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Old 17th November 2020, 08:02 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's probably time to consider whether college or other higher education beyond high school should just be free.

We don't really have an economy anymore where a normal person with just a high school degree can make a decent living, which absolutely was true in the past.
The first result of free college would be: ordinary jobs requiring postgraduate degrees.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:03 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
To me at least, the higher tuition rates are the elephant in the room. All of us thinking about what our cohort paid for college is meaningless in the current situation. The current generations, our kids and grandkids, are facing vastly higher college costs than we did.
The two phenomena (higher tuition and massive student loan debt) are not unrelated.

Why is tuition rising? Basically, because colleges are offering more costly services. Why are people willing to pay for those services? Because they are young and stupid and are spending someone else's money anyway. Someone 18 years old who has never paid rent isn't going to appreciate the difference between having 50,000 dollars in debt at the end of four year, versus having 100,000 dollars in debt at the end of four years, but he can appreciate a better student athletic center right now.

I looked into this issue a few years back, as my kid prepared to enter school, wondering what has changed that caused college costs to exceed inflation. The basic answer is administration and student services. There are more employees per student than there used to be, because there's no check on costs. The people making the decisions to spend the money are the students themselves in the form of loans. Late-stage adolescents aren't known for their long term planning ability.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:04 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The first result of free college would be: ordinary jobs requiring postgraduate degrees.
Perhaps in some areas, but not in others. Not all qualification barriers are the result of pointless gatekeeping.

But that's a good point regardless. There aren't enough "skilled labor" jobs for everyone. Perhaps it's time to consider whether unskilled labor jobs deserve to be paid more than a poverty wage.

Income inequality is often discussed in moralizing terms, that low income people don't deserve better wages and that high income people earned a their comfort. That may be personally gratifying to some, but it's no way to structure a society.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:05 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Well, the lender whose debt is being serviced is consuming in the economy, so that evens out.

The real problem is that younger generations aren't producing in the economy, which is why they aren't able to service their loans.
Absolute Nonsense. The real problem is they are not being paid well enough to service the loans.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:05 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Perhaps in some areas, but not in others. Not all qualification barriers are the result of pointless gatekeeping.
Yeah, and all we need to do to prove it is spend hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayor money while throwing ourselves upon the goodwill and nobility of for-profit corporations! Let's do that and see how it works out.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:06 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I can't see how this plan, or broader plans to deal with the crippling costs of higher education in this country, wouldn't be a boon to the economy.
If forgiving debt is such a boon to the economy, why not forgive all debt? Construction loans, auto loans, small business loans... Forgive it all. The money that was supposed to come back to the lender will instead go forward into the economy until it circles all the way around to the lender again. Where conservatives had trickle-down theory, progressives have trickle-around theory.


Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
A large, sweeping action like this might be exactly the thing needed to drag this issue to the forefront of public debate.
Whatever happened to the bully pulpit? A large, sweeping, stupid action just to get people to talk about whether or not it's a good idea seems like highly irresponsible government. If there needs to be a public debate about this, Biden can just start debating it. He doesn't need to start throwing millions and billions of dollars around. If there's one thing we've learned from the Trump presidency, it's that tweeting gets noticed and costs the taxpayers nothing. Let Biden tweet his reform plan every week, see what kind of debate he can get going *before* doing large sweeping actions with public money. And if he can't get any debate going, any support for his reforms, then maybe that's a sign that he should keep his hands off the levers of the economy.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:07 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yeah, and all we need to do to prove it is spend hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayor money while throwing ourselves upon the goodwill and nobility of for-profit corporations! Let's do that and see how it works out.
I don't think free higher education would solve the problems of income inequality alone, but it would be a good piece of a larger social reform.

It wouldn't be more of a waste of taxpayer money than just letting the rich hoard their wealth.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:08 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Absolute Nonsense. The real problem is they are not being paid well enough to service the loans.
Potato, potato.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:08 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
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I think the problem is that employers probably see intelligence to be a trait that is preferred in an employee (depending on your definition of "intelligent"... able to learn new facts, function under pressure as during exams, etc.), so they use a college degree as an indicator that yes, the employee is smart (even if the degree isn't relevant to the job at hand). Granted, not all "smart" people went to college, and not everyone who went to college is particularly "smart" (I heard Wharton produced a real moron for example), but there is probably SOME correlation there.

Otherwise, how can a prospective employee convince a prospective employer "Yes, I'm smart... I didn't just spend my youth eating lead paint chips"
Trial periods after hiring, application tests. Both would serve far better for actually determining whether the candidate can do the actual job than possession of a degree from somewhere, even if college degree programs weren't plagued with grade inflation.

Who would you rather have working for your insurance company, Candidate A who passed an insurance work test with a 95% score and did well in their week-long trial period, or Candidate B who says she has a piece of paper (you'll have to verify it) from Generic College of Somewhere that proves she got acceptable grades in several courses about German literature?
First of all, a week-long trial period doesn't sound anywhere near long enough to determine how "smart" an employee might be...If its a job with any sort of complexity, they might need to spend that much simply on the training, before the employer can really see how good the employee is.

Secondly, even if it is just a one week trial period, that is still potentially thousands of dollars spent on salary, training, paperwork, etc. All to hire someone who may be a complete moron. I could certainly understand the desire for employers to want to avoid that sort of risk.

Lastly, you make it seem like your "insurance work test vs. generic college graduate" is a mutually exclusive set of options. I suspect if you are an employer you would probably prefer both... a generic college degree (which the employer can probably check for very quickly, and which they hope would filter out at least some of the less intelligent applicants), followed by training and work test (as a verification that yes, the person is capable).
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:08 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
It seems more like a "we can do this so we should" vs's an actual need. Beyond the college grads that paid their loans, it actively hurts non college educated and trade workers that already have it rough. It seems to reward the worst actors and penalize the best, which seems like bad policy and incredibly bad in regards to future voting.



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Old 17th November 2020, 08:10 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If forgiving debt is such a boon to the economy, why not forgive all debt? Construction loans, auto loans, small business loans... Forgive it all. The money that was supposed to come back to the lender will instead go forward into the economy until it circles all the way around to the lender again. Where conservatives had trickle-down theory, progressives have trickle-around theory.

All of these types of loans are regularly forgiven when it becomes clear that the borrower can't repay them through a process known as bankruptcy, something that is uniquely denied to student loan borrowers. The student loan crisis is a unique problem because it has been historically been treated uniquely. Trying to generalize the issue is absurd.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:10 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I don't think free higher education would solve the problems of income inequality alone, but it would be a good piece of a larger social reform.

It wouldn't be more of a waste of taxpayer money than just letting the rich hoard their wealth.
Hoard their wealth? Where? Under their mattresses?
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:10 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I think the problem is that employers probably see intelligence to be a trait that is preferred in an employee (depending on your definition of "intelligent"... able to learn new facts, function under pressure as during exams, etc.), so they use a college degree as an indicator that yes, the employee is smart (even if the degree isn't relevant to the job at hand). Granted, not all "smart" people went to college, and not everyone who went to college is particularly "smart" (I heard Wharton produced a real moron for example), but there is probably SOME correlation there.

Otherwise, how can a prospective employee convince a prospective employer "Yes, I'm smart... I didn't just spend my youth eating lead paint chips", especially early in their work history. Doing well in an interview may only show the prospective employee is charismatic/able to bluff well, and employment history can be hard to follow up on.
A recruiter explained to me that a degree was how they could cover their ass if an applicant didn't perform well on the job. "He had the credentials".
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:13 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Hoard their wealth? Where? Under their mattresses?
I humbly suggest that the Devos family's fleet of yachts is not an efficient use of the nation's wealth, even factoring in the boat mechanics and barnacle scrapers that manage to pull a wage from their existence.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:19 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If forgiving debt is such a boon to the economy, why not forgive all debt? Construction loans, auto loans, small business loans... Forgive it all.
What a toddler-tantrum of an argument.

We can discuss forgiving college debt because it's public debt, it's within the federal government's authority to forgive. The other debts you mention are private debts and therefore not.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:26 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The first result of free college would be: ordinary jobs requiring postgraduate degrees.
Yep. How it nobody gets that?

If everyone goes to college... college will just be the new high school.

And yes we will have a more educated society which is a good thing, again it's basically a truism, but we aren't giving anyone any personal advantage.

And again if our goal is simply "a more educated society" then pumping money into the "Pay a huge amount of money to go sit in a special room for 2-6 years at the very beginning of your adult life" is the absolute least efficient and most pointless way of doing that.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:27 AM   #57
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Upon more thinking, there's a nugget of truth about the concern of dramatically inflating the pool of skilled workers. While "go to trade school" might be great advice for an individual looking to improve their income earning potential, it's not advice that scales to society wide levels.

Seems unlikely to me that employer demand would keep up with an intentional policy of increasing the skills of the workforce. If every capable high school graduate were given trade school training, for example, wages for the skilled trades would likely drop because of the glut of plumbers, welders, etc available for hire.

It's probably worth reconsidering why it's acceptable that unskilled trades receive less than a subsistence wage. If a job is worth doing, it's worth paying a living wage.

Why should this country subsidize employers who pay less than a living wage? That's what we're doing when we accept a minimum wage that will require full time (or more) workers to rely on welfare to survive. It's an artificial boon to the ownership classes that allows them to receive labor for less than the real cost of survival.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:28 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The two phenomena (higher tuition and massive student loan debt) are not unrelated.

Why is tuition rising? Basically, because colleges are offering more costly services.
That's part of it certainly - a big part. But there is also much less tax-supported subsidy.

College is more expensive than it's ever been, and the 5 reasons why suggest it's only going to get worse
Quote:
prices at public colleges and universities rise faster when government funding per student sees little growth or is slowing down. In the 2015-16 school year, appropriations — money given to a school by the government — per full-time enrolled student were 11% lower than 10 years before, when adjusted for inflation.
State Higher Education Funding Cuts Have Pushed Costs to Students, Worsened Inequality
Quote:
Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges in the school year ending in 2018 was more than $6.6 billion below what it was in 2008
Quote:
Between school years 2008 to 2018, after adjusting for inflation:[2]

41 states spent less per student.
On average, states spent $1,220, or 13 percent, less per student.
Per-student funding fell by more than 30 percent in six states: Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.
Between school years 2017 to 2018, after adjusting for inflation:

27 states spent less per student. In 15 of these states, funding also fell the previous year.
23 states spent more per student.
Overall, per-student funding essentially remained flat.[3]
Notice that, like many things in our society, our willingness to support government subsidy is inversely related to the use of that subsidy by minorities.
Quote:
At the same time, this growing burden on students and families coincided with a multi-decade increase in the number of students from communities of color attending college. In 1980, students of color — that is Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, and American Indian students — made up roughly 17 percent of students at public colleges. By 2010, that number had more than doubled to over 36 percent, and today over 40 percent of students attending public two- and four- year colleges are students of color.[18]
Goodness - that's a good in depth article on the subject. Don't read what I'm writing - just read this article:

State Higher Education Funding Cuts Have Pushed Costs to Students, Worsened Inequality
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:28 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's probably time to consider whether college or other higher education beyond high school should just be free.

We don't really have an economy anymore where a normal person with just a high school degree can make a decent living, which absolutely was true in the past. The free public school education (K-12) that we provide today does not provide the same opportunity that it did in the past.

If it's necessary to have specific job skills to make a living wage, be that college education or training in a skilled trade, wouldn't it be beneficial for the entire society to make such schooling publicly available to all those who are academically qualified? What benefit is there to preventing people without money from acquiring the training to improve their productivity and income?
There was a time when it was in some places. For example, state tuition was free at state colleges in California before Ronald Reagan was governor. If you were accepted, the state paid for it.

I'm all in favor of state trade schools and career education training being free. But beyond that I'm skeptical. What I really want to put a halt to is the for profit scams schools.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:31 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Potato, potato.
No. Not being paid enough is not the same as being unproductive.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:32 AM   #61
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College also is biased toward low tech fields that never change.

You can't go to college for 2-6 years in the IT or Medical fields and be set for the next 40 years of your working life.

I'm dropping a few hundred to a couple of thousand bucks a year, and will be for the rest of my working life, to get new certs, upgrade old certs, etc.

I have a basic Computer Science degree but I'll admit its functionally useless at this point. I got in the Windows 3.11 / Dos 6.22 days.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:33 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No. Not being paid enough is not the same as being unproductive.
Everyone knows that workers are paid a fixed, fair percentage of their productivity and that the capital class would never try to challenge that.

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of labor history in the modern world knows that wages and productivity are not one in the same.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:36 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What I really want to put a halt to is the for profit scams schools.
Agreed, those are a menace. But let's define those: where does the difference lie between a night school in an office park that lets you pay them exorbitant amounts of money for a degree in "crime scene science" versus an ivy-bedecked centuries-old university that lets you pay them exorbitant amounts of money for a degree in literature? They're both making bank on you pursuing something that's most likely going to be an expensive waste of your time. Why is the latter not a scam?

I submit that they're both scams, and the only reason the latter isn't seen as one is because middle class values interpret it as legitimate. Just as in prior ages people believed tithing to churches wasn't a scam-- they simply choose to believe they're getting something out of it, despite the facts.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:36 AM   #64
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Again I know this is a certain someone's default answer to everything, but we can at least address the Student Loan Crisis without jumping right to "Burn Capitalism to the ground, begin the Socialist uprising."

Especially since without Capitalism... what are you even going to college for? It's 2020. If it's just about knowing stuff go on the internet. "Knowledge" is post-scarcity along with pictures of boobies and funny cat pictures. Hell major colleges on the level of MIT and Cambridge put almost all of their actual study material online for free.

People go to college to get jobs, not to get smarter. Pull the icky, sticky core evil of "Capitalism" and college as a post-information age concept collapses in on itself.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:37 AM   #65
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It is not as if making college free would make it easy.

Some majors are just inherently hard. Some degree programs are just inherently competitive to get into. Going to college still takes time, time spent not having much of a job, or essentially working two jobs (college + job) which is, you know, hard - and again none of the current discussion involves covering living expenses. For a great many lines of work, a degree in the right major with decent grades really is a good indicator of a prospective candidates potential value.

Plus we're having this conversation about college being useless or becoming just like high school, when to me at least the real issue is the ever-rising cost making it less available than ever. Free? I would happily settle, enthusiastically settle for inflation adjusted costs equal to what they were 25 years ago when my middle class parents were able to pay for about 90% of my college education without going into debt themselves.

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Old 17th November 2020, 08:39 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
College also is biased toward low tech fields that never change.

You can't go to college for 2-6 years in the IT or Medical fields and be set for the next 40 years of your working life.

I'm dropping a few hundred to a couple of thousand bucks a year, and will be for the rest of my working life, to get new certs, upgrade old certs, etc.

I have a basic Computer Science degree but I'll admit its functionally useless at this point. I got in the Windows 3.11 / Dos 6.22 days.
Yeah, but would you want to go back and actually have to use the programming languages you first learned? I started with C, I don't think I could even do a hello world in that now. Thankfully nobody's going to ask me to!

I do miss ASP, though, that was so cool! for about ten minutes, a couple of decades ago.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:39 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Agreed, those are a menace. But let's define those: where does the difference lie between a night school in an office park that lets you pay them exorbitant amounts of money for a degree in "crime scene science" versus an ivy-bedecked centuries-old university that lets you pay them exorbitant amounts of money for a degree in literature? They're both making bank on you pursuing something that's most likely going to be an expensive waste of your time. Why is the latter not a scam?

I submit that they're both scams, and the only reason the latter isn't seen as one is because middle class values interpret it as legitimate. Just as in prior ages people believed tithing to churches wasn't a scam-- they simply choose to believe they're getting something out of it, despite the facts.
Are the people going to Harvard for degrees in Medieval French poetry spending the rest of their lives in poverty unable to pay their loans?

I doubt it. These ivy league institutions provide more than education, they provide connections to the wealthy, elite circles that hold much of the public and private power in this country. The prospects of someone leaving Harvard with any degree is not comparable to someone getting fleeced at a strip mall degree mill.

People going to Harvard are getting something valuable for their money, even if it's not the education.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:43 AM   #68
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Seems fairly regressive to me. My recollection is that Elizabeth Warren's plan (which was means-tested) disproportionately benefited the top two quintiles of earners (because that's where the student loan debt is). Someone scraping by in the "inner city" or living in some ******** midwestern town whose chief export is jobs likely didn't go to college in the first place.

I have difficulty believing that people drowning in student loan debt are significantly worse off than people trapped in poverty. $50,000 goes a lot further to those at the bottom--I mean, that's like 10,000 scratchers. But I guess you can't reward people for terrible life choices, like being born to people without retirement accounts.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:43 AM   #69
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Another common complaint is that free or even affordable college would reduce the incentive for desperate people to join the military.

How are you going to convince people to get blown up in Afghanistan for a war nobody even cares about anymore if you can't dangle the GI bill?
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:45 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I humbly suggest that the Devos family's fleet of yachts is not an efficient use of the nation's wealth, even factoring in the boat mechanics and barnacle scrapers that manage to pull a wage from their existence.
This!

The study of economics is the study of resource management. Prestige is blatantly ignoring opportunity costs and how quickly money turns in differnt hands. Paul Allen Microsoft co-founder purchased multiple homes that mostly sat unoccupied, an island, more than a billion dollars in yachts/boats, another billion in planes, a professional football team and basketball team. None of these purchases are productive for the economy. Not exactly capital goods.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:47 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again I know this is a certain someone's default answer to everything, but we can at least address the Student Loan Crisis without jumping right to "Burn Capitalism to the ground, begin the Socialist uprising."

Especially since without Capitalism... what are you even going to college for? It's 2020. If it's just about knowing stuff go on the internet. "Knowledge" is post-scarcity along with pictures of boobies and funny cat pictures. Hell major colleges on the level of MIT and Cambridge put almost all of their actual study material online for free.

People go to college to get jobs, not to get smarter. Pull the icky, sticky core evil of "Capitalism" and college as a post-information age concept collapses in on itself.
The problem is that there are both capitalistic and noncapitalistic functions of education, and neither function thrives when the two are muddled together. I think we ought to be realists about it and have a two-pronged education system: one that you put money into, get useful skills out of, and can make a good living by. Everybody profits on that branch. The second branch can be the knowledge-for-it's-own sake, and those who can afford it and want to spend the money can pay for the pleasure of learning interesting but not terribly useful knowledge that they probably can't use to support themselves with, careerwise. This path is for pleasure and should neither be subsidized by government or paid with on borrowed money, because it's not likely to pay out afterwards. And having a degree from this path shouldn't be a requirement (or even a plus) for a job that isn't in that particular field. Practical and impractical can live in harmony as long as we treat the practical as practical and the impractical as a lovely extra for those who can indulge in it, not for those who can't and/or shouldn't.

We do the same in medicine between surgeries that are necessary and surgeries that are cosmetic. There's a reason regular health insurance doesn't pay for cosmetic procedures: one doesn't need a boob job or a tummy tuck, the way one needs a colonoscopy or a heart valve replacement. I suggest that our society needs education of the practical type, but the impractical type is an optional extra.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:49 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Are the people going to Harvard for degrees in Medieval French poetry spending the rest of their lives in poverty unable to pay their loans?

I doubt it. These ivy league institutions provide more than education, they provide connections to the wealthy, elite circles that hold much of the public and private power in this country. The prospects of someone leaving Harvard with any degree is not comparable to someone getting fleeced at a strip mall degree mill.

People going to Harvard are getting something valuable for their money, even if it's not the education.
The "old boy network" is a separate evil from education. If it didn't occur in those select few universities they'd just move it to the country clubs. I don't think solving the conspiracy of the elite is a prerequisite to attempting education reform.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:51 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Another common complaint is that free or even affordable college would reduce the incentive for desperate people to join the military.

How are you going to convince people to get blown up in Afghanistan for a war nobody even cares about anymore if you can't dangle the GI bill?
18 year old cannon fodder wouldn't see this, but the middle-aged would: a pension and healthcare are ultimately worth more than a college degree.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:52 AM   #74
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Basically we need to redefine higher education.

Definition 1: Simple education. More knowledge about a wider range of topics. Which is generally meant as a "Classic" or "Liberal" education. Yes more of this gives us a more educated society, which as I've said is basically good by definition. But again the traditional college system is the absolutely most over-complicated, least efficient, most time consuming, most pointless sunk-cost way of achieving this. This should be free (or have minimal cost) but in the sense that it just shouldn't cost that much to get it, not in the sense that it we keep it super-expensive but subsidize it.

Definition 2. Skills that the society needs to operate. Jobs (even if they aren't strictly for profit "I give you X amount of money and you do Y amount of work" style) that a society needs more skilled people to do. Traditionally what we think of as "Trade Schools." With these, regardless of looking at it within a capitalist mindset or not, society has the right, arguably the duty, to not waste resources training people in skills it doesn't need.

A skill that nobody needs you to do isn't a skill, it's a hobby. And you can pay for those yourself.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:53 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Another common complaint is that free or even affordable college would reduce the incentive for desperate people to join the military.

How are you going to convince people to get blown up in Afghanistan for a war nobody even cares about anymore if you can't dangle the GI bill?
Well there is that.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:54 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
That's part of it certainly - a big part. But there is also much less tax-supported subsidy.

College is more expensive than it's ever been, and the 5 reasons why suggest it's only going to get worse


State Higher Education Funding Cuts Have Pushed Costs to Students, Worsened Inequality


Notice that, like many things in our society, our willingness to support government subsidy is inversely related to the use of that subsidy by minorities.

Goodness - that's a good in depth article on the subject. Don't read what I'm writing - just read this article:

State Higher Education Funding Cuts Have Pushed Costs to Students, Worsened Inequality
Interesting. I knew that was a factor, but what you wrote suggests it is a bigger factor than I thought. It's possible that has changed over time, and gotten worse recently.


I can't help but notice that all of your quotes dealt with per student funding. None of them said anything about absolute funding. I haven't looked it up, but that suggests to me that absolute funding is probably more, which would mean there are more students. It plays into the narrative that perhaps more people are going to college than really ought to be going to college.

I was shocked when I discussed college and college spending with my (at the time) high school senior son. He said that high school kids view the whole college thing as a gigantic rip-off. They are forced to go into massive debt or accept second class citizenship. It was quite a frightening view of the world. My kid tended toward cynicism, but the fact that they were even saying it was kind of scary.

The fact that it was mostly true was even scarier.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:55 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Seems fairly regressive to me. My recollection is that Elizabeth Warren's plan (which was means-tested) disproportionately benefited the top two quintiles of earners (because that's where the student loan debt is). Someone scraping by in the "inner city" or living in some ******** midwestern town whose chief export is jobs likely didn't go to college in the first place.

I have difficulty believing that people drowning in student loan debt are significantly worse off than people trapped in poverty. $50,000 goes a lot further to those at the bottom--I mean, that's like 10,000 scratchers. But I guess you can't reward people for terrible life choices, like being born to people without retirement accounts.
Some of those people trapped in poverty are there because they're drowning in student loans, which they took out in hopes of getting out of poverty.

College is a means to get out of poverty. I disagree with those in this thread who propose that college is just a thing for the middle and upper classes, with the idea that efforts to make college more affordable only benefit middle to upper classes. With the correct structure, college loan reform can have great value in poverty alleviation.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:55 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
18 year old cannon fodder wouldn't see this, but the middle-aged would: a pension and healthcare are ultimately worth more than a college degree.
They've gotten rid of the pension. I was once of the last ones to get it. The US Military has shifted to a more mainstream 401k style retirement plan. There might be a few oldtimers still grandfathered into the old pension system, but not many and they won't last much longer. For at least 10 years now all new recruits have been put into the new system.

And yes I wouldn't trade my pension for all the degrees in the world.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:55 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The "old boy network" is a separate evil from education. If it didn't occur in those select few universities they'd just move it to the country clubs. I don't think solving the conspiracy of the elite is a prerequisite to attempting education reform.
Sure, but I'm just saying that entry into these kinds of social circles probably explains why so many people are desperate to get into such schools, even if education into a profitable field is not on offer.

Harvard doesn't teach 101 calculus any better than any run of the mill state school. It's about access. Access to the most prestigious faculty, the most well funded projects, the peers that will one day be power brokers.

Rich people don't pull strings to get their dim witted children into the Ivy League because they think that the education is better. After a certain point, it's about prestige and access to the prestigious.

There's a big difference between people trying to get into Harvard for dubious liberal arts degrees and those getting sold a false bill of goods through some fly-by-night technical school that promises them they can become a forensic investigator in 6 months.
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Old 17th November 2020, 08:58 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Sure, but I'm just saying that entry into these kinds of social circles probably explains why so many people are desperate to get into such schools, even if education into a profitable field is not on offer.
That's why the stories of people cheating to get their kids into prestigious colleges that keep popping up confound me.

If you're bribing Harvard to get Junior into it, Junior ain't never going to need the money. If it's just about getting him into the Good Ole' Boy network you could get him a seat on some made up "Advisory Board" or a consulting "job" for pennies on the dollar and achieve the same thing.
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