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Old 19th November 2020, 04:08 PM   #361
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Guy goes to the bank to get a small business loan. He's got an idea for a do-it-yourself bakery, where he supplies the ingredients, the bowls, the ovens, and the instructions, and people can come bake their own cookies and whatnot. He manages to sell the bank on that idea, so they loan him $100K to start it up.

Guy spends that money to get up and running... but the idea just doesn't take off. People don't seem all that interested in traveling to his shop to do something they can do in their own homes just as easily. Guy's business goes bust.

He goes back to the bank and says "That didn't work out, and I can't pay the loan back".

Is it reasonable for the bank to say "Oh, it didn't turn out the way you thought it would, so you don't have to pay back the money you borrowed. It's okay, we forgive the loan"?
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:13 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If they cannot demonstrate the value of their degrees, how do colleges justify the prices they charge for them?
They don't justify it. I suspect it's a form of moral hazard at play. Because student loans are so ubiquitous and easy to get, there's no need for colleges to keep their prices down. They can raise their prices so that they make more, because it (theoretically) doesn't harm the direct consumer of their service, since that person (the student) isn't the one footing the bill (much of the time).

FWIW, the same thing happens in health care. Because health insurance exists, there's a disconnect between the supplier of the good (the health provider) and the consumer of the good (the patient). The existence of a middleman, especially when the real cost of the service is pooled and transformed for the consumer, creates a moral hazard for the supplier to increase their costs. The consumer is sheltered from the real cost of the good.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:15 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I know it is. Just paying my in state public tuition was a struggle for me. Who am I kidding. Paying my rent while I was in college was a struggle. I was always working at least 30 hours a week and going to school at the same time.

Really was the hardest time of my life.
Yep. State school, student loans, working nearly full time while going to school, and still living off of ramen and spaghetti. Left school with $65K in debt, which took me 20 years to pay off.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:15 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Guy goes to the bank to get a small business loan. He's got an idea for a do-it-yourself bakery, where he supplies the ingredients, the bowls, the ovens, and the instructions, and people can come bake their own cookies and whatnot. He manages to sell the bank on that idea, so they loan him $100K to start it up.

Guy spends that money to get up and running... but the idea just doesn't take off. People don't seem all that interested in traveling to his shop to do something they can do in their own homes just as easily. Guy's business goes bust.

He goes back to the bank and says "That didn't work out, and I can't pay the loan back".

Is it reasonable for the bank to say "Oh, it didn't turn out the way you thought it would, so you don't have to pay back the money you borrowed. It's okay, we forgive the loan"?
Guy can pretty easily sell the assets he acquired for the business to pay an attorney to take him through bankruptcy and get rid of the loan. His credit takes a hit.

It is less easy for a student with no assets or income to do the same. Lightly used degrees don't catch nearly as many bids at auction as lightly used ovens.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:19 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
And that holds true for some degree tracks at some Universities and Colleges.

Some colleges/Unis are not elite overall but have specific programs and degree tracks that are. Students in those tracks tend to have high dropout rates - but those who make it through are recognized for having the right degree from the right place for that field of study. The dropout rate can actually be part of the allure, as it signals difficulty.
The matriculation rate for am actuarial fellow is something like 36% of those who begin taking exams. I think it's around 50% for an associate.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:23 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Stop putting the blame for this on the students seeking an education, instead of the financial institutions preying on them. Just as broke students defaulting was a problem that needed a solution beyond the typical rules, so too does runaway cost inflation buoyed by debts that can't be wiped through bankruptcy.

The solution's simple: wipe existing debt, and going forward allow for bankruptcy to default on student loans after 10 years or another reasonable time limit.

Maybe the kids should have known better than to let things get this out of control, but the banks definitely should have. If their parasitic asses fold, they fold. **** 'em. Let a more responsible company pick through their corpse.
You know that in this case, the "parasitic bank" is the federal government, right?
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:24 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
If the atmosphere of 2020 has any correlation, that would depend on their socioeconomic position. The poor should not be denied the opportunity to drown in debt for any educational or artistic endeavor, no matter it's value to their future earnings or society.
Can't tell if serious...
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:32 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Sounds like something that could be done as an experiment, on a segment of the population. Outright forgive the debts for one group, do nothing for another, and try different amelioration programs on the others. Then tote up the data, analyze the results, and see what worked best.
Conceptually, yes. Ethically, however, it presents some significant problems.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:41 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I think most people go to college for financial reasons. They want a good job to get ahead. I went to college thinking I would become a lawyer and perhaps enter politics. But I also wanted money so I could buy things. You don't think that is high on the list why people attend college? People get a degree to separate themselves from the riff raff. To prosper.

Or do you think this isn't true?
Honestly, I went to college because that's what you do after high school. I got a BS in Applied Mathematics, because I was good at math. I got a Masters in Applied Mathematics, because graduate school is what you do after your Bachelor's for hard sciences. I had a vague idea of going into cryptanalysis because it sounded cool... but mostly just accidentally wandered my way into a class taught by an actuary who thought I had potential.

I know a LOT of people who went to college for the same reason. Some of them came out of it with jobs and careers, some came out of it with spouses. Some came out of it with debt and a basic 9-to-5er.
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Old 19th November 2020, 05:15 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Conceptually, yes. Ethically, however, it presents some significant problems.
Really? How so? Are any of those involved worse off than if the experiment were not conducted? No. I appreciate that everyone would prefer to be in the group that gets its entire debt entirely forgiven, but that's not possible. The ones who make it into the "worst" group of the experiment are still no worse off than they were before, so they will simply have to conquer their jealousy. Or refuse to participate, which is of course their right. Nobody has lost anything from this.
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Old 19th November 2020, 05:18 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Honestly, I went to college because that's what you do after high school. I got a BS in Applied Mathematics, because I was good at math. I got a Masters in Applied Mathematics, because graduate school is what you do after your Bachelor's for hard sciences. I had a vague idea of going into cryptanalysis because it sounded cool... but mostly just accidentally wandered my way into a class taught by an actuary who thought I had potential.

I know a LOT of people who went to college for the same reason. Some of them came out of it with jobs and careers, some came out of it with spouses. Some came out of it with debt and a basic 9-to-5er.
It's amazing how much human tragedy results from people doing things they assume they're supposed to, without examining it critically. You're supposed to buy a house, get married, have kids. And that's why we have so many bankruptcies, bad mortgages, a sky high divorce rate, and class after class of ugly, ugly children.
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Old 19th November 2020, 07:46 PM   #372
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
You know that in this case, the "parasitic bank" is the federal government, right?
You know that if you have a federal student loan, you don't actually pay the government directly, right?
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Old 19th November 2020, 07:58 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Honestly, I went to college because that's what you do after high school. I got a BS in Applied Mathematics, because I was good at math. I got a Masters in Applied Mathematics, because graduate school is what you do after your Bachelor's for hard sciences. I had a vague idea of going into cryptanalysis because it sounded cool... but mostly just accidentally wandered my way into a class taught by an actuary who thought I had potential.

I know a LOT of people who went to college for the same reason. Some of them came out of it with jobs and careers, some came out of it with spouses. Some came out of it with debt and a basic 9-to-5er.
You were smarter than me then. My degree in PoliSci qualifies me to vote and teach.

But I don't buy that was your motive. It might be that college was an expectation but that is because you wanted a career.
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Old 20th November 2020, 12:39 AM   #374
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Reading this really made me miss LossLeader. Divorce lawyer, sure, but still a lawyer.

If a case study will help, I can present mine. Similar timeframe to JoeMorgue and TragicMonkey, I graduated high school and went to college. Small state school, apparently famed for producing teachers for at least a century, I had great grades from high school being as I never needed to study and had scholarships covering tuition. College is harder than high school. My grades dropped steadily, scholarships fell away, but in just a couple years I'd have a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology and I'd be able to take the not-quite-perfect for what I wanted degree to another state university to get a Masters in Forensic Anthropology and eventually make money, right? So I took out a few small loans, totalling less than 10k for undergraduate.

With my shiny new diploma pronouncing me a graduate, I got into the other state university, applying as a graduate student because, well, I'm a graduate. I had to take undergraduate courses because the university didn't think too much of my degree, but now I was paying graduate prices for those undergraduate courses. The few higher-level courses I took I didn't do well at all in---because I still don't know how to study beyond eventually figuring out 'cramming'. I abandoned that venture after two semesters with 20k more loan debt, the HepB vaccine series, and training in blood-borne pathogens.

I then threw the newspaper for seven years, and another five after cancer ended the newspaper 'career' in call centers. I'd still love to get into something *remotely* relating to my degree, but (I think I read it here?) even if I spent YET MORE money on getting certified as a medical laboratory technician, no employer---while they will demand that I have that certification---will accept it as knowledge in the field. They all will pay me absolute peanuts while they 'train' me in what I need to know to be a medical laboratory technician.

I am on an income-driven repayment, which results in a payment of $0/month, but I'm also watching my total student loans rise steadily while this happens. If I do get a job that pays me something, I'm going to have a LOT more to repay than I took out, because I couldn't start paying it immediately. In 25 years, when I'm supposed to be thinking about retirement, the loan could be forgiven. I'm never going to get anywhere. I have no future. This loan will sit here, growing, for my entire working life. I'd love to have a job that pays more that immediate expenses, but they're going to want a recent graduate over someone with fifteen years of rust.
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Old 20th November 2020, 06:05 AM   #375
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I think there's a bit of a difference in this one though. Forgiving those loans means that the government loses income... which means they need to make it up some other way... which means that everyone else gets taxed.

Additionally, this isn't introducing a new accommodation where none existed before. There are all kinds of loans out there, for all kinds of reasons. Many people have taken on loans for very good reasons (I once took on a loan so I could pay my dad's back property taxes so he didn't lose his house). Part of taking a loan is agreeing to pay it back. For those people who have been responsible individuals and have made good fiscal decisions, this is a bit of a slap in the face. It's a perverse incentive.

There was a similar situation back on 2008 o so, when the housing market crashed. There were all kinds of things available to provide relief for people who could no longer afford to pay their mortgages. But for those of us who did not overspend on our houses, who didn't buy much more than we could afford... we were screwed. We made responsible, good financial decisions, and we were left with the value of our house upside down and still having to pay our mortgage. Those people who went way overboard with their houses and got into more than they could handle, well, they walked out of it better off.

There's a point where rewarding people for having made bad decisions is really just not a good idea.

I get that education is a bit more complicated, but still. Nee to make sure we're not introducing a negative incentive for good decisions here.
I hear you. I'm one of those who made mostly good decisions and wound up upside down and still having to pay.

Though if we're going to talk about moral hazard and avoiding rewarding people for bad decisions, I'd prefer to start at the top. The very financial crisis causing people to need relief was caused by bad decisions that created multiple times more harm than someone who got into a loan that couldn't withstand a bad turn. And yet the people and institutions that made those decisions got rewarded with bailouts that similarly dwarfed mortgage relief.

Perhaps you're with me on that one, I won't accuse you of being inconsistent. I just don't want to be pennywise and poundfoolish.
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Old 20th November 2020, 11:14 AM   #376
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Thanks for sharing SGM. It's good to get some other perspectives because I am sure we all tend to lean more weight towards the few we personally know. Just going to add some thoughts/questions since it would help me understand more.


Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
I had to take undergraduate courses because the university didn't think too much of my degree, but now I was paying graduate prices for those undergraduate courses.

Was this caused by certain credits not transferring so you were required to retake basically matching courses? Or due to counselor error in your last school that courses you took were more or less useless for pursuing that specific degree?


Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
I'd still love to get into something *remotely* relating to my degree, but (I think I read it here?) even if I spent YET MORE money on getting certified as a medical laboratory technician, no employer---while they will demand that I have that certification---will accept it as knowledge in the field. They all will pay me absolute peanuts while they 'train' me in what I need to know to be a medical laboratory technician.
I noticed throughout my school life that each level had a common theme. Forget everything you learned in X, we're going to teach you how we do it the right way here. Elementary -> Middle School -> High School -> College -> Job. It was never a throw everything out the window type of thing but it does seem like a very inefficient way to go about things.


Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
I am on an income-driven repayment, which results in a payment of $0/month, but I'm also watching my total student loans rise steadily while this happens. If I do get a job that pays me something, I'm going to have a LOT more to repay than I took out, because I couldn't start paying it immediately. In 25 years, when I'm supposed to be thinking about retirement, the loan could be forgiven. I'm never going to get anywhere. I have no future. This loan will sit here, growing, for my entire working life. I'd love to have a job that pays more that immediate expenses, but they're going to want a recent graduate over someone with fifteen years of rust.

Do you think if you had gotten into the income-driven repayment plan much earlier you would have a better outlook? Are there any specific things that are/were unattainable due to the loan balance(not payment amounts) like the opportunity for home ownership, car loans etc that you otherwise would have been able to afford?

The HILITE is one of those things that I feel makes a lot of financial help services a problem that discourages people. I know someone this year who actively earned less on purpose because he didn't want to lose his insurance subsidy. It was striking to me because it wasn't a fringe case where he would straddle the line and lose more than gain, but HEAVILY in favor of pushing for the earnings vs keeping the benefits. He was actively holding himself back due to just his mindset. Have to wonder how much of that is also in play for college loan debt.
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Old 20th November 2020, 03:56 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post

Do you think if you had gotten into the income-driven repayment plan much earlier you would have a better outlook? Are there any specific things that are/were unattainable due to the loan balance(not payment amounts) like the opportunity for home ownership, car loans etc that you otherwise would have been able to afford?
I know this is directed at SGM, but I feel that a clarification about income driven repayment plans is in order.

My daughter is on the income driven repayment plan. It does not freeze your loan balances, it just reduces or eliminates the requirement of payments. Interest is still charged. So the principal balance will increase each month.

Now, if you are on such a plan you can still make payments if you are able. That might at least prevent the balance from increasing. (Might help your credit score too.)
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Old 20th November 2020, 09:57 PM   #378
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Here's a Cory Doctorow Twitter thread on the subject:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1329869100508581888.html
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Old 20th November 2020, 11:02 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by TomB View Post
My daughter is on the income driven repayment plan. It does not freeze your loan balances, it just reduces or eliminates the requirement of payments. Interest is still charged. So the principal balance will increase each month.

Now, if you are on such a plan you can still make payments if you are able. That might at least prevent the balance from increasing. (Might help your credit score too.)
That is one of those things where I like a portion of the Sanders plan in the way it lowers interest to something competitive. But I wasn't under any assumption the interest wasn't building during the lower payments. I just wanted some added experience as to how it held back certain life advancements due to the debt amount.

I am not aware of any other loan terms outside college that allow an up to 0$ loan payment that over 20 years is erased. Sure bankruptcy allows for such an instance at a short timeframe but would lack the ability to build up such a balance to begin with in general.

For example i know someone that had a balance over 6 figures that halved it to 5 figures with on time payments and stopped making payments. They now owe over 3x their original amount for non payment over 10+ years and are being sued. They are not poor but their options are bankruptcy or settlement. They have no 0$ payment until a clock runs out option. Is your daughter hindered in the same way? Would the actual amount owed hurt her prospects of advancing in life beyond a scaled increase in payments if her income rose?
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Old 21st November 2020, 12:17 AM   #380
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Thanks for sharing SGM. It's good to get some other perspectives because I am sure we all tend to lean more weight towards the few we personally know. Just going to add some thoughts/questions since it would help me understand more.





Was this caused by certain credits not transferring so you were required to retake basically matching courses? Or due to counselor error in your last school that courses you took were more or less useless for pursuing that specific degree?




I noticed throughout my school life that each level had a common theme. Forget everything you learned in X, we're going to teach you how we do it the right way here. Elementary -> Middle School -> High School -> College -> Job. It was never a throw everything out the window type of thing but it does seem like a very inefficient way to go about things.





Do you think if you had gotten into the income-driven repayment plan much earlier you would have a better outlook? Are there any specific things that are/were unattainable due to the loan balance(not payment amounts) like the opportunity for home ownership, car loans etc that you otherwise would have been able to afford?

The HILITE is one of those things that I feel makes a lot of financial help services a problem that discourages people. I know someone this year who actively earned less on purpose because he didn't want to lose his insurance subsidy. It was striking to me because it wasn't a fringe case where he would straddle the line and lose more than gain, but HEAVILY in favor of pushing for the earnings vs keeping the benefits. He was actively holding himself back due to just his mindset. Have to wonder how much of that is also in play for college loan debt.
My counselors felt that biology, though I'm not sure exactly why cellular and molecular with a minor in chemistry was going to be closer to forensic anthropology, than, say, anatomy and physiology would be. The next university did not agree and insisted I take the intro courses.

I've not actually seemed to have much issue getting things like credit cards and car loans, it's mainly the mindset that I have this looming presence always lurking above me. I'm also not sure the income-based repayment plan is really helping with the overall debt, because while it leaves me the money to at least mostly pay paycheck to paycheck, I can feel that looming presence getting larger. It also means although I remind myself frequently in the first few months of reapplying, I will still forget for next year and only be reminded when the late notices roll in.

Without student loans my only debt is my car, and that's less than 10k. My credit took a hit when a boyfriend helped me max out the card and not be able to make any payments, but that's all paid off now.
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Old 25th November 2020, 12:10 AM   #381
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In order to avoid being the thread killer, I'd like to address the earlier question of, would cancelling the loans make a difference in my life? Maybe. I haven't really felt any inhibition from car loans or credit cards and such, I try not to incur debts at all if I can help it. I definitely am stopped from even considering getting the certifications I'd need to get my foot in the door, because it's more debt. I could probably do it at a community college, so I wouldn't have to travel too far or live on campus, but it's *more*. If I had a chance of paying it back after getting the certification, even if I didn't get a lab job, I would. However, sending medical field workers and say, teachers, to do manual labor for the sake of 'paying back society' is purely vindictive and doesn't make good use of the very training society paid for them to get. It's exactly the same as what I've done with my education, only with it being forced on me instead of it being due to my own failure at finding employment.
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Old 25th November 2020, 06:16 AM   #382
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
In order to avoid being the thread killer, I'd like to address the earlier question of, would cancelling the loans make a difference in my life? Maybe. I haven't really felt any inhibition from car loans or credit cards and such, I try not to incur debts at all if I can help it. I definitely am stopped from even considering getting the certifications I'd need to get my foot in the door, because it's more debt. I could probably do it at a community college, so I wouldn't have to travel too far or live on campus, but it's *more*. If I had a chance of paying it back after getting the certification, even if I didn't get a lab job, I would. However, sending medical field workers and say, teachers, to do manual labor for the sake of 'paying back society' is purely vindictive and doesn't make good use of the very training society paid for them to get. It's exactly the same as what I've done with my education, only with it being forced on me instead of it being due to my own failure at finding employment.
For Christ's sake (expression intended, there was a man who had ideals about public service) I'm very, very sorry I suggested the possibility of anybody lifting their smallest finger part-time on a few Saturday mornings to do some charitable public work in exchange for that public's largesse in forgiving a fortune in debt. How cruel of me! It sullies the dignity of beggars who are owed special treatment the rest of us don't get. I was certainly wrong and I do apologize. Instead of just forgiving all that bad debt the taxpayers should award fifty times the debt as a grant to each individual, give them titles of nobility, and award them medals honoring them for their work. So long as that work wasn't anything horrifically undignified like doing anything for the collective good.

The only thing worse than extending charity is demonstrating gratitude. Let's agree to never do either, because they upset people.
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:55 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
My counselors felt that biology, though I'm not sure exactly why cellular and molecular with a minor in chemistry was going to be closer to forensic anthropology, than, say, anatomy and physiology would be. The next university did not agree and insisted I take the intro courses.

I've not actually seemed to have much issue getting things like credit cards and car loans, it's mainly the mindset that I have this looming presence always lurking above me. I'm also not sure the income-based repayment plan is really helping with the overall debt, because while it leaves me the money to at least mostly pay paycheck to paycheck, I can feel that looming presence getting larger. It also means although I remind myself frequently in the first few months of reapplying, I will still forget for next year and only be reminded when the late notices roll in.

Without student loans my only debt is my car, and that's less than 10k. My credit took a hit when a boyfriend helped me max out the card and not be able to make any payments, but that's all paid off now.
How do you feel about your student loans as a business investment? Once you get your degree and pursue a career in a field that requires the degree, are you looking forward to returns that will be profitable to both you and your lender?
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Old 25th November 2020, 11:41 AM   #384
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
With the renewed conversation starting with Biden's incoming administration, what do you all feel about the push for 50k in student loan forgiveness being proposed by the progressive side of the party? To be clear this is being advertised as being possible by executive order, not any act of the legislative branch.

I'll start off by saying I hate both aspects of this. Such a large fiscal action by Presidential decree seems like a very bad idea. It does not seem to be a good use of political capital at all. I could be ignorant but I can't think of anything that matches that amount attempted in the past by a President.

Beyond the mechanism, I just think it is terrible policy. Helping those most capable and financially able to incur the costs does not even seem like a progressive idea to me. None of the purported benefits seem to amount to much beyond increased costs of those that weren't financially prudent. The attempt to attach this to racial inequality are especially weak, not to get into the incredibly stupid trolley meme making the rounds.

Of all the progressive policies being put forward, this might be the one I am most adamantly against. To be clear I would not personally be affected, as I only went to community college for a few semesters and incurred no debt, but the very idea is just beyond my understanding. The broad brush approach is the worst idea, and the framing of it as most benefiting minorities is disingenuous at best.

So.. thoughts?
The question in my mind with cancelling student debt, or free college education of any sort, is how is it going to work fiscally? We simply cannot keep running the government by increasing debt forever. A point will be reached where the government will have to choose between default and hyperinflation (sort of a would you prefer to be hanged or beheaded type of decision). While Biden could maybe cancel student debt by executive order, he cannot raise taxes that way. Getting any kind of tax increase through a GOP controlled Senate will be just about impossible. That is going to place some limits on a whole lot of stuff that the progressive wing of the Democrats want to do. Even with a 50/50 Senate, Republicans will only need to turn one Democratic senator to win a vote.

Last edited by CORed; 25th November 2020 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:13 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
For Christ's sake (expression intended, there was a man who had ideals about public service) I'm very, very sorry I suggested the possibility of anybody lifting their smallest finger part-time on a few Saturday mornings to do some charitable public work in exchange for that public's largesse in forgiving a fortune in debt. How cruel of me! It sullies the dignity of beggars who are owed special treatment the rest of us don't get. I was certainly wrong and I do apologize. Instead of just forgiving all that bad debt the taxpayers should award fifty times the debt as a grant to each individual, give them titles of nobility, and award them medals honoring them for their work. So long as that work wasn't anything horrifically undignified like doing anything for the collective good.

The only thing worse than extending charity is demonstrating gratitude. Let's agree to never do either, because they upset people.
The problem is *how*. My classmate at college went through to become a teacher. His service was to work in a small-town public school after he got his teaching degree. There's nothing vindictive about that, he gets his service done and gets more experience, and he pays back the society. He doesn't wreck his health doing something piddly and entirely unconnected to his field of study to satisfy the sadistic urges of someone who wants to see him suffer for the help he received.


Service is fine. One-fits-all manual labor for everything from medicine to computer science to business is beyond stupid. If anything, my delivering the paper for barely more than it cost to live while delivering the paper, should have counted because the public benefited! That I think is the core issue with your "public service" proposition, while they're walking highways picking up trash, they aren't working to pay rent, they're not gaining experience that will help them in the field of study, they're not making connections with fellow experts in the field that will help them later, they're..... burning calories. Service should accomplish *something* or it's nothing more than busywork.

To put a fine point on it, it's a waste of time that doesn't actually serve.
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:21 PM   #386
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Almost everything that is taught in school is what's called a "perishable skill", meaning that, just like the fact that food is "perishable" because it decays while waiting to be used, one's job skills decay after graduation if one isn't in a job using them. So this "public service" nonsense would amount to a national requirement that the most highly educated/trained people wait to give their skills some time to decay before eventually finally being free to enter the work force as inferior workers.
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:32 PM   #387
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Having worked minimum-wage or less jobs for years at a time, I think there's also a factor of relative value. Even my more modest sum would, if worked at minimum wage, require lifetimes to pay back weekend by weekend. Is what has been spent on my education, worth so little in the estimation of those who fronted the money?

Prestige's question is a good one. Had I not been priced out of the education market, I might have reached a level of employment that would have paid back the loans in only a few years. At this point, having seen no return at all on investment, doe you see why I'm reluctant to risk more?
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:43 PM   #388
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For ****'s sake, can you people not read? (Side note: perhaps that's why your degrees haven't been v. handy. Worth a look into that...) I didn't propose an equivalent dollar-for-dollar employment as picking up trash, then deducting those earnings from the debt. I suggested a token (I repeat: token)... did you get that? TOKEN gesture of occasionally on their off time doing something public-minded such as picking up litter. And I'm deeply, deeply sorry to have made the suggestion because I now realize that the fancy degrees (that don't enable someone to make a living wage or pay their debt) makes people far, far too good for such menial work. People with fancy degrees are simply better than everyone else, even if they are penniless debtors because of those degrees. In my haste to urge the tiniest gesture of good will towards the public I overlooked the fact that degree-bearing debtors are superior beings far above the lowly requirements of work.

Which means the optimal situation would be to do nothing, and let them remain unemployed or underemployed, that they not be soiled with the horror of labor. Sounds like that would be the best solution all around.

Again, I apologize for suggesting public resources expended on individual behalf should in any way even remotely at a tiny fraction of the value received be acknowledged. When you visit your parents at Thanksgiving and they feed you an expensive meal they worked so hard on, do you set the table if they ask you to? Of course not! You throw the plates at them and scream how dare they, how dare they, how dare they ask you do such menial work? Those bastards! You are right to react in fury, and flee, weeping in rage, to the bedroom they'll let you live in rent-free because god knows they learned their lesson about asking anything for that!
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:49 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
The question in my mind with cancelling student debt, or free college education of any sort, is how is it going to work fiscally? We simply cannot keep running the government by increasing debt forever. A point will be reached where the government will have to choose between default and hyperinflation (sort of a would you prefer to be hanged or beheaded type of decision). While Biden could maybe cancel student debt by executive order, he cannot raise taxes that way. Getting any kind of tax increase through a GOP controlled Senate will be just about impossible. That is going to place some limits on a whole lot of stuff that the progressive wing of the Democrats want to do. Even with a 50/50 Senate, Republicans will only need to turn one Democratic senator to win a vote.
Most of the progressive agenda involves raising taxes. If they donít win the GA runoffs, forget it for now. None of it is happening without a D majority Senate, and even then itís probably not first term agenda item, and even then Biden isnít a progressive anyway and Iím sure itís not a priority for him.

Biden still has a massive job in front of him regardless. Especially if they lose to a R in GA. Heíll likely be focusing on a recession and pandemic first, hopefully healthcare and maybe fixing the family separations at the border next. Thatís a lot right there.
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Old 25th November 2020, 09:34 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
For ****'s sake, can you people not read? (Side note: perhaps that's why your degrees haven't been v. handy. Worth a look into that...) I didn't propose an equivalent dollar-for-dollar employment as picking up trash, then deducting those earnings from the debt. I suggested a token (I repeat: token)... did you get that? TOKEN gesture of occasionally on their off time doing something public-minded such as picking up litter. And I'm deeply, deeply sorry to have made the suggestion because I now realize that the fancy degrees (that don't enable someone to make a living wage or pay their debt) makes people far, far too good for such menial work. People with fancy degrees are simply better than everyone else, even if they are penniless debtors because of those degrees. In my haste to urge the tiniest gesture of good will towards the public I overlooked the fact that degree-bearing debtors are superior beings far above the lowly requirements of work.

Which means the optimal situation would be to do nothing, and let them remain unemployed or underemployed, that they not be soiled with the horror of labor. Sounds like that would be the best solution all around.

Again, I apologize for suggesting public resources expended on individual behalf should in any way even remotely at a tiny fraction of the value received be acknowledged. When you visit your parents at Thanksgiving and they feed you an expensive meal they worked so hard on, do you set the table if they ask you to? Of course not! You throw the plates at them and scream how dare they, how dare they, how dare they ask you do such menial work? Those bastards! You are right to react in fury, and flee, weeping in rage, to the bedroom they'll let you live in rent-free because god knows they learned their lesson about asking anything for that!
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Old 25th November 2020, 10:30 PM   #391
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I'll try explaining one last time. Take the token gesture of needing to pull pins from a carpet or nails from some boards. Sure, you can run a magnet over the carpet for a long time or take a hammer to the nails to pull them out, but you've just bought yourself a MRI machine. You spent a LOT of money on it! Surely it can repay you a little by pulling the metal from the carpet and boards really quick, right? As long as it doesn't feel too full of itself.

It isn't about entitlement, or superiority, it's about using the tool for what it's good for. While you're sticking nails to the supermagnet, you're not taking scans of sick people. You also just might damage your shiny new MRI machine, and then what of all the money you spent on it? People already do service. Like my teacher classmate, service is best done along the lines of what the money went to pay for.
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:50 AM   #392
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How about a work-study type arrangement, work-repayment, that colleges can promote for recent graduates as an alternative to an internship or traditional graduate studies.
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Old 26th November 2020, 01:06 AM   #393
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Why stuck with only proposals that inherently pretend that the work a graduate actually studied for doesn't count as work?
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Old 26th November 2020, 05:11 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Why stuck with only proposals that inherently pretend that the work a graduate actually studied for doesn't count as work?
Because society should punish poor people for being poor. And the most appropriate punishment is making it harder for them to become rich...
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Old 26th November 2020, 05:40 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Why stuck with only proposals that inherently pretend that the work a graduate actually studied for doesn't count as work?
Sorry if reality hurts feelings but no career field counts as work until you can get paid to do it. The "pretense" is when someone believes they are too good to do work, on the basis of being qualified to do something "better"...that nobody wants them to do.
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Old 26th November 2020, 06:02 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
I'll try explaining one last time. Take the token gesture of needing to pull pins from a carpet or nails from some boards. Sure, you can run a magnet over the carpet for a long time or take a hammer to the nails to pull them out, but you've just bought yourself a MRI machine. You spent a LOT of money on it! Surely it can repay you a little by pulling the metal from the carpet and boards really quick, right? As long as it doesn't feel too full of itself.

It isn't about entitlement, or superiority, it's about using the tool for what it's good for. While you're sticking nails to the supermagnet, you're not taking scans of sick people. You also just might damage your shiny new MRI machine, and then what of all the money you spent on it? People already do service. Like my teacher classmate, service is best done along the lines of what the money went to pay for.
Better a tool never be used than be employed, even temporarily, for a baser use, eh? PhD hands must never do dishes, they'd prefer to eat off the floor.

It's not like I haven't been there. I graduated college with a useless degree, in debt. I worked minimum wage jobs and had multiple periods of no job at all. I scrimped and lived unpleasant circumstances. I went back to school for a more useful though humbler degree, came out with more debt, had to take jobs that weren't great, and had another spell of unemployment. Then finally at one company I moved from a lowly position to a better one. Because I swallowed my pride and did that lowly job well and without complaining that I was too good for it. From there I moved from lower positions to higher ones, sometimes between different companies. Sometimes the work I'm assigned is unpleasant, sometimes it's far more menial than my talents are required for. I do it anyway because the work needs to be done, it doesn't care who does it, and if I'm being paid to do it I'm not too good for it.

I'm in no way opposed to the forgiveness of student loan debt. I don't expect such a forgiveness to be an even exchange of labor per dollar. I just thought it would be a nice thing if the recipients did something, some small token gesture of appreciation for the special favor. But I can see I was wrong to think that because some (many?) people would rather starve while wallowing in foolish pride than do something they feel is beneath them. That seems irrational to me, as well as against the ideals of public service, community, and personal advancement in both the pragmatic and spiritual senses.

But what would I know about it? I'm just a contented, financially comfortable guy who paid off his forty thousand dollars of student loans by himself through working lowly jobs for years until he could get better ones.
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Old 26th November 2020, 06:46 AM   #397
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Pardon me for butting in but that's a stupid idea.

You defend it as being just a token, token, TOKEN effort to be completed on Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY but are overlooking the fact that new systems will need to be put in place to accredit the avenues of token efforts, to document their completion, to produce, review and consume paperwork for the accreditation and documentation, to handle appeals, to handle legal cases, to manage and administer all of this, and all of these people will need to be paid non-token sums of money to do it. Furthermore there's a whole class of parasites at the state and local government level that LOVE petty little BS requirements like this because it gives them leverage to twist their own petty little aims. Expect that in poor black areas your token task will become damned near herculean to be recognized. It's the reason America has homeless programs that cost more than just giving people homes would, and a health care system that costs more than giving everyone care. We'll waste a dollar to keep a dime from going to someone undeserving.

All to soothe your spiteful feelings that because you struggled through it, everyone else should struggle too.
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Old 26th November 2020, 07:15 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Pardon me for butting in but that's a stupid idea.

You defend it as being just a token, token, TOKEN effort to be completed on Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY but are overlooking the fact that new systems will need to be put in place to accredit the avenues of token efforts, to document their completion, to produce, review and consume paperwork for the accreditation and documentation, to handle appeals, to handle legal cases, to manage and administer all of this, and all of these people will need to be paid non-token sums of money to do it. Furthermore there's a whole class of parasites at the state and local government level that LOVE petty little BS requirements like this because it gives them leverage to twist their own petty little aims. Expect that in poor black areas your token task will become damned near herculean to be recognized. It's the reason America has homeless programs that cost more than just giving people homes would, and a health care system that costs more than giving everyone care. We'll waste a dollar to keep a dime from going to someone undeserving.
I was thinking it would be a volunteer effort, not a requirement, and therefore nothing needed to be monitored, tracked, assessed. Just show up if you're willing and pitch in, it would be nice. I vastly overestimated the spirit of public good, clearly.

Quote:
All to soothe your spiteful feelings that because you struggled through it, everyone else should struggle too.
Not at all. If that were my motivation I'd be against debt forgiveness, wouldn't I? You really cannot conceive of anybody doing anything nice for the sake of others without imagining it requires an elaborate system for control, which every part will seek to abuse and extract personal advantage from against the good of the others. You literally cannot imagine people just doing something nice for the collective good?

One of us is taking a selfish position here. I don't think it's me.
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Old 26th November 2020, 07:32 AM   #399
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I was thinking it would be a volunteer effort, not a requirement, and therefore nothing needed to be monitored, tracked, assessed. Just show up if you're willing and pitch in, it would be nice. I vastly overestimated the spirit of public good, clearly.
You've been talking about it as if it were a requirement, with all that entails. If you're backing down to just an untracked request that student loan holders maybe think about volunteering for something... okay? Why ask just them then, and not everyone?

Quote:
Not at all. If that were my motivation I'd be against debt forgiveness, wouldn't I? You really cannot conceive of anybody doing anything nice for the sake of others without imagining it requires an elaborate system for control, which every part will seek to abuse and extract personal advantage from against the good of the others. You literally cannot imagine people just doing something nice for the collective good?

One of us is taking a selfish position here. I don't think it's me.
I also worked my way out of student debt. It was a crappy situation and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, nor do I need to get all pissy about other people's debt being forgiven. It's odd that you think that's being selfish.
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Old 26th November 2020, 07:39 AM   #400
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
You've been talking about it as if it were a requirement, with all that entails. If you're backing down to just an untracked request that student loan holders maybe think about volunteering for something... okay? Why ask just them then, and not everyone?
Because not everyone is getting debts forgiven. Is the exchange of favors, out of niceness, alien to you? My parents fed and housed me when I was a kid, I certainly didn't pay them back equivalently for that but I did mow the lawn several hundred times.

Quote:
I also worked my way out of student debt. It was a crappy situation and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, nor do I need to get all pissy about other people's debt being forgiven. It's odd that you think that's being selfish.
I'm not "getting pissy". As I said several times already, including the post you responded to, I'm not against debt forgiveness. I just think it would be nice if people getting such a lovely gift from the public did something nice for the public. As thanks. Which today of all days if you're American ought not to be an alien concept!
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