Sheepskin Stratagem

September 13, 2014

tumblr_loh9fkBUx81qfralpo1_500Bright and a bit windy this Saturday afternoon here on California’s north coast — another day in the life.

Elizabeth Warren is one of the better ones in DC — she’s got an Op/Ed on the US Senate’s upcoming Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, and the details, but the opening paragraph is a mouthful/sonofabitch (via MarketWatch):

Student loan debt is exploding. It has grown so much and so fast that it not only crushes millions of young people, but it also has started to weigh down our entire economy. Total nationwide student debt now stands at $1.2 trillion, more than the total credit card debt owed by everyone in America.

A shitload of money, and a shitload of college graduates, heading to where?

(Illustration: A John Tenniel pen-and-ink, from ‘Allice in Wonderland,’ found here).

Forty years ago this past June, I received my ‘college degree’ from the University of Florida — tuition was ridiculous and I also had the GI Bill. And I received my associate degree while still in the Air Force — cheap!
Nowadays, though, and from hence a long way back, the cost of college has gone way-beyond ridiculous.

And add insult to the tab, the old sheepskin ain’t what it used to be.
From the New York Times:

Among families of all ages, those with more education tend to earn more than those with less.
But that differential appears to be shrinking, at least for younger families.
In 1989, the median income of families headed by young college graduates was twice that of similar families headed by high school graduates who never attended college.
Now, the difference is only 52 percent.
There are more college graduates in the group, but those graduates have a lower real median income than their predecessors.

And us baby boomers are ridiculously-linked with this enormous student debt — an ironic, crazy circle of the over educated.
From the Guardian yesterday:

While young people have earned most of the attention for the burden of student loans – the national plague of debt that now numbers $1tn – baby boomers are suffering too.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 3 percent of those 65 and older carry student loan debt – which adds up to 706,000 older households that owe $18.2bn into their golden years.
About 82 percent of the loans taken out by retirees were for their own education.
Overall, about 3.75 million of students enrolled in college in 2011 are 35 or older.
For those under 64, that number dropped to 73 percent.
Alarmingly, 27 percent of the student loans held by the under-64 group were for their children’s educations.
This suggests that boomers and millennials are tied together by the common bond of shared student debt.
In order to repay their outstanding student loans, the Treasury takes a little over $130 a month from the social security benefits of anyone over 65 who still owes money on student loans. In 2013, the Treasury collected $150m that way.

Not from my little, skimpy SS — I’m nearly a three-week-old ‘retiree’ and no debts from them way-begone college days
Yet in a world going to shit in a wire basket, a sad state of affairs for poor old people:

The trend of garnishing social security benefits for student loans exists because of outdated measures of what constitutes poverty.
In 1998, Congress decided that the Treasury could not collect payments from those who would see their benefits reduced below $750.
The calculation was based on what the poverty line was at the time, the GAO report noted.

Read more about this sucking seniors dry shit at HuffPost.

Sheep skinned by a mental American dream — you gotta be asleep to believe it.

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