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The wrong road

July 20, 2013

Higher education used to be considered the pathway to success. It is becoming a road to a lifetime of indebtedness. Our nation is crippling itself with student loan debt....

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Jul-20-13 2:50 AM

"a system that forces our youth to become indentured servants for decades in order to get an education,.." No one "forces" our youth to get an education. As the value of education decreases so should the number seeking an "education". And: About "free" education: Sorry. There is very little that is "free" on this earth. If the student doesn't benefit, someone does, the cost of which comes right out of the parents' and the 'taxpayers' pocket

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Jul-20-13 5:12 AM

No one "forces" our youth to get an education. As the value of education decreases so should the number seeking an "education"

Richardson I totally disagree and I think that is a horrible attitude to have regarding higher education for our youth. IMO the doctor is correct. And the numbers he is citing are low in my opinion. Why are we burdening our young men and women with what amounts to a mortgage before they even start out in life? I place the blame on the universities and colleges that charge these ridiculous tuitions to educate our youth. We wonder why this country is falling further behind in education amongst other nations in the world.

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Jul-20-13 5:37 AM

It's a very rare occasion that I agree with Vosk on anything, but he is 100% correct with this LTE.

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Jul-20-13 5:56 AM

"Once again Congress has failed to solve a critical problem, although they have done a pretty good job for the banks and lending companies who lobby them." - Arno Vosk M.D.




5/10/13 - "Consumer protection maven Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced her first piece of legislation this week, a proposal that would allow students to take out government educational loans at the same rate that big banks pay to borrow from the federal government."


Elizabeth Warren: Students Should Get the Same Rate as the Bankers

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Jul-20-13 6:15 AM

allowing our boarders to be so open, turning our heads away from dealing with illegal immigration reduces work and drives up unemployment – I wonder if you would be willing to solve that issue? The unemployment rate is much higher than you report. Those numbers exclude the persons who stopped looking for work. Many believe the number is well into the teens. I wonder if you feel the solution is to use the Fed and tax payer money to lower the burden? If so, when will it end? The fact is our country’s debt is becoming unmanageable and yet there is wasteful spending and boondoggles at every turn. Imagine, years ago would anyone have believed so many cities would have to turn to bankruptcy? What happens when its States?

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Jul-20-13 6:46 AM

Some questions that Dr. Vosk did not address:

Why does college cost so much?

Why doesn't anybody complain about it?

Why do students pursue careers in so many fields that don't pay much money?

The old joke has some truth to it - What's the most common thing said by Liberal Arts graduates? Do you want fries with that? Seriously, how many jobs are out there for people that major in Art History or Philosophy?

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Jul-20-13 6:59 AM

richardson-"No one "forces" our youth to get an education."

I disagree. Society and Employers are requiring, more and more, that kids get an education, in a lot of cases for nothing more than to 'prove they can accomplish something'. Why does a McDonalds manager need a college education?

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Jul-20-13 6:59 AM

"France, Germany, Brazil, India and many other countries provide free higher education for their citizens." Actually, the education isn't free, as anyone living in those countries will tell you. However, what the citizens of those countries will tell is that they have entered into a social contract with their fellow citizens to share in the cost of higher education. Just as the citizens of France and Germany have also entered into a social contract to share in the cost of health care. And such "socialism" has worked out pretty well for both France and Germany. In fact, we see France and Germany, especially Germany, carrying the European Union through the current economic crisis.

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Jul-20-13 7:07 AM

"The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 62 percent of all U.S. jobs now require two-year or four-year degrees and higher, or special postsecondary occupation certificates or apprenticeships. By 2020 it is expected that these talent requirements will increase to include 75 percent of U.S. jobs."

Looking at these figures, it doesn't appear the student loan situation is go in to get any better and I'm sure the higher education institutes look at these same numbers when figuring out their profit margin. I believe the student loan crisis will mirror the mortgage crises in the near future.

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Jul-20-13 7:10 AM

At one time not too long ago, one could get an entry level job out of high school and work their way up. OTJ training was the norm, now it's the exception. I was a vo-tech student in High School, taking Autobody repair. After high school I went to WACC (now Penn Tech) for welding. I graduated and couldn't find a job for more than a year, collecting unemployment for 56 weeks from a part time job I had that closed down and a job I had at Grummans my last year in WACC as part of a work study program that also closed down as the retooled for the start of the mail truck contract.

The first job I found was working as a short order cook at a small restaurant. 4 years later I moved to Bucknell as a cook. after 8 years I moved again to my present job, which I've held for 18 years and from which I'll most likely retire from. All OJT from that $4/hour job I started at.

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Jul-20-13 7:17 AM

The moral of the story is that people don't need a college education to succeed. What they need is for Employers to quit demanding college educations for employment. They need society to tell them that they shouldn't expect to make top dollar right out of school and they need to work hard at what they do no matter how much they are getting paid and actively look for opportunities to better themselves where they exist. I am living the American dream. My parents didn't have the money to help me out and most times didn't have two nickels to rub together at the end of the week, but they worked and we had what we needed and they set an example. I am proud to say that their dream, any parents dream, that their children have it better than they do, has been realized in me. That dream can be realized without a college education if we just change our attitude.

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Jul-20-13 7:30 AM

I completely agree with mikekerstter and Gyst. The idea of degrees for many jobs is ridiculous whether labor or office. As an FYI for anyone who considers returning to college after middle age: Social Security can and is being attached for student loan debt. I was curious about this and did very little research to determine it is true. Kerstetter is absolutely correct. there are many entry level jobs that do not require a degree but became classified as such. I don't know what the common experience here is, however, there was a time when a diploma was the key to a reasonable job, a B.A. or B.S. was a great job, and everything above literally guaranteed a upper level job. How did we get to this point? Were most student loans government backed and then employers were encouraged to upgrade qualifications if receiving any subsidy or tax break? Looking for the answer to this. Anyone already know?

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Jul-20-13 7:43 AM

The value of an education has not decreased.

No one forces our youth to get an education, yeah they do. First up parents, second government, third businesses/industry, fourth society, fifth the military.

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Jul-20-13 7:52 AM

"Why does college cost so much?"

It depends on the college.

"Why doesn't anybody complain about it?"

Complain about the cost or why it costs so much. People are complaining about the cost and the debt accumulated.

"Why do students pursue careers in so many fields that don't pay much money?"

So much for 'pursuit of happiness', how do you know it will not pay off?

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Jul-20-13 7:53 AM

I think the reason more and more companies are requiring a degree is because of supply and demand. There are a lot more people in the job market today with degrees so some companies don't even look at those without them.

Mr. Reeder the military only requires a high school education unless you want to get into the officer program and everyone should be pushed to get a High School education.

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Jul-20-13 7:56 AM

"So much for 'pursuit of happiness', how do you know it will not pay off?"

Mr. Reeder, I agree. Money should not be the driving factor in obtaining a degree if it's not a career you are going to be happy with.

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Jul-20-13 7:57 AM

Industry still demands for an educated work force and more so past the high school level. You are not going to get a decent paying job without some sort of college education.

Better yet with the companies that demand an educated work force why have they stopped hiring?

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Jul-20-13 8:02 AM

GysgtUSMC, yes a high school education will get you entry in the military but if you want to advance in the military you need that college degree or why would their be a West Point or any other college geared to turning out military leaders? When my relatives where in the service they were inudated with colleges courses to pursue while in the military. When you leave the service the government rewards that service with help going to college.

The military 'forces' education. You want ot get ahead in the military you better have that degree to go with it.

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Jul-20-13 8:10 AM

Industry today has the attitude of why are they going to hire a person with a degree when there are so many people that have degrees. Personally I think it's nonsense. I know when I was in the military there was nothing worse than some snot nose lieutenant telling me what to do just because he had a degree. Even though I had years of experience over him. Hiring a person with a degree doesn't guarantee you're getting what you're paying for. I would rather hire someone like Mike, that worked his way thru the trenches. But companies today feel they get the cream of the crop with the degree requirement when a degree really isn't necessary. A degree doesn't give you common sense.

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Jul-20-13 8:16 AM

Mr. Reeder, you can still advance in the military without a college degree. You have an enlisted rank structure and an officer rank structure. I retired as E-7 with the top being E-9. I was selected for E-8 before I retired but I would have had to do an additional 2 years to retain the rank. Saying you need a college education to advance and succeed in the military is just not true and I wouldn't make that assumption to many high ranking enlisted men in the military.

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Jul-20-13 8:40 AM

A degree is a door opener when seeking employment, but so is experience; it depends upon the position and a company’s HR policies. Once on the job, performance is the primary factor to get ahead. There are many ways to succeed if one applies him or her self.

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Jul-20-13 8:50 AM

This is what happens with gov't involvement in education.

First, high school graduates are poorly educated today, with declining standards.

Second, to compensate, colleges must offer remedial courses to students that they never needed to offer in th past. Reason: high school did not teach them proper math or reading.

Gov't subsidized college loans allowed universities to escalate the cost of education without any decrease in demand.

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Jul-20-13 8:51 AM

The entire education system is riddled with gov't involvement.

That is all you need to know to understand why it is failing.

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Jul-20-13 8:53 AM

The gov't took over the student loan program and look what it has turned into. A Trillion dollar loan catastrophe with an interest rate that just doubled. That will surely keep college graduates further indentured to the gov't for a long time. Just another way to bankrupt the country.

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Jul-20-13 8:54 AM

No wonder you went no further in the military with that attitude.

Phil without that degree you were not getting in the door. They don't care how much expereience you have.

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