Image 01 Image 03

Another Occupy Wall Street poster child who is not (Update: He responds)

Another Occupy Wall Street poster child who is not (Update: He responds)

Scrolling through The Daily News’ live blog of the Occupy Wall Street protest in Times Square yesterday, this photo and caption jumped out at me:

Student loan debt a hot topic among Times Sq. crowd. “Student loans screwed up my credit!” one protester screamed while Shakina Nayfack, 30, of Washington Heights explained his hardship of racking up $150,000 in school loans.

The subject of the image, Shakina Nayfack, is bragging about the interview and his sign on Twitter:

I wondered if Nayfack would turn out to be another Andrew Cole, someone who appeared to be one thing in print but quite different with a simple Google search.

It turns out that Nayfack hardly is the poster child for what is portrayed in the media as the driving force behind Occupy Wall Street – a lost generation of unemployed, hopeless, downtrodden youth with no prospects of advancement as a result of the housing bubble which (inaccurately) is blamed on Wall Street.

To the contrary, Nayfack is a very accomplished theater professional who has been continuously employed at ever increasing levels of theater production.  Here’s a part of his extensive bio from his website:

Shakina is the recipient of the 2011 Drama League Directors Project Musical Directing Fellowship.  He is also Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Epic Megalopolis Productions (EpicMegaPro), the company behind JUNK: A Rock Opera (2007). Most recently Shakina has been working at the Musical Theatre Lab at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA as Assistant Director on Mormons, Mothers & Monsters (2011) and The Game (2011).  In 2010 Shakina conducted an SDCF Observership with New York Stage and Film and Tony Award-winning director
Michael Mayer on the development of his newly revised On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. Other directing highlights include: ….

Nayfack’s resume of education and accomplishments is even more extensive and impressive than his bio lets one.  Nayfack also formed a production company, Epic Megalopolis, which solicited investors to produce a musical called “JUNK:  A Rock Opera” through a very capitalist sounding business plan:

JUNK has already attracted over $100,000 in investment and donations; these funds applied directly to artistic development and production. Our financiers include The Lyric Theatre Foundation, Thi Hoang, Joyce Montfort, Brainpool AB (Sweden), Christoffer Lundquist, Lennart Lundquist, The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and Laurence Braun. With a variety of investments available at various levels, participation in JUNK is possible for the casual investor or large-scale theatrical producer.

JUNK never made it to Broadway, but it did have a run in Los Angeles.

The producers apparently could not raise the additional funds needed for a Broadway production.

Rather than representing a lost generation, Nayfack’s career is a success story of the American capitalist system, someone who was able to develop his creative talents, and turn those talents into a successful career.

But his sign says that he has $150,000 in student loan debt and needs help.

I’m not sure why he would have so much debt, since he attended the University of California system for his BA. (Community Studies), MFA (Choreography) and Ph.D (Critical Dance Studies) degrees, and his resume indicates that he was a teaching assistant, which is usually the quid pro quo offered by Ph.D programs in exchange for free tuition.  I have tweeted Nayfack asking him if he really has this debt; I’ll update this post if he responds. [See update below]

But let’s assume Nayfack did accumulate substantial student loan debt in pursuit of his Ph.D.  Whose fault is that?  Did Wall Street force Nayfack either to get his advanced degrees or to finance them with debt, or to not pay back the debt despite working for several years?

Perhaps Nayfack is just angry that Wall Street did not finance JUNK.

Update:  Nayfack has responded:

And in the comments Nayfack writes [I’ve shortened the comment in this update, but the full text is at the link]:

… Occupy Wall Street is about targeting the obscenely wealthy, it’s about getting corporate investment out of politics, it’s about making quality health care and higher education a right not a privilege.  The movement to forgive student loan debt is an alternative to bailing out the banks and CEOs who profited from our losses, and instead offer people a chance, students, consumers, working and unemployed, to move forward on a clean slate.  I think it’s a brilliant idea, a sort of amnesty for folks who are crippled by their educational debt, regardless of the life circumstances and decisions that got them there.  I talked to several other people at the protest who agreed with me, and countless others who just flashed me a “thumbs up” or a nod of recognition because of my little hand-scrawled sign.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Would someone please define “Critical Dance Studies” for me, please?

Some in the press are waking up to the education racket, with its major component being another money-laundering scheme that takes from the working taxpayer, makes ever-increasing amounts of student loans available, enriches university and college professors and administrators who fill empty heads will leftist thought and hate, which professors and administrators then funnel money and their students and graduates to support the liberal democrats who that keep funneling ever more money to the college loans, driving up the prices of college and salaries of the professors and growing college administrative staff.
As this wretched scheme becomes more evident, those benefiting most, the professors and administrators, will become defensive and will fight back. My guess is we will see major support for “demonstrations” at colleges and universities around the country next spring, contributing in some cities to riots.

Midwest Rhino (not RINO) | October 16, 2011 at 10:53 am

47 Republicans voted for “H.R. 2669 [110th]: College Cost Reduction and Access Act” in 2007, along with all 230 Democrats, except for 4 non-voting. While I’d like to see it remain “underused”, in 2009 it became available to sign up and repay federal loans, based on income, capped at a percentage of discretionary income. If that is zero, they repay zero. After a decade or two on the program, the loan is completely forgiven. Ten years if you are a government employee … another perk for the government unions.

So what are these occupiers complaining about? They got six years of partying and protesting the American system, the same system that will forgive their loans already. (unless I’m reading something wrong, though it is “just” federal loans, not sure what percent of student loans are federal)

    Most of the #OWS protestors probably aren’t eligible for the federal forgiveness of their loans. Most of the debt is probably Masters or PhD level debt, which I seem to remember isn’t covered under the bill.

    If I’m wrong, somebody PLEASE tell me. I’d LOVE to be able to reduce my payments on my federally guaranteed debt due to my current low income.

Professor: I, too, was a higher ed student in the UC system. I had my tuition paid for, a stipend for teaching and research assistant work, and lived in campus housing for a large portion of it. I had $0 debt when I left, as I lived like the pauper I was. In fact, the trigger for me program leaving early was not being able to see a theater production of Hamlet because the ticket cost too much for me to afford. I went out and got a job that paid real money and never looked back.

I know others who took out significant student loans who were likewise situated. If he truly has that much debt, then he was living the Westwood life on a student’s stipend. In my world, that is called personal choice.

I wonder if any of this “debt” is viewable via public records? It would be fascinating to learn if this is just more street theater.

    LukeHandCool in reply to Mutnodjmet. | October 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm


    ” …then he was living the Westwood life on a student’s stipend.”

    Haha, Mutnodjmet. One of my dad’s stores was in Westwood, a couple blocks south of Wilshire. I’d be working there from 6:00 a.m., then walk to the UCLA campus to attend lectures and then walk right back and go back to work. I was forced by necessity to become a great speed reader.

    I really envied the students lounging around between classes with free time chew the fat and shoot the breeze.

    Mr Nayfack, our daughter is studying engineering (probably the most time-consuming, and one of the hardest degrees there is) and insists upon working every weekend to help pay her way. She misses many a night of sleep studying and usually goes to sleep around 2 or 3 a.m. In her freshman year, her roomate in the dorm was a theater arts major. The theater arts major would usually sleep until noon even though she went to bed before our daughter.

    As somebody here said, “Cry me a river.”

Speaking as a mother whose children had to finance their own education, tough luck Shakina. If you didn’t want the debt, then you shouldn’t have taken it on.

Perhaps he should ask his past professors to pay him some of their salaries. Either they were worth the price or not. If he feels they were worth the money he payed, then he should stop complaining. If he thinks they were overpaid, then he should take it up with them.

Looks like the press is doing the same bang up job of vetting these morons that they did the Moron in Chief…

Perhaps he was financing things other than his education with his loans. I have heard of people who bought cars with their loans. As a matter of fact I used to work with a guy who used to brag at lunchtime about how the only student loan debt he had was from the car that he bought. He also bragged about how he was being given student loan reimbursement as a perk of his government job. A perk that was not offered to his two equally positioned white coworkers who came from working class families and had only taken out the minimum amount of loans possible to finance their education.

Another example of deceit and hypocrisy. I’m sure there is a lot more where that came from.

I acknowledge that there are lots of unemployed people out there, but for many, their situation is a direct result of bad choices they made along the way.

In my little city yesterday, they held an Occupy Charleston demonstration. Several folks were on the news decrying the lack of jobs. I picked up the paper today and saw all sorts of listings in the classified ads across a range of industries.

I can’t speak for the country in toto, but there are jobs available. All one has to do is WORK to land one of them.

I wonder if the lad is a union member of good standing

While I do agree that it seems like the cost of college education has inflated – perhaps due to excessive beenies rolling to the admin & senior prof at some schools – no one forces anyone to attend – Big Dollar Univ. There are good schools that are reasohnable and/or provide financial assistance for good students and it isn’t all loans. There is no Constitutional right to attend a school that costs 50K a year.

just saw the answer that the 150K was due to 10 years of education plus interest due to deferment.

You’d think someone smart enopugh to be accepted into college would be smart enough to realize that few people can afford 10 years of college without taking a break and actually getting a JOB. Boo hoo that he spent 10 years and now thinks someone else should pay for his unemployed decade. Sounds like he never bothered to take any math courses.

Too many people take on excessive debt fantasizing that it will leverage them into some kind of elite lifestyle.

I don’t see how that’s possible if they’re willingly pursuing degrees in fields which are likely to pay substandard incomes. They’ve been fooling themselves as much as the people who purchased overpriced houses expecting the continued rise in “value”.

It’s a shame that colleges cannot teach economic common sense, but then again they wouldn’t make any money if that occurred.

There are two kinds of people in our Society.

1. People like the elderly Korean sisters who came to this country with minimal education but maximum ambition; gave themselves a job by starting something useful like a deli around my block. Going on to employ ten other people. And yes, it’s an incorporated deli (aka corporation) financed by banks (aka Wall St.) Ultimately earning just enough so that…

2. People like Shakina, the well educated but responsible for-nothing but entitled to everything; who is incapable of starting his own business, finding it easier to become an agitprop for Obama to extort more of the ‘fair share’ of the aforementioned sisters.

Actually I am an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union. (The average annual salary for working Directors in the union, by the way, is $35-40,000). I appreciate the press for JUNK, it has been difficult to raise money for a show that is critical of corporate abuses of power, celebrity obsessed culture, and social/economic/environmental inequality. I was proud to be at the Occupation Party in Times Square last night, demonstrating in front of the very theatres I hope to work in one day. The point of chanting “We are the 99%” is to show the solidarity between folks who come from a wide range of backgrounds with a broad list of grievances. I’m also proud to be an artist with an academic background, and I don’t regret staying in school the extra years to get a PHD (which was only partially funded by teaching assistantships for 3 out of 6 years… you’d consider that if you paid attention to the rampant budget cuts and tuition fee hikes in the University of California and colleges and universities elsewhere). Now, let’s get to the real issue I have with your blog post, which is the greater sociocultural problem of art, especially immaterial art like dance and theatre, not valued as labor, thus discounting the WORK of ARTISTS as LABORERS. Yes, I have an extensive resume, I have performed in galleries, theatres, schools and streets. I get paid next to nothing for my work, but I do it because it is my calling and my passion. Most of the time I get no pay aside from travel, lodging, and per-diem. This is subsistence artistry, I’m not making enough money to live independently, I have no health insurance, I can’t support a family. Show me a society that functions without artists, show me a revolution or social movement that succeeded without a performative element. I worked all the way through school, and yes, I used some of my loan money to develop my craft as a director and performance artist. I also used credit cards. I was 18 and they were giving them away at the college book store with a free gift! So I spent all of grad school paying them off, only to and accrue more! As for my production company, in the six years that I’ve worked on JUNK I think I’ve paid myself $3,000. If you read the mission statement for Epic Megalopolis, you will see that I believe in supporting artists with a living wage. The last workshop of JUNK we paid our actors, young professionals like myself, something like $400 for 6 weeks of rehearsal and then $18 a show for 6 weekends. This is WELL ABOVE the rates usually offered to non-union actors on a 99-seat theatre show… and still, tell me who could survive on that? It takes a lot of people to build a theatrical production, those people all deserve to be paid fairly. $100,000 is peanuts compared to the budget of a Broadway show, and let me tell you NOBODY working on Broadway is in the 1%. Occupy Wall Street is about targeting the obscenely wealthy, it’s about getting corporate investment out of politics, it’s about making quality health care and higher education a right not a privilege. The movement to forgive student loan debt is an alternative to bailing out the banks and CEOs who profited from our losses, and instead offer people a chance, students, consumers, working and unemployed, to move forward on a clean slate. I think it’s a brilliant idea, a sort of amnesty for folks who are crippled by their educational debt, regardless of the life circumstances and decisions that got them there. I talked to several other people at the protest who agreed with me, and countless others who just flashed me a “thumbs up” or a nod of recognition because of my little hand-scrawled sign.

    Cry me a river, moocher. You and the others took from the rest of us and you should repay your loans.

    Mutnodjmet in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Shakina: Your sad saga inspires no sympathy from this UC alumnus. It all comes down to personal choice. The reason I blog about Egypt is that, despite a passion for Egyptology I had since the age of 5, the money was in science and technology. When you followed your passion, you KNEW the odds of financial success were slim. However, you opted to follow that path.

    Furthermore, you could of obtained training in a trade to supplement your income and supported your passion. You chose to get easy credit and use it irresponsibly. Why should a plumber, who earns above $250,000/year and who may want to save for his son’s college education finance your poor choices?

    Harrison Ford worked as a carpenter for years before getting discovered and achieving success. The template for success is there, for those willing to work hard and sacrifice in the process.

    Finally, if you want to succeed in art, you actually have to produce something that people want to fork out money to actually see. I could hardly imagine anyone willingly seeing a rock opera entitled JUNK. Sorry, that free market thing is harshing your mellow, buddy. However, the free market has lead to a lot of success for other artists. See Harrison Ford, above.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I was an infantryman for three years to qualify for G.I. Bill benefits to help pay for my tuition. But that wasn’t enough. So after my discharge and while I was enrolled as a full time student, I humped packages weighing up to 50 lbs each at UPS from 10pm until 2am five days a week for about 3.5 years. Then to top it all off, I learned about 4 college professors who pooled their money together to buy a 4 unit apartment building with a ginormous, fully furnished and finished basement. They let me live rent free in the basement in exchange for mowing the lawn, watering the lawn, shoveling snow, raking leaves, maintaining the boiler, etc. which only took about 3-5 hours of my time each week. They even paid for all of my utilities except my phone bill.

    So between the G.I. Bill benefits, wages from UPS (including health insurance which I never used), and free rent, I managed to graduate college debt free and actually have several thousand dollars in the bank.

    I was not “pursuing my calling or pursuing my passion” while I was serving as an infantryman or humping 50 lbs packages at UPS at insane hours of the day. I was doing what I had to do. It’s called personal responsibility. Self-reliance. Sacrifice.

    People like you who don’t want to live within your means and think society owes you something make me sick.

    ella8 in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    The problem Shakina is that it is just an illusion that redistributing wealth from a handful of rich guys will really solve any of our problems. There are not enough rich people to bankroll this. As everything else does this too would end up on the backs of the middle class. I have student loans to pay off too and three children to feed. Thankfully my loans are managable since I started off in a really awesome program at a community college (best experience ever and excellent professors, no TAs just passionate high quality teachers) and I resisted the temptation to take more loans than I needed. Also I payed off some of my earlier loans as a CNA (taking care of the elderly in nursing homes… very difficult but rewarding work with low pay. Since I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a physician. I have no doubt that I have the ability and aptitude for med school, but I was unwilling to take on the debt to pursue that path. Sure it is unfair, but life is not fair. Please stop asking for your neighbors to pay higher taxes to fund your choices. My family pays enough taxes already and I don’t have anything saved for my own children’s education. Please let me take care of my own family before taking care of you. Sharing is not demanding that others give to you, it is the act of you choosing to give to another. Art is wonderful, but sometimes life is just life. Perhaps your art should be a hobby while you pursue another path to make a living. I know it sucks, but nobody owes you a living, especially when most people are struggling to make a living for their own families.

    LukeHandCool in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    How did those poor working-class Liverpudlians known as The Beatles ever do it without student loans?

    Oh yeah … they produced art that people craved. That’s art.

    One problem with Art and Artists in America is that you and 150 million other Americans believe they’re divine artists just because you put on cheesy shows or spash globs of paint on a canvas or sing crappy songs out of tune; none of it involves mastery of craft, strict discipline or personal sacrifice.

    The biggest problem with your TheATre is that you’re stuck in a myopia of groupthink provencialism created out of a lack of individual spirit; there are a gazillion of you out there in America creating the exact same thing over and over and over. You have NO ORIGINALITY! You are part of a groupthink collective believing your empty souls have something extraordinary to say. Rinse and repeat, what you say was said many times over by all those who look exactly the same.

    The Old Master warned about you. In “Notes of a Soviet Actor” Nikolai Cherkasov, just as he entered the State TheATre at the time of the October Revolution, was warned by his Old Master that:

    “Maximov soon won the sympathy of the students. Without openly opposing the formalists, sundry ‘leftists’ and pusedo-innovators in our studio he waged a consistant though covert struggle against them……

    ….many of the young innovators who, while claiming that they were exposing the evils of old art, were in reality making use of pseudo-revoluntionary phraseology to kill ideas and lead us to formalism, absurd stuntery and affectation”

    All that your TheATre and your Hollywood and your Art in general today is “formalism, absurd stuntrey and affectation”

    You think you’re sticking to The Establishment Man, but you are The Establishment Man re-cycling yourself to the point of boredom. And you are so boring you gotta put on another boring show called “Occupying Wallstreet”

    And your boring story ends with yet another display of formalism, absurd stuntrey and affectation; no doubt your groupthink collective Public TheATre will issue you with yet another award.

    And one more thing!

    If you want your collective living wage for your collective Art why are you not Occupying Hollywood demanding Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Bruce Springsteen, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Matt Damon, and the thousands of other ‘rich GREEDY EVIL Hollywood multi-million-billionaire profiteers who are stealing from you’!!

    Why are you not Occupying Hollywood demanding they pay your $150,000 student loan so that you can be free to produce the same crappy art they create?

    Good gracious, Mr. Nayfack. You have a PhD, and yet you don’t know the benefits of breaking up your sentences into paragraphs?

    I would gladly fisk the unicorn and rainbow-filled comment you left at 12:08 pm, but the wall . . . of . . . words . . . impenetrable.

    Earlier, you said this: “The movement to forgive student loan debt is an alternative to bailing out the banks and CEOs.”

    I got another idea. Option C: none of the above. I don’t want to bail out your sorry butt any more than I want to bail out banks.

    When I got an advanced degree, I took semesters off from school to work and save money when necessary. You shoulda done the same.

    Milwaukee in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Here’s a news flash for you: art is a luxury item which comes after essentials like food and shelter. Further, unwashed idiots are capable of creating their own art without fancy degrees. How much education does it take to sing? Or to seek out friends who will sing with you? A pencil and paper make a person an author or poet. Plenty of books are available in the public for an individual to consult to improve their art. While we all need art, we don’t need to pay extravagant amounts to self-centered individuals with no sense of personal responsibility.

    The local civic theater charges about $10 a show, as do many high school productions. Live theater, well done, and enjoyable.

    Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose. Do you hear me, Lebowski?

    Warming in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Shakina, as a fellow UC grad, I sympathize a little. We took out student loans, intending to pay back every penny, then had unexpected surgery that wiped out a whole lot of that. We did end up paying everything back, but it took 20 years, many Mac N Cheese and hot dog dinners, and lots of hard work. When you say the protests are partly about getting corporate investment out of politics, I, too, see that need. Right now, much congressional time is spent dealing with this large corporation or that large firm, lobbying congress to change the tax code to make it more favorable for them, or less favorable for their competitors. It might be a small change in the tax code, but it means millions for this company or hundreds of thousands for that. And this goes on every day, every hour, tying up Congress and clogging the system. It’s insane! That’s why Herman Cain’s 999 tax plan is so refreshing. A flat tax would eliminate all that lobbying and wasting of time in Congress. It’s the very thing to get “corporate investment out of politics.” Think about it.

    Crawford in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Grow up, child, and stop demanding others be enslaved to pay for your luxuries.

    Sean A in reply to shakina. | October 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    “The movement to forgive student loan debt is an alternative to bailing out the banks and CEOs who profited from our losses, and instead offer people a chance, students, consumers, working and unemployed, to move forward on a clean slate. I think it’s a brilliant idea, a sort of amnesty for folks who are crippled by their educational debt, regardless of the life circumstances and decisions that got them there.”

    Of course you think it’s a brilliant idea because you would no longer have to struggle with the burden of paying back $150,000 plus interest, but you would get to keep the degrees listed on the resume you submit to potential employers to earn money. What not to like about that, right?

    The problem with your ‘brilliant idea’ is that like all liberals, you are incapable of thinking beyond how your ideas, if implemented, would benefit you. Your statement above is breathtaking. You literally have not given a moment’s thought to the effect that the ‘forgiveness’ of your loan will have on anyone other than yourself.

    If the Federal Government passed a law pursuant to which your loans were paid off by the government, that would result in MASSIVE tax hikes for every productive, working individual in America. For middle class families with two incomes, the tax hikes could take another 5-10-15-20+ thousand dollars out of what they earn on top of what they would already be paying. So, just because you would like to avoid your financial obligations, a family of four has to sacrifice and has to get with less of what they earned that could have gone into a retirement account, purchased a second car, taken the family on a vacation, etc.

    OR, if the govt just passed a law decreeing your loan obligations null and void, what then? I’m sure you haven’t given that a moment’s thought either. What would happen is that no company in America would stay in OR enter the student loan business. Lenders would go out of business and all of their employees would lose their jobs. Corporations would see that the risk is that the government could just one day cut off all the income owed to the company, so why risk that? The result would be that the generations of students coming up behind you would be unable to acquire financial assistance to attend the schools/programs of their choice. In short, they would be unable to pursue their ‘calling’ because you pursued yours and then refused to honor your obligations to pay for it.

    I’m sure none of the above has entered your mind because you’re a liberal. Liberals believe themselves to be the most caring, compassionate, and generous people in existence, but as I’ve explained above, the opposite it true. Liberals like you are the most profoundly selfish and greedy people on Earth. You constantly condemn others for being greedy, while demanding exemption from financial responsibilities of your own. To you, debt forgiveness is just a clean slate and a fresh start for YOU. The end. The fact that OTHERS would have to pay for and/or suffer because of it is something that doesn’t concern greedy, self-centered people like yourself.

    I hope you remember this the next time you’re out ‘occupying’ some street, screaming at ‘greedy’ people because you want to force them to finance YOUR LIFE.

theduchessofkitty | October 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm

And whose fault is it to rack up $150k in student loan debt? Hint: not the banks’.

If this guy wants to protest somebody, why doesn’t he look in the mirror?

Besides, $150k in unemployment deferment just keeps growing when not active. Is he intending to remain like this for the rest of his life, never having to pay a penny of that debt – which his all his?


Get a clue!

[…] seriously not because they are coherent or themselves at all powerful; but rather because they are puppets who are being controlled by an organized and well-financed radical left hoping to complete the […]

I went to undergraduate school on scholarship, but paid full freight for my J.D. I took out loans for my tuition, lived cheap, and worked enough to pay for my daily expenses. Accumulating ruinous debt in order to get an education is a matter of choice in this country.

    caysee in reply to Valerie. | October 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Persuing higher education is a matter of choice in this country. Going into debt over it is not. If you are a middle class person who chooses to go to grad school most likely you will amass thousands of dollars of debt unless you have a huge savings account or husband or parent to support you. This is not the case in most of the rest of the developed world. Come down off your high horses and see things for what they are.

Insufficiently Sensitive | October 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

countless others who just flashed me a “thumbs up” or a nod of recognition because of my little hand-scrawled sign.

It is not a thumb that I would turn up at your fauz-piteous hand-scrawled sign.

Go to work and repay your creditors before I get mad.

Read my book. See my show. Then we’ll talk.

    DINORightMarie in reply to shakina. | October 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    But…..but……that would mean engaging in CAPITALISM! You see, buying your book (or borrowing it from someone who bought it), and paying to see a show – that IS capitalism.

    Corporations fund the shows on Broadway. And off Broadway. Do you want people to stop being able to perform? Of course not. Do you expect people to come see a show and not pay for a ticket? Of course not.

    And you know what?! That, Shakina, is called engaging in CAPITALISM. It is not evil. It is a reflection of PEOPLE WORKING – HARD. Then, if they had money left over they invest it; they use that extra to make more money – allowing them to invest in artistic endeavors, like yours.

    I am sure if your EpicMegaPro made a profit, you would reinvest the profit in more artistic endeavors; or, you could choose to use it to grow other people’s efforts in another area – your choice. That is how capitalism and the free market work.

    Capitalism is really a beautiful thing, if you understand it.

    Also, that student debt you took on was an investment by someone (whether an individual, a bank, or the federal loan system) – using Other People’s Money (OPM) – to allow you to learn your craft, your art. You worked for those degrees, you learned, you earned your credentials. Awesome!

    Now, you need to repay them. Someone invested in your talent. In YOU. It was not a gift. You accepted their monies, their investment, agreeing to pay them back for taking the risk on you. They trusted you at your word that you would repay their risk, their investment in your talents. They helped YOU.

    Now it’s your turn to keep your word.

      LukeHandCool in reply to DINORightMarie. | October 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm


      Surely he’s offering his book and his show for free. I’m currently paying for a daughter at USC, a son who loves expensive lacrosse and all the expensive clinics and leagues involved, and the youngest daughter’s expensive ballet and volleyball lessons. At times there are also piano lessons, swimming lessons, and private math classes at a Kumon-style school (which my Japanese wife insists upon). The money goes out as fast as it comes in.

      The extra math instruction has already paid off. Our oldest daughter is studying engineering. Her SAT math score was almost perfect. Our two younger children are also tops in math at school and score in the 99th percentile on the annual state tests.

      I read a quote to my wife (who thinks American K-12 education is a joke compared to what she experienced in Japan) from an article once that she committed (in paraphrase) to memory. It was an article about the educational fad of self-esteem … how the fad had things backwards … self-esteem comes via accomplishment, not the other way around. It talked about how precious time and other resources were being wasted on this touch-feely nonsense while, “In Asia, teachers are not reluctant to hurt their students’ self-esteem by mercilessly marking up their papers with red pencils.”

      Anyway, surely Mr. Nayfack can sympathize that many of us are struggling to make ends meet by doing the best we can to ensure our children grow up to become highly productive members of society who will help to pay our country’s way out of debt. I’m sure Mr. Nayfack wouldn’t accept a dime.

Cassandra Lite | October 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

He could do quite well as a satirist if he had any sense of irony. The guy doesn’t quite understand that the people who could actually afford to pay him somewhat handsomely for whatever talents he possesses may not want to subsidize being criticized for their hard work and smart choices. Having gone to school on other people’s money, he now feels entitled to different people’s money.

Btw, since when in history have “artists” been required to get advanced degrees? How many Oscar/Emmy/Tony-winning actors and directors in the last five decades attended even a single community college class? Not many–and those who did, like Natalie Portman, didn’t study theater or art. To paraphrase Jack Warner, I could throw a nickel out the window right now and hit a dozen “artists”.

I get paid next to nothing for my work, but I do it because it is my calling and my passion

I hate to be insulting but BFD. You CHOSE to pursue your calling, you passion, knowing it didn’t pay well. Did you think suddenly the world would recognize your talent and throw gold at your feet?

You think artists should be paid a living wage – apparently those funds are to come from the rest of us who may not feel it so critical that you and others have the freedom to follow your calling.

“Nayfack is a very accomplished theater professional”

Then he’s right in his element, nicht wahr?

“Nayfack is a very accomplished theater professional”

I wonder if he will list “Acting at Occupy Wall Street protest” on his resume.

I do think it’s criminal the way the banks held a gun to his head and forced him to sign for his loans.

Wait, what….?

After “Junk: A Rock Opera” bombed, it’s good to see Mr. Nayfack right back at it, soliciting $150,000 in investments for “The Drama King.”

I worked 7 days a week through high school and while attending UCLA. Later, married with kids and a full-time job, I earned a master’s degree. Right now I’m taking two advanced accounting classes. Forgive my lack of sympathy.

LukeHandCool (who thinks anything outside the “Three R’s” taught in K-12, should start with personal finance and business. Let teenagers study “Rock Poetry” on their own time. Don’t make me post the link again to the video of my 10-year-old daughter and her friend providing their customers choreographed entertainment in addition to cookies and lemonade, making $22 in an hour).

theduchessofkitty | October 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

My husband was born of working poor parents – and I mean, stealing corn from the fields, eating spaghetti with mushroom sauce every single day, watching pennies like you watch your life, long-term-down-on-their-luck poor – who told him that if he wanted to succeed in life, he had to study and work hard, because “nothing in life is free.” He eventually graduated with BS in Engineering, also supplemented with a U.S. Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine license and a U.S. Naval Reserve commission. That was twenty years ago.

Even though he graduated from a Federal academy (the US Merchant Marine Academy, if you don’t know squat about it), he had a few thousand dollars in student loan debt, which he paid very quickly. In fact, right after he returned from his first tour with the Merchant Marine, he called his student loan company to pay his whole debt. The person on the other line couldn’t believe it! That other person called his boss, who then called his department head, to confirm what my husband said he was intending to do. And of course, my husband paid that debt that same day, never to worry about it again.

He has never lacked a job. Ever. He bought his first car after college with cash – not something flashy like a Corvette, but something comfortable and durable enough to drive.

There was one debt he assumed willingly (apart from our home mortgage): my own student loan debt from my totally misguided Liberal Arts degree, which was about $30k when I graduated and married the same month. He was totally against consolidating my loans – which would have made my payments per month shorter, but I would have had to pay until I receive Social Security. He told us to bite the bullet and pay the whole thing per month. Six-hundred to seven-hundred dollars a month went to my student loans, which I couldn’t pay with my own miser paycheck alone: thus, my husband had to pitch in.

I was upset for years that I earned a degree that meant NOTHING in real life, and that I had only one miserly marketable skill: one desktop publishing class that I took on my last semester. A year or so after we moved to TX, I began taking classes on Computer Information Systems at the community college near my home, on my own dime. Part-time study, part-time work. When I obtained my Associates, I owed no one a penny. And on the same year that I had finally graduated with that degree, my student loan payments from the Liberal Arts degree had come to an end – with my husband’s help, of course. Meanwhile, he was advancing in his career as a Port Engineer.

Last Friday, while I was exercising at the Y, I was talking with a community college student about my experience. I told her that I would tell anyone who is thinking about earning a Liberal Arts degree while at college to Think of Plan B: not the “birth control”, but a backup major/minor that would bring food to your table and help you pay your bills. Any of the Business-related, Computer-related or Hard Sciences makes a great Plan B degree plan. A Teaching Certificate is also a good choice. And if you go to a community college first to get your credits out of the way and take useful courses before transferring to a four-year college (thus saving yourself a good chunk of change and maybe even earning transfer scholarships), you will end with a Bachelors that would not be as much of a millstone around your neck as a full four-year college’s degree.

The mom of two college students overheard my conversation at the Y and asked me more. I told her more of my experience and then she said, “I’m going to talk to my kids.”

Many of my college classmates who earned Liberal Arts degrees are now back in college earning Business of Accounting degrees part-time while they work. One of them intends to go all the way for an MBA – and perhaps even work at that much-hated Wall Street.

Another classmate of mine did the best thing with her Communications major: she entered the Air Force right after graduating and did tour of duty for several years before returning to civilian life, and now has a very profitable career as a photographer for the Associated Press.

I’m sure that 99 percent of those “99’ers” earned Liberal Arts degree without ever thinking of a Plan B. They never thought of earning that minor in Business, Accounting, MIS, Chemistry or Mathematics while going into a useless-in-real-life major and racking up a debt high enough to follow you to your grave.

My husband and I have seen their pictures on the Web with their grievances. Do you know what my husband does every time he reads or hears one of those? He laughs heartily and calls them all “Morons.” He’s right. Nothing in life is free. “Loan Forgiveness”? Are you kidding me?

If you go into a Theater/Drama major, why not earn a Business Admin or Accounting major/minor on the side? Thus, you will not only know the acting aspect of Theater, but also the management/business/money side of it. That makes you a hundred times more useful in the arts or any other industry than the Theater/Drama degree alone. Plus, you will pay your student loan on schedule.

Yet, I get the feeling that a lot of people did what I did when I was a naive Liberal Arts student: I wanted my cake and eat it, too. Real life sucks, but it’s real and it’s life. That is not something your Liberal Arts college professors (who have been just as brainwashed into Marxism and Political Correctness as their students are by them nowadays) teach you. Otherwise, you would not be attending their classes, but earning more useful skills than to repeat the latest Marxist mantra. Maybe you would have dropped out of that useless major and college and into something you would be insanely good at. (We just celebrated the life of the greatest college dropout ever, Steve Jobs. Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, and even Rush Limbaugh dropped out of college. They’re not doing that bad, either.)

Modifying a quote from the Levittown Brothers, who were the founders of the first suburban developments after World War II, “No one who takes responsibility for his own life, works for a living and owns a home can ever be a Communist. He has too much work to do.”

P.S. My favorite Computer Information Systems professor, a musician, computer genius and college department director in his own right, told us all at the beginning of my first class with him, “I’m going to make you ALL Republicans by the end of this semester.” I already was a registered Republican shortly before taking his class, but I bet you that over half of that class now votes Republican.

P.P.S. Recently, the number 1 most profitable college major was named: chemical/petroleum engineering. I live in the Houston area. The prosperity of this city and of the rest of Texas bears it out. You will not see a single graduate of the Colorado School of Mines or of any Engineering program in TX “occupying Wall Street.” They have too much work to do.

(I’m sorry, Professor, if my rant has taken this long. I had to say it because it’s a must. Some people need to hear some common sense for a change.)

    Nice story.
    I, too, paid off my student loan early. It was years before your husband paid his off. Mine was a loan directly from my so-called prestige top-10 university, and I thought that paying it off earlier would allow some other needy student to get a loan.

    One thing I disagree with thedutchessofkitty is that an MBA is a golden ticket. There are no golden tickets. One of my old friends is an MBA holding, OWS ranting, $100k in debt holding, the world owes me something type. Of course she does spend a lot of her time and money on booze, drugs, and cigarettes. Anyways I think it could go any way. There are MBA failures and theatre failures alike. Choice of major is important, but the most important factor is whether or not that indivudual owns their choices and takes responsibility for their life. I know my friend COULD find a job in her field, I just don’t think she has the internally initiative to do what it takes.

    Jusuchin (Military Otaku) in reply to theduchessofkitty. | October 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I have a BA in Government and International Politics. The problem with mine is that there are very little and highly competitive entry-level positions.

    That said, Foreign Service exam. I shall be taking it until I achieve my dream of being in the State Department. ><;;

      theduchessofkitty in reply to Jusuchin (Military Otaku). | October 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      You’re similar to me. My major was in International Relations, with two concentrations in PoliSci and History. I went to several Harvard National Model UNs. We made frequent visits to the UN headquarters. Etc.

      Outside of NY/DC, it is not worth the diploma parchment it is printed on. And I have worked in the DC area.

      We left for TX hopeful for a better life, and I left DC a bit disappointed for my luck, because I really wanted to be in the Foreign Affairs field, but I didn’t know the right person(s) to help me get there.

      Ironically, we left DC in the Winter of 1998 – at the same time as the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke the surface. I sat amazed at my new home in TX as I found out that she got her internship at the White House because of a “rich uncle” who donated lots of cash to the Clintons. Otherwise, Psychology-major Lewinsky would have never had neither her internship, nor her… ahem… internship… Go figure…

    DINORightMarie in reply to theduchessofkitty. | October 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    My only comment, @kitty, is that knowing the job prospects for a degree are essential – the ROI. For example, a Law degree today costs about $150K+ (depending where you go), but there are VERY FEW jobs for even the best grads. The ROI is poor for most law students today.

    And an MBA, without the skills and experience to back the sheepskin – in other words, some WORK experience – don’t always result in salaries sufficient to costs incurred. A positive ROI may not be there, if there is nothing behind the degree.

    I am with you 100% otherwise! I, too, repaid my student loans, which I took out as a last resort, after working 2 jobs and paying my tuition myself. They were few and were repaid quickly. I pay my debts. And I didn’t take them out expecting the monies to be “gifted” to me later; I gladly repaid those who took a risk on ME.

Did anybody WATCH that hideous video? It reminds me of SCTV. Surely it’s a parody of something…really bad. Narcissistic, self absorbed, unfocused, showy, pretentious

theduchessofkitty | October 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

P.P.P.S. Professor, this little proverb applies to those protesters and all the Marxists who support them:

“Idle hands make the Devil’s handiwork.”


Wow, he plays a fraud on the OWS stage and then double downs with attacks when he is exposed. These people have no respect for the truth and HONEST debate. And they don’t seem to give a damn when caught “red” handed.

Oh, shakina, if you “get paid next to nothing for your work” then whose fault is that? Me and others who are actually getting paid very well for the work we do?

Nice work Mr. William!! I just love it when spanked monkeys cry out!!

This debate was entirely predictable, from the moment that Obama nationalized student loan business I predicted that he would use it as a platform to buy votes, because it put the government in the position to bail out students, and make a generation Democrats for life. This is on top of my predictions for years on the issues of the higher ed bubble in general.

It is incredible double-level of corruption, in that taxpayers fund the irresponsible, and that the bailed out are not only the students, but also the obscenely high costs of higher education.

Education is going through the potential for incredible deflation, especially if you see how much free education you can get through just having an iPad. You can consume multiple degrees worth for little more than the cost of a high-speed connection and an iPad.

However, to keep the industrial-high education-overpaid liberal unionized professors in the fold and free to continue converting the young and opining on behalf of Democrats, they need to keep the dollars flowing to the higher education bubble.

Where I get really angry, though, is that this is all as obvious as snow falling, and has been for years. But the Party of Stupid Elephants does nothing to get ahead of the message.

The message should be out there about “greedy universities” raping students wallets for inordinately high tuition and fees. It should be repeated incessantly. The whole notion of affordable higher education needs to be assaulted not with more subsidies but with the root of high cost drivers (same as the medical cost bubble and the home price bubble).

Elizabeth Warren correctly recognized the drivers (even if her conclusions about the reasons are all wrong).

But I wish that for once Repubs would get ahead of the message and consistently pound on these issues in a pro-middle class way, and be on the record pounding on these issues for years so that when they come to a head, they have a better message.

Now, admittedly, they did to some degree on Fannie and Freddie to no avail, but I’m

I bet this whole issue mushrooms into a giant issue that is used to revamp the college vote for Obama next year. I see a trap coming for Republicans, and I don’t see them getting out in front of it.

Of course, its not easy when the whole of old school media is carrying water for you, but I don’t think the vast majority of them (a) see this issue developing the way it is right now, and (b) could articulate the proper response in advance.

Of course Democrats will buy votes with handouts. Outrageous, yes! Duh, obvious too!

But as opposed to admiring the problem in slow motion until it becomes another damn victory against us, I’d like to see some fighting back proactively.

Maybe I’m a bit naive about what it takes, or its there and I just don’t see it … but its there in all my favorite blogs, but in very few of the politicians list of issues about how to address.

I do give credit to all the ones fighting for vouchers at the primary education level – but that’s only part of the battle.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to PrincetonAl. | October 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm


    I kept yelling back at my computer upon reading your comment, “You are SO RIGHT! You’re SO F-ing RIGHT!”

    “Where I get really angry, though, is that this is all as obvious as snow falling, and has been for years. But the Party of Stupid Elephants does nothing to get ahead of the message.”

    And that should be an opportunity for the Tea Party to confront the GOP seriously. Unlike the “99ers”, the Tea Party is mostly made up of people who live and work in the REAL WORLD, who can take the message farther than ever imaginable. It’s time for the Tea Party to take a stand on this issue, NOW.

After thinking about the protesters calling for “free” higher education I have to ask – why aren’t they protesting at the universities and colleges? The banks are causing the high loans – the schools are. Why aren’t those “kids” picketing their professor’s office, the Dean’s office? surely they realize that part of the reason tuition is so high is that the schools need to fund the sabbaticals for the professors, the boondagle seminars for the admin mucky-mucks, the wining and dining of the alumni.

Of course I’m not referring to our host here at LI but I have some family fairly high in the food chain of university life and their lifestyle certainly exceeds mine – no trips to Europe every year, no visiting professor gig for me.

    I have noticed that a progressive number of Americans are dismissive of reviews to distinguish between cause and effect. Their tendency is to conflate the two, and, more often than not, prefer to focus on effects. This is especially evident and problematic when they purport to treat indigence and homelessness in this nation, but instead enact policies and pursue actions which propagate those failures.

The issue of merit is not relative wealth disparity, but absolute wealth. The reason we have experienced massive inflation is due to policies which introduce progressive distortions of the market. It doesn’t help matters when spending by the government (in fiscal 2011), federal, state, and local, accounts for nearly 1/2 of the national GDP.

As for voluntary accumulation of debt, including education loans, it cannot be dismissed without the individual incurring a penalty for their irresponsible behavior. A society cannot afford to reinforce behavior which undermines its ability to maintain stability and sustainability.

The voluntary accumulation of debt, whether it is in deferment to compensation due to others for provision of products or services, cannot be treated and dismissed lightly. It would be reasonable, however, to review the causal factors underlying market pricing and availability.

I think the top 1% should get right down to OWS and picket with signs complaining that they have to pay 37% of all the federal income taxes. They could bring the other taxpayers who make up the top 10% and they could all picket complaining that they pay 68% of all income taxes.

By the way, if I paid 37% of the costs of something I would want at least 37% of the say on how things are run, maybe more. Maybe OWS should think about that as they agitate to pay less and less of the costs of running the country and a very small group are required to pay a higher and higher percentage of the costs of running the country. You don’t get something for nothing in this world, do we really want a small minority that pays 70% of the police and military salaries?

    DINORightMarie in reply to Viator. | October 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I’m in the 53% who PAYS taxes. I think, using your logic, that that means I should be able to tell the 47% who don’t to GET OFF THEIR DUFF and get a job. Unemployment and welfare have time limits.

    Get to work, pay taxes; then you, too, can have a say in calling the shots!

Jusuchin (Military Otaku) | October 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm

150k in debt…and a job. I’m in less amount of debt…with no job besides a possible seasonal one and the part time I’ve held since freshman year. Stop bitching please.

I envy these OWS people with money. I’m working hard just to put gas in the 8 year old family minivan I now use.

“Occupy Wall Street is about targeting the obscenely wealthy, it’s about getting corporate investment out of politics, it’s about making quality health care and higher education a right not a privilege. The movement to forgive student loan debt is an alternative to bailing out the banks and CEOs who profited from our losses, and instead offer people a chance, students, consumers, working and unemployed, to move forward on a clean slate.”

WOW. So essentially he wants marxism, he doesn’t just appear against crony capitalism (which I’m against as well, no bailouts!), but he wants redistribution of other people’s work and labor. And these people are absolutely clueless as to why college rates are going up and the same is going to happen to health insurance rates, the govt comes in, makes things mandatory, lessening competition, and then prices skyrocket. True competition and true capitalism allows prices to go down, and allows failures of companies to fail without handouts from the govt.

As for college, I went to a community college for 2 years, mainly because I could not afford regular college, didn’t complain, but I did not want to be in debt, worked my way through community college, and then went to a regular 4 year college, I was not in debt.

He made that choice, and honestly, paying 20-30K a year to go to college to learn arts?!?! at least a degree in engineering, or some other vocation will allow you to get a real job, and not depend on govt handouts.

And as for “free” college education, its only free to them, the rest of us have to pay for it!

If this is the new democrat party, I’m so glad I’m no longer a dem. And I would suggest to him to understand the root cause of why prices rise, why college rates are high, why businesses will not expand, and hire more people. These are not hard concepts to understand but it does require independence of thought, and not just relying on superficial answers.

    alex in reply to alex. | October 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I’d like to also add, private student loans were gotten rid off in the ObamaCare legislation, yea they used those number to manipulate how “fiscally sound” ObamaCare would be.

    However, what this will do is first get rid of that industry, all those jobs, private jobs, lost. And then since the Fed govt is now backing student loans, and they are the only entity backing student loans, the prices for colleges will keep going up, why in the world would a college want to compete against a another college in terms of tuition rates, when the fed govt backs loans to both colleges, the people who are hurt the most are students like this man in the post, as well as the American taxpayer who has to pay for all this, and businesses in America who will see higher taxes to pay for all this.

    I do feel sorry for this man, 150K in debt is massive, but unfortunately until people understand why things like tuition rates, insurance rates, etc happen, the real reason, these people will keep voting for the leftist redistribution of wealth, not realising there isn’t enough money for it.

    I would have said no bailouts to failed banks, failed companies, or anyone. People have to be personally responsible, when you take on debt, its a big deal,I can see why people are frustrated that banks got bailed out, yet students like this one didn’t, I don’t want bailouts for anyone. But people like this think having ObamaCare, fed govt taking over student loans will help, when all its doing is the opposite, skyrocketing the prices, and making it even harder for middle class people to stay there or move up higher on the economic scale. True capitalism, and true competition is only way for prices to come down, and failures in terms of companies to be out of the way so successful ones can grow and hire people.

    Like I said previous, these are not hard concepts (this limited govt policy is what the tea party supports), but it does require independence of thought, not sure people in that occupying crowd have that.

      ella8 in reply to alex. | October 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      The thing that ticks me off about these protesters using the bailouts as an excuse for gimmee gimmees, is that some of us have been against the bailouts from the beginning (under Bush AND Obama), and Obama supporters and even seasoned politicians have called us everything from racists to terrorists for it. Welcome to the party Shakina, we have been against the machine all along. The problem is your kind is not raging against the machine as you think you are, you are raging for a bigger machine that robs us of our liberty. Sure liberty has downside risk, meaning personal responsibility is required and failure is a possibility, but really would you want to sacrifice your liberty for a socialization of that risk?

        alex in reply to ella8. | October 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

        I agree and great point. I was a dem at that point in 2008, but I didn’t want any bailouts for any failed company, let them go into bankcruptcy, for those who don’t know, this doesn’t mean the company just goes away, it means it has to restructure to deal with the bad bets, bad decisions it made. And the taxpayer doesn’t have to bail them out.

        The difference is, people like those featured in this post want that bailout money that went to the banks to be used to bail them out instead, or to have a new/expanded entitements. The Tea Party wants no bailouts, to anyone, any failed company. That seems to be the main difference (at least when looking at the legitimate sane occupy people).
        Tea party is against crony capitalism, not all capitalism — which allows failure. The occupy crowd appears to be against all capitalism, more redistribution, more socialism, how is then different from bailing out bad banks? Their [bad banks, companies] losses were socialized to the american taxpayer, these occupy people want their decisions of taking on too much debt socialized to the american taxpayer well! I see the same thing, socializing debt to the american taxpayer in both cases, tea party doesn’t support socializing either.

          ella8 in reply to alex. | October 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm

          Agreed and I also was a democrat (actually experimenting in socialism) when the bailouts occurred and I started to awaken from my us vs. them brainwashed slumber. I even voted for Obama in the primaries but then when both McCain and Obama came out in support of the bailouts, I refused to vote for either. I can’t say for sure as I am not an official tea partier, but I would say this is the general motivation behind the tea party… NO SOCIALIZATION OF RISK PERIOD! It is always the downside of the risk that gets socialized to the taxpayer and someone else with greedy hands ends up with the upside.

    ella8 in reply to alex. | October 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I agree this is part of the same problem as rising health care costs. My family was paying $13,000 per year for health insurance this coming year we can expect to pay $15,000. At $13,000 it was just about balancing the line of whether or not it was worth carrying vs. paying out of pocket and putting money in the bank. At the new price, considering also that we still do not have dental and vision coverage, it really does not make sense after calculating what our average family medical expenses are. There is always the possibility of a medical catastrophe which throws the math off, but that just leads me back to being pissed that NYS does not allow for simple catastrophic coverage. Even without it what would be the difference in paying $15k per year for health insurance or a medical debt. The insurance companies must love the insurance mandate, now my family will not even have a choice whether or not to buy this product that may not even benefit my family in the long run. Shakina should be happy when the health insurance mandate kicks in and he is required to spend thousands of dollars per year whether he likes it or not. I am not sure if this is true, but rumor has it that student loan interest is being used to fund Obamacare. If that is true, I don’t see Obama forgiving student loans anytime soon. The problem with these socialists is that they want their cake and then to eat it, and eat it, and eat it. At some point the math just doesn’t work anymore.

Professor, thank you for doing in your unpaid spare time, yet again, what full-time journalists are paid to do, yet fail to do, again and again.

Ann Coulter once said something to the effect, “Why do almost all MSM journalists seem completely incapable of using LexisNexis and Google to check on their stories? It often takes me just five minutes running a search to debunk a story.”

I don’t think they’re really incapable. They just don’t want to do it. They get the narrative just the way they like it to support their lefty worldview, submit, and hope for the best.

With their “layers and layers of editors and fact-checkers,” about whom they like to brag and reassure us … I can only imagine the vast resources, human and technological, you have at your immediate disposal. It can’t be easy debunking these newspapers’ stories.

    Crawford in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    It’s not that they cannot or do not want to — they already know the back stories on these SOBs. They don’t stumble across these interviews and photos — they’re set up. It’s all BS, created by the press, to push the left’s lies.

P.S. Whoops, forgot to include what I originally intended to post.

Are these street theater “poor” all B.S. artists?

Hot Air on Breitbart’s exposing another phony OWS tool. This guy is part of the poor 99% with a trust fund:

Warning: Frequent use of the F-word.

College tuition increases every single year, through good times and bad. Colleges with billion dollar endowments often raise tuition even more.

Our tax dollars fund Pell grants, a university funding scheme that has ballooned to provide eligible students almost $4000 per year to pay these outrageous tuitions.

Happy to take the cash, colleges throw in financial aid and help students get loans that hang around their necks for th rest of their lives. Who’s surprised the capitalist theatre professional still has a loan to pay? I’m sure if there was a Ph.D offered he would have stayed in the school system even longer. They don’t call these guys “adult children” for nothing!

Why these students aren’t demanding the SCHOOL cut tuition and provide more assistance is beyond me. Perhaps it’s easier for them to all cry to Washington. The ever increasing Pell dollars are sucked up by high annual tuition increases, but the key thing here is the outrageous tuition is always paid.

More grants make it easier for the colleges to get away with it. The grant money ensures that costs are shifted from colleges to the students and the federal taxpayers.

Hey Shakina- why not get your young friends to march in front of the admission office at the nearest college, demanding ‘fair’ tuitions. Don’t the greedy corporations buy and build schools, stadiums, libraries already? These colleges all have business and economic schools, put them to work holding the line on costs! You’ve got the talent so go out there and take on the real culprits here.

    ella8 in reply to Chicklet. | October 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Seriously Shakina, please try to take the time to understand the underlying complexity of the problem. People are not being tough on your demand because there is no compassion for your debts. Debt sucks, most people live it these days, and often people derail their dreams to avoid it. Just make sure you are putting the blame in the right place before you start casting stones.

Poor Shakina, society doesn’t have much interest in buying whatever it is he’s trying to produce so he thinks everyone else should be on the hook for the debts he freely assumed.

A large portion of which, he admits, is not actually student loan debt, but credit card debt.

Maybe he should try selling something people actually want to buy for a change.

Either that, or just admit to himself that he’s pissed away a small fortune on his own personal hobby.

Something to consider is the treatment Shakina received here. Imagine if one of us wandered into the Daily Kos or Huffington Post and attempted to explain our side of any given issue of the day.

That aside, I hold a degree in American History. I returned to school at age 30 to complete my undergraduate degree. I understood that my degree was economically worthless. Obviously, on a personal level, I cherished the study of history enough to pursue a degree anyway. I own a restaurant now…hardly in my field of study. Most people who wander through my establishment would never guess that the guy serving their meal is a thinking person. So what?

If I serve terrible food, is the government obligated to subsidize my business to the point of guaranteeing me a profit? I don’t think so, the government doesn’t think so, and I daresay most of our society doesn’t think so. If an artist can’t attract customers because they’re creating crappy art, why is that any different? If I can’t attract people with menu choices such as boiled possum innards, then perhaps I should offer pizza or something else.

I would go so far as to say that if the government owes any industries a “living wage,” that it is the essential industries–farming, energy, housing, and manufacturing–that are far more worthy to receive assistance than non-essentials such as artists, musicians, actors, and museums (my passion). But, in reality, the government owes no industry guaranteed success.

Higher education should be a “right”? So the universities would feel even freer than now to jack up the price?

Free tuition means that bus drivers should pay for your theater degree. That is not social justice. That is a subsidy for the privileged, paid by people who work. Workers: you know, people who serve society by engaging in activity that other people actually want.

The sense of entitlement radiating from these gimme-guys is not a pleasant aroma.

BannedbytheGuardian | October 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I am afraid I could not read the guy’s piece. I gazed at it but there was no intermission .

I think that $150,000 ought to have included 3rd grade paragraphing.

Methinks the thespian doth protest too much!

Me-also-thinks that “crippled by educational debt” should more correctly be rephrased to read “crippled by education” since there seems to be this juvenile sense of entitlement that appears to be an addendum scribbled on the back of his sheepskin.

To retool the erstwhile “if ya can’t do da time, don’t do da crime” mantra — If you can’t pay the freight, don’t pack the crate…with such onerous, crushing amounts of debt.

So sorry that someone viciously browbeat you (it was against your free will, right?) to incur such financial obligation and extract from you a WILLING promise(?) to pay it back. (Boy, the suckers that you got to believe THAT line! Easier pickings than that cute little coed you snagged, I’ll bet.)

[…] William Jacobson: “Nayfack is a very accomplished theater professional who has been continuously employed at […]