Author Topic: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch  (Read 4229 times)

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« on: April 27, 2017, 01:15:00 PM »
Those following MMM on Twitter would have seen this already:

Mr. Money Mustache on Americaís middle class: ĎPoliticians like to cultivate fear, jealously and entitlementí
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mr-money-mustache-on-americas-middle-class-politicians-like-to-cultivate-fear-jealously-and-entitlement-2017-04-24

Mr. Green

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1263
  • Age: 33
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 10:39:38 AM »
The caption for the picture in the article is hilarious.

"Mr. Money Mustache contemplates the state of the American family while eating celery in a tree."
FIRE, Take Two.

HenryDavid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 01:59:11 PM »
Eating some things in a tree could be dangerous--kebabs, anything with a fork. If you fall, watch out.
Celery seems a thoughtful choice.
Feel free to use my Tangerine Orange Key: 26084439S1
See https://www.tangerine.ca/en/referafriend/index.html

ketchup

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2317
  • Age: 26
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 02:08:35 PM »
A nice departure from the "everything sucks now and is so much worse for the middle class" rhetoric.  All things considered, things are pretty fucking great right now.  College education and healthcare are indeed the only big scary costs that have gone nuts.  Everything else (housing, transportation, food, entertainment, etc.) is truly hilariously cheap if you're smart about it and make a "middle-class" income.

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 08:50:47 AM »
There's an obvious opportunity for some good investigative reporting on what exactly is driving college costs upwards. I sense that much of the money is getting spent on things quite unrelated to actual education nowadays.

ketchup

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2317
  • Age: 26
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 09:06:29 AM »
There's an obvious opportunity for some good investigative reporting on what exactly is driving college costs upwards. I sense that much of the money is getting spent on things quite unrelated to actual education nowadays.
A big part of it I'd imagine is the "easy lending" side of things.  Some rando 18 year old kid can sign themselves up for six figures of debt with just a signature, making them less price sensitive than they would otherwise be.  A price increase means "dammit, more debt" not "dammit, can't go to school."

Cranky

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 04:47:13 AM »
In many places, post-secondary state funding has been cut (and public universities thus rely much more on out of state students who pay more.)

GrumpyPenguin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 220
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 06:09:25 AM »
The caption for the picture in the article is hilarious.

"Mr. Money Mustache contemplates the state of the American family while eating celery in a tree."

+1!!

Philbert

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2017, 11:24:16 AM »
There's an obvious opportunity for some good investigative reporting on what exactly is driving college costs upwards. I sense that much of the money is getting spent on things quite unrelated to actual education nowadays.
A big part of it I'd imagine is the "easy lending" side of things.  Some rando 18 year old kid can sign themselves up for six figures of debt with just a signature, making them less price sensitive than they would otherwise be.  A price increase means "dammit, more debt" not "dammit, can't go to school."

You can use student loans to pay for non-school expenses. DH took out loans in college to buy himself a car, among other things. He's still paying it off now. I was shocked. I was very lucky in that my parents paid for my education, so I have no loans and wasn't preyed upon. I had no idea you could use a loan to buy a car. It's predatory lending + lack of financial education.

Travis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1459
  • Location: Tempe, AZ
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 11:49:01 AM »
There's an obvious opportunity for some good investigative reporting on what exactly is driving college costs upwards. I sense that much of the money is getting spent on things quite unrelated to actual education nowadays.
A big part of it I'd imagine is the "easy lending" side of things.  Some rando 18 year old kid can sign themselves up for six figures of debt with just a signature, making them less price sensitive than they would otherwise be.  A price increase means "dammit, more debt" not "dammit, can't go to school."

You can use student loans to pay for non-school expenses. DH took out loans in college to buy himself a car, among other things. He's still paying it off now. I was shocked. I was very lucky in that my parents paid for my education, so I have no loans and wasn't preyed upon. I had no idea you could use a loan to buy a car. It's predatory lending + lack of financial education.

I've heard of people using their student loans to pay their college rent and food expenses.  My GI Bill was sent directly from Uncle Sam to the university. I didn't get a chance to abuse it.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5349
  • Age: 59
  • Location: NorCal
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 07:23:05 PM »
Nice article. I think being naturally resistant to fear might equate to being naturally frugal. I am both. Coincidence? Dunno. For sure it makes me one lucky person.
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

maizeman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2017, 09:17:35 PM »
In many places, post-secondary state funding has been cut (and public universities thus rely much more on out of state students who pay more.)

At state schools this explains the vast majority of the increase in tuition. An estimate from 2015 pegged it at 79% of tuition increases just going to offset decreases in state support for the universities.*

At both private and public schools there has also been a lot of competition for students based on lifestyle factors. This means a lot more spending on fancier dorms/student fitness centers/etc. This doesn't show up in increased tuition, but increased mandatory student activity fees, increased meal plan costs, and increased dorm costs.

Education also suffers from "Baumol's cost disease." This is a pattern where when per worker productivity goes up a lot in some parts of the economy, the parts of the economy where per worker productivity cannot increase get more and more expensive. We can make an factory worker much more productive by investing in more advanced automation (and have been steadily doing so for decades), but it is not clear how to increase productivity per professor through capital investments.

*https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/05/report-says-administrative-bloat-construction-booms-not-largely-responsible-tuition
"Itís a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My source code & my journal

bostonjim

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 03:54:32 AM »
It's actually something more (and more mysterious) than Baumol's cost disease, and it affects more than higher ed. Read this (long, but very worth it) blog post:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/


maizeman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 07:20:39 AM »
It's actually something more (and more mysterious) than Baumol's cost disease, and it affects more than higher ed. Read this (long, but very worth it) blog post:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

I can confirm that this is indeed worth the read. The author is essentially arguing that what we pay for education (and some other things) has gone up drastically, but what the people who provide those services (teachers, professors, adjuncts) has stayed about the same or even declined in inflation adjusted terms (see the transition from most teaching being done by tenured faculty to adjuncts paid by the class). Still thinking about the logic behind it, I'm not sure if I buy in entirely or not.

One interesting check would be to compare how much universities are spending on salaries per student, instead of just the wages of the average professor/adjunct. This would control for changes in class sizes and teaching loads.
"Itís a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My source code & my journal

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4023
  • Location: CT
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 09:55:31 AM »
It's actually something more (and more mysterious) than Baumol's cost disease, and it affects more than higher ed. Read this (long, but very worth it) blog post:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

I can confirm that this is indeed worth the read. The author is essentially arguing that what we pay for education (and some other things) has gone up drastically, but what the people who provide those services (teachers, professors, adjuncts) has stayed about the same or even declined in inflation adjusted terms (see the transition from most teaching being done by tenured faculty to adjuncts paid by the class). Still thinking about the logic behind it, I'm not sure if I buy in entirely or not.

One interesting check would be to compare how much universities are spending on salaries per student, instead of just the wages of the average professor/adjunct. This would control for changes in class sizes and teaching loads.

I have heard and read arguments demonstrating that education costs rising are more a  function of administrative costs rising rather than the more... functional? purposeful? aspects of education.

maizeman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: MMM talks middle class politics on Marketwatch
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2017, 11:21:29 AM »
That was the link in my post one higher up, which was looking at what proportion of tuition increases at public universities could be tracked back to increased spending on personnel (administrative bloat), new construction, and decreased state support.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/05/report-says-administrative-bloat-construction-booms-not-largely-responsible-tuition

However, I'll be the first to acknowledge that that is just one study, and that it applies specifically only to public sector universities. Tuition at private sector colleges is, if anything, increasing faster, and obviously is not a result of reduced state support. OTOH private universities spend a lot more on "shaping" their student body, by charging some students the full price and offering generous grants and scholarships to students that they really want to enroll to get their target student body composition.

http://www.businessinsider.com/this-could-be-the-single-most-important-reason-why-college-tuition-is-skyrocketing-2015-9
"Itís a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My source code & my journal