Just when you think that the media can’t
get any more herd-like, shallow, formulaic, unquestioning, and misleading, they
prove otherwise. Their angst over tuition loans is a case in point.
The herd is now mooing in unison that
recent college graduates carry an average tuition loan debt of about $25,000.
Adhering to their shopworn journalistic technique of peppering their stories
with superficial human-interest anecdotes, reporters have portrayed such
graduates as innocent victims who need to be rescued by our munificent and
The same overused angle was employed
during the collapse of the housing bubble. Mortgagees with underwater
mortgages or foreclosed homes were victims of greedy banks, went the standard
storyline, and therefore needed to be rescued by generous Uncle Sam. They were
not greedy gamblers who had taken out mortgages they couldn’t afford, including
second and third mortgages, betting that their mortgaged home would appreciate
enough to cover their credit binge.
Now this victimology angle is collapsing
faster than home prices collapsed.
It is coming to light that most of those
who were foreclosed on were not victims of paperwork shenanigans by banks, as
the media herd had led the public to believe. For example, a new study by the
federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shows that only 6.5% of the
borrowers set to receive part of an $8.5 billion settlement between federal
regulators and banks were actually harmed in some way. In other words, the
remaining 93.5% will be getting settlement money they don’t deserve, courtesy
of bank shareholders and higher fees for bank customers.
Few of the human-interest stories during
the housing collapse delved enough into the purported victims’ personal lives
for the reader to establish if they were truly victims or if they had used poor
judgment, hadn’t done their homework, or were ne’er-do-wells with a history of
buying things they couldn’t afford.
Journalists don’t delve deeply into
people’s backgrounds because they gladly swallow the starry-eyed nonsense
conveyed in journalism school that their main mission is to save the world,
and, especially, to save the little people from being screwed by the big
people. Therefore, ipso facto, a little person can never be guilty of
It’s the same story with today’s coverage
of college graduates with tuition loan debt. They’re all innocent victims, and
as such, their personal choices and lifestyles are irrelevant.
Readers don’t know, for example, if a
featured graduate drives a nice car and has an outstanding car loan. Why would
this be relevant? Because the average car loan is $25,995 for new cars and
$17,050 for used cars, or close to the average tuition loan. It would be
difficult to empathize with a college graduate who complains about a $25,000
tuition loan but has a $25,000 car loan. After all, even a degree in an easy
major is worth something after four years of college, but a car is worth very
little after four years. Also, a degree doesn’t require oil changes, expensive
repairs, license plates, and liability insurance.
You wouldn’t know it from media coverage,
but a lot of the people seen driving expensive cars can’t afford them. A
case in point is the genius who posted the following question on a Yahoo
Getting a $40,000 car loan at the age of 20?
needed some financial help on my chances of getting approved for a $40,000 car
I am 20 years old
my income is $1500 per week
Current bills are a $300 honda civic lease
Car insurance on the civic is $300 per month (ya i know thats what you get for being a guy and 20)
$300 limit on a visa
$750 limit on a cap one
All payments on all my credit lines were never late and never will be late, Credit cards paid in full for past 3 months and previously paid %50 off every month.
Only have been working this job for 6months so no tax return yet, however i will never get laid off as its my Dads company and i contribute to it quite a but. So just pay stubs to prove income.
Looking to put down $10000 on a $50000 BMW.
What do you guys think?
Well, to answer your question, I think
you’re a moron. You must be a reporter I’ve had the misfortune to know.
To explain: When I had my opinion
column years ago, I met with a low-paid, twenty-something, hotshot reporter
over breakfast to discuss how his profession covers the news. He pulled up in
a new BMW convertible, and, yes, he was a moron, one of the most uneducated and
unread humans I had ever met. Although I probably had a thousand times more
money in the bank than he did, I pulled up in a 10-year-old Toyota Corolla,
which went a long way in explaining why I had more money.
Incidentally, because he is of Mexican
heritage and thus considered an oppressed minority, a Hispanic, the reporter
has since been hired as a columnist by an even bigger daily to write about
Hispanic issues. In other words, he was hired because of his ethnicity, in
clear violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlaws hiring
decisions based on race and ethnicity. Don’t expect him to write about how
newspapers (and universities) brazenly violate the law in this regard. Oh
well, maybe he can now afford that BMW.
Given the fact that 37% of auto loans are
sub-prime, an intellectually-curious person would ask why lenders would be
loaning money to unqualified borrowers. Not surprisingly, reporters and
editors from the establishment media don’t ask this question, just as they
didn’t ask it during the mortgage bubble.
The Federal Reserve banking cartel is the
main reason such loans are being made. The cartel is in cahoots with the U.S.
Treasury and politicians to keep the easy-money credit scheme going until the
system collapses, as all credit schemes eventually do.
Banks borrow cheap Bernanke dollars at
low interest from the Federal Reserve. They then loan the Monopoly money at an
exponentially higher interest rate to consumers. So much of this imaginary
money is sloshing around that banks can afford a high default rate. Besides,
as bank executives learned with sub-prime mortgages, they will be bailed out by
taxpayers instead of going to jail when the system collapses.
Knowing little more than leftist canards
and how to write simple declarative sentences, journalists have propagated the
canard that the banking mess is the result of a failure of free-market
capitalism. Actually, banks are a franchise of the government and a cartel of
the Federal Reserve, which is a creation of the government. Modern banking is
the antithesis of a free market, especially given that banks deal in government
fiat money, which is the opposite of market-based, or commodity-based, money.
As with so much that is messed up in the
country--not only banking but also healthcare, K-12 education, and higher
education--the culprit is the government. Yet journalists believe that the
government is the counterbalance to a free market that doesn’t exist.
Come to think of it, journalists are right that many college graduates are victims who have gone into debt for worthless degrees. When they write these stories, they are looking in the mirror.
Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at email@example.com.