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 « on: May 23, 2015, 04:58:05 PM »

Under President Johnson, the government set up the Federal Direct Student Loan Program to provide “low-interest loans” (back then, “low” meant 8%) to students.

Private lenders make the loans, but they receive the full backing of the feds. The idea was to help you afford higher education… and earn larger salaries as a result. And with your increased earnings you were supposed to be able to pay off the loan. But at over 11% of outstanding debt, the Student Loan Program now has the highest delinquency rate of all forms of household debt (mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards). It will probably go much higher, as students take on more debt.

Total outstanding student debt is expected to bubble up to \$3.3 trillion by 2025. What do you do if you can’t pay? Well, the feds have a solution for you. The trouble is, it turns you into the very thing the program was meant to avoid. Here’s how it works: as long as your income is low, you are allowed to make small token payments every month. Keep this up for 300 payments and your debt is considered satisfied, no matter how little you paid.

In other words, the Student Loan Program encourages you to live in poverty for a quarter of a century to get rid of your student debt. Most likely, this will be easy for you to do anyway -- first, most college degrees do little to make you more valuable to employers. Second, your parents’ rigging of the economy will make it difficult to make any financial progress anyway. The median household income – after accounting for inflation – has been falling since the late 1990s. And good jobs are hard to get. There are fewer “breadwinner” jobs today in America than there were in 1999.

You need to stop the suicidal credit-based money system, too. It works only by increasing the amount of debt in the society – including student debt. And it works only until the debt bubble gets so big it blows up. But there’s a logic to it… a sinister logic that turns you into chumps for older generations. Spending on credit favors the existing owners of capital … and people who have existing claims on the government money.

When the government borrows money it gives the money to someone to spend, or it spends it directly. Usually, the money goes to an older person – your parents or grandparents – in some form of social welfare subsidy, pension, job, contract, or support program. When they spend the money, it goes into the coffers of corporations. This increases profits… and share prices. Who owns those corporations?

By increasing credit, they shift real wealth from the future to the present … and from you to them. This is the money you haven’t earned yet.

I’ll spell it out for you: The government borrows a dollar. It gives the dollar to some group. The money goes – one way or another – to a corporation, which registers it as a sale. If it has a 10% profit margin, 10 cents is recorded as a profit. If it sells at a price-to-earnings ratio of 20 times, its stock price goes up \$2. This makes the owner of the stock \$2 richer. (I’m oversimplifying … but you get the point.) But the government now owes \$1 more. And who’s going to pay it? You are!

This is the test you face. You are arriving in the economy at the tail end of a 60-year credit expansion. Debt has boomed. The economy has boomed. Your parents enjoyed an economic expansion that began when they were born and continued, with only short interruptions, until they retired.

They got out of school with little or no student debt. They could start businesses with fewer impediments. They could borrow money to fund businesses and their lives. They could hire, fire, switch jobs… buy and sell houses… move from place to place. They were freer, and richer, than you will be.

The debt expansion of the last 60 years will turn into a dreary debt contraction, possibly dragging the economy into another Great Depression. Either you find a way to shuck off, default on, or inflate away your parents’ debts… or you’ll stagger under the weight of them for the rest of your lives.

Congratulations, chumps.
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 « Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 05:17:08 PM »

thank you colleges for creating worthless liberal arts degree programs, dumbing down education to the last common denominator
it's obvious that not everyone needs to go to college
now I'm okay with a foundation in the liberal arts but no one should major in solely the "liberal arts"
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 « Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 05:53:07 PM »

thank you colleges for creating worthless liberal arts degree programs, dumbing down education to the last common denominator
it's obvious that not everyone needs to go to college
now I'm okay with a foundation in the liberal arts but no one should major in solely the "liberal arts"

Here's why nothing prepares you for the 21st century like a liberal arts education:

it is a broad focus on a range of subjects, rather than on career or vocational skills that will prepare young people for the future. He reminds readers that the “liberal” in “liberal arts” has to do with freedom and generosity.

The central virtue of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to write, and writing makes you think

What a liberal education at its best does—and it really does this much better, I believe, than…let’s just call it an Asian style of education for now, even though that is a simplification—is to allow people to range widely, to read widely, to explore their passions. Let one interest lead to another and on and on. I think that kind of breadth and the ability to feed your curiosity and indulge is incredibly important. It’s what, now in the corporate world, one would call synergy, or out of the box thinking, or the intersection of disciplines. This has always been a central part of what a liberal education has meant.

W.E.B. Du Bois had this wonderful famous quotation in The Souls of Black Folk he says, “I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm-in-arm with Balzac and Dumas.” It goes on, I think he says, “I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and they come graciously with no scorn or condescension.” It is a wonderful point, that this knowledge is accessible to everybody. It is knowledge; not Hispanic knowledge and White knowledge.

What you need to learn in any business is so basic that you can learn it in the first three months on the job. To take this precious time you have between 18 and 24 and waste it on learning fairly simple mechanical things that will vary from firm to firm and industry to industry and sector to sector, is silly. What you should really focus on is building these broader strengths, science or non-science.

Is it important that you study a specific set of things, acquire a kind of canonical understanding of certain things? Or is more important that you learn how to think and how to analyze—that objective distance? I started out pretty much in the kind of great books camp. But I have come to realize that, actually, the much more important task is critical thinking. Not that it’s not important to read some of these great works. I think it is and it would be nice if everybody read the same ones. There is a certain kind of community of understanding that comes out of that.

But we’re living in a global age. We’re living in a more desegregated age. And the idea that there would be some kind of kind of common core of knowledge that everybody would know is A) probably not going to happen even if it might be desirable, and B) all this kind of information is now on your phone. I think we really do need to think about what that means. How important is it that people remember dates when they could literally press a button and in 30 seconds they have the date in front of them? Yet, that memorization of the dates still takes up an enormous amount of time. It takes up a lot of the teacher’s energy.

We’re in this incredibly important area of total transformation and I find that when I bring this up with educators there is a kind of blank stare on their faces because it’s always been important to know when the Civil War started and ended. And I understand that to some people it seems illiterate that you don’t know these things. But the question is, if you have a trade-off, and if you could go much, much deeper into modes of thinking—teaching people how to think—and spend less time on dates, would it really be so bad if somebody had to look up exactly when it was that the Western Roman Empire fell?
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 « Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 05:27:39 PM »

has boyah gotten into the business of content aggregation?
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 « Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 05:28:18 PM »

If the point of a collegiate education is to empower the student to be able to think on a grander scale.  Should the professors not be obliged to perform their instructions in the most free, open ways possible?  Why to they cloister themselves on university campuses, hiding themselves behind thousands of dollars of tuition and hundreds in text book fees.  The latter of which are 'updated' almost annually, should knowledge and the power to teach such knowledge not change with such ferocious speed?
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 « Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 11:52:15 PM »

Snorkel that was beautiful man.
You are absolutely right to champion the liberal arts.

Exposure to a variety of subjects at the moment when one's passions are at their highest-(late teens/twenties),
allows the individual to develop a sense of self through the exploration and understanding of certain ideas, based in literature, art and history. Nothing is original in the sense that yes original to you, but surely, experienced and felt somewhere else, maybe yesterday in someone's living room, or 3000 years ago in a smoke filled hut. It is not worthless to consider this knowledge, from whatever mode, source or method that you can discover, obtain or fashion. You can't really know the world or how it is supposed to work without history.

It is that simple. It is like someone arriving at a moment when a drinking glass is cut in half and only having the front part, now open, cylinder, to look at. Having never seen a drinking glass before, a mind would struggle mightily to make any sense of what this object originally was intend for. I say mind, because we get hung up on the person, a person is just the biological vessel variably dressed, housed and transported and or otherwise accompanied or residing alone. What makes it all happen is the mind in that cranium and the mysterious whirlwind of chemistry giving life to thoughts and conscious, miraculously coming into existence.

And so it is with history. Or life, or the mind. A favorite quote of mine comes from a famous Roman notable for what today we would label the sciences, philosophy, literature, politics and teaching--Cicero. It says not to know what comes before you were born is to remain an infant forever. I say comes and not came, because history is not static. It influences and indeed controls the future, one not need mention the present. More on that later. And I say infant not in age, but thought. I think Cicero had a liberal arts education too, might have been self taught actually.

Your knowledge and ability to articulate is only as great as your exposure and absorption of thoughts and knowledge that has come before you and that you have come across. To do this we use language, itself a limiting factor that has varied through the ages so we take that for granted, but abused as it may be, is the single most important feature of any thinking entity. How are you going to know language if you do not read? And here of course it becomes clear that fictional writing, versus technical writing is superior and more important!

Of course, this is easily misunderstood, because often technical skill is seen as more useful. It is teachable, repetitive, and able to produce a tangible product or thing. This in itself teaches nothing to anyone but is a mere tool. What meaning and value we deduct from it has to do with both functionality and our interpretation of it. But how does one get an ability to interpret something and derive a meaning and philosophy from it beyond the very immediate and superficial understanding of it based on its function alone? How can you know if something is good or bad without agonizing over what has been previously done and what could happen as a result of what is being done?

Why must we assume that our moment of living is any more enlightening than any other moment that has come before? Is it ridiculous to think that some mind may have has a more serious and detailed look at life before and collected these observations and conclusions as best it could for some other mind to use? We cannot assume our age knows best, because our age knows less. Random data cannot compensate for a program and system developed to make sense of them. You may see the same thing I see, but may not get the full sense of appreciation of it and what it means for humanity.

It is the ability to properly understand the relationship, meaning and significance of things, from actions to thoughts, practice and ideology, that allows society to remain healthy as it grows and develops both in size and technology. Ignorance kills. But ignorance has many forms, change for example, is an obvious form of ignorance but one that is not properly considered ignorance. You know, proud to be a heretic, when it was noble to be orthodox, as G.K. Chesterton wrote. Divorce, promiscuity, consumerism, crime, investment, finance, all aspects of modern society and all results of everyday decisions and actions of people based on how much they know and are able to express that. As people know less and less they have less and less need and time to learn critically because everything is based on a work routine, chores and then self indulgence and entertainment.

The modern society does not want a man to be a thinker. It wants hims to be a user and mindless doer. He does not have to breath, sweat or think. Simply perform roles and not ask questions. Degenerative decisions and developments are allowed as long as the roles remain and routines persist. It is not high minded to sit back, shed this harness, and consider what it means to be alive, apart from your responsibility and desires. You will realize very few depend on structure and bureaucracy. This is not a given or granted ability, it is one which the individuals first sniffs, experiments with, peruses and understands, and then develops over and for a lifetime as a means by which to navigate the world.

The ability of man to create ever more complex tools and learn how they interact with the elements, and teach this process to the next generation to develop ever more complex processes and products is constant and inevitable--basically everything artificial that's ever been created, from false teeth to the pyramids. This can be traced back and will continue on into the future. It's fine to learn code, trade stocks, build cars or shovels ditches. But what is more vital and critical is not to be illiterate in the humanity of it all.

I'm not the Romantic I once was, so I wont preach here about what is right or not, both vice and virtue can be vetted out by a pious man, as long as he does not act foolishly, but always with reason and purpose, has acted under consideration. He who acts arbitrarily and carelessly with only a mimicked claim to doing good or bad is doing neither and has acted most dangerously and destructively. That's why our sense of value is whack and sense of purpose is very foggy. We don't know what to associate with what, value, and why we follow someone like the Kardashians, have Oscars, but not national events the similarly honor literature, philosophy or the sciences. Are there televised and mass watched Oscars for these disciplines? I don't think so! They don't represent wealth, entertainment and materialism.

The most dynamic element is the one that was and always is. The thing we fail to see, is the human methods and means of developing society and producing individuals based on its image. The worth and value of humanity--and humanity means society, the physical construct of it and the conciseness that dwells in it--is its understanding of itself for the best promotion of peaceful human development first in mind, then spirit and finally physical world. A person from the past might be revolted at our modern ways, regardless of how quickly you can toast your bread and relieve yourself, because our concepts and values are filthy.

Do you know why there have been so many empires and wars, changes of borders and acts of outrage, brilliance and marvel? Because the human mind has willed it to happen. It conceived, applied and influenced the course of humanity. In other words, the man who was pouring molten metal back than, as his counterpart is pouring now, was and is no less important and played his role as he will through the ages to come, but the individual who was able to manipulate his reality, through a more elastic, vast and penetrating mind, was the one which shaped the ability and means of that iron welder to one, learn about the world, two, be able to provide for himself, and three, understand and express himself.

I think that person would have had a liberal arts education too. In other words, what we term liberal arts, general knowledge of literature, history and science, is not only relevant, but absolutely essential for every single person and must be a prerequisite for any disciple or subject regardless of its content matter! One cannot develop a vast sense of self otherwise, and cannot wield critical thinking at all times for every thought, decision and encounter with any input form the world around him. Also notice I have never once mentioned school or formal education! The most important criteria is thirst for knowledge, and your ability to get your eyes, hands and brain on it, make love to it, and use it for more and more such things.

No amount of school or educators will ever compensate for the individual spirit and actions. The smallest, poorest school and material environment have often given birth to the brightest and greatest minds among us.

I don't know how many different ways I can say this, I am limited by words and the conceptualization of what I feel and know instantly and without limit, as any sentient being knows a truth, like breathing, loving and dreaming.

It is why I am content and in my own way confident in life. I know what matters and what does not, what I really need and what is good to do from time to time, to what degrees I should care and who and what I am responsible for.

The rest is just bullshit.
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 « Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 11:18:02 PM »

The former governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, cut state funding for colleges which caused a huge inflation of tuition prices in which now all the top colleges in Indiana, every year, increase at the federal maximum allowance. He is now president of Perdue University. Probably not relevant but it's a fun fact.
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 « Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 11:20:30 PM »

The former governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, cut state funding for colleges which caused a huge inflation of tuition prices in which now all the top colleges in Indiana, every year, increase at the federal maximum allowance. He is now president of Perdue University. Probably not relevant but it's a fun fact.

Lol, that's nothing. The UW system here in Wisconsin is actually collapsing thanks to ol' gov W's love for higher education.
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 « Reply #8 on: October 30, 2015, 10:28:57 PM »

The former governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, cut state funding for colleges which caused a huge inflation of tuition prices in which now all the top colleges in Indiana, every year, increase at the federal maximum allowance. He is now president of Perdue University. Probably not relevant but it's a fun fact.

Lol, that's nothing. The UW system here in Wisconsin is actually collapsing thanks to ol' gov W's love for higher education.
He is destroying the whole goddamn state
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 « Reply #9 on: October 30, 2015, 10:30:36 PM »

The former governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, cut state funding for colleges which caused a huge inflation of tuition prices in which now all the top colleges in Indiana, every year, increase at the federal maximum allowance. He is now president of Perdue University. Probably not relevant but it's a fun fact.

Lol, that's nothing. The UW system here in Wisconsin is actually collapsing thanks to ol' gov W's love for higher education.
He is destroying the whole goddamn state
:rolls eyes:
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 « Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 03:05:18 PM »

The former governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, cut state funding for colleges which caused a huge inflation of tuition prices in which now all the top colleges in Indiana, every year, increase at the federal maximum allowance. He is now president of Perdue University. Probably not relevant but it's a fun fact.

Lol, that's nothing. The UW system here in Wisconsin is actually collapsing thanks to ol' gov W's love for higher education.
He is destroying the whole goddamn state
:rolls eyes:

I don't think you really understand how drastically things have changed here over the last few years. Its not just buzzwords and people bitching over nothing.

The assault and indifference towards education from the state level has completely skunked good k-12 educators and is just wrecking the uw system.

And it doesn't make sense. The uw system used to be gold standard, attracting a lot of out of state prospects. Now, good professors and educators are juggling impossible class loads or leaving the area altogether. The budget cuts are just ripping things to shreds.
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