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View Diary: Student loan debt will exceed $1 trillion this year (123 comments)

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  •  We need more than loan forgiveness. We need free (9+ / 0-)

    As in, over the last few decades, the cost of education has systematically been shifted by state governments from the public good of the general budget to the individual student.

    The impact is greater when shifted to the individual than if education were approached as a public good and the focus was on free rather than education one could get a loan for.

    •  Yes. State universities and extension/ag schools (7+ / 0-)

      were originally set up so that anyone who qualified would be admitted. Now, young people have to mortgage their lives to get a four-year degree at purportedly state schools.

      They always demand the biggest carrot and then offer to rent us the stick. Occupy!

      by chuckvw on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 04:46:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. Forgiveness does not address the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, mrsgoo, Cliss, Mr Robert

        underlying issue. The underlying issue is the absurd cost of public higher education. Any change should include (a) forgiveness (b) bankruptcy (with some kind of higher, but not impossible test (as is the case right now with the hardship test) and (c) cost reduction for those who will be going to college in the present and the future. After all (a) does not solve the problem for them and (b) should not be the first resort as far as financial planning.

    •  if we're going to have free (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We're going to have to restrict access to higher education to those of the highest qualifications. You can't expect the citizens to pay for bumming around for years aimlessly in college.

      In Europe, where education is either free or affordable, academic standards are much higher than ours.

      •  Bullshit. Other countries have near free (4+ / 0-)

        I have a conservative friend who married someone in Europe just so he could take advantage of the differences. He's going there to get a medical degree, and then coming back here to practice medicine because he realizes the differential in education costs and expected income gives him a substantial advantage to game the different approaches of European countries versus the U.S. The difference between Europe and the U.S. comes down to the assault on education not having been as intense  as it was in the U.S. Education is not going up because of numbers. Its going up because college must use tuition to cover infrastructure that were previously covered by the state and colleges have become enterprises rather than colleges. Now, ifyou were arguing that not everyone wants go to a 4 year degree. that some degrees could be pared down (like the JD, which I have could be a 5 year extended program from undergrad rather than 4 years undergrad and 3 years law school) etc, I would agree with all of that. But that's not what you said.

        •  Other countries? Europe? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrsgoo, Melanie in IA, Cliss, RanxeroxVox

          Please be more specific. I'm not familiar with all of Europe but most countries that offer free or almost free education in Europe are VERY exclusive in who they admit. If you come there from the US, you pay. Or your US school pays and you pay your US school.

          Germany has an incredible system of education. It starts in kindergarten, and proceeds through a very rigourous and stressful childhood. In early adolescence they separate the college bound and the non. If you don't pass the requisite tests, college is pretty much out of reach. You get routed instead into working apprenticeships, right out of high school. It's a pretty good system, actually, but is MUCH different from ours.

          •  I said married to get the education there (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dilutedviking, Mr Robert

            So, I am not sure why you are discussing paying a non-citizen.

            You are also comparing apples to oranges. The educational system in Europe is structured- generally - as you mentioned for the secondary education to be strong. That's not the case in the U.S. Where one gets the chance to learn the skills that will  make one productive (if that's the criteria is in a 2 year program post high school- if then). The same assault against free public is occurring at all levels of education in the U.S.

            The difference reflect a view of education throughout. Which is my entire point. THat we do not have a system focused on quality education. That this is about starving the baby, public education, regardless of level. That y our trying to say its about numbers misses the point.

            Look at Cuomo, and his lying right now about NY State. This is a common structure of education in America. Both parties see it as a way to prove their worth. Cuomo wants to be seen a "Centrist" because he has aspirations of the PResidency. So he's willi ng to screw the public to get it.

            Why? So that the wealthy won't get taxed. sounds familiar? It should its been happening across the board throughout the country. No one wants to pay for education at any level through taxes, and that means the burden is spread to the individual. Those standareds you are discussing are meaingless. It implies that there is somekind of strong educational system before college in which one could have been weeded  out but given the necessary skills to make it.

            On top of that , it implies that the issue is numbers rather than infrastructure. The truth is- the problem is infrastructure. Just like it is the same problem with the rest of our country- no one wants to pay for infrastructure because both parties are corrupt, and see such things as so hidden most people don't notice it.

            •  But this is why free education isn't happening (0+ / 0-)

              Not at the college level. Maybe if we totally restructured education and started making college free only for the little ones who got their whole education this new way. And that's not going to happen.

              I'm not advocating for these outrageous loans. I have a daughter paying off $60,000 and a son still in school on his way to probably accumulating the same. I wish they could get more scholarship because they're smart and serious, but I can see that most kids in college their age are NOT. If it was all a free ride, I don't see what would motivate them to work at all.

              •  Your comment is seriously delusional (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mr Robert, Abelia

                But par for the course for Americans.

                You think the reason why the system is being structured the way it is because we didn't make colleges harder for people to get into as far as academics? That the solution is to increase academic standards, a Shazzam!, problem solved?

                Its just more of the personal responsibility crap spun in a different way. The problem isn't standards for the individual. The problem is the cost of education is too high. If you want to address a problem of thirst, you don't go seeking o ut how to make people less thirsty, you try to figure out how to bring water to everyone.

                I think what sums up y our  mind set is "free ride." THat's the delusion. The great American middle class oen at that.

                As long as you think of public education as economic welfare rather than a public good, you will always search for solutions that make sense to you , but really have nothing to do with the reason why the system is structure as it is and will not solve the problem as much as make it worse under the guise of making it better.

                The system  is structured as it is to drain the public coffers to make sure that money is not being spent so that tax cuts can be implemented. In other words, no one is worried about the public good.

                This is the debate being had. You are worried about if we bring water to the masses, then some people may drink more of it than others.

                Wrong concern, and not only not  liberal or progressive, but actually in practice, if you looka t class, regressive as far as who will be impacted the most by this.

                You can bet the same kind of "free riderism" would infect all levels of the Overton window towards the right and more "personal responsibility"

                Or, as I keep putting it to a lot of people who choose to engage in right wing talking points- is it possible to make a rational decision in an irrational system? the answer is no. Its called the Prisoner's Dillema. the reason why your argument is a problem is that it does not solve the problems with the system. it just reinforces the  existing approach. focusing on the i ndividuals rather than the system.

                •  I'm sure this sounds good to you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RanxeroxVox, Ginger1

                  but "personal responsibility" is not crap. It's actually essential to any kind of meaningful life.

                  What are you proposing exactly? If half the kids in America decide they want to study art, music and drama and another quarter want to drink a lot while they get Cs in easy classes, do we just pay for it because education is like water for thirsty people? What kind of structure or standards do you impose? Do you realize teachers need to be paid? That facilities, especially for the sciences, require investments in the many millions?

                  Is there any practicality to your idea at all? Or is "practicality" also right wing crap?

          •  Not true. (0+ / 0-)

            Not true, not true.

            I heard this a lot, but it doesn't make it true.  If you are accepted into most Western European schools directly, (not through a exchange but applying directly), you pay Western Eu rates.  The exception is the UK. It's still cheaper than the US, but they do charge US citizens much higher than eu or uk citizens.

            "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

            by dancerat on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:57:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Europe is a continent. (0+ / 0-)

          What country are you talking about?

          Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

          by Caj on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:08:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Absolute bull. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Abelia, bruh1

        My daughter is attending public university in France. She's an American citizen. Her tuition is 286 euro a year, payable in three monthly installments.  Her health insurance is 200 euro a year.  She is a smart girl, she does speak the language, but she is by no means a rocket scientist. Plus, the government pays a small stipend.  See, they value learning and education in France, unlike the US. Now, if you want to pass the bar or get into law school, they only take the top certain percentage, but you can retake the exams. Their standards to actually attend school are not "higher than ours".

        "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

        by dancerat on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:54:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolute bull (0+ / 0-)

          My experience is with Germans. I know a great many of them since my son is a PhD student and most of his best friends are German nationals who are taking a degree, Masters or PhD, here. They can't believe how STUPID the American undergrads are. They say most of the US undergrads they teach wouldn't be able to pass 10th grade courses in Germany.

          The European system primes kids to take a life determinative exam at age 16. If you don't pass the test, your future is no longer yours to choose. The kids are well prepared throughout childhood, but the point is they are made to bear responsibility for their own future from their earliest years. The German kids I know describe their schooling as extremely stressful, even terrifying.

          I think an apprentice system here would be great, but how would American kids adapt to that? What most 18 year old Americans want to do is find a fun environment to party in away from parents, with education an unpleasant thing to fake your way through to get back to the next party. Making it free isn't going to fix that problem. Making it difficult, and forcing them to be responsible for their actions, just might.

        •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

          I feel like this is an ideological push by this poster rarher than reality.

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