Thursday, April 20, 2006

Student Debt Alert Clock

A counter, courtesy of Student Debt Alert, that shows the total amount current and past students are on the hook for, WITHOUT interest. It was at $413 billion last I checked. Pretty close to the 2004, 2005 and projected 2006 budget deficits, all around $400 billion.
That's less than 25% of the nation's total consumer debt, a little over $2 trillion,
5% of the national debt, north of $8 trillion,
and 0.7% of the figure that dwarfs them all, the $53 trillion projected bill for Social Security and Medicare.


Robert Enders said...

You're the first Democrat that I have heard acknowledge and address the upcoming crisis in Social Security. This is progress. The first step is acknowleging that there is a problem, the next step is deciding what to do about it.

Matt R said...

I saw Anya on CSPan a few weeks ago and went out a bought the book. I loved it so far. I have read only 3 chapters. I am older than most of the people in the book. (I am 36.). I appreciate this book because It touches on a larger subject, which is that this country is being a nation of have and have nots. The cost of education is disturbing. The amount of student loan debt is equally troubling. The part if the book I most enjoy so far is chapter 3 "Low Wage Jobs". This was a harsh reality for me when I got my BA at Iona College in 1992. This chapter also touches on the poor quality of The USAs public high schools. She quoted Bill Gates as saying"I am terrified for the workforce of tomorrrow". Looking forward to the rest of the book. Good job Anya.

Per Kurowski said...

Should not Higher Education be more of a joint venture?

Having lately heard so many young professionals in the USA desperately describing their problems with servicing the debt they incurred while pursuing their studies, I guess that soon some of them could be suing their Alma Maters for misrepresentation or plain failure in delivering the services offered.

Perhaps we need to revise the current incentive structure of the education system and suggest that some of the higher education providers try to offer to take a substantial part of their remunerations through a profit participation scheme, like for instance a percentage of all gross earnings over the level of income that the prospective student could have been estimated to earn without further education, over his first 20 years of work.

How are then the universities going to pay for their professors now? Easy, that is what the financial markets are for. These participations in the future of the youngsters will be securitized and sold in the markets, perhaps even as a good investment for a professor’s retirement fund… of course, that is if the professor delivers on his promises.

For a university showing a willingness to invest in their students, because they are sure of what they are doing, might be a better marketing tool that given outright grants, “we invest our money in your future” is my copyrighted slogan. Also, for students, the question of who invests the most present dollars against the smallest percentage of their future earnings... should probably rank among the first when selecting an Alma Mater into which invest their own future.

Per Kurowski