Does Obama's student debt plan go far enough?

President Obama is taking on the high cost of college. In a speech at the University of Buffalo on Thursday, the president called on state lawmakers to provide education subsidies, universities to stop raising fees, and Congress to make loan repayment more reasonable. President Obama said, “We have got a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt. The soaring cost of higher education has become a barrier and a burden on too many middle-class families.”

In addition to addressing college affordability, the President also proposed a new official ranking system, which he said will help students understand the value they're getting with their education dollars. He said, “We need to rate colleges on best value so students and taxpayers get a bigger bank for their buck.” White House officials say that ranking colleges on a variety of metrics will “challenge the education industry and encourage more competition on cost.” According to the Center for American Progress, similar ranking systems have shown positive results in the states in which they've been used.

Many student debt advocates welcomed the President's speech, and his proposals to make college more affordable. However, some groups remain skeptical about whether the plan goes far enough to address the $1 Trillion dollars in outstanding college debt. It's great news that there's a plan to reign in the skyrocketing cost of education for future students, but we can't forget about those who are already drowning in college debt. In the words of Occupy protestors – Wall Street got bailed out, students got sold out. Maybe now our leaders will finally start working to change that.

Comments

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 3 weeks ago
#1

As a Canadian, I find it unbelievable how much school costs down there. Here about 80% of our education is picked up by the tax payer. The problem is a higher and higher percentage of Canadians are going to University and the burden on the tax payer is getting tough to handle.

Maybe sending your children up here could be a more afordable option. I know none residents pay more but it still might be less expensive.

Just so all of you who know me here know, I barely made it through High School and did not go to college or University so don't base how good our Universities in Canada are on me. As you know, I can't even spell.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 8 years 3 weeks ago
#2

I GOT IT!! (no, not a shirt, not yet anyways, sorry about that, again) HEY! Fat people have souls too you know! Sheesh, Look! Let's just start with free universities in all the red states! Then they'll finally smarten up like the rest of us and politicians might start speaking the same english again to each other in DC!! - ?! - Feeling me?! They don't what? Oh, usually graduate High School unless its close enough to hunting grounds. Good point. Maybe if we just gave them all free guns instea- Wooooah! Where are you taking me? I didn't get to finish my point- I DIDN'T GET TO FIN-

SenorBean 8 years 3 weeks ago
#3

A question for Bernie:

What are your thoughts and plan of action surrounding the issue of mountaintop removal and, more specifically, the ACHE Act? (it has been introduced in the House but there has been little or if any movement on it in the Senate, I believe)

Summary

Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act or ACHE Act - Requires the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to conduct or support comprehensive studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on individuals in the surrounding communities. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), upon receipt of a report on study results, to publish a determination of whether such mining presents any health risks to individuals in those communities. Defines "mountaintop removal coal mining" as surface coal mining that uses blasting with explosives in the steep slope regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Prohibits issuance of an authorization for any mountaintop removal coal mining project (or expansion), under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) or the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, until and unless the Secretary publishes a determination that such mining does not present any health risk to individuals in the surrounding communities. Imposes requirements for continuous monitoring of air, noise, and water pollution and frequent monitoring of soil until a determination by the Secretary is made.

Directs the President, acting through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement of the Department of the Interior, to assess a one-time fee upon persons that conduct such mining projects, sufficient to cover the federal cost of the health studies and pollution monitoring required by this Act.

http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/526

I have only recently become aware of this issue and aside from the serious human health impacts of MTR coal extraction (which basically boil down to another large number of very dead, very poor people), my sense of aesthetics is offended by the thought of humans, in just a handful of years, blowing up mountains that it took the universe millions to put there. Here are some pics:

https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=mountaintop+removal&source=lnms&tb...

I am having phone difficulties or I would simply call in. Thank you so much to whoever attempts to pass this question along.

Regards!

Bean

Hi Thom.

I wanted to ask Senator Sanders a question but I am having phone issues. I am hoping you or a member of the Hartmann community will be able/willing to bring this up with him.

My question pertains to mountaintop removal and the ACHE act, the summary of which is as follows.

Introduced in House (02/06/2013)

Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act or ACHE Act - Requires the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to conduct or support comprehensive studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on individuals in the surrounding communities. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), upon receipt of a report on study results, to publish a determination of whether such mining presents any health risks to individuals in those communities. Defines "mountaintop removal coal mining" as surface coal mining that uses blasting with explosives in the steep slope regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Prohibits issuance of an authorization for any mountaintop removal coal mining project (or expansion), under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) or the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, until and unless the Secretary publishes a determination that such mining does not present any health risk to individuals in the surrounding communities. Imposes requirements for continuous monitoring of air, noise, and water pollution and frequent monitoring of soil until a determination by the Secretary is made.

Directs the President, acting through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement of the Department of the Interior, to assess a one-time fee upon persons that conduct such mining projects, sufficient to cover the federal cost of the health studies and pollution monitoring required by this Act.

http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/526

I am wondering if the Senator is familiar with this issue (I was not, until very recently) and whether he has any plans to throw his weight behind this or some other pertinent legislation in the Senate.

Aside from the impacts to human health of this sort of coal mining, (which can be VERY serious according to what I've been reading... basically boils down to a large number of very dead, very poor people) my sense of aesthetics is offended by the idea of blowing up, in a handful of years, mountains that it took the universe several million to put there. Here are some pics:

https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=mountain+top+removal&tbm=isch

If I know Bernie, he will share my concerns. Thanks to whoever manages to pass the message/question along. Sorry about the lengthy post.

Regards!

Bean

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2013/08/does-obamas-student-debt-plan-go-far-enough#comment-form

Hi Thom.

I wanted to ask Senator Sanders a question but I am having phone issues. I am hoping you or a member of the Hartmann community will be able/willing to bring this up with him.

My question pertains to mountaintop removal and the ACHE act, the summary of which is as follows.

Introduced in House (02/06/2013)

Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act or ACHE Act - Requires the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to conduct or support comprehensive studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on individuals in the surrounding communities. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), upon receipt of a report on study results, to publish a determination of whether such mining presents any health risks to individuals in those communities. Defines "mountaintop removal coal mining" as surface coal mining that uses blasting with explosives in the steep slope regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Prohibits issuance of an authorization for any mountaintop removal coal mining project (or expansion), under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) or the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, until and unless the Secretary publishes a determination that such mining does not present any health risk to individuals in the surrounding communities. Imposes requirements for continuous monitoring of air, noise, and water pollution and frequent monitoring of soil until a determination by the Secretary is made.

Directs the President, acting through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement of the Department of the Interior, to assess a one-time fee upon persons that conduct such mining projects, sufficient to cover the federal cost of the health studies and pollution monitoring required by this Act.

http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/526

I am wondering if the Senator is familiar with this issue (I was not, until very recently) and whether he has any plans to throw his weight behind this or some other pertinent legislation in the Senate.

Aside from the impacts to human health of this sort of coal mining, (which can be VERY serious according to what I've been reading... basically boils down to a large number of very dead, very poor people) my sense of aesthetics is offended by the idea of blowing up, in a handful of years, mountains that it took the universe several million to put there. Here are some pics:

https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=mountain+top+removal&tbm=isch

If I know Bernie, he will share my concerns. Thanks to whoever manages to pass the message/question along. Sorry about the lengthy post.

Regards!

Bean

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2013/08/does-obamas-student-debt-plan-go-far-enough#comment-form

SenorBean 8 years 3 weeks ago
#4

Ah, crap. sorry about the spammage. (i'm sucha newb) ;)

latriestina's picture
latriestina 8 years 3 weeks ago
#5

Hi Thom,

I'm an adjunct professor--that means I work for peanuts and get no benefits.

I have been teaching 12 years, both classes I teach were proposed and developed by me. I always have a waiting list of students who can't get into my classes. I am paid exactly the same salary today that I got 12 years ago. There are more than 1,000 adjuncts in my university who could tell the same story. Most of the ones who have families to support work for various universities (they can teach 2 classes in each university). All our attempts to unionize have come to nothing since twice we have been presented with a list of new adjuncts nobody knew since some work as little as one hour a month.

I got my graduate degree from an ivy league university and still owe $75,000. Education has made my life much more interisting and fulfilling intellectually but I'm drowning financially.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 3 weeks ago
#6

Carson nothing is FREE someone is paying for it. When all of the red states have FREE universities. All the business will leave and go to the blue states because the taxes will go up. With no tax base the cost of education will skyrocket. That is why the left wants to do everything Federally so you have no where to go. If you want proof just look at the city of Detroit or the state of New York. California is next with all the debt they have managed to create.

By the way your picture looks a lot like a Canadian named Randy.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#7

Since Great Britain illegally detained and searched Greenwald's partner, the British Government has been getting a lot of flack from it's citizens and from the world. So, what better way of wagging-the-dog than for the government to release to The Independent a story they want the world to think originated from Edward Snowden...a story that would possibly make people think he compromised our security.

Quote Glen Greenwald TheGuardian article:The Independent this morning published an article - which it repeatedly claims comes from "documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden - "disclosing that "Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies."
Quote Glen Greenwald TheGuardian article:Snowden this morning said he wants it to be clear that he was not the source for the Independent, stating:

" I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent. The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger. People at all levels of society up to and including the President of the United States have recognized the contribution of these careful disclosures to a necessary public debate, and we are proud of this record."

"It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post's disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others. The UK government should explain the reasoning behind this decision to disclose information that, were it released by a private citizen, they would argue is a criminal act."

Quote Glen Greenwald TheGuardian article:The US government itself has constantly used this tactic: aggressively targeting those who disclose embarrassing or incriminating information about the government in the name of protecting the sanctity of classified information, while simultaneously leaking classified information prolifically when doing so advances their political interests.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/23/uk-government-indep...

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 3 weeks ago
#8

Yeah, Thomas Jefferson went so crazy over the Marbury v. Madison decision that he wrote about it 16 years later in a letter to Spencer Roane. However, Jefferson uses it only as an example in reference to something in a previous letter, so Marbury may not actually be what he's angry about. In fact, he seems to agree with the Supreme Court that the judicial branch cannot issue a mandamus to the executive branch (in this case, forcing Madison to deliver the commissions), and the court said that they would have to issue a mandamus if they didn't have the power of judicial review. In terms of the restriction of judicial power, it was a no-win situation. The mandamus power would have allowed the judicial branch to directly take over the duties of the other two branches in response to their inaction. The review power is less direct and can be used only in response to an action from the legislative branch.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 3 weeks ago
#9

The 15th Amendment refers to "previous condition of servitude". The 13th Amendment says "involuntary servitude" is allowable only "as a punishment for crime". So yes, the 15th does require that ex-cons get their vote back.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#10

Maybe it would be better if "lame duck Presidential periods" were not possible...ie: make the incoming President the President the very second the vote has been decided so the outgoing President cannot make last minute decisions that would not be in the interests of the incoming President. Keeps sore losers from doing damage to the will of the voters. Anyone ever see the similarities between the Supreme Court and the Catholic Church? The Supreme Court is the final arbiter in deciding the meaning of the Constitution and the Catholic Church is the final arbiter in deciding the meaning of the Bible. And the people don't elect the Supreme Court Justices any more than the people elect the Popes. Layers of distraction and smoke and mirrors that give the rulers room to keep the people subservient.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#11
Quote Kend:Just so all of you who know me here know, I barely made it through High School and did not go to college or University so don't base how good our Universities in Canada are on me. As you know, I can't even spell.

Kend ~ Aw! Don't be so hard on yourself! You made it through that post fairly well. You raise a good point. Education should be free. It is a right not a privilege. When I grew up you had two choices, you could go to a city or state college for free; or, go to a private college for a fortune. Freedom of choice is what it is all about. It seemed perfectly fair until Mr. Ronald Wilson (666) Reagan came along and turned perfectly fair into perfectly rotten.

The bottom line is that there is no greater investment in the infrastructure of a society that can be made than education. Investing in education is investing in the future. Like the song says, "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way." Any society that can afford a fortune to kill people can afford to educated and cure people. There is no explanation, no reason, and no excuse to provide anything less then free education and free healthcare for everyone in a civilized society.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 8 years 3 weeks ago
#12

This is true, dear Canadi-man. I used 'free' a bit loosely. I do have a commitment not only to lighten up the "WE'RE ALL SCREWED" and "TO HELL WITH EVERYBODY AND OUR PLANET BECAUSE THE END IS NIGH!" but to also try and find ways to simplify all this polititalk legal-ese, as my beloved congressman put it, to a point where our youth can comprehend. Only then will there be hope of a better planet. Your generation, my generation, Thom's generation, everybody kinda blew it. The only hope is for the children to get involved and for their children to get involved as well, BEFORE they're too old and already blew it, like us, and can only whine and complain to each other. Not to mention, this is Thom's site. We're collected here because of his lifelong commitment and uncomprehensible work ethic. I simply think it's respectful to try and stay positive, if only to respect the Good he is and has for longer than i've been alive been working towards for america. As for a note on your note of mine, try not to use the word ALL when refering to business/es in the states of america. It makes you sound very naive. Remember elementary school? True or False? All, Every, Never, = FALSE . My pic will soon be upgraded to a new version of myself which my 'heart has inspired in me to manifest.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 8 years 3 weeks ago
#13

Damn right, Danne. Thank you

johnbest's picture
johnbest 8 years 3 weeks ago
#14

"When I grew up you had two choices, you could go to a city or state college for free; or, go to a private college for a fortune. Freedom of choice is what it is all about. It seemed perfectly fair until Mr. Ronald Wilson (666) Reagan came along and turned perfectly fair into perfectly rotten."

The current generation does not remember that public universities and community colleges were free before Saint Raygun. He was heard to say when he was governor of California in 1967 "why should I pay for someone else's college education"> What a selfish POS.

When I was graduated from UC Berkeley in 1959, there was no tuition. I think there was a $72 fee per semester. Saint Raygun changed all that and it caught on when he became president. Back then conservatives were complaining about paying taxes for public schools. They had the same mantra. They also complained that they were paying for people with "too many" kids. I always disagreed with this because I felt that in paying taxes I still feel that way. It's called Paying it Forward. I was paying back for my education. Conservatives, however, don't see it that way. They are and always have been selfish and mentally deficient. My brother had five kids and was one of the hateful people who always complained about President Obama. I suppose he also complained about paying for other people's kids. He too attended and was graduated from UC Berkeley in 1960, paying no tuition. Go figure.

Luis_L.'s picture
Luis_L. 8 years 3 weeks ago
#15

Obama's plan does not go far enough in addressing the real issue and only deals with the symptoms. It also does not tackle the diversion of funds to private institutions that are also at the heart of the growing debt crisis. Many of these colleges don't graduate many of their students, some of their diplomas are worthless when it comes to transferring to a public institution and their programs are less that satisfactory. As long as someone can make a buck by starting a college this is not going to end and will only exacerbate the problem.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 8 years 3 weeks ago
#16

A lot of misinformation here. Public colleges and universities were NOT free, not in my state, Minnesota. I went a long long time ago, and I paid. I worked my way through school and it was eminently possible at the time, but our Land Grant University, Minnesota, was not free. Cheap, though.When I went on to graduate school, it still wasn't free, but between my husband and me, it was easier.

As for misinformation, Kend, as usual, you walk off with the door prize. In fact, education is the underpinning of prosperity. When we taxpayers pay for a good, solid education, from pre-K through graduate school, everyone does better. The educated person goes on to get better jobs--which mean higher taxes. Companies DO NOT move away; to the contrary, they want to come to states where there is an educated populace. And a state where there are various cultural draws, like symphonies [let's skip discussing the MN Orchestra issues for now], museums, art institutes, good films, theater (we have Guthrie, which spawned a whole lot of very good small theaters), parks, lakes, open spaces, and the like. You can check this out by looking at a number of kinds of statistics. Census data, for example. Tax data (and when people pay higher taxes and get all these various kinds of amenities, EVERYONE PROSPERS. People want to move to place like St. Paul and Minneapolis, when there are all these benefits and so people want to locate here.

I don't know what the connection is to Detroit or New York.

Detroit suffered from falling industrial output, and the autor industry moved jobs out of the city to the suburbs, then to the south (no unions) and then overseas. Detroit's racial history is -- regrettable -- to say the least. (But that itself has many causes, including highway construction usually right through black neighborhoods, destroying them, urban renewal that destroyed more housing than was ever built and leaving poor (substandard doesn't begin to describe it) and inadequate housing (which precipitated the 1967 urban riots, in my opinion), and political corruption, and etc. and etc.

Detroit’s decline has been going on far longer than most people realize, because of the city’s lack of attention to creating a pleasant built environment. Evidence? A Time Magazine article entitled “Decline in Detroit” from 1961 – yes, 1961 – had the following to say in its opening paragraph:

"If ever a city stood as a symbol of the dynamic U.S. economy, it was Detroit. It was not pretty. It was, in fact, a combination of the grey and the garish: its downtown area was a warren of dingy, twisting streets; the used-car lots along Livernois Avenue raised an aurora of neon. But Detroit cared less about how it looked than about what it did."

This is a complex problem and it is not given to bumper sticker answers--and I don't even see the relationship of your comment to the issues.


Mike B. Bee's picture
Mike B. Bee 8 years 3 weeks ago
#17

I think the most recent post (Luis_L.) pretty well answered rather Obama's purported moves "go far enough." What I'd like to ask is this. Thom, I heard you say on your program today, when discussing your new book, that the solution you propose is a jubilee. This made me think: Hmm, what is your realistic solution? You know, I hate to sound that way, but... Sadly, it feels correct to say that there's a fairly narrow spectrum between the kinds of solutions that are actually likely to be enacted soon, and the kinds of steps that Obama gestured toward in his speech.

Mike B. Bee's picture
Mike B. Bee 8 years 3 weeks ago
#18

Looked to me like their contention was that California schools were basically free before Reagan's governorship. There's no reason to cry misinformation, because their claim has nothing to do with your experience in Minnesota.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#19

If you really want an education that costs next to nothing...you really don't have an excuse because the internet has all kinds of educational material... from reading material to YouTube tutorials to University lectures from a wide variety of Colleges and Universities...all free for viewing. The only thing you don't get is the diploma which is, perhaps, necessary for most people to convince a prospective employer that they have been properly educated to do the job. But really, a diploma, while it may represent a certain amount of evidence of being able to pass the right tests does not mean that people have retained that knowledge or ability to think or can do the jobs they were hired to do. Everyone, future employees and future employers, seems to have bought into the diploma racket...and they get soaked big bucks for that ticket.

Of course, even if you don't go to College or a University and get all your education on-line...for virtually "free" ... you still have to pay for the monthly ISP fees and computer hardware and/or software. And that is very minimal compared to what you have to pay for a diploma. You can educate yourself, with the help of the internet, and use that to your advantage. Start your own business and you will be the boss...for example.

How many people have gone to the MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, or many other fine University websites to watch the many different lectures that are all free. A person could end up knowing a heck of a lot more than any college grad...all for free.

Many Colleges or Universities are nothing but factories that produce automaton wage slaves anyway..just another cog in the machinery. Perhaps the Ivy League schools, that only rich people can go to, teach their students how to effectively steal from other people by becoming a CEO or find a top sinecure position in the government. Many colleges don't even get you to think outside the box...they want to mold you into "team players" not upstart rebels who'd just as soon frag* their CEOs (figuratively speaking, of course).

Lots of people who don't even go to college, or even finish high school for that matter, are very successful...it all depends on how motivated and determined they are. And most of those people are self-motivating...they don't need someone to motivate them. They don't need someone to hold their hand or push or encourage them.

Kend, even though I disagree with him a lot of the time, seems to be one of those who has succeeded through determination and motivation. He didn't wait around for some social program to pick him up by the bootstraps...he picked himself up. I can understand, I think, why he can feel that...if he had the determination and drive with no one offering social assistance then why should anyone else just get handed assistance.

But I think that the point is missed that, since the Reagan Revolution, there was a shift in the ability of those who had the drive to amass way more than their fair share by getting big tax breaks and legislation that favored the wealthy. The result was that the wealthy were able to maximize, by leaps and bounds, their wealth by shipping jobs overseas, and by using various deceitful practices in the financial sector. They began to take away benefits and wages and pressured the remaining employees, that they didn't lay off, to work doubly hard. They have gone from determined and highly motivated to outright crooks and criminals who have managed to steal and are unwilling to give back.
------
*frag--a term used during the Vietnam war to describe a soldier murdering his own officer (say with a fragmentation device...ie: a grenade) before that worthless piece of sh!t put the soldier in a dangerous and precarious situation where they would be killed by the enemy.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#20

historywriter: St.Paul-Minneapolis...nice place...been there several times on business...in fact the last time I was there was just before that I-35W bridge over the Mississippi collapsed. I guess tax dollars didn't go so far as to tackle the infrastructure there. Glad I wasn't on that bridge then...I had driven over it a number of times. I really liked Mall Of America...even saw the cast of Veronica Mars...Kristen Bell...once..back in 2004 I think it was. The only other mall I've been in that was bigger was the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. West Edmonton Mall is tied at #13 with the Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates and Mall of America is #19 of the largest malls in the world. China's got two of the largest in the world.
--------
News flash!!! Ballmer Quits, Instantly Makes (Almost) $1 Billion
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2013/08/23/ballmer-quits-instantl...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#21

Palindromedary ~ You forget that there is more to an education than the simple ability to amass a fortune. Why do you think we have "electives" mandatory in education. It is because we want to build well rounded graduates. We want an informed populace and electorate. There is much more to education than simply making money. Drug dealers make plenty of money without any education. So does the Mafia. What we need as a people are citizens who are well informed, well intentioned, and well able to participate in our society to better our society. We already have a plethora of high wage earners and it is doing the vast majority of our citizens more harm than good. We need to broaden what we expect from our students or shorten what we expect from our species. Your choice.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#22

DAnneMarc: Perhaps I didn't come across very clearly...I wasn't trying to say that making lots of money was important. Actually, just the opposite. I was just trying to say that just because one obtained a diploma does not mean that they really know, necessarily, anything of value...unless it was to help secure a job.

There are so many "well-rounding" subjects..lectures from University professors..that many Colleges and Universities make available for free on the internet and that people would do well to take advantage of these. The only things one would be missing are labs, mandatory assignments, tests, and something called "presence"...most of all: a whopping debt-strapping student loan (unless one is rich enough to pay cash). They can be "well-rounded" for free and not go into debt for much of their lives. The diploma racket is just about as bad as the real estate racket. You are made to believe that you cannot succeed unless you get that degree just as you have been made to believe that you had better buy a house now because you won't be able to buy later. How many people fell for that trap? Lots!!

I don't ever intend to make any money from the knowledge I gain from the lectures and tutorials that I watch...I'd have to pay much more than most people in taxes just because I am retired. If you make something like over $14k above what you get for SS, then the government takes something like 50% of what you earn over $14K right off the bat. So there is really no incentive for me to make any money....unless I made lots and lots of money and wanted to buy very expensive things. And I really don't want anything very expensive anyway.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#23

Palindromedary ~ Bravo for you! Your situation seems attainable; yet, unjustly unfair. However, it doesn't even come close to addressing the situation of today's student. Online courses have there place. Yet, personal interaction with other students and teachers are a critical factor in most courses. The ability to ask questions as well as have them answered benefit not only the individual; but, the entire class as well. Online courses cheat the individual from the group consensus. All expense aside, when we discuss education we need to think of it as the most important investment we can make as a society and not cut corners in any way. You can cut corners when you talk about defense, foreign aid, weapons research and development, and so on; but, when you talk about cutting corners on education you talk about sacrificing the future of our species.

On the other hand, if the above items take precedence over education perhaps you are right in concluding that we should cut corners on education. Certainly our species does not deserve an opportunity to survive. You are doing the Darwinist a big favor.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#24

DAnneMarc: some of those on-line lectures are very good...the professor speaks clearly...uses good audio/visual aids...and repeats the questions the students ask so that the video is clear and easy to understand. But other professors mumble, talk way too fast while slurring and mumbling, often there is an echo or lots of extraneous noise that makes it impossible to understand what is being said. Sometimes the professor scribbles some undecipherable chalk scratches on the blackboard that hasn't been cleaned very well. Sometimes student interaction is helpful...other times it is a hindrance...being in a room full of students can often be distracting as well. That cute girl sitting in front of you may send you off into a fantasy world that may prevent you from comprehending what the professor is saying. There are pros and cons to sitting in a classroom. I can sit naked behind my computer at home and not have to worry about someone scrutinizing me. And as the videos rarely ever pans the students there is no distraction there. Finding a really great lecture is a treasure. And it is free! It works for me...but may not be the best thing for someone who needs to get a job...tis true! But for those who can't afford it and can't get a student loan...it is better than hanging out in the streets looking for trouble.

https://www.cs50.net/lectures

ptg0's picture
ptg0 8 years 3 weeks ago
#25

Any "institution of higher learning" that can afford to pay ANYONE working for it, more than $150,000 per year should recieve NO taxpayer support.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 3 weeks ago
#26

Palin, you nailed it about me. It is hard for me to understand some of the things on this blog. I believe the only helping hand you have is at the end of your arm. The sooner you except that the better off you will be. Not to be confused with lending a hand up to those who need it.

Where I have a problem with education is the cost. Where the hell does all of that money go. My neighbour, a teacher told me she makes $88,000 a year. The kids are in school 204 days, about 6 hours a day. That is over $70,00 / Hr. with benefits well over a $100.00\hr. I don't have a problem with that as that is what I have to pay a good employee. She said problem is only 60% of the school boards employees are in the class room. Know one seems to know what the 40% do. How is it that the private schools that have a third of the staff, do such a better job? The answer is simple, they don't have the 40% out of the classroom.

When someone like me on the right challenges the education system, we are called all kinds of names and told to shut up and pay. That will fix everything. More of my "fair share". Maybe we should start looking into where all the money goes. I will bet when you find out how much is wasted you to will start bitching.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#27

The federal government gave out more than $40 billion for research and development (R&D) to universities across the country in fiscal 2011.

A few of the top schools received a disproportionate share of the government’s spending on grants for R&D. Of all 896 schools that received federal money for R&D, approximately 20% of those funds went to just 10 universities, according to a study by the National Science Foundation.

1. Johns Hopkins University
> Total federal R&D grant money: $1.88 billion
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 87.8%
> 2012 endowment: $2.59 billion
> $609 million from DOD--$202 million from NASA
----------------
2. 2. University of Washington, Seattle
> Total federal R&D grant money: $949 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 82.9%
> 2012 endowment: $2.11 billion
------------------------
3. University of Michigan
> Total federal R&D grant money: $820 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 64.1%
> 2012 endowment: $7.69 billion
---------------------
4. University of Pennsylvania
> Total federal R&D grant money: $707 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 79.8%
> 2012 endowment: $6.75 billion
--------------------
5. University of Pittsburgh
> Total federal R&D grant money: $662 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 73.7%
> 2012 endowment: $2.62 billion
-----------------
6. Stanford University
> Total federal R&D grant money: $656 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 72.3%
> 2012 endowment: $17.04 billion
---------------------
7. Columbia University
> Total federal R&D grant money: $645 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 73.4%
> 2012 endowment: $7.65 billion
------------------
8. University of California, San Diego
> Total federal R&D grant money: $637 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 63.1%
> 2012 endowment: $371 million
---------------
9. University of Wisconsin, Madison
> Total federal R&D grant money: $594 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 53.4%
> 2012 endowment: $1.81 billion
-------------
10. Duke University
> Total federal R&D grant money: $585 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 57.3%
> 2012 endowment: $5.56 billion
----------------
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/04/25/universities-getting-the-...
----------------
Where does the money go? Whose pockets are lined with taxpayer money? Top paid University administrators and all of those fat cat CEOs and stock-holders who provide goods and services to the Universities for everything from R&D to toilet paper, ie: test tubes, depleted uranium samples, chemicals to develop better Agent Orange, Napalm, White Phosphorus bombs, and better nuclear bombs. The universities use that money to develop the latest spyware that the government uses to spy spy on us all. And then the government even farms that task out to other corporations to do much of the dirty work. Then there are the innovations in medicine that are then gobbled up by private corporations that turn around and patent them and then charge an arm and a leg for things our taxpayers largely funded to begin with.

It's a racket! DOD, HHS, DOE, NSF, NASA are all the largest providers of tax-payer money to the Universities. And what do the taxpayers get in return...they get spied on...sons and daughters get sent off to some illegal and contrived war being exposed to Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium, or other exotic carcinogens first developed in the universities. "Killing is our business...and business is good!"

And, as if all that money isn't enough, they rip off students for a life-time of debt...a nifty way of forcing indentured servitude among their newly educated masses. They'll be smart enough to create a better nuke or chemical weapon or spyware but most will merely be slaves owing their allegiances to a crooked and evil system that murders masses of innocent civilians for no good reason.

Just as there is a revolving door between government and the private sector..there is a revolving door between those running the educational system and the private sector.

About the only thing that you can get for free is watching the token "community service" lectures and even then they are hoping you will think better of them and make a contribution. If you aren't taking advantage of this free service then you are really losing out.

No matter how much money you pump into a crooked organization of greedy, wealthy, capitalist fat cats...they'll always want a lot more. They'll continue to squeeze and will never be satisfied.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 8 years 3 weeks ago
#28

I don't see the Obama plan doing much at all. It's completely voluntary and requires nothing of the colleges. I doubt if Harvard or Yale will suffer from receiving a lower bang-for-the-buck rating than, say, Kent State if that were to happen.

Mike-C's picture
Mike-C 8 years 3 weeks ago
#29

latriestina, your post above is appreciated and reveals yet another terrrible flaw in our so-called educational system - getting professorial work done cheap. The intern program for this profession and most others serves the korporate world nicely in providing little to no cost labor. It should be outlawed - it's akin to the old child labor shenanigans.

The other flaw in our so-called higher education system, is cost. How apparent it is, that this system is predicated on harvesting money and not yielding a decent crop of higher educated citizens.

How much rot and decay can occur to a system before it is totally useless?

The goal should be to make higher learning affordable -- not trying another patch job to cover the high cost. Maybe the next generation will have to attend inexpensive universities in foregn countries (China to the rescue again?). Maybe Walmart should start a university system?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#30

Google and the NSA: Who’s holding the ‘shit-bag’ now?
by Julian Assange
August 24th, 2013

http://thestringer.com.au/google-and-the-nsa-whos-holding-the-shit-bag-now/

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#31

Palindromedary ~ Thanks so much for that article by Mr. Assange. (It is still "Mr." right?) Very eye opening! Very informative.

As far as your previous post is concerned about online education I must say that I've given it some thought and I must agree with you 100%. I realize now that I have learned much more at home naked alone with a computer or a book than I ever learned in a classroom. I met more girls in classrooms, and got faster answers to my questions in classrooms (in most cases); but all the real learning I've ever achieved in my life was on my own. Perhaps Universities in the future will be obsolete--as long as elementary schools and parents can teach children to want to learn. That is probably the key obstacle to the entire learning process.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#32

DAnneMarc: Thank you, DAnneMarc! Yes, I know Mr. Assange does seem, to me anyway, to have rather a slight effeminate aura...but there are a couple of females in Sweden who can attest as to Mr. Assange's heterosexuality. Might be "bi"...who knows? Really doesn't matter to me though. I am very grateful to both Mr. Assange and to Pvt. Manning. Both heroes! Both very brave and both have real convictions and a real conscience.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#33

Palindromedary ~ Right on, buddy!!

Flopot's picture
Flopot 8 years 3 weeks ago
#34

Time for a democratic jubilee - cancel the debts of the people and cancel the ongoing bailouts of the TBTF corporations.

Here's an appropriate anthem...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQD5zX4kOsE

After the Day of Jubilee then break-up the corporations and start a democratic reform of the US system, e.g. selecting Congressmen by lot, like selecting a jury. Well, maybe that's too radical but it worked in Ancient Athens! An Athenian from the 5th Century BC would laugh at our oligarchic systems, "Hah! Democratic? I think not but Sparta would be impressed".

PS The US encouraged Saddam Hussein to use chemical weapons on Iran during the Iran - Iraq War.

http://rt.com/news/chemical-weapons-iran-iraq-980/

PPS Donald Rumsfeld helped the Dictator purchase chemical weapons and shook the hand of the dictator

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-153210/Rumsfeld-helped-Iraq-chem...

http://pilgrimakimbo.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/rummy-and-sadam.jpg

PPPS Remember it is all about corporate control - the US is now a corporate dictatorship or didn't you get the memo?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Democracy-Incorporated-Managed-Inverted-Totalita...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 3 weeks ago
#35

Flopot ~ A Day of Jubilee is an excellent suggestion. I certainly second that idea! Your anthem suggestion is both sophisticated and appropriate; but, might not carry the enthusiasm that one might hope for. Might I suggest "We Ain't Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. Oh, well, let the masses decide on the music--just give me the Jubilee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmckWVPRaI

On the count of chemical weapons, the interference in the Iraq/Iran war by President Ronald Wilson (666) Reagan and the State Department is well recorded. I remember reading about it at the time through articles in the local Guardian. It was wise of you to bring that up, along with a plethora of citations to further the argument that history tends to repeat itself. In this case, when war criminals get away with a crime they always come back to repeat it and out do themselves. It's almost like they can't help themselves. For me, and many of my generation, the announcement that one side in Syria is using chemical weapons against the other side when the Pentagon is itching to get involved only brings back feelings of deja vu. The only question I really have is how did we manage to supply the "bad" guys with the chemicals this time? Did we trick Russia, Italy or maybe use Chile again. Whether or not we did it seems like a naive question to ask, doesn't it? Yet by and large most Americans you will meet will act shocked and disbelieving were you even to suggest such a notion. In either case the use of these weapons will facilitate the excuse to have our way with Syria.

PS By the way, don't discount your idea of selecting Congressmen by lot. I think that is an excellent suggestion. Let go with it!

PPS We need a UN that has some bite and some balls.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 8 years 3 weeks ago
#36

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today

8-24-2013

When Goldman Sachs Banker Jason Lee was Arrested yesterday for raping a woman in his Hamptons rental house in the presence of other guests, locals were quick to rally to his defense.

"Oh, you can't really call that rape," said East Hamptons Rolls Royce dealer Humbert Smythington III. "For God's sake, the man is brilliant- he has a doctorate in international finance and he is on the short list to become the Dominique Strauss-Kahn Professor of Economics at Harvard School of Finance. Anyone with any education at all knows that Mr. Lee was simply applying well-proven economics principles to interpersonal relationships."

"My children," said Rory Cheerful McBlockkopf III, bishop of the Hamptons Catholic Diocese, "have we strayed so far from God's teachings as revealed in Ayn Rand's sacred scriptures, that a man who simply finds a resource and avails himself of said resource, can be arrested and charged with a crime? And more to the point, how can a man who only last week gave me a $20,000 box of Cuban cigar be guilty of anything? God damn it, I'm the bishop around here, and I very specifically gave Mr. Lee a dispensation for any rape that he would commit in the next week and a half, with an option to give me another box of cigars and extend the dispensation to cover a full month."

The Twain Report is taking up a collection so our editor- not a wealthy man by any measure- can get a dispensation just in case he gets a parking ticket or thinks an unkind thought. Please send your donations of at least $50,000 in cash, to:

The Bribe God for the Twain Report Fund

C/O H. E. Bishop RC McBlockkopf

Bank of America building

East Hamptons, NY

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