Comments on: Soaring college costs and the Penn State private plane Steven Brill Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:30:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: McGriffen Wed, 18 Jul 2012 22:20:12 +0000 I’ll hope this doesn’t double post, but…the FRB is not a gubmint agency. Chartered by the 1913 act, but it is a privately held bank. Although I do believe that annual operating surplus, if any, is passed along to the US Treasury.

Example: the FRB Dallas bank is owned by its members, within its operating district.

By: McGriffen Wed, 18 Jul 2012 22:09:33 +0000 The FRB is not a government funded agency. That is to say, Congress passed the FRB act in 1913 but the FRB itself is a “private bank”. However it does remit to the US Treasury whatever operating surplus the system can generate.

I may well be wrong on this point; however the FRB Dallas is owned by the member banks’ within its authorized district (primarily Texas). Since Im based in the DFW metro, throwing that example out there.

By: TheUSofA Tue, 17 Jul 2012 20:33:13 +0000 From the Thomas piece, The Price of Admission:

…Massive indebtedness changes a person, maybe even more than a college education does, and it’s reasonable to suspect that the politicos who have allowed the tuition disaster to take its course know this. To saddle young people with enormous, inescapable debt ­total student debt is now more than one trillion dollars- is ultimately to transform them into profit-maximizing machines. I mean, working as a schoolteacher or an editorial assistant at a publishing house isn’t going to help you chip away at that forty grand you owe. You can’t get out of it by bankruptcy, either. And our political leaders, lost in a fantasy of punitive individualism, certainly won’t propose the bailout measures they could take to rescue the young from the crushing burden.

What will happen to the young debtors instead is that they will be­come Homo economicus, whether or not they studied that noble creature. David Graeber, the anthropologist who wrote the soon-to-be­classic Debt: The First 5,000 Years, likens the process to a horror movie, in which the zombies or the vampires attack the humans as a kind of recruitment policy. “They turn you into one of them,” as Graeber told me.

Actually, they do worse than that. Graeber relates the story of a woman he met who got a Ph.D. from Columbia University, but whose $80,000 debt load put an academic career off-limits, since adjuncts earn close to nothing. Instead, the woman wound up working as an escort for Wall Street types. “Here’s someone who ought to be a professor,” Graeber explains, “doing sexual services for the guys who lent her the money.”

The story hit home for me, because I, too, wanted to be a professor once. I remember the waves of enlightenment that washed over me in my first few years in college, the ecstasy of finally beginning to understand what moved human affairs this way or that, the exciting sense of a generation arriving at a shared sensibility. Oh, I might have gone on doing that kind of work forever, whether or not it made me rich, if journalism had not intervened.

It’s hard to find that kind of ecstasy among the current crop of college graduates. The sensibility shared by their generation seems to revolve around student debt, which has been clamped onto them like some sort of interest-bearing iron maiden. They’ve been screwed ­that’s what their moment of enlightenment has taught them.

As for my own cohort, or at least the members of it who struggled through and made it to one of the coveted positions in the knowledge factory, the new generational feeling seems to be one of disgust. Our enthusiasm for learning, which we trumpeted to the world, merely led the nation’s children into debt bondage. Consider the remarks of Nicholas Mirzoeff, a professor of media at New York University, who sums up the diminishing returns of the profession on his blog: “I used to say that in academia one at least did very little harm. Now I feel like a pimp for loan sharks.”

By: TheUSofA Tue, 17 Jul 2012 20:31:56 +0000 Student debt is a scandal, a racket and another bubble waiting to burst. These colleges drive up the costs for public colleges as well, busy empire building and running their corporation/hedge fund/universities. This is the same face of winning, dog eat dog, capitalism that seems to lack any ethics or morals today.

Thomas Frank wrote a good piece about soaring college costs and the university cartel.

His take-down of the claim made by university’s that they are charitable institutions:

Even in 1991, it had been a long time since anyone took seriously what the universities offered as their all-purpose defense: that everything they do is permissible because they are charitable institutions. Charitable institutions do not exploit the labor of their charges, nor do they relentlessly bid down their wages, as universities do with the grad students and new. Ph.D.’s who take on much of the teaching. They don’t run their endowments as you would a hedge fund (or, as is often the case, invest them directly in such concerns). They don’t take kickbacks to steer kids into the toothy mouths of ex­pensive private lenders. They don’t sell their souls for seats on corpo­rate boards or research grants from tobacco companies or a Division I title. They don’t replace scholarly leaders with armies of professional managers who proceed to fiddle with the curriculum, funnel resources to business schools, and strive for supremacy as (in the winning words of one expert on the subject) “one among many industries that pursue intellectual properties.” These are the deeds of profit-maximizing entities. The fact that universities don’t have share­holders and don’t pay exorbitant bonuses to top officers is merely a matter of organizational detail.

By: tiderhawk Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:45:07 +0000 Do you think John Calipari and Urban Meyer are flying commercial on recruiting trips to Podunk, TX? Please-every major college coach either flies in the University plane or has access to one.

By: Adam_S Tue, 17 Jul 2012 15:28:01 +0000 Comment only on the Penn State thing: The problem is that institutions of higher ed have a unique product, seen as paramount to ‘success,’ meaning people will more or less pay whatever it costs. Knowing this, universities do literally nothing to control their costs, IE giving raises based on time at the school, fancy cafeterias, etc. It’s impossible to force private schools to control costs, which in turn pushes public schools along the same line. It’s a horrible state of affairs.