Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bail Out Banks? No! Forgive Student Loans? Yes!

Uh, no. And fortunately, most of the country agrees with me on this particular "demand" of the Occupy This crowd:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 21% of American Adults think the federal government should forgive the nearly $1 trillion in loans it made or guaranteed to help students pay for a college education.
You took those loans out to get degrees in Art History, Aggrieved Victim Studies, Political Science, or Literature, and wonder why you can't get a job? And you want me to pay for your degree? No, thank you. Those degrees are personally enriching, but if you expected them to make you rich, you in all likelihood aren't smart enough to be in college in the first place.

Pay your own bills. Oh, and take a shower.


Dean Baird said...

Wrong-way Rasmussen?

Honestly, who pays attention to Rasmussen outside the Right-wing Media Machine?

Anonymous said...

"Pay your own bills"

Pretty funny Darren. Your education at West Point cost the taxpayers a quarter of a million or so depending on when you graduated. You paid zero of that.


Darren said...

I *worked* for that, it was an arrangement agreed to in advance, and I fulfilled the agreement after over 7 years.

Bite me, Richard.

MikeAT said...

And to add something to what Darren said, he did more than get educated. He had to participate in student at athletics, leadership positions, leadership training and field training exercises where you can get injured. And of was injured he get's nothing...his time at West Point is not covered by the VA.

So yes his education cost a pretty penny. So did mine as a ROTC scholarship winner. But we willingly took on things other than drinking beer as weekend. And we both spent years serving our country afterwards.

Get a clue Richard.

mazenko said...

I respect and honor your service - but it wasn't for free on either side. Your education was fully funded by the taxpayers, and the arrangement was that you would agree to work for that "company" for a set number of years after. So, you had a contract, but the seven years after were for a "paid position." So, it's not like your service was in exchange for the money. You received a free ride to school, and then you received a "guaranteed job" and "guaranteed benefits" for four years. And I do thank you for your service.

Again, I honor your service - incidentally I was turned down by the Marines and the ROTC for asthma, poor eyesight, and torn ligaments in my knee (so I tried for and was denied the opportunity you had). However, it's more complicated than you make it.

Richard was a bit snotty - but he's not as wrong as you imply. And your attitude is a bit like my neighbor who rails against government funding and health care, yet has veteran benefits and a pension, and says he has the "best gig in the world." A bit ironic.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Thought I was speaking to an adult. My mistake.


Darren said...

No, your mistake was making a stupid point.

Darren said...

Mazenko, for four years at school I wore what someone told me to wear, did what someone told me to do, and learned what someone told me to learn. If that isn't a job, I don't know what is (other than wife, which it certainly was not!).

My point is that this transaction was laid out and agreed to by both sides in advance, and both sides benefitted. That's very different from, in fact it's the very antithesis of, "I'm in so much debt now, bail me out."

mazenko said...

I don't disagree with you, but your having to do/wear what someone said was by choice in exchange for an excellent education and opportunity, so don't make it out to be some sort of forced servitude.

Your education was paid for by someone else - that's a fact. It wasn't paid for by you, despite your insinuation that completing your studies and doing your duties was some sort of "payment." And in exchange for completing your studies you automatically received a paid position.

Thus, you made a very nice deal with the government for your education. And with education costs heading northward of crazy, it's not unreasonable to be sympathetic to young people struggling to pay back loans.

HOWEVER, if you've read my latest posts, you'll note I completely agree with you on little sympathy for 90000 in student debt for a poli sci degree from a private school. That's foolish and rather pathetic.

On the other hand, the education finance bubble is a huge problem for those aspiring to middle class success based on education and hard work.

I disagree with much of the student loan argument .... but I understand.

Darren said...

I never made it out to be forced servitude. I made it out to be a situation that was mutually agreed upon, in advance, by both parties. Suggesting that I got my education "for free", that I didn't have to do anything for that degree, is just not accurate.

Another way to look at it is: I was a soldier for 7 years. While a soldier, the army *also* ensured I got a bachelor's degree in math--but it wouldn't have done so unless *it* benefited from the deal.

Dean Baird said...

Different angle: Identity Politics. I wouldn't expect you to sympathize with anyone struggling under the burden of student loans because you certainly cannot empathize with them.

At the risk of disagreeing with you yet again, I'll say that society benefits from a better educated populace, and college education is part of that.

I'm delighted that the taxpayers paid for your college education, and I don't see disastrous harm in the taxpayers helping others gain college education. In general, it's a sound investment in the future more than a wasteful boondoggle.

Throwing money at banks/investment firms so they can dole out huge bonuses seems less a service to society.

Darren said...

There are all sorts of very educated people running around North Africa. Society doesn't necessarily benefit just because some people have a college degree. If they have degrees in societally useful fields, perhaps yes, but I venture to guess that's not very often the case here. Do we need any more pre-laws? Aggrieved Victim Studies majors? Quan Dynasty Literature majors? Film History majors? Homeopathy majors? How about Astrology and the Occult majors?

My education was determined to be societally useful, and the taxpayer paid for--and I provided a service for that education. Your attempt to draw comparisons between my situation and just giving people money because they want it is both pathetic and insulting.

Dean Baird said...

Interesting, the ease with which one can so injure a blogger who is quick to castigate adversaries for undie-bunchiness, who labels someone an idiot at least once/week, who instructs commenters to bite him and who proclaims delight at scattering pins to see who'll step on them.

I honestly never know who I'm talking to here: the aggressive belligerent on offense or the delicate flower on defense.

Darren said...

Your insulting me doesn't mean I get my undies in a bunch about it; it's more of a statement about you than about me. I'm just pointing it out.

Darren said...

Just saw this today, apropos of earlier comments:

Nigel said...

Jesus, Darren. Don't be the stereotypical conservative, assuming that every person getting student loans in an Art History, dread-locked hippie. It takes longer to get an engineering degree than it does a humanities degree, and last time I checked—college is expensive.

Arguing that your degree is more useful in society is a shifty slope. Classically useless, in the context of a job market? Maybe. Only maybe, and that's only if you think that engineers are getting jobs right out of college. The fact that you imply that a bachelor of science degree will get you a job out of college shows how long it's been since you've graduated (but you still look good, don't worry).

On the note that we don't need more humanities majors, I'll just say this: every intellectual ANYTHING you read, watch, listen to—humanities. Our culture is just as important to our society as our engineers are.

Do we really want a society of math, engineering, computer science and physics majors? I know you guys think you're super cool and everything, but I don't want to live in that world. It sounds like the Middle Ages. I'll have to tell you about those times next time I'm in town, it sounds like you didn't study the humanities too much : ).

Yes, you're right—a humanities degree won't make you rich; a bachelors degree is the new high school degree, nothing will get you a job nowadays. But keep in mind that you didn't pay for your college. We did. Arguing that you "worked" off your schooling may make sense to you, but when you're justifying it to a regular American, it's difficult to see how your work-study actually benefitted the general public. I would personally like to see how many humanities majors come out of the military schools—not everyone goes on to teach math.

Anyway, hopefully I didn't come off as much of an ass as everyone else. I gotta go, you have like, 25 new posts since my last visit.

Darren said...

Odd, Nigel, this comment of yours was in the spam folder.

I'm all about a well-rounded education. I got one myself--do you think I took only math classes? Mama West Point made sure we got all sorts of "words" classes :-) My point is that you can take those classes if you like, but after going in debt to do so, you shouldn't expect the taxpayer to bail you out.