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The Student Loan Delinquency Rate In The United States Has Hit A Brand New Record High

College Graduation - Photo by Mando vzl37 million Americans currently have outstanding student loans, and the delinquency rate on those student loans has now reached a level never seen before.  According to a new report that was just released by the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.  That is a brand new record high, and it is almost double the rate of a decade ago.  Total student loan debt exceeds a trillion dollars, and it is now the second largest category of consumer debt after home mortgages.  The student loan debt bubble has been growing particularly rapidly in recent years.  According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003.  That is a staggering figure.  Millions upon millions of young college graduates are entering the "real world" only to discover that they are already financially crippled for decades to come by oppressive student loan debt burdens.  Large numbers of young people are even putting off buying homes or getting married simply because of student loan debt.

So why is this happening?  Well, a big part of the problem is that the cost of college tuition has gotten wildly out of control.  Since 1978, the cost of college tuition has risen even more rapidly then the cost of medical care has.  Tuition costs at public universities have risen by 27 percent over the past five years, and there appears to be no end in sight.

We keep encouraging our young people to take out all of the loans that are necessary to pay for college, because a college education is supposedly the "key" to their futures.

But is that really the case?

Sadly, the reality of the matter is that millions of young Americans are graduating from college only to discover that the jobs that they were promised simply do not exist.

In fact, at this point about half of all college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.

This is leading to mass disillusionment with the system.  One survey found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in college.

And because so many of them cannot get decent jobs, more college graduates then ever are finding that they cannot pay back the huge student loans that they were encouraged to sign up for.  The following is from a recent Bloomberg article.

Eleven percent of student loans were seriously delinquent -- at least 90 days past due -- in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 6 percent in the first quarter of 2003, according to the report by the U.S. Education Department.  Almost 30 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds aren’t employed or in school, the study found.

Everyone agrees that we are now dealing with an unprecedented student loan debt bubble, but none of our leaders seem to have any solutions.

The two charts posted below come from a recent Zero Hedge article, and they are very illuminating.  The first chart shows how the amount of student loan debt owned by the federal government has absolutely exploded in recent years, and the second chart shows how the percentage of student loan debt that is at least 90 days delinquent has risen to a brand new record high...

Delinquent Student Loans - Zero Hedge Chart

How is the economy ever going to recover if an increasingly large percentage of our young college graduates are financially crippled by student loan debt?

And things are about to get even worse.

If Congress takes no action, the interest rate on federal student loans is going to double to 6.8 percent on July 1st.  That rate increase would affect more than 7 million students.

And debt burdens just continue to increase in size.  In fact, according to one recent study, "70 per cent of the class of 2013 is graduating with college-related debt – averaging $35,200 – including federal, state and private loans, as well as debt owed to family and accumulated through credit cards."

This is one reason why there is so much poverty among young adults in America today.  As I mentioned in a previous article, families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.  For much more on the student loan debt bubble and how it is crippling an entire generation of Americans, please see my recent article entitled "29 Shocking Facts That Prove That College Education In America Is A Giant Money Making Scam".

And of course delinquency rates remain very high on other forms of debt as well.  For example, delinquency rates on home mortgages have typically been around 2 to 3 percent historically.  But as you can see from the chart below, the delinquency rate on single-family residential mortgages is currently close to 10 percent...

Delinquency Rate On Single-Family Residential Mortgages

So are we really having an "economic recovery"?

Of course not.

Things are good for those that have lots of money in the stock market (for now), but for the vast majority of Americans things continue to get worse.

And we continue to forget the lessons that we should have learned from the financial crisis of 2008.  Right now, we are seeing a resurgence of cash out financing.  But this time, people are leveraging their inflated stock portfolios instead of their home equity.  The following is from a  CNN report...

The recent run-up in the market, financial advisers say, has led to a resurgence of the type of loan not seen since the end of the housing boom -- cash out financing. But this time, though, people aren't tapping their inflated house for money. These days stock portfolios appear to be the well of choice.

Financial planners say in recent months clients have taken out so-called margin loans to buy real estate, fund small business acquisitions, or to provide gap financing before a traditional loan could be secured from a bank.

"No one wants to be out of the market for 90 days," says Mark Brown, a financial planner for Brown Tedstron in Denver. "People just don't want to sell right now."

We are a nation that is absolutely addicted to debt.  We know that it is wrong, but we just can't help ourselves.

We are like the 900 pound man that recently died.  He knew that he was eating himself to death, but he just couldn't stop.

In the end, we are going to pay a great price for our gluttony.  Everyone in the world can see that we are killing the greatest economy that ever existed, but we simply do not have the self-discipline to do anything about it.

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  • DownWithLibs

    I wonder just how long it will be before the current administration decides that it would be a good idea to bail out the students (future voters!) like the banks.

    • Ralfine

      very unlikely.

      • DownWithLibs

        All the more reason to think it can happen. Down is Up now, you know!

        • Ralfine

          The government is installed by businesses with millions of dollars.
          They don’t care about students with loans.
          Just the opposite. People with debt are more easily blackmailed to work any kind of job for any kind of non-payment.

          • kanenas101

            But those in power do care about votes. Look at how the welfare freeloader crowd consistently and faithfully votes Democrat each time.

            Generally they don’t show up in mid-term elections but offering student loan amnesty will convince *millions* of people to pull the D lever.

          • Ralfine

            Then vote for a different party. The communists, the socialists, the greens, the greys. They won’t win, but they will reduce the percentage for the current demreps.

    • kanenas101

      That will be the centerpiece of the 2014 midterms. Bank on it.

  • Ralfine

    Only 90 days? We had customers (companies) that didn’t pay their invoices for months, even years.
    But if you told these companies to pay, your manager came down on you hard, telling you you were not customer friendly, and that these companies brought us sooo many orders …

    But when you asked for a pay rise: oh we don’t have money, you need to work harder, and no we don’t pay overtime.

  • Kittygirl

    I’m glad I’ll only be graduating with a $1500 student loan. But PELL doesn’t cover summer classes. That’s ok, I know I’m going to have a job upon graduation. I took advantage of an unpaid internship with a city.

    • FreeThinker

      Yes, we are in an economy of volunteer work and unpaid opportunities. Sad thing is the mortgage and electric don’t accept anything but money.

      • Humane

        Exactly! Volunteer work and unpaid internships are the norm in hopes of getting a job! I understand volunteering for a hobby or a good cause, but the employment agencies keep on telling the unemployed that volunteering in a field will increase the prospects of getting employed.

        Is this the new form of indentured servitude? Don’t get me wrong, everyone should volunteer for a cause or hobby, but volunteering for free which could actually be paid work is a bit slavery does it ?

        • FreeThinker

          I agree. You made excellent points.

    • Ralfine

      Ever went to the grocery to tell them about the advantage to supply to your needs unpaid?

      If you have nothing else to do, make sure to make many many more children. The state needs soldiers and the companies need more unpaid staff.

      • Humane

        Everyone wants money these days. The unpaid internships and volunteering in fields of paid work is insulting and fraudulent. The businesses make more profit from volunteer labor.

  • Rodster

    The article posed the question that our leaders don’t seem to have an answer for this crisis. My question is, why should they? It all fits perfectly with their debt driven ponzi scheme to convince our youth to spend money foolishly on jobs that don’t exist.

    Did I read correctly that Bloomberg says that we have 30% unemployment for the 20-24 yr old’s? At least it’s better than Greece and Spain’s youth unemployment which isn’t saying much. This bubble will pop when those students say FU, I ain’t paying it back.

    • 20 year old student

      Think about how many Professors, college employees, clothing companies, textbook publishers, fast food outlets, condom sellers, alcohol restaurants, etc and will lose money if it weren’t for those millions of students using debt to suffice their student lifestyle.
      And no one in the 30+ age group will want to compete with millions of young adults in the already shrunken job market.
      Women’s studies, a mediocre degree, gets higher job prospects for white females in the teaching and education sector! Liberal propaganda rewards the liberal messengers!

      • Rodster

        Exactly!

        Convincing HS kids to go to college by saying it’s mandatory to getting a job has created an economy onto itself. It’s the same with Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. It all adds to the consumer based driven economy.

        • markthetruth

          Soon they will Be Selling “After Life Insurance ”

          the end…

      • Makati1

        Really, Then what about places like Denmark where they get FREE education all the way through post graduate (PhD)? No loans, no debt, just education and yes, taxes to pay for it the rest of their lives, but also a better chance at a better income and no post graduate stress. The US is almost the same tax level with few benefits to the youth.

        Those youth would buy most of those items even if they were not in school. As for the colleges themselves, the good ones would last. The rest would just go away as they should. College is only needed for engineering, medicine, or possibly teaching, but most could be accomplished in a 2 year school.

        • Humane

          Denmark is different from America. America, Canada and England are surviving on debt. America was at 150% debt rate before the 2008 collapse, Canada’s debt rate is 170% and England has so much debt austerity is infuriating the citizens.

        • TX4Life

          Does Denmark make the determination at age 10 whether you are college material or blue collar material like Germany does? I don’t think I want anyone making that determination for my kids even for the promise of free college.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Odds are they had a co-signer, bank will go after that person.

      • Rodster

        Federal student loans do not require a co-signer or good creditand that’s what most of these loans are.

  • c w

    Student debt is an interesting thing. The debtors never intended to pay it back, just like michelle obama who saw her student debt as her “mule and 40 acres” promised to freed slaves. So today’s students study women’s and Indian’s issues, which of course are meaningless. No one wants to study math or engineering or science, so we are stuck with graduates who know nothing, have learned nothing and have no future. My son got it right, he avoided student debt and now makes more than any of these purveyors of obama liberalism will ever see, unless they get their plum appointment to the IRS.

    • 20 year old student

      College and universities look as propaganda mills IMO. Some of the compulsory courses have some sort of liberal politics, especially about women’s rights and women’s suffering. It doesn’t matter if one is studying mathematics or engineering, one course will have to be English or the liberal arts, which is indoctrination.
      Post-secondary education is beginning to turn like a lottery these days. The only ones benefitting from degrees are those already in the workforce upgrading their skills, and the majority of them are not the 18-30 age group since the 18-30 age group are busy lining up for fast food jobs these days. The situation is just terrible and depressing. Tuition keeps rising every year and it is a bubble itself. I’m ashamed to have followed the herd, because the degree is not going to give me much of an impact to career prospects unless I was already having a career in the first place.
      Guess, I have to live with minimum wage or no wage.

      • Gay Veteran

        “…Some of the compulsory courses have some sort of liberal politics, especially about women’s rights and women’s suffering….”
        proof please

        • Shmeggle Marxist

          bwaaahaha, you think libs are not a complete joke? lololol

        • Chicago Saint

          homie u gt to be kiddin me?? feminism is politics. feminist women can’t quit whining about oppression in a democractic America they have an agenda. they want jobs and the government is letting the feminists get jobs at the expense of qualified candidates and the labour force.

        • FounderChurch

          This is no court of law and no proof is required to have an opinion which is what this form is all about.

          • Gay Veteran

            your opinion is just that, an opinion

          • Chloe

            Opinion and fact are two different things.

        • Chloe

          Have you looked at a college catalog recently?

          • Gay Veteran

            some courses are mandatory, some elective

        • 40 year old professor

          Check out any college’s course catalog and graduation requirements. You’ll see that you can’t get away from taking a liberally-biased class, even at conservative bastions like Utah State University.

          • Mischa

            I agree. Even English and writing courses have some degree of liberalism with the content they produce for the syllabus, eg- Writing a summary on a feminist essay.

          • Gay Veteran

            can you give us a specific example?

      • FreeThinker

        Going to college is just feeding the beast. If everyone quit going, costs would drop. Supply and demand. In the internet age, there is no need for a campus, lights, etc. It could be $50 per class if this was really about having an educated society.

  • K

    So let us see. We have the beginning of a moderate housing bubble. We have the beginning of a large student debt bubble. After they both pop, then comes another large number of foreclosures. Why? You really think the parents that co-signed the student loans, will be able to make both mortgage and student loan payments? No the land of opportunity, will become the land of debt slaves.

    • 20 year old student

      Most likely the students will have to serve the army or fight the Middle Eastern wars. Try your best to prevent being drafted in case of some religious conflict instigating another World War!

    • Handog

      “will become the land of debt slaves”

      Already there.

      • K

        I understand that for many that is true. I guess what I am trying to say is. I expect this to become the status of a large majority of the population

    • kanenas101

      The fact that anyone would voluntarily cosign for a loan shows that we have a long, long way to go to re-establish basic financial common sense in this country.

  • erheault

    The banks and gov are singing the siren song again, Want a new car? have bad/or no credit no problem sign here and the first payment is not due until 2014, whats this you say bunky you what a new house? no problem, Bad or no credit we can still get you into that new house just sign here and it is yours no payments due until 2015. Hate to tell you folks but there is NO cure for stupid and the takers are lined up to fleece the sheeple. Add to this a totally dishonest government that is the best money can buy and we are going to go down it may take a while but the end is unavoidable, enjoy what you have while you have it.

    • DownWithLibs

      You notice how they brought back the whole “no money down, interest only + ARM” to buy a house? Won’t be long now.

  • markthetruth

    S T R E E T ____ S M A R T S __RULE !!!

    the end…

    • 20 year old student

      You may need a permit from the municipality to be conducting business on the streets. Regulation is expensive in cities. City fees eat away the profits. It ain’t easy operating a business in North America unless you were a corporation bribing the government. Monsantan is a prime example of their collusion with government and the impact of legislation affecting the local food industry (and the health of Americans- GMOs and growth hormones are not natural or good!)

      • markthetruth

        Either is Plastic Looking Vegetables(waxed Peppers,ext) and Fruits(waxed Apples)

        the end…

        • markthetruth

          Remember , Natures Saying

          The early bird catches the worm.

          the end…

      • MeMadMax

        Yep, I plan on starting a underground busi….
        Hold on someone is trying to kick my door down…

    • Ayn Rand

      THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! EVERYONE LISTEN! If you haven’t heard of it already, look up Middle Eastern Respiratory Symptom Virus. It has a 50% mortality rate so far and has been sighted mainly in the Arabian Peninsula, but has already spread to other areas including France and England. WHO’s General Director has said this virus is a “threat to the entire world.” Another mystery virus has been sighted in Alabama, causing two deaths and five hospitalizations. Prepare accordingly my friends.

  • 20 year old student

    The government and not for profits keep on telling us that the baby boomers will retire and millions upon millions of jobs will become vacant by 2020. Meanwhile, millions of millions of manufacturing jobs are offshored and millions upon millions of immigrants come to compete for the remaining jobs. The new surge of Women’s Studies graduates and their influence on employment legislation catering to their “grievances” of male oppression for millions of years is going to add more tensions in the job market.

    • Gay Veteran

      “…The new surge of Women’s Studies graduates….”
      proof please

      • Chicago Saint

        u a FBi shill? ask those female teachers and professors who teach students that men are evil, but you find most of those same female teachers caught in scandals with minors or contracting some nasty STD when they were on vacation in some dirt poor country.

        • Gay Veteran

          no, I just don’t accept allegations without proof

    • FreeThinker

      Yes, this is why I know of many 65+ Americans that HAVE to work. I guess that is the new definition of retirement. Sometimes, I really wonder where they come up with all the tales.

  • Shmeggle Marxist

    most libs major in Felationic Studies. No wonder their job prospects blow

    • 20 year old student

      Women studies graduates get higher prospects in the land of Affirmative action, pal. I know many hiring managers who had to hire women studies graduates to fill quotas…

      • Shmeggle Marxist

        ok pal, bwahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. womens studies are a joke as are all libs and the fembots who defend them. lololol

        • Ayn Rand

          He is not defending it. He is just saying that they can get SOME jobs with it.

        • Chicago Saint

          but the feminists r taking away our jobs! It is a sick joke. these women studies students get assistance from the feminists…the degree is useless and is a bunch of liberal propaganda, but the feminists find jobs for those in the cult. Check the job statistics and see a future gender wars. Feminists are already claiming sexual assault in the workplace just by eavesdropping on men talking about flash drives, the feminists are driving out the males out of the workforce.

      • Chloe

        That’s baloney…

    • Gay Veteran

      eyeroll

      • Chloe

        What? You don’t think homosexuals get preferential treatment? They’re the first ones to cry foul!!

        • Gay Veteran

          gee, wonder if that’s because it is STILL legal to discriminate against us in most states?

  • Tim

    Zero Hedge posted an article yesterday about a young man who actually got more than half of his $85k is student loans discharged! His legal battle went on for 10 years. This case may set a precedent for others wishing to get out from under their student loans.

  • Jagrick

    Hit youtube up and watch “College Conspiracy”.

  • Tim

    Regarding the 900 pound man, that is just awful. I’d like to know who his enabler was? I feel that they’re partly responsible for his death. I mean, the man was so big that he was bedridden. He couldn’t walk on his own. So someone was buying food and bringing it to him. Furthermore, how could he afford to eat that much? As everyone here knows, food is expensive. The pictures of him in the article are just, well, disgusting. I’m surprised the man’s heart didn’t give out sooner.

  • Shmeggle Marxist

    everyone despises liberals

  • GSOB

    Let’s see,
    Why not designate amnesty for the illegal immigrants
    with a quick path to citizenship – when at the same time erase the college debts?

    All legal immigrants or illegal are to report and pay to
    contribute for awhile and then have their citizenship
    of the USA.

    Student loans up to a certain age and limit to be erased.

    Would that not boost the economy?

    • Bad_Mr_Frosty

      No, that would completely destroy the economy. We don’t have enough jobs for the current population. Bringing in tens of millions of mostly illiterate Mexican peasants will not “grow” the economy, it will simply turn this country into Mexico.

      • GSOB

        Wrong answer.

        • smallergovnow

          frosty has the right answer…

          • GSOB

            You both are socialists underneath it all.

            Not ‘grow’ buy adding job seekers with no jobs, but you two dweebs propagate socialism by spinning my ‘boost’ the economy to grow.

            “We don’t have enough jobs for the current population.” Classic RINO statement. Thanks Frosty.

            I’m not a socialist by any means, so it is not up to government to supply jobs for people.

            Bottom line,….

            The more capital you have to spend after all your costs, the more opportunity to invest. Investing builds wealth. We all – immigrants and college grads want that.

            You both are wrong, it would boost the economy.

    • Adrian

      Actually these immigrants do contribute. They have paid far more (billions) into Medicare than they have received in benefits. NPR did a story on it recently.

  • northernconservative

    College is completely unnecessary for success. It is only necessary when you know exactly what you will do when you get out into the real world. Education is a privilege. Not a right. Dont be a lemming. Live your life like you know what you want to do with it. From my experience with a large percentage of college kids, college is just another way to extend the high school kegger a while longer. These ridiculous college kids half the time have no idea how to even take care of themselves. I find it pathetic.

    • Rodster

      Well said !

    • Adrian

      I disagree that education is not a right. What kind of society would we be where only the elites went to school? It would be the Antebellum South writ large. Without a college degree to your name, you are unable to even be considered for many jobs. That’s just how it is. Companies want to know people can read, write, and at least think somewhat before they hire them, but college in no way guarantees that. I have seen many morons in my life, both college educated and not.

      • WarriorClass III

        You should read The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Not only that, but the best education you will ever get is the one you give yourself, bar none. Further it is immoral to force someone else to pay for your education.

        • Adrian

          I totally disagree. The government has paid for educating our citizens almost since its inception. What else is the purpose of government if it isn’t improving the quality of life of its citizens?

          • WarriorClass III

            We fundamentally disagree. The government gets its rights from the people. No person has the right to steal from another person to give to yet another person. Therefore people don’t have that right to give to the government. Remember, you are still a thief even when you get the government to do your thieving for you. And it doesn’t matter how long the thieving has been going on. People do have the right to defend themselves, and that is the primary reason for government, not theft.

          • Adrian

            Taxation isn’t theft, it’s what people agree to in order to live in and enjoy the collective benefits of a society, social contract and all that.

          • WarriorClass III

            Really, because most people I know didn’t agree to it and are very much opposed to this kind of theft. When you forcibly take peoples money that is theft, regardless of what you may call it. Individuals don’t have the right, therefore the government doesn’t have the right. It is no different than if the majority agreed to enslave you, and take what you have earned. It still doesn’t make it right.

          • Adrian

            With this logic, all societies on earth are illegitimate because they take from people by force. What you omit is what we get in return for our taxes: a military, fire and police protection, roads, schools, bridges, ports for trade, food and drug inspection, courts to enforce laws…the list goes on and on. As I said, it’s all part of the social contract. Somalia has no government, and I doubt you’d want to live in such a place.

          • WarriorClass III

            No, it just shows that most governments are in fact illegitimate. Further, the things you mention, none of them include wealth transfers to others, like education and welfare which are indefensible under our Constitution – The Social Contract of America.

          • Adrian

            I doubt many people on earth would choose to live without any government at all, in a state of anarchy. Hobbes, of course, described life in such a state as nasty, brutish, and short.

          • WarriorClass III

            Well you can be frightened into such a belief, but once you get some experience you will find people are generally a peaceful group. It is the parasite class that uses fear to motivate you into slavery, and kills millions of people through their use of government. We’d actually be much better off with out it. But since most people are sheep like you, the best we can hope for is limited government. But the fact is, the deadliest environment is the one with a big powerful government. A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have.

          • FreeThinker

            Who are the parasites; the poor? What about the working poor; are they parasites too? Is it their fault that they are working but not making enough to pay their bills? No matter how many people educate themselves, there are still only so many high paying jobs available.

            The true parasites are the CEOs of companies; as they get rich off of other people’s labor. Many wealthy play golf all day while others work themselves so hard they end up in hospitals (but they can’t even afford to pay their hospital bills on what the wealthy CEO pays the working people).

            So, who is the parasite; the one who works, or the one who gets rich off of other people’s work?

          • NovemberSky

            “So, who is the parasite; the one who works, or the one who gets rich off of other people’s work?”
            Everyone (excluding those who want to work but truly cannot work or cannot find a job). but the one in the middle: The hard working class.

          • Adrian

            You argue that government spending on education and welfare are unconstitutional. Show me where the constitution prohibits the government to spend money on education and welfare, or anywhere the constitution prohibits government spending for the betterment of the whole. You’d be hard-pressed to do so, because what you say simply is not so. The constitution’s very preamble explains the purpose of the government as promoting the general welfare of the public. How can it do this without redistributing income and taxing its citizens? Remember also that since the constitution was established, our country industrialized, making people far less self-reliant than they were when everybody lived on a farm or was a merchant.

          • WarriorClass III

            You err because you think that the constitution gives unlimited power except where prohibited. Actually, the constitution only gives the Federal Government specifically enumerated powers, and no mention is made for education or welfare. In fact, the current taxation of wages is unconstitutional.

          • Adrian

            I don’t think any such thing. However, the constitution is a living document, and the founders left it open and workable because they didn’t know it all and wanted the government to be able to solve problems and handle things as they arose. Just because no mention is made of education spending does not mean it is unconstitutional. No mention is made of marriage, either; does that make marriage unconstitutional?

          • WarriorClass III

            If the constitution is changed, (or “living” which is just code for a radical re-interpretation) it voids the so-called “social contract,” this is basic contract law – you can’t change the contract once it is agreed to with out an amendment freely agreed to by all parties to the contract. Further, the government has no business in the marriage contract, except where there is a contract dispute such as in a divorce where one party sues the other for breach of contract, voiding the contract.

          • Chloe

            It’s not an open document. The founding fathers simply warned us what would happen if the government got out of control. Besides, with that logic, you give the government carte blanche and defeat the purpose of the document as absolute.

          • Adrian

            Of course it’s an open document!! If it weren’t, then the founders wouldn’t have left it so broad and limited, thus open to numerous interpretations and able to be changed. My God, just look at how the Great Chief Justice interpreted it, shaping the entire federal and legal system as we know it today. LOL

          • Chloe

            That which is not expressly given to the federal government is reserved for the states.

          • GSOB

            “How can it do this without redistributing income and taxing its citizens?” says Adrian.

            You seem to equate all of government spending as promoting the general welfare of the public.

            That mindset indicates and allows that we depend on the government due to an innate, inability to support oneself.

            Your philosophy in applying the principles of the Constitution circumvents the idea at the heart of it, and that is to ensure a limited government.

          • Adrian

            No, I would much rather not rely on someone else for my livelihood, but after industrialization, that’s what kind of economy we have. If corporations can get government benefits every chance they can, the people would be at a huge disadvantage in not trying to do the same for themselves. What is the purpose of government at all if not to benefit the citizenry? Isn’t it kind of simplistic to always argue that everyone should always be self-sufficient? Who wouldn’t love to be? It’s simply not always possible in reality.

          • WarriorClass III

            10 Things Government Can Do That Would Land You in Jail
            google it.

          • Chloe

            PEOPLE are the government is what he’s saying

          • Adrian

            Bingo! Which is why I say people should be beneficiaries of their government; it should work for them, not elite corporations. Yet, we all know in reality the people have no say whatsoever in government. All that has been gradually taken from us over the years, and we’re now subjects rather than citizens, subjects of a corporate state.

          • NovemberSky

            Something tells me you are not part of the middle hard working class. If you were, you would think differently.

          • Chloe

            Before 1913 there were no income taxes…thank Wilson for that!

          • FreeThinker

            “It’s what people agree to….”

            I was never asked if I wanted to pay taxes. They just came out of my check automatically when I started working.

            I don’t like that property taxes have soared so high that I have met several seniors that have had to sell the homes they worked their whole lives to pay for simply because they can’t afford to pay the taxes. Some people have even lost their home because of property taxes. Shelter is a necessity. Is it right to take away a necessity from anyone?

            Also, some people did not use public schools as children and did not have children. So, how is it fair for someone that never used public schools to pay for public schools?

          • NovemberSky

            It depends…

          • NovemberSky

            “The government gets its rights from the people…”
            REALLY???

          • Chloe

            To protect citizens and “the pursuit of happiness”, not GIVE happiness.

          • Adrian

            Well, the government sure did give some happiness to the banks who had wrecked our economy with a $ 12.8 trillion bailout. Talk about theft…

          • FreeThinker

            I disagree here. There are plenty of Americans that are homeless, living in poverty, living in crumbling cities, working poor, those who went to public schools but were failed by them, etc. (the list goes on) that would probably say their lives are not “quality” and they are only surviving. If the purpose of government was to improve their lives, I think some of those people I mentioned above might say “I’m still waiting.”

          • Adrian

            Freethinker, let me clarify. The purpose of government is what I have said above. However, we all can plainly see the government no longer serves the interests of its citizens. It has become coopted by corporate power, with these corporate elites buying the people who theoretically represent us. The middle class is vanishing, as are our civil liberties. The country is becoming a corpo-fascist police state, a garrison state with the goal of ensuring its global military dominion over the planet, and ensuring corporate profits, whatever the cost. I know that millions have been left behind by the government. Some good eye-opening books are Sheldon Wolin’s Inverted Totalitarianism and articles by Chris Hedges. The only option people have now who wish to take their government back and preserve any freedom they once had is via direct action, and it may even come to armed revolution. When it comes to poverty and how the government serves only corporate interest I have no illusions there.

          • FreeThinker

            Look at what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, and changed, all through peaceful means.

            “There has never been a good war or a bad peace.” -Benjamin Franklin

            “We have the best government money can buy.” -Mark Twain

          • GSOB

            Socialist.

          • Adrian

            Thank you, moron.

      • FreeThinker

        “Without a college degree to your name, you are unable to even be considered for many jobs.”

        This should be changed. How many employers have I heard say “I can’t find good people. I can’t find the right people.” Perhaps it is because they are so narrow-minded that they look no further than a degree. They are ruling out about 50% of the US population by requiring degrees.

        Degrees are not American; degrees came from Germany. Before we basically became Germany #2 in America, we were very educated and self sufficient. Travelers from Europe documented on several occasions that they couldn’t believe how educated even our poorest people in America were. However, when you have a bunch of smart, self sufficient people, who will work in your steel plant doing the same thing over and over again day after day; as the Industrial Age demanded robotic workers that did as they were told. Enter Prussian school system and degrees.

        When the First Lady notes that 1 in 3 are dropping out, how well is our education system working? I mean, seriously. Just sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “I don’t like change, I don’t like change” will not stop students from dropping out of our failing system.

        Degrees create a Caste system/social stratification.

        • NovemberSky

          True. A once good nation, corrupted…

      • NovemberSky

        WELL SAID!

  • saintmatty

    It is a scam and all that can make money are in on it. The colleges, the loan companies, the banks, the gov. the book stores, the places where students go and so on. College is used to stimulate the economy with this “free” money for the mean time. The bubble will burst. In the past, you did not need college to make a middle class wage. This was all planned out to scam people. I have a degree and a loan that I can barely pay-no jobs and or too tight to get in to my field. No-one is giving up their jobs right now. If you ain’t in with the club-good luck. Pray

    • FreeThinker

      How can I vote this up another 20 times? Excellent points.

  • HS

    It’s even worse than we think. Colleges had to follow the dumbing down path that public schools took 20 years ago, simply to remain open. F’s are bad business, so they were forced to grade inflate aka dumb it down. Thus, he average college graduate is dumber than a sack of hammers and is buried in non-dischargeable debt.

    • jaded

      Very true. More kids are failing? I know, let’s just lower the passing grade!

      And, then everyone screams education.

    • Ralfine

      Same in Germany.

      In Eastern Germany the worst was a “5″, aka E.
      In Western Germany they have the “6″, aka F.
      When that wasn’t enough, they changed spelling and grammar rules to have more passing grades.
      30 Years ago, people left secondary school to start an apprenticeship. Now companies require high-school graduates, since the secondary school graduates have just primary school quality.
      But it is still not guaranteed they can read and calculate.

  • Rufus T Firefly

    Pick a challenge
    Pick a skill
    Set yourself apart
    Army, AirnForce, Navy, Marines
    What a great place to start!

    • jaded

      and in the process go and die for some psychopath.

    • Adrian

      Why is the military the limits to public service? Talk about slavery and exploitation! Here’s an original idea: learn a skill and serve the public good by building things, helping people, and giving back? It’s getting kind of old to always think the only way to serve one’s country is by joining the armed forces. Is that the limit to our collective imagination?

      • Humane

        Corporations wouldn’t like self-sustainability–they need everyone to feed the Beast and put a 666 on their forehead or arm before 2017.

        • FreeThinker

          Why 2017? Please explain or link. Thank you.

      • FreeThinker

        Good points. I agree.

    • Humane

      The army will just dispatch me to some desert to fight with the see-eye-A funded barbarians. No thank you. The army was supposed to be protecting the citizens in defense, not invading other countries and territories in provoking war. Sadly, when an Iraqi man was armed to defend his family from our troops the media will 1000% depict the Iraqi man as a turrurist while the troops will be victims of Islamic boogeymen.

  • J

    I just don’t understand how all of this occurred. I feel like this is some sort of a dream. America has turned every important aspect into a business. Education should not be treated as a business. The purpose of education is to allow people to become free thinkers, become independent, and contribute to society. These days, many schools just don’t care. All they care about is spending millions of dollars in renovation and centers, and having mass media journalist talk to graduates in commencement ceremonies how things are gonna be better when it is not. The funny thing is that these people buy it. Why ? I feel like this country needs a revolution, and realize that enough is enough. Our future is at stake, and if we don’t do something right now, our children and grandchildren are going to curse us later on, and we will walk in shame. People should be protesting in stopping the government in controlling education, healthcare, our lives, and let us be free.

  • Makati1

    When you receive your diploma, they also give you a collar attached to a chain the bank holds. Welcome to Capitalism slave.

    • smallergovnow

      we don’t have capitalism. you are a slave to the state…

    • TX4Life

      Isn’t it amazing how much all those liberal, do- gooder professors feel that are entitled to make at the expense of the student whose parents often make significantly less? They are always encouraging college students to “give back” in some way. Maybe they can set the example by “giving back” some of their salary to help free their students from financial slavery.

  • FounderChurch

    Student loans and grants are welfare and are no good.

  • energizedmortal

    Up next: the wars that follow economic collapses.

  • here we go agaain

    COLLAPSE!!

  • Jodi

    College is ridiculous. I briefly when to a community college to get my associates degree in graphic design only to find out when I finally got my first job I really didn’t learn anything in school. They only
    teach the basics the rest is really up to you to learn on your own. My first job was all on the job training & it only took about a month to be fully trained.

    It kills me that everybody thinks that a
    college degree is necessary to be successful. Every single college in my area offers Graphic Design Degrees & the market is saturated with
    graduates. When I lost my job of 13 years a couple of years ago, it took me over a year to find a new job. I know it’s because of my history of
    experience and my age. Most places these days want young, fresh out of college students to work for them because they will work for nothing. At
    this point, I don’t plan on sending my kids off to college. What a waste of time.

    • FreeThinker

      Thank you for sharing this; especially the part of the one month training being more helpful than college.

      I am sad to hear that you lost your job, but am glad that you have found a new one.

  • Adrian

    Like everything else in this country, college has become a money-making Ponzi scheme. The answer is not to not go to college. One poster bragged about how his son didn’t go and is now making lots of money. Bravo, yet education is essential. The last thing we need is a bunch of uneducated people. Making money is the golden prize Americans cherish, not being educated. Why not take some hints from the rest of the civilized world and require 2-4 years of some public service in exchange for 4 years of tuition paid by the government? We would all receive benefits from this, as it would be an investment in our country’s human capital. This public service could be a government program that trains young people in skills they would use all their lives: construction, surveying, urban reclamation, forestry, etc. The limits would be limited only by our imagination. While we’re at it, let’s get off this idea that the only way to serve one’s country is by joining the military to go abroad and kill people and break things. Nonsense.

    • smallergovnow

      The government needs to be out of this altogether. Free four year tuition? No thanks. The government which governs least governs best…

      • Adrian

        That’s a very broad, general statement that’s not altogether true. One reason why tuition costs keep going up is the government is cutting back funding for education, and those cutbacks are related to the tax cuts for the wealthy. Somalia is an ideal place with no government, yet I doubt you’d want to live there.

      • Adrian

        Look what happened on Wall Street when the government was “out of that altogether”: a system run amok where the race for huge short term profits destroyed our entire economy and financial system. Yeah, thankfully most of us learned our lesson after that fiasco.

    • FreeThinker

      So, every human should be exactly the same? Every human should have a desire to spend K-12 and then 4 more years in school?

      • Adrian

        Absolutely not, but the option should be there for people who do. As I said above, this would be an investment, where we would get back many fold more over the years than we put into it with a better educated, more civic-minded populous. Numerous studies already show that we get back many times over the years what we invest in public education. If you want to keep gutting it, we’re headed for 3rd world status. Much of the country is already there.

        • bruce

          Our schools need to become more valid. Graduating high school students who can not read, have limited math skills ect demeans the diploma of all. Heck lets take that back to grade school. Demanding some achievement in a useful ciriculum would be a first step. With the availability of information today. it is feasible to acquire the knowledge of a doctor, engineer, ect with out traditional schooling but translateing that into the required licenses or a job is another problem

          • Adrian

            Bruce, I totally agree, and as a teacher I can’t tell you how frustrating it was for all of us to be pressured to just pass through a bunch of idiots who couldn’t read, write, thing, or know any basic facts like who the vice president of the US was. It was so bad that I often joked with my colleagues that if I wrote a book about it, no one would believe me. That goes back to NCLB, with this fear schools have of not making the proper scores on standardized tests and thus being deemed a failing school. I do disagree that it’s possible to become a doc, engineer, etc by teaching oneself. Would you want to be operated on by such a self-taught person?? I wouldn’t.

          • FreeThinker

            A teacher did write a book about it; and I believe him.

            Check out “Dumbing Us Down” by John Taylor Gatto (he also won awards for teaching).

            Also, check out “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” by Charlotte Iserbyt (former senior policy advisor, U.S. Department of Education).

            As far as teaching one’s self:

            People can teach themselves many things. If one wants to become a surgeon, that is where being an apprentice comes in.

          • Adrian

            Let me tell you about this myth of the teacher’s unions. In the high school where I worked in Georgia, there was no such thing. I got a slight raise after my first year, then the 2008 crisis hit. The second year we got no raise, and got 8 fourlough days. So I was making less money than I did the previous year. the next year was the same, and the year after that. Every year I was working harder and making less money. You think unions would allow that? I wonder how many people would appreciate being paid a crappy salary as it is, then making less every year while working harder. Unions have been destroyed in this country. A third of our workforce was unionized after WW 2, and today it’s only 10%. You think there’s any correlation with that fact and the fact that wages have been stagnant or falling for 40 years? As Sarah Palin would say, “You betchya!”

        • FreeThinker

          The author of “Dewey-The Small Town Library Cat” wrote about how she ended up in the welfare office. Welfare put her through college. She ended up paying back much more in taxes than what it cost to send her to college. Also, had they not sent her to college, what options would that have left her with?

          My biggest upset with college is the cost keeps many from going, the K-12 is not preparing people, and the degree requirements are ridiculous (requiring a Math major to take Art and English classes to earn a Math degree).

          • TX4Life

            “K-12 is not preparing people”. Example: I just showed my high school graduate for the 2nd time in 2 weeks how to address an envelope for thank you cards. Pretty sure I learned that in 4th grade.

      • Adrian

        Free thinker, I think there should be choices, and I disagree with having to take classes not relevant to one’s major. In Germany they track kids in middle school to see if they have a college aptitude or if they should learn a trade. I totally agree with us doing that here. Throughout high school they are being taught a trade and get hands on experience. When they leave HS, they’re ready to enter the workforce and have skills and experience. That’s a totally legit method, I think.

        • FreeThinker

          Just what we need….more stuff from Germany. Our education system is already based on the Prussian model. Look how well that has served us.

    • ian

      i never set foot in a college. I learned skills and traits. In my free time i went to libraries and educated myself. And you know what? the average college educated individual has less common sense and wisdom than a 19 year high school dropout.

  • seth datta

    The economy is being gutted and even being STEM doesn’t help that much if your replacement from abroad is cheaper. Just sayin’…

  • OhioMark

    We have some friends who’s daughter got a partial scholarship to Duke. To afford for her to pay the whole bill they stopped paying their mortgage for two years until they were foreclosed out and had to move to a small rental home with their other 3 kids. But their daughter will graduate with no student loans with a degree from DUKE —- in Russian Literature.

  • OhioMark

    I told my wife our daughters will NOT be borrowing student loan funds if they want to go to college. They will have to work, save, maybe skip semesters if money is not available.
    But my wife wants them to have “The College Experience”.

    • FreeThinker

      I wonder what the world would be like now if Adam had just told Eve “NO?”

  • cherylmeril

    The good news out of this mess from clear cut sinfulness in our lives is that Jesus Christ paid the cost of our debts on the cross. The lamb of God has paid all of these debts in full and we need only repent of this madness and accept God’s gift to us of forgiveness. This is all spiritual signs of Jesus Christ’s coming return on a mass scale The college system is collapsing with all of its illusion, it’s a money making business not dedicated to truth whatsoever.

    • Becky

      Yes and that makes difference how? Most Christians are more lying and deceitful than those who are not professing Christians. Seriously get over yourself.

      • TX4Life

        “Most”?

  • Adrian

    The student loan bubble will bust, and if the government can bail out banks that wrecked our economy to the tune of over $ 12 trillion, they can fork over some money to help the people. Europeans pay the tuition costs of students who show they can pass the entrance exams to college. Yet, if we started emulating Europe, too much wealth may trickle down to the people, and God knows we can’t have that in the land of wage slavery and corporate exploitation.

  • Adrian

    One problem I think needs addressing in this: many articles in this blog (which I really enjoy reading) talk about how many Americans are unable to take care of themselves. I think 99.9% of people would love to do just that. Yet, we rely on others for our very livelihood. How many people live on farms these days? A hundred years ago and more in this country, most people were self-sufficient and far happier. With the industrialization of the country, people moved from the farms to the urban areas, and thus became wage slaves. We’re all at the whim of some exec’s spread sheet, and when the numbers aren’t in their favor, we can lose our job in a second, and THAT is thanks to the destruction of unions in this country. No workers’ rights exist in this country, as we’ve all been made dependent on others. It’s easy to sit back and tell someone to get a job, but that decision is in another person’s hands, not our own. Where’s the freedom in that?

    • FreeThinker

      I agree. All wise points.

      Mother Jones fought for unions because coal miners were working so hard, but were unable to pay their bills on what they made. Meanwhile, those that owned the coal mines (and coal miners) made more money than they could spend in a lifetime. Anything with humans will have corruption, sadly. For example, terrible teachers that should be fired are kept employed at schools due to unions, which then causes students to fail and fall behind. However, there are other times when a union is necessary or workers will become abused and impoverished while those at the top get richer off of the work of other people.

    • Mischa

      The private sector unions are diminishing but the public sector government unions are the Beast fighting for jobs for life! Public school teachers can get away easy for crimes against minors because of government unions!

      • Adrian

        Your statement is totally absurd and uninformed. As a former public school teacher, I’d ask you, “what unions?” There’s been a war on teachers ever since this NCLB farce, and statements like yours are part of the problem. Other societies value teachers. We used to. Now we have propaganda like the type you spew here denigrating a noble profession.

        • FreeThinker

          Please read “The Underground History of American Education” by John Taylor Gatto (a teacher). I think you might be surprised at who American teachers were at one time.

  • joe oberr

    The old saying is true that if you want more of something subsidize it (college tuitioin) and if you want less of something you tax it. This is the result of the gubmit subsidizing college tuition. Colleges have a free ticket to raise costs/tuition as they know uncle sam has their back. Why should a campus security chief cop get $350,000/yr? Answer – subsidize it. Ain’t no way in the pre uncle sam subsidizing days would a campus chief cop get $350k/yr. No way. This is just one small example. All the result of the the politicians playing santa claus with the taxpayers money. Of course there is not enough revenue so they borrow/print the difference which right now is $0.80 on every $1.80 spent. Shortly the currency will COLLAPSE due to all this money printing, i.e., paper with some ink on it which has NO intrinsic value.

  • markthetruth

    Yep ! No more Learning on the Job, the best way to be taught , You can read all the books you want But Hands on is the Best Teaching. I never Had to Go on a Real Interview i Got all my Job’s though Knowing Someone in the Company. I Was a “Person Not a Number” and My last Job I worked 25 Years and was one of the Top 3 Tech’s in the company. That Does not exist anymore. We are Working Backwards .

    the end…

  • Tatiana Covington

    Let it collapse!

  • Orange Jean

    I have mixed feelings about this topic. I do understand that not everyone feels they need to go to college. However, for myself, after working about 10 years in the only jobs I could get with just a high school diploma were initially minimum wage jobs (babysitting, housekeeping, etc.). I went to a 2 year community college and got an associate’s degree in commercial art – which was worthless in terms of finding work (although I do use some of what I learned there in my current job, some 40 years later). Then I got work at MIT as a secretary; I liked the people but I was bored stiff and it did not pay enough to adequately support myself and my then young son.

    At 30 I decided to go to college, it was not easy – I could not get any financial aid except student loans (then at over 9% interest, BTW) and part-time work study jobs, paying $5/hr for what I had done at MIT for $9/hr. I got a BA in Anthropology (also worthless degree, although it sure was an eye opener in finding out just how indoctrinated into socialism/Marxist-Leninist stuff those colleges were)…. then I followed that with a MS in Geography (slightly more helpful, but mostly because I studied statistics, epidemiology, learned computer programming and did thesis research).

    It took me 13 years to pay off my student loans (but I did it); my first job after college was very low paid ($20K/yr for a data manager job), but I learned a lot. I currently still use the types of things I learned in grad school… and I earn about 6 times what I would have if I kept on with the secretarial job.

    The fact for me is also – I’m good at analyzing data (something you rarely get a shot at without an education, usually required for entry level) and I’m lousy at things like mechanics and people oriented jobs. What I’m saying is – finding work you like and that pays enough to live on is not easy, and never was… I think besides the current difficult economy you have too many young people who have been taught since they were babies that they could be “anything you want” and at a great salary and advanced level with very little experience. It’s not reality and I don’t think it ever was!

  • GSOB

    The characteristic of unions…
    intended to attract and hold quality people that’ll end up denying opportunity to the less fortunate.

  • GSOB

    “What is going on? Student loans for college are largely a creature of federal intervention. Decades ago, politicians decided that it would be good to have more people go to college, and they created a system of grants and subsidized loans to make that possible. As we have (or should have) learned from the great economist Ludwig von Mises, government intervention nearly always has unanticipated consequences that create the apparent need for still more intervention. That is exactly what we see when it comes to higher education and its financing.”

    • Adrian

      To reply to several of your comments at once, I’d say you were behind the curve, as well as an unfortunate victim of propaganda. Do you think corporations are free of government assistance? If this were the case, they wouldn’t spent hundreds of millions in campaign contributions, trying to curry favor with the government to enact favorable legislation for their benefit. If government is helping corporations become more powerful and dominant over our lives, why should the people exempt themselves from the same types of services? I doubt you scream socialism when its corporations on the government dole ($ 12.8 TRILLION in government handouts due to the banker bailout from BOTH parties). Secondly, since the industrial revolution, people have been increasingly less able to be self sufficient, relying on others for their livelihood in terms of their competing for wages instead of having the luxury of relying on themselves, which I think most people would prefer to do -I know I sure would. Lastly, my biggest problem with von Mises, Hayek, and others like Ayn Rand and their disciples like Reagan and Thatcher is that they like to talk about freedom from government tyranny, all the while oblivious to the tyranny and slavery that corporations hold over all of us, whether we work for them or whether we are simply consumers buying products from them. At least we have (or used to have) protections from excessive government power with the constitution and laws, independent courts, checks on power, etc. We have very few protections against corporate power, except for government. I know my arguments won’t convince you, as ideologues are never convinced by arguments or facts, but I’m sure you are aware that when unions were strong in this country, wages kept up with economic growth. Standards of living and quality of life increased, and this country was considered the envy of the rest of the world. With the neoliberal destruction of unions, wages have been stagnant for 40 years, putting people at the mercy of corporations, destroying the bargaining power of labor. People then had to turn to credit and borrowing from such private institutions to offset their lost wages, and then we saw the entry of women into the workforce in large numbers to help supplement the shrinking incomes of men. Things have worsened since then, and that is what this blog discusses in articles every day: the death of the middle class. You can call me a socialist or any other term you choose, but what I say here is accurate and correct. States like Germany and Sweden, who have FAR more government intervention in their economies than we do, enjoy far greater quality of life than do Americans, as well as being generally more healthy, have a lower infant mortality rate, their people are far more educated and knowledgeable about the world, and so on. What the 2008 crisis showed us is that without government regulation, what we call capitalism (a bastardization of its original form) runs amok and destroys the economy. These are facts, and most Americans are aware of them and know that one needs a happy medium between a public and private sector, rather than just relying solely on one or the other.

      • FreeThinker

        I always remember people standing in line to get government or union jobs. Why would people do that unless there is great pay and benefits? Is there corruption in both places now, of course. Anything and everything that involves humans will have corruption.

  • Judy

    Born in 1946, when I reached college age, the only way to pay for education was for your parents to pay.

    If your parents were unwilling or unable to pay, then you spent time working until you had enough money to pay yourself. Often kids, lived at home while they attended state colleges full time as commuters. No one who was middle class dreamed of going to Stanford or Yale or Harvard, etc.

    But we weren’t in debt when we graduated.

  • Stephan Larose

    University is a scam. You’d be better off learning about business basics online and starting your own business. There are also specialist vocational schools that are better investments. These days, fewer and fewer professions are well served by the university system.

  • major

    We have been led to this point by highly irresponsible leadership, starting with LBJ, indirectly controlled by business interests. This profligacy was accelerated in the Clinton Administration by encouraging irresponsible mortgage loans to accelerate volume in the housing market; short term gain for the Clinton Administration for long term misery for the Country. Ultimately Clinton and Obama will be deemed the most evil Presidents in American History for their final destruction of American Capitalism.

  • RobertB

    Basically, a plan by the banks to enslave a whole new generation of debt slaves, with the risk subsidized by taxpayers. Among the most worthless programs ever created; anyone with the initiative and talent desiring a college education obtained one anyway – what this program accomplished was to overburden society with worthless diplomas.

  • Karen Falgore

    Sad, this generation is slowly becoming the poorest generation ever.

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