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Ben Bernanke Says That His Son Will Graduate With $400,000 Of Student Loan Debt

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Who ever imagined that Ben Bernanke would become a poster child for the student loan debt problem in America?  Recently Bernanke told Congress that his son will graduate from medical school with about $400,000 of student loan debt.  For most Americans, such a staggering amount of debt would almost certainly guarantee a lifetime of debt slavery.  Unfortunately, Bernanke’s son is not alone.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans have more than $200,000 of student loan debt.  The cost of a college education has increased much more rapidly than the rate of inflation over the past several decades, and most students enter the “real world” today with a debt burden that will stay with them for most of their working lives.  In an economy where there are so few good jobs for college graduates, it can be incredibly difficult to get married, buy a house or afford to have children when you are drowning in student loan debt.  It would be hard to overstate the financial pain that student loans are causing many young adults in America today.  The student loan debt problem is a national crisis and it is not going away any time soon.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that the total amount of student loan debt in America now exceeds the total of all credit card debt in the country.  It also exceeds the total of all auto loans.

The New York Fed says that there is a total of $870 billion owed on student loans in the United States right now.  Other sources claim that the total amount of student loan debt in the United States will soon exceed one trillion dollars.

Either way, we are talking about an extraordinary amount of money.

Sadly, approximately two-thirds of all U.S. college students graduate with student loan debt these days.  The average amount of student loan debt at graduation is approximately $25,000.

That might not be so bad if the economy was full of good paying jobs for college graduates, but that simply is not the case.

As college tuition continues to soar, the student loan debt problem continues to get even worse.  U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation.

That is not a good trend.

The truth is that it has simply gotten way too expensive to go to college.

Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600.

Today, the price tag is $35,568.

So why is a Harvard education 59 times more expensive than it used to be?

Somebody is getting rich off of all this, and it isn’t the students.

In fact, many students are looking at a life of debt slavery for decades to come.

The following is a quote from one recent graduate from a recent Politico article….

“I pay almost $1,000 a month just in student loan repayment. I will have to do so for the next 30 years. How will I ever afford to buy a house, have children or save for the future?”

After working so hard all the way through school, is that any kind of a “future” to look forward to?

The system is failing our young people.

Many young college graduates have found themselves unable to make their payments or have simply decided to quit making payments.

Officially, the student loan default rate has nearly doubled since 2005.  But a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that things may be even worse than that.  According to the New York Fed, approximately one out of every four student loan balances are past-due at this point.

But it isn’t just young people getting into trouble with student loan debt.

These days, financial institutions are increasingly targeting parents.  Federal student loans often do not cover all of the expenses of college in this day and age, and so increasingly loans are being made to parents to make up the difference.  Student loans made to directly to parents have increased by 75 percent since the 2005-2006 academic year.

Unfortunately, what students and parents are getting in return for all of this money is not that great.

I spent eight years of my life studying at U.S. colleges and universities.  The institutions that I attended were supposed to be better than most.  But most of the classes that I took were a total joke.  A 6-year-old child could have passed most of them.

Almost everyone agrees that the quality of college education in America is in a serious state of decline.  The goal is to get these kids through the system and to keep collecting the big tuition checks.

When I was in school, I could hardly believe how little was being required of me.  But being as lazy as I was, I certainly did not complain.

If only more parents realized what was really going on.

The following are some facts about the quality of college education in the United States from a USA Today article….

-“After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

-“Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago”

-“35% of students report spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone.”

-“50% said they never took a class in a typical semester where they wrote more than 20 pages”

-“32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.”

Are you starting to get the picture?

If you are in college right now, enjoy the good times while they last, because when you graduate you will find that there are very few good jobs available for the hordes of new college graduates that are pouring into the labor market.

For a new college graduate, things can be rather depressing.  Just consider the following statistics….

*About a third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don’t even require college degrees.

*In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

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

There are millions of college graduates that are unemployed in America today.  There are millions of others that have been forced to take very low paying jobs because that is all they can get.

It is no coincidence that incomes for households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.

Young people in America are under intense financial pressure right now.

Many are unable to make it at all and have moved back in with Mom and Dad.  As I wrote about recently, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents at this point.

The system of higher education in this country is badly broken and it desperately needs to be fixed.

So do you have a solution to these problems or do you have a student loan debt horror story to share?

Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

  • Antonio Gonzalez

    His son debt 400 000……………..

    Bernanke believe americans are stupid……….Ja, ja , ja, ja , ja

    • michelle

      that was my first reaction to the title of the article – like Ben Bernanke is not going to pay off his kid’s college? Pah!

  • Steve

    This has been going on before the movie “Animal House”.
    Where do you think the idea for the movie came from?

    Why hasen’t the Congress, Senate or even the President done anything to correct this earlier?

  • Sid Davis

    Of course something has gone wrong. Fifty years ago it was possible to attend a state university almost anywhere, work at a 1/2 time job, and get a degree with no debt burden. I did it, and most of the people I knew did it. Some had a little help from parents, and some just managed to do it on their own.

    What has changed? One thing is that most people think they need a college degree, so there is more demand driving up prices. Federal grants and loans provides the funds to fuel the demand. Just like when the federal government got involved in health care, prices were drive up because they provided the fuel to burn the fires of price inflation.

    I question whether or not college degrees are of value today, particularly these degrees that provide no actual training for a job. I have one cousin who has a degree in music, and another in history; they both have factory line jobs, and their degrees along with the associated loans are of no value to them.

    We are on the cusp of a new paradigm. Energy and other resources fueled the last 400 years of economic expansion, and this is ending. The future is one of scarcity and perpetual economic contraction. The industrial age cannot be sustained without the energy to fuel it, so technical knowledge will be unimportant. 18th century farming and undertaking will be big jobs in the future. Forget computers, engineering, and modern medicine.

    • Paul

      The sun is delivering more energy than the world currently needs.

      You need engineers to harvest that energy.

      BTW, coal, oil and plants are just other products made from the sun’s energy. It just takes a few hundred million years to make as much fuel that way as is needed to burn in a few decades.

      Need to find alternatives, so get some education.

      As early as possible. Which doesn’t mean getting piano lessons in kindergarten, but learning to read and calculate as soon as you enter school. And be proficient in everything taught at school when you leave it.

      Don’t weaste your playtime in kindergarten with learning, and don’t waste your learntime in school with playing and just hanging around.

      Want to give something to your children and grandchildren? Give them a solid house that outlives the next 50 hurricane, tornado and flood seasons.

      And give them a solid family they can always return to.

    • thescourge

      What has changed is this: Goldman Sachs saw an opportunity to benefit, and they bribed Congress to include a ‘no bailout’ clause for those who borrowed money. Goldman Sachs massively profits, and of course they needed college fees to skyrocket in order to make their scam massively profitable. And all colleges care about is getting you through the system so they can collect too.

  • Ben

    And were supposed to feel sorry for this man and his son?

  • Rodster

    I graduated in the 70’s from HS which dubbed as a trade school. That to me was more valuable than college.

    It taught me a trade fixing electronics which led to several jobs working as a repair technician for computer mfgs.

    Too bad we no longer put of an emphasis on that instead. I’ve seen vocation/technical schools but they are now pay to attend.

  • Jolene

    I am a computer science graduate working at a Rite Aid as a cashier. I wish I could find something that paid more. It’s hard to make ends meet. It could be worse, though.. At least they have good health insurance. =/

    • T

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Some people can’t handle the truth I have quite a few friends going into debt to get their masters. I thought I could convince them that’s a bad idea but they’re hell bent on making themselves feel good and telling themselves they’re going to have a better life. It’s fantasy land to think that way in 2012. Facts be damned “I got my masters!” I hope it looks good on their mantle because that’s all it will be good for.

  • Herbman

    Will there be a bailout?

  • TK

    Things are much worse off than they appear. Easy credit gives people what they want now, instead of waiting the old fashioned way setting aside money for items wanted.

    Remember the old days when you had to get a job and pay for college while working? Then when you graduate, no debt!! Sounds like an impossible scenario now a days.

  • Government Guy

    If we allow Fortune 500 companies to default on their debts, and MF Global (at least we know what MF stands for now) take customers gold, is it reasonable to expect students to repay unsecured loans.

    I know people who have not paid them since graduation twenty years ago and many who did not graduate because they fell victim to for-profit scamstitutions and got no degree. For the most part it has not hurt them. They get jobs and loans and live their lives because not paying these frees up money to make payments on secured loans.

    Sure people call them thieves, but if those people had their own house in order they would make Michelle Obama pay for her own vacations before condemning the little guy.

  • davidmpark

    Bernanke’s inner dialog: “WHAT! Keynesian economics will cost ME money!?”

  • Tom

    I graduated from Wake Forest University (a private university) in 1980. Total tuition, room, board and books for the entire school year was ~$4300. The money I made as a waitress every summer paid for my education, with a bit left over. I didn’t have any scholarships – I paid full ride myself.

    There’s not a single student today who can work only in the summer and pay their tuition, room and board and books.

    What’s changed ? The ability to borrow money for college, and to not be allowed to bankrupt out from under it.

    If we again allowed students to eliminate their debt via bankruptcy, you wouldn’t see any lenders willing to offer loans, and tuition would drop so fast it would leave Wiley Coyote way behind. Lenders would be forced to only lend where they think they’d get repaid, and that would not be for your average basketweaving degree program.

    • Patriot Alice

      Everyone is entitled to all entitlements needed for their existance from birth til death..Housing, education, health, jobs, pensions, space lunatics, etc…And the government should just continue to raise taxes to pay for it all…It’s a system created to default…

    • TX4Life

      This is SO true! My college student waits tables to assist with expenses and we live way beneath our income so we don’t have to take out any student loans for him. The fees are outrageous–much more than the tuition costs. We’ve also insisted on a major that has a higher likelihood of employment upon completion of the degree. There is absolutely NO WAY he could “work” his way through college without parental help or a student loan. He has friends that have dropped out of college in the last few years and are not paying the student loans they took out.

  • SpunkyBunks

    Go to community college first. Learn a vocation before attending traditional universities. That’s what I did, and I’ve always found high paying work with my associates degree first and foremost. My Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are just icing on the cake for higher salary and job security.

    I graduated with 25k in debt, but now I’m down to 14k. I think it was worth it, since I make 100k+ a year in a great job where my employer has a difficult time hiring decent employees. There’s a lot of incompetent and lazy people out there. But that’s another story.

  • pranah

    I graduated medical school in 1983 with $28,000 in college debt. I’m horrified that any med school in the nation would graduate a student with $400,000 in debt. My med school advised us that we HAD to borrow to get through (unless you were wealthy, of course) as it would be impossible to work a job while in medical school. That was the truth. So we all signed on the dotted line. Can’t imagine it’s any different now. The Bernank’s son isn’t going to pay off that 400 large any time soon, either–he’ll have to sell his soul to some residency program and be a slave in some hospital for 3 to 5 years, depending on what residency he chooses, making way below minimum wage, I bet–I worked 120+ hours a week in residency for what averaged out to about $1.25/hour.

    I’ve thought often that medical/healthcare jobs will be some of the only ones left eventually because you can’t outsource bedside care, but neither medicine or nursing (I have an RN also) are for everyone, and certainly not for the fucking lazy or the faint of heart.

    Anyway, even if your kid goes into medicine or nursing, he or she isn’t going to be done paying back the loans or making decent bucks for quite a while. I’d think hard before trying to push any kid into these fields, and would only be supportive of someone who was the right kind of person for the work and who was on fire to do it.

  • kwark

    So. . . you’re trying to say college has become a racket? Got that right. Seems as though there must be something to the pathetic level of “learning” noted if a former student can say with a straight face. . .

    “I pay almost $1,000 a month just in student loan repayment. I will have to do so for the next 30 years. How will I ever afford to buy a house, have children or save for the future?”

    Sheesh. Only a FINANCIAL GENIUS could’ve figured that out while considered college in the first place. Hmmm 4 years at $40k/year equals. . . oh, that’s higher math so what the heck the “experience” is worth it, no problem!!!

  • All Big Ben has to do is have his buddies at the federal reserve print a extra $400,000 and his kids loan is history.

    • Tim


    • DownWithLibs

      Good one!!

  • mondobeyondo

    Awww, poor baby. Your dad’s in a more fortunate position than my dad was, though. You really do have a “sugar daddy”. Make that a “honey daddy”.

  • Tim Vande

    So that is why the easy money policy. he wants to make his son’s debt worth less

  • Tappedops

    Get a job ***************… play doctor after you retire off pops ill-gotten gains…

  • 1stVArifleman

    I’m a recent college graduate but I went to a Institute where discipline was real world, VMI, and you had to go to class, you had to read, you had to write, you had to think, you had to take real test, and that was on top of every thing else that was required of you. Or guess what you got kicked out of the I(school), or you could quit anytime, they’d still take your money though just as fast as any other school. Which, when a institute like VMI clearly makes its number one objective money and “Vision 2039,” you know something has gone wrong with college education and the political objectives at large. I’m not knocking the academic departments at VMI at all because I actually learned from the professors there, but the Administration is clearly about money and being politically correct and they ruined a prestigious institution as a result.

    • Saq

      You would think with that college degree, you would learn about proper punctuation, and run on sentences.

      • 1stVArifleman

        I admit I’m not the best at grammar in the world. However, I wrote that post really fast and didn’t proof read it like I should have. The point with me is always the content and being objective in my statements. The point of the post was to show that even a school that is suppose to be dedicated to producing military officers to serve the Constiutional Republic; is in fact only really concerned with its endowment and “Vision 2039.”

  • VyseLegendaire

    Warren Pollock of wepollock on Youtube and frequent contributor to Wide Awake News gave this advice: avoid the college industrial complex and the low paying jobs – instead go off grid and take the initiative to find a unique business model that can help provide life support – the thing the government is failing to provide right now. I agree that we need to look at this from a different perspective – wouldn’t we all be glad for the enslavement to the mind-numbing indoctrination of the universities to end?

  • Time for student loan forgiveness. If the billionares who crashed our economy and leveraged our politicians to rip off us taxpayers get bailed out: why not us!

    • Greg

      Student loan forgiveness would not teach anything but more dependence on the government.

    • DownWithLibs

      Because when it comes to any Fed. Res/Gov. action, reason has no place.

  • bobinsherwood

    Boo Hoo! In 1974 the rules back then for student loans prevented me from getting a dime because my Mom and Dad made too much money! My Dad was a mail handler and my Mom was a nurse’s aide and barely made enough to take care of my brother, sister, and me. I spent the next 14 years in the US Navy and never looked back. What a bunch of whiny losers this World is becoming. Feed Me, Seymour!

    • geekatron8

      The Navy is funded by taxes. Therefore, you received tax payer subsidized benefits while tax payers fed, clothed and sheltered you.

  • callmecordelia1

    I don’t really have a solution, but I have an observation. I’m not that old (my kids would argue with that), but I feel like I’ve watched part of the problem get worse over time. When I was in college almost 20 years ago, we WORKED. I had a roommate that got up at 4:00 every morning to work as a janitor before she went to classes all day. She worked hard and paid for her entire education with no help from her parents. I was fortunate that my parents paid for my tuition (it was relatively inexpensive) and room, and I worked a part-time job during the school year and full-time during the summers to earn all of my other expenses. My roommate and I each graduated with ZERO student loan debt.

    Fast-forward 10 years or so, and I was living in a University town with many medical, law and dental students. They LIVED on student loans. Not one of our friends there had jobs. They paid for every cent of their day-to-day expenses with student loans. Many of them were married and had kids, and neither spouse worked. They all drove nice vehicles and lived in fancy apartments or houses. I couldn’t believe the standard of living on borrowed money.

    Yes, school is more expensive these days, but people have also forgotten what it means to WORK for what you get! It’s even worse today. I realize this is only part of the problem– school has definitely become a racket, but there’s also some careless spending and lack of work going on.

    • justamom

      Excellent observation. Good post!

    • Sisyphus

      FYI. When I went to law school. You could not work AT ALL the first year and could only work up to 20 hours per week during your second and third year. These were ABA Rules.

    • Anna

      I’m currently in law school. We are NOT allowed to work the first year without obtaining special consent from the Dean (which I have). In the 2nd and 3rd year, we are limited to 20 hrs per week.

      Tuition has increased an average of 10% per year for the last several years at least. I’m not sure the quality of the education has though.

      Nonetheless, the field I’m going into (IP) has largely escaped the cutbacks of the last 4 years, so I feel the debt I’m taking on is a good bet. I’m not so confident about my classmates though.

    • pranah

      callme, you have good points in general, but…see my post upthread. I COULDN’T have worked a job while in med school–it would have been physically impossible due to the immense, brutal, and inhuman amount of schoolwork. We were told we couldn’t work a job while in school and encouraged to take out loans to pay our way, the rationale there being that eventually we’d be making decent money as doctors. Well…it takes YEARS and YEARS to repay medical student loans because you have to spend 3-5 years or more grunting your guts out as a slave in residency training, working hellaciously brutal hours, making dirt for a salary. That’s what we did, anyway, and I can’t imagine it’s any different now.

  • redmapleleaf

    The government is to blame for the high cost of education. They are in the student loan business and by doing this they are driving up the cost of education. Watch tuition fees drop when students can no longer get debt!

  • Craig

    A little bit off topic and long — if permitted:

    Very interesting read from John Mauldin by email. He is talking about this fellow Naill Ferguson who wrote a book entitled Civilization: The West and the Rest. He says that civilizations collapse suddenly and not over a long period of time.

    Some comments by Naill Ferguson about the book:

    Western Civilisation: Decline – or Fall?
    By Niall Ferguson

    As a freshman historian at Oxford back in 1982, I was required to read Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ever since that first encounter with the greatest of all historians, I have pondered the question whether or not the modern West could succumb to degenerative tendencies similar to the ones described so vividly by Gibbon. My most recent book, Civilization: The West and the Rest attempts an answer to that question.

    The good news is that I do not believe that Western civilization is in some kind of gradual, inexorable decline. In my view, civilizations do not rise, fall, and then gently decline, as inevitably and predictably as the four seasons or the seven ages of man. History is not one smooth, parabolic curve after another. The bad news is that its shape is more like an exponentially steepening slope that quite suddenly drops off like a cliff.

    To see what I mean, pay a visit to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. In 1530 the Incas were the masters of all they surveyed from the heights of the Peruvian Andes. Within less than a decade, foreign invaders with horses, gunpowder, and lethal diseases had smashed their empire to smithereens. Today tourists gawp at the ruins that remain.

    The notion that civilizations do not decline but collapse inspired the anthropologist Jared Diamond’s 2005 book, Collapse. But Diamond focused, fashionably, on man-made environmental disasters as the causes of collapse. As a historian, I take a broader view. My point is that when you look back on the history of past civilizations, a striking feature is the speed with which most of them collapsed, regardless of the cause.

    The Roman Empire did not decline and fall over a millennium, as Gibbon’s monumental work seemed to suggest. It collapsed within a few decades in the early fifth century, tipped over the edge of chaos by barbarian invaders and internal divisions. In the space of a generation, the vast imperial metropolis of Rome fell into disrepair, the aqueducts broken, the splendid marketplaces deserted. The Ming dynasty’s rule in China also fell apart with extraordinary speed in the mid–17th century, succumbing to internal strife and external invasion. Again, the transition from equipoise to anarchy took little more than a decade.

    A more recent and familiar example of precipitous decline is, of course, the collapse of the Soviet Union. And, if you still doubt that collapse comes suddenly, just think of how the postcolonial dictatorships of North Africa and the Middle East imploded this year. Twelve months ago, Messrs. Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Gaddafi seemed secure in their gaudy palaces. Here yesterday, gone today.

    What all these collapsed powers have in common is that the complex social systems that underpinned them suddenly ceased to function. One minute rulers had legitimacy in the eyes of their people; the next they did not. This process is a familiar one to students of financial markets. Even as I write, it is far from clear that the European Monetary Union can be salvaged from the dramatic collapse of confidence in the fiscal policies of its peripheral member states. In the realm of power, as in the domain of the bond vigilantes, you are fine until you are not fine—and when you’re not fine, you are suddenly in a terrifying death spiral.

    The West first surged ahead of the Rest after about 1500 thanks to a series of institutional innovations that (to entice younger readers) I call the “killer applications”:

    1.Competition. Europe was politically fragmented into multiple monarchies and republics, which were in turn internally divided into competing corporate entities, among them the ancestors of modern business corporations.

    2.The Scientific Revolution. All the major 17th-century breakthroughs in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology happened in Western Europe.

    3.The Rule of Law and Representative Government. An optimal system of social and political order emerged in the English-speaking world, based on private-property rights and the representation of property owners in elected legislatures.

    4.Modern Medicine. Nearly all the major 19th- and 20th-century breakthroughs in health care were made by Western Europeans and North Americans.

    5.The Consumer Society. The Industrial Revolution took place where there was both a supply of productivity-enhancing technologies and a demand for more, better, and cheaper goods, beginning with cotton garments.

    6.The Work Ethic. Westerners were the first people in the world to combine more extensive and intensive labor with higher savings rates, permitting sustained capital accumulation.

    For hundreds of years, these killer apps were essentially monopolized by Europeans and their cousins who settled in North America and Australasia. They are the best explanation for what economic historians call “the great divergence”: the astonishing gap that arose between Western standards of living and those in the rest of the world. In 1500 the average Chinese was richer than the average North American. By the late 1970s the American was more than 20 times richer than the Chinese.

    Westerners not only grew richer than “Resterners.” They grew taller, healthier, and longer-lived. They also grew more powerful. By the early 20th century, just a dozen Western empires—including the United States—controlled 58 percent of the world’s land surface and population, and a staggering 74 percent of the global economy.

    Beginning with Japan, however, one non-Western society after another has worked out that these apps can be downloaded and installed in non-Western operating systems. That explains about half the catching up that we have witnessed in our lifetimes, especially since the onset of economic reforms in China in 1978.

    I am not one of those people filled with angst at the thought of a world in which the average American is no longer vastly richer than the average Chinese. I welcome the escape of hundreds of millions of Asians from poverty, not to mention the improvements we are seeing in South America and parts of Africa. But there is a second, more insidious cause of the “great reconvergence,” which I do deplore—and that is the tendency of Western societies to delete their own killer apps.

    Who’s got the work ethic now? The average South Korean works about 39 percent more hours per week than the average American. The school year in South Korea is 220 days long, compared with 180 days in the U.S. And you do not have to spend too long at any major U.S. university to know which students really drive themselves: the Asians and Asian-Americans. The consumer society? 26 of the 30 biggest shopping malls in the world are now in emerging markets, mostly in Asia. Modern medicine? As a share of gross domestic product, the United States spends twice what Japan spends on health care and more than three times what China spends. Yet life expectancy in the U.S. has risen from 70 to 78 in the past 50 years, compared with leaps from 68 to 83 in Japan and from 43 to 73 in China.

    The rule of law? For a real eye-opener, take a look at the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Executive Opinion Survey. On no fewer than 15 of 16 different issues relating to property rights and governance, the United States fares worse than Hong Kong. Indeed, the U.S. makes the global top 20 in only one area: investor protection. On every other count, its reputation is shockingly bad. The U.S. ranks 86th in the world for the costs imposed on business by organized crime, 50th for public trust in the ethics of politicians, 42nd for various forms of bribery, and 40th for standards of auditing and financial reporting.

    What about science? U.S.-based scientists continue to walk off with plenty of Nobel Prizes each year. But Nobel winners are old men. The future belongs not to them but to today’s teenagers. Here is another striking statistic. Every three years the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment tests the educational attainment of 15-year-olds around the world. The latest data on “mathematical literacy” reveal that the gap between the world leaders—the students of Shanghai and Singapore—and their American counterparts is now as big as the gap between U.S. kids and teenagers in Albania and Tunisia.

    The late, lamented Steve Jobs convinced Americans that the future would be “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” Yet statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization show that already more patents originate in Japan than in the U.S., that South Korea overtook Germany to take third place in 2005, and that China has just overtaken Germany too.

    Finally, there’s competition, the original killer app that sent the fragmented West down a completely different path from monolithic imperial China. The WEF has conducted a comprehensive Global Competitiveness survey every year since 1979. Since the current methodology was adopted in 2004, the United States’ average competitiveness score has fallen from 5.82 to 5.43, one of the steepest declines among developed economies. China’s score, meanwhile, has leapt up from 4.29 to 4.90.

    Not only is the U.S. less competitive abroad. Perhaps more disturbing is the decline of meaningful competition at home, as the social mobility of the postwar era has given way to an extraordinary social polarization. You do not have to be an Occupy Wall Street activist to believe that the American super-rich elite—the 1 percent that collects 20 percent of the income—has become dangerously divorced from the rest of society, especially from the underclass at the bottom of the income distribution.

    But if we are headed toward collapse, what will it look like? An upsurge in civil unrest and crime, as happened in the 1970s? A loss of faith on the part of investors and a sudden Greek-style leap in government borrowing costs? How about a spike of violence in the Middle East, from Iraq to Afghanistan, as insurgents capitalize on our troop withdrawals? Or a paralyzing cyberattack from the rising Asian superpower we complacently underrate?

    Is there anything we can do to prevent such disasters? Social scientist Charles Murray calls for a “civic great awakening”—a return to the original values of the American republic. He has a point. Far more than in Europe, most Americans remain instinctively loyal to the killer applications of Western ascendancy, from competition all the way through to the work ethic. They know the country has the right software. They just cannot understand why it is running so damn slowly.

    What we need to do is to delete the viruses that have crept into our system: the anticompetitive quasi monopolies that blight everything from banking to public education; the politically correct pseudosciences and soft subjects that deflect good students away from hard science; the lobbyists who subvert the rule of law for the sake of the special interests they represent—to say nothing of our crazily dysfunctional system of health care, our overleveraged personal finances, and our newfound unemployment ethic.

    Then we need to download the updates that are running more successfully in other countries, from Finland to New Zealand, from Denmark to Hong Kong, from Singapore to Sweden. And finally we need to reboot our whole system.

    Voters and politicians alike dare not postpone the big reboot. If what we are risking is not decline but downright collapse, then the time frame may even be tighter than one election cycle

    • Thank you so much for posting the above. Several topics resonate strongly with me.
      I came across a table in UK shares magazine last week showing the World’s largest populations for 2010. China and India combined 2.557 Billion, the 18 countries below them total 2.323 Billion. In the future countries are going to find it very hard to compete with China and India having such large populations. Maybe we will be serving their growth. I’ve included the number for those who are interested
      In Millions:
      1)China 1,347.4
      2)India 1,210.2
      3)USA 313.1
      4)Indonesia 237.6
      5)Brazil 192.4
      6)Pakistan 178.8
      7)Nigeria 162.5
      8)Russia 143.0
      9)Bangladesh 142.3
      10)Japan 127.8
      11)Mexico 112.3
      12)Philippines 94.0
      13)Vietnam 87.8
      14)Ethiopia 84.3
      15)Germany 81.8
      16)Egypt 81.6
      17)Iran 76.1
      18)Turkey 74.7
      19)DR Congo 67.8
      20)Thailand 65.9

    • Pat

      You people are incredibly naive. You think this is all an accident? You think this is a mistake. You are truly like sheeple.

      Gag me with a spoon why don’t you? As someone who lived and worked in Denmark and Sweden for 10 years I can factually tell you that if your idea of a sound society is like Scandinavia, you really are watching too much TV, drinking too much Kool Aid and have no idea of what you are talking about.

      There has been a deliberate change in thinking and the decline / collapse and your confusion is part of this equation. You will be the last to know and die in a state of shock.

      By the way, one way Bernacke can pay that $400,000 debt back is to buy a $1 Million Note sold at http://goldenladyfun.blogspot.com

  • just me

    who in their right mind would believe anything Brenanke says? he’s a multi millionair and wouldn’t think of his son paying interest on a loan.

  • ajc

    I really feel sorry for the young people of America. In Australia the government extends loans to students with an interest rate equal to the inflation rate. They can create this money with the stroke of a few keys and the money covers their own expenses as they own the universities. They also get the benefit that people with degrees earn more income and in the long term will pay a lot more tax. This is a very good return on investment. Whereas the US government helps local and foreign banks with huge low interest loans and allows the young to rack up huge student loans presumably at much higher interest and will also be looking to these same students to repay the national debt. When will the American people wake up and realise they are being ______ by corporate America.

    In Australia, you can earn $200,000 pa being a sparky in the mines and the mining companies will pay for your training. Makes me wonder why I went to uni.

  • 1% admirer

    Is it possible to go into the military, get some money saved up, get their GI Bill or whatever they have now, do CLEP or other online programs to get some college courses waived? I went into the military after completing college and realizing I did not want to be a lawyer..did well in classes but did not want to do law for 40 years. I remember one guy I served with as an electronics tech went to Purdue after his hitch..he said they waived 1 1/2 years for his BA. Plus there is something to be said for military discipline improving your work habits. Obviously there are downsides to get killed in the Middle East but how many people got killed in the WTC or on the roads every year? There are branches of the service and job ratings to minimize the risks. But there are risks to everything, someday a meteor will hit the earth and wipe us out like the dinosaurs 70 million years ago.

    Rack up $400,000 going to med school? As Jack Albertson said once on Chico and the Man, it will take him three months to earn enough to pay it off.

    • Craig

      The Earth and the entire universe is less than 10,000 years old.

      • Christensen Lehman

        Um, if you think that the Earth and the entire universe is FEWER [not “less”] than 10 000 years old, then you embody the selfsame complaints in the discourse of this article.
        The inferiority of American education gives rise to widespread creationist beliefs. More Americans subscribe to Creationism than most third-worlders. The lack of science and critical thinking in American schools is why religious fundamentalism and creationism are epidemic in America. When education improves hugely America, then the risible notion that the Universe is fewer than 10 000 years old will finally be put to rest. No wonder the rest of the world is laughing at Americans. No offense intended, Craig; just stating the facts, and facts are innocent things.

  • Paul

    With debts that high everywhere,

    does it really matter? Just look good and makle promises and people will finance your lifestyle with other people’s money.

    Meet some politicians, they make a law that the cleaners and street sweepers have to pay higher taxes so that business owners can deduct their profit from tax.


    You don’t like it? How would you like to be put on the terrorists blacklist? So, just shut up, if you don’t want your children be taken into child’s services’ custody.

  • I’m not sure comparing things to 1952 is all that valuable.

  • chiller

    If I was Bernanke’s son I’d beat the snot out of the old man if he didn’t print up some counterfeit money to pay off my school bail money.

  • Tom

    Don’t want to pay back the loan?
    Don’t borrow the money!

    • Sisyphus

      Where were you when I was 18?

      Goodness gracious, you do understand that I was a teenager when I signed my first promissory note? And I only signed it after hearing that after just 4 years of college, people in my profession earn (insert absurdly unrealistic number here) on average and 95% of them get these jobs the first year after college.

      I agree with you, but colleges are selling the educations AND the loans. They won’t speak the truth about this to kids and parents.

  • Yes yes yes, all of the above is true. But Barnanke will never pay a dime. And this charade will continue, unless we fix the root problem… our corrupt political system. The only thing WE can do is throw the bastards out in November. For the first time in my life I am going to heavily support a third party.

  • Hans

    Take the loans, get the qualification and then go and work outside the US. See if the banksters can solve that crisis! It does seem like a better option than being a janitor or flipping burger patties, or for that matter being a debt slave forever.

    It seems as if the debt-fuelled, corrupt war- mongering empire is crumbling. The Roman empire comes to mind. The first ones to leave (with decent skills and/or degrees) should qualify for citizenship elsewhere.

    These postings are appreciated. It is gratifying to note that others often quote or post articles from this site. It was through silverbearcafe that I learnt of this site and I do not miss a single day. Another measure of your success is the way some others are trying to discredit you and this site. I have mentioned it to you before, but that site was moderated out of my post, for obvious reasons. The true facts must really hurt and irritate some groups with their vested interests. That probably explains the very personal nature of their attack on you personally. Because they are unable to play the ball, they are playing the man!

    As a legally trained person, you will probably recognize the phrase “res ipsa loquitur” (The facts speak for themselves). Eventually more and more people will come to understand what is happening to their way of life. This site makes it much easier to point out the obvious to those who still have their heads in the sand.

  • pete

    Without doubt, BS Bernake’s son has been studying proctology.

    Nobody should be foolish enough to think that Dr. Bernake’s son, Dr. Bernanke is not going to open his practice at a VA Hospital in East St Louis.

    He’s going to be at the most expensive hospital getting paid not with Obamacare Rx, but will be paid by wealthy elitist bankers and politicians so don’t anguish and suffer from despair regarding young Dr. Bernanke’s enormous college loan…….I suspect he’ll be just fine.

    Me…..if I did ever have go to a proctolgist…..and his name was “Bernake”, I’d take it home in a bucket first.


  • Chris

    Well if most of what we call money comes into existence when someone takes out a loan at a bank through fractional reserve banking then what is really going on here is just another way to boost the money/credit supply by encouraging more debt although in this case on education and not on housing. Mortgage being of course another form of debt slavery. If the fractional reserve banking system cannot be got rid off the alternative should be to nationalise all banks. There should be no private bankers making a profit through creating money out of thin air. If anyone should make anything out of this it will have to be the government/people.

  • Don’t worry folks. By the time Osama Ben Bernanke’s son graduates from med school daddy’s inflationary monetary policy will have whittled his debt down to a pittance. Or the whole economy will be collapsed in which case student loan debt will be the least of anyone’s worries.


  • Sisyphus

    Commenting here, I feel a little like reporting in for an AA meeting…

    “Hello, my name is Doug. I’m a college graduate…sorry, I’m mean…a debt slave.”

    Actually, I have a Juris Doctorate and two undergraduate degrees. I currently work for $12.95 per hour.

    My student loan debt is right at $100,000, and my wife has a little more in debt. That means that my entire take home pay just about covers the 7.75% interest on all that debt.

    It’s not that I’m not capable of or willing to earn more. Over my career, I have held management positions that have earned a very solid income, but my last management job was eliminated just as I began to pay into my loans–and though I’d be a great hire for just about any position, the market for professional jobs is very crowded.

    • Mal R.

      What’re the degrees in? I always have to ask because of those idiotic pictures the 99%/OWS types posted on one of those websites, “I’m over 100K in debt and I have a masters degree in Black Women’s Studies”. Didja really think that those idiotic degrees were gonna pay the bills?

      I have an Associates of Science degree and I make a VERY comfortable living as a web developer. I’ve never had a hard time finding a job – tech bubble burst and 2008-today included.

      • Sisyphus

        My undergraduate degrees are in Education. I have two education degrees because in my state you need a degree in a subject area in order to obtain certification in that area and the schools I interviewed with inevitably asked if I could obtain certification in a related subject–which I obtained, but it cost me more debt.

        I obtained my “idiotic degrees” because I hated high school and I thought I could teach in a way that could really reach youth. To some extent, I have been able to do that; but the opportunities and income advertised when I was just entering college did not equate to the real world when I graduated.

        I applaud your choice of degrees. I hope you are always employed in a manner which fulfills you and allows you to live the life to which you have become accustomed. Please keep in mind that all experiences are different. Sometimes that’s due to good timing, talent, opportunity, location, good health, family and social factors, etc. Just as I don’t think the disasterous outcomes of my own choices are standard for everyone–I also don’t believe your experiences are the same as every web developer with an Associates degree.

  • Paul76

    As long as people continue to fall for the “you’ve GOT to go to college if you want to be successful” line of BS, the problem will only get worse.

    Speaking as a college DROPOUT who is debt free, owns my own home, two cars, and who has the freedom to work only as much as I want to, all I need to do is look around this town at the multitude of successful people who have college degrees they DO NOT USE because they are successful in completely unrelated fields! And they’re a MAJORITY! ANY degree HERE is essentially worthless–unless you want to be a teacher or professor.

    Besides, if EVERYBODY has a college degree, what is it really worth?? The answer, of course, is NOTHING. That’s why they now tell everybody “you need an ADVANCED degree to set you apart” and sucker people into Masters and Doctorates. Of course, they also incur more DEBT. Thus, we also have the sad spectacle of “professional students”, people who continue to PAY MONEY to “learn” but never, ever get a REAL JOB.


    • Rodster

      Well said !

  • Cat

    I’m sorry, but this one just doesn’t pass the smell test. I’d like to see all the facts in this story. Including where did he go to school, what did his tuition cost compared to the average medical school, what kind of car does he drive, what was his rent, how many vacations did he take, did he have a part time job in undergrad, etc? I have several friends who are doctors that entered the work force just about a decade ago. Not one of them had over $100K in student loans. This just doesn’t add up. Now I will say that he doesn’t have the greatest roll model in the world when it comes to borrowing money.

  • Crime as a Concept

    Are you surprised that the son of the Federal Reserve criminal would put his kid into a criminal cabal (Rockefeller allopathy to the exclusion of naturopathy, nutrition and natural medicine) which promotes, as its principal tenet, the poisoning of babies and children through vaccines and continues to push and push same. Its record in treating cancer is absolutely abysmal.
    The kid will grow up to be a criminal, because his practice will be criminal. Although there are good doctors, the likelihood that Ben’s kid will crawl out of the matrix and do some good is really not high, given the criminality that the Old Man regularly engages in as chairman of the Federal Reserve.



  • Max

    At least we now know why interest rates are so low! Ben is giving his son a good deal :{

  • Wascator

    What in the world is Mr. B’s salary/ one would expect him to be a one per center who could help Junior out with some dough.
    When I started at a local state U in the mid 1970s, it cost me $99.95 to register as full-time engineering student, plus books. I lived at home and as cheaply as possible. The U is on the quarter system. The same tab now is $2000. The escalation in the cost of college education is a huge money scam and I think it is enabled by the proliferation of federal student (read: institution) aid and loans. If not for the third-party payers, the cost could not have risen so dramatically. Just like the medical situation. So one might conclude that the government aid is making it harder, not easier, for students and their families.

  • Steve

    Why can’t Ben just print the $400K and give it to his son to pay off his college loan? Isn’t that the ultimate perk for being the head bankster?

  • JustanOguy

    Yeah… Six years in college and I can think of about four or five classes that were worth it.

    Regardless… Not sure why you do not mention the relationship of the use of credit for student loans and how the cost of college tuition has magically increased significantly.

    Back when I was growing up… we worked in High School and saved money for college.

    Today’s kids are not working / saving for college and their parents are not saving for college… All because it’s so easy to get a Student Loan and getting in debt for the rest of their lives. The Colleges know it and will continue to increase the cost of tuition until it’s stretched.

    Really not too different then when they used to give out home loans to everybody — Home values were pushed to the limit.

    It’s the exact same thing with colleges — cut the student loans and the tuition costs will drop.

  • Michael

    I want to apologize to everyone for the site being down for a number of hours today.

    It was a huge error by my hosting company that caused the problem, and thankfully they worked very hard for several hours to fix it.

    Hopefully now the technical problems are behind us and everything will go super smoothly from now on. Most of you have probably noticed that since the server change the site loads much, much faster now. The new server can handle a ton of traffic, so traffic spikes should not be a problem moving forward.

    Thanks again for visiting the site and reading the articles, and I will do my best to keep this site running as smoothly as possible.


  • Trialboy

    This entire discussion forgets people like me. During the seventies I paid most of my own college and law school education bills. I then paid my wife’s college debt after we got married. I have put two children through graduate school and next year will have four kids in private colleges with one to go. I will have spent my entire adult life working to pay tuitions of one sort or another. Since my older children graduated in the Nineties the tuition bills have doubled and go up every year! I want my children to be educated so they can contribute to society and I do not want them to be debt slaves and indentured servants for the remainder of their lives. I told them to be careful who they marry and get a prenuptial that spares them from paying the college debts of their spouse. As for me, tuition bills will keep me working until the day I die. This is the new “American Dream”.

  • Piglet

    [“I pay almost $1,000 a month just in student loan repayment. I will have to do so for the next 30 years. How will I ever afford to buy a house, have children or save for the future?”]

    The best time to save for retirement is sooner rather than later, given the time value of money. If people can not begin to set anything aside early in life, they’ll reach retirement age broke and dependent upon the government. (That means you and me.) They will not have been able to enjoy life, but instead will have simply existed to shovel out money in repayment for loans for decades on end. This is particularly ironic for those who end up with jobs that needed no college education, can’t get a job worth a college education, or got degrees in worthless subjects.

    Today I am so happy I graduated 30 years ago (with no debt) and that I have no kids whose education I must now finance.

    Also, regarding all the college grads who now live with mom and dad, apparently that’s much more accepted these days. I’ve met a number of young people who tell me, with no shame at all, that they’re in their mid-20s or so and still live with their parents, as do all of their friends. As with other bad behaviors, when “everyone’s doing it,” no one’s embarrassed by it.

  • Craig

    I graduated from Tarrant County Junior College here in Ft. Worth, TX in 1985 with an AAS degree in Electronics Technology. My tuition was $4/semester hour. Yes, that’s right, one, two, three, FOUR dollars/semester hour. Book were more expensive than the tuition. Something went terribly wrong with the cost of college education.

  • J.J.C.

    I was acccepted to law school and even had a small scholarship. I dropped out in my first semester to take a management level job that was going to pay me more than most new lawyers made.

    Frankly, I was terrified of the debt my husband and I were incurring (he was working on his doctorate at the time) I’ll never know if I made the right choice, but at least I don’t have any student loan debt and my husband’s is nearly paid for….which is good, we can start paying for the kids.(sigh)


    Bernanke is an immoral POS! Lets hope his kid learned some virtues away from home because he sure didn’t get any in a family setting.

    • mondobeyondo

      I doubt it. Tends to run in the family.
      Rockefellers, Kissingers, Rothchilds etc…

  • Lennie Pike

    The root is a corrupt financial system – without regaining control of it from the criminal federal reserve, nothing will change.

  • Benjik

    The way I understand it, the $870 billion in student loan debt number is derived from actual, reported “student loans”. How much more school tuition debt is leveraged in credit cards, personal loans, lines-of-credit, home-equity loans, etc..? Needless to say, this is a very poor return on investment bubble that is WAY overdue for a sudden burst, and I’m afraid it will make the 2008 housing crash seem like peanuts….

  • jsmith

    Stop whining and vote for Ron Paul. He is the only politician, Democrat or Republican, that is the sworn enemy of the Federal Reserve. Benny Shalom Bernank and his international banksters fear this man. Ron Paul has the antidote for these vampires. He is our last chance in this election.

  • nowwthen

    Tuition has been rising at a much faster rate than inflation but look at the endowments of these institutions.

    Harvard —- $31 billion
    Princeton —$17 billion
    Stanford — $16 billion
    Yale ——- $19 billion

    Here’s a list.


    Why don’t the debtors bring this up when talking about their student loans? You’d think with $31 billion in the bank or the Caymans or even 10 year treasuries maybe Harvard could get by with a little less than $35,000 / yr. per student.

  • I would tell my kids that unless they have a burning desire to be in a profession that has a real need for workers — engineering, bio-sciences, etc. go to trade school and learn a real skill. College has become a real time waster and I am certainly not going to pay for it.

  • Eva

    Even beyond the great inflation of college tuition, is the decrease in valuable majors. What’s up with people always going into humanities because they like it even though there are no jobs!? Hello, we need people with technical skills which can be gained at trade schools, engineers, and other science-based professionals. I wonder to some degree whether there shouldn’t be some caveat by any humanities major about the likelihood of a job at the end of school. After hundreds of thousands in student loans…

  • Golden Child

    I’m afraid the picture is even worse than these stats in the article paint for recent college grads. According to Forbes, 60% of recent college grads do not find full-time jobs in their college-educated fields of study:


    In addition, college grads lucky enough to find “career work” often do not make real money. In fact, countless college grads end up making about $10 an hour even if they get jobs that require a college degree:


    The college-educated job market is currently saturated because an entire generation of millenials was told that any job involving getting your hands dirty (i.e. plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians) was only for losers. Paradoxically, skilled tradesmen make good money and don’t have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Not everyone can be a skilled tradesmen, BUT not everyone should be in college. Herein lies the problem. Every Tom, Dick and Jane is pressured into going into college today based on the myth that college guarantees lifetime success. This may have been true when the Boomers came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, but not anymore. Painfully out-of-touch Baby Boomers rode a wave of prosperity afforded by their hard-working parent’s generation. Instead of working hard to continue this prosperity, Boomers instead opted to outsource millions of jobs. As a result, America has less jobs than it did ten years ago despite having a larger population. Since America doesn’t manufacture much of anything anymore and illegal immigrants dominate most manual labor jobs (even thousands of manual labor jobs that do pay well), American kids have no choice but to chase a few White collar jobs.

    College has become one the biggest scams in American history. One that takes advantage of Americans trying to achieve a middle class lifestyle. For decades, a college degree has been widely considered as a guaranteed ticket into the middle class. This was true until about five years ago. Today, only the top 5-10% of Americans can actually afford a college education. What does that tell you? Student loan debt is nothing short of slavery. Even in the Bible it states that the borrower is a slave to the lender.

  • I’m shocked at Bernankes son running up such a debt – maybe he has been taking tips from his father.
    I graduated in 2007 (Plymouth, UK). I was one of the lucky ones who got through on £1050 tuition fees a year – the government started hiking it the year after to £3000 – £9000. The problem is that it is no longer worth going to university to be weighted down with debt for the next 20-30 years of life.
    Working before going, during the summer holidays and help from my parents got me through.
    When you live with people in a flat or halls of residence you get a feel for whether they are helped from home or not. I’d say about a third are. The greatest problem is that because the majority have debt to fund it – debt becomes the norm – something that is laughed at ‘There goes my student loan for this year’. It is only when you hit the real world that the education on the debt and how it has to be paid back kicks in.
    In the first week the Head of the Engineering faculty addressed all the new engineering intakes: one of the points he drummed home to us was that we were there to study. He said if we tried to do a part time job with the degree we would be wasting our time as we wouldn’t be able to give the degree our full attention and our results would suffer – He was damn right. 25+ hours labs/lectures a week, easily with 30 to 50 hours of own study/coursework on top. Anyone studying now has my sympathies for how they are going to cope in the future. I feel a lot of young people are going to get a very nasty shock over the next 5 years as they will see that their hard work does not result in a job on graduation and they will have to fight hard to get one.

  • you would think now a days anyone smart enough to go to collage would be smart enough to figure this out.

  • Tony Burton

    My parents were too poor to afford to pay for me to go to college, but I knew they would try and would bankrupt themselves in the process. So, I joined the Navy. During the 12 years I was in, I got my Veteran’s benefits, and took classes on the base and onboard ship. I left the Navy with two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree, and about $1,800 in student debt which I paid off within a couple of years.

    There are ways to get a decent education, college degrees, and all that, if you are willing to work at it. I feel very little empathy for those who expect to be able to go to college full-time and whine about not being able to afford it. I worked and went to class at nights and on weekends. I had a family and oh, almost forgot–my wife went to school, too, and got her bachelors in education that she finished up about a year after I got out of the Navy.

    It’s not necessary to go to Harvard to get a decent education or a decent job.

    • geekatron8

      You do realize that in joining the Navy you received tax payer subsidies for your education, right? Basically what you are saying is that if people want to have an education they should get somebody else to pay for it.

      • Hmm

        Hey, I would rather someone get a degree on the taxpapers dime while they are defending my country instead of borrowing $400,000 and then crying about it.

        RE:Tony Burton – thank you for serving our country. My husband and father in law were Sailors too. My FIL served 22 years. Proud of them!

      • Solomonpal

        Do you realize that military pay is squat? That cost averaged pay with the GI bill probably does not measure up to average private sector wages? That few enlisted take advantage of the GI bill anyway? And that further reduces the cost? That the fellow in question has paid thousands in taxes so in effect has paid back his GI bill? I got 400$ a month in GI bill for 18 months. I paid 375,000$ in taxes the last ten years. What are you complainig about?

        • Ummmm

          What is this private sector wages thing you speak of? My college aged son just took an internship to work for free over the summer at a computer shop to see them lay off the two guys he was supposed to work with on day three There’s a life-lesson for him, huh? “Squat” ain’t bad versus nothing. Plus, let’s not forget, Squat subsidized your education. But alas, if you can pay $375K in taxes in 10 years with your college degree, then there’s hope yet for these students and their debt. Or then again, maybe the country is in an entirely different place than it once was and we should just pray for these poor kids trying to enter the workforce in an economy that hasn’t been like this desperate since the depression. Yes, I think it’s the later.

        • GB

          Military pay is most certainly NOT squat. As a young, single E-4 in the late 1990s, I was clearing $1800/month. And of course, all of my lodging, food, medical, was covered. So I was saving most of that $1800/month, as I really didn’t have any expenses. How many Americans do you know who are saving $1800/month? (And that was back in the ’90s… today, that $1800 would be worth more like $3000). And to top it off, I didn’t have anything more than a high school diploma. How many 22-year olds (with just a high school diploma) have that kind of money in their pocket? None, unless their parents are milionaires.

          And then there’s overseas duty pay, hazard pay, combat zone tax exemtpion, etc. There are 20-year-olds coming back from Iraq/Afghanistan paying for BMWs or Corvettes in CASH. So don’t tell me the U.S. military is underpaid. The pay is fantastic. It’s just a question of how responsible you are with that money. A lot of it gets wasted on tatoos, hookers, magic mushrooms, 18-yeard-old wives siphoning it off to pay for their meth habit, etc. We’re not talking about the most enlightened segment of society here.

    • Sunday

      Tony Burton,

      I congrats you for getting a several degrees without any debt and for serving our country.

      However, I think your being a little judgmental. Joining the military is not an option for everyone. A person who is disabled will not be able to join.

      Also remember that even though an employer may offer tuition reimbursement, you are not promised long term employment. Employers will layoff as needed. Even worse, you will have to pay the employer the tuition back.

      So if someone wants to avoid debt, they probably shouldnt go to college. But if they dont go, and they cant find a job, then people will blame them for not going to college. Youre stuck between a rock and a hard place.

      Going to college and taking out student loans was my only option.

    • Harry Pollard

      Oh ho wonderful, a mercenary living getting free education at the expense of the taxpayer. Good thing you’re protecting us from all these brown people sitting on lots of oil.

  • Me

    So what Ben?

    Just print that $400,000 up. Problem soved, neh?

    ^^ see, wasn’t that easy?

    You thin they’ll change this? How, exactly? I mean… what are they going to do, forgive everyone’s debt retroactively?

    How pissed off would I be if I graduated in 2012 with a ton of debt, and then in 2013 all the tuition rates dropped down to levels that make some kind of sense all of a sudden?

    This is why they won’t change it until people just stop going to college.

  • Of course according to keynesians like Bernanke this 400 grand of debt will “create” a new market. *rolls eyes*

    • thescourge

      Goldman Sachs is massively profiting from student loans. This increased especially after they bribed Congress to include a ‘no default’ clause in student loans.

  • Pat

    Come to Europe where most of the university students are Chinese. Local people are turned into juggling clowns, waiters and grape pickers.

    • Lennie Pike

      Do the Universities have an ROTC program for these Chinese students?

    • Ummmm

      Don’t forget student, jugglers, and clowns with health insurance. Please chime in and tell me how they the Europeans just wish they had American first-class health care.

  • grandpa

    amazing the price of health care going up as hospitals close as fas as the housing market…

  • Barn Cat

    It’s meant to be a stealth tax on the “rich”. Meaning anyone in the top 20% of wage earners. It’s a hidden way for the government to fund liberal institutions who brainwash their students. And ultimately it’s just another way they’re destroying the economy.

  • MarkieMark

    My wife has a B.A. degree plus is just about a semester shy of a Masters.
    With the economy as it is she was lucky to find a job as Office Manager at a Medical Clinic making $9.75 an hour. The kicker is, the Medical Assistants just out of a 6 month training program are making $15 an hour or more. What hurts worse is most of them are so dumb my wife ends up doing a lot of their work.

    • Michael

      That is really sad.


    • Carol

      The difference is that you wife with her degree will no doubt move up and become a manager while the others with the 6 month certificate will probably stay at that level. At least that is what you hope happens. I think she has a good chance once this economy straightens out.

  • liberranter

    ecently Bernanke told Congress that his son will graduate from medical school with about $400,000 of student loan debt.

    And for anybody who thinks that Baby Bernanke won’t use his daddy’s connections to quickly erase or pay off ever penny of that debt, I still have some prime beachfront property in Cheyenne, Wyoming, just for you, at a price you can’t resist!

  • Willi Urbach

    Thats the reason why his daddy is trashing the US$. He will be able to pay back his debt with paper void of any value.

  • r.bitting

    We all have a debt we can’t repay, our sin debt. Thankfully God was willing in his great love and mercy, to pay the debt for us by dying on the Cross in our place. Jesus Christ ( God’s only begotten Son ) HAS PAID OUR DEBT, SO THAT ALL WHO COME TO HIM WOULD BE SAVED! Repent of your sin and trust in Jesus Christ who delivers you from the wrath to come….

    • thescourge

      God does not exist, god is a creation of the wealthy and powerful elites to keep the ‘rabble’ quiet.

      • Sunday

        You’re comment makes no sense? God does exist, and His Son is Christ Jesus. Christ is the only way to the Father, the only way to heaven, and the only method of salvation. Anything else is a lie.

        • Voice

          Christianity is like the kid in class who copies his classmates work. Except, he got everything wrong. How dare you steal sacred texts, add to them, AND threaten people with your new religion. No wonder you have a “New covenant”. You wouldn’t last 5 minutes under the “old rule”. Oh and the Sabbath is on Saturday!!!

          • hello

            Where is the temple now upon which to make atonement for Israel on Yom Kippur?

          • hello

            “It is the blood that makes atonement for sin”.

          • hello

            Within 40 years of Jesus of Nazareth being crucified and since that time (about 2000 THOUSAND YEARS), the Jewish temple has ceased to exist. Why would God allow that to happen to Israel? A “New Covenant” perhaps?

  • Nancy

    Poor Baby – he won’t have to pay it back anyway. Obama says so!

  • Billy

    50% of a school grade is simply showing up. I have never got a job (have had many in my not so young age) that I got from my good grades, good looks, cool cars, etc.

    All have been thru family or friends or other people in my life. Best thing a young person can do these days is network, keep a good reputation and let people know you are looking for a job. Worked for me at least.

  • Tax the Rich and Spread the Wealth?

    “An economics professor made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class insisted that Obama’s socialism worked, and that no one would be poor, and no one would be rich; a great equalizer. The professor then said, “OK, we’ll have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade, so no one will fail, and no one will receive an “A.”

    “After the first test, the grades were all averaged, and everyone got a “B.” The students who studied hard were upset, and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little, had studied even less, and the ones who studied hard, decided they wanted a free ride too, so they studied little. The second test average was a “D,” and no one was happy. When the third test rolled around, the average was an “F.”

    “As the tests proceeded, the scored never increased, as bickering, blame, and name-calling, all resulted in hard feelings, and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, all failed, and the professor told them that socialism would ultimately fail, because when reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that,

    “These are possibly the five best sentences you’ll ever read, and all are applicable to this experiment.

    “1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    “2. What one person receives without working for, another must work for without receiving.

    “3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    “4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

    “5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.”

    • Sveta

      **********! I enjoyed reading this article. I grow up in Soviet Union. And I know exactly what socialism is about. Bellevue me, America doesn’t need it. I don’t won’t to go back there again! But the only one thing was good in Soviet Union that is high education. It was free but not every one could get it, only smart kids who studied so hard could be accepted to the Universities. In America anyone can be a collage student, just pay them. If that’s how it is, don’t even think about quality.

      • Richard

        This is how it should be. That they will allow virtually any idiot to graduate from a 4 year school is crazy. This is why employers are requiring 4 years of experience to new applicants. Employers know they can’t trust what the colleges are turning out today. The best test of a new graduate is the workplace. If they’re idiots they won’t last long. If they’re worthy of their diploma then they will succeed in the workplace. The best way to filter out the idiots is to require years of experience to get a job.

  • RJM

    I presently work as a substitute teacher at the secondary level. Unfortunately, that is available (4 yrs exp., 3 degrees, 2 CA clear creds with all the “alphabet soup” designations -History and Economics). I always follow lesson plans as directed; I am not confused about who’s class it is.

    That being said, many times the lesson plans are AWOL or lacking in substance and I need to maintain productive student focus, and “El Viejo” gets on his soapbox.

    I ask how many are planning on going to college and what is their plan? The response is always the same, “good grades.” “That’s a description, not a plan,” is my response. Having two daughters presently in college (Baylor Law and undergrad at UCR, I have a particularly up close and personal view of the UC system at its annual costs. I start with the present cost per qtr for any of the UC schools (price only varies by students fees assoc with a specific school -usually only a few hundred), $4600 for ten weeks of instruction, $60k in tuition for a four year degree, – and that doesn’t include books or ANY living expenses. And the UC system is a PUBLIC university funded with state monies. Adding in on-campus housing and students are getting out with $120k in debt to go to a UC for 4 yrs. I tell them to put that in perspective, that is like paying $500/mo for twenty years, without any kind of interest which is pure fantasy; the going rate is %6.99% with good credit. I also make sure that they understand that if they think that they will run up all this debt and then BK after graduation, not a plan. There is no BKing out of students loans, the collateral you put up for the loan was yourself. You as a person can not be repossessed. Nor can you claim bankruptcy of your person in regard to collateral. I warn them that student loans are the next bubble coming and as one young lady put it, “…you mean that the only way out of student loans is to pay them off or die?” “Yes, but then again, if you have a dad like me and I co-signed your loan and you die, they still come after me… until I pay it or…”

  • Old Man

    The purpose of the U.S. health care system is to make the maximum amount of money for the owners of hospitals. It does.

    The purpose of the U.S. high school and university educational system is to make the maximum amount of money for the owners of those institutions. It does.

    The purpose of U.S. business corporations is to make the maximum amount of money for their owners. It does.

    And of course, the purpose of running for political office is to make the maximum amount of money after you left office.

    So what’s the problem?

  • comnenus

    Daddy will give junior a cushy job thru which the 400k debt will disappear.

    Remember that Colin Powell’s son once headed all of the nation’s communications?

    • Carol

      Doctors can make up to $250K per year so I think while his school debt is huge he will be able to pay it off. Otherwise all the doctors would all be quitting their practices. Some do but many don’t.

  • Mind Candy

    A lot of people don’t realize that you can start making payments on student loans before you graduate. I budget $50 a month towards mine. I’ll still have a balance due once I graduate but it will be a far more manageable amount because of paying down the debt during this time that I’m not being charged interest.
    It’s not a real solution but it’s one way to help reduce the burden somewhat once you graduate.

  • Robert

    I wish I never went to college. I got a BS and then let Pepsico pay for most of my MBA. It was a waste of time and money. I’ve learned more in self study than I ever did in school. I live in a college town and half the kids I see don’t belong in school. The Universities are not in the business of educating people, they are in the business of empire building.

  • No one will believe me but i am actually Ben’s illegitimate son…

    lol… ahhh what a life to know but be unknown.

  • 400,000 dollars? Make it 4,000,000 dollars!
    The bailouts will pay for it!!!


    As if his son can’t or won’t go to the Fed Discount Window for a “low interest loan”.(LOL)

  • Charles_Texas

    Ben Bernanke is the head of the Fed (a private banking institution). He probably has a salery and bonuses in the MULTI-million dollar range. Why is his son getting Student Loans in the first place for $400,000. He being allowed to borrow on our taxpayer dime is BS. Let his father pay for it.

  • JT

    I am glad not to be American. This is the kind of thing that would provoke a revolution in France. In our country, each gifted student is able to become a doctor without such a burden. For those who want more details, students (in any kind of unversity) have to pay around $500 a year ! And the public debt is bigger in America than in France, which shows that your system is not even good for the country’s economy.
    PS : please don’t develop any kind of anti-French feeling, I am a great admirer of American culture, I am just focusing on a big economic issue.

  • Fahrenheit $401k: The amount of money that the little Bernanke twerp will owe in student loan debt.

    da bear

    centralbankster.com: When central banks compete, you win!

  • rufus

    Bernanke has a son? We are screwed.

  • katykat

    I have nieces and nephews who complain about their college costs and student loan debts. I don’t feel sorry for them — they all spent multiple semesters in Europe, went to Mexico and Florida over spring breaks, and didn’t work while in school. Now our assclown president is going to buy these fellow-partiers’ votes with a student loan bail out. Maybe we taxpayers will get lucky and the bottom will fall out, so we don’t have to keep bailing out poeple for being irresponsible or dishonest.

  • Kelby

    I am an eighteen year old high school senior, A student and conspiracy theorist, and knowing what I know now about the college scam and all the horrible scams of the US Government and its bloodthirsty NWO empire, makes me very scared for the future, and I SERIOUSLY changed my mind about going to college! But how am I going to explain that to my parents because they’re BRAINWASHED??? They’ve been rooting for me to go to college all these years!! How am i going to explain every bit of my beliefs to them without having them shout me down and telling me I need to get a f-cking hobby???! HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE WITH THESE SHEEP??? I know theyre my parents, with all the best of intentions for me, they want me to have a good life and a easy life, but they are SO IGNORANT AND MISGUIDED! Not only that, but I seem to be the only conspiracy theorist here in this small town – everybody else is sheep. I have no one to talk to, lucky for those who do. And since my parents are sheep, they certainly wont get ready for the SHTF, and so I might have to prepare myself! I started stocking water bottles a few months ago, not sure how I’m going to sneak in Spam and all that, but I have to try!
    Everyone on here, you have my good prayers, and good luck!!

  • Takencareodady

    You do realize the student loan thing is intentional, don’t you? The children now have to live at home… and can take care of the elderly parents. Cuts down on medicare payments to nursing homes. And with the kids living home making at least minimum wage to help with the bills, Social Security can be cut. Or more precise, COLA’s can be reduced cutting into the long term spending power of SS dollars…

  • John

    I am sure he will just go to his printing press, print the $$$ and pay of the debt!

  • Rick

    Right, you are telling me that the head of the federal reserve’s son is not going to be able to find a good paying job. I’m sure his daddy will be able to pull some strings to get him something. Meanwhile, the rest of us serfs must make do with minimum wage jobs and being told taht we aren’t working hard enough.

    Yeah, it is easy to go to school cheaply, but it is hard when your parents are complete psycho-paths and morons. My parents refused to let me go to a community college because only trailer park trash go to them. I was told in no uncertain terms that I would be thrown out on the street if I didn’t go to school. I grew up in a small rural town, so I didn’t have the option of moving or finding work.

    Then after I get my college degree, I get told that I need to go to law school or graduate school because that was what my parents knew would be right for me. When I pointed out the huge debt load required, they told me that oh, it is an investment in your future. If I didn’t go to school, I would be out on the street. At that time, I had about $15000 in student loans.

    When I tried living at home and saving up money, I get told that I am leeching off them and am ruining their life. Just a few things, I was working a full time job, not partying or doing anything else, and job searching everyday for something better. They tell me that I am leeching off them!

    Well after six years of living on my own, I have still not come close to paying off my student loan debt. I have bounced from job to job, because the service industry is just a joke! Half of them are run like a sweat shop where you have to give your heart and soul to them for the small wages they provide; plus, be so grateful for their money. The rest are run by absolute psycho-paths who expect you to come in everyday and put up with their angry tirades and be blamed for anything going wrong whether it is your fault or not.

    I’m sorry, but if I had known what I knew now, I would never have gone to college. In fact, I would have saved up my money and moved as far away from my parents as possible. They have destroyed any chance I have of ever having a happy and enjoyable life. I hope that one day, they know what it feels like to have nothing and be burdened with crushing debt that will never be paid off.

  • Sam

    The Ben guy claims no inflation in US. He has not got a medical bill yet, atleast he got a college bill.

  • moonmac

    Debt Slavery Sucks!!! Dr Paul warned us about all of these terrible things occurring right now decades ago. Debt bondage of the masses can only lead to Civil War or Revolution. Young people will start to realize death is the only way out of their financial nightmare until someone experienced fighting in wars and an ability to lead comes along and tells them it’s much more honorable to die fighting with your comrades then alone in a garage inhaling exhaust fumes and that’s when it will start. That is how revolutions are born. When people finally lose all hope of escaping the Financial Peonage and Debt Slavery of their Crooked Masters, they will revolt and overthrow and it won’t be pretty! But this is what’s happened all throughout history when human liberty is stolen by the ruling elite to enrich themselves beyond to what is even imaginable. Overnight Billionaires for doing something of very little value? The scam and evil fraud must end! The time is coming real soon. There will be very scary times ahead for all of us if we don’t go back to a country based on Individual Liberty and Freedom and away from the massive government cheese handouts to selected groups, the elite Banker Bailouts and the Too Big To Fail crowd. But looking ahead there is absolutely no hope of change to the Socialist-Corporatist system our country has turned into so I really fear for what is about to come. Although it would be nice to finally escape my 20+ years of Debt Slavery! Wow, not being a Debt Slave breaking free of my chains I cant even imagine it – it must be a dream? I think many poor millions of Americans would love to see it happen!

  • This man makes LOADS of money, yet he’s not paying for his son’s education? WHAT A CHEAPSKATE! Making his son suck at the government teat of guaranteed student loans.

    Bernake is a terrible father. NO TIES FOR YOU THIS FATHER’S DAY, ASSHOLE!

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