Working With What We Have

Not long ago, a friend — the same one who lost his job in Academia, in the Northeast last year for being too white, too Christian, too male — was surveying the people we know who are trying, however ineffectively to fight the good culture war and said “The kids are confused, mal-educated, not very well read, but full of fight and vigor. And their hearts are generally in the right place. We’ll be all right. We just have the scrappy band of losers to save the world, and we will save it.” (Which is part of what he’s working on.)

I noted the other day, when student loans were mentioned, that you guys have a really weird vision of the people who are in trouble due to student loans.

Now, look, yeah, sure, there are puppetry majors. There are also a never-end of English majors (and there’s a reason for that, which I’ll explain later.) And a bunch of other things, some of them that self-obviously were never going to pay.

But for every one of those, because I have a lot of fans, and kids who have friends anywhere from the early twenties to the late thirties, who have crushing debt from stuff they never completed through no fault of their own. STEM even. And if you’re bristling at the “through no fault of their own”, don’t. For one, I swear, though I can’t PROVE it (because like most of what the lefty cockroaches do it’s still underhanded) most of it seems to be covered up and individual excuses given, but it looks to me like if you’re a conservative, they’re going to kick you out without a degree one way or another. Sure. Not all over the country. Not every university has gone militantly stupid. And some conservatives and their families are too prominent to get kicked out, but I’ve seen waves go through where people I know are conservative all hit bullshit road blocks at the same time. And then other bullshit road blocks. And then more. To the point that, you know, one is happenstance, two is coincidence, three is enemy action.

And I love you guys, I do. Like ice-cream with sprinkles on top, but every time one of you talks about “working your way to school” I hit my head on something and scream. Yeah, I know one person who did that. It only took him 4x as long as it should have to graduate, but he did it. And I know people who attempted it, and their grades fell, and the degree dragged, and eventually they dropped out.

What you’re not taking in account is how much college costs these days. I have insight into it, because, by promise, we paid half of each of the kids undergrad.

Let’s just say if you’re unskilled, a state’s college tuition is now your take-home from a full time job. If you’re supporting yourself, that leaves food, place to live, car, gas, and BOOKS (which are ridiculously expensive) for you to find money for, somehow. (I understand this is different in Utah, and might be in other systems, but not in Colorado.)

Worse, because college (and to be fair, every level of school) is now full of button counting, time-consuming, group work (I saw this with my kids from first grade, and worse, if you were “gifted” they gave you more.) you’ll only be able to take half the courses per year, which prolongs the time for which you have to find living expenses, etc.

“Work to put self through college” is a pipe dream if you’re taking STEM. (It is possible, to an extent with English degrees, if you are naturally gifted. Just occurred to me a friend of mine did this recently. But trust me, it wasn’t easy.)

And no, the people saying “Well, most Americans don’t go to college, so this is subsidizing the rich” aren’t right. Because the people who were pushed/sent to college aren’t rich. (Hence the loans. The rich, largely pay for their kids to go and have “the college experience.”) They’re usually “smart” or at least did well in school. And they’re usually (though not always) strivers. That’s the only thing they have in common.

The people who are partying are either the children of the rich, or athletes with full scholarships.

These days scholarships also have bloody nothing to do with merit, btw. If you’re a woman it’s easy to get a scholarship. If you are interestingly tan, ditto. If you can tell a sob story and have the right opinions, you have a good chance. But pure merit? If they exist (and I presume in a country this size they must) we failed to find them. And when they exist and we found them… well, younger son was offered a full ride across the country. But he was 16, and where would he live? And how would we pay for housing/food/etc? which was more than local tuition? (In retrospect, we SHOULD have done that, but that’s a long story.)

Oh, and on useless degrees: a lot of kids take English degrees because they are given a snow-job on how valuable it is. “With an English degree you can be literally anything. There are companies dying to hire you.” And because it’s easy, if you also have to work full time.

As the possessor of an English degree (in my case ESL, and different, but you know) there are indeed companies dying to hire you. Retail and food service. But seriously, why wouldn’t the kids believe what they’re told by authorities? Isn’t that what we tell them to do? Trust the experience and wisdom of those who are older than they are?

But leaving aside the whole contentious issue of student loans — look, guys, if I’m right, the mummy is going to forgive them anyway. The least you can do is not throw fits, because driving away the kids is the worst thing you can do. No not all of them are brain dead, and a lot of them have been red pilled already — there is the fact that the whole “formal education” thing from pre-school to college, these days amounts to little more than a program of retirement for Beardo the Weirdo.

So, you know, these kids — at least those who didn’t grow up under the gimlet eye and book-flinging hand of someone like me — are very badly read, and sometimes almost painfully ignorant of everything real, from history to economics.

Take the “x number are socialists” I also stared at that and despaired, until younger son laughed. “Yeah, they think they are. Because we were told that everything, from street lights, to public roads, to police was “socialism”” and people who don’t know better, and think that a society should have SOME degree of public service, think they’re socialists. They’re by and large not.”

Or take the fact these people literally have no clue who fought in WWII. Or what the Nazis wanted, besides “they were racisssss and white.” Or–

Yeah, I know. You have an atrocious view of the kids, and some of it is justified. For some of them.

As I said, they’re uneducated, or worse mal-educated, and think they know things they don’t because “older people” taught them those things. They’re appallingly badly read (mostly because of the books that were pushed at them in school.)

Worst, the pedagogical methods used on my kids — and I bet you they’re worse now — were make-work and boring stuff, designed to crush love of reading, love of learning, initiative and … well, anything useful.

The one thing they got pounded with was “responsibility” Only it wasn’t. It was more make work, and a solid dose of guilt.

For instance, when son had to have knee surgery that kept him out of school for two weeks, the teachers were incapable of telling me what he should work on, because they didn’t PLAN that far in advance. At the same time, they told the kids the papers due for the next two weeks, and then didn’t remind them. Just had a box for them to be dropped in. And these papers, which were often painfully boring and stupid, counted for more than the grade. With each of the boys — because they are ADD AF — there was a semester they failed, and we’re looking at the grade going “but he had all As in the tests” and eventually found out they’d done ALL the homework, and on time even, but it was either still on their desk or (Younger son’s) their backpack front pocket, which is so full it barely closes.

At the time they did this, they were… under 12. And were, of course, getting hit with the hormone stick. But the same adults who couldn’t plan two weeks ahead, for jobs they were getting paid for, told us that “No, we don’t remind them. They have to learn responsibility.”

Mostly, the kids, at least mine, learned guilt. Because their teachers’ lack of planning was their problem.

But what you have to remember is that most of these kids are all right. Probably the vast, overwhelming majority are all right.

Oh, they have the same number of custard heads and evil bastages as any other generation. But we only hear from those. And the people who have been red pilled, the productive and smart ones? They’re keeping their heads down and slogging ahead. Because, see where “being discovered to be conservative” (or really to dissent from the choir) will have immediate results, and they won’t like them.

That is starting to change. Oh, heavens, way too slowly. But changing. People have won lawsuits for wrongful dismissal or political discrimination. Now, most of these are the most obvious/egregious cases, but the avalanche starts with a very few grains of sand.

The kids are all right. And we’re starting to take back the culture. Or the wouldn’t have had to fraud 2020 in such a blatant last-minute manner. Because the fraud was already immense and baked in. They should have coasted. Hence the potemkin campaign. But they didn’t.

And that must be our consolation: there are probably fewer young ones to rebuild than we think, and they’re probably just as ignorant and lost as we think.

On the other hand, there are people making a living from teaching various things on youtube, history being one of the subjects I know of. And the kids (and elders like us) are paying for it.

They are trying to engage in the great relearning.

So, the best time to plant a tree or teach your kids properly is 10/20/50 years ago. The second best time is now.

If you can take them out of public school, do so. (And don’t trust private schools without tons of research. Yeah, there are still good ones, but most are as bad as public, if not worse.)

If you can’t, follow the plan in Have Spacesuit Will Travel (and what we did) and teach them at home, after and around school.

If your kid is considering college, look really closely at what they’ll be studying, look at rates of graduation, send an elder to audit interesting courses (most states have free or very low price classes after 55.) It’s an investment, and you should know the likely return.

And if you don’t have kids, and there’s this mass of kids (and I mean anyone younger than you, out there) engage. Talk to them. I don’t know, distribute books. (I am the book fairy.) Or start a you tube channel teaching your specialty.

If you do interesting stuff: building, sewing, machine repair, start a you tube channel or a blog (the same goes for history, languages, whatever) and send me the link to publicize.

As the left is fond of saying “The children are our future” (and the white horse of Napoleon was in fact white.)

But the future they tried to mold these kids for is impossible, and the possible part of it would be horrific.

I don’t care what you think of them. They’re the ones who will be building the world, once it’s obvious the model of centralized control/production/everything else is now counterproductive.

Teach. Teach in every way you can.

Seed the seeds of the future. You can’t control how they bloom, but you can seed. And do what you can to nurture.

I believe the kids will do us proud.

298 thoughts on “Working With What We Have

  1. Western Governors University, $8000 per year if there is one in your state. Completely on line thus during your own time. I did a bachelors and a masters at this college. Yes it was a time sink. Yes I worked FULL time at a job that has no mercy. Yes it f*&king hurt sometimes. But WGU will let you accelerate if some of the classes are easie which means you can go faster. No wokitude except for that which is creeping into every textbook. (Versus the state college where they require all students to take black experience and hiphop 101)

      1. I have colleagues and their spouses who’ve had good luck with WGU. Alas, degrees offered are somewhat limited, with no arts or humanities degrees and no engineering or pure science, and only at the bachelors and masters level. It is mostly accounting, business, computer science, data analytics, education, HR, IT, nursing, etc.

  2. And if you don’t have kids, and there’s this mass of kids (and I mean anyone younger than you, out there) engage. Talk to them. I don’t know, distribute books. (I am the book fairy.) Or start a you tube channel teaching your specialty.

    And for goodness sake, actually TALK to them before going into a lecture about their stupidity, ignorance, moral failings, etc.
    I stayed conservative in spite of the guys who decided they’d trust the liberal talking points over even looking, much less trusting their lying eyes. (Helped that I was more conservative than them, generally, but….)

  3. Back in the 70s, I made it on a couple of small, single -year scholarships, went to a state university, got a grant that paid tuition and at least some books, and clubbed with my friends for apartments, which were still relatively cheap. And took pride in being, “Kraft macaroni and cheese poor.” For the MBA, it was too $#@!! frustrating to get money from the Army, so I did it one night class at a time, for about eight years, on my own nickel.
    We got our son through on the stash of savings bonds I bought every pay period after he was born. But not everyone can do that.
    Worse, if Oxford, Mississippi is any guide, apartments have gone upscale and probably cost more than I want to think about. No doubt there’s cheaper lodgings, but they were hidden from the casual traveler.
    Still, there are a lot of people out there who scrimped, saved and made genuine sacrifices to get their kid(s) through school who resent the heck out the idea of paying the bill for the sort of wet mess who spends time on social media whining about how hard they have it. Easy to forget there are more worthy people hidden in the undergrowth. (Probably because they’re doing their best to pay the loans back without complaining).

    1. We were paying, some years, 40k. And that was STATE school and half the tuition for each. So we know in a very clear way how much it hurt.
      That and a place where they could live to attend school is what left us in the shape that necessitated the GoFundme. BUT WE HAD IT. And we can pay back their debts with time. (Only the older won’t let us. I suspect younger will balk also.)
      BUT THAT’S NOT EVERYONE. We are…. energizer bunnies and have resources.

      1. That’s in line with what the nephew’s engineering degree at A&M was costing. He decided he wanted to be a pilot more than an engineer, and was able to get a complete certification course, including flight time for $85k in about 9 months.

        However, airlines don’t want to hire pilots who do not have a bachelor’s degree, so he’s working as a flight instructor and getting a degree in airport management in the side. That should give him a lot of flight hours and the necessary sheep skin to go work for an airline.

        What people have missed is the government backed 0% interest 0% down loans have created a climate where universities can charge basically anything they want for a degree, and people will pay it, and then some.

        I don’t think that can last, especially since they’ve lost a huge number of international students that were a big cash cow, but it’s going to be very rough for pretty much anyone born after 2000 right now.

          1. They already are (illegal immigrants dreamers), and have been for quite some time now, at least in Washington state.

          2. There are different reasons they stopped coming. PolyMatter has an interesting video up on it called “The Chinese Student Crisis”

            Part of it is the covid lockdowns sent most of the international students home. Part of it is changes in China’s position is removing the demand for American degrees by Chinese students. Bunch of different things going on.

            Also, I don’t think the government could collect debts from foreign nationals very well. Though that might not be a barrier to them making the loans. Uni welfare and gov’t handouts and all that.

        1. Not everybody gets 0% interest loans. Many students don’t realize that the interest is accumulating even when you are still in school and repayment is in abeyance.

          1. Why our son had no loans. Called Parent Plus Loans 6%, from first payout. No. No. And No, again. Hell No.

          2. Munged it. Meant to refer to the way most student loans are defacto ninja loans, and do not bill immediately and do not require any money down.

            Upshot is it allows students to borrow considerably more than if there were upfront minimum payments, which, in practice, has allowed universities to double and triple tuition over just a decade or so.

            And, you cannot just skip getting a degree without kneecappinv your career for a decade or more.

            I know guys who came in without a degree, who retired at the pay grade I was at after only about 10 years experience with a bachelor’s degree.

            My uncle had a negative cash flow for most of his life because he couldn’t hold steady work, because he lacked a bachelor’s degree.

            My youngest brother? Extremely good at what he does, to the point that they usually need to pull in three people to do what he was doing whenever they let him go. Also making a fraction of what a degreed engineer does because he ended up with only an associates.

            You can’t even fly a plane without a bachelors. The airlines treat a degree in business management as equal to several thousand multi-envine pilot in command hours, and even then, they don’t even want to see your resume.

      2. Addendum: Masters degrees don’t have that kind of pricing, because you generally cannot get loans for them. Instead, they are usually paid for by corporations looking to improve their employees, and engineering companies, in general, will not authorized more than $10k per year for masters degrees.

        So, if you can find a way to bypass the undergrad program and sign up directly for the masters program, you may be able to evade the really lethal undergrad tuition costs.

        1. On the contrary, loans are very much available for Masters’ programs. The Fed don’t care how much you borrow or what you spend it on, as long as at least part of it goes toward tuition.

          I finished my M Arch a couple-three years back.
          I went to a cheap state university.
          I worked for the university full time and took classes under the “staff discount” program until the credit hours exceeded the allowed limit.
          Then I enrolled as a full time graduate student, while working 30 hours a week as a TA for my department (10 hours)and a temp help worker (20 hours) for a different campus department (They let me work full time during the summer).
          I also got enough help from my father to buy books for two or three years.
          I put off taking loans for as long as I possibly could.
          And I still came out owing $28K in loans, because – surprise, surprise – it’s really difficult to come up with $4000 dollars twice a year to pay tuition, when you are also paying for all your own food, housing, and all the other little adult expenses like car insurance and utilities.

          And I’ve managed to pay off more than 2/3rds of that loan in the few years since then by continuing to work at the university, instead of getting a job in my field that pays less than what I’m making now.

          The only solution I can see that will actually work is to get the Feds out of the student loan business, so that Universities will have to lower their prices and (maybe, if Heaven is merciful) get rid of the expensive but useless DIE programs.

          1. Unfortunately, the feds can’t get out of the student loan business, because that is a large part of Obamacare’s funding. They (and therefore we) are stuck with it until they change the ACA funding laws.

          2. My last class was ’89. Son’s last class was 2012.

            I know how much school costs went up from ’74 – ’79. To ’88 – ’89, when I went back full time. Well I was shocked what 4 hours cost ’85 – ’88 but knew per hour costs were higher than full time costs. Problem with my later experience was I didn’t track room and board. Those were sunk costs. We were paying those if I finished what the employer had me start, or not.

            I choked on son’s tuition, when he started in Fall ’07. We set it up so he was not working during the school year. I worked while back in school full time both times. 20 hours/week second time. Weekends and seasonal first time. First time it was harder because we had 5 hour labs off campus. Benefit of those labs meant we didn’t have to go to summer lab camp, which is unusual for that degree at other campuses. But made it difficult to schedule week work hours. Helped that I worked for the school’s forest manager.

            State schools, both of them. Son’s tuition/books/fees, ran $10k – $18k per year. Total with room and board pushed $30k/year. Toward the end, we were saving up tuition part the term before. Paying monthly rent and utilities helped. It was the bulk payments that were difficult. We, means all 3 of us. Son did start out with a merit scholarship. He also got small rewards over the first 3 years. Small reward – “Oh. Good. Books are covered.” His degree is in a science discipline.

            I know all about how schools try to change the requirements. It is difficult for the 18 to 22 year old to fight them. Lord help you if you change majors. Even related majors, say Chemical Engineering to Chemistry, can break the bank. Never mind that the first requires more difficult math than the latter.

            1. Yeah, in the years between when I started my undergraduate and finished my graduate degree, tuition and fees went up… 300%? 400%? That’s a lot of inflation in less than 20 years.

              1. In the 50 years since I graduated, costs at my University have increased by a factor of 25…

            2. Graduated HS in 1970. Attended community college for three years. I went 3 years at community college because I changed from computers to accounting plus took a year off to work in the oilfield.This was in West Texas. Tuition for 12 hours up was $65 per semester. Activity fee $35 a semester. UT opened an upper level campus(only Junior/Seniors) in 1974. Tuition was $65 for 12 hours up, plus $35 activity fee. Minimum wage was $1.25-$1.65 I think. I worked full time during summers for big box store and 35-40 hours week during fall/spring semesters. Of course I lived at home with parents and paid $100 a month for room and board. Graduated in 1976 with BBA with concentration in accounting. 10 semesters at $100 a semester. $1,000. Plus books. Sometimes the books were way more than the tuition. A business law book was $65.

        2. There are loans for grad school. Quite a bit of them.

          And if you are lucky to have an employer pay for the tuition, it’s not as up front as it sounds.
          1) Employer payment for grad school tuition is taxable income, so you are on the hook for your tax bracket percentage.
          2) Employers only pay AFTER you pass the class, and the university wants the pay up front.
          3) If you don’t pass the class with a B, because a C is fail in grad school, you are out your money.
          4) One employer I had wouldn’t pay for pass/fail classes.

        3. In Engineering often a firm will pay for part(or sometimes all) of Masters courses for an existing employee. Similarly in teaching at least in Massachusetts many schools will pay for part of masters degree (as in Ma. for final full certification you need a Masters). In STEM Doctorates often get a tuition waiver and a stipend either for teaching(usually recitation sections) or for research (if your advising professor has the grant money) this is particularly true if you teach and are a native/fluent English speaker at a research university. In the Arts a Doctorate will sometimes have a stipend but rarely have the tuition waiver. And in the Arts your doctorate is FAR more dependent on making sure your thesis pleases your advisor. It can also take 6-9 years whereas STEM doctorates rarely exceed 6 (and are usually 4-5). That tuition waiver is critical. When my wife worked on her PH.D She got the tuition waiver. In the mid ’80s (1986?) when they reformed the tax code one thing they orignally suggested was making that tuition waiver taxable. That was a serious brown pants moment, as the “official” Tuition was ~1/2 my salaray as a young well compensated engineer at Digital. That would have eaten her stipend which was about $3500 in those days ~1/3 of the tuition’ Potentially lucrative post bachelor fields like Law and Medicine are almost always on the student and quite expensive. Even rather meager fields like Divinity school and MFA are rather expensive.For example if you decide to get an MFA in flute playing you either have to be world class (to land an orchestra gig) near somewhere Like LA or Nashville that constantly needs studio musicians, or independently wealthy.

          1. Yeah, I was thinking in terms of engineering or degree paths where advanced degrees have an roi.

            From the few professional artists I know, most of them either did not get a degree in the arts, or found an education in business and finance more useful to converting art into a degree path.

            I have not looked through music career options. Most if those, I’m given to understand, depend more of skill at the instrument and hustle than degree path.

            1. I know of 4 folks in the arts that have made it. A pair of twins who are music teachers with side hustles as church musicians and piano teachers, only BA, one has gone on to other teaching certificates, working on Ed.D for principal/headmaster. They do OK One is a very talented pianist, jazz style education MFA from Berklee, All sorts of gigs, composes, Church musician manages to survive but has never been easy. Best is a young asian compatriot of my younger daughter, Dual BA in computer science (graphics) from Brown and Fine Arts from RISD. She’s an animator at Disney, Haven’t seen her name in credits YET but we keep looking. Sounds like she’s doing well. Honestly, she’d have done well ANYWHERE, also played oboe/bassoon (bassoon was bigger than she was in High school 🙂 ) at high level (state orchestra finalist), personable, and tough minded (Parents first generation immigrants from the end of the Vietnam war period).

    2. I made it in the early 1970s also – living at home, having a little job creating dolls for a local miniature shop and sewing specialty doll-clothes for patrons of the shop, going to a community college and then to a no-name state uni. Week in week out, $25 dollars for five little dolls, plus extras like babysitting. Mom and Dad didn’t have to pay a dime.
      If course this was all for one of those amusing but almost useless degrees in English, but I never had any delusions that the literary or business world would be my oyster. It did guarantee that I could spell, use proper grammar, and punctuation, was familiar with the western canon of literature and could write anything required at the drop of a hat. So It paid off in the long run.
      When my daughter was done with the Marine Corps, she did try out going to college, intending eventually to transition to a four year school studying veterinary science, but she gave it up after two years, as the school kept changing the requirements for the Associates degree. We began suspecting that the school was just milking her for the GI Bill benefits by dragging out more and more required courses.

  4. College of the Ozarks, aka “Hard Work University,” has all its students doing work-study and people fight to get in. (If you want a job in the hospitality industry-and not as a maid or a janitor – they will train you so well you can basically count on having a job when you graduate).
    Of course, the current Administration is after them for not properly “accomodating,” trans students.

    1. Again, as I said, there are exceptions.
      I used to get upset at Larry saying “My kids can pay for the college by working, why can’t yours?”
      AND then I realized their state college charged A THIRD of ours.

      1. Also, BYU, the big school in Utah where Larry lives, is pretty inexpensive for Latter-Day Saints. The LDS Church is very pro-education (both self and formal).

          1. Yes, yes it is. BYU Provo has become infected, because all the people they hire for faculty positions and administrative positions come from woke programs at other universities.

  5. I noted the other day, when student loans were mentioned, that you guys have a really weird vision of the people who are in trouble due to student loans.

    It’s not who it is, it is the incentive.

    I gave up nearly a decade of my life locked in a metal tube to pay for college. How will student loan forgiveness work to get me a decade of my life back.

    It doesn’t. It looks at me and says “chump”.

    The biggest beneficiaries of this aren’t puppetry majors or conservatives tossed out without a degree. It is holders of professional degrees who are <a href=”>high-income holders. Until, and unless, the plan excludes what Democrats love to call “the winners of life’s lottery” a lot of people who paid other ways or paid off their loans are going to be told they are chumps. And that’s before we factor in the quarter or so of loan holders who got FELLs which the Fed guarantees but don’t own so can’t forgive. How do you explain the “fairness” of forgiveness to them?

    Our society does that a lot in the past 20 years. That’s a huge part of how we got Trump. Forgiving loans without thinking about these knock-on effects is asking for what comes after Trump.

    1. Sure. But the locked in the metal tube doesn’t work for everyone. (Asthma, extreme. Not counting eczema and arthritis.)
      And I’ve noted before this will destroy colleges. The thing is: and more on that later, in their present form they need to be destroyed. And the Earth salted. They’re no longer teaching anything useful, and they’re don’t teach it at great cost.

      1. I know not everyone can do it.

        Oh, and submarines tend to pay for decades after with asthma and bad knees.

        My point is student loan forgiveness tells everyone who found another way to pay and/or paid their loans “you are chumps.” Same thing 2008 told those of us who didn’t take liars loans and got priced out of the housing market. “You could have just lied and gotten a loan and now everyone would care about you losing your house, but you’re a chump.”

        Got your PhD and did the hours to finish you LPC and got your CRC and worked as an adjunct a 6 hour round trip at another school while writing your dissertation to look better on the job market? Sorry, the top program in Rehab Counseling the country is hiring, but only women of color will be interviewed so your handicapped, queer, female ass is excluded because you’re white. As a result another member of your PhD cohort with no disability or rehab experience who didn’t bother to teach or finishing any licensing or certification while in the program got hired*

        Her advisor was at that program and recommended her to old friends. Got called and said they loved her but she wasn’t black…and the PoC thing is an open secret in professional circles anyway). So, for all that extra work? You’re a chump.

        I get we’ve been passing a burden onto kids and something needs to be done. But we also need to quit making the productive think they are chumps for playing by the rules. I know on the margins I’ve stopped. Yeah, little things like “the scanner didn’t pick up something at the grocery store, but the weight didn’t alarm…well, don’t put me on the schedule”. Stuff like that, but it adds up. It’s learning that society uses the rules to take advantage of those gullible enough to follow them and learning to not be gullible. It creates a low trust society.

        These are not good and are more damaging than 90% of what conservatives complain about.

        1. On my own side of things, I came out of grad school with gobs of debt, and I eventually made my way to computer programming, making $8 an hour (which, incidentally, I made in computer programming, after I graduated, but before I got into grad school). I spend a decade and a half trying to keep up on payments, and more often than not, paying off debt incurred after trying to get on my feet, paying for health insurance and even groceries.

          And in all those years, I barely made any headway in paying those loans. Indeed, the only reason I paid off one of the sets of loans (my undergraduate stuff) is because of the “delicious” COVID bribery/inflation money. I felt free paying that off, to be sure, but I still felt like a chump: what else could I have done with that money, that would have been much nicer than paying the loan? And I still feel like a chump, because I still have $65k looming over my head, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away soon, talk of debt forgiveness notwithstanding.

          I don’t say this for pity — if anything, I don’t think loans should be forgiven, unless colleges are made to pay, and the student loan pyramid scheme is done away with. And this doesn’t even touch on how many of us are pretty confident that Social Security isn’t even going to be there when it’s time for us to retire. I merely point out that we’ve all been chumps, in all of this, because we’ve all been lied to: we’ve been told that college is the only way to succeed, and we could easily pay for it via these magic student loans, and administrators magically raised tuition.

          To further complicate matters, I’m pretty sure you, Herb, are ten to twenty years older than me, and I’m absolutely sure my children will have it much worse than I do, if she goes to college (because my oldest is just getting old enough for that to be a concern). Thus, there’s a generational gap where college is significantly different from one generation to another. It’s bound to tear us apart as a society, because we have a hard time relating to each other!

          At this point, I’m not letting any of my children go to college, unless their career path requires it, and even then they are starting in Community College. What’s more, because I went to college, and was saddled with all that debt, I’m nowhere near a position to purchase a house, or to pay for my kids’ college education.

          Unfortunately, I don’t think any way out of this without hurting some chumps. More likely, all the chumps will be hurt, one way or the other — and all the chumps are the American People.

    2. You’ve also had a goodly chunk of your labor outright stolen under the guise of Social Security.

      Dismantling fraud never leaves everyone as whole as we would like.

        1. Why not, it works for China which the people we’d be parting out thinks is a good model for the future. How could they protest?

          1. As long as we don’t do capital punishment for jaywalking to feed the organleggers…


  6. California has a dirt cheap community college system that’s integrated with the state colleges (both UC and Cal State). Taking a certain set of courses at the two year community colleges will allow you to bypass the four year schools’ general ed requirements. At least for the most part. You’ll likely still get hit with a couple of GE classes at the four year of your choice.

    I took some IT courses at my local community college, since I work in IT. Decent classes, and I learned some things. The problem is that for the classes I took (I don’t know if this applies to other department classes), the department head seems to quite literally have the view that these are the only important things in your life. The classes were only three credits. I only took one class at a time. And between the class and my forty hour a week job, I literally had no free time. I believe I’ve heard that the department head has stated that you shouldn’t be working full time while taking those classes. At a community college. Which exists in part to make it easier for people with existing careers to develop new skill sets.


    I got an English degree for law school (which didn’t work out). I was told that it was a great degree to have, because everyone likes an employee who can write well. Maybe they do. But it doesn’t seem to make a difference with the people in HR.

    1. Given recent examples, the correlation between an English degree and writing well is 0 at best, negative at worst.

      1. I’d say the correlation between an English degree and thinking well is what’s gone negative. Deranged/idiotic thinking can’t produce good writing, no matter what kind of wordsmithery may be at one’s disposal.

      1. Texas is mixed. Some state schools accept some Dual Credit and AP hours, others have programs that say, “a 5 in AP Calculus – both parts – is nice. You need to learn how WE do calculus.” A few private colleges will take some Community College credits but not others, most accept at least AP English and US Government.

        1. This is why I didn’t bother with CC for Forestry, when the local CC had a Forestry program, and went to straight to state school. Would have done better in state school if I had, but … Didn’t help having the AA Computer Science (didn’t want to commute I-5 down to Portland State), when went for bachelors in CS (at least not in credit transfers, 100% helped otherwise).

          Universities have gotten worse about taking AP and AA community college credits, but they’ve always been bad at it.

        2. Huh. That makes me angry. When I took the AP Calculus AB test, I got a 5, and my department waived Calculus II and put me straight in III. I struggled at first, but enjoyed it, and I have since wondered if I should have taken Calc II (I think I would have enjoyed it, but if my senses I got from tutoring others in it, I am guessing I didn’t miss a whole lot ….)

          And this is from someone who decided to be a mathematician in the 11th grade ….

          1. Math through trig (have to look up formulas but …) is easy for me. Anything below trig, I can do the math in my head. Anything above that and I tend to forget without refreshers.

            Calculus, Computer Science department accepted the first degree’s calculus class, so I took the first discrete math class. Big mistake (it had been 10 years since I’d taken Calculus 1). Stepped back and retook the entire calculus series starting with calculus 1. Then took the remaining discrete math classes. What was frustrating was the third discrete math class was essentially linear algebra, which I had taken that they would not accept. Frustrating since I was taking 1 class a term and it was 6 terms before I could take an actual CS upper division class … the whole reason I was there.

      2. OK so to be clear this applies to MA schools but I think it may have general applicability for some fields. My wife teaches chemistry at a Local state university. Please note this is NOT any of the UMASS campuses (Lowell, Boston, Dartmouth, UMass Med or the flagship ( 🙂 ) in Amherst). This is the old state colleges (aka Normal schools aka Teachers Colleges, E.G. Worcester State college, Bridgewater State College etc.) who’s knickers got in a twist over being “mere” colleges so they got the legislature to rename them.

        Generally for a class from the local community college to be accepted there has to be a SPECIFIC transfer agreement between the department in question at the community college and that at the state university to turn the community college classes into State University classes. Why you might wonder? At least in chemistry the issue was accreditation. The ACS (American Chemistry Society) has a strict set of guidelines for class materials and lab time. The community college classes did NOT meet the requirements and were not ACS accredited often missing large portions of required content and having much more limited lab time. As the State university only offered an ACS accredited degree at that time they could not accept the community college courses for the Chemistry major (although it could be used for other requirements for example in nursing, or as a general science course for overall requirements). Similarly the math department had an issue where the local 2 semester community college Calculus class covered slightly more than the first semester of material at the state university and missed some topics but nothing in the second semester (series, vector calc and a bunch of other stuff) which were prerequisites for things in other majors so they only give credit for the first semester class for the 2 semester class at the community college.

  7. I’m against student loan forgiveness unless the colleges are penalized, which won’t happen. Despite being, I think, the origin of the puppetry canard, I have a pretty good idea of who takes and holds student debt and agree that it’s more complicated than it appears. HBCU’s, for example, have extremely low graduation rates, a very high proportion of student debt, and very high default rates. Why? Because the kids are mostly poor and come away with nothing. The deans and other administration are all driving mercs.

    I take your point about working through school, it’s almost impossible, and I realize that I’m an economic outlier but my friends and neighbor’s kids all have huge student debt. My idiot sister has been paying full whack to send two sons to the Ivy League, but at least it’s an ivy and not just a posh private school. Having the right college sticker in the back of the Audi or Subaru seems to be the single most important thing in bourgeois life in northern NJ.

    Number one son was looking at Princeton, it was a possibility though not a probability, but I looked at the cost and told him that Rutgers is a fine institution, which is what he did. Ditto the other two. they could go wherever they wanted within a 250 mile radius but I was only paying instate Rutgers tuition. Oh, they couldn’t borrow money and couldn’t go to someone else’s state university. It was merit scholarships or state-U. They hustled and both did private and all three have liberal arts degrees, which works because they have no debt and can live on not so much, the debt doesn’t go away.

    I hated school, every blessed day of it, which is one of the reasons I think we underestimate God’s irony, My daughter teaches middle school in a small, parochial school. Number two son will almost certainly end up teaching in his old (Catholic, Boys, Urban, ethnically mixed) High School — they need him there. Number one son would be teaching but for the autism and the really sad fact that he makes more money working in a supermarket than as an adjunct, he’s a PhD candidate.

    My daughter has already changed lives by getting kids who had been given up on to learn basic math. I think teaching can be the most noble of professions, but for over a generation we have allowed the weakest members of society to do it. Ask number two son about education majors, he’s actually been going through it and it’s a horror show.

    1. I’m on the same page with student loan forgiveness, even if I’m on the early end of when student loans became particularly burdensome, with college degrees becoming increasingly diluted. If we are going to forgive loans, we need to make colleges pay, and we need to scrap the loan system altogether. We should also de-emphasize college as the only way to succeed in life.

      Instead, there will probably be a loan forgiveness program that does none of this, so that a new generation will have an opportunity to have a millstone around their necks. And there will probably be a push to make college “free”, freezing in these exorbitant prices, so they can become indoctrination centers of our youth, after becoming “available” for everyone.

      1. “we need to make colleges pay, and we need to scrap the loan system altogether. We should also de-emphasize college as the only way to succeed in life.”
        I want this.

  8. “…the people who are in trouble due to student loans… a never-end of English majors…” I resemble that remark.

    Positive side of the ledger, I got a decent job right after graduation and have worked in a field directly related to my degree ever since, doing something that I truly enjoy and (if I can toot my own horn) that I am very good at. And I’m now making very good money for an English major, working for a private company that makes Things That Matter Greatly. So I can feel good about that, I guess.

    In the debits column, there’s the fact that I was dumb enough to finance a grad degree in the humanities entirely through student loans. No need to beat me up over it, I can do that myself. There’s also the part where I stayed in higher ed after getting my degree, remaining underpaid, underappreciated, and under mental siege for far too long.

    If I’d started at something closer to the salary I’m getting now, I might have had a fighting chance to pay off those loans. Maybe. I’m entering my 50s now, the kids are grown (the daughter is in college; the son swears he’ll never set foot in a school on purpose again, and I don’t blame him), and the financial millstone of the student loans remains. At least when I die, that’s one debt that’ll die with me.

    So would I love to have the FICUS or Congress cancel student loan debt? Selfishly, yes, of course. I’d love to be rid of it. Do I think it should be done? Not really. What should be done is to kill the whole program, because student loans are the reason why the cost of education has skyrocketed beyond the pace of inflation to where virtually no one can afford to go to college without them.

    1. This is the root of it. The widespread indiscriminate availability of loans allowed colleges to charge whatever they like. I agree with Sara they were also being mislead as to the value of certain degrees

    2. Holy Carp…thats seriously ugly. My student loans were paid off in 10 years as was the standard in the 80s. My wife’s were deferred during grad school and in those days did not accrue interest until deferment cam off, and again were paid in the standard 10 year period. My Payments were 10-15% of after tax salary at start, considerably smaller at the end of the period. For a Doctorate in Chemistry she took NO student loans and paid no tuition (tuition waiver). University Fees amounted to perhaps $1200 a year, Stipend was ~$3600-6000 over the 4.5 year span. when we started paying again less than 20% of her monthly salary, certainly less than 10 of our combined salary.
      For our daughters (Elder girl dual B.A. math/education at a private evangelical university, Younger girl B.S. Mechanical Engineering at solid second rank engineering school) we managed to keep their debts low (through my wife doing lots of night and summer classes, she busted her posterior extremity). Ratios are similar to what we had, slightly worse for elder daughter as teacher pay is not as good as starting engineer. Elder daughter did get some loan forgiveness for teaching 5 years at a title 1 School (poor city school) and that has helped her. Oddly the whole deferement thing has annoyed both of them. They were happily paying down their loans interest free during Trump in 2020. However shifts in the federal division that take payments ( Obummer federalized ALL loans) had shifted around and wasn’t able to take payment at the start of the Turnip’s reign, and still won’t. Younger daughter is eager to kill those loans so she can work on a nest egg for a home and grumpy because she can’t. And both of them roll their eyes at forgiveness as it annoys them they played by the rules and kind of got shafted.

      1. Yes. Hubby’s and my loans (don’t remember the total or percentage Now) payments defferred and no interest accrued until 6 months after graduating (or quitting). We both graduated. My payment was $30/month and his was $19/quarter for 10 years. Took the full 10 years to pay off. (What I do remember is what we could earn interest was way, way, higher than what the interest was on the loans.) Thus we were paying on these loans as I got the AA and second BS degree, which we paid “as we go” for everything. But then too don’t count room and board, because technically I was living “at home” (the house we were buying or renting whether I was in school or not).

  9. Fees will be about $8000 a year. (Instate, it’s ALL fees.) Books, the uni claims $1000. Hah! My books weren’t that cheap per year twenty years ago and I was in music, not science.

    Young’un planning to attend college intends to live at home, work, and go to school. We live twenty minutes from campus, we can get him there. (Please note, must have car to reach campus.) He’s found an employer where after three months of full time training, they will pay said fees up front while he works half-time at $16/hr, and he can work from home. 20 hrs work, I figure he better not go over 14 credit hours a semester, it’ll take more than four years for sure, but he’ll graduate debt free and still have his college fund to help with grad school.

    Grandma wants him to spend a semester studying abroad “for the experience” and I don’t doubt he’d enjoy and benefit from it, but I don’t see funding for that on the horizon anywhere.

      1. Given Putin’s sabre rattling and Xi’s naked ambition, the only “abroad” I’d consider would be SA or AUS/ NZ.

    1. I just looked at the early bird program that a private university in Silicon Valley offers. 7AM-9AM, leading to an MS. This was/is aimed at engineers not willing/able to go to Stanford for a grad degree (HP offered to do on company money so for star engineers. I wasn’t.) HP would reimburse tuition and books after a B- or better grade for this program.

      Sleep was in short supply from 1987-1990.

      Back in the late 1980s, it was $1100 per quarter (usually 3 per year), for two classes, each meeting 2X per week. The summer quarter was one class, 4X per week. OTOH, it was half the cost.

      Now, it’s $1200 per unit, so $4800 per quarter for fall/winter/spring.

      I haven’t had the inclination or courage to try to compare my 1970’s undergrad tuition at a state university. Only so much sticker shock one can take…

      1. Do it for you:

        ’74 – ’75 – $1900: Everything, Dorm/Food, Book, Fees, Tuition (mom & dad paid freshman year, so I tracked it). Wasn’t tracking quite as close when I was paying. I finished end of Spring ’79. Was able to do it on $2k yearly loan + seasonal work at $2.65/hour (around $3.75/hour by summer of ’78). Plus about 12 – 15 hours per week at about the same, during school year. Subsequent years did go up. But I bet I didn’t get as high as $5k/year by the end, again, for everything. One way lucked out was although books weren’t cheap, the major books were mostly written by our professors (& universally used by other schools), and our university press printed; about 1/3 cost of a chemistry or math book. Result $8k loan, deferred payments and interest until after graduation. $30/month (Hubby’s loan was $19/quarter to pay off).

        In contrast our son, same university, same dorm, same quads later, different degree (does not determine tuition, fees or books) ’07 – ’12 ran $25k – $35k per year over his 5 years.

        1. About the same time period, 76-77, took a Master’s at U of CA – which was at that time on quarters, and tuition was about $255 for all the units I could eat. Nearly the whole program was lecture notes from the profs, no big expense for books, no labs, not much in required fees (I sprung for the student sports package). Real cost was food and rent, which my wife and I could handle.

          Did the 4-quarter program in 3; needed to get out of CA to rejoin my wife, who was teaching at a small college in the Midwest. Was not working, so I could be a pure student.

          Our kids. Well, different story. One is still working on those loans. Both exhausted the state-sponsored savings instruments that grandma started those for them.

        2. Similar here Freshman year Tuition, room and board (+ fees) at a private engineering school in Worcester Ma, $6200 in 1979/1980 year. Same school 2014-2015 ~$48,000, nearly an order of magnitude change. Books, I spent $150 a quarter in 1979. Books for engineering ~$200-250 a class (3 classes in a quarter) for freshman year, upper class books tended to run closer to $300 each.

  10. For the first 4 years after HS, I spent 2yrs at a local community college taking a full-time course load while working full-time. Second 2yrs I was going to a well-regarded technical school full time while working full time. No scholarships, no student loans and, well…

    I didn’t make it. Between the near hour drive one-way to the school, plus a lot of “artsy-fartsy” stuff that darn near required 30hrs a week outside class, plus a job that the boss was, well, less than accommodating, I flunked out.

    Could I have likely passed the classes my first time through? Absolutely, if I didn’t have to work except for beer money, maybe scored a grant or scholarship. But my parents made too much for any grants (yet because of the three of us kids, didn’t have a dime to spare for this, which I do NOT begrudge my parents, I blame the f**ked up system that only looks at gross income) so I had no choice but to try to manage both.

    About 10-ish years back, opted to try again for something in the field I was working at a “for profit” online college, picked up student loans (federal) to cover it, and while working full-time pulled through and doubled my income with a job offer from a recruiter.

    Now, if the Pudding-head in-charge does somehow manage to “forgive” student loans, the “I busted my butt and managed this on MY nickel” side of me is NOT going to be a happy camper, despite it freeing up some money for other purposes in our budget. Besides, I’d bet my taxes will go up to cover the forgiveness, making it a wash…

  11. “Teach. Teach in every way you can”
    I do what I can for my younger colleagues. I’m a little limited until I retire, and my public stuff is mostly technical, but not totally. Not sure what’s going on, but I seem to be establishing a reputation as somebody who knows stuff. I HATE the fleecing of young’uns that college became. I saw the scam start way back in my day. Kids have my sincerest sympathy. Preach it Girl!

  12. Got my BS Electrical Eng at cu in Colorado in 5.5 years working full time with no loans, it can be done, it’s not that hard just time and effort and discipline (and no fun or social time and working a second shift job). Tested out of my first year of credits with advanced placement during last year of high school and lived with my parents, used the bus and bike and saved every dollar. Worked part time at the university during summers to get access to discounts. unpleasant sacrifices that I didn’t see many other (if any) students doing

    1. In the ’70s, it was doable to get a BSEE in 4 years, if you didn’t need to work during school sessions. I took fairly heavy loads, dropped one course (network synthesis–was totally at sea), and carried a light last semester to accommodate job interviews. OTOH, I had survivor benefits after Dad died freshman year, plus scholarships to knock the costs way down. Summer work made it easier, too.

      1. I started on my EE degree, night courses, in ’76 at the local (Anne Arundel) Community College; $35/credit hour. By the time I transferred to Hopkins for the last 2 (academic) years in, IIRC, ’81, it was up to around $50/credit hour. Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering was about $135/credit hour. When I got my BSE in ’86 it was up to ~$160. Bottom line, it cost about $2500 for the first 2 academic years, and about $12k for the following 2-1/2 years (Hopkins was a 4-1/2 year course for EE). And Westinghouse paid everything for a “B” or better, so I was only out travel expense to drive from Annapolis to Baltimore 3-5 nights a week. And FWIW, the only courses in which I learned something I didn’t already know, and which were useful in my job, were Thermo and Statistics, both electives. But Westinghouse, where I was working as an engineer from ’76 on, require the degree; I later learned it was because of gov’t contracts which required “X” number of “degreed engineers”.

        I couldn’t believe how much college costs today, especially for the equivalent of Underwater Basket Weaving. Oy…

  13. A large part of the problem, IMNSHO, is that colleges are selling incoming students on degrees that are utterly useless. This isn’t the 1950s, when any degree was pretty much a guarantee of a job. Thanks to a lot of things, Gresham’s Law has kicked into effect, and many degrees aren’t worth the pretty paper they’re printed on.
    Colleges have always conned and exploited their students. Whether it’s forcing them to take useless courses so that a tenured professor can remain employed, or inveigling naive slum kids with dreams of sports superstardom into giving them four years of unpaid labor on the sports field, bringing in money to the schools before being injured so badly that they can’t play, or fobbing them off with useless degrees (very few college players actually go on to “da proze”), they’ve been a racket for a long, long time.

    Were it up to me, I’d make the colleges and universities eat a lot of these debts. Most “higher education” is the biggest con job since the Drake Estate scam, and if our useless, worthless government was on the job, they’d be raking a lot of “educators” over the coals.

    1. Hey, now, the degrees are not utterly useless. A ‘Gender Studies Degree’ qualifies the graduate to teach ‘Gender Studies’.

      Of course, there are hundreds of ‘Gender Studies’ graduates every year and MAYBE one or two ‘Gender Studies’ professor jobs open…

      Other than that, the paper is too stiff to wipe your ass with.
      They’re the Experts! They only sound stupid to you because you’re not as Educated as they are.

        1. That is exactly why, when President Trump signed similar legislation, they banned teaching racism, rather than teaching CRT! But it’s also something that needs to be monitored closely.

          Better yet, it’s time we seriously ask ourselves “how in the world did we ever get the idea that we should let the Government tell us what to think?!?” and then burn public education of any sort to the ground.

          1. There is a massive difference between public education and ‘government telling us what to think’.

            I’m a homeschooler, and I’m aware of that.

            There is a demand for a basic level of education, but it’s objective stuff– argh. K, this will be slightly disjointed, because I can’t alt tab to find examples because there’s a baby asleep on my chest. (how’s that for a creative reason?)

            You know how Sarah points out that a lot of stuff in Heinlein is the stuff that the progs/totalitarians/DoWhatWeSay folks wanted?
            And that what we got is…sort of like it, but different?
            They wanted everyone eating in cafeterias because it’s Efficient, instead we got fast food.
            They wanted trains for mass transit– and even their space bus type things WORKED like trains– and instead we have mass transit of everybody having cars and scooters and bikes.
            Well, they wanted the kids raised efficiently. For littles, that’s daycare. For bigger kids… that’s the public school.

            The problem with public schools isn’t the schooling, it’s that they keep trying to hijack it to raise the kids.
            Even CRT is basically trying to teach morality (really nasty, lame morality) to children.

              1. Yes.

                Which is why the daycare standard of schooling needs to be smacked, very very hard, and audited like crazy.

                They’re clearly expecting this already, from the “math lessons” that have gotten rather infamous.

      1. That’s the fundamental problem with colleges: they exploit labor by paying them in hope.

    2. Yup. Colleges have always been willing to sell diplomas to students who had the money for tuition and enough sense not to burn the schoolhouse down. But the flood of Government money after the Second World War turned into a bonanza for the purveyors of Useless Studies. Which had a chain reaction…the colleges hired the Useless Studies majors as administrators, thus driving up costs.

      Any college reform program need to address the administrator to student ratio.

  14. Look. First we stop the bleeding. This is basic first aid, yes?

    Stop giving out new federal student loans.

    Then we start making repairs. How about making student loans bankruptable? I’m not saying forgive all student loans. Just . . . let a person declare bankruptcy and get rid of them. Remember, we’ve already stopped giving them out before that. After all, the folks who can’t repay, their credit’s already trashed. They still can’t buy a house or any of the other things that require good credit scores. Y’all can still make them suffer in rat-infested apartments for another seven years. Surely that’s enough vengence for the crime of trusting the adults at eighteen?

    I’d like to see the colleges forced to repay what their students can’t. I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’d like to see it. They materially benefited, after all, and they lied to the students.

    But can we at least all agree to stop giving out student loans to start? Can we get that much progress made on this mess?

      1. I was irritated. My school’s founder said no endowment for the school. As I was there, they were working to set up an endowment. My schools founder pursued substance., what neat things can we do with the money we happen to have. (In other words, money was incidental to the objective). The president during my time there drove an escalade (I think that was it) and made sure he had all the other class markers. And put the school into debt with building projects. And had a vision that seemed to be as many students for as much money as possible to be just like every other college. And like every other college, kept raising tuition year over year.

        Dude, we were different for a reason. I liked the founding vision, don’t mess it up. And if I keep talking, I’ll give away where I went, and when. But as long as they continue the current vision, I don’t want to donate to the school general fund. Maybe my section, but not the general fund.

        1. I’m willing to admit when I attended University of Redacted for my BSEE. Same as Unnamed Private University for the MSEE. The latter might be easier to guess, though.

          Neither school got money from me, modulo a year’s worth of alumni association several years after graduation.

          1. I have donated to neither of my alma maters after I graduated. First, it was because I resented student loans — although I was optimistic at one time that, once they were paid of, I’d start donating. Second, it was because I resented how they were asking for it because it was a measure that is used in the rankings — and I didn’t like gaming the system (this mostly applied to my undergraduate). Third, and this especially applies to my undergraduate, I now despise how “socially conscious” they have become — and it hurts me, because otherwise I still have fond memories of my alma mater!

            1. Same here. I have not donated a cent to any of the 3 (2 universities, and one community) I got degrees from. One of them, all 3 of us, hubby and son, too, have attended and been awarded degrees from.

    1. Yes. I’ve said this for years. Make the loans forgivable in bankruptcy like they were before the mid-80s (and not coincidentally, before the costs of college started outpacing inflation.) We don’t have to insist on not giving out new loans, but we do have to mandate that the loan originator hold onto the loan for at least three years into the repayment period.

      Which will have about the same effect, as long as the lenders aren’t the federal government.

    2. They still can’t buy a house or any of the other things that require good credit scores. Y’all can still make them suffer in rat-infested apartments for another seven years. Surely that’s enough vengence for the crime of trusting the adults at eighteen?

      What lunacy is this? There is no conceivable punishment sufficient to cover the sin of $YOUNGER_GENERATION being $YOUNGER GENERATION. Everyone younger than the person speaking should be executed for cause!

      Jokes aside….. combine the old-good-new-bad of the right, with the humans-evil of the left………shivers

  15. I still want the universities to pay off the loans. I suspect it will be snowing in hot places before that happens.

    It would be great if we could get the students to reflect on the bill of goods they were sold and who was selling them, and having the dealer pay the customers might help with that. It would be even better if we could get them to think about why tuition and books etc are so ridiculously expensive…

    1. I would fully endorse if Harvard et al got to pony up some of their hedge fund to pay the loans off…after all, they’re preaching about equity, and knowing they are on the hook would lead them to temper the things driving up costs and driving down completion.

  16. A contract is a contract, no, student loans should not be forgiven.
    Caring, responsible parents should not allow their children attend university.
    Public school systems are halls of socialization and acclimation, not education.
    My opinions of course.

    Having said that I, and both my kids, attended university (Didn’t build up any student loan debt though.), no, I don’t think that’s hypocritical. Where I and my children are today, we got here pretty much is spite of our parchments, not because of them.

    1. Yet a person can run up hundreds of thousands of credit card debt and declare bankruptcy.

      So only Student Loan contracts are that sort of contract. And only because of a change made in federal law to make ’em so. YOU could have declared bankruptcy and got out of student loans, assuming you went to college before you were forty. (I remember you’re roughly my dad’s age, but in far better health.)

        1. So, since generally minors (generally, but not always, under 18) aren’t considered competent to sign contracts, the Feds added student loans to the list of “unvoidable” contracts?

              1. My parents co-signed mine, way back when. Every time the mail ran late on delivery (I was paying off in the ’80s), mom and dad would get a letter. Frustrating when you know the check mailed was mailed 14 days before due date. Had to have gotten there on time. But not always processed on time. Dang warning letter to parent went out fast. I got where I was mailing the check, due at the end of the month, just after the first of the month. Any earlier it was presumed the check was for the prior month, even if it had already been paid. Never had any penalties or late fees so check had to have been marked as to date it was received, even if not credited at that point.

                We would have co-signed for our son. But couldn’t find any whose terms we could live with (no interest and payment delay until after graduation or non-enrollment). Plus, dang it, that is what our open home equity credit line on the house was suppose to cover (at 2%) until they credit jacked it early 2010 (changed maximum allowed down to the owed balance).

      1. Bankruptcy is not free of consequences. Just sayin.

        Remember this is government owned paper. yes, the schools are dirty, much like the defense industry all that money corrupts, but the government is the problem. Put the blame where it belongs.

      2. I attribute my, reasonably, good health to the right decisions I made very early on; first you got to pick the right parents and grandparents to have and then the rest is easy. -grin-

        Student loans; Quick search
        Current U.S. Student Loan Debt = est. $1.75 Trillion
        Average student loan debt amount = $37,172

        Yep I am against loan forgiveness but if such happens, or any other method of getting out from under the load is available I would not fault anyone from taking advantage of such.

        When my daughter was CEO & owner of a construction company, most government contract she bid on allowed extra points for female owned businesses. Something I disapproved of, non level playing field and all that, but shucky darn yes, something she should and did take advantage of.

        1. Yes. Since we’re forced to pay taxes to support these programs, it’s only logical and fair to take advantage of them while they’re there. That doesn’t stop one from trying to eliminate the subsidies and other preferential programs, and get the government out of tilting the playing field.

      3. And I’d support seeing the relevant law repealed. That is also a valid solution that doesn’t say “chump” to lots of people.

    2. The problem with “a contract is a contract” is that a major portion of contract law deals with when a contract can be broken, or dissolved, or otherwise “weaseled” out of. Contract law recognizes that there are times where a contract was made in bad faith by one of the parties, or when something happens, and one of the signatories is no longer able to fulfill the terms of the contract.

      Good contracts will have clauses to deal with some of these contingencies in sane ways, but it’s not always possible to predict every curve ball life throws at you. And there are a lot of contracts out there intended to fleece the other party — one example comes to mind is a 90-year-old who was convinced to sign a 10-year contract for dance lessons — and another is a life “insurance” policy that I remember being advertised that had so many exceptions, one wondered if it was possible to die in any way to get a payment out of the plan.

  17. I truly believe that the Biden Regime is planning on “Forgiving Student Loans” in September or October this year to create hype going into the election. I think their timing for this is incredibly poor. They, being idiot leftists, do not see the absolutely MASSIVE recession coming this summer. Gas prices will NUKE the summer holiday season, and food prices are on an increasing positive feedback look. This is gonna hit HARD in about July and the big lefty companies are gonna fire a LOT of people.

    Why does this matter? Because if they forgive the loans after the recession starts they will be writing down an extra $1 TRILLION onto the debt with nearly no benefit coming of it. By near the election, with the recession marching on ruthlessly and inflation remaining strong, the left will clamor for relief payments to people to help them buy all the more expensive stuff and pay off people who lose their jobs in the summer.

    So it will be the perfect storm of awful decisions from the regime. This will be a depression, possibly worse than the great depression, but at least the college loans will be paid off while all the graduates with useless degrees and no jobs are looking for food in the dumpsters.

    This is it. The collapse is coming. Forgiving college debt is going to be the most “moving the deck chairs on the titanic” move the regime can do at this time, and they’re gonna do it.

    But I’m not sure the math will work. They may get a lot of young voters to vote for them, but this will likely be the final nail in the coffin of the left losing ALL the votes of blue collar workers for the rest of time.

      1. Not at all, and that’s the biggest thing I agree with you on in all of this. Bad part is alienating otherwise winnable groups is something the right and GOP sadly excels at and it’s a big thing driving my own political pessimism.

      2. Jealousy isn’t pretty either from socialists or “I did it on my own, so should you. Otherwise what I did becomes less valid.”

        Here’s something this person who had more hard knocks and kicks in the teeth, “Life isn’t fair. Stop expecting it to be fair.”

      3. Sure, we should not alienate the kids who were wronged but will benefit.

        But the blue collar workers, forgiving college debt on their backs is gonna be the biggest punch in the face they’ve ever gotten.

        We don’t want to alienate the kids, but the left doesn’t give a single s*** about how this will alienate the blue collar worker.

        They will deserve to lose them forever.

        1. Then this comes under “never interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake ”


    1. I’m not sure the collapse will be as bad as you think. I HAVE lived through them. Pains in the ass and stress inducing, but not that bad, except for the poorest of the poor with no families.

      1. Hey, way back you said living in a breakdown in the us was likely to be rolling shortages and barter sucking up time that we could be using in creative productive time otherwise. Rather than absolute famine. And what do you know, rolling shortages. Sometimes I can buy coconut grocery items. Somtimes I can’t. It’s been intermittently in stock for at least 6 months. Canned goods very much that way. Diapers a bit that way, but more constant than canned goods.

        1. Yep. Cauliflower for crud’s sake. I now keep a stock of frozen, because of course we use it, being low carb.
          And I advise cloth diapers. I know, we used a mix, because if you’re out you’re not storing the cloth. BUT try for a mix. Because if it’s completely out, you have cloth to use.
          In the same way? We got bidet seats for the toilet, in case toilet paper goes missing again.

          1. I really didn’t want to do cloth diapers. But maybe just in case, I should get some. Considering the state of things. I could see another kid, if we can settle on a location to live. I’m not that old yet. 🙂 Or we could give them away.

              1. If giving away the kid, ‘twould be only courteous to throw in a supply of diapers. 😛

                Whichever way Sarah’s running, I’m going a different direction. Target dispersal!

                1. Watch out. I know a few parents who have stated that if one of the subsequent babies/children had been the first, the kid would have been an only. Surprisingly the ones that are probably the result of the Old Curse of “May you have one just like you.”

                    1. Since the first, unless you helped raise younger siblings, is the “teaching experience with terror of doing it wrong”, that’s to be expected. And even if you did help raise younger sibs, the ultimate responsibility wasn’t usually on you, so less stress.

          2. Stopped by Popeye’s on impulse to pick up fried chicken. A good thing that’s all I wanted, because they were out of most sides.

            1. We cannot get cheese bread sticks at a couple of the locations we go to. They’ve taken them off the menu because they can’t get them.

          3. “We got bidet seats for the toilet, in case toilet paper goes missing again.”

            I’m chuckling at this. The only bidets I’ve encountered have been in Spain and Portugal. FWIW, Heinlein was right…they really are an improvement in plumbing.

      2. Agree. We have too. Last 43.5 years we’ve been married have been one after another; note I’m not even counting the Carter years, ’70’s v1, or the last high interest rate round. This one? What else is new. We are a lot better prepared for this one.

    2. Well, if everything’s going to shit anyway, it might as well go to shit with me having been relieved of that forking student loan debt (which otherwise I’ll be still paying for when I’m eligible for social security, if such a thing still exists in 15-20 years).

      The Democratic Party can do me that one solid and then die the ignominious death it deserves.

      1. Oh, don’t worry. They’ll make the “forgiveness” process so onerous that many people won’t bother, others will mess up the documentation on accident and get a big middle finger in getting the mess straightened out, they’ll put the whole process in the lap of the IRS who will link it to current salary (as in, you get back a percentage of the taxes you paid last year), they’ll give a big portion of the money to the schools (“You know this is supposed to go to student debt relief. Play nice.”) and they’ll exempt anyone over a certain age. Say, 25.

    3. I’m not so convinced that forgiving student loans before the election will actually result in the votes they’re hoping for.

      Off year elections never have the turnout of presidential years, and going people are already the least likely to vote. Second, of the young people who do vote, almost all are ones who already have strong preferences that aren’t going to be changed by a single policy. If forgiveness goes through, my husband and I will happily send thank-you notes to Joe Biden and vote for Republicans anyway. Third, as the Democrats like to note, the current generation of young people are the most non-white ever, and have you seen what the Democratic affiliation of those groups has been doing lately? Your average young person of color isn’t going to see this as racial justice, but as a big fat handout to their white peers and/ or idiot managers who got the promotion because they had a degree and you didn’t.

      I could well be wrong, but frankly, this move seems like it’s going to have the same result of Gladstone’s liberals extending the franchise to every British male, only for said new voters to make the conservative Disraeli PM.

      1. If they forgive student debt the schism between college educated and blue collar will become a yawning canyon that will never again be closed.

        The left are angling to make being a trade style blue collar worker a thing that doesn’t exist in America. And this would convince the workers of that fact.

    4. I don’t think they will ever forgive the loans.

      All of the loans have been in into 0% interest, no payments required forebearance since… March of 2020, I think, and they’ve just extended that into August of this year

      Keeping them in that status gives them all the leverage of forgiving the loans, with none of the downsides of actually writing the loans off.

      … Of course it does means that whoever reinstates either interest or payments is potentially going to set off a political bomb in their own face…

      1. They may want to forgive the loans, but then where will they spend the $3.2 Billion in administrative costs tied to student loans? That’s all Federal Government costs, by the way, they effectively nationalized student loans in the Obamacare, yes, Obamacare the Affordable Care act. That’s one of the things they had to pass so we’d know what’s in it.

        Annual revenue runs about $1.4 Billion so the Feds manage to lose money. One could argue that forgiving the loans would be economically positive.

        1. I agree that it would be an economic benefit. Which is another reason why it won’t happen.

          But people don’t see the “It costs this much to administer, and brings in this much revenue, therefore it’s money-losing prospect”. They don’t see “If a lender writes off a debt it disappears and doesn’t get paid from anywhere by anyone”.

          All they see is “You’re a sucker for paying yours off/never getting into this debt” and “The feds are going to raise taxes on the suckers to pay off the debts incurred by the debtors.”

          1. All debts get paid, one way or the other. It’s a classic Bastiat seen and unseen situation.

            Student Loans are approximately 20% of the total assets held by the US Government and 92% of all student loans are held by the US government.

        2. Even if they forgive the loans, they’ll need to keep the bureaucrats for the loans taken out by next year’s students. People can’t afford college. So the loans still need to be issued.

        3. I think too many loans were going into default. I know several who saw the mountain, realized it would never be paid off, or even the income reduction level would have them living on the street, and said “screw it. What’s the point?” This is bad for the system. The system wants the beast to work, not lay down saying what’s the difference if you beat me working or laying down?

          1. Agreed. And even if they weren’t in default, the number of these loans in income based payments that will be forgiven eventually is enormous.

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: quite a lot of the student loan debt out there is never going to be repaid. If it be now, tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.

            Also, yes, the most indebted, and thus those with the most to gain, are people with professional degrees. Many of these people are not nearly as rich as assumed. I’ll use my graduation year as an example. Of the 2010 graduating class, less than two thirds of all law school graduates were employed in jobs that needed law degrees. My law school dean boasted that my alma mater beat that number — “only” a quarter of the class was unemployed nine months after graduation. For more and more people, even the degrees that used to be the ticket to a stable career are now lotteries where first prize is wealth, second prize is scraping by, and third prize is you’re fucked with a scarlet JD on your resume and a mountain of debt on your credit. (I literally had to take law school off my resume to get my first white collar job paying $12/hr.)

              1. Heck. Just compare my sister’s and her husband’s salaries to mine. All 3 of us have the same degree. Worked in the same industry. Their individual salaries were over 3x mine at the highest, often theirs were 8x’s mine. (Silicon Valley & who they worked for VS not – I was never going to make annually what either of them did where I am located). Their gross combined income was 5x’s our combined income at our highest. Which, honestly, the combined income comparison isn’t a fair comparison. Hubby was never going to make the type of salary either of them did, even with a professional degree. Wrong field for that. Even when he was assigned jobs that required overtime, which he got paid overtime rates for (salary not exempt).

  18. “Isn’t that what we tell them to do? Trust the experience and wisdom of those who are older than they are?”

    Not in this household. We start lying to kids when they are about two, very obvious lies such as “you are a cat”, or “you are “. By the time they are old enough to go to elementary school, they are able to respectfully disagree with adults.

    One of my proudest memories is when our oldest (about four years old) told me the spelling is “fone”, and no matter how many times I told him it is actually “phone”, it didn’t convince him.

  19. I still have student loans and I am in default. I took 4.5 years to get degrees in linguistics and anthropology, that completely failed to increase my income options. I then spent about ten years working in nonprofits and filling out forms to get my loans forgiven. They never were, the paperwork mysteriously disappearing on the other end multiple times. I paid when I could, and ultimately I just kind of gave up. They take my tax refunds for them, now.

    As for women getting scholarships, it’s not as easy as that. I had good test scores, was an “adult student,” first person in my family to go to school, raising kids all the while and going to my local state school as a commuter. I received 500 a semester as an honors program scholarship; it did not even fully cover the cost of my books.

    1. Fix your W-4 form to reduce withholding so you keep more of your money and don’t get a refund. I’ve been doing that for decades, making sure I owe at least a few hundred at the end of every year.

      1. Yep. I made that decision back around 1985, to stop giving the Fed an interest-free loan every year. I set it so that I occasionally had to pay a penalty (usually around $10-15), which was less than the return on the extra I didn’t have withheld.

      2. The ideal is to owe $0.99. The IRS doesn’t demand payment for anything under a dollar.

    2. Scholarships for adult/nontraditional-aged students don’t really exist — at least, not ones with enough $ to make a real difference. That’s one of the main reasons why I ended up with such humongous loans. In my mid-20s, with a wife and kids, it was the only way I could possibly have got a degree.

    3. Look into what is going on now. You shouldn’t be in default anymore, but you probably have to prod. Supposedly, if you try for an income dependent payback, they will count this 0% time frame as being ‘paid’. There also is a new period to get the loans forgiven for working non-profits, but the cut off is October to get the paperwork processed.

      Of course that could be all just PR. I tried to get a friend to look into this, but they were already so disgruntled, and beaten down, they couldn’t handle even thinking of it. I, also, read through looking through how to get out of defrauded, and realized, I wouldn’t work for me.

    4. My loans aren’t in default, but when I got that COVID inflation money, a large portion of it went to paying off student loan debt. It was good to be free of my undergraduate stuff! But it left me feeling like I was robbed of that COVID money, too — so I suspect the effect is essentially the same.

      I’m not entirely sure what I would have done with that money, if not for student loans — I’m not the type to want to spend it all on a nice car — but come to think of it, having a down payment for a house would be nice (maybe not one in this crazy market, though), or maybe put it towards college funds — ironically, even though I have a daughter coming of age for college, I cannot contribute in no small part because of my own student loans. At this point, I’m advising my kids against college. At one point, I thought everyone should go to college, no matter who they were!

  20. I wouldn’t worry about student loans forgiveness too much, BTW. With the kind of inflation I believe is waiting for us, it wouldn’t matter much one way or the other.

    1. I’m betting heavily against much more inflation. the thing about economic depressions is that they are deflationary. Your mileage may differ, of course.

        1. It could happen, it may happen, but Portugal was not the world’s reserve currency, that matters, a lot. Even during the 70’s inflation, inflation and interest rates dropped during the recessions. I’m betting on recession, possibly deflationary depression. That’s what you get when monetary bubbles pop.

          I wrote here a while ago when the discussion was about the relationship between IQ and success that I was certainly toward the bottom in IQ among posters here, but probably among the top in wealth. If we get stagflation in a big way in the US, I’ll still be among the bottom in IQ.

      1. If it’s deflationary our supposed betters are going to issue stimuli payments until it isn’t. They love to stimulate the economy and purchase votes at the same time.

      2. I just put my money where my mouth is and locked a 5.6% 30 year mortgage. The previous, previous was a 15 at 3.125% (almost paid it off before selling the house). The current is a 30 at 3.5% – and less than a year old. We’ll see…

        1. Ours current, 12 years in, of 30, is at 3.65%. We started at 13%, variable with a 5 year balloon in ’88. Got rid of that sucker ASAP. Last refinance appraisal was $255k. Current real estate sell appraisal (not “official”) was a low $360k. Zillow Zestimate has it at $436k … AND it is 600 sq ft short in the description. Notice the spot above the garage? Yes we have permits. Copies were pulled for the last refinance. Prior owners built. The trees and the Trail Blazer Trailer are gone.

          We looked into another refi, which would have been 2.25% and they would have paid us to do it. Didn’t. Should have. I didn’t want to extend another 30 years. Fifteen years would drop the required payment much. Should have just done 30 years then continued with current rounded up payment. Would have given us better flexibility. As usual we “talked about it too long”.


  21. I should link to my Internet buddy Brickmuppet’s saga. Went Navy, go out, started going to a good school. All his majors stopped being offered before he could complete one, and tons of his credits aged out. He finally got one of his degrees last year, although I think he earned about three.

    He is now over forty.

    Back in the day, the office people at colleges tried to get you all the credit you earned (at least if it was at their university or college), and you could get multiple degrees or minors without even meaning to. Now, it is the opposite at most places.

    1. That’s evil, quite frankly.

      With my school, the calendar year (save that catalog!) was the contract between the student and the university regarding what was required to finish the degree. As long as the student didn’t drop out, the university couldn’t yank the degree or the credits out from under him. Even if it meant substituting courses.

      1. hahahaahah! Ahh, but one trick is saying “the class didn’t make”, meaning there weren’t enough students enrolled. I lost out on some classes for that. And heck, I wanted to take a night class at the local community college and they always listed it each semester, including summer, for two years, and NEVER had it, because it never had enough enrolled.

        1. Son ended up taking 5 years, and lost opportunity (not entirely the schools fault, Obama’s cuts were at fault too) because of the “can’t get into a required class” even when supposedly he was at the top of the list (senor+, first to get in line, even with prior professor signature). Either class was cancelled or it was full. He did take advantage of “well I’m here now anyway” and take classes that he couldn’t get otherwise. Not that any helped. He’s not working in his degree field. He could have. But he’d have to go to California, or back east, at salaries that would have him living on the streets. His response, “I’m not an idiot.” His job now has as much to do with his Eagle scout award than the fact he has a degree.

          I do not resent him getting his degree. First of we forced him in to college (he also wanted to go). Saw a lot of maturity between 18 and 22. He wasn’t living at home. Going to college made him more conservative 🙂 Just having a degree should give him options, even now.

    2. Yep. I tried to get answers on dualing in sophomore and junior year. Finally got answers in senior year (I would have needed another 5 courses or so) and wasn’t going to push another full year to do so. Not that it mattered, had to go for my MS to get a job.

  22. The federal government took over student loans because we needed the money. Interest to be paid by students was what made Obamacare ‘revenue neutral.’

    Forgive the loans, forego the interest, then what . . . eliminate Obamacare to live within our means?


    That’s a good one.

  23. Yesterday I attended an investment seminar, which mostly amounted to a sales pitch for bond funds, stock funds, and an investment management program with a million-dollar minimum. I am interested in one of the stock funds they presented.

    A retired woman in her late 60s or early 70s was sitting next to me and we talked a little before the presentation — until the subject of Florida came up. She hated Gov. DeSantis. I tried to find out why.

    “What has DeSantis done that’s so horrible?”

    “Huh? Uhhh…everything!”

    “What, specifically? Give me an example.”

    [sputter] “Just…everything!”

    “Come on now, you’ve got to have some reason for being so against him.”

    “Uhh, you know…the last law he passed! Yeah, that’s it!”

    “You mean the law revoking Disney World’s special district exemption, that was passed by both houses of Florida’s legislature before he signed it? That one?”

    “Right! Now Disney won’t pay any taxes!”

    “Actually, Disney will pay more taxes now, as well as having to obey state law like everybody else. That’s what the exemption was all about.”

    [grumble grumble]

    “You know why they passed that law? Because Disney said he should be impeached for signing another law, that prohibited schools from teaching weird sex fetishes to children in third grade and below. Why should the schools do that?”

    “Hmp. I’m going to go get a drink.”

    For some reason, she didn’t want to talk to me any more after that.
    If everybody is thinking the same thing, most of them are not thinking.

    1. I had a similar type of conversation at a fiber fest last year re masks and covid. When I mentioned mass hysteria, the triple-vaxxed, masked lady announced she didn’t want to talk any more.

    2. There’s a maxim that you can’t reason someone out of a position he/she/it wasn’t reasoned into. This fits that (along with so many others).

    1. Sadly, there needs to be a ‘stamp of approval’ on your learning. I know this. I bought used textbooks at thrift stores, and taught myself high level math. But didn’t matter. I had the high school guidance counselor tell me I was too stupid to be a manager in retail, and I was a waste of his time. Heck when I tried for a bank teller, they told me I was too stupid to work for them.

      After I got the physics degree, I never heard that ever again, expect for people who had no clue of my degree. What changed? I didn’t change. I always loved talking math and physics. But suddenly everyone’s perception of me changed once I had a piece of paper.

      1. I guess I lucked out or was in the right places at the right times.

        I dropped out of college at the end of the fifties, hitchhiked up from University of Florida to NYC to seek my misfortune, moving to Alaska 3 years later.

        Over 25 years later, my daughter failed calculus, distraught ’bout getting her engineering degree, told her I’d race her (Had been doing the same as your used book’s studies, plus evening classes plus correspondence courses, hence had a lot of applicable toward degree credits, only a few holes needed filling.) so… I got my parchment and so did she.

        The piece of paper didn’t really affect my work or career.

        1. Probably right place, right time. In the late 60’s, early 70’s, there was an explosion of colleges created. In the 80’s the diploma mill’s really got cranking. Your next try, if I follow you correctly was in the late 80’s, early 90’s, which still falls in the period before things got really dark with education, as the uni’s started learning the tricks of the diploma mills. Meanwhile, because companies are no longer allowed to give tests before employment, they use the degree to prove the person isn’t a complete waste of time. I mean, giving high school diplomas for attendance or a GPA under 1.0???

          Unlike many, I loved school. I loved learning. That’s why I picked up textbooks, so I could teach myself math, so I could read the physics journals in the library. I still love to learn. So watching what has become of education is like a punch to the gut as it actively creates people who hate learning.

  24. I put myself through college and graduated about 3 decades ago. Only cost me 20 years of my life in the military, a bogus Article 15, and 8 to 10 years of night schooling. Oh, and I paid a considerable percentage of tuition, all the books, and fees out of my pocket. Active Duty tuition assistance helped, but didn’t cover everything. I ended up with a BS in Computer Information Systems Management; which means I can work at the operational/component level of computing, but I don’t haven enough physics to actually design the circuits (I do have enough to competently wire a house though.) One advantage of getting the degree that way was the instructors were people who had a degree in the field, and were working themselves. No college campus and the infinite propagandizing you find there.

    1. Unless you’re talking about designing the actual chips and other components, you don’t need physics (or, in most cases, any math beyond elementary trig) to do circuit design. And if you are talking about component design, undergrad physics is only the starting point.

      1. Sorry, but as someone who did circuit design for more than 50 years, I have to dispute that statement. You’re correct in that 90% of my job was accomplished with high school level math, but that other 10% did require probability and statistics, differential equations, vector calculus, linear algebra and little tricks like laplace transforms. Cross-levels courses like thermodynamics and strength of materials were also useful.

  25. daughter # 2 got her BS with no debt while living with her (then boyfriend, now husband). this is in CA circa 2014. how? grants, grants, grants. she became a wiz at researching weird grants. strangest one was this – $4,000 for getting her eyes checked every 6 months. why? cuz her natural eye color is green but she can get them to change to blue or grey. (hint if they go grey RUN)
    then she went to work at local JC. went into wild debt getting her masters. she did not care about the debt cuz – works at a JC. year after getting the masters the debt was forgiven. how does she spend her time at this JC? finding grants for new students rofl.

    1. I’ve been trying to find information on human eyes changing color like that! I’ve read that it can/does happen but have never been able to find anything about it beyond “outdoor/overhead lighting makes them look a different color when they’re really not.” Do you have a link you could share about this phenomenon? I would really, really like to know more. 😀

      1. I don’t know about conscious control, but I used to know someone whose eye color reflected his blood sugar levels. He could see if he had a sugar low by looking in a mirror.

      2. Using the Dark Side turns them glowing yellow, as demonstrated in the documentary series Star Wars. ;-p

        1. I did pick that eye color for my Sith Inquisitor in SWTOR, though she ended up mostly light-sided since the Inquisitor/Sith Empire Light Side choices were… actually quite practical, while the Dark Side choices were “hurr durr… let’s be a psychopath” or similar.

          (Republic Side Dark Side choices are more ruthless, though some are psychotic as well…)

      3. My eyes change color. The base color is a blue-gray, but there are bits of red, yellow, green and purple. What I’m wearing brings out one color or another so they look different colors.

      4. I have no link, but I have “mood eyes”. The baseline is one brown and one blue. When I get angry, the blue one goes from a washed out pale to bright blue and the brown one gets really dark. Apparently, it’s disconcerting if one notices. I obviously don’t.

  26. I had an off-topic horrible thought: if vaccine injuries finally get so obvious even the media can’t ignore them, will they pin the blame for the vaccines on Trump just before the midterms and go full, “How can you trust these people? They’re killing you! We told you you shouldn’t take Trump’s death vaccine!”
    Yeah, it would be a complete 180 flip, but they do that so much.

      1. Iran is apparently extremely close to having or already has working nuclear weapons because Team HarrisBiden declared today that Iran is “weeks away” (meaning they likely have the bomb already) and are blaming Trump for it, while signalling they are going to give Iran everything it wants. At the same time, an ex-Iranian legislator talking on an official Iranian government station TV show admitted that Iran’s nuclear program was intended to develop nuclear weapons from the very beginning.

        1. As anybody with enough functioning brain cells to form a quorum has known from the beginning.

          The only thing they can blame Trump for is preventing Iran from having nukes three years ago. 0bama and Biden did everything they could to help them.
          It’s dark here. You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

        2. Well of course. The original alliance with Iran to nuke up was sold as preventing such. And reality is defined by narrative, not by what actually happens.

    1. The more we learn about the mRNA vaccines, the more disturbed I get. And I’m already pretty disturbed. At the very least, Dr Fauci appears to be guilty of crimes against humanity in his dealings that produced the bioweapon, COVID19.

      1. Yes. I’ve advocated an equivalent to the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal for a year.

    2. Trump isn’t running. Now, if he runs in ’24, the panic part of the panic-demic is a steel rod he can be thrashed with.

  27. I will also admit I didn’t go the STEM route and I only halfway believed the ” college will make you money!” line they fed me. I went to college because I wanted to. If I could have studied only what I wanted I’d have finished in two years. I took their bs required courses but I treated the rest of the options like a menu in a restaurant… anything that sounded good, I wanted it. Greek, Latin, old English, and German in the same semester, when I’d already tested out of my language requirements twice over, with my high school French and Spanish. But I’d always wanted to study Indo-European languages and thus was my chance, I took it. I fought to get into higher lever linguistics classes even though it was a graduate program and I didn’t qualify. I badgered and befriended the professors and got permission to take them anyway. After two years of putting my own program together the school decided to invent a minor for me so I could make use of those credits. I maxed out the minor so they made it a double major my last year. I loved my time in college and considered a graduate degree and an academic life…but after talking to my linguistics profs I knew I’d just be borrowing more money I might never make enough to pay back. (One of them told me she worked as an adjunct at four schools and made less than she could have at McDonald’s. She was praying for an offer of tenure anywhere.)

  28. My daughter is ADHD, and because she was in sixth grade, we had to adjust her 504 (like an IEP, except milder) to reflect the fact that she sometimes locks up with executive dysfunction and strategies to break her out of it. Because otherwise, there will be a whole bunch of things she won’t get done because nobody notices she’s not doing them.

    (It’s a lot easier to get an IEP or 504 in grade school. Once they move to junior high it’s a PITA.)

  29. College costs what it costs because the government guarantees the loans. so the lender has almost no risk, and the university can charge what it wants, secure in the knowledge it will get the money.

    And I’m sorry to cause you to hit yourself in the head with a 2×4, but I used life savings, a GI bill, and whatever i could earn to put myself through college [my Pop paid for that], and Law School [I paid for that]. And it something like six grand a year for college – and no loans available.

    And a good many students take out loans to pay for majors that will not produce meaningful employment, or the ability to pay back the loans. Gender Studies, anyone?. Why? Because they don’t “feel” the bite of the loans. Kind of like a mammoth tapdancing in the LaBrea tarpits

    Solutions? [A] Mike rowe], [B] Cancel the governments guarantee of the loans. Just sayin’.

  30. I see that pretty much the entire commentariat here is talking about the costs of education. But one of the other things you said in this post was: “If you do interesting stuff: building, sewing, machine repair, start a you tube channel or a blog (the same goes for history, languages, whatever) and send me the link to publicize.”

    I don’t tend to go in for the auto-horn-tooting, but since you asked…I help run the Interstellar Research Group (yes Sarah, I do remember that you’ve been a regular at our symposia…), which has as its statement of purpose:

    “The purpose of IRG is to facilitate interstellar research and exploration by hosting regular summit meetings, encouraging educational advances, publishing technical and scientific papers, and supporting literature and culture, all in the service of enhancing public understanding and dialogue toward interstellar exploration. IRG will assist in building a technological, philosophical, and economic infrastructure that advances the goal of establishing outposts throughout the Solar System and, finally, achieving a pathway to the stars.”

    Take a look at what we do, pass it along!

  31. Require that the admitting university cosign the loan. Suddenly there is a whole new set of incentives.

  32. ISTR there was a school in Indiana getting people to invest in students. “I pay X% of your college expenses, and in return get Y% of your income over Z$/yr for T years.”

    1. Yes, there are groups that are pushing corporate “sponsorship” of students as young as 3. I watched a documentary about this some time back. The corporations have an agreement with the schools, and get a kick-back if the child in question exceeds expectations. The child’s social credit score (that’s not what they call it, but it’s essentially that) is based on how well they do in school, augmented by the “relationship” with their sponsor. At graduation, the child owes the sponsor a certain amount of time.

      I can’t remember all the details, but it was chilling. It’s presented as a public service, but the child (and his parents) have no say in the matter.

        1. Yes.

          And also an especially stupid thing to push right now given the parental revolt currently going on in education. What makes anyone think THIS will fly in the middle of CRT and child grooming in schools getting such massive backlash?

      1. Yikes.

        Yeah, this was a university (I think the one run by a former governor). It was being compared to a company selling stock on a temporary basis vs taking on debt.


  33. Talking about “the kids are all right, mostly”, I have a couple of data points about that. My great niece went to a small town high school in Texas. One of the things they taught was money management on the Dave Ramsey plan. She picked up on that, and is doing her best to stay out of debt now that she’s graduated. I think she’s now taking a couple of courses each semester at the local junior college, while working at a big-box hardware store (and doing well enough there to have been promoted once or twice). She started as a cashier and I think now works in the store’s accounting office.

    A second great niece (by assimilation, not family) got a job at a chain drugstore after high school, got certified as a pharmacy tech, and has also been promoted a time or two. She’s now considering going to college to become a Pharmacist. We’ve talked, and she’s aware of the need to keep the student loan debt as small as possible if she decides to take that path.

    Both of them are pretty level-headed about finances and making sure that there’s a decent return on investment for any student loans they may need. Both graduated high school about 5 years ago, and neither of them is particularly woke. They understand TANSTAAFL.

    1. Funny enough, I’ve found most of the young people I interact with fairly level headed too. it may all be availability bias. Perhaps we get the wrong idea from listening to the crazy people talk about their crazy kids. I have a young cousin who is a complete whack-job environmentalist loony with purple hair, bad manners, and continually morphing sexuality. But then her father and especially her mother are both complete whack-jobs too. One is left with the old wisdom that apple trees produce apples.

    2. Basic personal economics is a subject that should be covered in high school…and isn’t.

      1. Son HS covered it. Not much. But they did cover it. In fact. One of the pre questions they got on that section was the “Chose one of the following a. $1/day for 30 days. Or b. $0.01 on day one, $0.02 on day two, and subsequently doubling prior day’s amount each subsequent day.” All the scouts who had earned the Finance Merit Badge answered option b. No one else did. To be fair. When the same scouts took the finance merit badge they chose option a too. They learned better. And remembered years (for them) later.

      2. We had it in grade 11, but it was taught by an actual, no kidding old Commie. We did supply and demand curves, but he was adamant that government policy dictated all things


  34. I’m in college right now-San Francisco State, BTW-and just how appallingly…ignorant or banal the people that are teaching classes are is terrifying. One teacher, because I’m having to “widen my horizons” by doing Broadcast and Communications Arts, is teaching basic media theory. He started to talk about character gestalts and I started pointing out how a lot of the gestalt theory came around with The Hero Of A Thousand Faces and Jungian theories.

    The teacher (and this was on Zoom, BTW), had a look on his face that could best be described as blank when I was saying this. Like he had never heard it before. This is a professor of media studies not knowing about Campbell, one of the biggest theorists in media.

    Let’s not talk about my other teachers, please. (One of which I’m convinced is suffering from some kind of dementia or other issue, considering how mildly scattered her writing and class is.)

    There’s some…student issues as well (how appallingly poor most students come into college, especially in writing papers that the English program is overwhelmed trying to teach them late Junior High/early High School grammar, the cost to go is massive and most students drop out in their first semester because they can’t afford to live or commute or anything in the SF Bay Area, etc, etc, etc), but I can definitely see most universities-and most programs that aren’t STEM and probably a few of those-that are pretty much remittance jobs for far too many of the worst kinds of socialists and outright Communists.

    Yet…you need the degree because it’s the “leg up” if you want any job that doesn’t involve flipping burgers or stocking shelves. I know I have my current job-and the “leg up” it gave me to turn it into a permanent one-because I had to do an internship for my degree program.

    I’m just glad I have only a few weeks left, I get my degree, and I can leave the campus at speed and never come back if I can help it.

    1. My Forestry degree required 6 months employment in forestry for the degree. No credits. Just proof of employment. I had 15 months (4 summers and one fall), plus the time put in working for the school forest manager during school terms. Most ended up either logging or working wildland fire crews whether for the USFS or hotshot crews. Gave our college forestry graduates a jump on other forestry college graduates as they often had to take their forestry labs during summer months. Our college forest land is right on the edge of town. We had labs when we had the class, come sun, rain, or freezing sleet (since I couldn’t afford decent rain gear, trust me it could be C O L D). Wasn’t a lot of help. Not in the late ’70s, and especially in the ’80s, into the 90s. By then it was too late for those of us not lucky enough to stay in the field. I wasn’t the only Forester who turned to Computer Science and Programming.

  35. When I was in college (early ’80s), co-op programs were big. Especially for Engineering students – about half of my class were on a co-op program. Work six months, go to school six months. I wound up working for the Navy…they covered my tuition, I worked for them for three years after graduation.

    Being dirt-poor, I did not inquire too closely into WHY the Navy would offer such a good deal. Let’s just say that Naval Air Station Patuxent River already had earned an evil reputation as one of the worst possible postings for a single man.

      1. Evil for total absence of opportunities.

        Let me put it this way…NAS Patuxent River, MD, is near the tip of a wedge of land. To the east is the Chesapeake Bay, the nearest bridge being 1.25 hours away. To the southwest is the Potomac River, the nearest bridge being 0.75 hours away. The aggregate population of the near-field dating area is 140,000…but the base workforce is over 30,000. Topping it all off is the minor fact that Washington DC lies to the northwest…and the lowest-income/lowest-education exurbs are to the southwest of the city.

        If you’re a single, educated, reasonably charming woman, it’s the Husband Store. Come here, take your pick of Navy Test Pilot School graduates ($100K+ pay, plus loads of post-retirement earning potential), engineers ($100K+ pay, plus job security), or maintainers ($90K+ pay, plus decent job security). Fine men of good character. But if you’re a man…let’s just say that we look to hire men who are either married or engaged.

        1. Which figures. I recalled stories about Pax River from friends of mine, having you remind me about the details. Especially the women flocking there because they’re hunting for a husband in a baited field.

  36. As much as I hate giving people a free ride, I say no more guaranteed student loans and the folks that are buried can get rid of them in bankruptcy.

    Maybe they can also lose their voting rights for 7 years too to make the rest of us that didn’t get such a gift feel better, but that’s probably a dumb idea. 5 years picking up litter? 2 years as a field hand? 6 months in the cobalt mines? Loss of tattoos?

    I know many people that didn’t go into massive debt over the years. AP tests, combined high school/college credit classes, military then college, going to community college the first couple of years, online college, certifications, etc…

    But I also have met plenty of folks in the service industry with worthless degrees or dropped out after racking a big bill. It’s a SCAM. The one class not taught in the critical early years is financial responsibility.

    I agree with Mike Rowe about vocational jobs. Useful skills for keep actual civilization running.

    Universities are gold plated compared to the way they were 30 years ago. So much waste and stupid expenses. Text books and inflated graduation requirements are the biggest scams. To get a EE degree today requires an extra year of padded requirements, none which make you a better engineer.

    K thru 12 is a big mess as well. It doesn’t help that 40% of the local school budget is for ESL and economic refugees. We went through heck digging those numbers out of the school board.

    So not only do I may have to pay others student loans, I currently have to cover non-citizens education and heath care. And it hurts when you scrape up to go to the dentist and you see a half a dozen or more tax player funded sets of braces in a single family that speaks zero English.

    All in all, it’s just ‘nother straw on the camel’s back. As a Christian I love my fellow man and help others when able, but not I’m obliged to care of everyone’s needs. Forced charity is slavery

    1. When one of the Ivy League palaces decided to remove a secondary library – over vehement student and faculty protests – in order to create another loud room full of “lifestyle enhancements” (games and food and stuff), I knew that education no longer had anything to do with that institution.

    2. “Maybe they can also lose their voting rights for 7 years too to make the rest of us that didn’t get such a gift feel better, but that’s probably a dumb idea.”

      Only because it should be 10 years or so. I disagree with Sarah on this one, I think that debt forgiveness will incur the permanent wrath of everybody who didn’t get the handout. Whether they paid their loans or didn’t incur any.

      At the same time, there’s a defendable position that some relief must be granted to get these people back on their feet. But it should come at a high price.

        Dead people and illegals vote.
        And that’s the other thing: forgiving these loans? Drop in the bucket on educating and taking care of MILLIONS of illegals.

        1. Indeed. Start with blank voter rolls that we fill with people who can come in person to register (before voting day) with some proof that roughly sorts citizens from not and is a difficult to fraud wholesale. Combine that with killing mail in ballots (in person voting only please, with an inky finger for extra credit). And hand or mechanically on site counted ballots. No scanned stuff with administrator rights to adjust things and no internet ports….

          Only after that can we discuss who gets to vote. We can set up a committee (what, a la Lord Vetinari? I would never!)

          As was said yesterday. First stop the bleeding. First reduce the fraud! (Is imperfect world, probably can’t ever stop it completely everywhere….)

  37. For those who are adherents of the Judeo-Christian faiths, there is a simple response to “oh, they took out the loans, they MUST repay them.”


    Look it up, in the earliest sourcebook.

      1. It’s been 200 or so since the nation started. We could have one this year. I’ve thought about the jubilee concept. We know there’s cycles in money. 50 year debt forgiveness as law seems like it would not eliminate them. It would regularize them. And the difficult thing about cycles? It’s their lack of predictability. So make them predictable, and it seems like they should be manageable. People can plan for them.

        Of course the other side of the framework is interest rules. They were forbidden from charging interest to brothers (other Israelites). How would that work?

  38. We drove old cars and never had a fancy vacation in order to save for our children’s college education. I know people whose children passed on going to college because the financial burden was too great.

    At the same time, people who are swimming in college debt must feel a tremendous burden, especially in today’s economic environment. However, if government is going to forgive student loans, then it must also rebate tuition paid and and provide a tuition credit for those who deferred college. None of these solutions is feasible.

    1. I know our son chose state college VS going to the private college that would have gotten him a degree and a pilots license. He got a 50% tuition scholarship. Fees, books, housing, travel, and flight time, costs were all on us, three. Tuition alone, then in ’06 – ’07 (his senor year) was $25k. We told him we’d figure it out. He ran the numbers and said “no”.

    2. Again, some years we paid 40k, which effectively emptied our accounts.
      Our “vacations” were weekends in Denver, when we lived in the Springs. One night at Embassy suites, with breakfast taking the place of two meals (because free) and then dinner in a diner. In between? The super-cheap amusement park full of illegals, and the museums. Sometimes the zoo. (we got memberships, so total was about $200 for the year.)
      We did this at a cost of maybe $250 four times a year.
      When we could afford 2 nights because mom had sold a story? We felt like millionaires.
      Old cars? Well, this is the newest car I’ve EVER owned. It’s 10 years old.

  39. I’m glad I paid off my loans in 2012. If they do loan forgiveness are they going to accomplish it through inflation? I’m getting really sick of inflation.

    1. Well, if they write off the loans it will be nearly 2 trillion dollars the government won’t be getting to pay for other things, so yep, it will be like pouring liquid oxygen on the current inflation fire…..

  40. Back in the 1980s-90s, I worked 30 hours a week during school (10 at an on-campus job, 20 at a local library). It took me 5 years to complete a BA at my inexpensive school, ending up with only 6,000 dollars total in student loan debt (which I only took on because the stupid FedGov said my parents should be able to pay my college expenses, so no Pell Grant until poof I turned 24 and suddenly became independent).
    No help from family, other than one year my parents were able to help me with a tuition payment.
    Took me 5 years to complete an MA, paying for it as I went along, with enough credits to just stay active in the program.
    My student loans were paid off years ago, and I have wasted 20 years trying to get a full time position in higher ed. Bah — Burn it all down.

  41. A little over a week ago, Casey Muratori – one of the programmers I follow on Twitter – was talking about why education is so bad. He pointed out that successful industries aren’t successful because everybody in them is really good, but because those industries are structured in a way that allow the more competent people to have a disproportionally large effect. Education doesn’t have this yet.

    Here’s part of that conversation (you might need to scroll to the top):

    1. Damn it, I thought that would show the whole thing. Never mind, just click on that to go to Twitter, THEN scroll to the top.

      1. Here’s another branch of the discussion (a few of the early tweets from the previous link are repeated):

    2. ie. I wouldn’t trrust 80+% of programmers to programming anything, either.</blockquote:


      For programmers it comes under "it depends". If you were to talk to one of my former colleagues he would say I can't program. Because I never got into the lower OS bits and bytes. Ditto a more recent colleague, I had to go to him to get the barcode printing piece from scratch to work (reinventing something that we could have bought to insert, heaven forbid). I don't work at that level. Could I have? Probably, eventually, had done it before, definitely not as rapid. OTOH I couldn't trust them to make user interface something end users could use. Nor could I trust them for user features without practically beating them over the head. "Users don't need that" when users already had that but we were changing how something worked because of another feature that "users didn't need" but finally forced the issue and were paying for it. Could they have? Well yes, eventually.

      Don't get me wrong. Both were mathematically brilliant. In comparison I am/was (since not programming anymore) just very, very, good. I am

      not mathematically brilliant, instead I see patterns. Which allowed me to take something from concept to executed delivery, and had. Which is rare. But, I probably couldn’t have made it in larger organizations where coding is more compartmentalized.

      Yet. From everything I’ve heard, since I retired six years ago, my former employer can’t keep programmers. It may be partly pay, or job hopping, IDK. This is new. When I started, no one had been hired for 5 years. I was there for 12 years, with no new hires until just before I retired. They lost two long term employees within two years of my retirement (they were 70 … take that as you will). But the new employees are not staying in part because the code process is too “hard to learn” (or so my sources report). These are computer science college graduates.

      1. Sigh. Stupid bad blocking (my fault). Everything after the “-” is not suppose to be block quoted.

      2. As long as you can write code that actually works without causing problems, is reasonably performant and isn’t unnecessarily bloated or difficult to understand, I think Jon and Casey would consider you competent even if they didn’t think you were top-notch. And from what you’ve said of your career it sounds like you can, so Casey’s complaints aren’t directed at people like you.

        1. I know. I am well aware I set a very high bar. I sell myself short. I know. I can’t be any different. I may not be brilliant but as my end users all have said “I delivered”. That is what I needed.

          I also have a problem with “If I can do it ….” because if I can make the career change I made, anyone can. That is not true. I know that. I cringe when I hear “Learn to code.”

            1. No. Yes. Maybe. There is a lot behind it not related to growing up family life, married life, or programming.

  42. “…and BOOKS (which are ridiculously expensive)…”

    Yes they are, but good professors, departments, and colleges can fix that problem. Textbooks for my upper-division statistics courses are crazy expensive. BUT. My university has some amazing subscriptions to publisher archives of technical texts in PDF or e-book formats, all readily accessible to any registered student. I have been steadily converting my required reading lists from (expensive) hardcover texts to (kinda-sort-free) online texts for several years now. By the Fall 2022 semester, the maximum textbook cost in ANY of my courses will be $25.

    Better yet, my university’s library offers development grants to faculty who adopt online texts to replace hardcover ones, and provides mentoring to aid in adapting courses.

    One of the advantages of working in one of the top Hispanic-serving universities; we try to make education affordable to substantiate our bona fides.

  43. clears throat

    I have faith in them. They can figure out a way to ensure that the willful idiots who took Gender Studies get the forgiveness and the conservatives-kicked-out don’t.

  44. ROTC Scholarship here. The Army reserves a % of all scholarships solely for active duty soldiers. University of South Carolina cost $1,500 a semester out of state tuition, plus books. Things seemed to have changed some since the early 80s. 🙂

    1. Currently at the state school I went to tuition is between 4500 and 5k/semester. And out of state is sitting at 12k-13k/semester… and they STILL get out of staters because out of state is cheaper than their home state’s in-state tuition. Often by several multipliers.

        1. Yeah, my point was that even at 12k per semester a good chunk of the country was sufficiently more expensive that that looked cheap.

  45. I have a Teacher’s Certificate, taught public school for 10 years while my daughter went to arts magnet schools, then homeschooled my son. He just finished his degree at a major university the year before last with less than 10K debt, which he has already paid off. My Advice?


    You know something is wrong. You can feel it when you walk in, when you hear the stories, when you go to the school board meeting – something terrible is happening. We all know wonderful teachers, but they are no longer in charge of their classrooms. Corporate Experts are brought in, closed door meetings with unlisted personnel make unspoken decisions, and parents are not allowed in… but a fearful change is underway. From top to bottom, what used to be School is mutating, and no one can tell us why. Parents are jailed for asking questions, children are told to keep secrets from their parents by people who wish them harm –

    Look closer. School is no longer school; something insidious has taken over its smiling corpse. The System that rules the Schools is a Monster, feeding off children, crushing them emotionally, spiritually and physically to create a never-ending income stream for its masters out of the financial debt, psychological torment and emotional ruin of its students.

    It is time to starve the Beast.

  46. My favorite history teacher in high school got his education degree “by accident”. After Vietnam he utilized his GI Bill and as a junior his advisor told him that if he took a couple of extra classes he could not only get his history degree but also get an education degree. He later became principal, but sadly passed away a couple of years ago.

    I’ve noticed a definite dearth of knowledge of history and cultural references from a lot of younger people, and even GenX. It’s rather staggering sometimes the amount of things that I consider to be common knowledge are absent from a lot of people if it happened more than a decade ago.

    1. It is freaking sad. All the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, and a singularly ignorant population.

      1. my 11 year old asks me what I watch on you tube, et al. since we’ve told her to quit watching people play video games (I really don’t get that one). My response was mostly history and science stuff. She does like nautiluslive when they have stuff going on.

    2. They are in a bubble, floating on top of common culture. They are so isolated in their selected on-line and in-person peer-groups and sub-sub cultures that they miss enormous chunks of the world around them. I’m not “up” on current pop-culture, and I still get references that go whooshing past younger people.

  47. Sue the colleges for fraud. Seriously. Young kids put faith in advisors who tell them that 100 grand of debt for that theater degree is a smart move. That’s fraud. Nail the schools to pay off the loans.

  48. I recently explained to a group of millennials about there being no need for a government body to standardize things, informing them that Sears, standardized lumber sizes, and also standardized kitchen cabinet heights and modularity.

    I will also confirm that collage funding has shifted from academic to affirmative action. I have some friends, they homeschooled four boys, their eldest is about 30. He got scholarships based on his ACT and SAT scores. But his brothers are going all in on their Hispanic heritage, their Mom told me that the academic scholarships are just gone.

  49. I’ll be honest, not gonna ask for it but I’ll take it and not have a scintilla of regret. Between the inflation of degree costs since the 80s, academic benefits being replaced with racial ones, the fact that my company is replacing engineers with foreigners at a tenth of the cost (and because other nations actually require companies to do a percentage of work locally) I figure since im going to be screwed over by govt and prior generations so I may as well get mine same as they do.

      1. I’ll also note some comes down to where you come from as to opportunities for education. Your son had CUB as well as potentially others (i worked with CUB students in undergrad). No public university within 5 states had my major and even those that had its more generalized brother would be an hour drive each way. Military? I can’t due to suicidal depression. Grad school thru employment? I was actively applying to ambulance services for full time instead of per diem with a BS in engineering because couldn’t get a foot in door anywhere before I got absolutely lucky in getting a partial ride to grad school.

        As far as once get a ‘career’ you’re changing jobs (and companies) every 4-5 years in order to get ahead of even 1-2% inflation since in-place promotions and raises don’t happen and with the financialized economy you’ll spend most of life renting since buying needs stability for 5+ years to break even , especially when the govt makes sure to keep escalating housing prices.

        This is all the people that make money playing with money (finance, politics, etc) playing people that make things against each other to benefit themselves

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