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The College Bubble Party

The College Bubble Party

The “Occupy Wall Street” craze has spread to major U.S. cities. From what I can tell, the backbone of this movement are college-aged students like myself who blame corporations for their misfortunes, particularly college affordability and it’s consequences on employment.

They should be angry at the government for their high student loans and I wish people researched the matter much better.  In the past few decades, America has seen many attempts to legislate college college “affordability” through various measures like increasing federal funding for student loans, or even preventing “bad choices” by limiting credit card options for young people. This is a popular political stunt since it holds noble aspirations, though the strategies themselves are rarely effective. For instance, a crux of the Obama administration’s goals, as stated on the website of the Vice President’s Middle Class Taskforce, is “increasing loans and grants, [to ensure that] families will always be able to count on the help they expect.” Yet Econ 101 suggests, and empirical evidence corroborates, an increase in federal loans, Pell grants, and other assistance programs results in higher tuition over time. According to a study by Bridget Long of Harvard University, private four year colleges increased tuition prices by more than two dollars for every dollar increase in Pell Grants, and public colleges increased theirs by .97 for every dollar increase. From 1979 to the present day, college tuition has increased in price by roughly 160%, while the average median family income has increased by 10%.


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Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett pointed out years ago that the Education/Industrial Complex can absorb as much money as both the government and private sectors can throw at them.
Given that they have access to your financial aid forms which spells out every dime you own, they’d be fools if they didn’t use it to their advantage .. and they do.

VetHusbandFather | October 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hence ‘Academia’ being so supportive of liberal policy… It’s not about results, it’s about pay-offs.

If the “Occupy Wall St.” so-called “protesters” being interviewed are any indication, the billions being thrown at higher-education loans and grants are perhaps an even greater waste of taxpayer dollars than those thrown away on sure-to-fail solar energy companies such as Solyndra.

    Neo in reply to connie. | October 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    And then there’s this from Kaiser, from a speech he gave in July 2009 in Tulsa:

    “There’s never been more money shoved out of the government’s door in world history and probably never will be again than in the last few months and the next 18 months, and our selfish, parochial goal is to get as much of it for Tulsa and Oklahoma as we possibly can.”

    Nice. I think I might just change my mind about Obama’s attitude toward billionaires. Or at least the rapacious ones who support him.

      ella8 in reply to Neo. | October 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      I agree, I have no problem with capitalist billionares. They made their money by providing a service or product for which people voluntarily paid. Socialists/ crony capitalists on the other hand, now these billionares disgust me. They make their money by coercively redistributing money into their own pockets via their government cronies.

Back in 1969 I found a great way to finance college. It was called the G.I. Bill and I only had to serve four years in the Army to get it.

You mean you worked for it? You’re very out of tune with modern America. 😉

These uprisings “springing up” all over the country have been carefully planned for a very very long time by people close to the administration.

Fat chance when these ding dongs are protesting the universities themselves for their new fancy buildings, their numerous underpaid ununionized assistants, their long vacations and sparse schedules.


” [to ensure that] families will always be able to count on the help they expect.”

They should not “expect” help. That not-so-hidden assumption is an achievement of the left: Get everyone to “expect” government to help with everything.
We have a long way to go to get this country turned around.

They should be angry at the government for their high student loans and I wish people researched the matter much better.

You can’t really be serious about this. I mean, it’s good advice and all, and it would be great if it happened, but that’s setting the bar kinda high isn’t it? Emotional outbursts are so much more, um, fun, than boring old research. I mean, that’s like being in school or something.

Great post Kathleen. Occupy Wall Street is not very coherent on policy advocacy, but the protests are calm and the disobedience is civil. And they all have a point, American economics chisel on opportunity and gouge on the basic costs for food, shelter, transportation, college and health care. I don’t know why there is so much contempt for these protesters among conservative commenters. John Hinderaker at Powerline had to reign in the contempt a bit when his nephew was pepper sprayed by clearly abusive NYC cops (see

You know what really gets me about this crowd is that they should be thankful they even went to college and they made the choice. There was nobody forcing them to go to college, except perhaps their naive parents who sent their little sheep on their way in life. I am not saying college is not a good option for some people, it is just not for all people. In the semi rural area I am from many people made out just fine without a degree. The difference is that they were not afraid to get their hands dirty at a real job. Many of the college grads feel that they are above doing certain jobs. It is not just about making a living, they have to have a purpose. Having a purpose is great and loving your job is even better, but sometimes life is just life and it is not all peaches and roses. Why should the guy with a GED who worked his way up the ladder at McDonald’s have his income redistributed to a college grad who feels they are above the job where that guy got his start. Perhaps “we” as a society could stop directing all of the lemmings down the college path. There really are other paths to take. If you choose to go to college, then you choose to pay for it.

I just saw a poster for Occupy San Diego, hanging in a coffee shop. No mention anywhere of any issues. Perfect for college students!

Perhaps instead of demanding student loan forgiveness they should protest the tenure and salaries of know it alls like Elizabeth Warren. Working class hero my arse, she makes more than the working class could ever dream of. Either that or just accept it and pay.

Kathleen, it goes deeper than what you are pointing out. Our unionized teachers have long been inflating grades to earn their bonuses and make sure they aren’t transferred to a lousy school. When teachers show how well their students are doing, they win the argument that ‘if only class sizes were smaller’ your kids would do even better!

Here in New York City (other cities are likely in the same boat) legal and illegal aliens can go through K-12 grades without knowing A SINGLE WORD of english! Here, you can then (automatically) get into a college where no english need be spoken and get a Bachelors degree. Illiterate in English, 16 years in “Bilingual” schools and there are no jobs for you- Boo hoo. Sure, blame the corporations!

I am guessing that the ones on the streets protesting their student loan debt are not the ones that used that loan to get a degree in Engineering or Chemistry or Math.

On the bright side, if I was an employer that had a desperate need for people with degrees in Gender Studies, Peace Studies or Interpretative Native American Dance I would be right down there with them passing out applications.

Nonsense. The “backbone” of this “movement” is the same fluid coalition of radical groups — communists, various Trotskyite sects, self-described anarchists — that pops up every so often to try to leverage an issue like the Iraq war into attention to themselves and their revolutionary agendas. They deserve to be ignored.

    davod in reply to JEBurke. | October 4, 2011 at 12:58 am

    The ratbags are actually working to further Obam’sa agenda.

    The same groups (of radical groups — communists, various Trotskyite sects, self-described anarchists — plus US Progressives (including some in Congress) were on schedule in the last two years to take down the UK and Europe (No. I am not talking about the recent riots in the UK.)I don’t think it worked.

College loans are another example of government trying to “help” us.

Hmm. It looks like students are defaulting on their loans. That’s not good – banks will stop lending money to students! We can fix this: 1) Have the taxpayers guarantee the loan, and 2) Add student loans to the list of debts which cannot be gotten out of via bankruptcy. Mission accomplished! But only if your mission was to keep the money flowing to the colleges no matter what kind of debt load gets piled on our children.

When Johnny comes to the bank for money, the bank should be sufficiently concerned about him defaulting that it asks him exactly what he plans to study, and how that is going to enable him to pay off the loan. And if the bank doesn’t like Johnny’s answer, it should refuse to loan the money. Now that’s an inexpensive education!

The college loan scam is one of the biggest crimes being perpetrated on the next generation by our elected fixers.

Gibbie “2) Add student loans to the list of debts which cannot be gotten out of via bankruptcy.”

Where have you been? I don’t know about your 1) but 2) has been true for a number of years. Loads of folks owe and manage to string out their payments for years and years. They just keep rolling them over, getting one forbearance after another. The schools don’t mind steering students to loans, and then raising their tuition and fees. What a racket! Right after they investigate the for-profits they’ll be too exhausted to investigate the not-for-profits.

What I should have said is that because students can’t discharge their student loans in bankruptcy court, the banks and schools have been willing to encourage careless borrowing. Perhaps allowing such a discharge would encourage banks and schools to be more prudent about who they encourage. Only now the Federal government is in the act, and they don’t really care. Or really don’t care. Or don’t give a rat’s ass, as long as their favorite “under-represented group” is collecting benefits.