College Debt

Bernie Sanders' #CancelStudentDebt Is a Dangerous Scam

The world doesn't owe you a dream college or a dream house or a dream job.

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This week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) claimed that it was "literally easier" for her to win the congressional election than pay off her student loan debt—which says something unfortunate about both the cost of college and the electorate's choices.

Ocasio-Cortez was commenting on Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I–Vt.) new plan to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt and transform higher education into a "free" and "fundamental right." "This proposal will make it possible for every person in America to get a college education no matter what their financial situation," Sanders explained.

This might surprise some people, but every person in America can already get a college education, no matter his financial situation. Most poor Americans, in fact, can attend college for a relatively reasonable price tag. Sanders' socialization of the university system would be far more helpful for high-earning individuals. One Georgetown University study, for example, finds that a bachelor's degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a lifetime, which tells us that college is often a pretty good investment.

Then again, around two-thirds of people in the American workforce have no college degree. Some Americans have no interest in higher education. Many don't need university degrees for the vocations they pursue. They can, I suppose, go to college and earn a useless degree in journalism or comparative literature for kicks. Or, maybe, they could enter the workforce and start subsidizing people like Heather Gautney.

"I am $180k in debt. I have a PHD and am a tenured professor—my students are in the same boat, sinking in debt," Gautney, a senior policy advisor for Sanders, tweeted. "I pay $1100/month in student loan debt, half of my rent. We MUST #CancelStudentDebt."

This tweet, more than perhaps any political argument made about "free" college, encapsulates the fundamental injustice of student loan cancellation. Because above all else, Sanders' plan rewards people who overpaid for degrees or made bad fiscal choices.

Why should those who've worked to pay off their loans—and perhaps even their children's loans—subsidize Gautney's doctorate in sociology? Why should Americans who skipped college and went straight to work to start businesses and families help pay the $2,200 rent of tenured professors who live in expensive areas like New York (where Gautney teaches)? Why should conscientious kids who weighed the economic tradeoffs of the situation, and went to reasonably priced colleges, or community colleges, bankroll the careers of socialists who do not?

If Ocasio-Cortez feels underpaid at $170,000—approximately $110,000 above the average American's salary—she is free to go out into the meritocratic world and find a vocation where her talents will be more fairly remunerated.

Sanders' plan will ostensibly be made "free" by taxing all trades, and putting fees on bonds and derivatives from the universally reviled institution of Wall Street. For one thing, the cost of all of this will be passed through to investors and businesses, not CEOs, who, I assure you, will continue to send their kids to the very best schools.

Of course, the idea that Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren) is accurately calculating the price of a government entitlement is, to be charitable, highly unlikely. History tells us the cost is sure to skyrocket. The Government Accountability Office reported that loan-forgiveness programs will already cost taxpayers $108 billion over the next 10 years. And Sanders has already underestimated his Medicare for All idea by tens of trillions of dollars. There's nothing more expensive than "free."

None of this is even accounting for the moral hazard caused by "free college"—or "free" anything, for that matter. We've seen some of this in play since the Obama administration took over responsibility for college loans. Progressives want to create a system without risk, where students aren't responsible for their debt and schools aren't responsible for their costs. Once colleges know that prospective students can get any loan for any major they desire, incurring no risk whatsoever, what motivation do these institutions have to offer degrees of value?

And, in the end, forgiveness does nothing to lower costs. Then again, when the state takes control of private institutions, it inevitably turns to price controls and all the usual tools that destroy industries.

Then there is the ethical matter. In her speech, Ocasio-Cortez shared the story of a young woman she mentored who would have needed $250,000 in debt in order to attend her dream college. "She got into her dream college but her dream college offered her no scholarships, just loans," claimed AOC.

The world doesn't owe you a dream college or a dream house or a dream job. You have no right to someone else's labor and time. If you want to attend free college, ask professors to offer you their lectures gratis or ask school administrators who run massive endowments to open their doors to everyone.

Or, maybe, ask them to bring down their tuition prices.

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  1. “I am $180k in debt. I have a PHD and am a tenured professor

    That’s a long-winded way of saying “I’m an idiot”.

    1. A tenured professor just about anywhere is paid well. And they can’t be fired. They have nothing to bitch about.

      1. This is beside the point, but no tenure doesn’t guarantee good pay nor that they can’t be fired. My SO is tenured and makes < 50K and can be fired.

        So if you are going to invest 180K in a PHD you better make sure you can work in a job that will pay enough to get that money back. The dingbat working for Sanders obviously didn't do that calculation.

        1. Associate professors at most state schools make well over $100k per year, plus generous benefits. And it is very difficult to fire someone with tenure.

          I suppose there are some small private schools where this isn’t quite the case, but it’s certainly not common.

          1. Not to quibble, but here is data for my state:

            https://data.chronicle.com/category/state/Indiana/faculty-salaries/

            If you look at associate professor average salary – only a few big schools offer salaries that approach 100K. Rest of them are much less and the averages are skewed by long tenured professors. New professors are making substantially less.

            My whole point was 180K in loans for a PHD in Sociology probably isn’t justified for the salary potential in academia. People should be smart enough to know that by now.

      2. It depends on the discipline. Finance professors do very well because they have tremendous opportunities outside of academia. This “genius” has a PhD in sociology. There’s not much demand for sociologists in the private sector.

    2. “That’s a long-winded way of saying “I’m an idiot”.”

      Obviously, the doctorate wasn’t in Finance.

    3. seriously. i have a sibling and a cousin with PhDs, neither of whom came from a daddy warbucks situation, and both owe nothing or next to nothing.

      maybe i’m ignorant on the matter but my impression has always been if you really are someone who should have a PhD, you’re probably not going to need to pay anything for it because you’ll get a free ride

      1. if you really are someone who should have a PhD, you’re probably not going to need to pay anything for it because you’ll get a free ride

        Free rides for PhDs aren’t very common. But your first point is the salient one – it takes coming from a certain type of background to be well educated enough to be able to get into a PhD program but also to keep piling up debt without thinking about how you’re going to pay it back.

        I stopped taking loans about two years into grad school and instead scaled back my lifestyle because I knew I was in a humanities program and there was no guarantee of a solid income upon completion.

        1. Free rides for PhDs aren’t very common.

          Actually, at least in science, they are very common. Every program I looked at when I was applying not only had no tuition but also paid a stipend.

          1. Yeah – science degrees I could see, since they’re often paid for by the companies that employ the scientists. I speak as a humanities degree-holder. I can say from experience that no one is going to pay you to study Beowulf. Which is as it should be.

            1. Yeah, I see. I don’t know about humanities. At least where I went, the university picked up the tab for the first two years, then the professor in whose lab you worked picked up the tab for the rest (absent external funding, which was encouraged). But I guess the professors in the humanities are not similarly funded.

              1. But I guess the professors in the humanities are not similarly funded.

                Yeah – no, they’re not. Which, again, is fine – it’s a luxury study.

            2. I dunno Square. Beowulf was awfully turgid and boring. You should be paid to study that.

              1. Oddly enough it suffers greatly in translation – Heaney’s is by far the best, but it’s nearly incomprehensible as a result. The power and immediacy of Old English just can’t be captured in Modern English.

                It also suffers from the fact that the story is not really about Beowulf. The story is all the background stuff that to a modern reader is just distraction. Hrothgar’s court was famous stuff at the time, and as known to everyone as if Beowulf strolled into King Arthur’s court – all the other stuff that we skim over saying “who the fuck are all these people you’re talking about for no reason” were immediately-recognizable recent historical events for contemporary audiences. The Beowulf story is itself (IMHO) a commentary on the feuding culture of the time and can be read (again IMHO) as an early Christian critique of the pervasive culture of violence in pre-Christian Europe.

                But all that comes with lots of study. To your point – yes, to a modern reader it’s dull as nails, and no one should be forced to read it without compensation.

                1. I remember my prof saying it was a tale of the weakness of the Danes who exaggerated how vicious and evil Grendel was to excuse their lack of any action to deal with him.

                  I was drunk for a nice chunk of the discussion, though, so this is the remnant I have in my head.

                  1. a tale of the weakness of the Danes who exaggerated how vicious and evil Grendel was to excuse their lack of any action to deal with him

                    That’s what Beowulf himself says. It’s a great scene where Beowulf makes a point of being a huge dick and tells the Danes they’re a bunch of pussies and cowards, that he’s not there to save them so much as to show what a bunch of pussies and cowards they are, and that to that end he’s not even going to use weapons to take Grendel down and he’s going to fight him naked to boot (like a true Berserker).

                    The biggest problem with Beowulf, and why I ultimately moved away from writing my thesis on it, is that it’s worse than Hamlet as far as supporting basically any claim you want to make about it. It’s so unique in the body of existing early medieval writings and so divorced from any other known tradition that you can assert or deny anything and scholarly discussions never get anywhere – people just constantly talk past one another. Scholars still can’t even agree what century it was written in or whether it has a single author or many. I’m partial to one author in the eighth century, but it got fashionable about 20 years ago to argue for the eleventh (which I think is idiotic).

                    That said, I think your prof was right about the idiom of Beowulf’s behavior, but I’m of the camp that sees the poem as ultimately being critical of the pre-Christian propensity to violence that Beowulf represents – i.e. Beowulf is a hero from a pagan perspective, but from a Christian one he most certainly isn’t. To make that argument, though, you have to presume that the audience supplied the Christian assumptions themselves, as they’re not made explicit in the poem itself (although the poem is also conspicuously scrubbed of pagan references, and explicitly refers to the Danes’ religious rituals as ‘making sacrifices to the Devil in their ignorance’).

                    This is all so much as to say that my views on Beowulf, like anyone’s, are just opinions – no one’s view on it are definitive.

                    1. This was really interesting. Thanks.

          2. Same in my finance program, but I already had the masters’ degree, so I could teach classes right out of the gate.

    4. who the hell pays for a PhD themselves anyway?

      1. People studying arts and humanities.

        1. yeah, I should have given that one more thought.

        2. Quicker to say “people studying hobbies.”

      2. And social sciences–Gautney is a sociology professor, one of the more useless disciplines.

    5. Not sure I agree with him, but Robert Wenzel at Target Liberty had a very different take on this. I can’t post links, so you will have to GTFY. He is as hardcore libertarian as they come, so it is quite interesting.

    6. The only reason a tenured professor should be $180K in student loan debt is if they went to law school or medical school. Outside of that, the only thing they’ve demonstrated is that left-libertarians are long on entitlement and short on math skillz, and that they’re dumber than GED-holding redneck plumbers making $80K a year fixing peoples’ shitters.

  2. I know we’re not supposed to talk about this nowadays, but some kids are simply not academically prepared for college. Giving away free college degrees won’t fix the shitty government-run K-12 schools. It might hide the problems with those schools; perhaps that’s what the socialists are after.

    1. some kids are simply not academically prepared for college

      No, they’re not. And that’s totally fine.

      Some kids are also not academically prepared for the elite, expensive colleges either, but would do just fine at, say, local community college or a local mid-sized public university.

    2. “Giving away free college degrees won’t fix the shitty government-run K-12 schools.”

      It will basically be shitty government run K-16

      1. It already is.

    3. some kids are simply not academically prepared for college

      You’re really not supposed to say this, but some people never will be academically prepared for college, and that’s okay. Not everybody’s ideal involves wearing a tie and sitting in an office.

      Being in construction, I have worked with lots and lots of guys who could not wait to get out of school, and do not understand people who willingly extend the amount of time they spend dealing with educational institutions. They don’t understand people who prefer working in offices and would be horrified at the suggestion that it’s an ideal to aspire to.

      Make college as free as you want, those guys still aren’t going to go. Make it mandatory even – those guys still aren’t going to turn into white-collar workers, because it’s just not the case that they’re being prevented from doing that. They don’t want to.

  3. There is a student loan debt problem, but the problem won’t be solved by Bernie’s plan.

    The ROOT of the problem is the crappy K-12 education system. Students should graduate highschool with enough skills and knowledge to be able to become productive citizens. College should be for the more specialized and technical fields.

    But instead the K-12 system doesn’t prepare students for much of anything besides how to do well on standardized tests. College has become the place for students to learn any marketable skills at all, not just the ones that require specialization.

    If the K-12 schools actually did their jobs, fewer students would think that they need to go to college and there would be less student loan debt.

    But that is a long-term project that won’t buy votes in the current climate. Better to promise free stuff!

    1. “If the K-12 schools actually did their jobs”

      Look up the issues with inner city schools and come back to me with the root of the problem

      1. Let me guess, you believe the “root of the problem” has something to do with skin pigmentation?

        1. It’s not the pigmentation; it’s the inferior culture.

          1. it’s the inferior culture

            Funny how the “inferior culture” rationale is trotted out when it comes to people who are not white.

            1. Sometimes the truth is painful.

        2. Pedo Jeffy, there are plenty of white peoples from stable middle class homes that have graduated high school and can neither write a proper sentence, nor are proficient at fifth grade math.

          And yes, kids from slums always have it harder. Which is a function of money, not skin color. For example, Obama’s daughters got a top notch education at Sidwell Friends school, because of their wealth and his position. While there are plenty of white kids in the trailer park who get a shit education.

          1. And yes, kids from slums always have it harder. Which is a function of money, not skin color.

            Amazing, an intelligent comment coming from you, without threatening any violence against anyone. That’s gotta be a first.

            So, what do you plan to do about this problem about kids from slums not getting a good education?

            1. Allow the markets to work for schools as well. Detach money from the teachers unions and give the dollars per student for parents to choose where they want to learn. Of course you’ll probably say this is unfair due to unequal outcomes.

              1. Allow the markets to work for schools as well. Detach money from the teachers unions and give the dollars per student for parents to choose where they want to learn.

                That sounds like a terrific idea! Finally we can agree on something.

    2. > The ROOT of the problem is the crappy K-12 education system.

      No, the ROOT of the problem is the government guaranteeing student loans.

      There is no cost for a bank to be passing out student loans to everyone like candy. Risk is not a factor. Ability to repay is not a factor. Future earnings is not a factor. The students themselves are too green to know better, and the parents are sucked in the possibility to send their kids to more elite and exclusive schools.

    3. How many times have you voted against a Democrat? Or are you one of the ignorant true believers that believes throwing more money at schools is the solution?

      Education has gone downhill largely at the thumbs of Democrats. The cost per student has tripled since 1979, adjusted for inflation, yet test scores have decreased. Administrations have nearly tripled in size to keep money from the actual classroom. Common core actually decreased the math level required in high school by a year, leading the stanford math professor on the board to resign.

      Teachers unions keep pushing for equality of outcomes instead of letting gifted students exceed their peers. When oklahoma did a blind study of which math system works best, saxon math destroyed other forms of math. But since it didnt help the worsr of students the system went with a common core like math system that helped the worst performers slightly while retarding learning for the other learners. These are all due to the democratic policies you support in virtually every thread on this site.

      And now you advocate for open borders where schools with large numbers have to pay for ESL immersion which further retards the growth of citizens. You are a hypocrite on this issue based on virtually every other stance you take on this site.

      1. You know, Jesse, you might actually learn something if you actually stop and read other people’s arguments instead of projecting and assuming as much as you do.

        How many times have I voted for a Democrat? Twice. Once, it was for a personal friend running for mayor of a small town. The second time, it was a vote against a corrupt Republican. That’s it. I have either voted Republican or Libertarian in every other election. And that is the honest truth, I don’t care if you don’t believe it.

        Education has gone downhill largely at the thumbs of Democrats.

        Education quality has been suffering for a large number of reasons. You are stuck in your tribal nonsense when you just try to blame it all on one tribe or another. Do you place any blame at all on a tax structure for funding schools based on property taxes, which fundamentally favors rich neighborhoods over poor neighborhoods? I bet you would, if you could find some way to pin it on Democrats. But since you can’t, you’ll just blame it all on teachers’ unions since they are in the service of Democrats.

        That is your problem Jesse, no matter what the issue, you go immediately to the argument that blames Team Blue and reinforces your pre-existing worldview, regardless of how valid or truthful or complete it is. You are the shallow one, not me.

        And now you advocate for open borders where schools with large numbers have to pay for ESL immersion which further retards the growth of citizens.

        This is your fundamental error right here – you view it as a zero-sum game. If some foreigner gets a benefit, it must have come at the expense of a citizen’s benefit. If some foreigner gets ahead, it must have only happened by that foreigner shoving some citizen aside to get it.

  4. It is VITAL that we have poor people subsidize the education of their richer, more elite betters…amirite, Socialist brethren?

  5. The easiest way to eliminate student debt is to eliminate student loans.
    Duh.
    The last time the feds mandated giving loans to people with no income to pay the loan back, we got the housing bubble and financial crisis. But since they got the media to blame it on Wall Street (aka “your 401k”), all ended well.

  6. “I am $180k in debt. I have a PHD and am a tenured professor—my students are in the same boat, sinking in debt,”

    You borrowed $180k without planning for how you would pay it back? How incredibly… stupid. What kind of a fool would ever hire someone like that?

    Gautney, a senior policy advisor for Sanders, tweeted.

    Nevermind.

    1. “What kind of a fool would ever hire someone like that?”

      Also, academia.

  7. Hey, before the government provides my dream job and dream house as a “human right” I want them to provide my dream sex and dream body (despite my dream diet and personal grooming).

    Who’s with me?

  8. Free college isn’t a scam, it’s the delusion of morons. If you can’t think of what incentives are being offered and what the consequences of those incentives are going to be for about 12 seconds and realize what a stupid idea this is, you need thumped upside the head because obviously you’ve got a loose screw or two.

    1. Hell, what about saps like me who paid my loans off?

      1. Thank you for your service.

      2. “Hell, what about saps like me who paid my loans off?”

        Any Tesla driver yet thanked you, since (as a taxpayer) you handed her/him thousands of dollars?
        Well, shucks…

    2. Doesn’t Bernie’s plan offer free college at a public schools only?
      Did people with the biggest debts go to private Ivy league schools?

      I think people who are buying into this idea thinks it will cover whatever school they want to attend. I’m not sure it does.

      1. Make is “free college at local junior colleges only”, and it’s not too horrible as we’re already halfway there.

        The costs of this program will be such that in practice they’ll have to limit it to local public colleges anyway. In a few years it will be like public schools: Public college districts and you only get to attend the college in your district. Then we’ll get charter colleges, still government funded colleges, but they will have special permission not to follow the same rules as regular public colleges.

        They’re just going to be high schools with grades 13 through 16.

  9. Bernie’s crushing your little head.

  10. if you think college is expensive now wait till it’s free. Also anyone who paid already is clearly an idiot.

    1. But what if it really was a dream? Surely our technology is close to being able to induce a hallucination of a perfect life. Government could then provide everyone with the means to live in their perfect dream, while Guatemalan and Honduran nurses assistants care for our bodies.

  11. I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more Harsanyi. This place needs a lot more Harsanyi.

    1. Amen brother

  12. Of course, the idea that Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren) is accurately calculating the price of a government entitlementtwo plus two is, to be charitable, highly unlikely.

    FTFY

    1. Arithmetic is a tool of patriarchic oppression.

      1. Numbers are unequal.

  13. Cancelling all (or even most) student debt would probably be a mistake.

    But having no escape from student debt ruins too many lives. Student loans are unique in that they aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy. And the right to court is also lost because a judgment, garnishment, or lien is a mere administrative process not subject to court review.

    Bankruptcy has been expanded again and again for business, and restricted again and again for individuals. Both business and individuals can take risks, and if they don’t work out, there should be some path (bankruptcy) to start anew. But not for student loan debtors. If a student loan debtor gets sick and doesn’t finish school, or doesn’t earn enough to support student loan payments, the fees spiral out of control and there is no way out other than the grave. Even social security or disability payments can be attached (again, without a court process) for student loan debt, unlike any other sort of debt except tax debt.

    So, bring back bankruptcy for student loan debt. The PhD types will never do it (the stigma of bankruptcy also lasts forever) but those who’ve become indentured servants to student loan debt will have some chance to regain freedom.

    1. So, bring back bankruptcy for student loan debt.

      One of the big reasons that was done away with was the problem of the ‘perpetual student.’ One degree program after another, and simply ignore the loans.

      My father-in-law stayed in college for about 20 years that way, never paid a dime.

      A lot needs to be changed about this system before student loans should be made dischargeable through bankruptcy.

      1. …like having schools be on the hook for some of it if a student declares bankruptcy.

      2. One of the big reasons that was done away with was the problem of the ‘perpetual student.’ One degree program after another, and simply ignore the loans.

        Yeah, but these are cases on the margins. The Van Wilder types are nowhere near common enough (and never were, even in the days of cheap tuition) to warrant worrying about increasing numbers of them gaming the system. Bankruptcy is going to cornhole their credit for several years if they make that decision anyway.

        From what I understand, the biggest reason for eliminating student loan bankruptcies was actually rooted in a bunch of doctors declaring bankruptcy to get out of their sky-high student loans. Since that didn’t affect their salaries or ability to get a well-paying job, they had no incentive to keep paying their loans back.

        Bankruptcy laws for student loans should be restored, but you have to make it painful enough that people like lawyers and doctors will maintain their incentive to pay the loans back. The humanities majors are going to struggle regardless, and declaring bankruptcy would probably have the same effect on their medium-term finances as paying them back, if the current rates of tuition increases keep going.

        1. It seems like a problem that would solve itself if you restore bankruptcy laws for student loans and allow interest rates to be unsubsidized and set by the market.

          1. They demanded we insure anybody could get a loan. Take the government out of the loan game and force banks to underwrite them and you will see college prices crater.

    2. You do understand that most business bankruptcies are reorganization plans with the creditors being rapid, right? As opposed to individual bankruptcies which are predominantly a discharge of all debtors with zero repayment.

      So there really is no comparison.

      1. “being rapid”

        Don’t you mean repaid? Incidentally ‘diaper’ is a palindrome of repaid is a good way to remember the spelling.

        1. Incidentally, “ignoramus” is a good mnemonic for “trueman”.

          1. not that good, I suspect you wouldn’t know a good mnemonic if you tripped over it. Or even a bad one.

    3. “…But having no escape from student debt ruins too many lives….”

      It’s amazing how many entitlements you can manufacture when you claim ‘no escape’; bullshit.
      Pay your damn debts, and fuck off, slaver.

  14. Several European countries have free or nearly free university education. A look at how these systems work and how well might be helpful in evaluating proposals for the United States.

    1. Those European countries also have very selective admission policies for their universities, and “tracked” secondary education that determines whether you’re bound for college at an early age. That would never be tolerated in America. With real admission standards in place, the student bodies in our universities would be grossly disproportionately Asian and Jewish, with nearly all of the rest upper-middle-class and wealthy whites. Just think of how bad the football and basketball teams would be.

      1. Those European countries also have very selective admission policies for their universities, and “tracked” secondary education that determines whether you’re bound for college at an early age.

        ^ This. It’s much harder for the dirty poor folk to get into college in Europe. But in many places, those upper-to-upper-middle class students who do get in don’t have to pay.

      2. Beyond selective meritocratic admissions, European universities have no big sports. That would also be tough for most Americans to accept, since the average Podunk State supporter, alumn or not, cares much more about “the team” than about any academic program.

        1. University sports are also a major affirmative action diversity program.

    2. And yet the US is the still the most popular destination for those European students who can afford it!

      Also, Europe tends to have quite rigid tiers in education. Only certain students are allowed to go to college, most end up going to trade schools or into an apprenticeship. But in the US it’s considered child abuse if not every student can go to college.

  15. the four-year degree model is so antiquated and filled with so much fluff, as a taxpayer the thought of being force to prop it up is outrageous.

    1. What do you know about modern science and engineering degrees?

  16. “”You have no right to someone else’s labor and time.””

    You know else had a right to someone’s labor and time?

    1. Unless you have darker skin, more ovaries, or a more dysfunctional family.

  17. There’s a non-statist way to address this: everyone just stop paying on their student loans.

  18. Bernie: “Government must pay for the tuition of Rich Kids going to Harvard!”

    Seriously, that’s what all these Democrat proposals are about. Pay for the children of the rich to go to top schools. Now that the Democrats have kicked the working class out of their party, the only demographic left to pander to are the Identitarians and Affluent White Liberals. Free Harvard Education is a subsity for the latter.

  19. “One Georgetown University study, for example, finds that a bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a lifetime, which tells us that college is often a pretty good investment.”

    You see these figures put out all the time. According to a quick Google search for the average annual cost of public college in the US, the average cost of a 4 year degree is $95,560. If you invested that money & got the historical rate of the S&P 500 of 9.8%, you’d have $6.4 million at 67 (assuming starting at 22 and going for 45 years). Or, to put it another way, ending with $2.8 million after 45 years on an investment of $95,560 would indicate a interest rate of 7.8%. Ok investment I guess, but not really outstanding or even what I’d describe as “pretty good”.

    1. ^+1
      The surveys are typical “gee, look what you get!”, lacking any sort of context at all.

  20. Elementary school is free and I don’t see anyone calling that a scam. How is free university so different? Both involve students, teachers, classrooms, books etc.

    1. It has to do with a distinction that used to be made between basic, secondary, and higher education.

      But I’ll say it:

      Elementary School is a scam. They don’t teach anything there you couldn’t get an eleven-year-old to understand in about six hours.

      1. They don’t teach anything there you couldn’t get an eleven-year-old to understand in about six hours.

        Assuming he had learned to read and do basic arithmetic, probably.

        1. You can learn ‘wax on wax off,’ the improvised karate lessons in The Karate Kid, in a couple of minutes. Takes years to master. Like tail recursion or something tricky like that.

          1. Oh, isn’t that clever!
            No, it’s stupid.

            1. It’s also a lie. I managed to master wax on wax off in less than a week. I’m still working on tail recursion.

    2. Considering that colleges keep having to dumb down curriculums for remedial students and that these places are essentially 13th-16th grade by now, you’re probably on to something.

    3. mtrueman
      June.28.2019 at 3:17 pm
      “Elementary school is free and I don’t see anyone calling that a scam.”

      It’s a scam, and you’re an idiot.

    4. You make a good point though. All of us railing against free college should also be advocating the termination of public education in general. I certainly do.

      1. “I certainly do.”

        But the candidate you vote for certainly doesn’t.

        1. Did I say I voted?

    5. Elementary school is free and I don’t see anyone calling that a scam.

      The US has nearly the highest per student expenditures of all developed countries yet only gets mediocre results. Of course it’s a scam.

      How is free university so different? Both involve students, teachers, classrooms, books etc.

      Because the US has pays more than double per university student than countries like Germany and France pay. On top of that, most of those university educations are completely useless and would hurt students badly financially even if they were completely free.

      Public education in the US is a scam because it’s overpriced and ineffective. And the higher the educational level is, the more overpriced and the more useless it becomes.

      1. “Public education in the US is a scam because it’s overpriced and ineffective. ”

        I still don’t see any politicians calling for an end to public education, scam or not. You can spend more than France and Germany combined but if the students aren’t up to the challenge, it won’t help. Americans seem to think that throwing money at a problem guarantees an happy outcome. It’s rarely the case.

  21. AOC makes $174k/yr + gold-plated benefits and can’t pay off her student loans? In my eyes, she just keeps getting dumber and dumber.

    1. Will she ever reach a point at which she can get no dumber, or, to malaprop, is it turtles all the way down?

  22. Perhaps if the woke, progressive colleges didn’t charge an arm and a leg, there wouldn’t be so much college debt. Or if the big sports schools didn’t have to hire coaches who make 10 times as much as the dean.

  23. […] Also helping to expose the economic lunacy that is Bernie Sanders’s policy proposals is David …. […]

  24. So this tenured idiot is on board to be one of Bernie’s economic advisors! He might put her in charge of campaign financing. Then we are sure to see Bernie buried under his own BS forever more.

  25. How about Cancel All Debt? Sounds like a great plan to me. Wait… let my buy a big house, a couple of cars and a yacht (on credit) before we implement the plan.

    1. Aaaaaaah, now we’re getting somewhere. Incidentally, Mr. Buttigieg currently holds $133,000 in college debt. No wonder he sees student loan debt as such a serious problem. You watch, pretty soon he’ll move from his current refinancing plan to Warren’s total forgiveness plan.

      1. “”Mr. Buttigieg currently holds $133,000 in college debt. “”

        I wonder why. Doesn’t he have a GI Bill?

  26. Anyone remember what Reason’s position on the bank bailouts was?

  27. This is just a straight-up wealth transfer of taxpayer money to a staunchly Democrat voting bloc: the college/university administrators and professors.
    The Democrats are now blatantly buying votes with taxpayer money. The time to go Galt is now. Let them rob each other.

    1. Yeah, but unfortunately, that seems to be what most political ideas are about these days. It’s, “vote for me and I’ll give you this,” and, “oh that’s a right too. Well make sure the other people who disagree pay for it.” When both parties shamelessly boast their plans of theft and control, politics becomes a race to the bottom where the winners enslave the losers to their schemes of “equality” and “redistribution.”

  28. You wrote a good article for students…
    Sarkari Naukri

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