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Dear Elizabeth Warren: No, I’m not paying other people’s student loans for them

Dear Elizabeth Warren: No, I’m not paying other people’s student loans for them

Elizabeth Warren wants to “forgive” student loans — she means “Make the rest of us pay it.”

This troubles me.

Elizabeth Warren releases sweeping student debt cancellation and free college plan:

“Warren’s new plan would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year. According to analysis provided by her campaign, that would provide immediate relief to more than 95% of the 45 million Americans with student debt. The Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 contender is also calling for a drastic increase in federal spending on higher education that would make tuition and fees free for all students at two- and four-year public colleges and expand grants for lower-income and minority students to cover costs like housing, food, books and child care.”

The campaign estimates that the plan would cost $1.25 trillion over 10 years.

What is this “forgiveness” she speaks of? I agree that it is a sin that so many people are so saddled with debt but, only sins can be forgiven.

Debt? That has to be paid by someone.

Thus, by “forgive” — Liz Warren means “make the rest of us pay it.”

Let’s look at some hypothetical people.

1) Isabella’s parents are immigrants from El Salvador. They scraped by to make sure that they could provide for her. She wanted to be a lawyer but decided that she did not want a lot of debt, so she joined the Marine Corps. Isabella spent six years in the Marines and got military benefits that covered most of her educational expenses. The rest, she paid out of money she and her parents saved up. She has no debt, in large part because her military benefits covered most of the tuition at a state university and a state law school, and the rest because her parents saved money for her from birth, and Isabella socked away her summer job money every summer.

2) Tyrone’s parents were public defenders. They scraped by but did okay. Tyrone didn’t want to be a lawyer and instead, wanted to be a doctor. He took on a lot of debt to get his medical degree because he didn’t have a state school that he liked. But, upon graduation, Tyrone continued to live like a student. He ate ramen and had four roommates. He lived on $20k a year for five years and beat down his student debt by working hard and living like a Spartan.

3) Emma’s parents are both successful corporate lawyers, but they decided that she should go at it alone. Emma wanted to attend Smith College, despite getting a scholarship to attend UMass. She majored in intersectional literature and racked up $120,000 in loans in the process. She’s always made the minimum payment, but since she’s not paying enough, the debt has ballooned to $160,000. Her parents’ estate is worth close to $15 million but they have decided that she won’t get anything until they die.

4) Tyler went to Bennington college and majored in drinking beer. He then attended Cooley Law School. He could work, but he would rather not. That Cooley law degree just doesn’t command the $180,000 per year starting salary he thinks he is worth. He’s had offers for jobs at $60,000 a year, but he doesn’t want to work for that. He has never made a student loan payment. He’s not really worried about what that will do to his credit, because he has a trust fund worth $5 million.

Tyler and Emma win, but Isabella and Tyrone get to pay more taxes to subsidize their two idiot friends.

No thank you.

If you have a lot of student debt, you made stupid decisions to get there. I made stupid decisions too.

When I applied to law school, I was accepted into Georgetown and the University of Florida. UF offered me a full scholarship but I thought the “prestige” of a Georgetown degree was worth going into debt. By the time I realized that was really stupid, I was already pot-committed. I lived like a student after I graduated (sort of like Tyrone).

And now, you want me to pay taxes so Tyler doesn’t have to pay his debt? No thank you.

Student debt is a problem. So is a refusal to take responsibility for your actions. I’ve recently argued with a very liberal friend about this. Her position? The kids who take out these loans are 18 to 22 years old, and at that age, they can’t conceive of how this decision will impact them later in life. That same liberal thinks that the voting age should be dropped to 16! So, you’re not old enough at 20 to understand the impact of borrowing money, but you’re old enough at 16 to understand the impact of voting for someone who thinks that “forgiveness” is the way to go? Pick a lane, please.

The other argument is that this is not money that YOU have to pay. Senator Warren just wants to tax the super-rich people to pay for it. You see? Magic free money! Set aside the morality of taking money from anyone (even billionaires) to pay for other people’s mistakes. Okay, don’t set it aside. Say it loud, THAT IS IMMORAL. A significant amount of my student loan money went to paying for beer.

But, aside from that, let’s think about the money.

I think it is a great idea to raise taxes on the uber-rich. Let’s say we raise $1 trillion for that. Where could we put that money? The national debt? I realize the irony of that suggestion, but it sounds better than paying money to deadbeats for over-priced educational decisions.

Further, there is only so much of other people’s money you can tax and spend. Do we need improved infrastructure? Sure we do. I even think high speed rail is a decent idea. At least we have something to show for that. But, a massive infusion of cash to the worst deadbeats in society? No. So, if you take $1 trillion from the ultra-rich, how are you going to pay for everything else? Take more? Take more from me? It isn’t as if this is “magic money” that wouldn’t otherwise exist, and that couldn’t be spent on way more productive things than bailing out deadbeat fools.

Let’s look at the root problem and let’s think about a real solution.

The root problem is that government entered the educational funding business in the first place. College costs have exploded because nobody really shops on price. They don’t need to. Imagine if you could buy a car just by going to a dealership and getting a guaranteed loan from the government, which they couldn’t turn down. And, you didn’t need to start paying for the car at all for four years. Do you think anyone would really ask “how much is that car?” No, they’d just take it, sign, and drive. Think about the problem in four years! Prices would certainly rise, as car manufacturers recognize that nobody really thinks critically about the price.

University education is the same way. Universities now offer way beyond what they must in order to provide a quality education. I recently visited my old law school, and the campus is no longer just a classroom building. There’s an Olympic sized pool and a state-of-the-art gym. Sure, their wonderful facilities, but why the hell is this part of the educational facility? And, how did they pay for that? The same way that every college pays for an ever-expanding army of useless “administrators.” They pay for it by raising tuition, which the students borrow to pay, and the government backs.

So how do we fix it?

If there is indeed a student loan crisis, why don’t we apportion the blame where it belongs? Let’s tax university endowments. Those endowments are enormous pools of heretofore tax-free money. Tax them and use the money to subsidize paying off the banks to drop their interest rates. After all, we can’t force them to do that. They lent the money on a promise of a guaranteed return.

Going forward? No more government backing of student loans. Let the schools co-sign the loans. If the student doesn’t pay, then the school is on the hook. You’ll find schools getting rid of diversity coordinators, emotional support dog day, and non-academic facilities awfully quick – and the price will come back to earth. Of course, it will result in many schools going under. I don’t think the world will suffer if we lose these places. The immediate shake-out will be cruel, but the higher education market has been insulated from the strength-building stresses of the free market.

Now, this plan would leave a bit of a gap. Even I believe that we need comparative literature majors. But I am not sure that any private school would back a loan for a major that simply requires you to read novels for four years. Art. Philosophy. History. Majors like these are necessary, but unprofitable. But this is where the state universities come in. State colleges and universities should also see their price tags drop – and, if the state believes that we need some of these people, they can make those majors free if the voters want.

Let’s face it, this idea is deeply classist. For all the Democrats who try to claim that they care about working people, think about how this idea works. We take money from really rich people (and I am ok with that) and instead of spending it on something that could benefit everyone, we give it to people who already were privileged enough to attend college. But we don’t just give it to college graduates, we give it to only those who were irresponsible and borrowed more than they could (or would) pay back. The resources we could have put into something productive come from everyone else’s taxes – that means everyone.

So, the kid who served in the military to avoid debt, she gets screwed. The kid who started a business instead of going to college, he gets screwed. The kid who finished college and paid off his loans responsibly, he gets screwed. But the snot who majored in intersectional literature and can’t understand why the only job she can get is bussing tables (because reading Andrea Dworkin essays just didn’t translate into marketable skills) gets subsidized for that stupid decision.

There is only a finite amount of money we can steal from people at gunpoint (because that is what taxes are). I don’t mind them taking some of my money for essentials, and even some luxuries. But I am tired of hearing about the “student loan crisis” as if I should pay for it. This “crisis” was caused by universities over-pricing a product that wasn’t worth what the consumers paid for it. It was caused by stupid adults borrowing money without thinking about the consequences – and without exploring alternative avenues to finance their educations. And, it was caused by government being involved in a business it never should have gotten into. Government doesn’t need to then make the problem worse by throwing a trillion dollars at a bunch of imbeciles.

This crisis affects only the lazy, stupid, and unproductive. If their lives are negatively impacted by stupid decisions, then it is time to grow up and face the music. And, if they can’t shoulder it alone, then let those who stole the money in the first place – the over-priced colleges – pay the price with them.

I’ll be damned if I pay for this “forgiveness.”

[Featured Image via YouTube]


Marc Randazza is a First Amendment lawyer and the managing partner of the Randazza legal group.


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to the full extent allowed by law.


Near the top of the List of Things That Annoy Me is the whole idea of “free.”

Free this, free that, free stuff. All of that is of course stock-in-trade for Democrats.

Not a word of it is true. “Free” is simply the dishonest device, a shorthand expression, for cost-shifting. The issue is never an issue of getting something for nothing, as in free. The issue has always been, and will always be, Who Bears the Cost.

JusticeDelivered | April 25, 2019 at 11:36 am

Colleges are already gouging students and their parents. This would only encourage more of the same.

As a young man I had a mentor friend who was about 90 years old, and a philanthropist worth about 500 million in the early seventies. He founded a community college.

I was visiting that college about five years ago, and a counselor was telling me about a problem they were having with Pell Grants and student loans.

They had underprivileged people enrolling in classes in order to get the cash distribution from grants and loans, then they quit showing up. This was playing havoc with staffing levels.

So, in addition to cracker jack degrees, there was massive theft at great public expense by people who should never have been anywhere near a college.

    healthguyfsu in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 25, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Yep…I’ve seen that one.

    FWIW they passed new rules, at least in TX, that students had to attend a certain % of classes and had to pass the class or face paying back the grant.

Buying votes (bribery) with other people’s money (not even her own) makes a strong statement about the content of her character. And, it also launders the taxpayer funds that are given to Democrats by the anti-American staff at these useless colleges – staff that is supported by these student loans.

So you are for confiscating from the “uber-rich”? Who defines what that means? Say they have millions of dollars in unrealized capital gains. Should they be required to realize them and pay capital gains taxes so they can pay their wealth tax? What if you are a farmer who makes $150,000 a year but owns $60 million worth of land and equipment and livestock, much of it passed down from earlier generations. Should you be required to sell your land to pay the tax? How long before “uber-rich” gets defined down to mere millionaires (like more than a few on this board). The very wealthy will find outs which will only speed they downward definition.

    rselavy in reply to Obie1. | April 25, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    For the purposes of her wealth tax, Warren defines “uber-rich” as households with a net worth of $50 million or more — roughly 75,000 American households, or the top .1%.

    Those households would pay a 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million up to $1 billion, after which they would pay 3% for every dollar above that. Details here:

    Whether or not the farmer in your hypothetical would pay a wealth tax would therefore be impossible to say without knowing what his liabilities were.

      Barry in reply to rselavy. | April 27, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      “Whether or not the farmer in your hypothetical would pay a wealth tax would therefore be impossible to say without knowing what his liabilities were.”

      NO, IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY. It’s an absolute fact the farmer will be paying. The Fauxchontas types always provide exemptions for the wealthy class, ALWAYS. The burden will fall on the middle class like it always does.

      You’re just a commie liar.

This is simply an attempt to buy votes. Soak the “rich” and use the money to buy votes. The Democrats have always been the high-tax party with a simple strategy:
Take money from less than half of the population, and give it to more than half of the population to buy their votes.

To make this strategy possible, you have to take a lot from less than half the population, so they will need to be the high-producers. That’s why Pocahontas and all the other Dems always say their giveaways will be paid for by “the rich”.

Then they act like their party is Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Actually, they’re just buying votes.

    fscarn in reply to OldProf2. | April 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    “Assuming that intent is best found among the people doing the intending, there’s no reason to assign much normative value to the boundaries of the original law. In 1913 Congress enacted a top rate of 7 percent and a high exemption that spared all but 2 percent of households entirely. But just five years later, the top rate was 11 times higher. Many of the same lawmakers who voted for the light and narrow tax of 1913 also voted for the heavy and much broader tax of 1918[*].”



    The inching up of tax rates and the broadening of who would be taxed occurred quite quickly. Once the 16th Am unmoored fedgov from accountability to the states, allowing fedgov to go directly at the people themselves, the rate and extent of our enslavement have only increased.

First, let’s remember who gets these funds, the schools have already been paid by the original loan, so the student and parents who co-signed the loan are now on the hook and the school is judgement-proof. It used to be the banks that did the lending for these education endeavors, but as was hilariously shown,
the banks have all left the market of educational loans as the government is now the primary holder.

So the money to repay these debts comes from the taxpaying public, and goes into the general fund to be spent by our elected elite. Much like social security, where the funds placed in the general fund were removed for the pleasure of our elected elite and now we have continual predictions that that fund will be bankrupt before those currently getting their wages garnished will ever collect a dime, unlike the federal employees who also receive retirement funds removed from the taxpaing public’s paychecks but have no predicted funding demise in the future. Yep, sounds like another way to take my money and give it to some victim group or another.

So, “An election is an auction of goods which have not yet been stolen.”

“A democracy … can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury.”

So, what’s new? Well, the size of the federal government is somewhat new: there’s so much more to steal!

Where tot he people who worked hard, sacrificed and paid off their student loans go for reimbursement? Are they just “suckers”?

What we need is “Comprehensive Tuition Reform.” No school should be allowed to charge $30,000 per semester. They didn’t build that!

You want your tax free exemption? Lower tuition to $20,000 a year! Limit endowments to $500 million! Administrative costs limited to 15%!

Make all tuition payments tax free like medical expenses!

Any endowment in excess of $500 million should be used to repay privately funded and defaulted student debt!

All publicly funded and defaulted student debt (a sunk cost) should be cancelled as reparations!

Si se puede!!!!

    healthguyfsu in reply to mrboxty. | April 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I’m all for cutting tuition but we’d also need reforms from the DoE, Congress, and from tort statutes.

    Administrative bloat is, by far, the biggest culprit for the tuition bubble.

    Staffers for mental health, roommate matching, student activities, tutoring, diversity, and a small army of growing general support staff to carry out the will of the oligarchs and monarchs at the top of the bloated pyramid. The list goes on.

    Many of these can be cut but a lot are added to reduce legal liabilities that should be unnecessary for supposed adults with the right to vote.

So, I took out loans in the ‘80’s to go to law school. A top 20 school, but a state school, not an ‘elite’ university. Interest rates were pretty high back then, and I was a single mom with 2 young children. It took me 10 years to pay off those loans. My kids and I struggled during those years…and now Warren thinks I should pay so entitled democratic voters can get a worthless degree in feminist grievance studies that doesn’t even prepares them for a job at Starbucks? I demand reparations for my financial sacrifice! ( Not really; the degree I earned ultimately led to a better life for my family, but this plan truly angers me. )

    rselavy in reply to RNJD. | April 25, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Warren does not think that you hould pay so entitled democratic voters can get a worthless degree in feminist grievance studies that doesn’t even prepares them for a job at Starbucks. That’s a pure fantasy that originated in the mind of the author of this post. Her proposal is paid for by a 2% wealth tax on the .01%, and would make free college universal for everyone, including people who went to school in order to get a JD so that they could mount a sustained campaign of legal opposition to feminist grievance studies. This is because it would include everybody. It would take nothing whatsoever away from you. Wouldn’t cost you a cent. The OP is just wrong on that score. Here’s the link. See for yourself:

      RNJD in reply to rselavy. | April 26, 2019 at 12:12 am

      Repeat after me: nothing about Warren’s plan is “free”. Somebody always pays. And, nothing about her crazy idea involves paying for an advanced degree, which is a requirement for most legitimate professions. Real reform would involve ditching affirmative action plans that discriminate against the best and brightest students if they don’t meet some nonsensical stereotype that has nothing to do with the ability to succeed. And get rid of the “fill-in-the-blank studies”, which are truly worthless majors.

amatuerwrangler | April 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm

He who robs Peter to pay Paul will always have Paul’s vote.

I probably spent more than $350,000 in college tuition, plus an additional $300,000+ for 12 years of private Christian school so that my offspring could start life well educated and debt free, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars taken from me in the form of property taxes for public education for which I realized no benefit. So how is it again that I should now pay for somebody else college?

    rselavy in reply to Doug. | April 25, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    You shouldn’t, and Warren’s proposal doesn’t ask you to. She’s proposing a 2% wealth tax on the 75,000 richest families in America — the .01% — which she intends to use to cancel student debt and make a free universal college education available to everybody.

    The author of this post is either lying about what she’s proposing or he’s too lazy to find out what it is.

      Actually, her proposal is a cynical ploy to pander to the young and impressionable people who have had their lives stolen by the ghouls that run these institutions.

      Proposing to pay for this “plan” with what is likely an unconstitutional wealth tax is ludicrous. Even those that believe it could get through the unavoidable litigation in the courts, know it would be years before that funding could be secured. She could have been upfront, but then her proposal would sound more insane than it already does.

      This is a forward broken promise, just like the one these universities sold these kids when they signed away their futures.

      Come to think about it, Liz Warren was the very person that thought up (or takes credit for) the CFPB. Dodd-Frank also created Reg-Z which required that mortgage lenders perform a good faith analysis of the borrower’s ability to pay. Why didn’t they include student loan debt under Reg-Z as well? This issue was a problem back then as well, remember the Sallie Mae bailout? That bailout was expected to be 100b, for some reason despite the evidence that this funding scheme wasn’t working, we proceded to lend another 750 billion (actually more than that considering on-going repayment) for what was clearly a defective product. Almost 10 years later, millions more have now squandered their futures on worthless degrees, pure snake oil.

      These schools do provide students with a mandatory disclosure regarding their obligations under the program, but did anyone counsel these kids on what their chosen major is likely to earn? Walk them through the basics of budgeting and underwriting so they understood what the product they were buying would yield? Of course not, if they had the SJW departments of these universities would have long ago been put out of business. “Here is 240k in debt for the major you have selected which will only pay 35k a year, and after taxes and minimal living expenses, you will be in the red at the end of every month… In? Out?”

      The reason should be clear to any clear-minded and rational person. This system’s beneficiaries are dominated by a single party and frankly serve as indoctrination centers for our youth. Of course, they would be protected from being protected against. Virtually 100% of the faculty donate money and time to the party and promote party ideals through their teachings and activism to millions of impressionable minds. We are talking about a trillion and a half dollars. The worst thing is the students themselves are paying for it, to the benefit of the left and the administrators who are taking everyone to the cleaners. It is the sub-prime crisis all over again, but the villains are the universities instead of the banks.

      Rather than call for the CFPB to begin policing the lending practices of these institutions or working to effect legislative change to extend the Reg-Z good faith repayment analysis to student debt (likely something that would be supported by Republicans), she is proposing to allow these institutions to continue earning the subsidized unsupportable profits (read salaries, prestige and working environments) they are earning now by taxing the rich. The best way to describe this is: Her plan is to swap the victims of the current scam from the students they have been abusing to the wealthy.

      Doesn’t have the same cachet, does it?

Excellent post. Much appreciated.

“This crisis affects only the lazy, stupid, and unproductive.”

My idea of a lazy, stupid, unproductive person is someone who reaches the conclusion that the one million people a year who default on their student loans every year are lazy, stupid, and unproductive because he is himself too lazy, stupid, and grandiose to do more to understand the problem than come up with four, profoundly unimaginative hypotheticals that support the bias he wants to confirm before writing an imbecilic, ignorant, and fantasy-based screed celebrating his own stupid opinion.

You, for example. Try doing a lick of work before spewing your fantasies all over the internet.

“We take money from really rich people (and I am ok with that) and instead of spending it on something that could benefit everyone”

Speaking of lazy, stupid, and unproductive:

Her plan makes college free for everyone, which (gasp!) benefits everyone.

And speaking of people who are irresponsible:

No, she does not want you to pay for it. Nor does she want “the rest of us” to pay for it. The entire thing is paid for by her 2% tax on the 75,000 families who have a net worth of $50 million or more.

So congratulations. You had a fact-and-reason free emotional outburst that does nothing except increase the number of people in the world who are as ignorant and motivated by feel as you are.

    Barry in reply to rselavy. | April 25, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    “Her plan makes college free for everyone, which (gasp!) benefits everyone.”

    I want a free pony. Does her plan include free ponies? It would (gasp!) benefit everyone.

      rselavy in reply to Barry. | April 25, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      That seems like an awfully childish desire. But take it up with Elizabeth Warren if it’s important to you. I was just stating the facts that Randazza got wrong because he was either too lazy to read the proposal or too irresponsible to care what was in it.

      MajorWood in reply to Barry. | April 26, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      I wonder if those of us who ooze with white privilege can get a unicorn if we ask?


perhaps a more practical policy–reduce or make dependent the amount of federal funding/assistance on the student loan default rate of any given institution–” let’s see mr administrator, the default rate of your students for school year 2019 was 23%. We’ll be reducing your federal assistance/funding by 23% for school year 2020. “

I’ve got a better idea. Maybe all the democratic candidates can increase their charitable donations and fund a bunch of scholarships. Beto married into great wealth, certainly he can do better than 0.03%. Warren got hundreds of thousands of dollars per year teaching at Harvard; why didn’t she do it for free? Democrats (and Bernie) like nothing more than spending other people’s money. Let them spend their own for a change.

So a bunch of kids decide they want to go to college. Do they research what degrees will get them a job? Do they research the cost of college and how much they will have to takeout in loans, how much their pay back on these loans will cost, or any related topic?
Nope, they do none of this. They blindly fill out the loan papers, go to an expensive college, major in feminist studies or some other utterly worthless degree that offers less than zero advantage, and then complain about how upon graduation they are unable to find employment outside of McDonald’s. Some double down on this stupidity by taking out even more loans and getting a masters or even a a Ph.D. in a worthless subject.
Now, after making one bad choice after another and after refusing to research what they were doing in an effort to understand the full implications of their own actions, they now realize the terrible mistake they have made. What makes this reprehensible is how they are now demanding that we the taxpayer pay the price for their own foolishness and laziness. Why should I be financially responsible for their stupidity and laziness? Perhaps the best way to get these children to grow up is to demand that they take responsibility for their own actions. Yes, it is difficult, but by making an example of them we will hopefully prevent other children from making similar stupid decision in the future.

    rselavy in reply to Cleetus. | April 28, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    This is a fantasy, which bears no relation to reality. Seventy percent of all students graduate with significant college debt. This is what they major in:

    “Of the 1,895,000 bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2014–15, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (364,000), health professions and related programs (216,000), social sciences and history (167,000), psychology (118,000), biological and biomedical sciences (110,000), engineering (98,000), visual and performing arts (96,000), and education (92,000). At the master’s degree level, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (185,000), education (147,000), and health professions and related programs (103,000). At the doctor’s degree level, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of health professions and related programs (71,000), legal professions and studies (40,300), education (11,800), engineering (10,200), biological and biomedical sciences (8,100), psychology (6,600), and physical sciences and science technologies (5,800).”

    Of these almost two million degrees, only 2,677 were in Women’s Studies.

    Graduates in that major go on to earn an average wage of $77,806.

    This is about $17,000 more than the average for female college graduates at that age, and only about $5,000 less than it for their male counterparts.

    So your post is just your imagination, running away with you.

Cleetus I totally agree with you. My child thought long and hard about what field to apply for. A two year stint in community college followed by a few more years at a local university and living at home to save on expenses while also working.
My child is now a productive adult working as a pt. While there are loans that need to be paid back, we have co-signed on 27,000 worth, to help out, we believe the government has no business being in the student loan business. Instead of giving things away for free, we should hold people accountable for the choices that they make.
I work in my field with many young adults who have gone to college, have a degree in something that produces very little in the way of results, and now are facing huge bills for the four year useless degree that they now have.
So whose fault is that ?

Antifundamentalist | April 27, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Back when my community college tuituion & fees came out to $27.50 per credit hour, The course catalog was thick with options, especially in the English department. There was a poetry course, a Shakespeare course, American Literature, a Movies as Literature course, there were both Creative and Technical writing courses, there were Speech and Debate courses….and that’s only what I remember off the top of my head. These days, that same Community College now offers significantly more degree options, with tuition at $144.88 per credit hour with an “additional fee” schedule a mile long, but the course options are dismal. For Lit courses, they had two sections of your standard “English Literature” and a choice between “Women’s Literature” or “African-American Literature.” No Shakespeare, No Poetry, no general American Literature… just 3 options. Most of the rest of the catalogue was like that, even for the “community education” noncredit classes.

    Antifundamentalist in reply to Antifundamentalist. | April 27, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    All that to say – Education is certainly more expensive, but it seems to contain far less diversified “education.” The Federal Government needs to get out of the business of funding education outside of the GI Bill; and States should put their Lottery education dollars more heavily into K-12 education and far less into the University systems.

The examples in the blog post are a little misleading. Many people who cannot pay back student loans are students at private for-profit colleges that train them for low-paying careers. Training to be a dental hygenist or a nursing assistant should not require student loans but it now does. If you borrowed $40K to graduate from one of these programs and are making under 60K a year, you’re going to have a problem paying back your student loan.

It is for people like this that Income Based Repayment exists.

In addition, be careful about your ethnic/racial stereotyping. It is often low-income minorities that are persuaded into getting student loans. (In the same way, it was largely low-income minorities that were persuaded to take out adjustable rate mortgages (thanks to Federal pressure).

This is not to say that white middle-class students aren’t saddled with student loan debt: they are. But their reasons are often different. For the low-income minority, the student loan may be the only way to go to college at all, even a dental hygenist school. For middle class students, it is largely about getting the best “brand” of college. If you can afford to go to a Cal State, but you get into Stanford, it is considered worth borrowing a lot of money to go to Stanford and have their “brand” on your diploma. This “brand” may or may not translate into a higher salary.

Essentially, college “branding” is a scam. The only thing that will change this is employers. Those doing the hiring must readjust their thinking. Here are two ways to help that:

1. In a “brand” school, undergraduates are increasingly instructed by teaching assistants and non-tenured faculty. While a “brand” school may have superstar faculty, these faculty do not teach undergrads, by and large. (They may not teach at all.) A lower rated state school, on the other hand, will actually have tenured faculty teaching undergrads. This may translate into a more solid education.

2. Both “brand” and “non-brand” schools are increasingly using adjuncts to teach undergraduates, especially in survey classes and low-level courses in the major. The kicker: both “brand” and “non-brand” schools hire from the same pool of adjuncts in their geographic areas. The same adjunct will teach the same/similar courses at the local “brand university” (where they will have to pay for parking) and the local community college (where they will not). Yes, I know this from experience. Your tuition is paying for ME, whether you’re going into debt at the big “brand” school or whether you are paying your way through community college.