Obama on College Loan Debt

In his live(ish) webcast townhall meeting, President Barack Obama said that students come out of college with "$20,000, 30,000, 40,000" worth of debt. He noted that it's tough to get ahead if you come out of college with the equivalent of a mortgage.

Leaving aside questions of how many people should go to college (about two-thirds of graduating high school seniors go on to higher ed, though many fewer gradjiate), here's the relevant data on student-loan burdens:

In each year between 2000 - 01 and 2006 - 07, an estimated 60% of bachelor's degree recipients borrowed to fund their education. Average debt per borrower rose 18%, from $19,300 to $22,700 in 2007 dollars over this time period. Average debt per bachelor's degree recipient increased from $10,600 to $12,400.
Source: The College Board (Trends in Student Aid - 2008)

More here.

As someone who borrowed to finance both undergraduate and graduate degrees, that amount of debt, especially balanced against likely increases in purchasing power, does not strike me as onerous or misplaced.

For more on this, read here and here and here.

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  • Jennifer||

    Easy solution: have government get out of the student-loan business altogether. Without loans, the overwhelming majority of today's students would not be able to afford tuition. So do you think the colleges will all shut down for lack of students? Hell, no: they'll lower prices to something reasonable.

    Tuition for the state school I attended as an undergrad almost doubled over the four years I attended. I blame the limitless government loan program. And I was furious to see so much of that tuition money wasted on stupid crap, like the enormous big-screen TV they bought for the student lounge. Here's an idea: keep my tuition low enough that if I want to watch television, I can buy my own damned TV and watch it in my own home.

  • Balloon Maker||

    You forgot to mention that the high amount of debt students are graduating with is causing them to "work on wall Street" and preventing them from "doing important research."

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "As someone who borrowed to finance both undergraduate and graduate degrees, that amount of debt, especially balanced against likely increases in purchasing power, does not strike me as onerous or misplaced."

    Yeah but that's because you're not trying to manipulate idiots and morons in to mob mentalities that will ultimately give more power to egomaniacal, tyrannical cunts like our President and his ilk.

  • ||

    He noted that it's tough to get ahead if you come out of college with the equivalent of a mortgage.

    Its not the equivalent of a mortgage, Barack, you economic illiterate. Its more like the equivalent of a car loan.

    Every day, I find a new reason to despise Barack Obama. What a populist, pedagogical tool he is.

  • economist||

    "Here's an idea: keep my tuition low enough that if I want to watch television, I can buy my own damned TV and watch it in my own home."

    Jennifer, you're being antisocial again. There's no place for that in the newer, transformed, and more hopeful America.

  • economist||

    R C Dean,
    Of course, you did realize that he was a populist tool before he was elected, right? As opposed to some people (not to name names here), who seemed genuinely surprised when the "Change" he decided to deliver differed from what they wished it might be.

  • economist||

    "You forgot to mention that the high amount of debt students are graduating with is causing them to 'work on wall Street' and preventing them from 'doing important research.'"

    Doubtless if I hadn't had student debts to pay upon leaving college I could have devoted my time to more important research on human female anatomy.

  • ||

    You libertarians just don't get it; when one person has 40k college debt, none of us are debt free!

  • ||

    I'm conflicted. I have that warm cynical glow of having been right that Obama would be a shithead, but I had really, really wanted to be wrong.

  • Barack Obama||

    Of course 30,000 is the average size of a mortgage! All you have to do is add a zero to the number, and you have the average price of a house. And a zero is nothing. Therefore, houses cost 30,000.

    That's my special combination of Congressional and Presidential math.

  • economist||

    Episiarch,
    Embrace the warm, cynical glow. If you don't, you will eventually go insane.

  • Cabeza De Vaca||

    Not everyone needs to go to college. I dropped out of college after the first semester & never went back. I live a lower middle class lifestyle & I am okay with that. I don't need a BMW to make me happy.

  • economist||

    mitch,
    You're probably right, since there will undoubtedly be a college student loan bailout sometime in the near future. For those of us who paid off our loans, and avoid going deeply into other debts however...*shakes fist angrily in air, takes long swig from hip flask*.

  • ||

    "You forgot to mention that the high amount of debt students are graduating with is causing them to 'work on wall Street' and preventing them from 'doing important research.'"

    If it wasn't for my CRUSHING student loan debt, I would have pursued my dream of being a chocolate-based performance artist and helped the homeless.

    Instead I earn a six figure income and drive a big car past the homeless. (get lots of chocolate also)

  • economist||

    CDV,
    Take it from me, a BMW wouldn't make anyone happy. It's the most overrated piece of shit in existence.

  • ed||

    Obama mentioned the transcontinental railroad again, and how all 50 states pitched in to build it. Jesus H, is one of his daughters writing his notes?

  • robc||

    In 1991, my graduating quarter at Ga Tech, out-of-state tuition (with fees) was $2100 and change. So, a year was about $6500.

    Current semester (they changed mid 90s) is $11,400. So, $22,800 per year.

    About 7.2% annual increase.

    Seems a wee bit higher than inflation the last 18 years.

  • Jennifer||

    True fact: two weeks ago I had to go to a local state university to attend a lecture, which was held in the same building as the Student Center. The SC had, among other amenities, four dozen brand-new billiard tables. Yippee, playing a game is "free" with a student ID, and all the kids have to go is go into shitloads of debt to pay for those all-important educational pool tables.

    Obama is right in that student loan debt averages are too high -- adjusted for inflation, college is MUCH more expensive than it used to be -- but he's wrong to imply that the solution is to have government throw more money at it. Government money is why we have the problem in the first place.

  • Eric C.||

    Blue,
    You're a wuss. I jump over the homeless on my skateboard.

  • economist||

    ed,
    Now, there's no need to bring his daughters into this. It's not their fault that their father's an overrated tool.

  • ||

    As someone who borrowed to finance both undergraduate and graduate degrees, that amount of debt, especially balanced against likely increases in purchasing power, does not strike me as onerous or misplaced.

    Depends on what you study. If you take on debt to get an MBA or a degree in economics or hard sciences, it's different than taking on debt to get a degree in Comparative Literature or something similar. There are degrees out there that do not at all affect your purchasing power.

  • ||

    If it wasn't for my CRUSHING student loan debt, I would have pursued my dream of being a chocolate-based performance artist and helped the homeless.

    Instead I earn a six figure income and drive a big car past the homeless. (get lots of chocolate also)


    Sellout!

  • robc||

    ed,

    At least it wasnt "all 57 states" this time.

  • Reinmoose||

    I mentioned on the other thread that I went to college not terribly long ago and I got about 70% grants to 30% loans (maybe a better percentage than that, actually) at a very good private school. Now, did I get those grants by being dumb as dirt? No.

    Now, the other problem with this whole talk of taking on such large amounts of college debt is that the assumption is that you should be able to afford to go to whatever school you want to go to, like you should be able to afford whatever house you want or whatever car you want. It's ridiculous. If I wasn't able to get a lot of the grants, I wouldn't have gone somewhere that cost $40K+ a year.

  • economist||

    With these crushing student debts, they have to get real jobs rather than joining the Peace Corps!
    Teh Horror!

  • ||

    Education is too important to leave it in the hands of government. Let's privatize the whole business so the U.S. will retain a chance of remaining preeminent, especially in science and technology. Heretofore, we've been successful despite government interference, but it looks like America is about to jump the shark.

  • ||

    One of my old professors used to advise those wishing to go to graduate school to go to the best college that would pay their way. I think that's good advice for high school students looking to go college.

  • Reinmoose||

    Pro L -
    what ever happened to those aptitude tests they had back in the 60s? (from what I recall hearing about - I myself am not that old)

    I mean the concept of figureing out what a young person might be good at or enjoy, and then companies can pay to train the people they think will perform well at a certain job. That also helps fix this whole political economist battle-cry of the expendable worker and how companies don't value their employees anymore. If a whole bunch of people will go out and pay for their own training before they ever get any guarantee of a job requiring those skills, you have a whole pool of people to choose from that you can try out for free!

  • Joel||

    He noted that it's tough to get ahead if you come out of college with the equivalent of a mortgage.

    What populist bullshit. I suppose I have met grads who bitched about their crushing student loan debt, but - speaking as a non-college-student myself - it's hard to give a damn. You received money on loan with which to purchase a commodity. You received the commodity. It is now time to repay the loan. If that commodity proved not to be of the value to you that you thought it would be, tough shit. You should have known the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred, and it's not like you've been sold into indentured servitude.

    I know a kid who decided he was tired of having a loan for an MIT degree hanging over his head (he still had something like $25,000 to pay, as I recall) and decided to get rid of it. So he knuckled down and lived like a monk for one year, devoting all his earnings not needed for essential purchases to retiring the loan. Did it in one year - as a bartender, since he never could find an engineering job he liked that beat the bartender pay. The degree has so far been completely useless to him, but at least he now owns it free and clear.

  • ||

    We need the government to create good, high-paying, green jobs, that cannot be outsourced, for persons of either sex graduating with degrees in Womyn's studies.

    My current job has me pretty stressed pretty much all the time. I'm thinking of making a career change. I found the following info online:

    "Earning a degree in women's studies provides you a solid liberal arts background with a focus on social justice regarding gender, age, race and sexuality. Graduates of women's studies programs work in various fields such as advocacy, counseling, public health, international studies and sociology. As well, women's studies professionals act as consultants in higher education, state and federal agencies, personnel firms and other agencies on issues of gender relations."

    " A master's degree in women's studies allows the student to gain expertise in a specific aspect of women's studies. Students may choose to specialize in areas such as motherhood, sexuality, rape and sexual abuse and society and body image. Students are required to complete several research papers as well as a thesis for degree completion. Doctorate programs in women's studies are generally geared towards students who want to pursue a tenured track teaching position at a university. These programs are highly specialized and heavy in research. A dissertation is required to earn a doctorate degree in women's studies. "

    This will be so worth it. I'll pay that loan off in no time.

  • ||

    I'd be happy with treating all loan interest equally. Either all interest (consumer, mortgage, educational, capital) is tax deductible or it isn't. The policy of making student debt deductible iff you make less than $70 blows for anyone getting a marketable graduate degree. If you're an engineer, lawyer, doctor or MBA making that in a normal economy you either dropped the ball or work for the government. Neither of those conditions warrant being rewarded.

  • ||

    Not everyone should necessarily go to college, nor should that necessarily be considered a useful goal.

    But on the other hand your parents' financial situation shouldn't be the determining factor in whether you go to college.

  • ||

    Average debt per borrower rose 18%, from $19,300 to $22,700 in 2007 dollars over this time period. Average debt per bachelor's degree recipient increased from $10,600 to $12,400.



    Sorry, but is this saying that:

    1) The average among all people who have outstanding student loans (which includes people still in college) is $22.7k, but the average among people who have already received bachelor's degrees but still have debt (no matter how many years out) is $12.4k;

    2) The average debt incurred among all students, including graduate and professional students is $22.7k, whereas for just people getting bachelor's degrees it's $12.4k;

    3) The average debt among everyone who goes into debt for college is $22.7k, but the average debt of those who actually graduate (as oppose to just attend) is $12.4k, as many people who don't graduate are also those more likely to borrow and to spend longer in college not graduating;

    or some combination of the three?

  • ||

    But on the other hand your parents' financial situation shouldn't be the determining factor in whether you go to college.



    A reason to support vouchers, certainly, at least if you believe the quality of primary and secondary school education matters.

  • Reinmoose||

    But on the other hand your parents' financial situation shouldn't be the determining factor in whether you go to college.

    Seriously, Tony? I knew both kids that got full scholarships because they were good in school and kids that worked their way through college with their parents paying zero dollars.

    I rearticulate that you do not have the right to attend whatever college you want to in the country despite how good your academics are and your ability to pay for it.

  • Budgeting 101||

    I got through debt free.

    How'd I do it?

    I lived at home, went to community college the first two years, then went to a cheap public in-state school, and commuted.

    I didn't take spring break trips to Mexico every year. I didn't study abroad. I didn't go to bars every night. I didn't live in a big ass off-campus apartment. Etc, etc.

  • Budgeting 101||

    Oh yeah, getting through in four years and not failing classes helps, too.

  • stuartl||

    Take it from me, a BMW wouldn't make anyone happy. It's the most overrated piece of shit in existence.

    I know some twisty mountain roads that disagree. Add in their top of the line sound system -- heaven.

  • ||

    I'm making my last payment on my grad school loan this month. Woo-hoo!

    And yes, it was money well borrowed and spent. I've had a very good ROI. Not as good as it could have been, but good enough.

  • ||

    I'm conflicted. I have that warm cynical glow of having been right that Obama would be a shithead, but I had really, really wanted to be wrong.

    You and me both, brother.

  • Reinmoose||

    The most destructive coupling:

    The rich who pity the poor because they can't imagine what they would ever do if they didn't have all this money to pay for stuff like full $45K tuition for their kids to go to a small private school and vacations to Europe.

    AND...

    The less rich who are all too eager to take on the role of who the liberal rich pity.

  • robc||

    Grad school loans are weird - you mean they didnt pay you to go to grad school? Is that only engineering/hard sciences?

  • ||

    I'm conflicted. I have that warm cynical glow of having been right that Obama would be a shithead, but I had really, really wanted to be wrong.

    I had no such delusions. I knew he would suck, especially with a Dem-controlled Congress (which actually sucks WAY more), but such that it is with our lesser of 2 evils electoral system.

    What we need is for Congress to change hands every 2 years. If nothing else, it'll keep the republirats semi-honest.

  • ||

    Not everyone should necessarily go to college, nor should that necessarily be considered a useful goal.

    But on the other hand your parents' financial situation shouldn't be the determining factor in whether you go to college.


    Not everyone should necessarily go to college own a home, nor should that necessarily be considered a useful goal.

    But on the other hand your parents' financial situation shouldn't be the determining factor in whether you go to college have a 20% down payment for a house.

    Yet in both cases it often is. Life isn't fair. You're mother should have taught you that.

  • ||

    you're - your

    FDuckin' homophones.

  • kinnath||

    What we need is for Congress to change hands every 2 years. If nothing else, it'll keep the republirats semi-honest.

    Crossing-threads here . . . What we really need is for all congress critters to be required to take hallucinogens prior to each role call vote. The results couldn't be any worse than they are today.

  • 80\'s trash music||

    Birth, school, work, death.

  • BDB||

    "Crossing-threads here . . . What we really need is for all congress critters to be required to take hallucinogens prior to each role call vote. The results couldn't be any worse than they are today."

    The ancient Persians had a rule that everytime their legislative chamber passed a law, they had to debate it twice--once sober, once completely wasted.

    I really think that's a good idea.

  • kinnath||

    Of course this needs to be combined with my other suggestion that congress critters should be subject to random drug screening with horrendous penalties for being stoned when they vote.

    That ought to reduce the amount of legislation being produced between the election cycles.

  • ||

    You could fix congress by doing three things. First, no one could serve in either house for more than 10 years total. Second, the care, feeding and pay of all members of both chambers should be up to the states they represent. That way they can't vote themselves pay raises. Third, they should only be allowed to meet for 90 days per year. After that, the entire capital is shut down and locked up absent a national emergency declared by the president and agreed to by 2/3 of both houses. Everyone, staff and all can only be in washington 90 days a year. If it is not important enough to pass in that time, it is not important enough to get done.

  • Abdul||

    Student loans make education more accessible to the average person in America. Other countries provide free education, provided that you qualify via a Mandarin-style exam that tracks your proficiency for higher education as early as thirteen years of age.

    American culture--by and large--values hard work. Other cultures tend to reward intrinsic merit. Student loans are our nations's way of saying "If you're willing to back up your commitment to hard work with a non-dichargable debt, then even your dumb-ass can go to med school." Other nations say: "Med School is free, provided that you can prove that you're not a dumb-ass."

    In a multi-culti nation like ours, substituting student loans for a Mandarin-style exam would be greeted with pitchforks and torches by special interest groups.

    By cancelling student loans, we may get the worst of both worlds clogging our higher education system: slackers who aren't smart enough to succeed in school by brains alone.

  • JB||

    It would be easier to get ahead if that cocksucker Obama and all his ilk didn't demand more of my money at the point of a gun.

    Fuck that cunt.

  • ||



    students come out of college with "$20,000, 30,000, 40,000" worth of debt



    You mean I can't buy a new car right after graduation? I'll have to work off the debt until I'm like 28? Or have to get a part-time job while I'm in school? Screw that!

  • ||

    The ancient Persians had a rule that everytime their legislative chamber passed a law, they had to debate it twice--once sober, once completely wasted.

    Good luck getting Congress to sober up.

  • ed||

    ed,

    At least it wasnt "all 57 states" this time.


    Only because the railroad bridge to Hawaii was never funded.

  • duderman||

    This is just a freebie to all the communications and sociology majors that walked around campus with signs saying "Hope."

  • T||

    Speaking as someone helping to pay his wife's school loans (for undergrad and law school) and providing the remaining funding for a child in college: Obama can suck it. Not everybody gets to get a PhD. If you can't pay for it, don't sign up for it. Don't want student loans? Get a job, hippie. You're an adult, figure it out and quit whining.

    Or do it like I did. Spend six years jumping out of planes and getting shot at and Uncle Sam will pay your tuition for you. Strangely, that option has become way less popular lately...

  • ||

    J sub D,

    I agree with you about homes.

    life isn't fair

    So let's just throw up our hands and submit to natural selection, how bout.

  • Hazel Meade||

    it's tough to get ahead if you come out of college with the equivalent of a mortgage.

    WTF? No it isn't.

    It's tough to buy a house right away.
    it's tough to buy a brand spanking new BMW.

    Tough to "get ahead"? Excuse me, but no, you're currnet debt level has zero relationship to you competitiveness in the workplace.

    Not to mention that compared to the average mortgage, college costs are diddly squat.

    I paid off the $30,000 I owed in student loans within 3 years. I just kept living like a student for a couple years, and DONE.

  • ||

    Doubtless if I hadn't had student debts to pay upon leaving college I could have devoted my time to more important research on human female anatomy.

    So it was the lack of time rather than the lack of opportunity, eh?

  • ||

    After that, the entire capital is shut down and locked up absent a national emergency declared by the president and agreed to by 2/3 of both houses. Everyone, staff and all can only be in washington 90 days a year.

    If the capital gets shut down, how can they vote on the national emergency? It's like having a safe word with a ball gag in your mouth.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Depends on what you study. If you take on debt to get an MBA or a degree in economics or hard sciences, it's different than taking on debt to get a degree in Comparative Literature or something similar. There are degrees out there that do not at all affect your purchasing power.

    Cept, I'm pretty sure Gillespie did get a Ph.D in literature...

  • T||

    If the capital gets shut down, how can they vote on the national emergency? It's like having a safe word with a ball gag in your mouth.

    Exactly! That's the genius of it!

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Many commentators have already hit on the feedback effect of prices that you get from subsidies, and they have noted the opulent luxury which many schools offer their students. These really are part of the "the cost of college" problem and not to be neglected.

    But even if we could "fix" that issue, education (like medicine) should be expected to grow relatively more expensive in time under our current technological regime.

    Because they benefit much less than other goods and services from increasing technology. Each year you car and TV and TV dinner and Members Only jacket and glow-in-the-dark vibrator represent fewer man hours and less manufacturing waste (and often less actual material used). While your yearly physical still requires N nurse minutes and D physician minutes, and each semester hour at university means P professor hours.

    Where N, D, and P don't change much as time goes by. As a result health care and education take up and steadily growing fraction of your resources.

    I imagine that we will eventually realize the efficiency gains that always seem to be "right around the corner", but until then...

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    One of these years I'm going to learn how to edit. Really.

  • ||

    Or do it like I did. Spend [nine] years [repairing submarines or sailing around underwater] and getting [tired] and Uncle Sam will pay your tuition for you. Strangely, that option has become way less popular lately...

    I spent < $1000 for my BS, mostly on books and CLEP exam fees. The delayed compensation of Vietnam Era GI bill and my then employer's tuition paid for the rest, even if it took me 6 years of going year round at night while working a 50+ hour/week job. All of it has paid off. Then again, I didn't piss my time away on a Wymyns Studies degree either. Nor was my time in the USN wasted. In aggregate, I spent about 22 months in Navy schools in those nine years. I was a missile tech, so most of my schools were too equipment specific for receiving any college credit. Nevertheless, the U of MD gave me something like 21 credits for the schools and me being a 1st Class PO (E6), even if I only was allowed to use 11 of those credits as free electives.

    While I have been able to pickup the tab for my sons so far, their funds and my wallet may run out in their senior years or so*. Going into debt to attend college does seem ok as long as one is reasonable about it. A reasonable rule of thumb might be not to go into debt for an amount greater than the amount that one could reasonably afford for a car once one completes the degree. i.e. Doctor/Lawyer = price of mid-range Beemer, Engineer = decked out Ford Explorer, School teacher = Honda civic, Wymyn Studies = bent shit can on a skate board.

    *Both are going to community college first, before transferring to a four years state school.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Where N, D, and P don't change much as time goes by. As a result health care and education take up and steadily growing fraction of your resources.

    You're right, obviously - BUT... you should also factor in that the net cost should still decrease over time.

    As you pointed out, TVs, computers, books, etc. etc. are all increasingly less expensive to produce, as are the materials that go into building facilities and energy costs are also going down...

    So keeping N, D, & P constant while reducing C (commodity prices) still results in a net decrease in cost over time... just not as fast as in any area where C is the only concern.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Mr Malone,

    Yep, exactly right. But that post was too long already. And sooner or later the cost gets to be dominated by the skilled time...

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Oh, also - speaking as someone with $100k masters degree from NYU, I always have mixed feelings about the whole "repudiate the debt" campaign.

    Also, more broadly I have mixed feelings about it as a libertarian.


    I mean, first off, the reason my education was so expensive to begin with isn't so easily broken down into differing price points (though assuredly no matter what my masters would have been expensive), but the feedback effect of guaranteed governmental funding and moral hazard over the years has driven all education costs higher and higher.

    I doubt I'm alone here, but the vast majority of people I went to undergrad & even to an extent graduate school with had really no business being there. But state or private, schools don't care so long as the students can pay. And they always can...

    So I sort of feel like at least a half-repudiation might be appropriate provided the entire system is reshaped to stop just handing out free money directly to schools.

    Really - it's the same problem as exists in healthcare, you know it'll be paid for by somebody else so most people really don't bother to price-shop. Same problem with the FDIC, blah blah blah... That's all been covered.

    It's just a little hard to feel great about bearing the burden of debt that was largely created as a result of government intervention... That said, I'm dealing with the student loan debt in the short term as a cashflow issue rather than as something I intend to pay off in full in the near future - it's smarter to try to minimize my monthly payments on it and maximize my financial resources into assets & savings than it is to care too much about trying to become "debt free" since ultimately I can hit a critical mass where the rate of incline on assets outstrips my debt.

    So meh.

    But also - what about the national debt? How many people think that should be repudiated? I mean... I enrolled in college at least, I sure as hell didn't sign up for the Bush/Obama program.

  • Another Phil||

    AStudent loans are our nations's way of saying "If you're willing to back up your commitment to hard work with a non-dichargable debt, then even your dumb-ass can go to med school." Other nations say: "Med School is free, provided that you can prove that you're not a dumb-ass."

    Do you know anyone who has applied to med school? It's quite hard to get accepted. You have to have done really well in school, have good MCAT scores, and have a bunch of medical-related volunteer or employment experience.

  • Paul||

    Doubtless if I hadn't had student debts to pay upon leaving college I could have devoted my time to more important research on human female anatomy.

    So it was the lack of time rather than the lack of opportunity, eh?


    There was undoubtedly a problem with available study material, as well.

  • Paul||

    And no one has yet mentioned the old adage:

    If you can afford to go to college, then you don't need to. (Attributed to Warren Miller)

  • Paul||

    Do you know anyone who has applied to med school? It's quite hard to get accepted.

    Work with dozens every. single. day. And there's just a percentage that are, well...dumbasses. I ask myself the same question. "If it's so hard to get into medschool, how did this dull tool do it?"

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Paul, I think the answer to that question lies some where in the same realm as the answer to the question:

    "If grades are representative of how smart people are, how come most people who were valedictorians are idiots?"

  • OO=======================D||

    "What populist bullshit."

    It would be great if Reason kept a list of all of Obama's blatant lies. Only two months and already the list is massive.

  • Kid Blast||

    "But on the other hand your parents' financial situation shouldn't be the determining factor in whether you go to college."

    It isn't. But then maybe it is because my brother got a full-ride (PhD @ UCLA, post-doc) at Columbia because is was smart and we we're poor. Being poor has it's benefits.

  • Kid Blast||

    BTW he turned down Harvard for UCLA, but Harvard would have been free for him as well.

  • JiggleTits||

    Life is so much better here without the curd clown.

  • Telly||

    Anyone want to bet that this is his way of leading up to justifying government paid tuition for anyone who joins his new Obama Youth Corps that the house and senate just approved?

  • ||

    economist, I believe the record will show that indeed I:

    did realize that he was a populist tool before he was elected

  • Abdul||

    Another phil,

    I married one of those people who went to med school. She went in one of those countries with the mandarin style tests. She was surprised to come to America and find that you could go to med school without planning it back when you got your first pimples provided that you do well on the MCATS. Student loans make that kind of life change possible here.

  • ||

    Education should be government controlled ( if not run ). There is too much profiteering going on in both the student loan industry and the higher education industry.

    30k debt is not equivalent to a mortgage, but for some people it is a weight that is hard get out from under.

    Sooner or later you WILL realize that we will sink or swim together and that just because mommy and daddy paid for your education does not mean that other people, hard-working people, do not need help.

    Our country does not have a comparative advantage in ANY industry, barring the services industry. We are slowly working ourselves down the "most-educated countries" ladder.

    Would you have our country be filled with a bunch of idiots that don't know their butts from holes in the ground?

    Educating our country is the answer to regaining our edge. Educating our children is the key to our future as a country, and as a species. Education and research are the tools which will shape our economy if they are dealt with properly.

    Government control is always hard to give in to, especially considering how they have treated us in the past--how they have seemingly allowed scandal to run rampant and money to flow freely like water into their pockets.

    People feel that a government controlled or funded system would not be run properly, and perhaps it would not. However imagine if the gamble paid off--Imagine if every child could and did receive an education. Imagine if our industry had the power to boom again.

    We have the minds here, and we are the richest country in the world.

    What are we prepared to do with that? Would you throw it away for a cruise and a sunny vacation? What are all of you prepared to do for your country?

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