and more people to be dependent on it. If I were a cynic I might conclude that encouraging millions of people to borrow for something that won’t produce a good economic return might lead to a “financial crisis”.

Schill McGuffin

Representative government constantly gets the correlation/causation relationship wrong. After WWII the G.I. Bill was cooked up as a means of diluting the rush of returning soldiers to the workforce (which, interestingly, demonstrates some grasp of supply and demand) and also to increase the education of the workforce in order to increase salaries (which, interestingly, does not demonstrate such a grasp).


There is no “nearly” harm to the U.S.


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