Poll

Should the federal government do something drastic about private student loans?

Yes, forgive them all
3 (25%)
Yes, forgive some of them
1 (8.3%)
Yes, apply the 10% rule to private student lenders
2 (16.7%)
Yes, other (elaborate)
1 (8.3%)
No, actions have consequences
5 (41.7%)

Total Members Voted: 12

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Author Topic: Student loan debt: What's the deal with that?  (Read 17376 times)

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« on: November 21, 2011, 01:37:27 AM »
Here's a video that says we shouldn't.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPZZ5o1nY2M" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPZZ5o1nY2M</a>

Okay, first off, we need to differentiate between federal and private loans. Federal loans are backed up by the government, and usually only amount to a few thousand a year. That few thousand is what is subject to the minor rule changes in the recent executive order, taking the percentage of income they can take from 15% down to 10%, and taking the maximum repayment time from 25 years down to 20. Any other portion of the tuition that is not covered by grants, scholarship, work study, or savings is covered by private loans from Sallie Mae -- an institution that, like Fannie and Freddie, was started by the government, but is independent enough that it's not subject to those rules, and, unlike Fannie and Freddie, has not yet been bought back by the government.

Federal loans have repayment options such as Income-Contingent Repayment and Income-Based Repayment. If you fill out all the paperwork for Income-Based Repayment, your payments will be greatly reduced to an almost certainly manageable level, and if your income is very low, the loans will be somewhat frozen -- they'll basically be in forbearance, but (as best as I can tell) no interest accumulates on them in that time. In contrast, when you get a Sallie Mae loan, until a couple years ago, it would probably be a Signature Student Loan, where your options for repayment are pretty much either two-year interest only or four-year interest only, and where you don't have to make payments until six months after you leave school, but all the interest from that time is added to the capital. Now, the loan you'd probably get is the Smart Option Student Loan, a name that doesn't make much sense seeing as there aren't any options. You make interest-only payments while in school (for me, it was $189 a month for one loan (they stopped offering Signature loans right before my senior year), and then interest+principal payments six months after you leave. You can't change that payment amount, and from what I was told last time I called them, you can't even request to put it into forbearance.

So long story short, if loan payments are actually a problem for you, they're Sallie Mae loans, not federal loans, in which case the tiny vote-buying tweaks in that executive order don't even affect you.

Now I angrily argue against the argument in the video:

Quote
1. These loans are voluntary. All borrowers are excrutiatingly well-informed of how much they’re borrowing and how much they’re going to have to pay back.

About half of all college students take out loans and when they do, every lender clearly spells out exactly how much you’re on the hook for and what your monthly payments are going to be after you leave school.

Critics say that 18-year-olds don’t understand what they’re getting into and shouldn’t be held accountable for their decisions. But that’s an argument against letting kids attend college, not against letting them borrow against future earnings to get a degree that will increase lifetime earnings by somewhere between about $280,000 and $1 million.
- No. It's not entirely voluntary. We were constantly told for eighteen years that we needed to go to college if we didn't want to end up dying alone in a ditch. We were coerced. Most of us were not capable of making informed decisions -- not when all the informants at the time were universally telling us (though, I must emphasize, with the best of intentions) that the options were either go to college and get rich, or don't go to college and die alone in a McDonalds' dumpster.
I mean, conservatives believe 18-year-olds are too stupid to make the right voting decisions because they're too brainwashed by Jon Stewart, so why do they think 18-year-olds are smart enough to know just how much of their lives they're signing away when they go to a $25,000-a-year school that they can't afford?

- An extra $280,000 over my lifetime? Great, 'cause by the time I pay back all my loans, I'll have given Sallie Mae over $189,000. Yeah, a net average of about two thousand dollars a year is definitely worth paying over a thousand dollars a month for a decade or two.

- I was 16 when I started college; 15 when I decided to go and where to go. 14 when I said to my mom, "You know, I think I might take a year off instead of starting college right away" and she said I had to go right away or else I wouldn't be eligible to possibly win a couple-thousand-dollar scholarship from my dad's company. (spoiler -- I didn't win it anyway). Should I really have to pay the rest of my life for a mistake I made at 15? A mistake that I was led into by my parents and the entire culture at large? A mistake made with the intentions of bettering myself and society?

Quote
2. The amounts being borrowed are hardly overwhelming. While the cumulative total of all college-related debt is huge – approaching a trillion dollars, it’s bigger than credit-card debt – it’s not so big for individuals. The typical college graduate who borrowed money to attend graduates owing about $25,000. They’ve got a minimum of 10 years to pay back that amount and the repayment schedule can be extended and modified for a wide variety of reasons.

The monthly payment for $25,000 in student loans at going rates comes to around $290 a month. That’s not chump change. But given that the that college grads have unemployment rates that are less than half the national average and that the average salary offer for graduating seniors is almost $50,000, the loan amount isn’t so bad either.
Yeah, $25,000 hanging over your head right when you start out in life isn't big at all. Do you know what average means, by the way? It means there's a buttload of us with six figures of debt. My monthly payments right now are $820 a month. It'd be about a hundred more if the federal loans were still in repayment (income-based repayment FTW), and it'll be over $900 a month in March because I just put them into forbearance for three months because I'm out of money, and the interest from those three months gets capitalized when they come back. I'm working part-time for minimum wage, and I make about $850 a month. Just under $850, actually. Oh, and three out of the four loans that make up that $820 are currently on interest-only payments. That means two things:

- I'm making zero progress on actually paying them off.

- They'll be a lot higher in about two years.

With loan payments already 97% of my income, and soon to be over 100% (as previously mentioned, Sallie Mae is still technically private, and therefore not the slightest bit subject to that 10% of income requirement), how the heck am I supposed to save up money so I can move out to somewhere with better prospects so I can get a halfway decent job?
Right now I'm just on a treadmill, going nowhere, except I'm also being force-fed Big Macs while on the treadmill so I'm not even losing weight. I get $800, I give $800, my principal stays the same, and every day is just a day closer to the payments going up.


Quote
3. Bailouts are never a good idea. Like Tea Party activists, Occupy Wall Street protesters are right to rail against bailouts for big banks and financial institutions that are politically connected. But student loan forgiveness advocates are wrong to perpetuate yet another cycle of bailouts. It’s never right to socialize losses while privatizing gains. That’s what the banks did – they risked their money on stupid investments and then got made whole at the expense of taxpayers. Student loan forgiveness is simply another version of the same swindle. And it offloads the costs of other people’s decisions onto taxpayers, who guarantee federally backed student loans.
I don't know what the right decision is now, but I've got a good feeling that if we'd spent a trillion dollars on this instead of on the stimulus, most people of all ages would be better off by now. If I'd graduated with no loans to pay off, I would've taken the few thousand dollars I'd saved up, moved to Philadelphia or New York City, and gotten a job in my major. And if I didn't find anything, I'd go back home, get the job I have now, save up for a while (while also buying a PS3, stimulating the economy), and go try again in a few months. With that six-figure cloud hanging over my head, though, I can't do much of anything.



The education bubble is popping. We got stuck for so long on the idea that everyone needs to go to college, just like everyone needs to own a house -- whether or not they can afford it, whether or not they can afford the loans, whether or not their major will ever get them a job that pays that kind of money, whether or not there's any demand in those fields. We kept subsidizing it, thinking we could level the playing field by lifting the whole thing up on pillars, but all it did was make it a farther way down for the ones who fall off it. Every time we all got another couple thousand dollars from the government to go to school, schools knew they'd be getting another couple thousand dollars from each student, raised tuition by a couple thousand dollars, and started new programs dependent on that money.

(Incidentally, I didn't get any financial aid from the government for college, because, since my dad makes $70,000 a year, they figured I wasn't poor enough to need help paying for a $30,000-a-year school. Even though my dad has seven kids, a wife, an ex-wife, and a mortgage, and we're a thirty-mile drive away from everything, and he drives from New York to New Jersey three times a week to go to work because they wouldn't let him transfer his seniority to a closer place, and also his company's stock is currently trading at like five cents and will probably go bankrupt before he retires. So anyway, when the idea is that we keep giving "everyone" more money to go to college, all it does is push the price of college up at the same rate, and the more we push it up, the more people won't be included in "everyone" and will have enormous tuitions to pay. Also, I know I definitely should have gone to community college, and I probably would have if I hadn't been fifteen and stupid when I made that decision.)

We can't afford to keep extending this out, to where next generation sees a master's degree the same way this generation sees a bachelor's, the same way the previous generation saw a high school diploma. Everyone goes to school, then everyone goes to high school, then everyone goes to college, and now we're learning stuff in college that would've been taught in high school a few generations ago, because we have to keep pushing it back so everyone can get in.

The failure was not in our decision to go to college. The failure was that the previous generation thought they should send us all there (why are we being punished for obeying?). A noble effort, and one that I genuinely do respect them for, but we now clearly see that the "everyone gets a bachelor's" model doesn't work -- certainly not in the middle of a depression. A college degree meant something last generation, when only a few people went on to that level, but when it's the default position, it loses a lot of its value. And now we're all graduating into the worst economy in decades -- which, again, is the fault of the older generations, not us -- and we're finding that employers either want masters'es or experience. Bachelors'es are... well, certainly not a dime a dozen, but you know what I mean. Everyone's got one. Less scarcity = less value. Though they still cost the same, for now.



If not universal loan forgiveness, then at least force Sallie Mae by an act of Congress to abide by the 10% rule -- or, heck, just some percentage under 90 -- so we can get our blasted lives together already, and the 20-year rule, or maybe 15 years would be better, so we're at least not still paying this crap off when our own kids are going to college (if we let them).


Or at the very very least, make student loans dischargeable through bankruptcy again. Right now, they're pretty much the only debt that bankruptcy can't discharge, which only serves to inflate the bubble faster. See, right now, getting in on student loan action is, theoretically, pretty close to a zero-risk venture, because no matter how hard up we are, we can never get rid of the payments (also because the people you're selling to are 17 and impressionable). Sallie Mae knows it can always scrape back every penny, and that you have no recourse. With that kind of setup, why would they ever show any restraint in lending? What interest does Sallie Mae have in making sure they lend responsibly -- that loan recipients will realistically be able to afford the payments?

And there actually is a conservative argument for it: Don't look at bankruptcy as just a bailout for people who were irresponsible and got themselves into debt. Look at it from the other perspective: It's the natural negative consequence of a lender taking a bad risk. Sallie Mae got greedy, overreached, and made a risk that didn't pay off. Shouldn't they have to suffer the consequences of that? If we continue to keep bankruptcy off the table as an option for student borrowers, we are, in essence, bailing out Sallie Mae. We're telling Sallie Mae, "It doesn't matter that you made horrible decisions and lost big; you're going to get your money back on those investments anyway." By not allowing bankruptcy, we are saying Sallie Mae is too big to fail.

The intention of taking bankruptcy off the table was, I'm sure, to make more kids able to go to college by encouraging more lending. But the only way they could make Sallie Mae so willing to lend to all of us was by stacking the deck entirely in their favor.

From Sallie Mae's perspective, student loans are investments. They put tens of thousands of dollars into each student with the expectation that in five years, they'd start seeing a return on their investment -- that if they spend $30,000 or $50,000 or $100,000 to buy this kid a degree, he'll get a better job than he would have otherwise, and they would share in the kid's profits. Right now, they're finding that a buttload of those investments are not giving the returns they expected, but they still want to collect the amount they were promised. If Sallie Mae had gone into these investments knowing that bankruptcy was a possibility, or that they could only take up to 10% of their income and there was a possibility that that could end up being less than $90 a month, they would have been more judicious about who they gave their loans out to. They would have thought twice about giving someone $100,000 to get an art degree. And yeah, fewer people would have gone to big expensive private colleges, especially those from less privileged backgrounds. But they could still get into community colleges, so... yeah. Overall, that probably would've been better.

(The Department of Education does give out loans knowing that they run a real risk of not getting back the full amount, but, being a not-for-profit governmental institution, they absorb those losses, to an extent, for the common good, as they should.)



Here's the situation we're in: Things are messed up. The borrowers (the Millennials who are graduating college now) and the lenders (Sallie Mae, and to a lesser extent the Department of Education) both made mistakes. Right now, no matter what we do, someone is going to get bailed out of their mistake, and someone is going to pay the trillion-dollar pricetag on both mistakes.

Option One: We keep things the way we are -- bailing out Sallie Mae, making millions of twenty-somethings pay the price for mistakes they made when they were teenagers (as well as for mistakes made by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, many before they were born), crippling the new generation of innovators and businesspeople and workers (and voters), and continuing to inflate the college bubble.

Option Two: We drastically restructure the student loan system -- bailing out students, forgiving a lot of debt, making Sallie Mae pay for its mistakes (and the mistakes that teenagers made while under the whelming influence of the college culture that Sallie Mae was largely responsible for fostering), and start making steps toward a more sustainable system than the one-size-fits-all throw-money-at-it education approach that's been failing us for decades.

(One more thing -- let's stop pretending that these two options are a dichotomy between making taxpayers bear the burden, and making students bear their own burden. Middle-class middle-aged taxpayers will feel the impact of this either way. They're feeling it now when their kids are moving back in with them (taking all their food and depriving them of grandkids) because there's no jobs that pay well enough to cover the cost of both loan payments and existence. They'll feel it when they need a new kidney and there's not enough doctors to go around because we're still trying to pay off our loans. They'll feel it when the economy stagnates because a whole generation has no disposable income. They'll feel it when the government has to step in to bail out Sallie Mae with a half-trillion dollars that would have been better spent years earlier on the students. And if nothing else, the middle-class middle-aged taxpayers will be feeling it fifteen years from now when the Millennials make up that demographic, and they're still on the hook for $1,000 a month.)



While total forgiveness would be nice, it's quite unlikely, would have a lot of unintended consequences, and demanding it does make us look kind of selfish. I think that, along with allowing bankruptcy, applying the 10% and 20-year rule to private loans is probably the best option. I'll take a page out of Herman Cain's book and call it the 20-Over-20 Plan: federal loans can take up to 10% and private loans can take up to 10%, so lenders get [up to] 20% for [up to] 20 years, and if there's no return on the investment in that time, too bad (And it's not like I'm going to intentionally work for minimum wage for twenty years just to screw with them. If the 20-Over-20 Plan were enacted, I would be able to move out of my parents' house and get a real job within a year, and Sallie Mae could start seeing some real money from me, in a sustainable fashion.).

(15-over-15 would be nice too, but that doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well.)



I don't want my student loan debt to be the defining characteristic of the rest of my life. I don't want to have a mortgage before I have a house. I don't want my parents' house to be repossessed because my dad's the cosigner. And... I'd prefer not to have to spend ten years in the military to get past this (if they'd even take me, considering I have a heart murmur (not to mention i'm also fat and lazy)).
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 02:56:44 AM by Sapphira »
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2011, 03:42:41 PM »
I'm actually subscribed to Reason.tv but I more or less agree with your sentiments. I read the whole post by the way. Tremendous job as always.
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 11:13:48 PM »
Thanks.
To you and anyone else who's already read it, I just went back and expanded on some things a bit more, mostly starting at the part about bankruptcy.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

A

« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 04:11:03 AM »
It's not just the banks's fault, tho. The schools should be punished too for what they did with tuition prices and spending. They were about as irresponsible as the banks. Maybe more.
"I was going to post and say "I have one of those!" because I recognized the hair immediately, but then the rest of the pic loaded and I nearly spit my drink out."
1-800-COLLECT: SAVE A BUCK OR TWO!!

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 01:16:28 PM »
It's not just the banks's fault, tho. The schools should be punished too for what they did with tuition prices and spending. They were about as irresponsible as the banks. Maybe more.
It's not just the bank and school's fault, tho.  The government should be punished too for what they did with student loans and grants.  They were about as irresponsible as the schools.  Maybe more. 

That's right.  It's the governments fault for helping support the school's high tuition with low interest deferred payment student loans and grants.  Forgiving the loans will actually make the tuition go up even more. 

When I went to college (Fall 1991- Spring 1997) my wife and I could have borrowed over four times what we actually needed for college, meals, books, etc.  Most students took all the loans they were offered for the full amount and even took the high interest credit cards just to get a free t-shirt.  My wife and I only borrowed less than a fourth of what was offered and did our research to get a credit card with single digit interest.  We also invested in mutual funds and doubled our money during college.  My wife didn't work during college, but I made about $5 per hour plus a little from janitorial and construction contracts.  It wasn't much money even then, but it was enough to pay our few bills and to invest. 

I know tuition has greatly increased since then, and admit my generation's loans helped support the college and universities raise their tuition.  If such money wasn't readily available there would have been less demand. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 06:11:43 PM »
Definitely, and that's one of the reasons I don't support calls for universal forgiveness. The government stepping in and paying off all the loans would bail out both the banks and the students, maintain the status quo, and keep the schools off the hook. I say we apply the 10% rule to Sallie Mae, tell them if they want more than that they can take some from the schools, and start moving away from the paradigm of sending everyone to private colleges automatically (tone down the grants a bit and get the schools to scale back accordingly).
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 04:04:47 PM »
A prominent conservative commentator finally suggests doing something. (Full column)

Quote
Now, not so much: "One of the greatest changes is that a college degree is no longer the guarantor of a middle-class existence. Until the early 1970s, less than 11 percent of the adult population graduated from college, and most of them could get a decent job. Today nearly a third have college degrees, and a higher percentage of them graduated from non-elite schools. A bachelor's degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability."

This is a simple case of inflation: When you artificially pump up the supply of something (whether it's currency or diplomas), the value drops. The reason why a bachelor's degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor's degrees.

There's something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits -- self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. -- that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.

Professional basketball players have expensive sneakers, but -- TV commercials notwithstanding -- it's not the shoes that make them good at dunking.

[...]

For higher education, the solution is more value for less money. Student loans, if they are to continue, should be made dischargeable in bankruptcy after five years -- but with the school that received the money on the hook for all or part of the unpaid balance.

Up until now, the loan guarantees have meant that colleges, like the writers of subprime mortgages a few years ago, got their money up front, with any problems in payment falling on someone else.

Make defaults expensive to colleges, and they'll become much more careful about how much they lend and what kinds of programs they offer. China, which has already faced its own higher education bubble, is simply shutting down programs that produce too many unemployable graduates.
I still think the 20-Over-20 plan, or a combination of it and this, would be better, as this plan puts the schools on the hook for a lot, bails the students out more than mine would, and also would destroy the credit ratings of a generation (which would hurt the economy over time, though probably not as much as doing nothing would).
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 11:21:16 AM »
You may be interested in this:  http://www.skillshare.com/student-debt?tXFd&utm_campaign=student-debt

"The Project on Student Debt recently reported that, on average, a graduating member of the class of 2010 had $25,250 in debt (and the average amount of student debt is up 5 percent from 2009). For this reason, we’re giving away $5,000 worth of relief to help someone pay off their student loans."

"It’s clear education needs to transform, which is why Skillshare’s mission is to democratize education and make it affordable and accessible to every single person on this planet. The future belongs to the curious."

http://www.skillshare.com/
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 01:21:23 PM »
I see what you did.

+1 entry, sir.

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 07:35:19 PM »
I was replaying BioShock and came to the audio diary by Frank Fontaine where he comments, "Dese poor sad saps. Dey come ta Raptcha thinkin' they all gonna be captains o' industry. But they forget dat somebody's gotta scrub da toilets." And it reminded me of this college situation. It's sad but true, everyone can't be all that. Only a few make it to the top, and that means you've got a high chance of being wedged somewhere underneath.

So I am saying that this can only end in one way, with a bunch of nerds shooting lightning out of their hands
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 12:34:00 AM »
My parents actually love me so they paid for my tuition.
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2012, 09:18:35 PM »
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 01:35:12 PM »
Your text made me think of this:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkjetGR7nqo" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkjetGR7nqo</a>
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 01:36:19 PM »
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 04:38:10 PM »


I'm somewhere between the chain and old guy's hand. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

Kimimaru

  • Max Stats
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2012, 03:13:21 AM »
I agree with most, if not all, of CrossEyed's points. Unfortunately, I may be in an even worse shape than he is after graduating because I decided to go to an out-of-state school (which charges out-of-state students even more money to attend. Why they wouldn't want more students from other states coming to their school is a mystery to me) and do not have a job. My parents can't possibly pay for all of my education with their current income, so I was forced to take out a bunch of loans.

All of the above don't even account for my biggest problem. I'm majoring in game design and sadly my job options are limited in that field because it's still relatively new compared to almost any other field you can think of. I've applied for internships at various companies and even several on-campus jobs and the result was either no response or "we're sorry, but we decided not to choose you for this job." I'm especially annoyed at the job system: how can I prove how good I am to you in a resume? Game design and other related fields are extremely complex, and just listing my experience in making games (which is actually fairly impressive) and interests can't possibly show any employer my true talent of level/map design. Interviews don't cut it either because they usually ask the same boring, generic questions.

The system is obviously flawed, and with the tuition prices growing tremendously I don't see how anyone but the rich will be able to afford an education in the future without either going bankrupt or having a 50 year debt.
The Mario series is the best! It has every genre in video games but RTS'! It also has a plumber who does different roles, a princess, and a lot of odd creatures who don't seem to poop!

« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 07:27:20 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAFQIciWsF4" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAFQIciWsF4</a>.

« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 07:46:55 PM »
The system is obviously flawed, and with the tuition prices growing tremendously I don't see how anyone but the rich will be able to afford an education in the future without either going bankrupt or having a 50 year debt.

Congrats, you cracked the code.

I remember in my first year, I was able to pay off tuition and my rent just by settling for federal and state grants. This was back in 2008 just as the economic meltdown was coming into fruition. Now I'm pretty much living off loans because the state is practically bankrupt. I've considered transferring to my hometown's college but the money I would save on renting housing is cancelled out by the campus charging even more than my current school in tuition. So either way, I'm just stuck in college paying way too much for classes I could've cleared in 2 years at community college and an artificially extended program because my Cal State loves to mess with its students.

My brother graduates from high school next year, and I shall do all I can to keep him from falling into my situation.
As a game that requires six friends, an HDTV, and skill, I can see why the majority of TMK is going to hate on it hard.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 03:05:20 AM »
I rebut comments on PopVox when I should be sleeping:

Quote
They should have understood the contract that they entered into no different than any other contract.
If it was like any other contract, wouldn't the fact that most of us were under 18 when we signed it make it invalid?

Quote
ARE YOU KIDDING!? They TOOK the loan out, let them repay it. I DID!
When you went to college, student loans were not what they are today. Back then, after your on-campus job and scholarships, you might be short by a few hundred dollars and need to take out a loan for that semester. Based on your amount of capitalization, I'm willing to bet you graduated with less than $5,000 of debt.

Quote
The government is not in the business of bailing out or supporting everything in this country. If a person borrows money, he should repay it...regardless. It is an obligation and people shouldn't expect to be "bailed out" by "big brother." This is exactly what has gotten out nation into debt.

Also, there shouldn't be any loans or grants to anyone by the federal government.

We need to quit thinking with a SOCIALIST mind.
you've never actually read 1984 have you

Quote
I feel for people who have gotten themselves deep in debt, but as someone who has worked hard to keep myself out of debt, including my college education, I oppose any "free passes." Something like this is unfair to those of us who were able to stay out of debt on our own. Giving a free pass doesn't teach a lesson in economics. It teaches that you can do whatever you want without worry and someone else will handle the consequences.
"I know it sucks to be stuck at the bottom of a well, but as someone who grew octopus suckers on my palms and climbed out, I oppose any efforts to lower a rope into that well. Also I was probably only a quarter of the way down the well anyway, but still."

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as a society we are telling our young adults that if you can muster enough sympathy in Congress, your choices that mismanaged your finances can be legally forgiven. And who will pick up the pieces? Once again the tax paying businesses and citizens who are the financial backbone of the tax system.

This is another bailout program disguised as compassion. I do not see compassion as a feature of our Constitution. Compassion comes from within an individual, not by the creation of a law and by force. If you really understood compassion, you would see that failure and pain are a part of the nature of compassion.

My daughter has college debt. Lots of it. She will not learn this lesson if Congress with a stroke of the pen makes it easier for her. If her pain is lessen, it will be from family and those who love her, not from the mandate of the State.
So when can I expect a $100,000 check from you?
Combining the "don't burden taxpayers" argument with the "compassion comes from the heart" argument can lead to an interesting conflict: If we don't spread out the cost of compassion, those who do choose to give charitably are burdened far more. Which, if it were proposed by the other side, could be argued to be a way of targeting and punishing Christians.

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I am tired of Government bailouts! Whatever happened to personnel responsibility?
What happened to Sallie Mae's responsibility for making bad investments?

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Where does congress propose getting the money to pay for the outstanding student loans?
So Congress can't afford it, but a kid working a part-time minimum-wage job can?

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It's enough that tax-payers are subsidizing loans and interest waivers for qualified loans. They don't need to be left holding a bag when a student, who has obtained the benefit of his or her bargain, decides that paying their debt obligations is inconsistent with their preferred lifestyle.
Giving 100% of my income to Sallie Mae is inconsistent with my "preferred lifestyle" choice of... actually bleeping living.
(Come to think of it, someone more eloquent at BS than me could make an argument that Sallie Mae is violating my First Amendment rights -- with them forcibly taking over 90% of my income, I'm unable to practice my religion through tithing.)

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This is simply unfair to the students who did work hard to pay off their loans. I worked straight through high school to save for college, worked several jobs in college, was offered scholarships, and still maintained a 3.7 GPA, while my classmates spent money on spring break and booze. This bill is nothing but a handout and a slap against personal responsibility. A loan is a loan, and it must be paid back. What is going to happen to all the debt that you will forgive? I certainly hope that it does not fall onto the tax payer's responsibility, such as myself.
3.34 GPA, never had a drink or drug in my life, $117,000 of debt. Turns out we're not a meritocracy. Bad things don't just happen to bad people.

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I did not get a chance to go to college .We where poor.If you wanted to go to college you worked for it .There was no loans .
Too bad. You could've taken some English classes.

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I didn't force any one to sign up for a loan; if you got a loan for a degree that won't make you enough money to pay it back, you're an IDIOT. No one should repay my car note or mortgage, because I signed those knowing what I got in return for my promise to repay. Loan Forgiveness is THEFT.
Right, because a bachelor's degree, just like a car, has inherent functional value, and does not lose any of its functional value when the economy enters a depression and businesses stop hiring.
I will never understand the way Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot this year with stuff like this, like Herman Cain saying "If you don't have a job, blame yourself." You're running against an incumbent Democratic president in the midst of an economic recession with unemployment around 9% (and much higher if you include the underemployed and those who've given up looking), and your response to young voters who don't have a good job is "Get up off your lazy [badonkadonk]; there's plenty of great jobs out there if you'd just look for 'em!"? Does your hatred of my generation really so greatly outweigh your hatred of Obama that you'd rather blame us than him?

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This bill is a big middle finger to everyone who took the responsible path and sacrificed during college - saving throughout high school so they could graduate without debt!
Paper routes don't pay $30,000 a year, bub.

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Yes, by all means let's throw these responsible kids under the bus to subsidize the kids who partied their way through school and took 6 years to earn a Bachelor's Degree because they kept showing up to class drunk!

This bill is nothing but an insult, and would only serve to encourage today's responsible high school students to conclude that responsibility is irrelevant - why save and pay for school out of pocket when you could just borrow and buy extra beer?
I earnestly try not to stereotype the old people opposed to student loan reform, but it's harder to feel guilty about it when they're all saying [dukar] like this about me.

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If the government is going to wipe out your debt, what incentive do you have not to take on as much debt as possible?
If unemployed and underemployed students and their parents are forced to pay back all your loans (or else lose their house), what incentive do you have to not foist as many loans upon students as possible?

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At some point in time these students and graduates need to learn that a contract is binding, that there are no free rides and the taxpayers are not the nanny states cash cow!
Actually they are. What other income source does the government have? Unless you're advocating complete anarchy.

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I worked full-time to put myself through college and earn my business degree. I took classes at night and on Saturdays. It was hard, very hard. I made numerous sacrifices to get my degree. To think that millions of people want their sturdent loans forgiven is insulting to those of us who paid our way already. Why should my taxes pay for someone else for what may amount to a free education?
"College was tough for me; it would be unfair if it was easy for other people decades later. Everyone should be as miserable as me. Also, doctors shouldn't use anesthesia, because it wasn't invented back when I was having surgeries, so no one should get it now. And btw, vote for the FairTax, because rich people pay lots more taxes than poor people and that's not fair."
"Hey, look at these numbers on income inequality; isn't that unfair?"
"Shut up, you [darn] whiny hippies! Fairness doesn't matter!"
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 01:29:53 AM by BP »
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2012, 01:57:42 PM »


And Republicans don't even try to capitalize on this.

Quote from: Herman Cain
Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2012, 04:40:29 PM »
This has Obama at the top and then list all negative things that the reader would assume are Obama's fault.  If you read the sources they describe positive and negative things for Bush and Obama.  Neither president is to blame for all the stuff listed in the infographic. 

According to the Op-ed associated with this infographic, "A good place for Romney to start is by explaining what Obama has gotten right during the past four years — and then pointing out precisely where the president got things wrong."  The infographic focuses entirely on the later. 

I actually blame myself, my generation, and my profession for much of this.  We have for a long time pushed the notion that everyone should go to college.  This lead to many people going and dropping out or getting a useless (to them) degree. 

I also blame student loans and grants.  It's hard to argue against helping people further their education, but the money has lead to the educational institutions being able to raise prices.  The loans and grants create more demand for education while the number of schools remains fairly constant.  In response to this demand prices go up. 

In most cases school also prepare students for jobs that no longer exist while we should be preparing them for jobs that don't yet exist. 

I further blame NCLB.  The problem here is that instead of bringing everyone up, it has lead to teaching to the minimal competency of the test and spending valuable resources in what will eventually be a no gain endeavor.  Schools have even done away with art, music, and recess to focus everyone on testing. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2012, 08:15:38 PM »
Yeah, it's definitely not entirely Obama's fault. It's just that with youth unemployment so high, you'd think the party running against the incumbent would make the slightest effort to get my generation (which is actually larger than the Baby Boomers) to vote for them, instead of going out of their way to alienate us.

And NCLB is horrible.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Trainman

  • Bob-Omg
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2013, 06:05:06 PM »
I'm trying to take a no-debt approach to college. Call me crazy, but it's been working well, so far.

People always try to tell me that loans, debt, and credit cards are just an American necessity: "EVERYONE HAS DEBT AND PAYS PAYMENTS; THAT'S HOW LIFE WORKS." I disagree. I don't find that you need a loan for virtually anything except a mortgage for a house (unless you are able to save up for one while in a smaller home/apartment, which is entirely possible). I have a vehicle that I paid cash for.... aaaand that's all I really need. I don't see anything else that I'd need a loan for. I have a small fund for emergencies set off to the side that I saved up for during high school, as well. I have a monthly budget which describes my expenses for the month, my emergency money is off to the side just in case, and I have a small budget for entertainment (which I don't dip into often). I feel like managing your money is really about just watching it closely and being able to resist impulse buying.

I looked at some old paystubs for 2011 and thought, "Wow, where the hell did my money go?" I'd made thousands and realized I had jack [dukar] to show for it. Now that I've been budgeting every month for a long time and telling myself "no," it feels like I have a ton of money even though I make the same amount. Back then, I'd see something or go get fast food and be like, "Ehhhhhhhh I know I have enough on my debit card," then I'd turn around when I got my statement and realize how much freaking money I spent on completely unnecessary stuff.

I am currently able to attend community college while working a near-minimum wage job while also paying bills. I set up a payment plan where I'm paying this semester's 1,500 dollar tuition off over four months. Not a loan, mind you. Next year I'll hopefully be attending the University of Texas in Austin. Tuition is around 4,800 dollars per semester. That's a big jump from the $1,500-$2,200 tuition at the community college I attend (three to four classes). I'm about to apply for Pell grants for the Fall 2013/Spring 2014 school year. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some help that way. I understand that Pell grants are a leg-up... "free" money from the government if you qualify, if you will, and I am willing to accept it right now even though my belief is that if you want something, you must earn it yourself. I have vowed that any grants or whatever I may receive over my college years will be paid back out of my pocket in the form of donations and other types of giving once I am in a better financial position to do so because I would like to balance out what amount taxpayers across the country have graciously, though probably unintentionally, provided for me.

In conclusion, I don't want credit cards, and I'm trying everything I can to not get a loan. The only thing that I would get a loan for (except a house) would be school. I doubt that'll happen, and I sure as hell don't want to graduate college only to turn around and owe people astronomical amounts of money. Life isn't about earning an income just to do an about-face and give it to a bank or whoever for crap that you don't really own until it's paid off. I also don't like the idea of interest, especially when I see broke friends around me that are struggling to pay off stupid payday loans because they can only cover the interest part of it and had no money to fix their vehicle when it broke down. I feel bad for people who have, say, 50,000 dollars in student loans, a 23,000 dollar car note, an enormous mortgage payment, and six maxed out credit cards.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:09:57 PM by Trainman »
Formerly quite reasonable.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2013, 12:53:04 PM »
If this board had a karma system I would give Trainman a +1.  I love it when a new pertinent and personal post is made to an old thread that makes me interested enough to go back and read the whole thread.  Unfortunately, my post adds little or nothing to the conversation and is basically stating the obvious which should be give a -1 karma. 

On a personal note, we only recently payed off the last of our college loans.  This wasn't because we had massive debt (see my above posts), but because the student loans were the lowest interest and could be extended for a very long time.  This is also why we have paid cash for cars or only had loans for a month.  It's generally much better to roll everything into a low interest deductible loans such as a mortgage, but you can see where that got the country... 

On a related note, all of our Xmas for several years now have been purchased from Amazon and paid for with points because we use the Amazon credit card for most of your bills and shopping, but pay off the balance by the end of the month.  It is also helpful that we are Prime members and don't pay shipping (even to my brother in Japan). 

On an even less related note, what part of the Mario Universe is most like Karma?  Experience?  I could see members awarding experience points for good posts.  Stickers?  I could also see specific accomplishments receiving Mario related stickers/icons for members.  Sorry for this off topic comment, but I have recently been researching the gamification of education, jobs, etc, and the current generations permissiveness towards privacy. 


“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2013, 04:04:20 PM »
Just popping in to say my parents paid for my college tuition because they actually love me.
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Sapphira

  • Inquiring
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2013, 01:28:22 AM »
I can't presently bring myself to reread this topic again because it'll upset and enrage me. And I don't have anything profound or insightful to add at this point.

On an even less related note, what part of the Mario Universe is most like Karma?  Experience?  I could see members awarding experience points for good posts.  Stickers?  I could also see specific accomplishments receiving Mario related stickers/icons for members.
(Why the spoiler tags?) Probably 1-Up Mushrooms. Characters often reward Mario with them when he helps them, plus he gets more lives (sorta like reincarnation, in a way). I'm talking about the main concept of Karma, though, not the kind on forums. A Karma system here would be kind of cool, though. Icons could be, like, 1-Up Mushrooms and 3-Up Moons or something.

On topic, I went to community college, so I never had any outrageous loan debt. When I briefly attended a university, I had a bunch of grants and some student loans, but I paid everything back shortly after I quit. Generally, my parents pay for my schooling (they've agreed to pay up through a bachelor's degree, but anything beyond that is on me). The policy is, if I drop (or fail) a class (or more), though, I reimburse them and pay for the next semester myself. Upon successful completion of said semester, they'll reimburse me.

I don't believe in going into debt. I only buy what I can afford, but I rarely spend any money (beyond normal expenses), anyway. I don't even own a credit card; I just use debit. Unfortunately, I foresee things changing in the future. Since I'm no longer on my dad's insurance plan, and my job doesn't provide benefits, I had to get private insurance, and the rates are through the roof. Unfortunately, not having insurance isn't an option because I'm on (expensive) medication. (Insurance is a WHOLE 'nother issue to talk about...) Anyway, with my hours being severely cut at work (and not making much money as it is), between rent and insurance ALONE, I currently make negative money. That doesn't even include other expenses. Thankfully I have a bunch of money saved up, so I'm not in the hole yet, but if things continue the way they are, I'll be in debt soon enough. :(

This semester I'll be taking some classes to better qualify me in my field of work. If I don't get my hours back by the end of the spring semester, I'll probably get a new job. I really need a job with benefits, anyway, so I don't see my current workplace as a long-term thing.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 01:34:02 AM by Sapphira »
"The surest way to happiness is to lose yourself in a cause greater than yourself."

Trainman

  • Bob-Omg
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2013, 08:33:07 PM »
Thank you, Luigison! I'm glad my post kicked up enough wind for you to read the entire thread over.

Whatever you do, TMK staff, don't make a karma system like ebay's.... A++++++++++++++++++++++++
Formerly quite reasonable.

Trainman

  • Bob-Omg
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2013, 12:12:50 AM »
Yikes, double post, and a bit late on the initial post since it was from 2011, but hey I only actually read it about a month ago.

So, I went back and reread the thread. CrossedEye7: I am about to be a massive jerk to you here, but it's a slightly brotherly:

Would you be talking about this if you had, say, 5 grand in debt? No debt? When I initially saw your first post, I sort of skimmed it because it was major long, and I wasn't going to necessarily reply to it directly. However, I just saw the part where you say you're $117,000 in debt.......the hell?  Also, kids being "coerced" into feeling as if they MUST attend college? I have a hard time believing that. Sallie Mae's fault for taking the risk? The banks, the schools, the people, the government. Basically it's everyone ever's fault is what the consensus here seems to be. In our student loan crisis, I believe the problem begins with the family.

The part in a later post where you say a loan (school loans in this case) is "not entirely voluntary." That's ridiculous. A loan is 100% voluntary 100% of the time. A lot of this unfortunately falls on your parents, in a moral sense. Not the culture, not the bank, not the government. They sat there and watched you sign yourself up for six figure debt, and you signed it in the first place. All those quotes you were replying to in your later post: you can try and debate it all day long, but it's still on you. Sad thing about it is that they're almost all valid points. How can you argue with someone that says you know what you're getting into? I'm not sure how a bank loaned you that kind of money, but even then, what did you think was gonna happen? What degree were you seeking that required over 100 thousand dollars. You can't tell me the school you attended was the only school in the world that offered what you were wanting to take.

People are complaining about the bank doing this, the government doing that, whoever doing the other. In the end, whether a person knows it or not, they are signing up for something they can't get out of that is legally freaking binding. In your case, CE7, this 117,000 in debt didn't all come at once and didn't come at a young age. You couldn't have gotten a loan or entered an agreement until you were 18. When you took your first 10,000 dollars out or whatever, what possessed you to keep going and going and going rather than saying, "holy [dukar], I can't afford this. I need to stop school so I can find a job or do SOMETHING and pay these debts off and save for college." You didn't NEED loans, and you still don't NEED loans. The bank didn't force you to keep borrowing and borrowing. I am almost offended you'd try to ask why Sallie Mae is making bad investments or why our culture is apparently telling people to go to college immediately or be stupid.

Don't spread the blame around because it's weighing down on you now. You didn't have to participate in this cesspool. Even if student loans could be discharged through bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 or 13 would be on your report for 7-10 years. You wouldn't be able to do much with that sitting on it.

I've noticed that over your last two large posts, you've basically sat there arguing everyone's points and grievances down to the sentence. It's like you're making every excuse in the world. Your parents did it, the government did it, the culture did it, Sallie Mae took a risk on you, oh it was different for YOU when YOU took out loans, but it's different for me.

Dude: bottom line. This is YOUR deal. This is ultimately your responsibility. Not anyone else's. You didn't need loans to go to school, especially not that absolutely unthinkable amount, but you seem to think they were absolutely required; they weren't. You're going to have to work on this. You have been and it's great you've been able to pay your payments so far (as of your latest posting), but sitting around trying to debate every single person's points that go against what you think should happen based on your emotions will not get you anywhere. The government is not going to help you. You can't sit around waiting for the government to fix your problems, Republican or Democrat. You can't ***** people out that have paid their stuff off, or that wouldn't want to clean up your mess.

If you feel like you can debate what I am saying, then I don't know what to tell you. It's almost like if you got a loan on a car, you'd make excuses for that: "Oh it was the dealer's fault for taking the risk on the loan for me, and the car manufacturer was at fault for pricing the car too high for my budget." In that case you wouldn't need to buy the freaking car if you knew you couldn't pay for it.

So, yes, whew, I am sorry for all that, but it built up.
Formerly quite reasonable.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2013, 06:32:18 PM »
Would you be talking about this if you had, say, 5 grand in debt? No debt?
Yes. My best friend has about the same amount of debt, and doesn't even have a degree to show for it -- he was hospitalized in his last semester, and Sallie Mae refused to give him the money to go back for one more semester to finish. And now he's about to be sued by Sallie Mae, because his and his wife's salary combined isn't enough to pay off the sharks. So yeah, this would still be an important issue for me.

And even if it didn't personally affect me or people I like, I'd like to think I'm one of the people unselfish enough to still care. To have a sufficient measure of empathy, the ability to imagine people who aren't exactly like me; to recognize that not everyone has the privileges I have, or thinks or acts the same as me.


Sallie Mae's fault for taking the risk? The banks, the schools, the people, the government. Basically it's everyone ever's fault is what the consensus here seems to be.
Are you saying Sallie Mae shares no blame in this? That the adults running the banks have no responsibility whatsoever, and it should all fall on the backs of the kids that got the loans, not all of whom were even over 18 when they took out the loans?


How can you argue with someone that says you know what you're getting into? I'm not sure how a bank loaned you that kind of money, but even then, what did you think was gonna happen? What degree were you seeking that required over 100 thousand dollars. You can't tell me the school you attended was the only school in the world that offered what you were wanting to take.

People are complaining about the bank doing this, the government doing that, whoever doing the other. In the end, whether a person knows it or not, they are signing up for something they can't get out of that is legally freaking binding. In your case, CE7, this 117,000 in debt didn't all come at once and didn't come at a young age. You couldn't have gotten a loan or entered an agreement until you were 18.

- I was 16 when I started college; 15 when I decided to go and where to go. 14 when I said to my mom, "You know, I think I might take a year off instead of starting college right away" and she said I had to go right away or else I wouldn't be eligible to possibly win a couple-thousand-dollar scholarship from my dad's company. (spoiler -- I didn't win it anyway). Should I really have to pay the rest of my life for a mistake I made at 15? A mistake that I was led into by my parents and the entire culture at large? A mistake made with the intentions of bettering myself and society?



Also, sometimes I really ****ing hate the modern western invention of individualism, and the mentality of superhero-worship and poor-shaming that dovetails with it. I'm reminded of Gene Marks' "If I Were A Poor Black Kid". Marks argues that poor black kids should be availing themselves of opportunities for advancement (most of which require a computer and an internet connection, of course). There was a lot of backlash, and these responses make some very good points.

I want to look at this part in particular:

Quote from: Gene Marks
Is this easy?  No it’s not.  It’s hard.  It takes a special kind of kid to succeed.  And to succeed even with these tools is much harder for a black kid from West Philadelphia than a white kid from the suburbs.  But it’s not impossible.  The tools are there.  The technology is there.  And the opportunities there.

In Philadelphia, there are nationally recognized magnet schools like Central, Girls High and Masterman.  These schools are free.  But they are hard to get in to.  You need good grades and good test scores.  And there are also other good magnet and charter schools in the city.  You also need good grades to get into those.  In a school system that is so broken these are bright spots.

Even Marks recognizes that the system is broken; that the way things are now, poor kids have to be "special" to stop being poor. I believe this article was written in good faith; that he legitimately wanted to offer advice. And some of it is pretty decent advice. But the system is broken, and it needs to be fixed.

Now I'm reminded of a part from "Why I Stopped Telling", by Abby Norman:

Quote from: Abby Norman
I stopped telling the stories of my most resilient kids, because I realized that people were getting the impression that because some of the kids were rising above their circumstances, it was okay to blame the rest for not being able to do the same.

I stopped telling the stories of my church donating cases of paper to my school, because I don’t want anyone to get the impression that it is ever okay for a school in America to run out of paper in October. The church should absolutely meet the needs of the poor, but the church shouldn’t have to supply copy paper for an entire school because the system is broken.

I stopped telling the stories of my most brilliant teaching, my most inspired ideas, because I did not want someone to get the impression that if I was just brilliant and inspired all of the time, I could save my kids. I only had them for 55 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Building the perfect teacher is like building the perfect Band-Aid. It needs to be a unique fit for each environment, and while Band-Aids do a lot of good, there are far too many wounds that need much more than a Band-Aid. Too many of my kids had too many problems that were too far beyond my ability to help.

I stopped telling about the time my friend’s car got stolen and she came back the next day, or the time someone was threatened, nothing was done, and she came back to teach the next week because when I told those stories I was giving the impression that the solution to the education problem is teachers who were willing to sacrifice everything.

Should people in bad situations make the best of it, taking whatever opportunities they can? Should they work as hard as they can? Of course. But the answer cannot simply be heroes. The system is broken. I am not interested in an economic system where only the "special kind" of people are able to survive, and the rest just get trampled over.



Now, I don't want to give the impression that I think my problems are equal to inner-city kids with no food. I just think this whole mindset of "poor people are just too dumb to not be poor; it's their own fault for not picking themselves up by their bootstraps and being superheroes like me" is a larger problem endemic to our culture. Should I be doing everything I can? Of course. Should I be working harder than I am? Probably. But that doesn't change the fact that the system is broken and ought to be changed, and one of the things I will be doing is advocating for that change, for everyone.

And that's a good cue for me to signal boost Rolling Jubilee. The system is explained in detail on the site; basically, for every dollar donated, they are able to completely wipe out $20 of a random person's debt. (And in case you were wondering, they don't deal in student loans [yet], so it doesn't affect me at all.)



(All that being said, I genuinely do appreciate the pants-kicking.)
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Trainman

  • Bob-Omg
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2013, 12:17:54 PM »
I just think this whole mindset of "poor people are just too dumb to not be poor; it's their own fault for not picking themselves up by their bootstraps and being superheroes like me" is a larger problem endemic to our culture.

I agree with what you say. I made a post about getting motivated and stuff in the Being Broke vs. Being Poor thread that sort of deals with that same quote. My post in it, at first glance, would seem like I'm being exactly what you're saying is an endemic. I was a bit more specific with who I was talking about (lazy high school kids), though, as a response to WarpRattler's comment.

To defend that post, I will say that I do understand other people's situations to a far extent, especially considering I was (and in some ways still am) in that situation. I believe that to succeed, there must be an effort put forth. On the flipside, I know exactly how it feels to be unmotivated and feel like you're spinning your wheels. To tell poor people the solution to their problem is "stop being poor," as WarpRattler feebly framed my post, is stupid; of course it's a lot more complex than that. That's just like people who would tell me to "just stop being sad" when I was going through my enormous rut. As if it's that friggin' easy.

Of course, I know that not everyone is in the exact position to do what I am doing at the moment, and I don't expect anyone to be doing everything I'm doing in order to be "on my level." "Be on my level" and all that I think is bull[dukar], personally. I can't stand when older adults try to tell me that "I don't know what being stressed out is" because I don't have kids, a mortgage payment, a house payment on an upside down house, a light & water bill, a defaulted loan, and a million other problems. As if I have to experience those things in order to be stressed or anxious. People always seem to know who I am, telling me that, "you're a 23 year old kid. You don't have anything to stress over." So, even with the amount of stuff I'm doing, I get just as unmotivated or [dukar]ty feeling as the next person (usually worse), and I turn around and hear people say stupid [dukar] like what I said above every time they notice I'm not running around with an enormous smile on my face.

The point of that post was that if someone feels like they are in a rut and they want to change, they know that there is some way in the world to do it. I went from a morbidly depressed couch potato to a working student. That's not to say I got all extroverted and put on my A-personality and turned into an overly-motivated ******bag in order to do that. I just knew that in my inaction, I was getting the same result every single time and was going to get the same result for the rest of my life if I didn't even try to change something small. So I started making changes little by little and each change would give me a little taste of motivation and success. That's the way I started changing my life, not by saying, "Tomorrow, I am doing a complete 180."
Formerly quite reasonable.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:22:59 PM by Luigison »
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

Super-Jesse

  • Unstoppable News Machine
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2013, 05:00:09 AM »
Apparently, if I sold all of my Mario stuff, I'd be able to pay for both my college debt and my son's future debt.

But anyone can have debt, how many people can have a Super Mario Warp Phone?!
<Kojinka> When I saw this thread back on top, I was afraid this was gonna be another pointless bump by a new member, but when I saw Super-Jesse's username, my fears were laid to rest.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2013, 07:30:20 AM »
I have this one: 


Is this the one you have?
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

Super-Jesse

  • Unstoppable News Machine
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2013, 12:59:34 PM »
Yep! I have the bottom one and a Mario Kart 64 one.

Both still work, surprisingly.
<Kojinka> When I saw this thread back on top, I was afraid this was gonna be another pointless bump by a new member, but when I saw Super-Jesse's username, my fears were laid to rest.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2015, 04:10:08 PM »
In case anyone missed it:  http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/state-of-the-union-2015-obama-plans-to-lower-cost-of-community-college-to-zero/

I know this doesn't help anyone with current college debt, but the future may be brighter...
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2015, 06:25:21 PM »
At the risk of sounding like I was born in le wrong generation, I sure do feel unlucky being born in 1998 and having to deal with all this student loan debt and college stuff. It seems to me like the people born ten years before I was had/have it a lot more fortunately when it comes to "the next step" after high school. I don't know about you folks, but I'm certain that I'm completely stump ****ed unless I go to college, which, by the way, I have very little chance of being able to afford unless I take out loans that'll have me in debt for like a decade after college.

I plan on getting a job a few months after graduating senior year, then holding that job (or any other one) until I'm about 20, at which point I can finally start college and hopefully get some bull[dukar] degree I can use to squeeze my way into a decent-paying job, so that I can live the American Dream.
Relics.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2015, 09:10:03 PM »
Wrong generation and/or wrong country. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

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