The rising cost of college and lack of income growth has pushed many students into massive amounts of debt. Many older Americans like to talk about the days when they went to college and paid for their schooling with a part-time job. No part-time job is going to pay for $50,000 a year in tuition (or even $20,000 at many public schools) when the average per capita income is $25,000:
Since 2000, in real terms college costs are now up by 23%
Since 2000, in real terms real pay for college graduates is down by 11%
This I find extremely troubling. While the cost of going to college has risen by 23 percent over the last decade actual real pay for college graduates has fallen by 11 percent. Can it be that higher education itself is in a bubble? This is very likely.
Education is vital to having a vibrant and competitive middle class. Yet Wall Street has allowed the banking system once again to turn this institution into a commodity meant to be traded and raided. This is why we have many paper-mill institutions predatorily going after students and condemning them to lives of debt serfdom with a worthless piece of paper. The working class is shrinking faster and faster as most of our manufacturing is outsourced so many are forced into becoming educated or face low pay service sector work. In a debt based society many of these people simply go back to school thinking they will pick up a skill in a new “hot” job field. Many simply come out with degrees and debt that put them into a deeper hole. Many would have been better off going to a community college or trade school but many of these for-profit schools get to students first before they can go to these more affordable options (at least for now as states hemorrhage funding).
If we really value educating the population and having an intelligent middle class, then why allow this banking and government backed circus to continue?
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