High School Graduation Rates, Out-of-Wedlock Births and Median Family Income

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 3rd, 2014

 Politics 101

(Originally published July 25th, 2013)

Colleges use Affirmative Action to Increase Diversity because only 66.1% of Blacks Graduate from High School

Interest rates recently went up for student loans.  Something that greatly angered the left.  Blaming the Republicans for playing politics with our children’s future.  For a college education is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  A college education is so critical to a person’s future success that everyone should have access to a low-cost student loan.  And because a college education is so important this should not be a privilege of the rich.  Or whites.  Colleges should use affirmative action to ensure a diversity of students.  Because our differences, they say, make us better.

Yes, a college degree is important.  And the data backs this up.  The median family income in 2009 for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $90,530 (see Table 698. Money Income of Families—Distribution by Family Characteristics and Income Level: 2009 posted on census.gov).  Those with only a high school diploma earned $48,637.  While those who didn’t graduate from high school only earned $31,119.  So clearly a college degree is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  Of course, to get that college degree you first have to enroll into college.  And to do that you need to graduate from high school.  So graduating from high school, then, is the gateway to those good, high-paying jobs.  Which, as it turns out, is the reason we need affirmative action to ensure that diversity of students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (see National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high by Lyndsey Layton posted 1/22/2013 on The Washington Post), not everyone is graduating from high school at the same rate.  Looking at the breakout for three races we find that Asians are graduating 93% of the time.  Whites are graduating 83% of the time.  While blacks are graduating only 66.1% of the time.  Which explains the need of affirmative action admission policies to achieve diversity at our colleges and universities.  For when blacks are only 13% of the population and only 66.1% of them are graduating from high school you’re not going to get a lot of diversity without affirmative action.

Married People with College Degrees have Higher Median Family Incomes than Unmarried High School Dropouts

Going back to the Census data we can see a correlation between these high school graduation rates and median family income.  Those with the highest graduation rate (Asians) earned $75,027.  Those with the next highest graduation rate (whites) earned $62,545.  While those with the lowest graduation rate (blacks) earned $38,409.  Which clearly shows that high school graduates earn more than high school dropouts.  And because Asians and whites have higher high school graduation rates than blacks they have higher median family incomes than blacks.

So we know that to earn a decent income you need a college degree.  And to get that you need a high school diploma.  But is there anything else that has a big influence on a family’s median income?  As it turns out, yes.  Going back to the Census data we see that a family with a married couple earned $71,627.  A male householder with no spouse present earned $41,501.  While a female householder with no spouse present earned only $29,770.

If you want to earn a lot of money, then, the way is clear.  Graduate from high school.  Go on to college and earn a degree.  Then settle down.  Get married.  And raise a family.  A common thread at every stage of this pathway is personal discipline.  Staying in and studying instead of going out and partying.  And once you start working start a family.  For the heavy responsibility of raising children keeps people from staying up late and partying with friends.  Get’s them to work on time in the morning.  And drives them to advance in their careers to provide more for their families.  Things employers like in employees.  Making it easier for these people to climb the career ladder.

The People with the Highest Median Family Income also have the Lowest Out-of-Wedlock Births

A child growing up in a household with a married couple where at least one has a college degree will probably learn the values of his or her parents.  To work hard.  Exercise self-discipline.  And work towards a long-term goal.  Don’t take the easy way.  Don’t take the fun way.  Make sacrifices now that will help you attain your long-term goals.  And it starts with studying and doing your homework.  For a high school diploma is only the first bridge to cross of many to come.  And if you don’t get across that first bridge you will advance no further down the road towards a good, high-paying job.

The family structure, then, is key.  A child needs to learn the values that will let him or her exceed in life.  And a married couple provides twice the parenting of a single-parent household.  And doubles the earnings potential.  By allowing one parent to pursue a full-time career.  Which leads to greater income.  Without having to sacrifice parenting time.  Or risk burning out from trying to do everything alone.  And the numbers prove this.  According to Census data (see Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women With a Recent Birth: 2011 posted on census.gov), the number of children being born out-of-wedlock differ greatly across the above three racial groups.  Asians have the lowest out-of-wedlock births at 11.3%.  While whites come in at 29.2%.  And blacks come in at 67.8%.

The people with the highest median family income also have the lowest out-of-wedlock births.  Confirming that the path towards a high-paying job is a high school diploma.  A college education.  Being careful NOT to have any children until you’re married.  And after you graduate from college and establish a career get married and raise a family.  In other words, personal discipline.  Sacrificing short-term fun.  For long-term success.  Suggesting the reason why blacks earn a lower family median income than most is because of their high out-of-wedlock birthrate.  Young black women having children before they graduate from high school.  Which prevents them from crossing that first bridge on the road towards a good, high-paying job.  Making her life more difficult.  And giving her children a distinct disadvantage.  At least, based on the Census data.

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Colleges and Universities take Advantage of Students to keep that Tuition Money flowing into Big Education

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 16th, 2014

Week in Review

Getting a college degree is expensive.  Because the greedy rich people running our colleges and universities keep raising the cost of tuition, forcing students to take out bigger and bigger student loans to satiate their greed.  And to make matters worse they often sell them worthless degrees for the current marketplace.  Often giving students poor advice.  Getting them to commit to those big student loans by hook or crook.  Taking advantage of these young students’ trust in them.  Anything to keep that money flowing into Big Education (see What you wish you’d known about college ahead of time by Caitlin Moran posted 2/14/2014 on The Seattle Times).

We received several thoughtful responses to our most recent reader question, which asked: “What do you wish you had known about college ahead of time..?”

Here are a few examples of what our readers said they wish they had known about college when they were younger. Some responses have been edited for length and grammar.

I wish I had known to do more research about my major and what it would actually do for me job-wise. I don’t use my degree for my job now, and I keep hearing about many people who take out huge school loans and graduate with few job skills. I worked my way through school, which was not fun, but at least I got out of college debt free. With recent tuition hikes, getting out debt free is much harder, and students need to make sure the loans will be worth it…

I wish I’d known I should know more about the world before going to college, so I had some idea why I was going. Had I known more about careers, skills and background for careers, and myself, I would have made different choices in college. I wish I had worked for a year or two, known what it was like, and known more about what I wanted.

Of course Big Education is not all that concerned about giving you the skills and background you need for a successful career.  They just want your money.  And to turn you into Democrat voters.  While keeping you Democrat voters as long as possible.  And being indebted by a degree that doesn’t help you make any more money than you could have without that degree goes a long way of making you dependent on Democrats in government.  Because rich and successful people need no help from the government.  Ergo the selling of so many worthless degrees.  To keep these people from becoming rich and successful.  Where they might do something harmful to Big Education.  Like voting Republican.

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We are in the Worst Economic Recovery since that following the Great Depression because of Keynesian Economics

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 15th, 2014

Week in Review

We are in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.  Why?  Because of Democrats.  Who are all Keynesians.  And that’s a big problem as all of our worst economic times were given to us by those who adhere dogmatically to Keynesian economics.  That school of economics that gave us the Great Depression.  The stagflation of the Seventies.  The dot-com bubble.  The bursting of the dot-com bubble.  And the dot-com recession.  As well as the subprime mortgage crisis and the Great Recession.  In all of these events the Keynesians in power followed Keynesian economic policies to avoid recessions.  And then to pull us out of recessions when their avoidance didn’t work.  Then doubling down on the things that didn’t work previously.  In particular artificially low interest rates.  Which have been around zero for the last 5 years.  And massive federal spending to stimulate the economy when the private sector wasn’t spending.  Two pillars of Keynesian economics.  Neither of which have done anything to help improve the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.

This is the problem with all the ‘noted’ economists the government likes to cite.  They embrace poor economic principles.  Proven wrong over and over again.  They can come up with some impressive looking charts and graphs but their analysis is all wrong.  And the fact that we’re in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression proves it better than any chart and graph.  They’re wrong.  And continue to be wrong.  Yet they provide the economic policies for our country.  Some of the greatest nonsense you will ever hear.  Things you wouldn’t do in your business.  Or in your personal life (see Student Loans Are A Drag On The Economy And Society by Josh Freedman posted 2/11/2014 on Forbes).

While loans are intended to expand college access to a broader population, the nature of risk that they entail also produces the opposite result. Low- and middle-income students worried about the consequences of taking out a loan will be more likely to decide that college attendance is not worth the risk…

Studies have found that high debt levels not only deter access at the beginning, but can also drive students away from completing college once they have already started… students who start college but do not graduate are stuck with loan repayments and no college degree. They still have to repay their loans but do not have the economic boost of a college degree to help them have enough income to cover this cost.

First of all, why is it when it comes to a college education no one ever demands that we lower the cost.  Like we do with greedy oil executives who keep the price of gasoline high.  Why is it no one attacks the greedy people in higher education that keep education so costly?

The problem is too many people are going to college for the wrong reason.  There is a reason why there is a list of the best party colleges every year.  Because a lot of these kids want to go to these schools.  Which explains why colleges in Colorado are seeing a spike in out-of-state applications.  Because these kids want to go to a college where they can party with legal marijuana.  And to make that partying easier they’re majoring in easier degree programs that the college assured these kids would provide them a comfortable living after graduation.  So they can get that profitable tuition out of these kids.  Often times paid for by these kids’ student loan borrowings.  So the colleges are misleading a lot of these kids to make a buck.  Leaving them saddled with a lot of student loan debt if they quit.  Or even more student loan debt if they stay in until graduation.  While getting a degree that can’t get them a job.

A second issue with increasing levels of student loan debt is the effect on the economy… Individuals with more student loan debt were less likely than individuals without student loan debt to purchase homes or cars.

Yes, having too much debt is a bad thing.  It reduces your disposable income.  Preventing you from purchasing a house or a car.  Yet these same economic advisors have no problem with raising taxes and devaluing the currency (i.e., printing money) to pay for all of the government’s stimulus spending.  Higher taxes reduce our paychecks.  And devaluing the currency raises real prices.  Reducing what we can buy with our smaller paychecks.  No, a Keynesian has no problem with debt at the federal level that affects everyone.  But student loan debt is just a terrible thing for those kids who dropped out of college or who didn’t get a degree that an employer could use.

In the wake of the financial crash, households have been trying to deleverage, or pay down their debt so they can have a healthier financial outlook, reduce the amount of their income that they use to service their debt, and begin investing and consuming again…

A look at the data suggests that student loans have slowed down households in the process of paying down debt. Since 2008 — the peak level of household debt — households lowered their levels every type of debt except student loan debt. Student loans have continued to grow throughout this process of deleveraging.

Of course the one thing missing from this analysis is the horrible economy President Obama’s Keynesian policies have given us.  Since he became president he has destroyed some 10,948,000 jobs.  Based on the number that were out of the labor force in the January 2014 BLS jobs report (91,455,000) and how many were out of the labor force when he entered office (80,507,000).  This is why people are struggling with debt levels.  There are no jobs.  If there was a robust economy flush with jobs people wouldn’t worry about taking on debt to invest in the future.  As long as they got a useful college degree in a high-tech economy.  And not something useless like women’s studies or poetry.

But aren’t people facing poor job prospects just taking out more loans to avoid working as baristas at coffee shops that drip the coffee super slowly for no apparent reason? This does not appear to be the case from the debt data. Student loan debt has grown at almost exactly the same rate since the crash as it had been the previous five years — i.e. steadily and without fail.

Student loan credit level has been steadily rising because the cost of a college education has been steadily rising.  Again, where is the outrage at our greedy educators getting rich by loading up these kids with student loan debt for a degree they can’t use in a high-tech economy?

…the loan system allows colleges to raise prices, which causes more students to take out loans. States, facing budget pressures, have also pulled back on investment, putting even more risk on students and further increasing the need for loans.

Again, where is the outrage at our greedy educators who keep raising tuition, forcing these kids to take out more and more student loan debt?

The risk and burdens that come from forcing students to take out debt up front and pay it back later is problematic from head to toe (tassel to hem, one might say). To create a better system of higher education, we need to look at alternatives to the current debt-financed model.

So the solution is for the taxpayer to foot the bill for these useless college degrees at these party colleges?  How is that going to solve any problem?  All that will do is allow more people to go to a college in Denver where they can get high for 4 years.  And then go to work as a barista at a coffee shop that requires no 4-year degree.  How does that make anything better?  Other than get more young people to vote Democrat.  Then again, perhaps that is the only objective of Keynesian economics.  Which is why those on the left embrace these failed policies with a religious fervor.  Because it helps them win elections.  Even while they’re destroying the economy.

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American Children fall behind other Children throughout the World in Math and Science

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 5th, 2014

Week in Review

More people are going on to college than ever before.  And we have the student loan debt to prove it.  As recent graduates threaten to default on their loans as they can’t get a job with their worthless degrees in the humanities and social sciences.  Expensive degrees colleges sold them.  Promising them fulfilling careers.  But a degree in minority studies or French literature ain’t going to go far in a high-tech economy.

And that’s the problem.  People are going to college for the wrong reason.  To party.  They want to have fun.  And take the easier degrees so they aren’t weighed down by too much school work.  It’s so bad that high-tech companies are using the visa system to fill job openings.  As they can’t find American graduates that have the same qualifications as foreign graduates.  Who actually take math and science.  And get the education businesses are looking for (see Distinguishing Science from Nonsense by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., posted 12/31/2013 on bioethics.com).

As Americans enter 2014 there is grave concern among our political leaders that we are lagging behind other nations in terms of our children’s’ scientific literacy.  This past December an international survey confirmed—too many American kids don’t understand science and they continue to fall behind children from other nations, many much poorer than we are in science and math skills.

Students in the United States slipped deeper in the last international science literacy rankings amid fast-growing competition abroad.  American teens scored below the international average in math and roughly average in science, compared against dozens of other countries in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).  We trail Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain, Latvia, Viet Nam and many more.  (http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results.htm)…

A key reason for the poor performance of our children with respect to science is that American culture is both ignorant of and disrespectful to science…

As I write this there are two women in ICUs in different parts of the U.S. on life support despite having been pronounced dead by medical experts… Neither the media or the medical profession seemed to be able to explain that brain death is truly death.  Nor did the public seem inclined to listen, believing somehow that a miracle might occur.

At the same time as these cases emerged a poll was released by the Pew Foundation showing that a third of Americans do not believe in evolution…

And as I write this flu season has begun across the country.  The CDC estimates that last year 381,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu. They also estimate that, the flu vaccine prevented 79,000 hospitalizations and 6.6 million illnesses.  Yet a tiny cabal of kooks and know-nothings has gotten so much attention that barely half of all Americans get a flu shot…

The nutritional supplements industry is a thirty billion dollar business that has no solid evidence for efficacy and oodles of instances in which death and disability are linked to poorly manufactured or mislabeled products…

I could go on but the point ought to be clear.  Children are not going to flourish at science in a society that treats science either as something you can believe in selectively, something that is simply one point of view or something about which anyone can have a credible opinion no matter how ill-qualified, dumb or misinformed.

If we want to have a brighter economic future then we need to start thinking about science education outside of our schools.

Absolutely.  Because our schools aren’t teaching science.  They’re teaching our kids about global warming instead.  So they will grow up frightened.  And vote Democrat.

The teacher unions support Democrats.  And Democrats protect teacher unions.  So is it any surprise that they are programming our children to be good Democrat voters instead of teaching them good science?  Filling their heads with politicized science like global warming.  For it is politicized science when a consensus closes a subject to debate.  That is something that just doesn’t happen in good science.  If it were then physicists would just take a vote on what better reconciled general relativity and quantum mechanics.  Loop quantum gravity or string theory?  Of course, physicists don’t reach a consensus to determine which science is the right science.  But that’s what climate ‘scientists’ do.  And Al Gore.  And our public schools.  And our universities.  They say there is a consensus and the scientific debate is settled.  We are warming the planet.  And the only way to save the planet is with massive government regulation.  With Democrats in power to write ever more regulations.

The reason why Americans are falling behind in math and science is because the Democrats use education for political ends.  Not for educating our children.  For they couldn’t win an election if they did.  They need a crisis.  Like global warming.  A crisis and an ignorant electorate.  Which their friends in education give them.  And because they do children from Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain, Viet Nam and many more are now smarter than American children.

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Democrats help Colleges and Universities sell kids Useless Degrees with no Market Value

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 29th, 2013

Week in Review

All you hear from Washington is that we need to spend more on education.  We need to help more kids afford a college education.  To help subsidize the high cost of education.  Though they never question why the cost of education is so high.  Never.  Tuition keeps going up.  And they keep saying we need to spend more on education.

More people than ever are going on to college.  Because it’s a lot of fun.  Drinking and partying.  The drugs.  The sex.  Kids love getting out from underneath their parent’s supervision.  And going to a party college.  Where they can have a good time.  All of the time.  Of course, taking tough majors could get in the way of that fun.  Like math and science majors.  The kind of majors businesses are hiring out of college.  But these majors are hard.  And do intrude on that fun.  So a lot of kids take easier majors.  They still pay a fortune for them.  But their universities and colleges gladly take their money knowing full well that their odds of getting a job with that major are slim (see Duke Grad Student Secretly Lived In a Van to Escape Loan Debt by Mandi Woodruff, Business Insider, posted 12/27/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

Yahoo editors have selected this article as a favorite of 2013. It first ran on Yahoo Finance on June 10 and was one of the most popular stories of the year. The article details the extreme lengths Ken Ilgunas went to in order to pay back his big student debt bill.

By the time Ken Ilgunas was wrapping up his last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo in 2005, he had no idea what kind of debt hole he’d dug himself into.

He had majored in the least marketable fields of study possible — English and History — and had zero job prospects after getting turned down for no fewer than 25 paid internships.

“That was a wake-up call,” he told Business Insider. “I had this huge $32,000 student debt and at the time I was pushing carts at Home Depot, making $8 an hour. I was just getting kind of frantic.”

Back then, student loans had yet to become the front page news they are today. Ilgunas could have simply deferred his loans or declared forbearance. He also could have asked his parents (who were more than willing to help) for a leg up. He could have thrown up his hands and gone to grad school until the job market bounced back.

Instead, he moved to Alaska and spent two years paying back every dime. And when he enrolled at Duke University for graduate school later, he lived out of his van to be sure he wouldn’t have to take out loans again.

Ken’s story is a little different as he really wanted to be a writer.  And he took whatever job he could to repay his student loan.  And then earned his master’s without another student loan.  But there are so many kids who are enticed to take on great student loan debt to earn a degree that has little market value in a high-tech economy.  And our colleges and universities sell these degrees to these unsuspecting kids.  They get their money.  Allowing tenured professors and college administrators to live the good life.  While these kids are stuck paying off their debt with their $8/hour jobs that they could have gotten without that expensive college degree.  Or taxpayers end up paying for them.  With taxpayer-subsidies.  Or student loan bailouts.  Which may be coming if Democrats get their way.

Our colleges and universities are slinging these useless degrees for the money.  For higher education is a business.  And a profitable one.  The one type of business that the left doesn’t mind making a profit.  Even an obscene profit.

The Democrats help them with cheap student loans, subsidies and the promise of bailouts to keep that money flowing to them.  And in exchange they teach our kids how to be good Democrat voters.  Which they do.  As the vast majority of our young vote Democrat.  Even when they have to repay their student loans with their $8/hour jobs.  But that may change.  As more of them can’t find work with their expensive degrees they may dissuade their friends and younger siblings from making the same mistake.  Especially as they now have to deal with the high cost of the Affordable Care Act.  Which may be the tipping point for the young.  For as much as the Democrats say they are looking out for them their lives just don’t get better when Democrats win elections.

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College Degrees that are too Cool for School and Unwanted by Employers in a High-tech Economy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 8th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left is hammering millennials.  The young people.  Teenagers to thirty-somethings.  A strong demographic for the American left.  But they are just beating them up.  The latest being the punishing blows of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare).  Which transfers the cost of the old and sick to them.  By forcing them to buy costly health insurance policies that they can’t afford.  Because the millennials are suffering the highest unemployment rates in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.

The economic policies of the Obama administration have forced over ten million people out of the labor force since Obama became president.  With this destruction of jobs the millennials graduating with a college degree can’t find a job.  At least not one using their degree.  That they financed with a large student loan.  And ended up working someplace that doesn’t require that costly degree.  Making far less than they expected when they took on all that student loan debt.  Leaving them struggling to repay that debt.

And if that wasn’t bad enough they encouraged them to go to college.  To get a college degree so they can make the big bucks after graduation.  They even took over the student loan program to make it easier to give these kids college loans.  The problem is that a lot of them did go to college.  But they got degrees like these (see College Majors That are Too Cool for School posted 12/8/2013 on Fact University).

Comic Book Art, Adventure Education, Cannabis Cultivation, Bowling Industry Management, Motorsports Science and Engineering, Winemaking, Folklore and Mythology, Comedy: Writing and Performance, Diving Business and Technology, Beatles Historian, Theme Park Engineer, Puppetry, Popular Culture, Entertainment Engineering & Design and Sexuality.

Is it any wonder the millennials are suffering some of the highest unemployment?  And why businesses have to use the visa program to get foreign college graduates to fill their science and engineering needs?

Our colleges and universities are giving our kids worthless degrees in a high-tech economy.  And it’s these degrees that the Democrats have been floating the idea of forgiving that student loan debt for.  After getting that money to their friends in higher education so they can mold their students into future Democrat voters.  And giving these kids 4 years of partying while working on degrees that are just too cool for school.  Guaranteeing a Democrat vote from each of them.  Until they grow up and experience the real world.

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Colleges sell Kids Unmarketable Degrees, making them Unemployable and Deep in Debt

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2013

Week in Review

The economy is horrible.  Youth unemployment is soaring.  As is student loan debt.  Which is a big problem when you can’t get a job in a horrible economy.  Or the only job you can get you could have gotten without that costly degree.  And your student loan payment consumes a quarter of your income.  This is not the American dream these kids went to college for.  So why is it so bad for college graduates today?  And why are we looking at a student loan crisis?  Democrats.  In particular, liberal Democrats (see A quarter of recent college graduates lack jobs by John Carney posted 9/6/2013 on CNBC).

At the turn of the century, recent college graduates had an average debt of $15,100. Last year the average debt of graduates was $27,253. This increase in the debt burden has not been matched by economic gains for college graduates. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, 10 percent of recent graduates of four-year colleges have monthly student loan payments that exceed of 25% of their income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which only recently began looking specifically at the employment situation of people in their first few years out of college, says that as of 2011 25.5 percent of recent college graduates were jobless. (Unfortunately, more recent data about recent grads isn’t yet available.)

Seven million borrowers are in default on private or federal loans, according to the CFPB. An additional 8.9 million have deferred payments or have their loans in forbearance. These aren’t signs of a healthy contingent of borrowers.

At the turn of the century more college graduates had jobs and carried less student loan debt.  Back then there were no gender studies.  No minority studies.  No information systems.  People were getting degrees that the jobs of the day demanded.  And because they did they got hired out of college.  Into good jobs.  That allowed them to repay their student loans.  And helped make America the number one economic power in the world.  Today people with degrees that have no market value end up as baristas at Starbucks.  Which they could have done without going $27,253 into debt.

But it’s not their fault.  Colleges told them about the great wealth that awaited them with their degrees in women studies, minority studies, information systems, sociology, French literature, philosophy, etc.,  even though our high-tech economy was demanding people with math and science degrees.  Which is why we have to hand out visas to get foreigners with those degrees to work at US companies.  Because our liberal colleges are getting rich selling ‘easy’ degrees to kids more interested in having a good time while at college.  Which is easier to do when you don’t have a lot of math and science courses weighing you down.

This is why college graduates can’t get jobs and are drowning in debt.  The left’s incessant attacks on capitalism pushed these kids away from the corporate world into more noble pursuits.  By getting degrees that have no market value.  But show that they are not money-grubbing capitalists.  Though they do tend to complain that their degrees (and student loan debt) didn’t bring them the riches the colleges promised them.

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The Cost of Higher Education rose Twice as Much as Health Care Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 31st, 2013

Week in Review

It’s bad enough that higher education is programming our kids to become good liberals.  But their getting rich in the process is just rubbing salt into the wound (see College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985: Chart of the Day by Michelle Jamrisko & Ilan Kolet posted 8/26/2013 on Bloomberg).

The cost of higher education has surged more than 500 percent since 1985, illustrating why there have been renewed calls for change from both political parties.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows that tuition expenses have increased 538 percent in the 28-year period, compared with a 286 percent jump in medical costs and a 121 percent gain in the consumer price index. The ballooning charges have generated swelling demand for educational loans while threatening to make college unaffordable for domestic and international students.

What expenses does a college have?  There are shelters (i.e., buildings) where students sit and learn.  But shelter costs rose nowhere near the amount going to college did.  So it’s not the buildings.  So what else do colleges have?  That tuition pays for?  Excluding books and living expenses that are above and beyond tuition expenses?  Well, the only other thing they really have are people.

College administrators and college professors.  If the high tuition costs are not due the costs of the buildings on the college campus then we must be paying the people too much.  In pay and benefits.  So let’s crunch some numbers.

The average annual cost for a 4-year public college is about $18,000 (see The Average Cost of a U.S. College Education posted 8/24/2010 in US News and World Repot).  Based on a typical enrollment of 40,000 students that comes to an annual college revenue of $720,000,000.  If the college has $1.5 billion in debt on its books for capital improvements on average at 6% that comes to an annual interest expense of $90 million.  Let’s assume they retire $50 million in debt every year.  And their operating costs (everything else but pay and benefits for administrators and professors) are, say, $25 million.  Subtracting all this from the annual tuition revenue leaves $555 million for pay and benefits each year.  Assuming a professor/administrator for each 20 students that gives us 900 professors/administrators.  Dividing this into that $555 million gives us about $617,000 per professor/administrator annually.

This is just a rough estimate but it does give you an idea about the amount of money we’re talking about here.  Not all professors are making $617,000 but if you’re tenured you’re living well.  Very well.  And administrators typically live far better than tenured professors.  This is what students are going in debt for.  To give a privileged few a life others can only dream about.  Worse, a lot of these students who graduate have an unmarketable degree.  In an economy where employers are looking for people with math and science skills people with degrees in romantic languages or gender studies will not fare well.  But the people who sold them those degrees will be doing very well.  This is why we have a student loan debt problem.  Students took on enormous debt for a degree they can’t use.

Everyone loves to complain about the high cost of health care.  And demand that government do something about it.  Well, they did.  They gave us Obamacare.  Which promises to squeeze hospitals and doctors.  To make them do more for less.  Obamacare is so bad that it is causing some doctors to retire early.  Just so they don’t have to deal with it.  Yet the cost of college has gone up at twice the rate of health care costs.  But where is the outcry over that?  Where are the people demanding that government do something?   To squeeze those universities, professors and administrators?  Why should they get rich at providing education.  If doctors shouldn’t get rich saving lives why should educators be allowed to get rich selling unmarketable degrees?  Just why is it educators can get away with being the greediest of the greedy and escape government scrutiny?

Because they teach their students to be good liberals, that’s why.  And this is so valuable to Democrats that they are willing to raise the taxes on their constituents as much as it takes.  Because without the programming higher education provides few would vote Democrat.

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High School Graduation Rates, Out-of-Wedlock Births and Median Family Income

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 25th, 2013

Politics 101

Colleges use Affirmative Action to Increase Diversity because only 66.1% of Blacks Graduate from High School

Interest rates recently went up for student loans.  Something that greatly angered the left.  Blaming the Republicans for playing politics with our children’s future.  For a college education is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  A college education is so critical to a person’s future success that everyone should have access to a low-cost student loan.  And because a college education is so important this should not be a privilege of the rich.  Or whites.  Colleges should use affirmative action to ensure a diversity of students.  Because our differences, they say, make us better.

Yes, a college degree is important.  And the data backs this up.  The median family income in 2009 for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $90,530 (see Table 698. Money Income of Families—Distribution by Family Characteristics and Income Level: 2009 posted on census.gov).  Those with only a high school diploma earned $48,637.  While those who didn’t graduate from high school only earned $31,119.  So clearly a college degree is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  Of course, to get that college degree you first have to enroll into college.  And to do that you need to graduate from high school.  So graduating from high school, then, is the gateway to those good, high-paying jobs.  Which, as it turns out, is the reason we need affirmative action to ensure that diversity of students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (see National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high by Lyndsey Layton posted 1/22/2013 on The Washington Post), not everyone is graduating from high school at the same rate.  Looking at the breakout for three races we find that Asians are graduating 93% of the time.  Whites are graduating 83% of the time.  While blacks are graduating only 66.1% of the time.  Which explains the need of affirmative action admission policies to achieve diversity at our colleges and universities.  For when blacks are only 13% of the population and only 66.1% of them are graduating from high school you’re not going to get a lot of diversity without affirmative action.

Married People with College Degrees have Higher Median Family Incomes than Unmarried High School Dropouts

Going back to the Census data we can see a correlation between these high school graduation rates and median family income.  Those with the highest graduation rate (Asians) earned $75,027.  Those with the next highest graduation rate (whites) earned $62,545.  While those with the lowest graduation rate (blacks) earned $38,409.  Which clearly shows that high school graduates earn more than high school dropouts.  And because Asians and whites have higher high school graduation rates than blacks they have higher median family incomes than blacks.

So we know that to earn a decent income you need a college degree.  And to get that you need a high school diploma.  But is there anything else that has a big influence on a family’s median income?  As it turns out, yes.  Going back to the Census data we see that a family with a married couple earned $71,627.  A male householder with no spouse present earned $41,501.  While a female householder with no spouse present earned only $29,770.

If you want to earn a lot of money, then, the way is clear.  Graduate from high school.  Go on to college and earn a degree.  Then settle down.  Get married.  And raise a family.  A common thread at every stage of this pathway is personal discipline.  Staying in and studying instead of going out and partying.  And once you start working start a family.  For the heavy responsibility of raising children keeps people from staying up late and partying with friends.  Get’s them to work on time in the morning.  And drives them to advance in their careers to provide more for their families.  Things employers like in employees.  Making it easier for these people to climb the career ladder.

The People with the Highest Median Family Income also have the Lowest Out-of-Wedlock Births

A child growing up in a household with a married couple where at least one has a college degree will probably learn the values of his or her parents.  To work hard.  Exercise self-discipline.  And work towards a long-term goal.  Don’t take the easy way.  Don’t take the fun way.  Make sacrifices now that will help you attain your long-term goals.  And it starts with studying and doing your homework.  For a high school diploma is only the first bridge to cross of many to come.  And if you don’t get across that first bridge you will advance no further down the road towards a good, high-paying job.

The family structure, then, is key.  A child needs to learn the values that will let him or her exceed in life.  And a married couple provides twice the parenting of a single-parent household.  And doubles the earnings potential.  By allowing one parent to pursue a full-time career.  Which leads to greater income.  Without having to sacrifice parenting time.  Or risk burning out from trying to do everything alone.  And the numbers prove this.  According to Census data (see Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women With a Recent Birth: 2011 posted on census.gov), the number of children being born out-of-wedlock differ greatly across the above three racial groups.  Asians have the lowest out-of-wedlock births at 11.3%.  While whites come in at 29.2%.  And blacks come in at 67.8%.

The people with the highest median family income also have the lowest out-of-wedlock births.  Confirming that the path towards a high-paying job is a high school diploma.  A college education.  Being careful NOT to have any children until you’re married.  And after you graduate from college and establish a career get married and raise a family.  In other words, personal discipline.  Sacrificing short-term fun.  For long-term success.  Suggesting the reason why blacks earn a lower family median income than most is because of their high out-of-wedlock birthrate.  Young black women having children before they graduate from high school.  Which prevents them from crossing that first bridge on the road towards a good, high-paying job.  Making her life more difficult.  And giving her children a distinct disadvantage.  At least, based on the Census data.

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Student Loan Payments are Overdue because Universities sold Students Costly Degrees with no Market Value

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 26th, 2013

Week in Review

American companies have difficulty in filling positions requiring strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills.  So they turn to foreigners.  And the H-1B visas (see H-1B Visas and the STEM Shortage by Jonathan Rothwell and Neil G. Ruiz posted 5/10/2013 on Brookings).  Which means our colleges and universities aren’t producing enough of these STEM graduates.  Instead, what they are producing is a lot of people who can’t get a job.  And probably will never be able to repay their student loan (see Overdue Student Loans Reach Record as U.S. Graduates Seek Jobs by John Hechinger posted 5/23/2013 on Bloomberg).

Overdue student loans reached an all-time high as students struggle to find work after college, according to a government report renewing alarms about the rising burden of higher-education debt.

Eleven percent of student loans were seriously delinquent — at least 90 days past due — in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 6 percent in the first quarter of 2003, according to the report by the U.S. Education Department. Almost 30 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds aren’t employed or in school, the study found.

The research is being released amid concern in Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration about rising college costs and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, the largest category of consumer debt besides mortgages.

So our colleges and universities pocketed a cool $1 trillion in return for giving our kids degrees that have little market value.  At least 30% of those degrees.  A trillion the U.S. taxpayer will probably end up eating.  Just like they had to eat the subprime mortgage mess.  Which begs the question.  Why are our colleges and universities selling our kids degrees that can’t help them land a job?  And don’t say it’s just the economy.  While the bad economy plays a part it doesn’t explain all those H-1B visas.  What these visas tell us is our colleges and universities are screwing us.  By conning our kids to go into great debt for worthless degrees just to bring hundreds of billions into their campuses.

If anyone bails out this student loan debt it should be those responsible for it.  The ones who sold our kids these worthless degrees.  In fact, in the future, we need to make some kind of eligibility scoring system for student loans.  Based on a survey of who businesses are hiring.  Those they’re hiring most (like those with STEM skills) should be eligible for the greatest student loan amounts at the best interest rates.  Because these graduates are most likely to get a job commensurate with their education.  And will be able to easily repay their student loans.  While those who businesses are hiring least (like those getting degrees in gender studies or drama) should be eligible for the smallest loan amounts and pay the highest interest rates.  Or simply denied any student loans.  Because they will be the least likely to get a job.  And will have the most trouble repaying their loan.

For those who feel they must have these degrees with no current market value to enrich the American tapestry they can still get these degrees.  They just need to pay for them out of pocket.  Or have their parents pay for them.  Which shouldn’t be a problem.  For they can demand colleges and universities lower the tuition costs for these degrees with no current market value.  I mean, why should they be charging so much and put a student into so much debt for a degree that won’t improve his or her economic position.  Which is the ultimate reason we go to college.  So we can earn a bigger paycheck.  Even the drama students dream of going to Hollywood where they can be rich and famous.

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