Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Win the Student Loan War


The Democrats laid a student loan trap five years ago, and it's set to snap shut on the Republicans.  Speaker Pelosi set it up so the interest rate would double right before the 2012 election (increasing from 3.4% to 6.8%), unless congress stepped in to stop it.  A great pre-planned election year trick.

It's a win-win for Obama:  If the GOP votes to save students from this democrat-manufactured crisis, Obama and the Pelosicrats are victorious heroes, just in time for the 2012 campaign season.  If the GOP prevails in stopping this free money handout to the already morbidly engorged higher education industry, they will be painted as cruel ogres, and the yapping chorus of howling leftwing demagogues will provide background music for the Obama "Are You Insane 2012" campaign.

So what can the GOP do?  If they had any strategery, they would put Big Education on trial for extortion and indict Big Government as a chiseling co-conspirator.

Put Big Ed on Trial

House Republicans can call a hearing on the state of education in this country.  They should subpoena college presidents and put them on trial, demanding to know why Big Ed is gouging the American consumer.

Congressmen could indignantly ask why universities are using taxpayer money to build gold-plated facilities and line their own pockets, even as their prices rise four times faster than the overall rate of inflation?

How is it that we spend more and more on higher education, yet fall further and further behind in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math performance?

They should ask these academics and their big-government enablers what right students and their parents have to dip into the pockets of others to pay their bills.

Government Money is Stupid Money

Government money is stupid money.  And in the case of higher education, it has fueled outrageous price increases.  Here's a thought experiment.  Imagine the federal government ended all college financial aid programs.  Would colleges just dry up and go away?  Or would they adjust their prices to compete for customers?

The federal subsidy of student loans artificially lowers the price presented to the consumer, but picks her pocket all the same because it is funded with everybody's tax money.  It is a peanut butter spread of money to all colleges, allowing them to all race to see who can blow it the fastest offering amenities to attract more students, whose parents complain to congress that the price of college is too high, giving Democrats another chance to blow more money to "fix" a self-created problem.  This is what is known as a self-licking ice cream cone.

As a bonus, Republicans can highlight the phony baloney accounting tricks the Obama administration is employing to fool taxpayers into thinking the Treasury made a profit on the bailouts.  It is an election year ploy based upon creative circular accounting between the Fed and Treasury and pie-in-the-sky projections that have no historical precedent.  It is progressivism in a nutshell.

58 comments:

Always On Watch said...

One of the steps advocated by Karl Marx was that the state take over education.

In a way, these student loans from the government is one manifestation of the state taking over education.

KarenJ1 said...

The Republican National Committee earlier today filing a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office and the comptroller general alleging that the Obama campaign “has been cheating the American taxpayer by using taxpayer dollars to fund their general re-election efforts.


This socialist and his team of thugs are picking us clean. He will not cease until he has cleaned our teeth of silver and gold fillings, taken our jewelry, our savings, and anything else of value. Thank you you American fools. May the Lord's aim be true when that bolt strikes from the stormy skies.
And lets not forget all those exotic vacation destinations for the First Lady.

LD Jackson said...

Something else they need to do is point out that Barack Obama couldn't be bothered to come off the campaign trail and vote for this bill when it first came up in 2007. He claims to be in their corner, but that's only because he realizes how badly he needs their votes this time around. He is still talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Michaelene said...

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, and other meatheads et al: We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:
Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.
You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.--Since you hate guns and we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.
We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.
You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.
We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.
You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, protests, druggies and illegal aliens.
We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.
We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood
You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.
You can have the peaceniks and war protesters, occupiers,letter writers, boy-cotters,etc. And when our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.
We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness, Jane Fonda,Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Streisand, Bill Maher, Michael Moore,
Sean Penn, and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.
We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and over-sized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.
You can give everyone healthcare, Obamacare and all the taxing that goes with it if you can find any practicing doctors.
We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.--We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."
I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".
We'll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.
Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Thank you and Good-bye.

Ducky's here said...

There's a leg on that tuition graph at about the time Chucklenuts privatized the student loan process and let the invisible hand dip into the collection plate as is its habit.

I do remember the fringe right getting all bent about "big government taking over" when Obama reversed the privatization (good on him for that).

So now we let Goldman Sachs go to the Fed discount window for next to nothing but in a recession we want to slap some vig on student loans when graduates are having real trouble finding jobs.

So remember, according to the graph the curve became much higher when the loans were privatized (extend this to the privatization of Fannie Mae).

Bunkerville said...

Higher Education is a farce for the most part. How many tenured faculy really teach? Maybe one or two classes? Adjunct professors are now happily paid a pittance,and the government keeps giving the colleges more mony. Excellent analysis, and I will not count on Boehner.

Mikey From VA. said...

The next person who writes that that Maggot Obama is likable and is good for America is going to hear from moi!

He is a petulant, arrogant, low class anti american anti Semitic thug who fooled a lot of well free-loading, hand-out grubbing, koolaide-drinking lazy blind idiots, pushed in by a liberal biased press and was and will be voted for by blacks who are still on the plantation, socialists and communists who want him to forward their agenda and power hungry sycophants.. The sooner they are gone, the better it will be for the country.
Now will someone please pass the Dog, the Narcissist-in-Chief is hungry.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: Who is Chucklenuts again?

I have a hard time keeping up with the cast of characters dancing around in your head.

Maybe you could publish a cast of characters or something...

Jersey McJones said...

For Christ's sake, we'd better start subsidizing more higher ed, if these silly, stupid, paranoid, ignorant, vitriolic, hyperbolic comments are any indicator!

Hey righty morons! Read a fucking book by someone other than Ann Coulter for a fucking change!

Silver, America has among, if not the, best higher-education systems in the world. In actual cost it is comparable to other nations with high-quality systems. And the costs of the education itself are not so much the problem, but other related costs, like our very high cost of living, our high cost of private healthcare insurance, our high cost of transportation, etc. Take those out, and suddenly our system is among the most cost-effective in the world as well.

And if you make it even more expensive for American kids to get a higher ed, then the schools will simply import more students from abroad.

As for problematic attainment figures, remember that our primary and secondary schools are struggling, both with our rather primitive, feudalistic funding scheme, and with a culture that has become lazy and anti-intellectual.

So, there's a lot more to all this than just how we work our tuition system.

There are lots of ideas out there for how to improve the system (rather than the righty answer, which is always destroy), and we should be talking about all of them. Like getting back to the old public-private tech schools, like increasing federal and state grants for the low-income high-achievers, like incentivizing education high-need sectors, like moving toward more education-by-wire, etc. As well, there are the peripheral forces which could be addressed. Like offering public health insurance, incentivizing off-campus residency, perhaps even building off-campus public housing for students.

And there are piles of other good ideas we could look at. But just looking at profiteering from student loans and then blaming the schools and students for the debt is scummy, sleazy, stupid, and just plain completely ignorant and wrong.

JMJ

Lisa said...

What AOW said "
One of the steps advocated by Karl Marx was that the state take over education"

Vladimir Lenin: 'Give me just one generation of youth, and I'll transform the whole world.'....

Lisa said...

Jersey you want to take more public money out of the system?
The problem is the entitlement society if you ask me.

I recall an associate of mine who's son was in college and wouldn't even ask him to take out the garbage so he can concentrate on his studies. He would even get in his car and leave the empty cans at the curb as part of his entitlement.

Maybe if we would just provide free birth control. You know we have priorities in this country.

Ducky's here said...

Silver, whatever else, you sure can press a left wingers buttons.

One development that should probably be viewed as discrete is the rise in for profit colleges.

Their academics are questionable at best and they can't survive without Federal loan money.
There was some squawk a while back from Obummer about curbing these guys. Arne Duncan, the shill for privatizing public education actually chimed in and then business as usual.

Much like for profit health care the consumer loses and Kapital wins.

You say government money is dumb. Not if you're running one of these grifts, it isn't. The stupid resides in thinking we have a choice in government and an overhaul is on the way.

Nope.

Ducky's here said...

Dear Michaelene,

You can keep Ted Nugent and I'll keep the Borromeo String Quartet.

Actualy, so would Freethinker. We could probably bury the hatchet and enjoy a couple post concert drinks in the cafe.

Music has charms and all that but not Ted Nugent.

Ducky's here said...

Ducky: Who is Chucklenuts again?

-------

It's really straightforward. My usage is consistent.

Reagan - Saint Ronnie Raygun

Clinton - Clintoon

Bush II - Chucklenuts

Obama - Obummer

Corporate stooges all.

Ducky's here said...

Jersey, don't try to point out to these folks that the state college and land grant college programs were great successes and continue to be so.

The more we point out that government acting in the interest of participatory democracy and social mobility has been a benefit and that government corrupted by their good buddy Kapital is a disaster ... well the more defensive they get.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: Their academics are questionable at best and they can't survive without Federal loan money.

Agreed. There are some bad actors in the for-profit college market, but once again, the key is in your own statement: "Federal Loan Money."

Without federal load subsidies, the bad ones would die on the vine.

I am not running down state colleges, but rather echoing a growing chorus that points out that they are using this gross increase in income to fund superfluous infrastructure in order to attract even more students with more government money in hand.

Jersey: An empirical observation shows that anywhere government people with housing allowances live, the rent goes up by the same percentage of the annual increase.

Now Jersey, explain why higher education inflation is four times the average rate?

And for the bonus round, what gives you the right to demand everyone else subsidize your college loan?

Ducky's here said...

@Silver - Without federal load subsidies, the bad ones would die on the vine.
--------------
Yup, we certainly are in agreement there.

Now, how do we curb the grifters influence. They own the media and the political process.

Time after time we come back to this. What we seem to stumble on is the disagreement over whether Kaptal would behave any differently without the government purse.
Why would they want change and are we foolish enough to think Romney ( or Gingrich or Sanitarium or Cain or Bachmann) would be able or even try to defy the masters?

It's a bad situation and we have no future fighting each other.

conservativesonfire said...

I wouldn't hokd my breath waiting for Republicans to put Big Education and Big Government on trial. The defendents table would be full of Republicans too. The universities are taking advantahe of government plicies the same way Wall Street bankers do.

Ducky's here said...

And for the bonus round, what gives you the right to demand everyone else subsidize your college loan?

-------

College loans are loans. They get paid back with interest which is currently higher than the funds rate for criminals like Goldman Sachs.

So there ain't a lot of subsidizing going on and the loans are made across a pretty broad spectrum.

Now there was a day when this all led to social mobility, higher earnings and a generally healthier economy that benefited everyone.

However, Kapital wants it all for itself so here we are.

As an aside Silver, why must I subsidize your military adventures? They sure have less upside than an educated populace.

Silverfiddle said...

Lowering the interest rate is done by government money making up the difference. Money from you and me.

As to your last question, I'll again for the umpteenth time remind you that national defense is one of the enumerated powers. Helping people pay for college is not.

Liberalmann said...

Yeah, lets take away any chance for lower income families to send their kid to college by going back to a system where loan companies gouge them.

The supification of America is what the GOP wants.

Anonymous said...

I am suporting freddit Mac with college loans. How do you send your kids to college and be able to pay their crazy prices? Get real here college is to damn expensive, "THE BUSINESS OF EDUCATION!"
Redneck Ron

viburnum said...

Lib-Mann: "The supification of America is what the GOP wants."

That's right Lib! It's all those conservatives and their lackeys in the NEA and AFT dumbing down our children. That's why nationwide, 3 out of 10 kids never graduate high school, and more than 4 out of 10 who start college don't finish in a 6 yr window.

On topic, part of the cost is based on risk and student loans have a positively abysmal default rate.

"A recent study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found that for every borrower who defaults, at least two more fall behind in payments. The study found that only 37 percent of borrowers who started repaying their student loans in 2005 were able to pay them back fully and on time." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/education/13loans.html

As for the rest of it, they knew going in that the 'actual' rate was 6.8% and the lower rate had an expiration date. Collecting from the deadbeats would lower that rate, and colleges reining in costs could lower the principal. When associate professors at Harvard make 300K plus a year there's definitely something wrong.

But as former President Calvin Coolidge once remarked about repaying loans, "They hired the money, didn't they?"

Z said...

pooor lib'man' doesn't realize that stupification comes from the leftwing indoctrination.

On the other hand, not totally off topic, I now am associated with a high school where accreditation people left 2 hours ago saying that "out of the 1800 teachers and 900 schools we've seen in the last year, this is the VERY best" :-)
And more...."amazing" was also used.
We don't indoctrinate, we teach to live and think well. it shows.

And we give TONS of scholarships (too many, in my opinion)...and we have 1/3 White, 1/3 Black and Asian, and 1/3 Hispanic...roughly...it just works out that way.
ALL kids should go to our school.

Anonymous said...

A fact we must face -- preferably sooner than later -- is that the majority neither needs nor deserves a college education. The concept of "going to college" has been cheapened by the foolish notion that "every American has right to higher education.

BALDERDASH! Most people don't have enough IQ to benefit from so-called higher education. The presence of mediocre and intellectually inferior students at our colleges and universities has degraded the quality of "higher-education." In fact many college graduates today don't have as good a command of the English language or the basic knowledge of history and of how things work that most high school graduates of my parents' generation had.

In trying to "include everybody" we've only succeeded in watering down curricula and "stupidifying" the nation to save both students and teachers from the embarrassment of facing reality.

Bunkerville took the words off the tips of my fingers. "Education" is largely a farce. It has been so for several decades.

What we do need is to build what-used-to-be-called Trade schools, where young people either not equipped to do academic work -- or not particularly interested in it -- could learn technical skills needed to be able to perform much- needed jobs in the workaday world.

Imagine a world inhabited by nothing but high level business executives -- or worse -- tenured college professors -- or worse yet LAWYERS.

Imagjne an Indian tribe with nothing but CHIEFS.

Imagine an orchestra with nothing but CONDUCTORS.

Imagine a world where no crops got planted, harvested or distributed -- where no tools were manufactured -- where no hardware and grocery stores existed -- where no carpenters, plumbers, electricians, builders, roofers, handymen were available. Where no cars were manufactured, where no roads were built, no bridges, no tunnels -- and nothing was ever cleaned or maintained.

Just keep thinking about all that, and eventually you'll get the point.

The world needs PRACTICAL men.

like the ants, the bees and the termites, the human race is hard-wired to build "hives." The vast majority MUST select a very few to tell them what to do. Only one or two in every million is equipped by nature to lead. Most of us are born followers -- we need hierarchical structure as much as we need air, food and water.

That's why it's vitally important to educate the masses to accept and support those who endorse creative, constructive, productive policies.

Egalitarianism -- as defined by Marxists -- is the pursuit of an insane, purely illusory goal.

So,

KWITCHABELLYAKINANSTARTKOOPERATIN!

~! FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Primary Sources

Look well upon the men who dig in mines,
And work machines in mills and factories grim.
Be aware that those who tend the vines
Or till the soil give much for wages slim.
Reaping sowing, weeding hoeing make
Full the nation’s store of nutriment.
Overland the burly truckers take
Rich provisions and accoutrement
Coast to coast. The teamsters load and haul
Enormous hordes of stuff that we’ve empowered,
Shipped in freighters, stored in silos tall,
Delivered, well-displayed, and then devoured.
Awards are due to goods and who supplies them,
Yet the wise despise the guys who advertise them.


~ by FreeThinke - The Sandpiper, Summer, 1996

Anonymous said...

To Those Who Help

May God bless the practical women and men,
Who rise from the hay every day, and then 
Produce what we need 
Without rancor or greed, 
Make things run, 
Get things done, 
Keep things clean, 
So they're fit to be seen, 
And continuously smooth the way, 
So that we may live comfortably every day.


~ FreeThinke - 10/29/11

Silverfiddle said...

Congratulations Z! It doesn't surprise me that an institution you teach at would receive such accolades.

Finntann said...

The key point that SF makes, referring to it as a self-licking ice cream cone, is the government induced distortion in the market.

Loans, grants, and scholarships remove the economics from the equation for many people. Let's take something simple for example, like a car.

If you can afford a 15,000 car you are going to buy a 15,000 car. If the government gives you a 5,000 transportation grant, are you going to buy a 15,000 car or a 20,000 car? Some will buy a 15,000 car and realize a 5,000 savings... many more are going to be going "woo hoo" I can afford a 20,000 car.

The government distorts the market. The reason education costs are soaring well over inflation is the fact that there is ready government money available to cover the increased costs that otherwise the market would not bear.

Lets take a look at the market... locally the private Colorado College is charging $41332 for the 2012-2013 Academic Year, while the University of Colorado is charging $7893.50.

Now do you really think folks at Colorado College are getting $33438.50 more in education than the folks at the University of Colorado? Are they going to get hired faster? Paid more? I can assure you they are not.

Now, Colorado College "administers a substantial financial aid program and uses financial need as the primary consideration in awarding aid."

The first question you need to ask yourself is "How many Colorado College students would be going to UCCS if they weren't receiving financial aid?"

Now, if the financial aid was removed, would CC continue to charge $41332 a year in tuition with 8 or 12 kids per class? Or would they lower their fees to be more competitive with UCCS?

I'm sure there are large numbers of folks at CC who are receiving aid and forking over at least the $7893.50 that UCCS is charging out of their own pockets. Who if not receiving any aid at all, would still be going to college, albiet a different one.

As I said up front, government money distorts the market. It enables CC to charge more than what the market would bear otherwise, and it enables UCCS to more easily raise their tuition... after all, what's a $3000 increase in tuition if they are still $30000 less than CC.

I'm not even talking about people who otherwise couldn't afford college.

Don't even get me started on using poverty as the qualifier on who gets college aid money.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

It all boils down to this:


As a people we must learn to stop PRETENDING -- stop THEORIZING -- stop DIAGNOSING -- stop CLUCKING our TONGUES and WRINGING our HANDS -- and start LIVING once again, or surely we shall die.


Wherever did we get the notion that there is something oppressive, degrading, fundamentally unfair -- even abusive -- to expect people to do an honest day's work for a living wage?


When and why do you suppose people stopped taking pride and satisfaction in their work, and started to see ever-increasing wages for ever-diminishing workloads as their "right?"


Once upon a time, when people had far less, hoped for less, demanded very little, went to church, involved themselves in service clubs, and were grateful to have a job that enabled them to support a wife and family in a decent-if-unpretentious home, there really was such a thing as joy in living.

I think it still exists -- in places like SilverFiddle's Backyard Barbecue and Songfests -- and in the lives of millions of decent, hardworking souls who are just doing their best to get by -- but joy and contentment in family, church, neighborhood and community life is never given much publicity, so it's denigrated by default or openly scorned by the professionally disaffected as "illusory," and treated as though it were a "myth" by the quacking liberals and sneering cynics who do nothing but dismiss, demean, deride, and deny everything that's decent, kind and good.

Ignore the crap. TURN OFF the TV. PUT AWAY the electronic gewgaws for at least three hours a day. Play board games. Take walks in fields and forests. Hike mountain trails. Plant lots of flowers, tend them faithfully and enjoy watching them grow. Have DINNER in your DINING ROOM and TALK to each other -- no cellphones, no texting no portable DVD-players, no Kindles -- not even a good old-fashioned BOOK allowed. GET INVOLVED in LIFE -- not this robotic, VIRTUAL EXISTENCE that's driving out all warmth, spontaneity and immediacy in human interrelationship.

~ FreeThinke

Teresa said...

The federal government needs to get their paws out of the college loan business. The Fed govt. is making the cost of higher education artificially high, or the cost higher than it really should be. What I can't stand is that while I was in high school and the first few years in college our culture propped up college as the be all and end all to all which would open the door to financial prosperity. Well, IMO that's a bunch of hooey. College may help depending on what your major is. What I especially can't stand is how the Dept. of Education loan people act like a bunch of extortionists or gangsters working for the mob or something. At least that is part of what I experienced. The peanut farmer should be considered a terrorist for ruining our educational system and harming so many children who are now adults with his educational malpractice policies instituted under his administration.

KP said...

To Ducky’s credit he is mostly correct; as is Silverfiddle. As usual there are two sides to the story; enough blame to go around and some credit too.

I have had at least one child at university for the last seven years, and one year I had two.

They will both graduate in fours, thankfully. Let’s hope they can find work. During the last seven years tuition went up at least 6% a year. Over the last three years college tuition on average went up 25%.

Last year alone, in California, our family loan for one student went up $10,000 for my daughter’s fourth and final year. Governor Brown signed the California legislation to make that final dagger possible. I wasn't sure she could continue but we found a way.

Larger picture: both parties are to blame. Much like the housing bubble, Congress has bent over backward to empower an inept system that has allowed universities to rape the country's Pell Grant system, driving up tuition costs. Think Wall Street and Fannie and Freddie.

Our country’s problems are not so much a GOP vs Dem issue. They are systemic.

I want to hear more discussion about the university and lending that appears to line the pockets of lenders and universities. Is it predatory lending and are there similarities to the Fannie and Freddie debacle? What, specifically, has either party done about it since Pelosi orchestrated the law in 2007 and Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

What an f-uped name, huh?

Where even Ducky might admit he takes somewhat of a side step is by saying these are loans and people pay back loans. Like predatory home loans, we will see if they can be paid back. We have almost one trillion in stuedent debt. Jobs would help.

My view, instead of acting like Fonzie on college campuses in 2012, Obama should have focused, with his Dem Congress, to fix the economy in from 2008 to 2010. In that way, college grads who are $25,000 in debt, might have jobs and could afford their own health care insurance and pay back their loans.

Some of these young adults may swoon over Obama on campus; but make no mistake, they are pissed (more than a little) at current politicians who are stealing their future.

Ducky's here said...

@z - We don't indoctrinate, we teach to live and think well. it shows.

-----

You are absolutely the last person I would have expected to be a disciple of Dewey.

Jersey McJones said...

FT, what are you proposing?

We do not have universal education in America. We have an amalgam of state institutions, with local and federal money here and there. What do you propose we do? Just lower the bar even more and open the gate even more? Even more of the same? Is that a good idea?

JMJ

Ducky's here said...

Freethinker -- I put on John Frankenheimer's The Train this evening.

Very under rated as are most of Bert Lancaster's films. But it's a great drama. Nazi officer tries to get a trainload of art into Germany. You remind me of the officer.

He was played by Paul Scofield and Frankenheimer knew that a Shakespearean actor like Scofield couldn't pull of a highly physical death scene so he decided to have him "talk himself to death".

Colonel von Waldheim: Labiche! Here's your prize, Labiche. Some of the greatest paintings in the world. Does it please you, Labiche? Give you a sense of excitement in just being near them? A painting means as much to you as a string of pearls to an ape. You won by sheer luck: you stopped me without knowing what you were doing, or why. You are nothing, Labiche -- a lump of flesh. The paintings are mine; they always will be; beauty belongs to the man who can appreciate it! They will always belong to me or to a man like me. Now, this minute, you couldn't tell me why you did what you did.


Terrific scene. You'd enjoy the film.

Ducky's here said...

@Teresa -- The federal government needs to get their paws out of the college loan business. The Fed govt. is making the cost of higher education artificially high

-------------

Well Teresa as I said, under Chucklenuts Bush the loan system WAS privatized. So what did the lenders do -- they raised the interest rates and lobbied the government to cover the defaults.

That's how the free market (LMFAO) works. So you ended up with high tuition and graduates with higher payments. Thank goodness Obama stopped that nonsense although you and the rest of the fringe right started screaming about the nasty government taking over student loans.

See you and Finntann are full of shit. The demand for college is there and the loans will be there. No if we leave it to the "free market" (LMFAO) the graduates expenses will be higher and that has negative consequences.

Why is it that on this topic the fringe right forgets about DEMAND driving tuition? I really wish you people would be more consistent. The fringies are always the first to toss out some moronic bromides because they got a chubby the first time they understood a demand curve although they really didn't.

Ducky's here said...

Well KP. I'd be willing to walk back some of my position but with the contemporary right it is made almost impossible by their incessant clarion that government is always the problem and the free market (LMFAO) is a sufficient and necessary solution to all issues.

So we have ourselves another standoff.

Teresa said...

@Ducky

College tuition costs didn't skyrocket until the federal government got its paws into college affairs, which it has no business in being into. This occurred long before Bush came along. Your argument doesn't hold water Ducky. Government, in most cases, either wastes the peoples' money and/or the cost of various items is much higher than those same items are in the private sector.

Ducky's here said...

Teresa, I just got finished stating the facts about student loan interest under the Chucklenuts administrations privatization.

Interest went UP. Got it.
Now if the interest payments are higher is the loan more expensive?

Again, tuition is driven by demand and there will be loan money there whether it is government or private.

You are wring and like any fringie you aren't going to admit it.

Finntann said...

Ducky...you have absolutely no concept of economics.

What you are saying is if money is more readily available, sellers won't raise prices.

I'm not saying that demand doesn't drive prices... you're saying that the availability of money doesn't drive prices.

The market is self adjusting, you can't sell a product for more than people can pay... unless of course the government is subsidizing it.

It goes back to the car analogy... if you have 15,000 to spend on a car and the government gives you 5,000 to spend on a car... how much are you going to spend on a car?

You very well might buy the 15,000 dollar car and come out 5,000 ahead... the majority won't.

Is the person spending 10,000 of their money and 20,000 of the governments money on education, going to drop out if you take the 20,000 away? Or are they going to go to a school that charges 10,000?

I'm not talking paupers here... sure, poor, underpriveleged kids ought to get assistance to go to college if their academic performance warrants it. How many kids go to a more expensive school because of grants, loans, and scholarships? And what does that do to market prices?

You want to drive prices down? Limit aid to the cost of the cheapest accredited public institution in the state. See... I'm supporting state run institutions! Want more? Pay for it yourself.

Is that more expensive school providing a higher quality in education. Generally not.

It's not rocket science.

And it's not high loan interest rates that are driving up the cost of tuition, they're driving up the costs of loans. If anything, higher interest rates would drive down the cost of tuition because people would be unwilling to finance more and would spend less.

You lower interest rates to get people to buy, moron. You don't see GM offering 25% interest as an incentive to buy cars, you see them offering 1%.

You sir, are the one who is full of shit (LMFAO).

Anonymous said...

Finntann,

Doesn't the same principle (i.e. government subsidies drive up prices, etc.) apply to government-subsidized healthcare? Isn't that one of the main reasons why the cost of medical attention has shot upwards at rates far exceeding that of inflation ever since Medicare went into effect? Or was that just one of those bizarre coincidences that should be blandly accepted at face value?

I imagine the other main reason for the deplorable situation with skyrocketing medical costs has largely to do with the growth of predatory lawsuits designed and contrived by greedy lawyers to shakedown the Medical Establishment.

Since most legislators and the judges they appoint are lawyers, it seems natural that they would take advantage of their apparent lock on power and make it work to their advantage in every way possible.

I doubt if any reform would be possible unless we can somehow stop lawyers from becoming legislators. A good argument could be for conflict of interest, but who among the Power Elite pays attention to Reason anymore -- if in fact they ever did.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"If we can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."



"In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will cultivate, and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe their minds must be improved ..."


~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Submitted by FreeThinke

KP said...

Finntann nailed an important point: once congress promised the golden egg – the golden eggs became more expensive and the fleecing was on. Universities couldn't raise tuition fast enough because students didn't pay more, the government just gave more. There has been no brake on the system. Where had congress been since 2007?

This year, in California, we got hammered with decrease in state aid to college students. As is often the case, Cali signals what the rest of the country is in for. We are slipping into the ocean financially out here. Unions will not renegotiate contracts and taxes cannot be raised, revenue is down, business is fleeing a state that is excessively over regulated.

So, Dem Governor Brown saw education as the only target available to him, outside layoffs, to move toward budget cuts. What is sickening is that the education is worth no more _and_ like homes after the housing meltdown, you are less able to sell your home (ie, get a job) and people are upside down. Still, Obama panders to university students at schools where the college presidents make more than Obama himself.

Thersites said...

There's another reason why university funding must always rise...

Port Huron Statement, SDS (1962)

The University and Social Change. There is perhaps little reason to be optimistic about the above analysis. True, the Dixiecrat-GOP coalition is the weakest point in the dominating complex of corporate, military and political power. But the civil rights and peace and student movements are too poor and socially slighted, and the labor movement too quiescent, to be counted with enthusiasm. From where else can power and vision be summoned? We believe that the universities are an overlooked seat of influence.

First, the university is located in a permanent position of social influence. Its educational function makes it indispensable and automatically makes it a crucial institution in the formation of social attitudes. Second, in an unbelievably complicated world, it is the central institution for organizing, evaluating, and transmitting knowledge. Third, the extent to which academic resources presently is used to buttress immoral social practice is revealed first, by the extent to which defense contracts make the universities engineers of the arms race. Too, the use of modern social science as a manipulative tool reveals itself in the "human relations" consultants to the modern corporation, who introduce trivial sops to give laborers feelings of "participation" or "belonging", while actually deluding them in order to further exploit their labor. And, of course, the use of motivational research is already infamous as a manipulative aspect of American politics. But these social uses of the universities' resources also demonstrate the unchangeable reliance by men of power on the men and storehouses of knowledge: this makes the university functionally tied to society in new ways, revealing new potentialities, new levers for change. Fourth, the university is the only mainstream institution that is open to participation by individuals of nearly any viewpoint.

These, at least, are facts, no matter how dull the teaching, how paternalistic the rules, how irrelevant the research that goes on. Social relevance, the accessibility to knowledge, and internal openness

these together make the university a potential base and agency in a movement of social change.

Always On Watch said...

Bunkerville said:

Higher Education is a farce for the most part. How many tenured faculy really teach?

Back when I was college (1968-1972), the university I attended did not have tenure. And, as a result, the professors really DID teach! In my four years at that university, I had only one lousy prof, an in-your-face Communist, who decided to diss the establishment by not even coming to class for the semester -- except for three times). All the rest of my professors were excellent teachers, along a variety of points on the political spectrum.

Interestingly, even without tenure, there was very little turnover on the faculty of the university that I attended. They didn't get paid much; rather, they saw teaching as a vocation. I guess that those days have ended -- except at some of the smaller colleges.

Ducky's here said...

@KP -
This year, in California, we got hammered with decrease in state aid to college students.

-------

So has tuition dropped? Of course not.

Silverfiddle said...

Why would tuition drop if people are sucking up the rest on their own and still enrolling?

If enrollment drops due to inability to pay, then you would expect to see prices dropping.

Glad to see you're giving a nod to market forces, Ducky.

KP said...

@Ducky, tuition did not go down. However, the finanacial aid decreases in California happened rather suddenly. I suspect tuition increases will freeze or drop at some schools very soon.

Why? Because like the housing market most students are on some form of financial aid and/or taking out loans. Similar to a house; if you can't get the loan you want you will live in a less expensive way. And if you get a loan you can't afford because congress and big money make it easy to do, the market will collapse after 5 to 10 years and people will start to walk away from loans. There are stark similarities here to the housing bubble. It's not lost on young adults when they see people their parents age walk away from homes. There is going to be pain.

Ducky's here said...

@Silverfiddle -- Glad to see you're giving a nod to market forces, Ducky.
------

Well it would be foolish to deny there is a market economy at work here.

However, true to the nature of the free market (LMFAO) this commentary has identified it as a frequent source of massive income transfers that charge what the traffic can bear while providing limited choice.

Am I to believe you think that's a good thing? You rail so often about income transfers but you lose your sense of direction so often.

we still have a chicken or the egg problem. Was government loan assistance in response to tuition hikes or where they a cause.

My take, as these programs usually happen the initial action was in response to a need and worked very well. Then the invisible hand figured out how to make it work tp Kapital's advantage and we were off to the races. Buy a couple of Senators, get them to deregulate and boom.

Silverfiddle said...

Buy a couple of Senators, get them to deregulate and boom.

Why did they regulate in the first place?

So much regulation now is just a way to protect the big players.

The way you ultimately solve this is by independent licensing and certification testing.

Take getting a Cisco certification, for example. If you want to get a network engineering job, a CCNA is the ticket to good money.

You get the cert by taking a very long, very intensive test given by Cisco. How you get the knowledge is up to you. You could be a genius and build your own networks at home and essentially teach yourself, or you can go to a boot camp or a traditional college to learn.

If all domains worked like that, the money-sucking failures would quickly sink to the bottom.

Too many people confuse higher education with learning.

Finntann said...

You want to drive tuition costs down?

Make it so you can get a baccalaureate degree certification by taking a test like the GED or Bar exam.

Want to improve education... make it so only the exam counts.

How many liberal arts majors do you think could pass a comprehensive liberal arts exam a week after graduating? On second thought, how many liberal arts degree holders even remember what the Trivium and Quadrivium are?

Honestly, it doesn't cost anything to learn, it costs money to get a piece of paper that says you learned.


And to answer Ducky, I'm not so naive to think that government money is the only influence on tuition costs, but it is not a chicken/egg problem, it is a reinforcing loop problem. The best of intentions often results in the worst of outcomes.

I think the best way to minimize the effects of this reinforcing loop is to make it so that if the state is going to pay or assist in paying for education it only do so in state run institutions.

Another option would be to take income completely out of the equation and base it solely on an admissions exam or past academic performance history. Wouldn't we be much better off if everyone who got straight A's in high school went to college for free? Might motivate both students and parents to be more involved in education.

Don't we consider 18 year olds to have reached the age of majority? Why should one student pay 50,000 and another 10,000 based simply on how successful their parents were? After all, an 18 year old can't spend his parents money on a car.

Cheers!

Teresa said...

@Ducky

Gee... It was just today that the House passed a bill that would prevent the interest rates from doubling on July 1. And, guess who is opposed to this bill and who threatened to veto this bill? Democrats and Barack Obama. So don't give me this bull about the Democrats caring more about reducing college loan costs. That's a bunch of horse hockey. You may have your head in the sand but I sure as heck don't. Wake up to the reality that the Democrats and Obama don't give a rats A$$ about the citizens of this country. The only thing the socialist Stalin-loving Democrats is having more power and control over our lives.

Teresa said...

Here is a link to an article on this political circus act being done by our president - http://www.marketwatch.com/story/house-defies-veto-threat-passes-loan-bill-2012-04-27?link=MW_home_latest_news

KP said...

@Finntann: very interesting commnets!

You appear to be well aquainted with the system. Do you work close to the university system in CO?

Finntann said...

No, just an eductated consumer, both personally and professionally.

It is pathetic how many college graduates in today's job market received little more from their college than a piece of paper.

Cheers!

KP said...

... and a full (albeit extremely expensive) social life.

Cheers!

Ducky's here said...

Teresa, why not check out the riders that were attached and inform yourself.

It's really sad how clueless the fringe right is.

Right Wing Theocrat said...

I wonder if the Republicans should even bother, after all the youth vote usually goes to the democrats and they'll paint conservatives as bastards and baby killers either way, so why bother pandering to them.