Our "Let's Pretend" Economy: Let's Pretend Student Loans Are About Education (March 7, 2012)
Let's pretend student loans aren't just a stupendous and highly profitable scam being run on the youth of America. Of course pretending doesn't make it so.
We have a "let's pretend" economy: let's pretend the unemployment rate actually reflects the number of people with full-time jobs and the number of people seeking jobs, let's pretend the Federal government borrowing 10% of the GDP every year is sustainable without any consequences, let's pretend the stock market actually reflects the economy rather than Federal Reserve monetary intervention, and so on.
We also have a "let's pretend" education/student-loan game running: let's pretend college is "worth" the investment, and let's pretend student loans are about education. There are three dirty little secrets buried under the education/student-loan complex's high-gloss sheen:
1. Student loans have little to do with education and everything to do with creating a new profit center for subprime-type lenders guaranteed by the Savior State.
2. A college diploma's value in the real world of getting a job and earning a good salary in a post-financialization economy has been grossly oversold.
3. Many people are taking out student loans just to live; the loans are essentially a form of "State funding" a.k.a. welfare that must be paid back.
We've got a lot of charts that reflect reality rather than hype, so let's get started. Despite all the bleating rationalizations issued by the Education Complex, higher education costs have outstripped the rest of the economy's cost structure. Funny how nobody ever asks if there is any real competitive pressure in the Education Complex; there isn't, and why should there be when students can borrow $30,000 a year?
Continue reading on of two minds.com - Charles Hugh Smith