I am starting this thread in the Public Interest, because the politician who can say these things is yet to be born, the problem is serious, and we are all going to have to pay for it. And honestly, I think the costs are exorbitant, and cannot be borne responsibly any more.
The issue at hand is that the cost of primary and secondary education in the United States is completely out of control.
The reason for this is that the existing powers who provide the educational services have no motivation to do so at reasonable costs. The basic system of payment is a third-party transfer system where the users of the service (students) are not the ones who have to pay the bill; someone else pays, or the students acquire debt for
third party payment at the inception of the process. The public has been conditioned to pay whatever prices are asked for.
The issue is mis-framed so that any dissenting opinion is immediately characterized as being ”Against Education, Against
Students, Against Opportunity for the Masses, Against Our Poor Teachers”. This is hogwash, because the students don’t get the money, they get debt, and the teachers are pretty well compensated nowadays. At least they have jobs and benefits, which is more than most our our citizens can say these days.
The political and social backlash is extreme, and the vested interests are so powerful, that neither party can risk a call-out of the issue. The Democratic Party and NEA are basically inseparable, the Republicans for the most part play deaf mutes and try to figure out how not to piss off the NEA to much, while caving in to the degree necessary.
The beneficiaries of the system are the employees and interest groups of the educational establishment; the ones holding the bag and paying the freight are the kids who accept loads of debt to get educated, the well-meaning parents in our many suburbs who subsidize their locals with high property taxes and the tuition of their children, and the US taxpayer at large, who is guaranteeing the student loans and who pays for the many subsidies of the education establishment that are made from public funds.
There has been a communication technology revolution in the last
generation. So why have education costs risen, instead of fallen ?
See the paragraph preceding.
Yesterday I looked at a pie chart of the assets of the Federal Government. It showed that 45% of the assets held by Uncle Sam were student loans. As the author of the article said, to paraphrase,
”The value of the US dollar is mostly backed by unemployed teenagers living with their parents.”
Tell me, where else do we lend tens of thousands of dollars at subsidized rates to individuals so they can ”follow their dreams”, with no jobs, no skills, and no collateral, who are guaranteeing us that they will NOT be gainfully employed and NOT make any repayments for at least four years ?
That should get the ball rolling. As far as my own ”qualifications” to speak out on this subject, I am a compliant and perfect example of
of the lemming-mentality we have been indoctrinated with. AT least until recently. Fancy Ivy schools and nothing but, plus two darling daughters the same. I overpaid for my house and taxes in the ’burbs to give them them the best I could.
But when I left school, my debt was $15,000 and the economy was a lot different. And as for my own kids, I was unwilling to subsidize them more than the price of a house, and they had to take on the rest. I tried to make sure the debt at the end was no more than the value of a new car.
But $250,000 a piece is still a lot of money. I get the gnawing feeling they would have been better off with the money in cash, or in an insurance policy; they could retire in twenty or thirty years with a head start like that.
I value education very highly, but it is time we woke up to the fact that most of the services we are paying for, borrowing for, and subsidizing with public money should be classed as CONSUMPTION OF LUXURY SERVICES.
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