Series 29 | Part 3: Low Wages Can’t Pay Back Loans

The government did, however, do one wonderful thing. It became a threat, and they did lose, but they absolutely tried. They gave student loans. Some were just loans, other required you to go into certain fields or to work for them, and others were only for elite students. Some even were after the fact, meaning they forgave your loans if you worker in a capacity that freed up some of their money, like teaching in an inner-city school.

Sounds good, but universities were receiving $X dollars for students and then were receiving less than $X and the rest of the tuition from the government. Since the government is a larger source of cash per student than the actual student or his or her parents, they raised tuition. It’s pathetic.

Now I promote education for everyone. I tell everyone that they should learn as much as they can, and that’s why I’m teaching all this stuff to you–I just feel like I have to–so let’s not blame the universities. Why not? Well, even if you want to blame them, there’s a bigger fish to fry. They’re at least educating us. They’re overcharging, but a lot of that money is going toward education. Sometimes, you get a TA and the education is going directly from the professor to the community or a company or the government via his or her research, but we’re learning as a country. The country and the world is becoming more intelligent and being taught some many ways to be more innovative and efficient. Since most professors are an expert in only a couple things, you’d think the students are learning something along the same lines as those other stakeholders, which means those stakeholders can hire those students. The students and, let’s say, the community or a company are taught by the same professor or at least that professor’s TA and in the same subject matter. So, they can obviously work together, with the company paying the student. It’s a perfect system.

Yeah, right.

The companies aren’t paying the students. They are finding every way to not pay someone after they graduate. I know it sounds silly, but their excuse is basically ‘I don’t wanna!’

These loans are bankrupting people. The most important effect is the psychological stress that just ruins any chance of being able to handle any of life’s challenges, but let’s say you’re fearless: what’s the economic cost of all this?

Well, we have an average of $30,000 in student loan debt, and we end up paying probably $55,000+ when you add in all the interest over many years. That’s a down payment on a gigantic house you’ll never need because you can’t afford children. Your salary is going to be around $100,000 as an oft-promoted veteran of a good company. Many do better than that, but so many wash out. Even more never get on that track. We talked about that: outsourcing, automation, underemployment, and so on. So, you get that awesome salary, you feel good, Wall Street slowly recedes into the shadows before you realize the ruse, and you get a bill in the mail christened with a free migraine to go with it.

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