Immigration Bad, Quiverfull Good?

Immigration Bad, Quiverfull Good? July 15, 2019
May I remind you that these Costa Rican school children are not the ‘right’ kind of immigrants for Bayly and pals. These are the same sorts of kids that Bayly wants to out-breed and keep locked up in concentration camps.

It’s not  hard for Tim Bayly of Out of Our Minds to make me drop my coffee cup first thing in the morning by shocking me with his  ill-reasoned ideas. But in this piece Tim is a little extra special bad.  He kills two Quiverfull bugaboos with one rock. Says immigration bad, Quiverfull good.

This piece has it all! Christian martyrbating! Out-breeding scary brown people! Fake claims about immigration in the U.S.! White middle class entitlement!

So much white entitlement going on in this piece. Bayly is upset more good white people are not having babies, that the replacement rate of people in our country is plummeting. He tries to claim that the answer that the U.S.A. practices is replacement by immigration. Not if you are brown!

Who is he kidding? This weekend saw massive ICE raids, removing immigrants from our country. We’re being torn apart over the issues of who is worthy to enter our country. There are literally thousands of small children locked up in what amounts to concentration camps merely because they and their parents dared to try for the “American Dream” Denied of even basic necessities and held illegally. Desperate people running from violence, poverty, government upheavals and drug violence.

Oh, but that’s right, they are brown people, poor brown people, not the white Christians that Tim Bayly and others want to breed. Did you know that Quiverfull started as a way to outbreed Muslims and other scary brown people? Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies has admitted as much.

So Tim Bayly reports on an action taken by an all white European nation as the solution to our problems. Here’s his list of what Hungary does.

Rather than coping with its below replacement level birthrate by immigration as the United States and Western Europe do, Hungary has decided they want more Hungarian children. Here are some of the government incentives they have implemented:

  • Government loans exceeding $35,000 to women when they marry before the age of 40

  • Forgiveness of one-third of the loan upon the birth of a second child

  • Forgiveness of the balance of the loan upon the birth of a third child

  • Lifelong exemption from income tax after mother has four children

  • Subsidies for housing that increase with family size

  • Subsidies for cars with seven or more seats

Sounds, dare I say, communist or socialist. I’m pretty sure that Bayly does not understand that in Europe having a child is very different. A European parent has many more government helps and supports than in the U.S. Even as far back as Hitler and the Nazi government.

I remember the years I lived in Germany finding out that the German government had payments put in place that allowed working mothers to stay home much longer, we’re talking years, than anything in the States. Here it’s usually six weeks unpaid leave and you go right back to work.

Governments working to help working parents is a good thing that benefits everyone. We need a skilled labor force, safe childcare and the option to stay home if that’s what you decide.

Seeing the approaching storm, governments are desperate for a solution. Most solve it by importing immigrants to do their babymaking and other menial tasks. This is the approach we here in the United States of America have taken.

Hungary decided otherwise. She likes herself, so she decided Hungarians should make babies.

Hungarian Vice President Szilárd Németh remarked, “those who pump the world full of babies will rule the earth.” Or more crassly in the original, “aki teleszüli a világot, azé a világ…”

Again, how is the U.S. solving their replacement rate if immigration is at a sort of standstill at the moment? It’s not like scads of white people from the approved countries Bayly and others of his ilk are rushing to come here.

Nemeth’s line about pumping the world full of babies in context of taking over and ruling has been the fantasy of every single Quiverfull enforcer. A world that can be ruled like Hulu’s show “The Handmaid’s Tale” with the twisted evil interpretation of the Bible being the only law. The show at least exhibits how poorly that works out for everyone.

Bayly ends his piece with an almost non-sequitur, a tale of some pal of his being prosecuted in a court of law for making his pile of grandkids double up on seatbelts. Safety laws exist for a reason and being Quiverfull, white and Christian does not exempt people from obeying the law. Weird ending to a piece.


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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington You can read more about the author here.D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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  • SAO

    A number of countries have tried paying women to have babies. France and the USSR spring to mind. The results have been pretty uniform, regardless of the culture (France and the Soviet Union are not at all similar). Women or families that have few skills and no earning potential decide that baby making is a worthwhile career. Those kids tend to live in areas with poor schools and grow up to be more people who see babymaking as their best career option.

    Frankly, a baby premium would be taken advantage of by all the ‘welfare queens’, whom Bayley probably doesn’t want to support or to see reproduce. My guess is his preferred groups (white christians) would be outnumbered by all the other groups in America.

  • Tawreos

    The only reason to worry about becoming a minority is if you have enjoyed treating minorities poorly and are worried that they will treat you the same way. I’ll just be over here living my life and trying not to antagonize strangers for stupid things like skin color or place of birth while I do so.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    Only non-whites can be “welfare queens”. Paying people to have children works. /s

  • Aloha

    Any concern for the birth rate of our whales, mountain lions, owls, or narwhals?
    Oh dear, only 322,000,000 humans in this country. We’ve got to boost our population!!! /s

  • Martin Penwald

    That’s what they call “white genocide”. It’s such a dumb idea.

    Besides, the best way to rise natality is to keep women uneducated, especially (but not only) about sex.

  • Jennny

    Timmie should meet Mrs Rodrigues who recently posted pics she took from a plane of the Rockies below with the comment that this proved that over-population was satan’s lie, look how much space there was down there…so women shoild all stay home and have a quiverful as god intended…I really think the combined IQ of both these idiots can barely add up to double figures!

  • Nea

    Didn’t the Mussers get their severely undernourished, ill, mentally delayed adoptees from a Hungarian orphanage?

  • Friend

    Bayly ends with this, uh, devastating comment:

    A friend who is a grandfather is in court today. His appearance is mandatory. His crime?

    He didn’t have enough seat belts, so two of his grandchildren were doubled up.

    So Gramps broke at least one law by having the kids share a seat belt. Following the law is usually a good example for grandchildren. Bayly might be implying something about Big Brother keeping the fecund in their place… who knows and who cares. But the law is there for a reason. Bayly does not mention the ages of the children, but “buddy buckling” can cause some horrific injuries in a crash. And were these children sharing a shoulder harness? Was either of them supposed to be in a child safety seat? How many kids were in the car? Why was Gramps pulled over to begin with?

  • SAO

    At least one was from a Bulgarian orphanage, adopted during the transition from communism to capitalism, which was a HUGE financial crisis. People’s life savings got inflated to nothing, as did funding for orphanages. I doubt Bulgarian orphanages are great places to be today, but I’d guess that the funding probably covers decent nutrition, as opposed to something that was decent in January and didn’t cover much at all in December.

  • SAO

    If someone sees 4 kids in a back seat or 2 kids in a front seat, they know a seat belt violation is occurring.

  • smrnda

    It remains to be seen whether the proposed ‘solutions’ in Hungary actually increase the birth rate, or do so effectively. And what happens with you take out a loan but you can’t pay it back due to infertility?

    I’m also not sure why immigration is a bad thing. There was a time (not really so long ago) that the first members of my family came to the USA. And here we all are, with smaller than average families.

  • smrnda

    Hopefully this leads to a more thorough investigation.

  • AFo

    More women in my demographic would be having kids if we weren’t saddled with crippling student loan debt and could actually afford a home with enough space to raise a child. But of course Bayly doesn’t care about fixing that problem since he doesn’t think we should have gone to college in the first place

  • Friend

    The Soviet Union awarded a Mother Heroine medal to women who bore 10 or more children. From 1944 onward, it was intended to rebuild the population devastated by war—specifically the Russian population, not the population of other groups in the USSR. Over time, as I recall, fewer and fewer Russian women had enough children to get the award, and it went more often to non-Russians.

    Russia now has something with an even better name: the Order of Parental Glory.

    Take THAT, Quiverfull!

  • Saraquill

    I keep saying I want children, I just have nowhere to put them. One of my disabilities strongly limits my affordable housing options.

  • Saraquill

    Immigration sucked for Indians. Assholes kept/keep forcing us from their homes, starving us, shooting, infecting, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bayley and company fear similar happening to them.

  • Saraquill

    Don’t forget the Liberian, Ethiopian, Guatemalan and other brown children these people collected like Pokemon.

  • lady_black

    Who saddled you with student loan debt? Here’s a thought… if you can’t afford it without crippling debt, don’t do it. There are many alternatives to a 4 year university.
    And don’t accuse *me* of not wanting you to go to college in the first place. I want you to go to college. I also want you to be smart about it, and to pay back what you borrow.
    It’s a shame that a whole generation of kids was brainwashed into believing if you don’t have a four year degree, you don’t have squat. It simply isn’t true. Whatever happened to trade schools/technical colleges? Working for a scholarship? How about a two year degree that allows you to work in the field with the option to pay your own way toward a four year degree if you decide you need one?
    I’m not necessarily swayed by that student loan debt thing. The time to think about that is before you take the loan.

  • lady_black

    I don’t even WANT a loan. And I wouldn’t have had more children if gold dust dripped from their noses.

  • lady_black

    That just backs up my theory that women will usually not choose to be prodigious baby-ovens when they have better things to do.
    Yes, people will have more babies, but not necessarily those you think should have more babies. That’s why we should just leave these matters to women.

  • Talos2264

    The U.S already has a 327 million population. While Hungary isn’t even at 10 million. I doubt Tim would want me, and my wife having more children, since they will only be half-white.

  • If you want to see worse stuff than this piece, check out Canada Free Press: dumpster fire would be an upgrade. The stuff there is highly fascist.

    Did you know that Quiverfull started as a way to outbreed Muslims and other scary brown people?

    Does that include Muslims who are not brown? (I’m not sure how many Americans know this, but I read that Muslims are one of the most racially and ethnically diverse religions in USA.)

    Re: German benefits
    A cousin of mine took advantage of that. She is actually German, but she moved to Switzerland with her husband (who, while British, is a Swiss citizen bc his ex was Swiss). However, when she got pregnant, she returned to Germany to have her kids, bc Germany offers more maternity benefits than does Switzerland. And, her kids are Swiss citizens (as well as German citizens, IIRC) bc their dad is a Swiss citizen. (However, even though my cousin is an American citizen as well, bc my great uncle [her dad] is an American citizen, she never lived in USA, and thus her kids are not American citizens.)

  • Same with me, since I’m biracial. (However, I may be eligible for Hungarian citizenship if I learn Hungarian: my dad’s family is Croatian, and, when my great-grandpa passes through Ellis Island, Croatia was in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary. If Croats had Hungarian citizenship, I would be eligible for citizenship based on ancestry [and Hungary recognizes dual citizenship]. It would be nice to get EU citizenship, but I am not thrilled about Orban and his fascism.)

  • This reminds me of something I read in a Catholic devotional: Fr Joseph Donders, the author, tells of how an African student, in a discussion about abortion, asks why the focus is always on induced abortions and not on addressing the poverty and otger social ills that lead to spontaneous abortions (miscarriages). He suggested is that it would mess with the system too much.

  • Some trivia on USSR: Josef Stalin actually restricted abortion access in the Soviet Union.

  • cynthiajeub

    Oh yeah, this is so true. I remember my dad preaching sermons from books that were full of fear that the Muslims or Hispanics will outnumber whites. They only want white babies that are cis and heterosexual and that don’t stray from whatever they projected on them as fetuses.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Ah, old school racism. It never seems to die, does it? I love how he’s invoking Orban, who’s basically a modern fascist and is turning Hungary into pre-WWII Italy.

    Also, it seems to me like Bayly is spoiling for some of that good ol’ fashioned Lebensraum, aren’t ya, buddy?

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Because as we all know, people who are fresh out of high school are in the prime state of mind to contemplate things as complicated as debt, compound interest, and the like. That’s just the sort of thing a 19-year-old who is fixated on their future career, trying to determine what college they’re going to, and the like thinks about.

    It’d be one thing if you could jettison it by going into bankruptcy, but you can’t even do that. This alone makes student loan debt decidedly unlike other forms of debt, which can be jettisoned when you file bankruptcy. This means that unless you meet some very specific requirements laid out ahead of time, you are not getting rid of the debt. You just aren’t. And you aren’t paying it back on minimum wage, either.

    Really, what you’re doing is taking out multiple loans at varying interest rates each that amount to $30,000+ on a potential job. You aren’t even guaranteed an actual one — and I don’t know about you, but when I take out a loan on car, I know that I’m getting an actual car, so something with this image is absolutely wrong. But if you don’t, your odds of landing any job are almost non-existent.

    trade schools/technical colleges?

    Those aren’t free. You aren’t paying as much for a college degree, sure, but not everyone is cut out for a trade and most trades are facing automation threat. That’s not a solution to the problem, and it certainly doesn’t deal with the fact that the current student loan debt is over a trillion. I’m just waiting for that bubble to pop; that’s going to be spectacular in the worst way possible; if you thought 2008 was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  • lady_black

    That simply isn’t true. Most trades cannot be taken over by automation. I’m talking welding, plumbing, electrician, and health technology jobs that require human know-how.
    I know they aren’t free. My nursing school wasn’t free either, but I didn’t borrow lots of money that I couldn’t pay back. In fact I borrowed NOTHING, I got a scholarship and a small grant that covered books and uniforms. All the rest came out of my extremely limited resources, and once I was working as a nurse, I paid out of pocket to go back to school.
    And yes, I think part of the blame should go with your parents if they didn’t try to warn you about big borrowing. Still, you were an adult and under no compulsion to listen, and you made a mistake. But the bottom line is, you ordered the steak. You ate the steak. Now, pay for the steak! It’s unfair to those who didn’t run up big debts because they thought better of it.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    I’m talking welding, plumbing, electrician, and health technology jobs that require human know-how.

    Oh, those can absolutely be replaced. Especially welding, and it depends on the healthcare technology job. Jobs like surgeon are absolutely on the chopping block. Other jobs like nurse are not, because automation only extends so far.

    And none of this changes the fundamental fact that not everyone is cut out for a trade job, even the ones that aren’t under automation threat.

    In fact I borrowed NOTHING, I got a scholarship and a small grant that covered books and uniforms.

    That’s cool. Is this where I remind you that not everyone is you?

    and you made a mistake.

    Because the best thing to do about people making mistakes is to punish people for making them. That way nobody tries anything.

    You ate the steak.

    A steak is different from a student loan. To start with, it’s a lot cheaper and healthier. Second, nobody except an exceptionally wealthy person is eating a $30,000+ steak.

    To take the metaphor more abstractly, if I have to take out a loan to afford a steak, I can jettison that debt that in bankruptcy. I cannot do that with student loans, ergo, they are fundamentally different from other forms of debt and you really can’t compare them.

    It’s unfair to those who didn’t run up big debts because they thought better of it.

    Just like housing assistance and government assistance, as well as universal healthcare, is unfair to the people who “actually work” and can actually afford it?

  • DogGone

    Actually, everyone will be part of a minority, because not all minorities agree with one another and no one minority will make up the majority.

  • smrnda

    The problem is that most high school students know very little about the job market, and most adults who can give them advice (parents, teachers) likely don’t have any advice that is up to date.

    Another thing is that I don’t want a system where whether or not people go to college depends on the income of their parents. Sure, there are other options for people whose families can’t afford to pay their way through, but those options can come with disadvantages. The trades can pay well, but they are physically demanding, subject to periodic unemployment and an injury can compromise your ability to work. Scholarships can help disadvantaged students, but they often just end up giving extra money to the kids from the best educated and most affluent families who know the most about applying for colleges and finding scholarships. they can even pay people to coach them. I didn’t have any special coaching, but I ended up winning scholarships that I didn’t really need since my family could have paid the tuition. Then think of performance in college. Students who can focus on their classes and don’t have to worry about paying their bills have an advantage.

    And then there are high paying and high status fields that are horrible with representation. In the computer science field, we had more students from African than African Americans. Are there options other than a degree in engineering? Sure, but when a demographic is underrepresented in a field, we’re going to have social problems. African Americans make up a small % of physicians, and that number has not improved for a very long time. And African Americans get inferior health care and have worse health outcomes.

    Maybe as someone who benefitted from our unfair system, my view is to change the system. Maybe college isn’t for everyone, and I think a great deal of college education needs to be re-examined in light of a changing job market, but putting the burden on individual students and families to finance education is just going to amplify existing disparities.

    I’m also in favor of better vocational education, and I think there might be some jobs that could be switched from ‘get 4 year degree’ to ‘do vocational training program.’ the market has offered ‘coding boot camps’ but these have not really delivered for the participants despite being hyped as a cure all for displaced workers. but a huge problem is that people in the tech field like to pretend it’s a meritocracy, and they refuse to admit how much getting ahead is social capital.

  • DogGone

    When I was in college, community colleges were part of California’s city school systems, and, apart from books (which we bought used and sold back) and student body fees (very low), were free to city residents or, through agreements with adjacent towns, other locals. That is no longer true. An inexpensive community college is almost $4000 a year. I went to a state 4 year college, which was also tuition-free. Now, colleges compete for a smaller pool of potential students with fancy facilities. Classes are taught by grad students and adjuncts paid slave wages, and with a BA or BS you can work as a barista, if you are lucky. We need to rethink the role of college in our society and look at whether the value graduates recieve from it is the same as it once was. I have connections who have worked in the system and there are serious concerns.

  • DogGone
  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    Same is true for quite a few technical schools, too. Especially online ones.

  • DogGone

    I didn’t borrow anything either, but that’s because the low tuition (and my ability to live at home and ride public transportation) allowed me to cover my expenses with a minimum wage job. Our child didn’t borrow anything until grad school because our savings paid her way, but, again, even 20 years ago, state university tuition was low. Expenses have exploded in the last 20 years. Some people are making a lot of money, and they aren’t the ones doing the teaching, that’s for sure. (Also, when we graduated, the economy was better. There were recruiters waiting in trailers in the parking lot on campus waving contracts. That’s not true now.)

  • DogGone

    Exactly! Some very surprising people, including surgeons, railroad engineers, and, as you point out, welders, are being replaced as we speak, e.g. Even creatives are threatened. Oh, and there’s this too–

  • DogGone

    Lady, high schools used to have night school to teach technical and life skills. High schools are located conveniently in neighborhoods and high school teachers are qualified to teach shop, tech, language, and other skills. Some job skills could certainly be taught this way, inexpensively, but there wouldn’t be profit in it for those at the top so don’t look for it to happen.

  • DogGone

    There are many advantages to being child-free. Even with your disability, there are probably opportunities in your community to share time with and help children, if you want to.

  • DogGone

    I know (rolls eyes). I don’t get why more people in an increasingly technological world is seen as a good thing. We are short on water, fuel, recreational space, and, in much of the world, food. If the population is declining instead of exploding, I say, hooray!

  • DogGone

    LOL! Same here 🙂

  • Delta

    “Whatever happened to trade schools/technical colleges?” Yup, I’ll just go get my medical degreee from a trade school… Different people seek out different career paths. There is a problem in that “trade” careers have been frowned upon by society and parents, but the solution to that is not to balk at any teenager who wants to teach or be an engineer or… so on.

    Scholarship availability also heavily depends on what university you’re going to, and where you come from. I had high standardized test scores, and at the university I go to that qualifies me for an amazing scholarship. But if I’d gone to a different school, I’d have been SOL — all the available scholarships were for people from very specific (often higher-income IIRC) areas. And third-party scholarships often give recipients relatively little. What, $250/semester for two semesters? That hardly covers textbooks. Yes, before you ask, even if you rent or buy them used!

    And, when it comes to two-year vs four-year degrees… Many professional jobs DO require a four-year degree. I know some people who have gone to a community college for two years to save money, then transferred to a four-year university to complete their Bachelor’s. But the scenario you describe is frankly not realistic for the 2019 job market.

    The fact of the matter is that student loans are a problem, and to blame the people struggling with it, as you are doing, rather than a broken system is… almost laughably absurd to me.

  • paganheart

    Yep, they’ve been privatized and bought out by for-profit corporations, emphasis on profit. Students are secondary to profit, if they matter at all, and the education and training is usually inferior.

    My sister is an office manager for a large medical practice. When they hire Medical Assistants, they usually have to choose between students who graduated from the MA program at a local, public community college, or students from a for-profit tech “institute” that got into the MA game a few years ago, because there were far more people who wanted into the MA program than the Community College could take, due to budget constraints.

    The for-profit tech school charges three times more than what the community college charges in tuition, but the students (most of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds) can get loans to cover it. Unfortunately, they do not offer training that is three times better; quite the opposite, in fact. At least so far, the students that come out of the for-profit tech school’s MA program are so poorly trained that they might as well not have gone to school. Often my sister’s office staff has to train or re-train the tech-school MAs. Many quit after just a few weeks or months on the job. And at a wage of $13 an hour (going rate for MAs in the area) the odds of them being able to pay off their $40,000 in student loan debt for an 18-month program (yes, really) are slim to none. They seldom have such problems with the MAs who come from the community college program.

    I don’t know what the answers are, but a few things I’d like to see: 1) No for-profit education. Period. 2) Vast expansion of tech programs at Community Colleges. 3) Vastly expand Pell Grants and allow them to be used at tech schools (not allowed now.)

  • Mel

    Yeah, seatbelts work well enough when the correct rules for age/weight/height are followed – and not at all when ignored.

    The problem with double-buckling is the same issue that babies in non-certified baby wraps get into during plane crashes. Being thrown in a crash is potentially fatal – but so is being tethered to another person who you will crash into multiple times at bad angles for head and neck injuries before the energy of the crash is dispersed.

    It’s the law – but that law is in place because of the laws of physics.

  • Mel

    The orphanage that the Mussers adopted out of seemed to be ok for most kids – but there was a floor where severely disabled kids were warehoused that was a house of horrors. The blog doesn’t mention it much – but Katie was so stressed by leaving the orphanage that she had a near fatal collapse while still in Bulgaria and was admitted to a Bulgarian hospital. The staff across the board was horrified that a child was nearly dead from neglect on their home soil – and this launched a series of reforms before the Mussers had left Bulgaria.

    Suzanna followed up on the changes for awhile – but her nose got bent out of shape that Bulgarians wanted to deal with their own messes themselves rather than be dictated to by potential adoptive parents from another country. (Personally, I trust the Bulgarians on the ground more than the Mussers watching from afar.)

  • Friend

    I am extremely grateful to a certain Ph.D., married, parent, pushing 40, who is still paying off college loan debt because loans were the only way for that person to finance that education. The person I am talking about saves lives and restores health in a rare area of health care. How can this possibly be unfair to somebody else? (The person does not complain, btw. The topic came up in a discussion about paying for college.)

  • Jenn H

    Kids aren’t really people in this paradigm, they’re just pawns in a culture war.

  • Allison the Great

    Bayly hates the idea of leaving these matters to women. He doesn’t think that women should have autonomy and that men should have authority over them.He thinks that us having a choice is the crux of the problem.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Trade schools are great. More people should go to them. But it’s patently unfair that a generation or two ago you could work your way through college with a part time or a summer job. And eventually we’ll run short enough of nurses and engineers that we’ll regret spiking annual tuition beyond per capita GDP. Much like fixing the nation’s water mains, the solutions will then be far more expensive than earlier measures would have been. And it will be to to millennials and younger generations to pay for it all, of course.

  • lady_black

    Oh well, sucks to be him, I guess!

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    My parents knew absolutely nothing about borrowing seeing as how they had never had the credit to get a loan on anything more expensive than a cheap beater used car. I had to research all about Federal loans, private loans, the FAFSA, grants, and scholarships with absolutely no adult assistance from anywhere. I concluded that the only way college was going to happen was by maxing out my scholarship opportunities, working a lot of hours over the summer and some during the school year, taking out loans in the rest, then enlisting in the military immediately upon graduation. Which I did.

    That’s a lot to ask a 17 year old to think through and decide. What if the kid is disqualified from military service, though? Or don’t want to spend their 20s rotating in and out of the Middle East like I did?

    I have cousins who’ve tried to finish college for a decade now to no avail. They’ve had to interrupt their studies so many times trying to pay as they go that they end up with new required courses each time they go back. They’ll end up with a lot more college credits than a bachelor’s degree requires and who knows when it will result in a degree at this rate? Meanwhile they’ve lost years of higher ending potential. I told them to just take out the loans at this rate but they’re scared to.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    I agree with you that vocational training needs to come back to high schools.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    That’s cool, but unlike Hungarians, the vast majority of us Americans are descended at least in part from immigrants.

  • Friend

    Not sure about surgeons… right now they are operating the robots and making decisions and judgments. The robots give them finer control in tiny spaces, but I don’t see robots replacing a trained medical mind. Do you have particular procedures in mind?

  • B.A.

    That doesn’t surprise me. Communist and fascist dictators throughout history have been known to do that. See: Romania under communist rule
    and Germany under Hitler.

  • lady_black

    Almost everyone who gets a medical degree graduates heavily in debt. They also make a lot of money.
    Not all professions require a BA or BS for entry level. You can be an RN with an associate’s degree, and there are MANY universities that offer RN to BSN bridges, if you decide that you need one. It’s a great deal for the universities and the students, because they don’t need to teach you everything about nursing. Basically, you just need to finish your core courses for a Bachelors Degree, and you can challenge any nursing courses you feel you can test out of because of experience. Most health professions offer a similar path. And it’s always better to finish your degree while working in the field, because you’re gaining experience that someone who just goes for the degree from scratch doesn’t have. You’ll start out with a built in advantage.
    I’ll also say that not everyone needs to be a doctor, and most people won’t be. We need people who know trades, too. We need people who can do plumbing, electrical work, engineering technologists, computer technologists, etc.
    Everyone isn’t called to the same field. But whatever field you’re called to, it’s best not to over-extend yourself in getting there. Yes, student debt is a problem. But it’s a problem that you took on. You got the benefit of your education. You ordered the steak, you ate the steak. You have to pay for the steak. You better be damn sure you can do that.

  • lady_black

    I waited until I didn’t need to involve my parents. They were adverse to disclosing their financial information and expecting to be on the hook for some of my expenses. So, I just did it without them!

  • lady_black

    Maybe everyone doesn’t need to start college right after high school? I didn’t, and I think I was a better student for it. I certainly knew myself better, and was clued in on what I needed.
    I don’t think kids who have their education as just another expensive gift from Mom and Dad appreciate their educations the same way I did. I watched too many of them fail out, because they weren’t ready for it/serious enough about it, and if they didn’t finish, it was no skin off their nose. I worked my ASS off, because I knew it was probably going to be my only chance.
    It could be a regional thing, but in this area there’s a technical college that serves mostly low income students, and offers only two-year degrees. But it’s an excellent education, and their graduates are always hired. It was founded by Thaddeus Stevens (yes, the guy who was behind getting the 14th amendment passed) and is named for him. It’s a model that could work anywhere. My nephew wants to go there to get a degree in welding.

  • lady_black

    Nope. Just like people who borrow money should actually repay it!
    There’s nothing wrong with borrowing money. Most people do borrow money at one time or another, or frequently. I didn’t get a FICO credit score of 804 by never touching any kind of borrowing, you know? That’s a ridiculous assertion.
    I just don’t have a whole lot of respect for people who borrow money and don’t pay it back. It’s… I don’t know… Trumpian. That’s one of the main reasons I see Trump as a person of low character. He gambled with other people’s money and left them holding the bag.
    I understand full well that some folks experience unforeseen tragedies, and experience hardships, and truly can’t pay their debts. One can have a tragic accident, and be unable to repay student loans because they’re too disabled to work. Such people should be able to discharge their loans. However, I don’t want to hear “It’s just too hard, and I’d rather spend my money on me.” That’s too bad.
    That’s just how I was raised, and believe me, I didn’t come up rich and privileged. I worked hard for everything I have, and it’s not much.

  • DogGone

    Wow! Yours too? I could have obtained a scholarship to a better school if my parents signed those papers. That’s why I worked at Sears and went to the local state college.

  • DogGone

    I was thinking of adult education, but, yes, the few remaining vocational programs such as graphic design, photography, music, and drama are the first to be cut as “frills.”

  • DogGone


  • DogGone

    People that would write such a thing don’t believe in physics. (winks)

  • Delta

    If you are referring to me with your insistence that “But it’s a problem that you took on. You got the benefit of your education. You ordered the steak, you ate the steak. You have to pay for the steak. You better be damn sure you can do that.”

    …I didn’t, actually. I took and re-took standardized tests until I got one high enough to qualify me for a great scholarship. Not everyone has that opportunity.

    I am not the strawman you seem to have constructed in your mind: some unwise, broke student who bit off more than they could chew and now wants a handout. Stop assuming that everyone who takes issue with your (as far as I can tell, classist) assumptions must have made poor life choices.

    And, to be honest, I’m not going for medical. It’s not for me. I was using that as an example; I am going into a field that generally requires a BS, though. Generally, you can make a decent enough living to pay off debt, but… it’s not a given, and even if you do get employed there’s still things like the pay gap, perfectly legal discrimination against certain groups, etc. to consider.

    I do not think my field should be off-limits to all but those born to rich parents willing to support them, or the few like me who are able to make the scholarship system work. Maybe, at the core, this is the difference between our outlooks: You see the reality that university can be inaccessible to some without egregious debt and think it ridiculous that anyone would pursue higher ed in those circumstances… while I think it’s ridiculous that those circumstances exist in the first place.

    Have you ever wondered to yourself why university costs so much that only the well-off can afford the full cost?

  • Saraquill

    My high school alma mater technically taught us a trade. The trouble is, the trade was out of demand for decades, the curriculum relied on software copyrighted to the year I was born, and they barely trained us for a year. Meanwhile, they discarded other tech classes like carpentry as “less important.”

  • smrnda

    Many white collar office jobs are up for automation, which is also perhaps why the returns on college haven’t been as expected. The job market rapidly shifted.

    And let’s also think about what people are likely to be the ones stuck with loans they can’t pay back. It tends to be POC, people from lower income backgrounds, and first in their family college students. Most kids from more privileged backgrounds might not like paying back loans, but the bank of mommy and daddy financed enough of their education that it’s possible. Some of those underprivileged students drop out and don’t earn a degree.

    The current system, to me, is built around keeping people like that out of college, and punishing them for daring to try to attend. It rewards wealthy mediocrities who can pay big tuition to expensive schools. That’s why grade inflation is such a thing at some of them.

    And then there are people like me. My tuition was paid for because my family had set aside money, and I had some left over because I got done a year early. Due to family who had industry contacts I got valuable job experience and internships that actually paid money. Sure, I actually studied, but cost was never an issue.

  • smrnda

    But isn’t there a problem where all the kids with rich mommies and daddies get to aspire to go to college and everybody else gets other options? That seems a bit like discouraging upward mobility, or at least encouraging less of it than would be preferable. Do we want all doctors to be people who grew up affluent? The tech industry is rapidly becoming dominated by Stanford alums. Is it great that such a powerful and influential industry is dominated by such a limited range of people? What happens when all the economists grew up wealthy?

    Saying ‘not everybody needs to be a doctor’ – there was a time when women and minorities were told that and that there were ‘other options’ that were good enough for them.

    Maybe drive, ability and ambition should matter, and not ‘can I find enough money?’ Because that’s handing a huge, unfair advantage to everyone who already has one.

  • smrnda

    This. I’m in a field that is overly dominated by people who grew up affluent and privileged, and it’s a huge problem. The field is going backwards in some measures of diverse representation.

  • smrnda

    I’d turn down kids if they came up with millions. Just not for me.

  • Brandon Roberts

    but muh babies.

  • SAO

    Apartments in Russia are small, getting a bigger one might take 10 to 20 years on a waiting list. When you have 4 kids in 45 square meters, where do you fit them? I had friends with one child in a 50 sq meter (500 +/- sq ft) apartment with two rooms — a smallish bedroom and room that would be a decent sized living room, but as the kitchen was too small for a table, it served as living room, dining room and bedroom. Frankly, I struggle to imagine fitting another child in that apartment, not to mention several more. And, thanks to difficulties getting housing, their son lived with them until he was over 30.

  • SAO

    Actually, a pro-child policy might help with that. A bonus for a first or second child might provide a down payment or help with daycare.

  • SAO

    Oh, come on! We have a system where we’re expecting 18 year olds to have the judgement and experience to make good decisions on loans of 10s of thousands of dollars. We don’t think they have enough judgement to buy alcohol and thought they had not enough judgement to make any legal decisions when they were 17. I don’t know how many banks would give 18 year olds car loans.

    Is this a realistic expectation? Maybe you were a particularly mature 18 year old, but most aren’t. That’s a basic fact of life.

  • SAO

    The cheapest way to get an engineering degree in my state is from the flagship university, which is 4 hours from my house, not commutable. My son got a scholarship that covered his tuition and a second scholarship to cover books. He was a national merit scholarship finalist, so in the top 1% of the country.

    But, the scholarships don’t cover room and board, which is $10k/year. My state isn’t a rich state, there’s a limit to the scholarships they can offer to talented students. You can’t take freshman intro to engineering at the community college within walking distance of our house. In short, the only way to get an engineering degree is a 4 year college and the cheapest way to do it, with TWO scholarships would involve 40$k of debt for a kid without parental support. That is the reality in 2019.

    Graduating with a degree in engineering and $40k in debt is a doable proposition, but what if a kid can’t hack the math? My son is doing some pretty advanced calculus often with terms I’ve never heard of and I’ve had a few years of college calculus.

  • Friend

    I have read that private student loans are not easy for anyone to understand, and there are penalties galore.

  • BridgetD

    This. All of this.

  • BridgetD

    I don’t want biological children for many reasons, but I would love to eventually be a foster mom.

    Unfortunately, I’m also disabled. My health problems are not well controlled, so I’m living with my parents until I can get on my feet…obviously, parenthood is put on hold indefinitely for this reason. It sucks.

  • BridgetD

    I’m actually looking at some opportunities to do just that. My degree is in education, but teaching full time has proven to be a challenge with some of my health problems. I would really like to volunteer with CASA (although I suspect that would be very emotionally draining) or some other program in my area that works with children in need.

  • Nea

    It’s a shame that a whole generation of kids was brainwashed into believing if you don’t have a four year degree, you don’t have squat.

    Brainwashed or paying attention? I have a college degree, one that doesn’t remotely apply to the job I actually do, plus specialist certifications. That degree opens more doors for me and brings higher salary offers than the certificates. Whereas a friend of mine with 30 years of experience in his field watches kids right out of college made more job offers than he gets with all that experience and no degree.

    So yes, you really don’t have much if you don’t have a degree.

    But blithely saying “Scholarships!” “trade school!” doesn’t work very well in the practical world, where scholarships are limited and trade schools options more so. Trade schools only exist for a handful of trades, so it’s not like someone who wants, say, to become a school teacher could take a 2-year or trade school to meet that goal.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Room and board can be prohibitively expensive at a lot of universities. We had our two kids live at home and knock out the first two years of their degrees at our local community college, then both transferred into George Mason University. The room and board there at the time was $1,200 a month. Our son did that. Our daughter lived off campus with a group of kids sharing a townhouse for much cheaper, about half the costs.

    Both were good students, but not scholarship good students. I was completely blown away by the expenses and worked two jobs during their college years so we could afford to send them and not go into debt and student loans. This is on top of having put aside money for years for college. We had enough for tuition, but not for housing and books. I remember back in the ancient days when I was in college being completely outraged that one of my books cost a full thirty bucks. I look at that now and just laugh! I think one semester each one of them had books than ran over a thousand.

    Our daughter went on to graduate school and luckily we paid nothing. The university picked up most of the tuition. She won a book scholarship that picked up the books and managed the housing by being a full time employee of the university.

    Its gotten so expensive to go to school it’s ridiculous! When I went I paid $350 a semester, lived in my crummy $100 a month apartment and worked full time. You cannot possibly do that now and be able to pay tuition and buy books much less support yourself.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Heck no they are not responsible enough to make those decisions yet! The sad thing is there are tons of predator lenders out there that will hook them up with credit cards and loans as soon as they turn 18, are too irresponsible to handle it and hit them with huge fees.

  • lady_black

    Maybe I didn’t go to school right out of high school.

  • Nea

    You ordered the steak, you ate the steak. You have to pay for the steak. You better be d–n sure you can do that.
    Speaking as someone who has paid off every penny of $50,000 of debt, I am ALL FOR college debt loan forgiveness. It’s one thing to be “sure” you can pay off debt and quite another to *actually be able to do it.*

    You see – one doesn’t actually pay off debt with moral fiber. One pays it off with sheer luck:
    – the LUCK to not have a major medical emergency, like the kind that accounts for the majority of bankruptcies in America, even if the person had health insurance.

    – the LUCK to have reliable transportation; either good public transport or a car that does not need expensive repairs

    – the LUCK to not have a job that pays well enough to put a roof over your head, food on the table, and still have enough to pay down the debt, with no interruptions in paychecks for long periods of unemployment

    I didn’t pay off 50 grand because I was morally superior. I paid off 50 grand because I was LUCKY enough to be able to do it. And knowing how much luck and stress went into it, I am all for everyone else getting the same educational leg up I got without the stress and without the hope that luck will hold.

  • BridgetD

    I’ve already mentioned in previous comments how my dad (born 1950) graduated from college debt-free after working his way through. A private university no less.

    Meanwhile, despite a pretty generous academic scholarship and grants, I was forced to take out loans if I wanted to continue my education. Granted, I did not work due to health issues (tried a work study job for a semester, found that my academic achievement suffered too much due to the added stress and I became at risk of losing my academic scholarship…particularly given that the position was minimum wage ($7.25/hr), even with the academic awards it was ultimately not worth it). I did not take certain credits from the community colleges. I had to make certain financial decisions due to circumstance that I would not normally recommend. I did enter with AP credits and graduated early, which was helpful.

    Nonetheless, I’m now paying off a bit more than the national average of $30k.

    That’s not even as bad as what happened to my sister. Graduated high school with an associate’s degree. National Merit Scholar with a generous scholarship from her university. Worked as an RA, so free room and board as well as a small stipend. She also had small grants from the government due to need. Still ended up with loans that she’s paying off today. She didn’t even end up graduating due to health issues (yep, my family is full of those, unfortunately). Now, she’s getting a nursing degree.

    Face it: even adjusted for inflation, the cost of higher education is much higher now than in the past while wages have stagnated.

    Now, it is true that my generation was encouraged to go to college, no matter the cost. That is a shame, and frankly a lot of the advice that adults gave us as kids (especially in regards to work and education) has turned out to be pretty irrelevant to the current state of things. However, as other posters have mentioned, trade schools are largely for-profit nowadays. Apprenticeships are virtually non-existent. Most internships are unpaid. You very well could still end up deep in debt going for a trade.

  • lady_black

    Yes, there’s a problem that the rich get more than the poor, all the way around. But we don’t solve that problem by taking out “loans” we don’t pay back.
    And nobody gets to be a doctor without drive, ability and ambition. It’s grueling, whether you have money or not. There’s a reason I’m NOT a doctor, and it’s not because I’m not smart enough. I don’t have nearly enough ambition to have no life for the many years it takes to be one.

  • Friend

    A lot of colleges require students to live in residence halls, with no facilities to prepare the simplest snack. Housing and meal plans cost a bundle.

    Other costs pop up too. A used rental Spanish textbook can cost $100, plus $100 for the subscription to do the language lab homework and turn in assignments. Parking passes can run several hundred dollars a year.

    A four-year degree is still needed to achieve one of those vanishing middle-class salaries, but boy is it ever costly.

  • Friend

    So people should only be doctors if their parents can afford med school? It’s not like people can pay that tuition on bartending tips.

    An awful lot of people struggle to repay loans. Defaulting is not the first, second, or tenth choice, if that’s what you are implying.

  • BridgetD


    Trade schools are still a thing, and you can get by without a four year degree…it’s much harder these days, however. My brother has no higher education, and he is pretty much stuck in food service at the moment. My sister has an associate’s degree and even attended university briefly (did not graduate…health issues), and she’s pretty much in the same boat as my brother who just has a high school diploma (although she’s currently getting a degree in nursing from a local community college).

    I can also speak for teaching particularly, since that was my field (not currently working due to health issues). You need at least a bachelor’s degree to be a school teacher in most states (some states require a master’s degree) as well as certification. Teaching is also notoriously low-pay compared to other jobs with similar educational requirements. It’s still an incredibly important job in our society. We need teachers, but people are being dissuaded from entering the field. Among many other reasons, the salary compared to the cost of education is pushing people away.

  • Nea

    We solve the problem by not making all college so expensive that people need to go into debt to pay for it. We solve the problem by giving the poor an equal shot with the rich (if not a better one).

  • Friend

    ambition to have no life

    Ye g0ds, what an arrogant thing to say. I hope you never need specialized surgery from an ambitious resident who has no life.

  • BridgetD

    Yes. Half of my bill for tuition and fees while I was in university was room and board. I had no car for the first three years I attended, so it would’ve been difficult for me to live off campus, particularly with my disabilities.

    Seriously though, the tuition per semester was about $750 on the itemized bill. It’s the fees that kill you.

  • lady_black

    “You” is written with the intention of being generic, and not to you personally.

  • Nea

    Speaking as someone who has gone from being $50,000 in debt (which I paid entirely back) to being able to casually drop $4000 on medical bills, it’s perfectly fair to make sure that young people aren’t starting out crippled by debt that they may not be able to repay for circumstances entirely beyond their control. After all, one of the reasons I could pay off that 50 grand is because I didn’t have the stress and complications of 4 grand in medical bills on top of it… while I did have a well-paying white collar job that required a college degree.

  • BridgetD

    I’m friends with a family that I met while volunteering at a therapeutic riding center. We got to know each other because the daughter (a rider at the center, two years my junior) started at the same college during the same year that I did.

    I was talking to the father, who had three children (triplets, I think) in college all at once. He was just appalled with how expensive it was…for all three of them, it was more than his house was worth.

    Now, this family is relatively well-to-do. The parents could afford to contribute to their children’s education. My family? I was almost on my own in paying for college. I was on my dad’s insurance, they helped me pay for some of my medical bills, they co-signed some of my loans, and sent care packages with food to supplement my meal plan. It would be unfair to say that they didn’t help. That said, my bill from the university was all on me because they just couldn’t afford it. I was just lucky that a relative’s estate went through the previous year (my great-grandmother died when my mom was pregnant with me, but in her will she allotted some money to her great-grandchildren to pay for our education…it just took 20 years for it to get to us) and that my university offered me a generous academic scholarship. Still had to take out loans though.

  • lady_black

    Hmmm. I thought I was the only one. That was something I never really forgave them for.

  • lady_black

    You paid your loans back. That’s the right thing to do.

  • lady_black

    It was said rather tongue in cheek, not as an arrogant remark. I have endless admiration for those who become doctors, and especially for the residents. The best OB/GYN I ever had in my life was a resident.
    Let’s not pretend it’s a cake walk for any of them. Even if mom and dad are doctors, and paying all the expenses, mom and dad can’t do the WORK. I had the full-ride scholarship to nursing school. It was still grueling and while I was a student, I literally had no life outside of school, studying, and taking care of my children. I don’t think I have what it takes to go through six or eight years of that. That means I admire those who DO!

  • lady_black

    THAT’S the problem. It shouldn’t be so expensive, there should be more public support for it, and income inequality shouldn’t be what it is.
    As a country, we used to have a deal with the wealthy. Give back to the community voluntarily, or we’ll tax it out of you. Somewhere along the way, we lost that, and lost the middle class.
    I’m still interested in alternative ways for poor people to get an education, and it may well not be the same way rich people do. It never will be, either, because that’s how reality works. Not everyone will get a graduate degree. I don’t have one. There’s also the GI bill, and that’s worth looking into as well.

  • Nea

    I notice you’re skipping right over the parts where I state that debt forgiveness is completely fair and also that being able to repay any debt is partially due to circumstances beyond anyone’s plans or control.

  • lady_black

    I never said that.
    Sure, lots of people struggle to repay loans. They should still repay them.

  • lady_black

    That’s another idea. Forgiveness. But you have to do something to earn that forgiveness. Maybe public service. I think that’s an excellent idea.

  • Nea

    I’m still interested in alternative ways for poor people to get an education, and it may well not be the same way rich people do.

    Because it’s totally okay to penalize people for being poor? Brown v Board of Education didn’t show any problems with the concept of a ‘separate but equal’ education?

  • Nea

    Sooooo… if one of the reasons you can’t pay the debt back is a medical complication that prevents you from working a paying job, you shouldn’t get debt forgiveness because you’re unable to do public service work for free? Well, that’s not illogical and punitive for something beyond someone’s control at all!

    I didn’t add qualifications when I said forgiveness. Mostly because I could see paradoxes like you propose coming from a mile away.

  • Treyarnon

    Exactly, when women have access to education and any choice about the matter they choose to have fewer babies. If they want a baby boom then realistically they need the culture, environment and economy to crash and women be deprived of all choice. There’s no other way and the trend is in the reverse direction globally, thus falling birth rates.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    It’s not always as easy as saying that! During my long ago divorce when I was married right out of high school for a year I ended up repaying a huge pile of loans and credit cards my ex had because he’d disappeared. It was hell! But I went to each and every creditor and worked out what I could pay. I remember making ten dollar a month payments to Sears for one very long time. I got them to waive some of the interest and fees.

    It’s different now, I seriously doubt Sears or anyone else is going to let you go to them, renegotiate things and pay back slowly like that. Unless you manage to get something like the CCC involved. It’s just not that easy always.

  • lady_black

    No. That’s a reason to make it legal to discharge in bankruptcy. I’m opposed to loans not being able to be discharged in bankruptcy. Hardship is something we are all at risk of.

  • SAO

    Medical professions are known for having some of the highest rates of pay per years of education, this is true at the ultrasound tech or nurse’s aide level as well as the neurosurgeon level.

    For most jobs, the salary per year of education is lower, so your example is not relevant for most jobs.

  • lady_black

    Life is like that. Some people enjoy advantages others don’t. No sense in letting that frustrate you.

  • lady_black

    Of course.

  • lady_black

    And nobody really wants that to happen.

  • BridgetD

    We’re already dealing with a shortage of teachers in many areas. It’s generally not worth the expense to get into the field. Plus, even if the cost of an education wasn’t so big of a problem, teaching is just not well compensated for as hard as they work. I was only full time for a year before I had to quit due to health problems…work didn’t cause my illness, but the stress of it all sure didn’t help.

  • SAO

    I wrote above about the cost of getting the cheapest engineering degree in my state, with 2 scholarships for a student in the top 1% of the country — $40,000. Then, Googling for the median in my area or a percent of salary or loan, I calculated the cost of taxes, rent on a one-bedroom, car payments, food, taxes and loan payments. Someone graduating with a degree in engineering from the state university (well regarded in the state) at the average salary will have under $300 per YEAR left over. Okay, so maybe he doesn’t need a car, but this is in a state with not much public transportation. I’m not sure the city with a big defense contractor (ie lots of engineering jobs) has public transportation at all. Maybe he could live at home, but that means I need to be able to offer him free or discounted rent (requires my husband and I continuing work to afford our mortgage). Why is it a struggle to make ends meet? Because of $40,000 in debt.

    In short, for the best and the brightest, getting a degree in an in-demand field is not guaranteed to allow him to pay off student loan debt. Any bit of the assumptions (being able to live at home while starting his career, getting a full tuition scholarship, etc, etc) and he can’t make ends meet.

    We need engineers. They are in-demand and not enough Americans study engineering. It’s a well-paid career. In the last 10 years, America has offered H1B visas to 2.6 *Million* foreigners, almost all in STEM careers like engineering.

    So, we have a system where the best and the brightest Americans can’t confidently study for a well-paying, in-demand career and be confident that they can graduate and easily pay their student loans. Instead, you suggest we need more plumbers.

    The system is BROKEN.

  • SAO

    My daughter is 3 years older than my son. When we were looking at colleges with her, the expensive, elite private colleges were in the $50-55K range. By the time my son was ready to choose where to go, they were in the $60-66K range with top technical schools like MIT coming in at a full-price of $72,000/year. That’s over 1/4 Million for a 4 year degree.

  • SAO

    It’s worth noting that a Bulgarian in an Bulgarian orphanage probably does not speak or understand a word of English. How many of us would not have stress being moved to a place where we could not understand a single word spoken to us, no matter how kind our unintelligible companions were?

  • BridgetD

    Even public, in-state university can be extremely costly. My alma mater wasn’t exclusive or expensive. That said, “not expensive” when we’re talking about universities is still about $30k a year.

  • Mimc

    4) make student loans dischargeable by bankruptcy like every other debt.

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    Jobs you used to be able to get with a high school diploma, or a two-year degree from a community college, now require a four-year degree. I have a BA, and find myself competing with MAs and PhDs, because companies can demand that. I graduated with a 4.4 GPA (in a major that combines writing and tech) and a summa cu m laude, and I’m struggling to get any interviews at all.

  • Mimc

    I am not surprised at all that a QF man would suggest a system that punishes infertile women.

  • Nea

    Well, I suppose it’s useful to know that your plan is to completely ignore counter arguments.

  • Nea

    It’s surprising how little my personal emotions have to do with pointing out that SCOTUS has decreed something literally unConstitutional.

  • smrnda

    There are spoiled rich kids who are going to do badly in school, but I think those are vastly outnumbered by well prepared students whose parents were educated professionals. Those students don’t have to worry about paying tuition, but they also know that their family wealth comes from skills and work. Some don’t do so well, but part of that is their prior success was because of involved parents and teachers. Those kids would benefit from a gap year, since their problem is a lack of independence.

    If we made 2 year technical colleges affordable or close to free, that would be a step forward. And I think that model would work better since people could decide after if more college was worth it, and after 2 years they’d have a degree instead of ‘I went to college for 2 years and now all I have is debt and textbooks I can’t sell.’

  • smrnda

    i’m viewing the problem more as a social one rather than an individual one. the students who took out the loans were screwed by an unfair system, so a system wide solution needs to be put in place.

    not everybody is going to be a doctor, at least since a large number of smart and driven people can’t handle dealing with sick people, bodily fluids and all that. but a mediocre computer science or engineering grad can make a pretty good income, and only the rich kids with lots of social capital get to drop out of college and make it. the field is biased. it’s why immigrants or POC in the field will push themselves through graduate school. that’s what it takes for them to level the playing field.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I think the gap year idea is excellent. Our son ended up taking a gap year after half his senior year in college. He was just burned out and unmotivated. A year in the real world motivated him to go back and finish.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Well when you have a president and congress that strips out much of the tax on investments for their wealthy friends it’s hard to raise enough to pay the bills. For the first time in at least fifteen years we got a tax refund. Why? Because for the first time we paid next to nothing on our investments. Nothing on foreign investments and a much much lower rate on the rest of them. It’s all backwards right now.

  • Friend

    Thanks for clarifying. I thought you might be referring to default here, since you wrote yesterday, “you ordered the steak. You ate the steak. Now, pay for the steak! It’s unfair to those who didn’t run up big debts because they thought better of it.”

    What’s unfair to others?

  • lady_black

    Yes, and the really vile thing is that they created a shortfall, I think, with the intention of ripping Social Security away from people (because they don’t actually want to repay the funds they STOLE, err… “borrowed” from the trust fund.)
    All I can say is, SOMEBODY better start raising some taxes, or the country is going to go nuts. If they think people who paid into Social Security (and that’s most of us) are going to lay back and let the government rape them, they have a few more “thinks” coming.

  • Khanh Ho

    Physics applies to you, me, and everyone else regardless of belief (double winks)

  • SAO

    Yep, with room and board, my state’s tuition for a student with family income of Zero, after in-state discounts and state-provided scholarships is $27,000 or $108,000 for a 4 year degree. The average salary for graduates 10 years after graduating is $42,500. Middle-class salaries are low. We need teachers, librarians, bank managers, entrepreneurs, town planners, engineers, techies, etc, etc, but too often, they go to Massachusetts to find jobs, because that’s the way they pay their loans. When they come back home to live, we call them Massholes.

  • Friend

    Our public schools have it for plumbing, electric, maintenance, auto, HVAC, and a really great program for hospitality and culinary arts. Makes me feel better about the future.

  • B.E. Miller

    Now I’m thinking of that homeschooling workbook that claimed “no one knows how electricity works, but it’s all around us, just like

    Jesus.” Does anyone remember if that’s A Beka or IBLP?

    I just felt sorry for the kids reading that in their “science” workbook. (It’s hand-wavism science! It’s Hollywood!science!)

  • B.E. Miller

    Same here! I would have liked to have had kids, but I got laid off from a really great paying job back in 2001, and I’ve not had a great income level since. And I would have liked to have been the kind of parent who gave the kid opportunity for band, or music, or art, or any sport, or such extra-curricular activities a kid might have wanted.

    Those things take money. And if I can barely afford myself, how could I afford a kid?

    Edited to add; it didn’t occur to me until much later, maybe I should have tried to find out if I could have helped some gay couple have a kid. That way I could be sort of a ‘third’ parent or fun auntie, and the kid would have a hopefully higher income bracket.

  • B.E. Miller

    Your comment about volunteering with CASA. I’ve heard it doesn’t take as many hours as people think.

    But I’m with you on the emotional bit. I’d probably get angry, and have trouble dealing. Seriously, some folks should have their tubes tied/ vasectomy done. I keep thinking of something Andrew Vachss wrote, about how some “parents” would see their kids as property, not as small humans in need of care.

  • B.E. Miller

    You commie socialist! (Do I need to put a end sarcasm tag here?)

  • B.E. Miller

    I’m one of those crazies who thinks we need to re-vamp the educational system in the US, and do a little more like Germany. Where high school students can choose either a college track, or they can choose to go into a trade track. So they learn trades, and they can also earn money, while going to school. (They get paid for time spent learning on the shop floor.) Also, apparently businesses in Germany, like those German car manufacturers, actually work with the schools, to teach students what they need to know, and help them get certified to work in trades after high school.

    That could really help with kids whose families might not be able to afford to go to trade school or college after high school.

  • B.E. Miller

    Reading everyone’s comments about paying for trade school or college- that’s another reason it’s good I didn’t have kids. I had a great paying job, but got laid off way back in 2001, and I have been low-income since. It’s not been fun. If I had a kid, I definitely would not have been able to assist them financially with any sort of degree or trade school.

    That said, can I just tout that Dallas Independent School District has Skyline, and the magnet schools? Skyline teaches a lot of trades (like automotive technology, and graphic design) and the magnet schools range from teaching law, to business, to health careers. Plus DISD also works with Dallas County Community College District, busing high school students to take college courses (which counts as AP high school credit, plus college credit.) So they start on their college or trade school via that program as well.

    I wish more places did such things, or had such schools.

    And why don’t we pay teachers more? But noooo, we’ll so spend billions on a new sports stadium, instead of upgrading our schools…..

  • Mel

    Katie’s entire life experience was laying flat on her back in a room where she could only see the sides of her cribs and the ceiling. Once a day, someone would prop a bottle up for her to eat and change her diaper.

    That’s it.

    My son spent the four months after he was born in a NICU that was purposely low-stimulation prior to the two weeks before he went home. (They did give him a crb mobile starting at 36 weeks since he was more active than a lot of preemies at the same age.). He was handled by nurses, held by his parents, nurses, volunteer rockers and his grandparents.

    He still spent the first two weeks after we brought him home looking like a tiny Mr. Bill from the SNL skit – two wide open round eyes, a round little nose, and a circle mouth held open in surprise – as he saw that there were so many colors and objects everywhere and that people could move him more than a 4 foot radius around his crib.

    It was bad that she was taken away from people who spoke the language that she was familiar with – but that shock was paired with the massively disorientation of being brought into a new environment when she wasn’t used to any changes in routine.

  • DogGone

    Don’t get me started on being a “school teacher.” Bad idea.

  • DogGone

    Not just the salary, as I, and probably you, well know.

  • DogGone

    DeVos’ education dept has a new genius plan–investors in a students’ education–they graduate owing a portion of their income to these people–can you say indentured servitude???

  • DogGone

    It’s more than the money. I don’t want to get into it here, but there are lots of excellent reasons for the shortages.

  • DogGone

    Most of having and making a lot of money is luck too. The people who are doing well delude themselves into thinking they are more worthy and work harder. It’s just not true.

  • Friend

    Ideas of repaying a portion of income to an institution have been around for awhile (can’t remember details, but maybe the college itself), but to repay an individual investor or investment group? I share your concern.

    Either way, that proportional repayment idea encourages graduates to take the job offer with the highest pay, and obviously penalizes those who struggle or go into work that does not pay well. Even if there is a sliding scale.

  • BridgetD

    Oh, I know. Inadequate compensation doesn’t help though.

  • DogGone

    It contributes to lack of respect, which fuels many of the other problems. If you don’t make a lot of money in this culture, people don’t respect you.

  • DogGone

    Many of the young people I know cannot, for one reason or another, stay in the same job for an entire career, and, as you say, not everyone is offered many jobs so choosing the high-paying one is an option.

  • Friend

    Fewer people have just one job or one employer for 20 years anymore, pensions are gone, Social Security doesn’t go very far. It’s hard even to know how to advise a young person, except to say to start a retirement account early, if at all possible.

  • DogGone

    Exactly–and after Bernie-Made-Off-with-Everyone’s-Money, I’m not sure I trust retirement accounts either. About all you can do is diversify and develop a lot of skills. Then, cross your fingers.

  • DogGone

    From what I hear, you are not alone.

  • DogGone

    I think everyone should learn a trade, and basic business principles , in high school. I had to work minimum wage jobs when I was in college. With a useful skill aligned with my talents (writing and art), I could have worked fewer hours to pay for my necessities. Now, students could graduate with references, a fall-back job, and lower debt if they learned a skill. High school, and even middle school curricula should be rethought.

  • DogGone

    A lot of us who went straight to college out of high school worked our asses off too, not just in school, but also in the workplace to pay our expenses. I loved school and was good at it. It was one of my talents. Nursing diefintely would not have been one of mine. Bless you! You are a saint, and I’m not kidding, but we all have different talents. Some people are tall. Others are math whizzes. Not everyone is the same.

  • DogGone

    I agree that for a number of students a year in the workplace after high school would be beneficial. It would be a reality check, and a chance to save money (as long as they don’t inadvertently take on baggage–bad marriage or, worse, a kid).

  • DogGone

    Perhaps high schools could work with Habitat for Humanity and similar programs.

  • DogGone

    Me neither. It was so unnecessary. I watched kids with lower grade averages–and much richer parents– get scholarships. My mom wanted me to be a secretary(that’s what they were called then) and marry the boss. Thank goodness things have changed for women. We have a ways to go, but things are better.

  • DogGone

    The room and board was a killer for our daughter too. Having her own apartment and finding a roommate was much cheaper, and taught her some very important life skills. Unfortunately, the University required her to live in the dorm the first year. Her assigned roommate was a dingbat and the RA was a flake. She was sexually assaulted in her room by a friend of the dingbat while such dingbat was out doing ‘shrooms and ecstacy in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. The RA was somewhere, but not on site. Note–if this happens to your daughter, tell her to call the local cops, not the University. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in every way.

  • DogGone

    Yep. Those of us who went to college a long time ago, or even who sent kids to college more than ten years ago really don’t know how much things have changed and how quickly. I only know because I have contacts in higher ed.

  • DogGone

    For much of the early 2000s, the country tilted eastward, with many grads from the west ending up in east coast urban areas because that’s where the high-paying jobs and the best post-docs were.

  • DogGone

    Yes! Excellent points.

  • DogGone

    I want to know why college costs are going up so fast, especially since instructors are being paid less than they were. At our local college (now a “University”) I see new buildings, a fancy student union with a climbing wall, and a “natatorium.” Another college system I know about has an administrator who is totally incompetent making a lot of money, and that’s just the one at the very top. Who will investigate the higher ed biz and ask some hard questions? Something is going on and it stinks.

  • It’s funny what I hear from conservative family members about these topics.

    On immigration: Our country is full. There are absolutely no resources for anyone else. Disaster will ensue if so much as a few thousand people come in. The way we will improve the economy is by keeping out people. Fewer people=more jobs!

    On quiverfull: There’s tons of space everywhere! We could fit the entire country’s population in New Jersey! More people help the economy. Social security will collapse if we don’t have more workers!

    I don’t even think they recognize the contradiction, or that it’s racist. They just heard all this from Fox News and elsewhere and they swallow it whole without thinking.

  • Birth control was banned there long after abortion was legalized, this providing a case study proving birth control does not cause abortion, but reduces it.

  • Delta

    New buildings are sometimes a necessity — I’ve seen schools whose student housing is frankly dangerous.

    But yeah. Programs get axed, instructors get underpaid, but tuition and fees are still going up.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    That was another reason to put our daughter sharing an off campus apartment. My son had been housed in a building that was condemned by the state during his time there. We paid $1,200 a month for him to live in a condemned building.

  • DogGone

    It’s true that housing is needed, but they have to be making tons of profit on that, for what they charge. As you add, that doesn’t explain where the tuition money is going.

  • DogGone

    These are fixed interest rates for the life of the loan. Interest rates on everything else have gone down. Money is worth less. These old loans are a cash cow for lenders.

  • DogGone

    Of course! I’m not one of those people, obviously. Science does not require belief.

  • DogGone

    If kids are smart, they will soon realize they have been lied to. They often do realize just that, and as many here can testify, dismiss all the foolishness dumped on them. What does that say about those who reach adulthood still believing this rot, well…

  • DogGone

    Keep them bored, ignorant, and scared. It’s a thing.

  • DogGone

    These nuts think birth control is abortion because every sperm is sacred.

  • B.E. Miller

    I sure hope these young’uns do! I wondering if that’s one of the reasons some of these CP/QF types encourage young marriage. Get them married off young, and having babies, because they don’t want the young ones to run away.

  • B.E. Miller

    Re; fostering- would you qualify for ‘respite’ fostering? I might have the term wrong, but it’s supposedly like where you give foster parents a bit of a vacation, and watch their foster kidlets while they’re on vacation.

  • Lily Erickson

    It is truly baffling to me how many people seem to conflate career aptitude with how much money you (or your parent, more likely) have. I don’t want all the doctors to be “people who could afford it,” I want them to be people who would be good at being doctors. Susy from a poor family might be far better suited to becoming a doctor than little trust fund Jim, but apparently Jim is the one who deserves to go to medical school because he was born into a wealthy family. Similarly, people love throwing around the “not everyone should go to college” line, but that also seems to only apply to poor people. Plenty of rich kids aren’t cut out for college and would be better off learning to weld or be a plumber, but money covers a multitude of sins, so they get to go to college anyway.