Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Degree, Not an Education: Enslaved By Student Loans

I was pulling in an easy $50,000 a year on the side teaching and publishing, spending less time on that than most people spend following sports. The work itself was rewarding, but the money was amazing.  I say "was" because things changed after 2008.

The people who knew what was going on called the crash in 2008, and it was clear the economy would not recover.  The powers-that-be could, and did after 2008, goose the stock market, but if you were unemployed, it is a depression going on.  I decided to show others how to do what I was doing as well, especially since 2008 it became clear no one unemployed over 50 would ever work again.  Help out my cohort my cohort, and all that.

I wrote  book and marketed a class to schools in essence "Go back to school, but as the teacher!" showing how people could teach write and consult on their favorite topic and keep themselves on the cutting edge while they road out this economic depression.

Well, fresh upon making student loan debts unbankruptable, the powers-the-be pointed to the bailed-out goosed stock market as proof the economy was doing well, and also claimed all you needed was more education, and "we'll loan you the money!"  Well, what was loaned was malcredit, and at interest, and student loan debt went from $500 billion to $1.5 trillion.  People found it easier, as always, to borrow malcredit than create their own benecredit.  By the way, I had two children graduate from college after 2008, neither with a dime of debt.  I simply forbid it, and we found other ways.  You are never obliged to cooperate with evil.

The decade it took to borrow that money and enslave themselves diverted them not only from my world trade start-up seminars but from my "teach and consult your way to publishing" seminar.  And that massive group is not inclined to spend any more now that they moved into mom's basement, now realizing the economy was false all along.

Now comes this from Canada, as the writer notes, no difference with USA
As money is siphoned from academic programs through attrition, it is channelled into a host of middle-management positions.From 1979 to 2014, central administration and staff ballooned by three and a half times, while the size of the faculty merely doubled.Parents, students, and governments keep supplying them with capital, assuming there will be a genuine return on investment. But since the institution no longer produces anything, no such return is forthcoming.
Not unlike USA. Mish has these comments on a new report.
Over 40 percent of those in student loan programs have stopped making payments. Many borrowers have never made any payments.
The department of education (a useless body that I would eliminate in one second if given the chance), cannot figure out why this is happening.
We obviously have not cracked that nut but we want to keep working on it,” said Ted Mitchell, the Education Department’s under secretary.
Well, Ted, if there were jobs one could take upon graduation, in which the income covered the cost of the student loans plus a susbsistence, then no doubt these people would start paying.  But they find there is not.  Probably the biggest mistake a person can make is to believe his own PR.  I agree an education is the path to freedom, but does Ted really believe a college degree represents an education?

malcredit offers a fantasy wealth effect, "ther is money for me to get an education and a better job in this excellent economy.  Wrong on all counts.  not money, credit, not and education, a socialization, no jobs, and a false economy.

Although I think anyone who is in these dire straights was self-deluded and desrves no breaks, I do believe all student loan debts should eb forgiven, for one simple reason:  People will fill my seminars again.

What will happened to the 2.7% to whom these people owe that $1.5 trillion?  I don't care.  Their wealth is based on a false economy and a scam, and just because the played the winning side of the scam...  well... let's look where they are headed anyway... wealth effect.
Economists talk about the “wealth effect” that occurs when asset values go up. If your stocks, real estate, or other assets gain in value, you derive no immediate benefit unless you sell them. Yet you feelwealthier and more confident. That confidence changes your behavior, so you spend more freely. You’ll buy that second home, nicer car, or diamond ring. You’ll take more risks with your investments.
The wealth effect is a real phenomenon, and it has economic consequences. In a consumer-driven economy like the United States, higher spending from asset-wealthy people lets businesses expand and create jobs. Politicians and Fed officials tout the effect as a beneficial consequence of their genius plans. Yet they seldom remind us of thenegative wealth effect that occurs when asset values decline.
When your perceived wealth contracts, you cut spending and turn cautious. Your altered strategy also has macroeconomic consequences – but sometimes they aren’t immediately obvious. I recall reading back during the 2009 recession that lawnmower sales had spiked higher. That seemed odd at first, but then I understood: affluent people who had lost jobs or income fired their yard services and started mowing their own grass. A good move for them, but terrible for yard workers.
I no longer offer the seminar, although the book is on Amazon.  Do I recommend you get the book?  No.  It is valid, but not relaible.  Now I work at teaching online on a new model.  Pay me only if my seminars work for you.  This model is fine for me since the teaching always was a gratifying sideline. But not if you need the money.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.


Bill Carver said...

So do I hear another online course coming in the future? If so looking forward to it.

John Wiley Spiers said...

No way... that was a post mortem...


Bill Carver said...

It seems like the concept of starting a blog, writing a book(s), videos and providing (and learning) useful information to and from your customers in your area of passion and joy is still a very wise, useful and fulfilling "piece" of the "whole" of selling a service or product?
Although I was never an advocate of formal college education I have found myself on the Computer Science Board of a large western university. I accepted the invite to be on the board in hopes of making the curriculum more useful for the students and ultimately more useful for society. What I found was the universities passion is finding out how to get more students and how to get more funding from the government and private large sponsors. Because of their large bureaucracy and length and effort it takes to make changes they have become the dinosaur you compare SEARS to. Very large, not able to adapt to changes in a timely manner and more focused on continuing and growing (getting big) their "system" then that of their customer (students, employers and society).