Author Topic: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics  (Read 23248 times)

revisednut

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Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« on: August 01, 2016, 08:34:11 PM »
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

GetItRight

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 03:40:36 PM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

stoaX

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 04:04:36 PM »
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

Yup, the irony is certainly present.  Does her job have anything to do with her degree?  Finally, my first mortgage was less than $400 per month.... 

revisednut

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 09:14:53 PM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

Although I agree with this, to an extent, not all education can be written off as a poor investment.  Certainly "investing" $20k-$30k to become a BSN, with a starting salary of $50k-$60k plus, pays itself in dividends over the decades, a master's in French Wine Sampling, is unlikely to yield the same returns.

revisednut

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 09:16:47 PM »
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

Yup, the irony is certainly present.  Does her job have anything to do with her degree?  Finally, my first mortgage was less than $400 per month....

The job is not a direct correlation to a degree, more of a "any 4 year" adds to the consideration for employment.  I thought I was doing good with a $1,080/mo PITI on a 15 year mortgage.  If my taxes and insurance weren't half the monthly payment, I guess I'd almost have a $400 mortgage today!

syednaeemul

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2016, 09:39:05 PM »
But you can drive a car around, post pictures of it online, look happy on the outside!

gimp

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 10:16:34 PM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.

Making Cookies

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016, 07:45:03 AM »
I agree. Those "impossible" student loans? We had to take out a couple of loans for my DW's two master's degrees. We'll have them paid off in the next couple of months. Originally ~$45K. She got traction in her modest career track and makes a fair salary. We did it driving older cars, avoiding spending, and still having a comfortable lifestyle in an older house in a flyover state. Am looking forward to steering that money into a few home improvements (i.e. maintenance) for a few months. 

acroy

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016, 07:51:05 AM »
Sad lack of personal accountability.
People used to be embarrassed by such things - somehow now it's socially acceptable.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 07:55:04 AM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.

Or, possibly, a liberal arts or fine arts program. It's very common for graduates to end up disillusioned and in debt, if they fell for the Baby Boomer mantra of "get a degree in something, anything, as long as you graduate." The liberal and fine arts degrees originally really were upper-class conspicuous consumption items for people who truly did not need to work in their fields. Critical thinking skills, and the iconoclasm that grows out of them, have always been a privilege of the elite.

Not all the skills provided by, say, an English degree can be used to earn money outside academia. Writing, communication, critical thinking and analytical skills are a very good thing to have in addition to something marketable, but few employers are willing to pay well for those skills alone. People who get paid to write novels or articles often don't have an English degree and haven't been taught "how" to write by someone in spectacles and elbow patches. They just do a lot of it. So why buy the cow-- the credential-- when you can get the milk for free?

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 08:35:23 AM »
And today's word here at MMM is "iconoclasm".

I had to look that one up...

Thanks GS for education.

Sibley

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 08:50:54 AM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.

Or, possibly, a liberal arts or fine arts program. It's very common for graduates to end up disillusioned and in debt, if they fell for the Baby Boomer mantra of "get a degree in something, anything, as long as you graduate." The liberal and fine arts degrees originally really were upper-class conspicuous consumption items for people who truly did not need to work in their fields. Critical thinking skills, and the iconoclasm that grows out of them, have always been a privilege of the elite.

Not all the skills provided by, say, an English degree can be used to earn money outside academia. Writing, communication, critical thinking and analytical skills are a very good thing to have in addition to something marketable, but few employers are willing to pay well for those skills alone. People who get paid to write novels or articles often don't have an English degree and haven't been taught "how" to write by someone in spectacles and elbow patches. They just do a lot of it. So why buy the cow-- the credential-- when you can get the milk for free?

Agreed GS. My student loans are well worth the income and career that my college education has allowed me to have. I majored in accounting, worked by butt off to get good grades and graduated with enough credits to take the CPA exam. I'm a CPA and earn above average salary.

My friend majored in English, and worked in a deadend, mind numbing job for 6 years. Currently is unemployed no bright prospects (unrealistic expectations & immaturity are at play as well).

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 09:32:30 AM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.
That's going to depend a great deal on the college and the major.  While it does seem that some college students are likely coming out no smarter than my older sisters came out of high school (and a lot lazier), that's not the case everywhere.

You'd be hard pressed to get a decent engineering job without an engineering degree.  Quality of program varies, and quality of student varies...but I'd wager the students coming out of top-10 schools are going to be okay.  And the degree was probably worth it.

The university local to me now has a decent engineering program - it is, however, somewhat large.  I was quite surprised to interview one young fellow with a degree in EE.  A former classmate of his said "I wouldn't recommend him".  Prior to the interview, the boss and I figured - he has a degree, how bad can he be?  Well, we figured it out pretty quickly.  The guy wasn't able to answer the simplest questions from his degree...and we wonder how he even managed a C average.

Back to the OP - I am definitely with you here.  Maybe it's not sexy anymore - back in the dark ages, when I was a fresh college grad and freshly-minted Naval officer, I had both a car payment and college loan payments.  It never occurred to me to spend more on the car than the college loans.  The car was $6700 and the loans were $11,000.  I did pay the car off first (3 years), but the college loans weren't long after (4 years).  The spare money I had went to the loans.

Likewise, as a child things like health care (not insurance, we didn't always have insurance) came before things like cable TV, computers, etc.

Personal responsibility is tough.  It's why I always see things as shades of gray.  A friend recently complained on FB that the reason why small business owners hate Obamacare is that their costs are going up and up.  I understand her point.  Her premiums (she's single and over 40) are higher than her mortgage, for a silver plan with a $6k deductible.
But I also have friends who were "uninsurable" before the ACA simply because they moved states (same ins co would not cover them in the new state).  I have friends who got laid off in their 50s (you know, after working 30 years), and now they are unemployable and uninsurable.

There are honestly people who work hard, and struggle, and can't pay off their college loans.  And then there are people like this girl who could stand a little self-reflection.

MrsPete

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 07:49:32 PM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.
Exactly what I was thinking.  Neither my husband nor I could hold our jobs without our degrees.  We have had our investment back many, many times over.  Oh, and now that my daughter's a college grad, I can say the same thing about her -- she's only brought home one paycheck thusfar, so she doesn't have her investment back, but she's headed in the right direction.  In a few more years I'll be able to say the same about my youngest child too. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2016, 04:00:42 AM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all
And you seem to have no understanding that you are comparing/contrasting two sets of people who both receive financial assistance and yet one is deserving and productive while the other set is the lowest common denominator.

gggggg

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 05:58:56 AM »
I think education is generally a good thing, especially self education, but it's not the end all. I'm on the hiring board at my job, and we just passed over two people with master's, to hire two with just high school and a bit of community college. The two with master's degrees were terrible in the interview, and got promptly booted. I will say for some jobs (legal, engineer, medical, some others) you most certainly need a more advanced education. Having some common sense, and being able to get along with people makes a HUGE difference to most employers, even over degrees.

Hoju

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 06:14:59 AM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.

Or, possibly, a liberal arts or fine arts program. It's very common for graduates to end up disillusioned and in debt, if they fell for the Baby Boomer mantra of "get a degree in something, anything, as long as you graduate." The liberal and fine arts degrees originally really were upper-class conspicuous consumption items for people who truly did not need to work in their fields. Critical thinking skills, and the iconoclasm that grows out of them, have always been a privilege of the elite.

Another problem is the complete lack of "good" guidance for kids graduating from high school. I was fortunate enough to get practical college advice from my parents and went into engineering. My guidance councilor kept pushing for a music degree since I "excelled" in band. I excelled in math class too... how about we look at which one pays better (or at all).

Drifterrider

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2016, 06:43:51 AM »
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt? 

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2016, 07:17:58 AM »
I agree. I worked my way through college too. Graduated with a house, no student loans, etc. DW got her bachelor's with no loans.

My DW had to get Master's twice to get traction in this little town.

First time to get into the school system. Politics changed and politics seems to count heavily into hiring decisions during that period and we aren't well connected. She was employed for a couple of years and then they laid her off to make room for someone else with tenure during a budget shortfall year. We could have moved and done fine in a larger city within this state but we didn't want to. We wanted to raise our kids in this town.

DW then had an opportunity to pursue something she wanted to do more but had to get her education right again. Enter Great Recession. Education completed but set back on career advancement. Eventually she got in.

Essentially one year's income post graduation paid for both degrees and then some. It was worth it. The reason loans figured into all that was she needed to start her education right then and we didn't have the money b/c she was under employed for several years.

I don't think it would be wise to take out loans for probably half the degrees offered at most schools. Also people who aren't motivated and aggressive about finding work after graduation probably ought to work their way through instead or risk being without enough income to get the loans out of their budget quickly.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 10:38:43 AM by Joe Lucky »

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2016, 09:06:57 AM »
I don't think it would be wise to take out loans for probably half the degrees offered at most schools. Also people who aren't motivated and aggressive about finding work after graduation probably ought to work their way through instead or risk being without enough income to get the loans out of their budget quickly.

Indeed. The economy can really only support so many arts, liberal arts, and social studies graduates. If a degree doesn't produce enough extra income to pay for itself within three to five years (and by that, I mean the difference in take-home pay for the average graduate of *that* particular school, with *that* particular degree, versus the average pay available for high school graduates only), then the degree might still be worth having but only if a person can pay cash or work their way through it and graduate without debt.

MilesTeg

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2016, 11:27:08 AM »
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

I con't condone the desire to have loans forgiven, but I understand the dislike of them vs. other types of loan. When you buy a car, or house or anything else with a loan you are paying once, and only once.

When you get a college degree you are paying twice:

1. The financial cost.
2. The effort/life cost associated with earning the degree.

And frankly, #2 is far more costly than #1 unless you are very foolish and where the real "investment in yourself" is purchased.

Smokystache

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2016, 07:05:45 PM »
At the risk of taking us too far off the original topic, I feel compelled to mention a few misconceptions:

1) The view that most liberal arts majors are unemployed and unsuccessful is a myth. Their unemployment rate may be 1-2% behind other majors, but that ain't that much: http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/.

2) The view that a liberal arts major must go into a very narrow field of study (that other people assume is) directly related to it is a myth. Let's take history as an example. The vast majority of people who study history do not become Historians of some type. Just as most philosophy majors don't become philosophers. Suggestions that the "world doesn't need more XXX majors" are based on this myth. (Some examples: http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/

3) Without question, colleges and professors (especially liberal arts colleges and professors in those fields) need to do a better job of integrating real-world examples of how to use the skills, and do a better job of teaching students how to market their liberal arts skills.


gooki

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2016, 01:19:51 AM »

I con't condone the desire to have loans forgiven, but I understand the dislike of them vs. other types of loan. When you buy a car, or house or anything else with a loan you are paying once, and only once.

When you get a college degree you are paying twice:

1. The financial cost.
2. The effort/life cost associated with earning the degree.

And frankly, #2 is far more costly than #1 unless you are very foolish and where the real "investment in yourself" is purchased.

There's also point 3. The opportunity cost of not being in the workforce while you study.

Abe

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2016, 01:42:13 AM »
My question is what are politicians going to do about the auto loan crisis, and when are we all going to get free cars? The federal reserve reports total auto loan debt of 1.1 trillion, while student loan debt is 1.2 trillion. In a lot of places, having a car is an important part of securing a job.

Seriously though, I'm tired of hearing people at work who drive Audis,etc complain about student loan debt. I'm sorry, they earn on average $60k a year. Suck it up and pay the debt(s).
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 01:43:45 AM by Abe »

JR

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2016, 03:08:30 PM »
Almost every new engineering graduate we hire without fail goes into major debt for some type of motor vehicle as soon as they are hired on.

 I can somewhat understand that after a grueling 5 year engineering program they may want to spend money on some nice things but is buying a $30k car really a great idea when you earn $60k and have $100k in student loan debt?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 03:11:28 PM by JR »

Sofa King

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2016, 04:36:57 PM »


Seriously though, I'm tired of hearing people at work who drive Audis,etc complain about student loan debt. I'm sorry, they earn on average $60k a year. Suck it up and pay the debt(s).

I concur!

chesebert

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2016, 05:10:52 PM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.
Second.

aasdfadsf

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2016, 10:42:51 PM »
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt?

Average tuition and fees at a four-year, in-state public institution:

1970: $358

2016: $9410

That might have something to do with it. Note that this doesn't include living expenses. Given that a full-time, minimum wage job will gross you $14,500 a year, it's extremely difficult at best to work your way through college in 2016 without someone else paying for part of it. Unless you plan on ignoring your studies and working ridiculously long hours.

If it's an out-of-state public school, multiply by the cost by 2.5, and if it's a private school, multiply by 4 or 5. There is no way an 18-year-old without a ginormous trust fund pays for that herself. You and your parents were a more privileged generation.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2016, 12:19:51 AM »
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt?

Average tuition and fees at a four-year, in-state public institution:

1970: $358

2016: $9410

That might have something to do with it. Note that this doesn't include living expenses. Given that a full-time, minimum wage job will gross you $14,500 a year, it's extremely difficult at best to work your way through college in 2016 without someone else paying for part of it. Unless you plan on ignoring your studies and working ridiculously long hours.

If it's an out-of-state public school, multiply by the cost by 2.5, and if it's a private school, multiply by 4 or 5. There is no way an 18-year-old without a ginormous trust fund pays for that herself. You and your parents were a more privileged generation.

At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.

YogiKitti

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2016, 05:40:27 AM »
I'm currently working my way through college. It can still be done.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2016, 07:26:15 AM »
I think education is generally a good thing, especially self education, but it's not the end all. I'm on the hiring board at my job, and we just passed over two people with master's, to hire two with just high school and a bit of community college. The two with master's degrees were terrible in the interview, and got promptly booted. I will say for some jobs (legal, engineer, medical, some others) you most certainly need a more advanced education. Having some common sense, and being able to get along with people makes a HUGE difference to most employers, even over degrees.

Unfortunately, nearly all large companies do not do this.

Many, many jobs have an HR requirement for a 4-year degree.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2016, 08:06:19 AM »
I agree, you can work your way through school. One problem might be a delayed graduation date b/c you can't take as many classes as your friend whose parents paid for everything.

Delayed graduation, delayed post-grad income.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2016, 02:58:18 PM »

My guidance councilor kept pushing for a music degree since I "excelled" in band. I excelled in math class too... how about we look at which one pays better (or at all).

Translation from guidance couselor: I went the practical route and I hate my job. Now I'm channeling my frustration, and I see some of myself in you.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2016, 02:58:57 PM »
For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

The vast majority of colleges now require at freshman to live in dorms as a condition of enrollment, so your co-workers may be correct.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2016, 03:24:40 PM »
For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

The vast majority of colleges now require at freshman to live in dorms as a condition of enrollment, so your co-workers may be correct.

I don't think that is the case, but I could be wrong. The two public schools that I know best (U of M and U of MN) both do require it but do offer exemptions that I don't think are very strict, a cousin of mine at the U of MN lived with her parents the entire duration, including freshmen year (though in her defense she graduated in 2.5 years).

I do recommend living in the dorms as opposed to home, but then again I'm not the one paying for it as I don't have any children.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2016, 04:33:12 PM »
I'm pretty sure that the freshmen live on campus rules always make the exception for locals living at home. The requirements do limit how frugal a freshmen student can live if choosing to go to a school where they will not be living with family (solution - go to junior college, then transfer). The reasoning behind the rule is that a lot of freshmen had no experience living on their own and were not being successful - the year in the dorm provides some living experience without all the risks of living on their own.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2016, 09:03:51 PM »
For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

The vast majority of colleges now require at freshman to live in dorms as a condition of enrollment, so your co-workers may be correct.

Generally not when they live in town.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2016, 09:31:25 AM »

At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
I wanted to emphasize this because of something that I thought about this summer.

Full disclosure: I went away to college, as did my spouse.  We both went to private universities, predominantly on ROTC and other scholarships.  (His parents paid his room and board, I borrowed for that and had jobs.)

Most people I know went to our local university.  In my rural home area, there a lots of little small towns dotting  the countryside.  The HS I attended was in the "big town" of 6000.  Population 12,000 during the university school year.  It was a well-regarded university locally.

My cousin went there.  Good idea, as she had a baby senior year in HS and needed a way to get through college. (I think she lived with mom and married the guy and he got a job).  She went on to get a PhD at a major state uni in a different state. Her undergrad major was physics (and grad).  The local uni didn't have engineering, for example. She's an example of going to the local college and going on to bigger and better things.

Anyway, they've been tearing down old dorms and putting up new ones...and now have a requirement to live on campus for TWO years.  There are some exemptions for local students who live with their parents but there is a distance requirement.  You live >30 miles away (entirely possible in this rural area) and there is no exemption.  Just crazy.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2016, 09:37:58 AM »

At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
I wanted to emphasize this because of something that I thought about this summer.

Full disclosure: I went away to college, as did my spouse.  We both went to private universities, predominantly on ROTC and other scholarships.  (His parents paid his room and board, I borrowed for that and had jobs.)

Most people I know went to our local university.  In my rural home area, there a lots of little small towns dotting  the countryside.  The HS I attended was in the "big town" of 6000.  Population 12,000 during the university school year.  It was a well-regarded university locally.

My cousin went there.  Good idea, as she had a baby senior year in HS and needed a way to get through college. (I think she lived with mom and married the guy and he got a job).  She went on to get a PhD at a major state uni in a different state. Her undergrad major was physics (and grad).  The local uni didn't have engineering, for example. She's an example of going to the local college and going on to bigger and better things.

Anyway, they've been tearing down old dorms and putting up new ones...and now have a requirement to live on campus for TWO years.  There are some exemptions for local students who live with their parents but there is a distance requirement.  You live >30 miles away (entirely possible in this rural area) and there is no exemption.  Just crazy.

It's being done for the same reasons that students are being forced to take 100-level courses to essentially repeat high school during their freshman year. Basically it boils down to: "chuh-CHINGGG!"

There are state schools who realize they've got a monopoly and that are therefore determined to gouge as much as they can so that they can have more growth for growth's sake. New buildings, new administrators, new landscaping, and a bunch of frippery that has absolutely nothing to do with education. I personally think that people who want to manage resorts should go into resort management as a career choice, and stay out of education.

yuka

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2016, 10:43:31 AM »

There are state schools who realize they've got a monopoly and that are therefore determined to gouge as much as they can so that they can have more growth for growth's sake. New buildings, new administrators, new landscaping, and a bunch of frippery that has absolutely nothing to do with education. I

I consider myself pretty amenable to this kind of thinking, but in this case I have to disagree. I think it's the way you attract a bunch of people who are wildly price-insensitive. I graduated from high school in 2011, and I can only remember comparing schools from the perspective of how much they'd cost. I heard far more people bragging about dining halls and dorms and gyms. My school was not a wealthy one; despite having good programs, we were ranked in the bottom 10% of VA high schools because of low test scores (high poverty rate.) So people were paying for their own school mostly without any parent participation.

The buildings are often a problem of donors. You get a lot of wealthy alums who really want to mark their territory, so they say they want a building. Even though the school doesn't need new buildings, the president takes it because it still shows up as them taking in 10's of millions in new donations. Wealthy alums who give money with no strings attached are saints. (source: my parents work in university development.)

My price-sensitive friend went to the Ivy that gave him way more money (his parents were both teachers, but his dad had assets because he just retired.) I was uncomfortable with my grandfather and parents paying for my school like they said they would, so I found a school where I could attend for free.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2016, 10:56:09 AM »
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt?

Average tuition and fees at a four-year, in-state public institution:

1970: $358

2016: $9410

That might have something to do with it. Note that this doesn't include living expenses. Given that a full-time, minimum wage job will gross you $14,500 a year, it's extremely difficult at best to work your way through college in 2016 without someone else paying for part of it. Unless you plan on ignoring your studies and working ridiculously long hours.

If it's an out-of-state public school, multiply by the cost by 2.5, and if it's a private school, multiply by 4 or 5. There is no way an 18-year-old without a ginormous trust fund pays for that herself. You and your parents were a more privileged generation.

Privilege?  Bullshit.  We worked (as in from 7 or 8 years old).  Parents grew up during the depression.  Went to college as adults.  Tuition has risen over time but so have wages. 

There was a one legged tap dancer.  Earned his living that way for a long time.  Moral?

See things happen or make things happen.  your choice.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2016, 12:41:06 PM »
There are alot of opportunities for scholarships and there is always military service. You are enlisted and get the GI Bill or they send you through school and you owe them several year's service as an officer making more $$$.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 02:12:57 PM by Joe Lucky »

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2016, 01:04:08 PM »

I think it's the way you attract a bunch of people who are wildly price-insensitive.


Agreed: it's very effective for that purpose, and if attracting price-insensitive people is a goal, trampling all over the price-sensitive customers may be an acceptable tradeoff.

Your logic is sound. However, your argument, while cogent, leads me to another question.

Why would an institution of higher learning, particularly a public institution heavily subsidized by the state and therefore by taxpayers, consider price insensitivity a desirable attribute in a graduate?

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2016, 01:45:04 PM »
Most modern state institutions only receive 5%-15% of their funding from the state. That decreasing percentage is part of why the "sticker" price has increased so much.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2016, 02:54:58 PM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

I don't know where you went to school, but when I attended College it was nothing like you describe. I know for a fact that my college education meant that my employer paid me a 30% higher starting salary from day one. As a student I increased my value as a worker, now I can do statistical analysis to turn excessively large quantities of data into something useful, now I can write a simple script or command to complete hours worth of work in seconds, now i can program industrial electrical equipment, etc. down the line till productivity increases where I work.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2016, 03:45:06 PM »

At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
I wanted to emphasize this because of something that I thought about this summer.

Full disclosure: I went away to college, as did my spouse.  We both went to private universities, predominantly on ROTC and other scholarships.  (His parents paid his room and board, I borrowed for that and had jobs.)

Most people I know went to our local university.  In my rural home area, there a lots of little small towns dotting  the countryside.  The HS I attended was in the "big town" of 6000.  Population 12,000 during the university school year.  It was a well-regarded university locally.

My cousin went there.  Good idea, as she had a baby senior year in HS and needed a way to get through college. (I think she lived with mom and married the guy and he got a job).  She went on to get a PhD at a major state uni in a different state. Her undergrad major was physics (and grad).  The local uni didn't have engineering, for example. She's an example of going to the local college and going on to bigger and better things.

Anyway, they've been tearing down old dorms and putting up new ones...and now have a requirement to live on campus for TWO years.  There are some exemptions for local students who live with their parents but there is a distance requirement.  You live >30 miles away (entirely possible in this rural area) and there is no exemption.  Just crazy.

It's being done for the same reasons that students are being forced to take 100-level courses to essentially repeat high school during their freshman year. Basically it boils down to: "chuh-CHINGGG!"

There are state schools who realize they've got a monopoly and that are therefore determined to gouge as much as they can so that they can have more growth for growth's sake. New buildings, new administrators, new landscaping, and a bunch of frippery that has absolutely nothing to do with education. I personally think that people who want to manage resorts should go into resort management as a career choice, and stay out of education.

"Frippery"?  That's a new word for my vocabulary - can't wait 'till I get a chance to use it!

stoaX

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2016, 03:45:53 PM »
I'm currently working my way through college. It can still be done.

Good for you - best of luck!

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2016, 12:21:02 AM »
At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school.

I'm sure it also works if you're willing to sell a kidney.

Most people don't have the luxury of living with parents who are in a college town, much less with a college to which they were accepted, much less with readily available public transit. The demand for work-study jobs, or jobs for which employers will let you work part-time with a highly flexible schedule, vastly exceeds the supply. Having diligently mowed lawns when you were 14 won't guarantee you one.   

Of course you can always find ways to work more, especially if you don't care about your studies, but there is a point beyond which it makes vastly more sense just to take a out a student loan. Which isn't to say that many people don't do it stupidly, but the question, "Why don't the Lazy Kids These Days just work their way through college like I did," is an ignorant one. Tuition that would have required 3 months of work to pay for in 1970 now takes 12 months of work to pay for. That's why.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 12:24:55 AM by aasdfadsf »

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2016, 07:22:06 AM »
Not necessarily. When I worked my way through college I was making $12-$14 per hour. I was mowing grass, odd-jobs (cleaning out basements for example - and reselling what I could) and working at a series of jobs

Once I was a ways into my academic career I had a full time job on campus with benefits including tuition assistance and pension eligible. Later I was already working at an engineering firm (70% of post-graduation salary) before I had graduated. I was a full time student but generally doing the minimum hours to be considered full time.

All that said - you are right - delay graduation too much and you're losing money if you aren't earning 100% of what the market says you are worth in that career track.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2016, 08:26:50 AM »
At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school.

I'm sure it also works if you're willing to sell a kidney.

Most people don't have the luxury of living with parents who are in a college town, much less with a college to which they were accepted, much less with readily available public transit. The demand for work-study jobs, or jobs for which employers will let you work part-time with a highly flexible schedule, vastly exceeds the supply. Having diligently mowed lawns when you were 14 won't guarantee you one.   

Of course you can always find ways to work more, especially if you don't care about your studies, but there is a point beyond which it makes vastly more sense just to take a out a student loan. Which isn't to say that many people don't do it stupidly, but the question, "Why don't the Lazy Kids These Days just work their way through college like I did," is an ignorant one. Tuition that would have required 3 months of work to pay for in 1970 now takes 12 months of work to pay for. That's why.

It's definitely not as easy as it used to be. But I don't agree with the notion that most people don't live in "a college town, much less with a college to which they are accepted, much less with readily available public transit".

State schools and community colleges go out of their way to put branches in every major urban center. Even in an extremely rural state, any major town or city is going to have at least one. Entrance standards are notoriously low and community colleges accept pretty much everyone with a pulse. The only way a kid would not be accepted to a local school like that would be if he or she didn't actually apply.

Although most of the United States is indeed a hundred years behind the times in terms of public transit, that's not the case in the big Eastern cities or even the wealthier places on the West Coast. Few people will have door to door service, and people will generally have to walk half a mile or more, take a transfer, have some spare time on campus, and spend some time commuting. But colleges and universities do tend to be at or near the main public transit backbone. Yet there are also ride sharing programs for people who are willing to communicate and compromise with others. The Internet connectivity we have now makes finding a carpool easier than it's ever been before.

Finally, not all work is minimum wage. There are still a surprising number of family businesses that employ relatives, and there are also city or town programs that employ young people as pool lifeguards, summer day camp workers, or zoo or museum docents. Private sports coaching is year-round evening and weekend work, and it pays well above minimum wage. Some of the young people in my neighborhood are entrepreneurs: they hire themselves out providing child care, yard care, tutoring, or other things people need. A very few do Web site design or teach a musical instrument. One clever lad built himself up an actual landscaping business that put him through university. He employed other young people in the process including a young relative of mine. After he finished school (allegedly debt free) he sold the business to someone else at a profit. So there are a lot of young people out there with amazing potential, and some of them still do start fairly young and are anything but lazy. I can't vouch for how many of them are required to stash a portion of the cash toward school, though: many of them act like they are simply earning to support a junior McSpendypants lifestyle. For that, I blame the parents.

It's true that anyone who wants the kind of opportunity I just described needs pre-employment skills such as waking up on time, taking responsibility for getting from point A to point B, showing up on time and dressed appropriately for the work, actually getting the work done so as to hold up his or her end of an agreement, and being the sort of person other people actually want to work with. It's also true that many people do not have these skills even as adults.