Education

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds: Kids Are Getting Wise to Student Loan Debt

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The idea that you have to go to college in order to be a respectable member of the middle class is "kind of weird" to Glenn Reynolds. The professor of law at the University of Tennessee and purveyor of the popular Instapundit blog, says students and parents are starting to rethink the benefits of higher education compared to the enormous costs associated with it.

Reynolds sat down with Reason TV to discuss his latest work,  The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself.  The book examines the higher education bubble and suggests ways students, parents, and educators can remake the system.

 Originally aired on April 10, 2014:

"It's kind of a weird thing that's happened with American society—this idea that you have to have a college degree to be a respectable member of the middle class," says Glenn Reynolds, professor of law at the University of Tennessee and purveyor of the popularInstapundit blog. Reynolds' latest work, The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself, looks at the higher education bubble and how parents, students, and educators can remake the education system. 

Reynolds sat down with Reason TV's Alexis Garcia to discuss why Americans are spending more for a college education and how students are responding to increasing tuition costs. "Given how expensive it is to go to college, there has to be a return sufficient to make it worth the time and especially the money," Reynolds states. "You're seeing declining enrollment in some schools and you're seeing much more price resistance on the part of both parents and students."

The discussion also includes Reynolds' take on school choice, the upcoming elections, the current state of the blogosphere, and whether or not both political parties are necessary. Nearly a decade after Reynolds published An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths, the blogfather still remains optimistic about technology's ability to empower the individual and inspire grassroots movements. 

Approximately 19 minutes long.
Click here to read Glenn's favorite work, Memorandum from the Devil by Arthur A. Leff. 
Produced by Alexis Garcia. Camera by Paul Detrick, Zach Weissmueller, and Tracy Oppenheimer. After Effects graphics by William Neff. 

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  1. If anyone wants to waste all kinds of money on a liberal arts degree just to say “lookie lookie, I went to college and got a degree, now give that high paying job to me” is rather delusional. The idea is to market one’s self and acquire skills that are in demand not only now but in the future.

    1. I’ll listen to Dave Ramsey’s show for a sense of schadenfreude.

      He had a good story about some guy with a bunch of degrees who wanted a raise, because someone with all of his degrees usually gets x but Dave is only paying him y. Dave’s response was if you can get that elsewhere, go for it. Here, your raise is effective when you are.

      1. I don’t get how Dave Ramsey can keep ratings high enough to continue a radio show?

        How many times can you say consolidate your debt and stick to your budget before the show gets boring?

        1. Well he doesn’t advocate consolidation, but I still get your point.

          I’ll listen for a few days and then not tune in for weeks, but when I do stop in, it is the same calls from people who have $80k in student loan debt with a worthless degree or asking him if he is ok with them buying a car.

          He’ll always have stupid people who need financial advice.

        2. hell, I could do his show – or any reasonable person.

          Perhaps listeners just like to hear people in worse straits than themselves.

          1. “Perhaps listeners just like to hear people in worse straits than themselves.”

            Jerry Springer’s excuse for living.

          2. When I used to listen I enjoyed hearing the calls from dual 6 figure earning couples who totally fucked themselves.It usually involved real estate investing.

            My favorite call genre was the high-earning wife/low-earning husband, both with student loan debt, a relatively new 0-down mortgage in an upscale house, 2 luxury car notes and then they have a baby.New Mom becomes absolutely certain she does not want to return to her very hi-paying job and Dave has to explain hubby’s job at the puppetry arts center or alt-weekly paper isn’t going to cover $300k in student loans, $800k mortgage,$150k car notes or supporting a stay at home Mom and their babies. I probably heard at least half dozen of these. Sometimes it was when she was pregnant the second baby and in seething resentment of stay-at-home Dad.

        3. I don’t get how Dave Ramsey can keep ratings high enough to continue a radio show?

          They took him off the air around here.

          How many times can you say consolidate your debt and stick to your budget before the show gets boring?

          I suppose the message is always new to someone. Though, judging by the fact that they took him off the air around here, there are only so many new listeners.

          1. Eh, or is that because traditional radio is dying in general?

        4. Love Line is still on the air. How many times can you say “get yourself tested if you think you have herpes” before the show gets boring?

        5. His show is not based on ratings, but by referrals to his selected providers that sell life insurance and the like. If the cash comes in, the show stays on the air.

          When Clear Channel told him his show was an advertisement and not consumer advice and he needed to pay for air time – he found refuge in the Religious community by telling his followers the first 10% of your gross goes to the church, because God says so.

          His show is not usually live – it is done by calling back callers and edited for entertainment value and callers who reinforce the brand. This is becoming common in radio – Click & Clack on Public Radio did this for years – they could research obscure problems before they call the car owner back and give the impression that they know everything about every car ever made. If they fumble the answer, the segment never goes to air.

          1. At least Car Talk was entertaining. Dave Ramsey is just boring.

        6. 1st explain how Geo. Noory stays on. He’s pretty universally regarded as the worst regular m.c. “Coast to Coast AM” has, yet he’s on the most. Is there just nobody else cheap and reliably available enough in the middle of the night?

      2. I admire Dave Ramsey, he’s become a millionaire peddling what should be common sense to idiots. Only wish I would have thought of it first. That said, the above comment that you’ve attributed to him is dead on.

  2. Only three more stories before that fucking Jon Stewart NCAA AUTO FUCKING PLAYING video falls into the archives. Thank Christ! Had to happen on a Friday.

      1. Did and then exempted Reason.

        Why? Because:

        1. The static pic on the video player usually clues me in to whether I want to watch it or not and it’s blanked out with click to play selected.

        2. Reason, usually has the good taste NOT to post AUTO FUCKING PLAYING videos on H&R.

  3. Part of the problem with getting people to rethink college is that most employers rely on colleges to do training for them. Consider that most IT positions in the 90s were held by people with non-IT degrees, but now companies all want the degree so colleges are creating the programs in response to that. It’s questionable whether a 4 year degree is as efficient as on the job training would be, but employers don’t care because they don’t have to pay for it.

    1. Of course, you don’t need a degree if you’re an entrepreneur but the vast majority of people are not cut out for that.

      1. I strongly disagree that most people aren’t “cut out” to be entrepreneurs; rather, the government makes it highly unlikely you’ll be a successful one unless you crony up.

        1. I don’t mean that most people couldn’t be an entrepreneur if it was easier or if they wanted or needed to. Simply that most people don’t have the desire.

        2. Thanks, this is surprising, even shocking news to me. I had no idea self-employment was so high in 1950 (25%?! How could there have been so many doctors, plumbers, and Avon ladies?), and so low & rapidly dropping in recent yrs., percent-wise. I’m not convinced bureaucracy is the sole driver of the trend, let alone the primary one, but I’m hard pressed to think of other plausible reasons.

          In health care that trend had been visible for a long time, but I hadn’t realized that to be representative of business in general. And farm work was left out of the stats, so it wasn’t farm consolid’n. Besides, I’d thought that the Internet made possible for individuals a lot of the coordination that’d formerly been affordable only to businesses of at least medium size. OTOH, a lot of stuff we use & wear now is cheaper to make than to repair, so more factory work & fewer repairmen.

    2. “It’s questionable whether a 4 year degree is as efficient as on the job training would be, but employers don’t care because they don’t have to pay for it.”

      Pretty sure they do pay for it in higher initial labor costs.

      1. Well they would have to pay higher initial labor costs if it wasn’t for the government subsidized training that is higher ed. But they’d have no choice.

  4. The kidz may be getting wise, but I still see higher education being uses as a barrier in the corporate world. For example, we have a woman in our quality department who is well-dressed, smart, and a just a great all around worker. But she hasn’t been promoted up the chain at all – she only has a HS degree.

    Or at the previous company I worked for, we were looking to hire someone for the software support department. One candidate had extensive knowledge of the code and had done years of shipping and EDI too. But he was immediately disqualified by HR since he didn’t have a college degree.

    And these days, companies often hire for managerial positions from the outside – using experience _and_ schooling as deciders. The days of when my old man – who dropped out of college to earn $$ for his family – got promoted up the chain from a shoe clerk to a VP – don’t seem as common.

    1. H.L. Mencken got a job as a newspaper writer after taking a 6 month correspondence course through the mail. He then went to the Baltimore Sun, was allowed to speak to the editor, and got a job writing copy.

      I have a feeling you couldn’t do that today.

    2. But he was immediately disqualified by HR since he didn’t have a college degree.

      HR is a cancer.

      I have two part time jobs. I’ve been at one for years, and the other for a little over a year. Full time positions opened at both of them recently, so I of course applied for both. Didn’t get either. The one was taken by a guy who had less experience then me, but he had a degree. In an entirely unrelated field, but hey degree. The other one I lost out to an “overqualified” person, who is now only a few months later lined up a better job.

      1. You’ll be happy to know that more and more organizations are scrapping HR or outsourcing it. HR is all cancer, all the time.

    3. Unfortunately, too many times HR uses a college degree to weed out people so many qualified people can’t even get their foot in the door. Many times, it doesn’t have to be a degree in the area. So you could be the worlds leading expert in area X, but if you don’t have a degree or an advanced degree, it won’t matter.

    4. “but I still see higher education being uses as a barrier in the corporate world.”

      Yes, this is what I was getting at in my post above. It’s one thing to say that higher education is unnecessary. It’s another thing entirely to find a potential employer who agrees with you.

    5. If they’re large enough to be subject to state or federal EEOC, the spur to credentialism is that credentials can easily be proven, while other criteria are subject to judgment and not so easy to disprove discrimination by.

  5. Cost of subsidizing the rest of the world comes home, but natch, the wrong questions are asked, leading to bad answers:

    “Cost of Gilead’s hepatitis C pill, Sovaldi, spurs revolt”
    […]
    “Most hepatitis C patients are low-income minorities who probably receive Medicaid, and state and federally funded Medicaid programs are financially strained.”
    *shame on Gilead for failed gov’t ‘health’ programs*
    […]”Gilead prices the drug at $57,000 in the United Kingdom and $66,000 in Germany. And in Egypt and other developing countries, the bill amounts to $900 – 99 percent less than the U.S. cost.
    “We’re just shaking our heads wondering why the American taxpayers are being asked to pay this very high price for a drug that is being sold for substantially less than in other countries,” Molina said.”
    *because of other gov’t failed ‘health’ policies, you ninny!*
    http://www.sfgate.com/health/a…..php#page-1

  6. Unless something has changed since I went to school, the cost of an engineering degree was the the same as a women’s studies degree…

    Which is the better value?

    Bottom line:

    Lazy. Reap what you sow…

    You want a good job, make yourself marketable. Your degree in underwater basket weaving might land you a good job in a Reagan economy, but this is the Obama economy…you, yet again, reap what you sow.

    1. There’s a difference at the nearby state school these days. They tack on different rates for more expensive to operate degree programs. Engineering runs 25-40% more. That doesn’t take into account degree requirements that usually stretch into a fifth year.

      1. My brother graduated in four with a civil engineering degree. Of course, he went to a school which basically doesn’t allow 5th year students.

  7. old habits die hard. We spent decades developing the credentialed society and, as some posters have shown, the degree is used as a screening criterion – if you have one, you can move to the evaluation round; the rest of you are sent on your way.

    1. Yeah I work for a very large corporation. They are now going whole hog on degrees and accreditation. Nevermind all the folks with 15 to 20 years experience that could be teaching the courses instead of taking them. Having them take classes to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies and ideas would be a much better use of the employees time and the company’s money then taking french art history and ceramics.

      1. Huh? What graduate degree has gen eds? I’m assuming the company is paying only for grad degrees.

    2. But that should leave a pool of cost effective help to be exploited by businesses that don’t follow credentialism; they should clean up, especially if they stay small enough to stay under the EEO radar or even jurisdiction.

      1. Theoretically yes, however in reality, especially with the current shitty economy, there are plenty of credentialed people vying for jobs.

        If it was the 80s, or the 90s, or the 2000s, that would be one thing. But this is the post growth economy. Things suck for young people in the post growth economy.

  8. An artist drew 30 different self-portraits of himself, each while under the influence of a different drug/drugs.

    Now scroll down and check out the bath salts one and tell me that isn’t the most fucking terrifying thing you have seen in your life. If that’s where your mind goes while on bath salts, I fully understand the face-eating cannibalism side-effect.

    1. The face-eating cannibal was only high on weed. Unless you want to count his Bible.

    2. I laughed at the adderall one. I can always tell in my drawing classes who’s using it based on how unnecessarily detailed their illustrations are.

  9. A while ago, I was watching Deval Patrick do his beleaguered mother routine for George Stephanoccoculus; you know, “My children have been through so much. The list of their ailments, illnesses, and injuries is endless. Don’t you wonder how I do it? I work so hard. I am devoted to the poor helpless wounded little darlings. Love me. Honor me.”

    A diagnosis leapt into my head: Munchausen by Proxy. It’s not just Patrick, either. American government, virtually in its entirety, is an example of Munchausen. “Our” ailments, “our” injuries, are obsessively exaggerated in order to portray our loving caregivers in an heroic light. We feckless little lambikins would never make it without constant care and supervision.

    They work so hard. They care so much.

    1. Excellent.

  10. And these days, companies often hire for managerial positions from the outside

    My theory, which is worth exactly nothing, is that a CEO’s exit pay should be reduced by about ninety per cent if there is no internal replacement groomed and ready to take over when he leaves. If the company is forced to go outside for a replacement, he has failed to perform a vital part of his job. This should also hold true for other top level positions.

    1. “My theory, which is worth exactly nothing, is that a CEO’s exit pay should be reduced by about ninety per cent if there is no internal replacement groomed and ready to take over when he leaves.”

      Read an interesting comment on exit pay a year or so ago: Why do they get so much?
      ‘Cause they’re so bad, it’s cheaper than keeping them.

  11. Revenge of the Gunz

    Two people were shot to death and 14 others were wounded in city shootings from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.

    The most recent homicide happened about 9:25 p.m. Friday in the 2700 block of East 76th Street in the South Shore neighborhood on the South Side, police said.

    Shannon Mack, 34, of the 6800 block of South Crandon Avenue was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m., died on a front porch of a frame home on that block, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy conducted today determined that he died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide.

    Earlier, Gakirah Barnes, 17, was shot in the upper body about 3:30 p.m. in the 6400 block of South Eberhart Avenue in the West Woodlawn community on the South Side during an attack that left two other people wounded, said police said.

    Barnes, of the 8000 block of South Shore Drive was pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy conducted today determined that she died of multiple gunshot wounds and her death was also ruled a homicide, according to the office.

    et c

    1. “Earlier, Gakirah Barnes, 17, was shot in the upper body”

      The Trib now reports like an NHL injury report?

  12. What is better than gay marriage? Gay Comics

  13. If you want to make oodles of cash, head to the oil patch. Here in Alberta, you can make six figures as a general labourer as long as you whole hog into it. If you can avoid drugs you’ll be up to your eyeballs in cash.

  14. There are some grammatical mistakes in your post try to rectify them asit might give wrong impression on your blog readers. Office Paper Products

  15. Why don’t us commenters here create a radio show? I can write the intro rhyme, and we’ll have a kick ass time. Then after the radio show, we have to create a tv show.

  16. Nowadays college education is not an exclusive thing and employers want to have skillful, competent and enterprising workers not a paper about good marks. It is the greatest mistake when parents say that they have no time to develop their children as they have to make money to pay for their education. Teachers can give only knowledge and information but you can develop the best features and habits. Show your kids the best example. When they write essay click here help with essay papers and show the most professional ones. Teach them also budgeting from the childhood. Don`t think that other people can do it for you.

  17. Nowadays college education is not an exclusive thing and employers want to have skillful, competent and enterprising workers not a paper about good marks. It is the greatest mistake when parents say that they have no time to develop their children as they have to make money to pay for their education. Teachers can give only knowledge and information but you can develop the best features and habits. Show your kids the best example. When they write essay click here help with essay papers and show the most professional ones. Teach them also budgeting from the childhood. Don`t think that other people can do it for you.

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