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Tag Archives: college educations

Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 1/5

This morning before I started work on the final draft of this series of posts, I saw that the media painted grandparents as victims of evil student debt.

AnnaMaria Andriotis writing for the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money said, “Tens of thousands of retirees have fallen behind on student loans—and the feds are coming after their Social Security benefits.”

I’m sure that many reading this will disagree with me but in my opinion, if grandpa signed for the loan and the payments come from Social Security, too bad. I do not care what the reason was for the loan. In most of these cases, parents/grandparents cosigned for the student loan of a child or grandchild in college. I have a sister-in-law that co-signed for $60,000 in student loans for her oldest son so he could attend Stanford (he spent some of this borrowed money on a trip to Europe).

If that had been my son, he would have started at a community college for the first two years and then transfered to a state college to earn his BA, and because I am a former US Marine and Vietnam veteran, the tuition would have been zero in California—one of the benefits of putting your life-on-the-line for your country.

If common sense were involved and the grandparent/parent wasn’t sure the child was making smart choices in college, what happened to the word “NO, I won’t sign! Get a job!”?

And then kick them out of the house or cut them off without a dime.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression and when I graduated from high school, I was told, go to college or pay rent, so I made a third choice and joined the US Marines and went straight to Vietnam after boot camp.

Maybe student loans are debt slavery (aren’t all loans a form of debt slavery?), but the grandparents/parents signed away their financial freedom and the law says it was legal.

Dragging grandparents into this debate is another example of the recent media hate binge against college education and student loans. From what I have read and heard and then discovered on my own, this has been mostly one sided—in short, propaganda but for what purpose?

Do not believe what you are reading/hearing from the media and in Blogs.  This issue is complicated and not easy to explain, but there are other numbers that tell a different story.

For example, in 1972, the population of the United States was almost 212 million. Today it is more than 310 million—an increase of 46%.

On August 2, 2012, there were 17.5 million students attending US colleges and Universities (private and public).

However, in 1973, there were 6.8 million students attending college (private and public)—an increase of 257%  since 1973. In addition, in 2009-10, 270,666 of those college students were military veterans attending college on a GI Bill (anyone may join the military and take advantage of whatever GI Bill is available for education).

Continued August 15, 2012 in Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Debating about the “Educated Elite” – Part 2/2

The discover what being a member of the “educated elite” means we must consider a combination of income and education. Before doing this, we should understand the definition of “elite”—

1. a group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status

2. the most powerful, rich, gifted, or educated members of a group, community, etc

3. a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status

There is no way that students in the Part 1 video, that have not completed college or might never graduate, belong to the “educated elite”.

If you click on this link at Wikipedia, you will discover that the “educated elite” are those that graduated from college with at least a BA and are earning at or above the medium for their educational level.

The higher the earnings linked to education, the higher the elite status. The median household income in the US is $45,016 annually while households with less than a 9th grade education earn less than $19,000 compared to the median income of a Bachelor’s degree at $68,728 climbing to $100,000 annually for a household income from Professional degrees, which represents the real “educated elite”.

Since we have no way of knowing that any of those people on that video filmed at CSU Fresno (in Part 1) belong to the real “educated elite”, it is wrong to infer colleges are not doing their job.

At first I thought I wouldn’t have signed the ban. Now that I’ve had a few hours to think, I changed my mind and would sign knowing that due to the Constitution and the guarantee of free speech in America that Limbaugh and Beck would not be banned as they might be in Cuba, the USSR or China.

The reason I’d sign is a way to protest how these two and others like them have taken advantage of free speech in the US to twist the facts to deceive the uneducated or the functional illiterate. which is a much larger number than the “educated elite”.

Functional illiteracy in the United States is growing at a rate of over 2 million new inductees per year into its ranks… Statistics show that functional illiterates in this country:

  1. Constitute 70% of the prisoners in state and federal prisons
  2. That 85% of juvenile offenders are classified as functionally or marginally illiterate
  3. That 43% of those with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty
  4. Over 42 million American adults can’t read
  5. Another 50 million read at fourth or fifth grade levels
  6. The total number of functionally illiterate adults increases by approximately 2.25 million persons every single year

My “old” conservative friend inferred that the people signing that ban we see in the Part 1 video were examples of America’s “educated elite”.  Really?  That’s quite a stretch after considering all the facts.  One fact for sure, although Rush Limbaugh earns much more than most of the educated elite, he doesn’t belong to that group since he never graduated from college.

Return to Debating about the “Educated Elite” – Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Education, media, politics

 

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