American Consequences - December 2017


P.J. O’Rourke comment: Debby, they’re coming. We’re planning an American Consequences “Education” issue this spring, where we’ll have the time and the space to go into the Soaring College Tuition Crisis in detail. While I appreciate the information about ‘debt jubilee’ – (and will do my own research now) – how OBNOXIOUS (and, dare I say it, Republican?) of you to blame the poor, the middle class, and the government for our current economic condition – while looking to stoke fear into the wealthy who don’t have the same worries... – Debby Simon Porter Stansberry comment: I’m certain I didn’t blame the poor or the middle class for our current economic crisis. In fact, I think I’m one of the very few analysts who has correctly identified the key flaw in our current paper money system: that gains in productivity aren’t flowing through into higher wages. That critical link has been broken by an ever- expanding monetary system, which provides limitless debt and constant inflation. Real wages (after taxes and inflation) haven’t risen in more than 40 years, despite massive increases to productivity. That explains why the middle class is disappearing and both the middle class and the poor are drowning in debt like never before. As for blaming the government, well, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the government that decided not to back the dollar with gold ? And wasn’t it the government that decided to guarantee student loans (leading to $1 trillion in addition debt)? And wasn’t it the

payment” plan. Every semester I went to the Bursar’s office and received a LOAN to cover that semester’s tuition. The conditions were clearly spelled out. I could make a payment against the loan BUT, if the loan had not been repaid by the end of the semester, my grades would not be released, my completion of those classes would not be made official and I would not be eligible for a follow-up loan. If the loan was not prepaid for the final semester my degree would be withheld until I was current. In order to meet these requirements, I had to work to make money. The EE school had a rule that a student enrolled therein was not permitted to have a job that required more than 20 hours per week. My solution was that I usually was working concurrently at two jobs, each of which was a 20-hour week. Moreover, if I was delinquent at the end of the final semester, my Degree would be withheld. I paid like clockwork. My GPA was not stellar but I had my Degree AND no debt!!! Respectfully, G. Donald Weber, Jr. P.J. O’Rourke comment: Point taken, G. Donald! Those publicly funded loan programs are a terrible bait-and-switch. But see the letter below for the No. 1 reason that today’s students fall into the trap. We have college students who took out loans to attend grad school... because we, their parents, couldn’t afford the ENORMOUS COST... Why no discussion or charts to show just how much college tuition has soared during this same time? – Debby Simon (continued below)

18 | December 2017

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