I plan to keep my editorializing to a minimum, and my opinions to the comment section. I may help with some of the formatting, but the words are all hers. So without further ado:
A NEW YORK TIMES FANTASY I’D LOVE TO SEE COME TRUE
Yesterday, I stumbled upon a couple of articles that again challenge my belief in our economy. This quaint article about a poor woman who blew through 100k in pursuit of a BA in (wait for it…) Women’s Studies and Religion. Shockingly, there aren’t a lot of jobs requiring a theologically inclined woman studier, so, she now works for a photographer.
The article suggests all kinds of boogie men who are at fault for this woman’s financial stupidity. Shockingly, the concept that she’s just flat stupid and flaky are never explored. A quote from the article “It is utterly depressing that there are so many people like her facing decades of payments, limited capacity to buy a home and a debt burden that can repel potential life partners. For starters, it’s a shared failure of parenting and loan underwriting.” Uuuummmm....she can’t pay her debts, and I’m supposed to be concerned about her ability to find a life partner? Dude, she needs to find a second job. Let’s try and prevent this dipstick from multiplying if we can until she pays her debts. And how is this even potentially her parent’s (single parent, grammar cops) fault? The woman is 26 years old.
The reporter also breathlessly suggests that someone in the financial aid office or someone at the bank should have warned her that she was getting into trouble. I enthusiastically endorse this. Let’s make people who work in the banking industry tell prospective students the TRUTH about the education they are seeking! Something like this…
Student trying for a generic liberal arts degree: “Hi, I’d like to apply for additional funding so that I can finish my degree in Swedish Sexual Habitat Encouragement.”
Amused phone rep from Citicorp, laughing breathlessly, “Is this some kind of joke? I mean, they really offer a degree in something that completely useless?”
Student, “No, it isn’t a joke. I’m twenty-three and I’m within four semesters of graduating and…” Interrupted by phone rep laughing, “So, it only took you five short years to complete that all important Associate’s Degree? How’s that working out for you?”
Student, “It seems apparent that you aren’t taking me seriously…”
Phone rep, “Look, you’re twenty three, and you apparently can’t do a single thing and you’ve paid a great deal of money for the privilege of one futile degree. I suppose we all make mistakes. I am currently legally required to fully disclose what I think of your educational goals. Have you ever HIRED someone to come to your home to encourage Swedish Sexual Habitats?”
Student, “Well, errr…no, but I’m convinced it’s an important field of study…”
Phone rep, “…perhaps to Hugh Hefner, but I hear he isn’t requiring BA’s at this time…”
Student, “It’s not THAT kind of a field of study…”
Phone rep, “Too bad, because that would be the only way I could picture you being able to pay back a single dime of what you’ve already borrowed. Let’s cut to the chase, you shouldn’t be calling a bank, you should be calling a fairy godmother or a long lost rich relative. Call me back when you have an associate in engineering.” CLICK
Oooh, even the dream of it puts a smile on my face. Why is it that I can’t imagine anyone in New York actually advocating the bill that requires student loan type folk (remember, we OWN the industry now, thanks to healthcare…) telling the whole truth to potential loan applicants? Because even if they did, people like this reporter would bend over backwards to find someone else to blame other than the student. As for the woman herself, she candidly tells the reporter that she doesn’t think she’s going to pay for the loans because “it just doesn’t feel right”. Sounds to me like this women’s studies grad has learned how to rape helpless taxpayers. So, maybe that education is only useless to greater society.