Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Round of Excuses

"American doctors' salaries are high for several reasons. The first is the cost of education. In France and Great Britain, students go directly to medical school after high school, and their entire educations are free. In the United States, students must first get a bachelor's degree before attending medical school, and the average medical student's debt is $155,000." --Slate, "Do American doctors get paid too much?"

“It’s actually a very reasonable increase this year, particularly in light of the recently-announced financial aid initiative and the increase in scholarship budget,” Donahue said. “It is certainly reflective of increased costs, not the least of which is the cost of health care.”--Harvard's Director of Financial Aid explaining why they are raising tuition.

The cost of education is growing because the cost of health care is growing, because the cost of education is growing, because the cost of health care is growing....


sal said...

Money for higher education is scarce. So are decent paying jobs. Don't lose hope, though. I escaped from the usa after borrowing $25,000 for a doctoral program in sociology a few years ago. I also worked for chump change as an adjunct instructor. Progress had to be made to continue in the doctoral program as well. I slept 2 or 3 hours each night. Teaching 3 sociology classes at different universities while mastering the literature in my field was an experience that taught me many things. For example, it's insane for an experienced college instructor to teach a class of 40 students for $2000 per semester. The university makes $108,000 ($300 per unit) and you make $6,000. My dissertation topic was related to the Family and Medical Leave Act. The costs of time and money to finish it were prohibitive. My study of family issues vis-a-vis usa labor conditions, ca. mid-'90s, died. Its premise of forming a progressive political coalition on the broad basis of support for that bill was reasonable. 20 years earlier. My committee approved my plan and I became a doctoral candidate. Grant money for this topic was scarce. The FMLA was opposed by the American C of C, NAM, and NFIB. I could have used my $14,000 a year income to fund my research. I planned to stop eating. Something was wrong. Trying to cross the last hurdle for a PhD was insurmountable. Success of projects correlates positively with their amount of funding. Becoming the largest energy trading company or a leading investment bank require huge amounts of funding. Yet, 'success' may still disappear. Recent examples confirmed my vision of 'success stories.' I first recognized 'funding for success' with the savings and loan episode 20 years ago. Keep your sight on the big picture: buy low, sell high. The Sumerians and Babylonians knew this. What's the connection to the cost of a university education? Simple. Enroll in the best university you can. Take out the biggest loan possible. Make sure you get a Master's degree in something. Enroll in a doctoral program if possible. Take out another large loan so you will have time to study. Learn how to think creatively and critically. Remember, if you can get something of value cheaply and then enhance its value. All revenue after start-up costs is 'profit.' And the tens of thousands of dollars that you borrowed to attend university and graduate school? Never pay back a cent. The government will pick up the tab, just like paying bonuses to the bozos who promoted CDOs. You provided a useful service as an underpaid instructor. Don't you deserve a financial reward for the contributions you made to society? Sure you do. And, it's really simple. Leave the usa. Scores of countries need native English speakers with a Master's degree and some college teaching experience. Employment as an English instructor is easy to find, outside of the usa. Confidence, a dictionary, and a writer's handbook are all you need. Take control of your own destiny. You can live a comfortable life in a safe country and work at a job that satisfies personally and financially. The usa doesn't need you. Other countries do. While you are overseas making good money and saving some, your local bank will offer you a credit card. Once you get that credit card from your overseas bank, US credit rating and collection agencies can no longer torment you. The threat of a 'bad credit rating' no longer exists. You've worked hard in your new country and saved some money, so your bank gives you a credit card. You get your credit card and it's as good as gold anywhere in the world. It's that simple. Your economic freedom is outside of the usa. Forget about those knuckleheads at the collection and credit rating agencies. They can't touch you because you've got credit. Life's unfair, so why deprive yourself of some comfort just because you turned out to be a 'poor credit risk' in the usa? You can be appreciated and have a good credit rating in another country. Happy hunting. sal

Brent Railey said...


The process really isn't difficult to follow:

1. Doctors are paid so much in the US because they are in scarce supply in relation to demand for medical services.

2. Doctors are in scarce supply because of the prohibitive costs and bureaucratic difficulties to enter the field, and the punishing insurance costs to remain in the field. It poses too much financial risk to attempt to become a doctor.

3. The costs of a medical education are so expensive because loose monetary policy and easy credit bid up prices on a medical education years ago and the educational costs will remain high as long a school loans are easy to obtain.