A $1.75 Trillion Mistake

The college school year is starting and there are two prominent factors to be considered; whether to stay the course or quit school and be productive. For twelve years we move when the bell rings and do our assignments. We have no choice. Following orders is comfy. Ask anyone who is self-employed and saddled with all those decisions.

College is touted as the key to prosperity. Look at the young age of retired teachers. They have years of productive life ahead of them. They know. They went to college and wish the best for their students. I was talking with a fellow who visited the high school and he said there were posters urging college attendance by each classroom.

Public colleges only graduate a third of their students in four years. We have to give credit to those who quit in time to avoid four whole years of college debt. The low graduation rate belies the seriousness of students’ commitment. Many of them just want to be away from home or real world responsibilities. And with the cost being deferred they choose a continuation of high school.

There are ways for serious students to get a college education. But those ways are crowded out by federal programs. Many potential contributors see less of a need because of subsidized loans. Most colleges have endowments that fund scholarships for qualified students. Students who look at the big picture work toward qualifying for these programs. The fact that they work at it is a big factor that is considered in the decision to give them the money.

Public school gives each student that same opportunity for access to an affordable college education. Hanging out on main street or playing video games are not essential for students who recognize that effort today multiplies benefits in the future.

Federal student loans throw a monkey wrench into a system that could vet the pool of potential college students, weeding out those who would do better entering the workforce straight out of high school. With two thirds of college students squandering their first year in college that means two thirds of college infrastructure and two thirds of college personnel are not worth it.

People say college helps us meet new people and discover things that we otherwise would never know about. This is true of a job as well. And natural curiosity, unless stifled by a regimented, compulsory routine can guide us to a world even more expansive than the confines of a university.

We make the decision to attend college generally about seven years before a brain is fully developed. But parents should know better. Any literate person can see these executive orders are unconstitutional, as if that matters anymore.

Canceling student debt props up an industry of education that is way overbuilt. It cheats those of us who take responsibility for our actions. It cheats students who sacrificed for their future. It sets a precedent that potential college attendees will use to decide in taking a costly wrong turn in their lives. It is bribery of a demographic that is most likely to vote. It is corrupt.

One response to “A $1.75 Trillion Mistake

  1. Some good points made in your essay, especially the reasons for many students wanting to attend college in the first place and regarding the degree of maturation of a brain at the age when one is considering what to do in life—

    May I suggest that the fact that almost all employers within the semi-professional and professional occupations, and among the STEM disciplines occupations require a college degree before even an interview is granted forms the underpinnings of why college continues to be important for so many. Like it or not, if one wants to work in a STEM or professional occupation field today, then a resume showing a college degree is a must.

    Also, to the sensible young person who is capable of delaying the instant gratification of money in one’s pocket today, a relatively short period of an education in college and the avoidance of perhaps fewer physical stresses of harder labor through the rest of one’s life is the better choice. Yes, there are great paying jobs in the plumbing, electrical, welding, machinist, home-building, landscaping, etc. disciplines, but what is the toll on one’s physical health over the span of a lifetime working in these trades?

    Tom Woods recently wrote a short article (https://bit.ly/3TgAHK5) criticizing the fact that 59% of the student loan forgiveness goes to the rich and upper middle class. Duh … of course it would, because that 59% also represents the percentage of the public that owes the money received from borrowing to finance one’s education. The fact that the recipients, or the debtors, are among the rich and upper middle class, I do not believe, has much relevance to anything except for a line on a statistics reporting page.

    The fact that a lower percentage among the “poor” is receiving student loan forgiveness demonstrates that among these 41% “poor” folks, there are a small number of people wanting an improved outlook for their lives versus a surfeit of the “poor” who possess little desire to learn and improve their lives, or who are unwilling to sacrifice today to postpone immediate pleasures in anticipation of higher rewards later in life, or who simply do not have the intellectual capabilities needed to succeed at university levels of instruction. I do not think this is at all relevant as to reimbursing a part of the college tuition for those who did pay with financial aid assistance.

    Did you know that 56% of todays’ outstanding student loans are held by people with advanced graduate degrees? Tom Woods changes the classification of student loan forgiveness to an economic class result and criticism, not to a result that merely reflects the percentage of the nation’s young people who owe amounts for the loans they incurred for a college education. What he should be arguing for are loan programs for people who prefer to enter areas where college is not required, in the trade disciplines that lean more toward supporting the mechanics that maintain a society’s effective, daily operation.

    I most assuredly agree with those who believe 1) There should be no government-guaranteed education loans in the first [place, 2) that student loan forgiveness should be partly or wholly financed by the universities that benefited from the student loans by distribution of portions of their endowment monies, and 3) that this loan forgiveness is strictly a vote-gathering political move and the taxpayer the scheme of government forgiveness for whatever reason should never be even contemplated.

    The data show that student loan money did not go toward improving teaching methods or hiring more teachers, but rather to administrative overhead with wasted efforts like creating new departments and jobs that support the absurd D.E.I. ideologies or some other ridiculous human resource endeavors.

    Also, new students planning on entering college need to be given the true facts regarding what sort of subject majors or STEM disciplines are best, on an individual student basis, for accommodating a good income or a ready-made job market in the future. Pursuing degrees in subjects in a humanities program or in areas like “indigenous peoples studies” or “gender studies” or “CRT education” are a waste and offer little toward an independent economic future.

    Writing about some of my anecdotal knowledge. My wife and I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren between us. The breakdown of the children’s and grandchildren’s college education subjects and in what areas of a job they are actually working today are listed (for those sufficiently old for college or for entering the work force):

    Michael (Son)

    Degree: Masters in Russian and East European Studies with Minor in Russian Language,

    Job: NewLine Cinema – Marketing, V.P Marketing Warner Brothers

    Jill: (Daughter)

    Degree: Nurse Practitioner, PhD in Nursing

    Job: Dean at Nursing College, Nurse Practitioner before PhD

    Lance: (Stepson)

    Degree: Mechanical Engineering

    Job: NASA Contractor Employee Making Scientific Study “Boxes” for Space Station and Moon/Mars Missions

    Lisa: (Step Daughter-in-Law)

    Degree: Education

    Job: Real Estate in Bay Area

    Lisa (Stepdaughter):

    Degree: None

    Job: Clerk at Accounting/Tax Prepare Firm

    Heather: (Stepdaughter)

    Degree: B.S. Education

    Job: Athletic Director Parochial Elementary and Junior High School

    Tim: (Step Son-in-Law)

    Degree: Marketing

    Job: Tennis Coach at Private Club in Oklahoma City, OK

    Alex: (Grandson)

    Degree: Master’s in Microbiology

    Job: Facebook Employee in Statistical Analysis

    Rebecca: (Granddaughter)

    Degree: B.A. International Business

    Job: Facebook Employee in Human Resources

    Lauren: (Granddaughter — Note: The primary reason she wanted to attend college, as she often recited, was to “find a husband.” And she did.)

    Degree: Liberal Arts

    Job: Facebook Data Input

    Chase: (Step Son-in-Law)

    Degree: B.S. Physics

    Job: Actuary at Insurance Company

    The point is that only three (highlighted) of the ten immediate relatives listed above found employment in the discipline or area indicated by their college degrees. But I would suggest that those finding employment outside the discipline for which they were ostensibly educated, would not have had the opportunities which they did find without that “college degree” education line filled-in on their job-seeking resumes.

    It is for another discussion as to how colleges have turned away from teaching students to “critically think” and about the essentials of their degree pursuit and have become more of indoctrination centers for Leftist ideology. This is especially true in the “soft sciences” and in the “humanities.” The point is that employers don’t seem to have recognized the worthless and time-wasting utility of this aspect of higher learning or simply ignore it as they all want to see that degree, in whatever subject, listed on one’s resume.

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