16 Shocking Facts About The Student Loan Debt Bubble And The Great College Education Scam

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As you read this, there are over 18 million students enrolled at the nearly 5,000 colleges and universities currently in operation across the United States.  Many of these institutions of higher learning are now charging $20,000, $30,000 or even $40,000 a year for tuition and fees.  That does not even count living expenses.  Today it is 400% more expensive to go to college in the United States than it was just 30 years ago.  Most of these 18 million students have been told over and over that a “higher education” is the key to getting a good job and living the American Dream.  They have been told not to worry about how much it costs and that there is plenty of financial aid (mostly made up of loans) available.  Now our economy is facing the biggest student loan debt bubble in the history of the world, and when our new college graduates enter the “real world” they are finding out that the good jobs they were promised are very few and far between.  As millions of Americans wake up and start realizing that the tens of thousands of dollars that they have poured into their college educations was mostly a waste, will the great college education scam finally be exposed?


For now, the system continues to push the notion that a college education is the key to a good future and that there is plenty of “financial aid” out there for everyone that wants to go to college.

Recently, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited students at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia and encouraged them to load up on college loans….

“Please apply for our financial aid. We want to give you money. There’s lots of money out there for you.”

So where will Arne Duncan be when those students find themselves locked into decades of absolutely suffocating student loan debt repayments?

What young high school students are never told is that not even bankruptcy can get you out of student loan debt.  It will stay with you forever until you finally pay it off.

Today each new crop of optimistic college graduates quickly discovers that there are simply not nearly enough jobs for all of them.  Thousands upon thousands of them end up waiting tables or stocking the shelves at retail stores.  Many of them end up deeply bitter as they find themselves barely able to survive and yet saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt that nobody ever warned them about.

Sadly, the quality of the education that most of these college students is receiving is a complete and total joke.

Take it from someone that has graduated from a couple of very highly respected institutions.  I have an undergraduate degree, a law degree and another degree on top of that, so I know what I am talking about.  Higher education in America has become so dumbed-down that the family dog could literally pass most college courses.

It is an absolute joke.  The vast majority of college students in America spend two to four hours a day in the classroom and maybe an hour or two outside the classroom studying.  The remainder of the time these “students” are out drinking beer, partying, chasing after sex partners, going to sporting events, playing video games, hanging out with friends, chatting on Facebook or getting into trouble.  When they say that college is the most fun that most people will ever have in their lives they mean it.  It is basically one huge party.

Of the little “education” that actually does go on, so much of it is so dedicated to pushing various social engineering agendas that it makes the whole process virtually worthless.  Most parents would be absolutely shocked if they could actually see the kind of “indoctrination” that goes on inside U.S. college classrooms today.

A college education can be worth it for those in very highly technical or very highly scientific fields, or for those wanting to enter one of the very few fields that is still very financially lucrative, but for nearly everyone else it is just one big money-making scam.

Oh, but you parents please keep breaking your backs to put money into the college funds of your children so that they can be spoon-fed establishment propaganda all day and party like wild animals all night for four years.

It really is a huge scam.  I was there.  I saw it with my own eyes.

But if you will not believe me, perhaps you will believe some cold, hard statistics.  The following are 16 shocking facts about the student loan debt bubble and the great college education scam….

#1 Americans now owe more than $875 billion on student loans, which is more than the total amount that Americans owe on their credit cards.

#2 Since 1982, the cost of medical care in the United States has gone up over 200%, which is horrific, but that is nothing compared to the cost of college tuition which has gone up by more than 400%.

#3 The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.

#4 The unemployment rate for college graduates under the age of 25 is over 9 percent.

#5 There are about two million recent college graduates that are currently unemployed.

#6 Approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#7 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#8 The Project on Student Debt estimates that 206,000 Americans graduated from college with more than $40,000 in student loan debt during 2008.

#9 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespersons have a college degree.

#10 Total student loan debt in the United States is now increasing at a rate of approximately $2,853.88 per second.

#11 There are 365,000 cashiers in the United States today that have college degrees.

#12 Starting salaries for college graduates across the United States are down in 2010.

#13 In 1992, there were 5.1 million “underemployed” college graduates in the United States.  In 2008, there were 17 million “underemployed” college graduates in the United States.

#14 In the United States today, over 18,000 parking lot attendants have college degrees.

#15 Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of the full-time students who began college in 2001 received a bachelor’s degree within four years.

#16 According to a recent survey by Twentysomething Inc., a staggering 85 percent of college seniors planned to move back home after graduation last May.

  • el jefe

    this article hits the nail on the head. i am a graduate assistant at a state university, and just the sheer quality of literacy gives me nightmares. just this last term i graded numerous papers that i would label as being composed by a “functionally illiterate” individuals. what shocks me the most is the class standing for such individuals. one student was a senior and nearing graduation! to paint the picture, imagine sentences that lack completion, paragraphs that contain only one sentence fragment, the repetition of words (such as “because because,” literally), spelling mistakes (even though the students are using a computer word processor), and a complete disregard for the assigned thesis topic. to put it bluntly, our future looks bleak; “we are all f*cked.”

    even though i am in massive debt (thankfully, all federal loans) i wouldn’t trade my education for anything else. although capitalistic societies have little use for intelligence (and thinking outside of the box), i cannot imagine my life without my present state of consciousness. education has saved me from becoming further dependent on the cultural imperatives of late-capitalist society.

    with regard to the level of education, yes, there are many problems but i tend to view cultural standards and the diligence of the students as being one of the primary deficiencies. the culture has imparted the majority of the population with the perspective that intelligence is foolish, studying is boring, and college is a “right of passage,” instead of a “right of those who are qualified.” accordingly, professors have been forced to adapt to the ever-degrading standards of intellect. even though this may appear as being grim, my personal experience dictates that if a serious student seeks out further and more complex instruction, most professors will comply and assist such a student (with open arms). perhaps 1/10th to 1/12th of all students are willing to expand their horizons and receive the education they are paying for.

  • BiBi

    This was a recent conversation between myself and a Russian college student working here for the summer: “Hey Jon I thought you were leaving yesterday?” “No, I leave tomorrow.” “Did you ever think of staying in the U.S. permanently?” “No, I have too much responsibility and anyway this seems like a party country.”…….French student working at Starbucks: “So, what do think so far about America?” “I find the people….[pause] eccentric.”

  • William

    WOW!! Another killer article. Thank you!! I can relate a little of what you are saying. I recently went back to community college to study CNC manufacturing technology. Here in CT, the Aerospace industry is still very strong. As I was nearing completion of my program, I went on a few interviews and job fairs. ALL the people I spoke with said I did not have the experience and asked what we were learning at school. Well, long story short…the time that we should have been spending setting up and operating the CNC machines, and actually being in the machine shop, was spent on a lot of classes that, even according to propsective employers was ” a waste of your time”. So, I came to the conclusion that a lot of these not so important classes are injected into the itenerary to keep teachers busy and with a job.

    Even one of my old timer shop teachers, who was amazing, said that we need to be spending time studying the things that we will actually need in the real job market.

  • javadog

    There are so many graduates out there for so few jobs, companies are using college degrees as a minimum requirement for jobs that don’t required a college degree.

    Anyone want to guess how the bubble will burst? Here are some possibilities:

    1. Government loans lock up. Just like with mortgage loans, the lenders stop making high-risk loans. However, since bankruptcy does not let students off the hook (meaning lenders can still provide predatory loans with little risk), this possibility is unlikely.

    2. Enrollment collapses. The youth of American (and reluctantly, their parents) realize the futility of pursuing a non-STEM degree, and stop wasting their money. Suddenly colleges are scrambling to manage diminishing funds and crying to their state governments for more subsidies to keep them from closing departments with low enrollment. This possibility is more likely, however who wants to be the first on their block to avoid college and lower his/her chances of employment? Which leads to …

    3. Entrepreneurship. More people learn how to make money without a college degree and without asking someone else for a job. This is the best scenario for everyone (except for the banks who give predatory loans and the colleges with fat departments teaching nothing any company needs to increase its sales). We can steer away from this useless service-based build-nothing economy. People can start small companies that sell locally or worldwide if they’re on the Internet. New companies will be too small to outsource their work, so again, jobs stay local.

    The worst thing we can do is forgive the loans for students who are already in the hole. I’m very sorry but we can’t keep bailing out everyone who screws up (well, we can, but we shouldn’t). Let the free market play itself out, be smart and start your own business if you can.

  • Nancy

    As my eldest daughter discovered, there is a way to get around not paying. She is a teacher and her answer to the problem is just continue taking a few classes a year. The loans are then deferred even though she is working fulltime. As you state in you article, college is easy nowadays so adding a few classes she can do the work in her sleep.She has been out of college for for 13 years and she has yet to pay a penny on her loans.

  • Tim

    “The remainder of the time these “students” are out drinking beer, partying, chasing after sex partners, going to sporting events, playing video games, hanging out with friends, chatting on Facebook or getting into trouble.”

    Yup. That’s what I saw when I was in college. I went to a public university in Maryland. I lived off campus because I didn’t want to get caught up in all that as I was serious about my education and I was also a Christian. But I saw plenty when I was on campus to attend my classes. In my first semester, I was taking History of Western Civilation, and the professor came in one day and spent most of the class lecturing the girls about sexual promiscuity. Evidently the college had developed a reputation for that.

  • J

    This debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. In other words, there is no escape from it.

    There are deferrals, income based programs and the like. But, if you buy into the ‘higher ed’ and end up 50, 100 or 250k in debt, without a medical degree, its hard to pay back with a $15-25/hour job. (especially if you have a wife, kids, etc.)

    I plan on paying my loans for at least 30 years. $500/month.

  • Shaun

    You’re right on the money!

    I remember MBA school vividly. I was told that I would be in a “class of my peers”, but it soon became evident that my peers included government employees who possessed the IQ of a carrot.

    MBA school was mostly group projects at my school. I recall students presenting PowerPoint slides with titles like “How Enron Cook the Book”. How does that happen? I remember another group project in which an employee of the Social Security Administration copy and pasted their report from a company prospectus. And “professors” just look the other way.

    And don’t even get me started on “grade inflation”. If you show up for class on-time, you automatically get a “B”. And yes, my school was (and is) accredited.

    So yes, I think I received an eye-opening education about how this country works, just not the one I was expecting.

  • Stray Cat

    I like Gary’s idea; tax the rich and make them pay all these bills!
    But seriously, IMHO, except for the technical fields, college is way over rated. Want proof? Rush Limbaugh is worth millions and he spent ONE semester in college. Hard work still counts far more than a piece of paper saying you are ejamacated.

  • el jefe

    the loans should be discharged. education should be free. tax the rich, reduce the defense budget! i like the idea of a 90% income tax on the wealthy, especially those who work in the financial sector.

    as for paying back loans, if you pursue the income based repayment–the one which takes a fraction of your income–and are working a $15-25 job, you won’t have to pay much for the 20 years it will take to qualify for the discharging of the loans. hell, even if you’re unemployed and can pay $50 a month you still qualify to put the time you are unemployed toward the 20 year repayment option. this is only for government loans. if you had taken out private loans, you’re screwed.

    in the end, the loans will be discharged once the bubble busts. then again, i tend to view the loans as something i will never have to pay back anyways: there will be a discharge or the capitalist system will collapse (nullifying the loans).

  • Gary

    This is another example of how conservatives have ruined our country. The bankruptcy reform they passed does not allow student loan debt to be discharged so it will literally follow you for life. Oh yeah, these are the same dolts who bailed out wall street which is now making record profits. GOP=Grand Old Plutocrat’s.

  • Ouida Gabriel

    I am a stay at home mother to several children. I attended college and racked up student loans. It took me about 12 years of paying but I paid them off just this summer. It felt great too. When I took out the loans I was stupid about finances and didn’t think about how difficult it wuold be to pay them back. But pay them back I did! I think if you take out a loan then you do your absolute best to repay it. It is not anyone’s fault but my own if I am too dumb to realize the debt I am taking on. This applies to the stupid fools who rack up credit card debt or buy houses that they can’t afford. Even my childrne know that they can’t spend more than their monthly allowance! My husband and I do without a lot of things so I can stay home with our children. Our income is not a lot but we make do because we do without. We rent our home, won’t buy another vehicle (and make do with the one we have!) and we don’t buy every gadget out there. I am sick and tired of bailing out others who are acting like there is no tomorrow when I am pinching pennies so I can make a better future for my children. We can not allow student loan debt to be defaulted on.

    And Nancy, I don’t’ think you should be proud that your daughter is not fulfilling her responsibilities. I would be ashamed if my child decided they were not going to keep their word on a loan. If she took out the loan to get a education then she should be paying off the loan even if in small monthly payments. I can’t believe you think that it is ok that your daughter is doing this.

    Ouida Gabriel

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    The vast majority of these kids are simply screwed. If hyperinflation appears their buying power will be destroyed wile these debts will still be hanging over their heads financially they’ll be literally crushed between debt and loss on purchasing power.
    I would advice any kid get a skill making something that will be of value to people.

  • jealenne

    Having lived in Europe, and here, this is an argument I’ve make for years. Colleges here do not prepare people for jobs in their chosen fields. In Switzerland, students decide on an apprenticeship after the Swiss version of high school. They are working for a company, earning money, learning on the job, and are all but promised that job upon successful completion of their apprenticeship. Colleges and Universities here grant too many students entry, and do all they can to keep them in and paying tuition. They teach antiquated theory, and simply not enough ‘real-life’ skills. Some teach on outdated equipment. They focus on their athletic teams because those franchises make huge amounts of money (and they aren’t permitted to compensate the athletes that drive that success, it’s almost criminal!), and let all else wallow in the mire. I’m less than forty, and spent time here and abroad. The Swiss worker gets paid well, with excellent healthcare, vacations, and almost no unemployment. We are enslaving our students to become miserable sub-par office drones. Quelle dommage.

  • mondobeyondo

    To all those college graduates who are now $40,000 ~ $100,000 in student loan debt:

    Did you get your money’s worth out of your education?

  • scott

    Seems as though folks like Nancy and her daughter never learn.
    You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
    Bragging about being part of the problem is exactly what I would expect of those who created this mess and continue to milk the system.
    Payday shall come.

  • mondobeyondo

    You are correct. Student loan debt is one of the few debts (if not the only debt) that cannot be forgiven, even in bankruptcy court.

    It will stay with you until you pay it off, or die, whichever comes first.

    But popular culture tells us we have to go to college to get a better job. So we gladly invest tens of thousands of dollars to get an “advanced” education, to get that better job.

    And the end result? Students who can’t do arithmetic and multiplication without a calculator. (Ever heard of paper? And this thing called a pencil? It’s like this long wooden stick thing with graphite in the center). People who don’t know how to make change at a cash register. (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, and say it’s because they’ve never seen so much money in their lives.)

    Students who literally think 33 times 3 equals 333.

    Don’t laugh. These people are the future of our country.

  • Rod

    Poor old USA – it’s really f*cked beyond recovery isn’t it… (I’m in Australia BTW)
    I agree completely with the sentiments and comments – the education system is just turning out retards for want of a better phrase (which no doubt serves the NWO objectives of a dumb workforce nicely). Amazingly poor literacy and grammatical skills, no capacity to think outside the box, no capacity to visualise, rationalise and invent.
    In fact that was my opinion of most students here in Oz 20 years ago, so it’s a long standing global problem !
    The difference now is that the education system says that 1+1 can equal something other than 2 for fear of psychologically scarring the student for life for giving a wrong answer. Yeah, that’s the way – wrap everyone up in cotton wool from birth to the grave – shield them from life and reality.
    DUH ! Welcome to Homer world…7 billion Homers…oh boy…
    No, the world is over-the-top, far too politically correct & paranoid, far too accommodating of error and also f*cked beyond recovery anyway :-)

    As an inventor and global business owner, I test job applicants differently. I give them practical and theoretical tests to measure their ability to actually THINK, create, visualise and solve problems.
    A piece of paper saying you have a qualification is worthless if you can’t address real-world problems – I’ve got no time for qualified dumb show ponies !

    Anyway, given the expected events of 2011, education will be pretty unimportant methinks…

  • Jake Fab

    The government needs to stop making these criminal student loans. It simply is not working. The corporate facist banker government is making these criminal loans and putting millions of students into debt for life. People who have these loans are debt slaves to the corporate facist banker government. The American civil war didn’t end slavery. The corporate facist banker government has recreated modern day slavery in many forms. Bankruptcy law must wipe these illegal, criminal loans out for all students.
    Not only do we need to end the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy now, we also must charge a retro tax on the wealthy to get the years of Bush tax cuts back. Then it should be used to wipe out all student loans. A very fair contribution by the wealthy for America. Wake-up people! Demand it of your government and congress people.

  • Gary

    Jake Fab-well said my friend-you are 100% correct!

  • Bolweevil

    so now that we’ve “given” enough money to cancel all of the student debt in the U.S. A couple of times over to the financial industry now is the time to practice fiscal restraint? Your dad must work for a bank. Let the predatory lending continue unabated.

  • My daughter studied 8 hours daily after class and 11 hours DAILY for the two most difficult semesters, and this was 7 days a week. She graduated 8th from the top out of a class of 54. She borrowed $200,000 and that much debt scared her socks off! However, the fourth year out of school she is now earning $250 per hour plus benefits as an emergency room MD. That debt does’nt look near as big. It is out there but you have to WORK and then WORK some more. If you work while you are young you can play when you are old, but if you play when you are young then you will have to work when you are old. HI, welcome to Wal Mart. Long Necks were 15 cents 50 years ago when I was in college and it was party time. But after college it was screw new cars, fashion crap, taking trips, wasting money etc. and finally I retired after building my own business with lots of WORK, and now every day is a holiday and every night is a Saturday night. PTL

  • mondobeyondo

    True story:

    Two weeks ago I made a purchase at a local grocery store here in Phoenix, which I frequent often.

    Just some milk, a few groceries, etc. Nothing extravagant. The total came to $6.43.

    I handed the cashier a $10 bill. The poor girl sat there over the cash register for a good 45-50 seconds, counting out the dollars and change.

    After a while I got impatient (along with a couple customers behind me) and said, “Just give me $3.67”.

    The response? “How much is that?”

  • sesails

    The college kids I communicate with are seriously lacking in basic skills. I recently noticed a website where something like ten or twelve spelling and grammatical errors occurred with in the first two sentences!

  • Spot on! More student loans and deficit, and after graduation, you’ll still be unemployed….. We are stuck in the Greatest Depression ever. The real unemployment numbers are still as bad, closer to 18%, plus all those student loan debts.

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. Visit http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/ for details

  • alien

    Student loans could be discharged under bankruptcy until the Clinton administration pushed through a change in the law. That only helped to create the bubble since lenders were encouraged to incur mountains of bad debt, thinking they were guaranteed repayment in the form of wage garnishment. The article leaves out a crucial bit of information. University financial aid departments have been complicit in directing students toward certain lenders with predatory lending practices when students might benefit more by seeking a loan on their own through a private bank. They have also lied to students about both the monthly amount of repayments and the number of years they will be repaying the loans. They have also used student loans as the first option for financial aid rather than exhausting available grant money first. Universities are not just benefiting from the scam, they are the scam. The bubble will burst when enough college graduates are unemployed. Wage garnishment does not work on the unemployed. This, coupled with the massive bubble in commercial real estate, will be more than sufficient to destroy what is left of the American economy.

  • Amazing how my tuition less than 20 years ago was only 1/10th of what it is today. Did this keep people from going to college? No. It was subsidized like everything else as part of the bubble-creation process.

  • Herr Morgenholz

    the loans should be discharged. education should be free. tax the rich, reduce the defense budget!

    This is another example of how conservatives have ruined our country.

    You guys are professors, aren’t you?

  • Faux Gary

    Simple solution: Tax Gary and redistribute his wealth. Problem solved.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    THe government needs to get out of the business of loaning money. Go to two years of community college and finish with two years at a state college and your four years will cost less then $20k

  • Mark

    [quote]”#2 Since 1982, the cost of medical care in the United States has gone up over 200%, which is horrific, but that is nothing compared to the cost of college tuition which has gone up by more than 400%”.[/quote]

    Funny, the cost of my employer’s group medical insurance coverage is up over 500% just since 2002, plus our copays have increased, and an annual deductible has been added too. Since 2002, our total out-of-pocket costs are up from $127/month with no copays and choice of doctor to $454/month, with a 20% copay and a $2000 annual deductible. Maybe what the author meant to say was that utility costs are only double since 2002, or that grocery costs are only double since 2005??? Or maybe that gasoline is only double since 1982, excluding that huge spike in gas prices a few years ago.

    I’ll agree that with our economy in such dire condition, that it makes little sense to go so deeply into debt just on the off-chance that a 4-year graduate might get a decent job in their field. Just a couple of weekends ago, a friend and I met two bar waitresses with college degrees here in Denver, both heavily saddled with student loans, neither of whom had ever worked in their field since graduation two years earlier, and both of whom were now living back at their parent’s houses in their mid-20s, both of whom were pretty bitter too.

    Not only that, but our local economy here in Denver is pretty good on a national basis, as we now only have a 6.9% unemployment rate. There seem to be plenty of job openings for experienced white-collar workers here, but few for recent college graduates, and within a short distance of downtown Denver, there are over 100K college students currently slaving away hoping for their chance to join the ranks of the over-educated and under-qualified too.

    Just a few months ago, TSA offered 300 new positions at DIA, and 3000 people applied, for jobs that barely pay middle-class wages. I had to wonder how many of them were college graduates too?

  • Jennie

    “The total came to $6.43.
    I handed the cashier a $10 bill.
    “Just give me $3.67″.”

    Mondo, don’t you mean 3.57? :-)


  • mondobeyondo

    Of course! That’s the solution! Just tax Gary!

    And throw his tax money down the bottomless pit along with everyone else’s taxes.

  • Amy

    To Nancy,
    What your daughter is doing is called deferment, and it is not a way to “get around” paying back her loans. It is a way to let them sit there and collect a ton of interest. It’s not a great idea in the long run.

  • jim miller

    The big banks like Sallie Mae who own all these loans were able to lobby Congress 2004 or 2005 to have the bankruptcy laws changed exempting all student loans–EVEN PRIVATE ONES–from being discharged in bankruptcy. A debtor can’t even RE-FINANCE a private student loan with another loan from a bank to save on interest…the student loan providers got every base covered–and the reason they pray a debtor will go into default is because there are so many looholes and exceptions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (again, thanks to lobbyists and Congress–influenced by money) that once you default, they basically own you. Seriously. I’m a lawyer, I see this every day. Once you default, the interest rate by law skyrockets to 29% or 30%, and they can be very aggressive with collection tactics–even permitted to call a debtor’s employer and bad mouth the debtor and reveal details about the debt–why? Because the FDCPA no longer applies! There is NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS any longe either, so 20 years later–after the student has finally found a decent job–the creditor can revive the debt and garnish wages, disability checks, even social security! No lie. It is horrendous and destroys lives. Many people decide they must move out of the country just to have any hope of having a normal life, family, kids, income, etc. Many of you might complain that it’s the students’ responsibility to pay their loans, etc.–but all these banks, car companies, and so many other businesses and individuals are getting bailouts, handouts, subsidies, etc.–WHERE IS THE “BAIL OUT” FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON??? Where’s the little guy’s bailout? What about our individual defecits? Our individual debt–to hell with the government and its “deficit” and its debt….the government rigged the system so these schools get kickbacks for every loan they persuade a student to take on. The schools get rich, the government gets it lobbying money, and meanwhile our kids–well-meaning but naive–become enslaved. It sickens me.

  • Lisa

    I am 44 years old and owe 100,000 in student loans which I got in the 80’s. My loans were being paid on until my daughter was born in 98 with autism and we just could not pay all the bills. They have been in forebearance for 12 years with always wanting to pay them. The original amount was 25,000 but with the high interest of the 80’s and all the fees they swelled to 100,000. Nelnet would not put them on icp so I defaulted and they were sold to the dept of education. I am not even sure if they are my student loan they was a name very similar to mine on a few but to fight it well there is no way to win. My credit is ruined and my life is a mess but i would do it all over again to help my daughter but i would never have gone to school if i could go back in time. I never got any financial aid beside those loans and was stupid and never knew there was anything else and at the time never really knew they were loans. I am the first person in my family to go to college and knew nothing about anything. I feel trapped and angry but I tell my kids to go to school but do not take loans out. My son will enter college this fall and we will make it. These loans have taught me how to go to food banks my kids get free lunches and I live in a section 8 apt. I came from an upper middle class family and over the years have learned how to use the system to help my family. My marriage was ruined because of these loans and the stress of my daughters illness. I will grow old and be on social security when this whole thing is all paid off my social security will be low so I will get food stamps. I will own nothing so I will get medicaid and live in some form of government housing. My children will go to school and have a good life I am never going to get rid of this burden but I will make sure my kids understand how this notion of getting a college education no matter what has ruined my life and they must look at what the benefits are before they apply. I think the USA will end up paying for me and thousands of others who just gave up and learned there is nothing out there so why pay 800.00 per month and just go and get food stamps and tell them to stick it

  • College is simply welfare for teachers.

    Colleges mandate a core curriculum in addition to the student’s major. Most of these core curriculum classes are worthless. In the free market, there is little demand for them. So colleges create artificial markets by mandating them and then employ people (the dumb suckers that majored in those courses) who would be otherwise unemployable.

    I took 4 years of Spanish in high school. Because there was a time lag of about 10 years between high school and college, my Spanish was gone, and the courses were not good enough for the college.

    While in college there was no Spanish slot in the time period in which I needed it. After waiting for several semesters, I had to fulfill the foreign language requirement by taking 2 semesters of French. I realized 2 things. 1. You learn a foreign language by living in the culture where that language is spoken. Rarely does a person effectively learn a language by studying from a book. 2. The course was designed to employ a French teacher. There was no demand on my part for a French teacher or a Spanish teacher. It was completely silly and a waste of money and time.

    Employers are also culpable in this college racket as many of them won’t talk to you unless you have a 4 year degree in something.

  • Mike S

    Run up your student loans as high as you want then refuse to pay them back. If corrupt corporations get bailed out then reward their leaders with million dollar annual bonuses, why should you pay back your loans? Offer to pay the loans when government is no longer filled with corrupt corporate insiders, that should get you off the hook nicely. OR you could always go to Mexico and change your name to Martinez, spend long enough to get a tan and learn some Spanish, then “sneak” over the border into this country and go to school for free, not to mention free medical care, assisted housing and food stamps. Problem solved!

  • PJ

    why should student loans be exempt from bankruptcy…only because big bankers lobbied for it.

    Hey if we can bail out banks why not individual debtors.

    There is nothing sacred about student loans.
    if you are a student loan company you should better analyze the risk and be subjected to the risk of bankruptcy like every other kind of loan.

  • No Spam

    “el jefe”,

    All those degrees and you don’t know that the first letter of each sentence is supposed to be capitalized? Or are you just too lazy to do it? Either way it makes you look stupid.

  • walt

    To; “mondobeyondo”,
    I haven’t been to college, yet know the change you were to receive was $3.57- not $3.67. LOL.

    But I know your point. The problem is relying on a machine to do the work for you and when it is taken away, you haven’t the knowledge to think for yourself.

  • jim

    If you dont know how loan amortization schedules work by the time you are 18, should you really be seeking higher education? It appears as if some mass remediation is in order.

    Also, there are both relative and absolute values in education out there, if you shop for them. These include campuses outside the US. Sure, it is blasphemy to consider an alternative to state U diploma mill (for the entitled), and upper tier private schools (for those with the ability to pay, subsidized or otherwise), but hey 200,000 bucks is 200,000 bucks.

    I for one cannot wait to see these suck up academic panderers get left in the dust. These are the folks that need to be waiting tables, no the 21 year olds.

    I would relish in seeing soft classes taken remotely at a tenth the price and the administrations of such dismantled. Just hope it happens in the next ten years or my kids are either going to college in Sri Lanka or I’m going to quit my job and “home college” them!

    If its 100k or more for both of them at the same time, it would be worth it.

  • André

    Tja, it seems as though the scam that is the “American Dream” is finally getting pulled down by the weight of reality. It is time to get rid of the sycophants that have lied and robbed the people of its riches for centuries. You cannot blame the poor souls who are saddled with impossible debts for wanting to try and secure a better future for themselves. They were indoctrinated since birth that the only way to make it in this miserable excuse for life is to go to these “fine institutions” and get a worthless piece of paper to show that they are capable enough to work. What I do not understand is why anyone is allowing this system to continue. I should know….I was in the university system for five years and could only work in fast food simply because I did not have the work experience to get into the computer field. I ended up homeless for a few years because of that… It is a relatively simple process to solve this problem…Either the Government forgives the debts of the Students and then arrest the criminals who gave away this “fake subsidy” or the people go out in the streets and stop the process from continuing. We all know that the credit that is generated comes from nothing, so it should be that these masters of deception should get nothing in return… Why should anyone pay these creeps when all we get are empty promises and misery? There is no more room for this foolishness…the time has come for us to stand up, destroy the current system, and replace it with one that is fair for all. It has been done before, and it can be done again.

  • Emily

    Anybody who says that college is easy has not been through law school. I am studying to be a tax attorney so I spend an average of ten to twelve hours a day reading cases and memorizing the IRS Code for two classes. As others party and have fun over the weekends, I, like my other cohorts, spent my weekends in the library reading twenty page cases and learning complex calculations. I challenge anybody to learn the IRS Code who thinks it’s easy. There were days that I never saw the sun. I would arrive to school at 6 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m. Lunch involves sending a fellow student on a coffee run because that is literally all we had time for on most days. It is not easy and I have to do it all over again in two weeks. So please…. shut your mouth until you know what you are talking about.

  • Emily

    Let me add the fact that I spent ten weeks with no life. I missed my son’s birthday (who in law school has time for birthdays?!?!?) and had to pass up several invites to a multitude of fun things. And guess what I got on my exams…. I got two C’s. Allegedly, I don’t know the stuff well enough and need to spend even “more” time on it. Anything below a B in this program is considered unpassable so I must repeat the classes. So… do you “still” think it’s easy?

  • L C Vincent

    Everyone should know (tho not many do) that Carnegie and Rockefeller determined (nearly 100 years ago) to fundamentally change the tenor of American Education. Their goal was to produce worker-drones who were smart enough to fit into the cogs of the corporate machinery, but not bright enough to question its basic assumptions. Using a ‘useful idiot’ by the name of John Dewey, while bringing in the subversive social theories of “The Frankfurt School”, Rockefeller’s financial resources have been used since then to both undermine and continually lower the educational level of the American educational experience, while socially destroying the very fabric of our country. Our colleges, especially the East Coast “Ivy League” diploma mills, are now the beneficiary of that subversive initiative.

    With a few notable exceptions, college education has become little more than social engineering and indoctrination outside of the technical disciplines. It produces remarkably uniform “group think” and politically correct sensitivities that have little bearing upon government, society and finance (see the great conformity of our so-called “journalists” whether in print or electronic media), yet serve the elites restructuring of the world in accordance with their views of restriction (in thought and movement), redistribution, severe taxation (to finance bailouts for themselves and their friends) increased servility and continued dumbing down.

    My advice to today’s high school graduates — that i, the ones which thru some fluke have learned to read and write — it to go to a good community or state college and take only those courses necessary to start an independent small business. Take on the smallest debt burden possible. Once you have done that, and you have created a business that will reliably generate income, go back to your community or state college and broaden your perspective with literature and art. Create your own educational curriculum and see a “diploma” as irrelevant to your real education.

    Remember, neither Henry Ford or Bill Gates had college degrees. What the world respects (despite the incessant propaganda to the contrary) is success. Let your business enterprise exist to serve a real need, then round out your own education based on wherever your innate curiosity leads, without having the goal of obtaining a “degree” in anything.

    One other thought — the new “Health Care” legislation removed private lenders from providing any new loans for education. This means that now only the government will underwrite new educational loans. Combine this little bit of trivia with the fact that educational loans cannot be cleared even thru bankruptcy and you can see that the real agenda is life long servitude to government control as debt holder.

    Don’t fall into that trap. Borrow as little as possible (your “credit score” is only important to those who play the game of buying things ‘on time’ with monthly payments — otherwise it is irrelevant when you can buy the same item FOR CASH!), cut yourself off from the international bankster scams, support and patronize your local community banks, and realize that a “college education” is a curriculum designed to produce conformity of thought, whereas your own real-world education can be designed by YOU to prepare yourself to deal with the Media and social manipulations of The Establishment, which have been designed to thwart your accumulation of real knowledge, your financial freedom, and your ability to penetrate beyond the matrix of social conformity and media control, to become a fully functional, independent “actor” and self-empowered individual.

  • Tom

    I read this and it is clear to me that when I went to school acedemia was very different. I went to engineering school for a BSEE and all that I can remember was study, labwork, testing and trying to get that GPA up. Of course, I graduated in 1982, before the phrase “grade inflation” was invented. I could never have imagined going to Cancun for spring break because that was the time that I used for getting caught up before the next “round”. I can remember people in some classes that actually “failed”.

    I hear a lot about Entrepreneurship but that is mostly talk. Without substantial capital, most technological industries do not have a chance. Please don’t give me the propaganda about starting the next “Facebook”. That is like trying to hit the lottery…..BTW, an engineer knows that your chances of winning the lottery, statistically, are about the same weather you actually play it or not…..so close to zero that it might as well be zero.

  • Howdy -Doodee ,Folks. Don’t you think (I use the term loosely) It’s about time that you all woke up to the scams that are being inflicted on you?
    How many out there are graduates?
    Have a look at the information put out by Robert Menard an amigo from Canada on the student loans scam and how to get out of it.
    When you received your loans did you sign for them ? They didn’t exist until you put your x on them did they? Was it a Bank or a Federal institution that “loaned” you that “money?”
    Until your John Hancock was on that contract no money was in play .You created it. To you it was a debt but to the lender it was a credit.
    If you borrow $200 000 under the scam the banks can lend ten times that amount yes $2 million Not Bad Huh
    Let’s not digress your signature gave them a credit of $200 K They have been paid,
    So ask them to show you where they have made a loss and if they have, tell them that you are quite willing to repay them. Of course they will not be able to show you this “loss” Because there is no loss
    Remember undergraduates whoever runs the Money Out Of Fresh Air Scam runs EVERYTHING It’s all a scam and it’s about time that you woke up Remember that if you start asking questions you will be met with a barrage of nasty epithets BUT sticks and stones

  • newton

    I am telling you this. College is a complete ripoff if you are going into debt for it. If you want to learn, you can read and intern.

    BTW, it was not Clinton era but Bush era when the discharge law changed but it takes both Democrats and Republicans working together to totally screw up this country. Wake up to that please.

    Oh, and for those of you so proud to pay back your loans, the banks create the money out of thin air and you work to pay it back. Who is the sucker???

    The use of morality is just a ploy to make you not see the sleight of hand and trickery involved with their creation of money out of thin air that you have to work to repay.


  • jennifer chen

    The biggest problem may be when the USA goes bankrupt and the american dollar is worthless. I see many people shipped off to foreign countries to work as slaves-will they be paying off debt sold to and owned by foreign countries? Money is the root of all evil. People do not realize that if we had no money, if all people were expected to live equally from the riches of the earth-that all people could have a high standard of living-with less work, if everyone labored 3 day a week towards that goal-if the earth and all its resources were shared equally. People do not realize that the bankers-funded to destroy that Christian ideal and replaced it with state owned capitalism and enforced atheism in Russia-they called it communism and made it unequal-a wealthy state run by these bankers replayed the wealthy class and poor workers and evil to destroy the idea of true Christian sharing-then they infiltrated everything else to destroy it-the Catholic church and all governments. End money and bankers and you end the root of all evil-or slavery/inequity will continue until the earth dies from lack of any love, forgiveness, sharing, freedom, or goodness on it.

  • The more I see and read, the more I disconnect from the human race. I saw a bumper sticker once that said PEOPLE SUCK.

  • schwartzer

    If we end the fed, we eliminate the problem.
    Google “America’s forgotten war against central banks” by Mike Hewitt
    It is 2 pages and very simple reading.

  • Maple

    I’m 48 yrs old and never went to collage. It wasn’t waiting tables or stocking shelves that bought my home or raised my family. It was learning trade skills. While the rest of my school mates were busy applying for student loans and browsing college brochures in 1981 after high school, I went full time with the construction company I worked for, learning valuable trades.

    I own my own contracting company now, and frequently get applicants with Bachelor degrees and master degrees in useless and worthless subjects. They spent so much time learning how to not work, that in their hour of need, they lack even basic skills like reading a tape measure, or operating power tools.Or how to labor for a living.

    learn how to physically work for a living, and you will never be out of work. Learn a trade and you will be armed with a valuable skill that people need. Electricians, Plumbers,Mechanics, Painters, carpenters, Tile layers, carpet layers, welders..Never stand in the unemployment line.

  • Right on the money Mr. Maple – I am 51 years old, I weigh the same as in high school, I still pull my bluejeans on in the morning before my feet hit the ground. Listen to me kids- education is not a measure of I.Q. A humans I.Q. is set the second the doctor paddles you on the butt in the hospital. Memory and skills- and going to work with a can do attude will be of paramount importance in your future. You must get tough and have a meekness about yourselfs. You have seen nothing, look at what happened to Argentina, this is Americas future, set in stone.

  • mommaloseshope

    Yes, this is so very true! The job market is bleak to say the least, even for those who spent money on an education. We owe, and the promise and hope of a job in his field of study is a far off hope and dream that has not materialized in numerous years of hardwork & money spent. I am not even sure, at this point, somewhere around $50k for two different attempts to gain employment, 1 from a trade school, some years ago for a specialized skill set. The second being a pursuit of a BA in a university called Devry in the IT field on computer networks and Administration. Remember hearing how computers were the wave of the future and that is what you ought ot get into? Where are the darn jobs?

    While my husband has experience, and an education, he is yet to find and keep a job that is worth anything, that would be possible to pay back these $400/mnth loans on deferment, let alone keep us going barely.

    Despite his greatest effort and attempts, to locate work that would pay anything over $10 an hour in the field he trained for, or some cross over skills in another profession, still nothing has been happening beyond numerous and then dwindling interviews in the last 2 years.

    He is currently working at a $10/hr people mill that has outrageous expectations that are near impossible to meet, just to keep your job. Much of what you are supposed to control, is not within your control! That was after having lost unemployment due to its exhaustion, where we had nothing coming in for 30 days. He found this job and went through training. We were thankful to have anything coming in, but it is not going well. Half of his training class is gone either bc they quit or were fired. We are finding out this is the normal for this business.

    Prior to the unemployment of 99 weeks, he had a great new job. $60 k a year was good from having some on the job experience at another job prior to that which was an internship, he got. So this was a good option for a chance out of school. They were content with his level of experience of 3- 4 years in IT w/ the hands on education and internship. We moved to relocate for this job 2500 miles away and then he was let go 6 months later, after he was able to clean up a bunch of unresolved problems for them. They wanted someone with 10 years of experience, all the sudden, despite they knew his skill level! Anyhow, the network was held together with tape and bubble gum. So long “best practice” theory.

    I guess they had been left in the lurch bc someone left without notice, they advertised for help for months even out of state, and then they hired my husband to fill the desperate gap. Then they didn’t want to keep shelling out the money to keep him. Used him and turned us away, like no big deal; They fired him after 6 months, after we spent all our savings to move to another state… That is when we went on unemployment, and hubby returned for more education, while still looking for a job too.

    We moved back home confused as could be. We were helpful that something would come along back home. Things only got worse for the prospect of careers being offered.

    I was hoping they were going to improve, but no they have not. We are dying here. But that is not the end of our troubles.

    Last year my husband got a $10 a hour job, got H1 N1 and Dble Pneumonia and went to the hospital for 14 days or whatever. He was fired by Stream for not being in training and they refused to place him in another training class when he got out the ICU. Then we were left with over $10,000 ( the other $90 grand was forgiven) and we have collectors after us. We survive day by day, we don’t have anything extra to pay anyone or anything….
    So, we don’t have any savings,( we used it to relocate to gain employment as I already mentioned) & we have needed things bc we have a baby coming. We haven’t made it long enough to get anything else saved up to rely on, bc unemployment doesn’t pay you what you were making at your job. The unemployment is gone and there is none left, if he loses this job. We don’t qualify for anymore student loans at this stage. This job is shaky at best and these people fire and lose people like there is no tomorrow, and have constant training going on. What a nightmare! We are not able to get a career in the IT Industry that he trained for and paid for with these loans. What do we do?
    We have a 6 year old and a baby that is on the way in 3 months.

    We are so lost and without hope. We trust in Jesus, but what do we do beyond trying to get a better job? It takes effort to gain a job, but there are not enough possiblities hiring as this article states, and I testify to. All my husband does beyond going to this crap job, and playing with our son, is scouring the internet for jobs, and this has been going on for so long!….

    I can’t believe this is happening again…..What is a mother and wife to do? We can’t get on track! We don’t drink or drug or sabotage ourselves and our family, and yet we cannot get on track “with the go to school and get a great job” crap I have heard my whole life. Something is broken and cannot be fixed. Sometimes we wonder why God hadn’t just taken my husband’s life when it was in peril and the rest of our family, as it would be better than dealing with this pain and unresolved heartache.
    I am so scared and lonely, I could just die. My tears go unnoticed. I sit here without answers. I am one of millions going through the same thing.

    My brother is a trained professional electrian, but since the house bubble burst, even those who knew a trade like him, are not in demand. Housing production has slowed. Great for the previous poster, but even skilled workman are struggling for work. Now out of unemployment, he has the skills to do work, but no one is hiring.

  • fairplay

    Too much fluff economy, lawyers, govt employment, etc. good article and trade skills guy has it right. a problem is pampered groomed college bound dilletants (sp?) cannot for the life of them roll up their sleeves and go to real work, unless it is incredibly simple, like bussing tables at TGIF grease pit, waiting for that insurance company job or new round of govt created parasite postings. One can be highly educated and trade skilled. College can be a joke as essayist, who has fluff JD degree, suggests, as if we need anymore of that and the corrupt ‘set aside’ judicial system, society of fines, fees and regulations. It’s what the individual takes out of it that is key and are they prepared? Colleges usually have libraries, science labs and at least some truly qualified professors. A college degree in the usa is about same as 16 year old in asian or european high school, if that. It all starts at home, sans tv, avec libres. Without early heavy supplemental home schooling, not just internet searches, but with books, forget it, who has a home library passed down through generations of caring adults anymore? FP

  • Owen

    Student partying, student loans… Don’t think that all of that money went toward an education and don’t think that all those students were there for an education…

  • conservative

    I can’t remember where I read it, but a businessman is offering $100,000 to college students if they will drop out. He is making the point that college is over rated. Another commentator I heard said that the U.S. is running out of workers. We have lots of lawyers and administrators, but not enough people who can read a blue print or plumb a house. One of the reasons more of our jobs are going over seas is lack of qualified skilled people.

  • Helen

    Just a heads up to Emily – Wake-up, dear. Studying the IRS Code, which is fraudulent, is a great way to destroy whatever personality/integrity/self-respect you may have. You may end up paying the bills for your family, but your kids will be dead on the inside, just like you. Google a name now: Joe Bannister, IRS whistleblower.

  • Joe Johnson

    If the alternative is no higher education then student loans it is. The article is discussing education in strictly monetary terms-how much added income will it bring. Education should be much more than that. It’s a desire to expand ones knowledge of the world in which they exist. It is something no one can ever take from you in an era where millions are losing everything material. Sure the cost of an education is out of line,but that’s mostly due to the destruction in value of the currency used to pay for it, that’s the problem that needs to be addressed.

    I’d like to know what social propaganda is being disseminated in our higher education institutions, that hasn’t already been disseminated at the elementary level. I don’t believe the author gave specific examples in this regard. This brainwashing or indoctrination is happening throughout the educational process at every grade level. Why focus strictly on the college years when the process is complete and it’s too late.

    In an era where China and India are pumping out hundreds of thousands of engineers of all stripes, our response cannot simply be that higher education is not worth the price. We do need to focus more in the areas of science and mathematics to become more competetive, that may be the larger problem. We don’t need more financial engineers, we have a glut of MBA’s with dubious productive value.

    We have all known in America for decades now that the cost and quality of education here has been diminishing. The authors conclusion is therefore that higher education is a useless endeavor. Maybe the author works for a govn’t whose objective it is to keep it’s people dumbed-down and in the dark. The problem is not that higher education isn’t worth the trouble, it most certainly is. the problem is extraneous from higher education. The problem is monetary authorities destroying the value of our money. The problem is globalisation with its horrible adverse effects on incomes in the developed world, for the benefit of the very few. The problem is an extremely corrupt banking system that has for decades been given the green light to prey on the middle and lower class. The problem is a government whose laws are written by corporate lobbyists who have bought off “our” Washington representatives. If we continue to ignore the source of many of our problems, we will never find solutions.

  • William

    I have 2 degrees, but 8 years ago I was out of work too long, so I grabbed a sales job from the newspaper (not internet) and worked 2 years in a profession not requiring a degree. I’ve since returned to my original ‘profession’ but know STREET SMARTS is increasingly needed in addition to book smarts.

  • I Work4aLiving

    Well, here’s another tidbit that may offend people but, whatever. Yes there are many AMERICANS up to their noses in student loan debts and defaults.. because they didn’t qualify for the free handouts and grants the government showers on any 3rd world subhuman right off the banana boat or border crossing. Golly gee ever notice how many non-english speaking nurses, doctors, pharmacists colleges keep pumping out? Yeah like we need more high paying medical jobs being filled by non-Americans while middle class kids go flip burgers at Wendy’s. Just another ploy to destroy the middle class in USA if you ask me.

  • steve

    Diconnect from mainstream culture as much as you can. malls,box stores,cable,pro sports,doctors,big pharm;leave that for the SHEEPLE

  • Cap Matifou

    “Just give me $3.67″.
    You have just stolen a dime from the mentally challenged. :P

  • mondobeyondo

    Offer a lawyer friend to clean his/her drains and fix their water heater free of charge, and they might offer their services pro bono.

  • Math Prof

    (Forgive the grammar below – I have a sick toddler and have had next to no sleep for the past three days.)

    Okay, I am probably stepping into a hornet’s nest. I am a math professor at a small state school – we are the least expensive 4-year school in the state.

    Looking back on my days as a student – I was a math major at a major public University back when they were still reasonably priced – my math education was pretty good (not comparable to a Princeton or MIT but not too far behind) but my broader coursework was pretty pitiful. I never had to work at any classes outside my major. Grad school (M.A, Ph.D., was paid for via Teaching/Research Fellowships – if you are getting a Math Ph.D. you should always have this sort of support. If you don’t, that’s a bad sign, even these days.

    My experience is that, beyond the Gen Ed level anyway, students *like* to be challenged in classes. It shows that you take them seriously and respect them. After theshock that they actually have to work wears off, they appreciate it. What is most fun is having a hard-working student come back for a third or fourth class with you. They know what they are getting into and are seeking you out on purpose.

    Anyway, there are real problems in higher ed – only those not drunk on the Kool-Aid would argue otherwise. College is not a panacea and way too many students are going who would be much better served by taking another path through life or waiting a bit and gaining a little more maturity before attending.

  • mondobeyondo

    @Cap Mitafou

    Yeah, I miscalculated that a little bit. Sorry ’bout that!

    What can I say? I’m a graduate of an American college.

    But at least I know more about the world than many of my fellow students. Like when our 16th President, John F. Kennedy, freed the slaves from Pharaoh in ancient Egypt, and how Abraham Lincoln marched with Martin Luther King for the rights of African Americans. And oh yes, how the Nazis nuked Pearl Harbor and started World War II.

    I even took a French class! I learned that “bonjour” was this really good buttered bread roll they serve at McDonald’s.

    Yup… I lerned a lut in skool.

  • Chem Prof in Ivy League

    Going to college can be an excellent opportunity and certainly the top half of our students really max it out. Students are, however, going to have to be more thoughtful in what they study and how hard to study. Another couple of years of this mess ought to pretty much drive that point home. If you are in a lower ranked institution studying generic stuff (think of an English major with a 500 verbal SAT), you are on the wrong track.

    With that said, there is some deep-seated damage to the psyche of the kids entering school that will have to be corrected with an attitude adjustment. Also, anyone who studies economics will tell you that when you put a guaranteed payor into the loop, the prices go up. Student loans became a covert guaranteed payor, especially in the hands of gullible students. The dorms have gotten luxurious, the meal plans would make your eyes water, and the number of new facilities built over the last 40 years is stunning. Lastly, let us not forget the role of the boomer parents who are forcing their kids into the deep end of the credit markets because they failed to save.

  • Swede

    In reply to jennifer chen above: In the holy Bible it is written that the love of money is the root of all evil, not the money itself. Just pointing that out. You’re never going to establish a utopia on earth, whether it be with or without legal tender. In a society with such dense population centers as ours is there’s no way it could survive without an intermediate currency other than material goods. I’m all for small farming and for becoming self-sufficient to a degree but I think we need a monetary system that precisely declares what a sheep or an ox is worth in a common currency.

  • Charles

    Early 1990s graduate of Yale University. Worked for several years in Medical field as a manager/administrator. Left that job for another more prestigious position, but failed to manage the “political” ropes at this position and was let go during my probationary period.

    I’ve been on unemployment since and thankfully have a “sugar momma” who supports me. I am really thankful.

  • Vicki

    I am a college student, and I have to say that this is very discouraging. I am going to school that I might have a better job and not work in the food industry. With all of these comments and reading the article, I feel I am wasting my time and money. However, what I am I suppose to do. Stop going to school and keep working for low paying jobs, because no one will higher me without a degree. I really would like to know what young college student is suppose to do?

  • I can certainly see where you are coming from. It’s really discouraging to meet a cab driver who has a master’s degree. That said, consider the fact that there are degrees that are very difficult to get work with. There’s a kid I know who just got a degree in Russian language. Around here there’s not too much you can do with that.

    Going to school to learn a trade, like massage or culinary arts, is a much faster way to get educated, is far more affordable, and can get you out into the work force profiting immediately.

  • Robert Gates

    The truth is that many employers (depending on the job) will discard app unless a college degree is on it. Many jobs require a degree to be a supervisor, or management position. Others don’t care.

    I live in a neighboring state and just saw an ad for a company looking for truck drivers, 80-90K per year, 2K sign on bonus, and if you drive well, a 12K safety bonus in Williston, ND.
    I checked with some friends that were looking for work and there was lots and lots of jobs in the oil and gas industry in the dakotas.
    However the issue is that they can’t get people to move to the dakotas. Some people have observed that they would rather “stay” with their family in other states, (RG note and howl and complain about their conditions) work for $8.00 per hour and not have to face the uncertainty of it all, i.e. moving, leaving family and friends, etc even though they would be making a huge amount of money then what they are.
    All things cycle. Eventually the high paying (no degree required) jobs go bye bye. The people that had them pissed all their money away in toys, cars, expensive houses, and didn’t save anything. Then when that slowdown hits, they start looking elsewhere and they need to have a college degree or equivilant to even get looked at.

  • Donald J. Martin, SCRP, RAA, GAA, CDEI

    It’s a lot of baloney.

    I don’t know of anyone that could honestly tell me that they were that stupid to not understand they would have to pay back what they borrowed and that there is no guarantee for any kind of job once you graduate.

    The papers you sign tell you there is no escape, now way to default and get away without paying.

    Today, the student loan papers are even more clear about this, not only do they tell you this in the papers you sign, but there has been a requirement for mandatory on line counseling, where they ask you a series of questions, which you must answer correctly, that shows a basic level of comprehension about the loan, the loan term, the interest rate, the fact you must repay every penny, that you cannot declare bankruptcy and just run away. Whoever wrote the article is an idiot.

    I hope they scare a lot of people from going to college, so that it will be that much easier for my kids to get a job, that requires a college education.

    How many regular school teachers, grammar school, high school and college will get hired without a college degree? Zero

    How many Appraisers will get their commercial certification without a college degree today? Zero

    How many will become lawyers, without a college degree? Zero

    How many Drs. will there be without a college degree? Zero

    How many of the above guarantee that you will be one of the above with a college degree? Zero

    So, better to have a chance to be one of the above with a college degree, than to have no degree and have no chance.

    Yes, there are lawyers driving taxi cabs, I get that, but that’s a risk you take. To me going to college is like giving someone who wants to be a carpenter a hammer. The hammer does not guarantee that you can build a house, does it? Just like getting a college education does not guarantee a job. However, try getting into one of the aforementioned fields without the degree. Try building a house without the hammer.

  • I’m glad I didn’t fall for it and burden my parents with more senseless debt. I knew education in this country was bullshit by the 3rd grade when I couldn’t find books on UFOs, big foot and witchcraft in the school library.

  • Kim

    Learn a skill! Learn a trade! Job Shadow! Go to Vo-Tech! Look for a need, and try to find a way to meet the need! Skills are what’s needed! Learn as many skills as you can, as young as you can! I sent my kids to work with every carpenter, computer geek, appliance repair person, fence builder, car mechanic, cement mason, rancher, roofer, taxidermist, photographer we could find, and they were making more in their teens than many adults (the appliance repair was very lucrative, as more people are repairing the old, instead of buying new. And after only 2 weeks in training, one son was going on calls. This field is wide open in our area – I guess no one wants to do it? Our 17 year old graduate could easily support a family in appliance repair). And just imagine if a young man were able to build his own house – how much money he would save, even if he never used his skills as a vocation. (We were able to build our house without going into debt, praise God!).My guys were offered a job as a plumbers assistant, but had to decline, due to being overcommitted already. They are in high demand, since they have earned a reputation for hard work, intelligence, and integrity. And of course, the more hard working of my guys makes the most money (I have one who would rather read, and one who would rather hunt!) I made it a personal mandate to steer them away from restaurant jobs, and to think like an entrapreneur. One son asked, “Do I have to go to college?” Absolutely not (even though my husband and I both have college degrees). But, just to keep their options open, the oldest 3 have all made 24 and above on ACT tests. Of course, homeschooling helped to allow all these opportunities for learning skills, but it is never too late! Pick a skill and ask to help, watch, and learn! Some require a certificate which can be obtained for half a day in Vo-Tech for 2 years. Of course, if the economy crashes in about 4-5 years, we’ll all be in the same boat, in which case, it would pay to learn gardening, canning, farming, and animal husbandry in order to survive! Did I mention that my kids can milk goats with the best of ’em? :)

  • Jonathan

    I bet most of the unemployed or underemployed studied freak’n useless arts degrees at overpriced colleges. Seriously, who wants to hire a history or philosophy major?

    Either get a trade or study something useful like engineering, math and finance, or science.

  • Elusive Grad

    Guess what everybody? I have a M.S. degree and over $100K in debt. I’m NOT going to pay a damn penny back! I’m living off the grid and will continue HAPPILY to the day I die. F**k the loan companies because student loans are a TRAP! Loan companies know it’s a trap, yet they still use the system to trap students into debt. Well, I manipulate the system to my advantage by NOT paying sh!t back. Elusive are my ways after living the college life with great pleasure :)

    • Keith

      If you are on the internet you are not “off the grid.”

  • If we abolished money we wouldn’t have this problem.

    Would you like to live in a world where money does not exist? A world where everything is free? A world without rich or poor? A civilization where all human needs are met by society working together as a whole? A world without boundaries, where people live together in peace and harmony?

    Because all human beings are basically socialist anarchists at heart, most people will say ‘yes’. But, they will ask, would it be possible?

    The only way for this plan to work is for the message to be spread.

    Tell people about the 2012 Strike for a Moneyless World . If they like the idea, tell them to tell their friends. Those friends will tell others, and by the year 2012 everyone on the planet will know about the strike and decide whether they are for or against it.

    On that day a new moneyless system will begin which will change the world completely.

    You might consider distributing copies of this flyer –


    If you agree that the abolition of money would be a fine solution to most of our problems, and that we could create a much better system where EVERYTHING – food and drink, clothing and housing, water, heating, education, health-care and entertainment – shall be FREE for EVERYONE – why not join the World-Wide Strike on the opening day of the Olympic Games in 2012?

    The Strike will begin the moment the symbolic Olympic flame is lit – the signal for all who support the abolition of money to stop work and demand a new fair world of true freedom and justice.


    Pass it on.

    “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” Thomas Paine.

  • Joe China

    I’m a college instructor, an American, and I live and work in China.

    Life is better here. Communism works. So far from being dead, it’s triumphing.

    And we’re freer here too. No TSA. The police look like boy scouts, don’t carry guns or tasers, and intimidate no one (except when there’s a need to, which is just about never).

    People are happy here. Life is good. Welcome to the future–in China, we’re living it today.

  • Chris

    Imagine how much better the U.S. would be if all the plumbers, carpenters, and mechanics graduated from college – maybe then I could get my oil changed without some flunky screwing it up!!!!

  • Thank you for this article. I will also like to say that it can end up being hard if you are in school and simply starting out to establish a long credit ranking. There are many pupils who are merely trying to make it and have an extended or good credit history can often be a difficult element to have.