This is Crazy

"This is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize that enough, man. This is crazy... Now get off your asses and do something..." -New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, to the federal government (following Hurricane Katrina in 2005).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

 

The first post on this blog was last summer, in June of 2011. It was the culmination of research on the student loan debt crisis, and communication with other activists and bloggers.


The forces behind the Occupy Wall Street movement and October 2011 Coalition were also organizing at that time. It was incredible to participate in various actions with both groups while meeting other people concerned with student debt entrapment, and the demise of the planet at the hands of corporate sociopaths, while in the early months of maintaining this blog.


While it is true that we continue to live in very distressing times, it can also be said that a crucial shift in consciousness has begun in some parts of the population. The above organizations can be credited in large part for that.


THIS IS AN UPHILL BATTLE! But it is a just fight, and one that must be continued. 

The very fact that the Occupy movement was so violently opposed by government, and so ignored by corporate-controlled mainstream media, speaks volumes about the truthfulness and accuracy of it's messages. The corporate police state, that many erroneously still believe to be a democracy, was so threatened by the demands of the movement, it was effectively silenced as a result.

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO CONTINUE TO FIGHT THE CORPORATE BEAST!

This video tells a little more about the work of The October 2011 Coalition:


Here's a good article on the crushing of the Occupy movement by the police state. 

And another good article warning potential student loan debtors. 

The following video clarifies some of Occupy's themes, including the student debt crisis:









KEEP FIGHTING!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TALK TO THE HAND: RESPONDING TO CRITICS

...and leave a message after the beep.

The student loan scam/crisis/bubble is simple, and yet complex at the same time. We have a system (student lending) that was initially created to assist making education possible to people who could not afford college expenses out-of-pocket, when tuition was over 400% less expensive than it is currently. The loans were for manageable sums of money to pay reasonable tuition, when a college degree had more value than it does now.


But that system has been corrupted and perverted by greed at the hands of college administrators, politicians, banks and other lenders, and has resulted in grossly over-inflated tuition prices and "sub-prime degrees" which are not worth the money borrowed for them. And now the nation is beginning to buckle under the pressure of the weight of a generation of citizens engulfed in toxic student debt.


The corrupt roots of the problem have begun to surface more recently. Many people are waking up to this disturbing fact, and are beginning to realize the catastrophic consequences of allowing banks and greedy administrators to rig the American higher education system and exploit an entire generation of students. This impacts society and the economy on many different levels in very negative ways.


But it is the corruption inherent in this system that is slightly complicated to understand, and sufficiently so as to keep the vast majority of citizens from educating themselves, and voicing the appropriate outrage for demanding change. 


Those who understand the outright fraudulence involved in the student loan scam realize the entire economy is suffering because of a system that creates indentured system servants. These indebted students mortgaged their lives to obtain overpriced degrees, which had been marketed to them as the key to solid careers and a decent standard of living.


Occupy Wall Street has been the biggest movement to protest the scam as part of a larger protest against the destructive greed of the wealthiest and most powerful 1% on earth. And clearly the 1% (and the politicians they own) didn't like it. The movement was effectively crushed by the American police state.


THE STUDENT LOAN SYSTEM IS UNSUSTAINABLE!


Do not be fooled by talk of cutting interest rates on student loans! A very rudimentary investigation into the student lending fiasco with tell you interest rates only play a small role in this.


Tuition rates are too high and have been driven upward by the lending system! THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED!


College degrees are over rated! Minimum wage is too low, and people need to be able to earn a living wage without being forced to buy unnecessary degrees. THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED!


But despite the fact that there is ample, growing evidence to support the FACT that there is a student loan crisis- the culmination of a continued system of exploitation and unsustainability- some people still insist on holding onto the same old arguments about the matter. Here is the most common and poorly conceived thought which is often expressed on the issue:


"PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN OUT THE LOANS IF THEY COULDN'T AFFORD TO PAY THEM BACK."


The simplicity of this comment reflects a complete lack of awareness on the part of the person holding that opinion. 


A) student loans are marketed as something that will assist you in purchasing a degree that will supposedly help you earn more money in your life, and thus pay off associated debt for pursuing that degree. We are seeing on a large scale now that this is something which is fundamentally false for many students for a whole host of reasons.


As such, no one intentionally takes out loans they can't afford to pay back. They take out loans they believe they can and will pay back, only to learn later they are unable to afford the debt, as the degree they purchased is not as valuable in the workforce as they had believed, and were told, it would be. 


Young students are particularly vulnerable to deceptive marketing from schools and lenders. Their idealism and lack of life experience creates the perfect conditions for a student loan scamming. Then, once they have become indentured servants through their loan debt, the pig-culture that conned and exploited them, shames them by telling them it was their fault for taking on the debt.


B) When a person makes this comment blaming students for their debt, it shows they are also unable or unwilling to think about other variable factors that may have influenced the student debtor's life. Did the debtor earn a degree in teaching where the state has cut jobs and frozen hiring? Did they take out $15,000 to go to school, but have the total quadruple because of unfair lending practices and usurious interest rates? Did a personal tragedy befall them in the midst of earning the degree, or once repayment began? How might the horrendous economic conditions, which are a direct result of Wall Street gambling, and the greed of the 1%, have impacted the job market for indebted graduates?


C) Many, many, many students severely regret taking on the student loan debt they now carry. So in that regard they would agree that they shouldn't have done it. They know different things about the world economy and social priorities of our nation now. They made decisions about the value of their degrees based on a false cultural notion that they were doing the right thing for themselves, and now they know otherwise. Should they be punished for life for that? 


Students don't actually "consume" or "obtain" anything nearly worth what they now technically owe for their education in the vast majority of cases anyway. People are being massively overcharged for a product that is becoming less valuable, and those who have rigged the lending system are getting wealthy off of it. If you fully blame students, then you tacitly support the dishonesty, greed, exploitation, and unethical business practices of others.


D) The government, lenders and institutions bare responsibility for knowingly allowing students to over borrow for a product that will not return enough money to justify the investment in most cases. And it has become clear that they are not interested in the outcomes of the students, or the economic and social welfare of the younger generation, but rather on short term profits! 


Tuition needs to be more affordable, living wages need to be increased, and jobs need to be created.


E) It is true that some students make poor decisions about matters of personal finance, including some related to higher education. But the lenders and schools coax them into doing this because they profit directly from it. The ease of obtaining student loan money, using fictitious statistics about the value of earning a degree, and the student's need and desire to survive and succeed in life create the perfect conditions for the exploitation and robbery of the student.


STOP BLAMING STUDENTS ABOUT $1 TRILLION IN OUTSTANDING LOAN DEBT, AND BLAME THE GREEDY PIGS WHO ARE DELIBERATELY MAKING MONEY OFF OF THE STUDENTS' LACK OF AWARENESS ABOUT THE TOXICITY OF THE STUDENT DEBT THAT IS AGGRESSIVELY SOLD TO THEM!


IF YOU DO BELIEVE IT IS PURELY THE STUDENTS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MESS, YOU SHOULD STILL WANT TO SEE THE LENDING SYSTEM CHANGED, BECAUSE A SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS FOR THIS AMOUNT OF DEBT ACCRUAL IS HURTING THE ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMY! 


SO SIMPLY SAYING, "PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN OUT THE LOANS IF THEY COULDN'T AFFORD TO PAY THEM BACK" IS A VERY IGNORANT RESPONSE TO THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE ISSUE. THIS IS A SITUATION THAT DEMANDS WE THINK AND UNDERSTAND MORE THAN THESE CRITICS ARE OBVIOUSLY WILLING TO DO, OR PERHAPS ARE CAPABLE OF. 


BUT THEIR IGNORANCE CAN NOT STOP GROWING AWARENESS. THE TRUTH IS BECOMING MORE CLEAR EACH DAY. GREED ALWAYS EXPOSES ITSELF FOR WHAT IT IS IN THE END.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ANOTHER DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

The Stories are mounting. The debts are rising. More students are graduating. Colleges are marketing and luring. Costs are skyrocketing. The lenders are lending. Parents are encouraging.

But the country is not investing in youth or infrastructure and lives are being ruined. The system is failing.

People are waking up. But lemmings are still running to the sea!



The Student Loan crisis is on. There are a few lone wolves out there, but by and large the government has taken the side of the banks, loan sharks, and corrupt universities so far. They care about money and short term profits, not the future.  


Is this really what they want for America's graduates?

SOMETHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT...

 
This timely video has been making the rounds on the internet.

Monday, May 7, 2012

ROME IS BURNING

There are tons of examples of the regressive, destructive path the US has been on politically, socially and economically for some time now. But this piece from InvestorPlace.com, which was also reviewed on the All Education Matters blog, really deserves special attention. It truly is reflective of a collapsing culture.

Meyers: "Rather than fume with outrage, do what I do: profit from (the student loan bubble)."
Disgusting, reprehensible, pig-person Lawrence Meyers from InvestorPlace.com tells readers how to profit from the student loan bubble. The sociopathic advice shows no concern for those impacted by the student loan scam and crisis, and it also indicates a complete disregard to the whole of society in which this hog exists.

Short-sighted and greedy to the extreme, this investor-criminal illustrates the dark and powerful forces at work in our current system. This is the 1% mentality right here.

But the value of his piece is that it clearly exemplifies the thinking behind the greed and callousness of a certain type of person. Many politicians craftily disguise these same opinions, as they know most people would find the overt sentiments unpalatable.

Here's an unbelievable quote from Lawrence about the student loan mess: "Rather than fume with outrage, do what I do: profit from it."

Without a doubt, Lawrence Meyers would have no problem with a big, slave-filled plantation if he lived in another time. Sociopaths take advantage of all they can without any regard for others or long-term effects.

Where are all the Christian groups admonishing the "sinful", greedy behavior of pigs like Lawrence? Or is it just gay marriage and abortion that matters to them?

You can read Lawrence Meyer's vile piece here.

Lawrence Meyers is a vile pig.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MAY DAY! MAY DAY! #OWS

A sign at an Occupy Camp in New Haven, CT
Flipping through the TV channels last night it became apparent the news media were not sufficiently going to cover the global Occupy Wall Street Protests (once again).

There were plenty of talking heads blabbing about Obama's speech, however. The main news networks seemed to see coverage of both events as mutually exclusive.

Tens of thousands of people in the streets protesting greed, corruption, and failed policy is a big deal. Our future hope lies in this sort of political awareness and action.

Occupy Wall Street seeks the restoration of democracy in America and ending the corporate-run state. It represents a vital and emerging consciousness that many fear.

Just because corporate media do not like the Occupy Wall Street message doesn't make it disappear.


THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!


May Day in New York City

_______________________________________________________

 

WINTER RAGE:

OWS is gearing up for Summer 2012, but many kept the presence alive in places during the winter months.

THANK YOU!

Here are a few images of smaller OWS gatherings in New England this past winter:
Occupy The New Hampshire Primary

Occupy Keene, New Hampshire

Occupy New Haven by Yale University

Good Question: "Why is it called democracy overseas and called anarchy here?"

AND LET'S NOT FORGET ABOUT THIS...

It's pretty obvious Barack Obama does not truly care about Occupy Wall Street or the 99%, but we should still expect some basic support of citizens' rights.

"I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR IN CALLING UPON THE EGYPTIAN AUTHORITIES TO REFRAIN FROM ANY VIOLENCE AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTORS. THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT HAVE RIGHTS THAT ARE UNIVERSAL. THAT INCLUDES THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION, THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH, AND THE ABILITY TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN DESTINY. THESE ARE HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE UNITED STATES WILL STAND UP FOR THEM EVERYWHERE."

-BARACK OBAMA. JANUARY 28, 2011


Friday, April 27, 2012

REARRANGING DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC


Some time has passed since the last posting on this blog, but the student debt crisis remains in full swing.

Corporate owned politicians recently mentioned student loan interest rates to make young voters believe they are concerned about the issue. But the fact is, the problem is so much bigger than interest rates it is not even funny.

Of course, raising student loan interest rates is not a good thing, but keeping them lower, or even lowering them, would not address the problem of student lending and tuition corruption.

Student lending has caused tuition rates to skyrocket while the value of all sorts of degrees have been plummeting. The government has shifted the financing of higher education more to the students in the past three decades rather than investing in affordable higher education for it's citizens.

This has all been happening while more jobs are outsourced or cut, and little job growth is happening here for everyone. Near-slavery minimum wage rates skew the whole economic situation even more drastically in comparison to the usurious tuition rates colleges are charging.

On top of all of this though, some very greedy, corrupt pigs in higher education, student lending and the government have gotten obscenely wealthy from this corrupt system and do not want to change it.

We must demand change, and we are. On the positive side of this most negative and vile scam is the fact that people are waking up and speaking out. Much progress has been made this year alone. 

The aptly chosen image of excrement has come to symbolize law degrees on the Third Tier Reality blog. But law degrees are not alone. Higher education degrees stink in many fields.

The creation of this blog (Student Debt Emergency) was inspired by the law school "scam bloggers" who have relentlessly ripped the pimped-out whore of a law school industry a new one. 

The greedy ABA has accredited so many garbage law schools at a time when law jobs are shrinking, that the six-figure debt people take on to get such a degree is leaving them crippled and remorseful at graduation.

WE ARE WARNING YOU! And national media is picking up on it. What the law schools have done is nothing other than greedy, intentional exploitation of America's youth. They saw the student loan gravy train and rode it for all it was worth.


BUT LAW SCHOOLS ARE NOT THE ONLY PIGS FEASTING AT THE STUDENT LOAN TROUGH!

Many readers have written in to share their remorse and disgust with their degree choices as well. Indeed the following fields have been selling snake oil degrees to well-intentioned students for sometime now. Like law schools, these programs paint an overly-optimistic future for graduates who buy their expensive degrees.

PSYCH. 101

Here are a few top degree regrets:

Clinical and Counseling Psychology- Psychologists make good money, right? Well, the field has changed in many ways and it is not what it used to be. The time and money pursuing a PHD just isn't worth it in the long run for many. Health insurance issues in the US have created a demand for less trained (and less expensive) licensed social workers and counselors to do work once done by Psychologists. Further, research psychologists are always facing funding issues as short-sighted America values the work they do less and less.

Oh, and a Master's Degree in these fields? Fast track to debt hell. You'll make more waiting tables than with one of the MS or MA degrees in most cases. There are exceptions, but for many they have to sell out and leave the field all together for something like filthy pharmaceutical sales, just to pay their living expenses. It's moral prostitution, and a real shame.

Social Work / Education- These have always been a thankless ones. But why? Social workers and teachers do extremely important work. Essentially, American society does not value non-profit driven fields and that extends to the pay compensation of those service professionals. But shouldn't these jobs at least be on par with police officers and firefighters? In any event, to take on extreme debt to get a degree in social work or teaching seems absurd, so why is it done?

Well-intentioned idealistic students are drawn to this field, and opportunistic lenders and educational institutions love them. These students often reason that things will "work out" and are unduly optimistic about there career options. They focus on the important work they will be doing, and not on how they are screwing themselves.

This is the thing with student debt: THERE IS A RANGE TO POTENTIAL CAREERS AND FUTURE SALARIES IN ALL FIELDS.  STUDENTS "INVEST" IN EXPENSIVE TUITION BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IT INCREASES CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND EARNING POTENTIAL. THEY BELIEVE THEY WILL DO WELL. SCHOOLS AND LENDERS ENCOURAGE AND CONDONE THIS!

The schools market their degrees to this way of thinking, and it is only after a huge dose of reality at graduation (or in many cases, half way through the program itself) that the regret sets in, and students realized they have been conned. It is unethical for schools to be allowing students to take on big debts for degrees they know won't pay.

Isn't that the students responsibility? Well, it's hard for students to figure this out when they are being misled and lied to by the schools themselves and just don't have the life experience to really know. In a decent society adults help their youth make sound decisions, not encourage them to make bad ones so they can make a profit off of them.

Graphic Design- With the technology boom of the past several years, this would seem like a good degree to have. It certainly is advertised and marketed all the time by schools. But many readers have written in saying the market is saturated because of so many degree holders, and that the jobs just aren't there. It seems that for every good paying and interesting graphic design job, there are scores of low-paying bores- and even those are hard to come by now.

Library Sciences- Schools have been selling these degrees for a while now. At first glance it seems progressive; the modernization of the American library and the career of a "librarian." Problem is, the schools are selling the degrees, and the government is backing the loans on the sales- but the government is cutting the funding on the other end. So on one hand, they encourage the education of students in the field of library sciences, but then don't fund the libraries themselves- so there aren't even jobs for graduates. A simple equation that amounts to lots of overqualified, unemployed, and heavily indebted graduates. And of course, society as a whole suffers from this sort of thing.

Film- Oh my. Film, film, film, film, film, film. This one really gets the bitches who have no sympathy for people being crushed by student loan debt.

Idealism and optimism are certainly at play when people pursue this degree, but at the same time they are encouraged to do it. If you are trying to make it in film, then students often reason that going to a big school is important. Places like NYU film school supposedly offer a good education AND the opportunity to be in reach of an urban, world-class film industry, thus making important connections. It seems that these opportunities could make a career, and are worth the extra money.

Each year, talented, naive, well-intentioned film students begin their studies hoping to break into the industry in some fashion. They believe the hype offered to them by the student-debt run schools. Some will do well, but many, many, many more will not work in film at all. If they do, it will be for peanuts, and often part time. 

No one can predict the future. But schools should not be selling this degree to students using excessive loans as payment. Not enough film makers, too much debt. If they were offering scholarships it would be a different story.

Film is important. We need film makers. But the degree can destroy a person, and the film school will lick their lips once they have devoured you. The schools are literally lying to you!


THERE ARE MANY MORE DEGREES THAT INDUCE FEELINGS OF SHAME, REMORSE, RAGE, AND REGRET (ISN'T THAT WHY WE WENT TO SCHOOL??)

TELL US ABOUT YOURS IN A COMMENT BELOW.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

FAITH IN THE FUTURE. DISGUST WITH THE PAST.

ARE THE TIDES TURNING?

If you begin to study the forces behind the student debt crisis- and the attitudes that allow it to persist at our own national economic peril- you inevitably find some analysis of the generational differences of the respective beneficiaries and victims of this rancid system. 

Yes, I used the word victim. A generation of young people who were encouraged to educate themselves and take on student loan debt for ever-increasing tuition, while politicians and corporations were decreasing their investment in the national infrastructure and related job market, have indeed been victims of a type of crime. 

Conning and exploiting a nation's younger generation of students for the benefit of a certain segment of the senior generations is not only unethical, but extremely shortsighted, regressive and damaging. 

But that's the kind of thing sociopathic pigs do. They take and take selfishly. They have little or no concern for others. They erroneously feel they have earned all that they have (never seeing how they have taken advantage of, or benefited from, the society they live in) and resent any actions by others who try to access even basic fairness, or success. They gloat or blame, but tend to rarely be objective and honest about the issues.

Sound like the Baby Boomer Generation- the beast that eats it's young? Yup, it is.

"I've Got Mine": Not all Boomers are greedy sociopaths, but as a whole they have really done a shitty job with things and have run the country into the ground, while constantly putting their interests first.
Of course there are exceptions, and not all people born in one era can be described by a few sweeping generalizations, but collectively this group has been exceptionally greedy, self-centered and disgusting in their approach to human existence. And the evidence is all around us, from the state of the economy, to foreign relations, and the environment. 

It has been suggested that with less emphasis on global consciousness and multi-culturalism in their youth, these folks were prime candidates for developing attitudes of false superiority, and believing nationalistic propaganda during more prosperous times in our history. One can often see this reflected in conversations with Boomers, as it is pervasive in their attitudes, and political views.

The Guinea Pig Generation: If only they knew then what they know now.

As someone in my mid-thirties, I feel I am from the "Guinea Pig Generation", although not a term used by sociologists. "The American Gravy Train" started coming off the tracks, as my generation experienced their early twenties in the 9/11 era, and later suffered greatly by the Wall Street Economic Raping of 2008, that caused so much destruction. More than three decades of failed economic policy and political terrorism against the non-elite was starting to manifest in some obvious ways.

We spent our childhoods being marketed the virtues of higher education and career fulfillment. From parents, teachers, politicians, and personal finance "experts" we were told education was the key to success and a worthy investment in our futures.

Our Boomer parents hoped to see us achieve even more than they had- as if increasing materialism were a sustainable concept. But we were actually some of the first to realize that a college degree was not quite as useful as we were told it was, and had expected it to be. This led many of us to fall for the "more is better" trap of graduate schools and advanced degrees. 

We were the first to struggle en masse with crushing debt loads from college, and to have six figure debts. We were the generation of the unpaid internship, and the "increasingly global economy" that was so often a selling point in our "versatile degree" choices. 

Our generation watched once-respected degrees like Law reduced to worthless rip-off scams, and life-long debt nightmares for people who should have been in a position to help our country grow and prosper in all ways. 

It is a despairing situation to say the least. But in the last year I have found a cause for hope. There is a younger generation that seems to be more conscious at an earlier phase of their development than mine was. They have had the unfortunate advantage of seeing the shit storm unfold in their youth, and the wise are reading the writing on the wall. 

They are engaged (with those from other generations who are paying attention) in Occupy Wall Street and related efforts. They are resurrecting student governments on campuses to be places of political change, and not resume builders. They talk about student debt at conferences, workshops and parties. They voice their concern online and in the streets.

I have been to two recent events and the students there were WAY MORE aware of the evils of corporate and political corruption that threaten them than the Guinea Pigs ever were, or the Boomers care to realize.

Check out: Default: The Student Loan Documentary and Student Labor Action Project and United States Student Association

I am proud of this young generation. I even heard a high school senior at a talk about student debt, who was worried about "investing" in college at all. The Guinea Pigs were just letting high school guidance counselors tell them to go to the best school they could get into at that age. 

Times are finally changing. I think this generation is the one who will take it back for us in this country, if it ever is to happen. And we can all work together on that.

Sure, there are the dumbasses amongst them who can't go five seconds without text messaging, or who think Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Jersey Shore are good shows- but they are young still, and every group has a variety within it. Unlike, the generation that came before me, I care about those coming after us. Waking up is the first step, and these guys woke up early. 

Keep up the good work! Here's a great article related to this subject.

Hell yeah!!
Real Time Web Analytics