Thursday, October 2, 2008

Get a Job- With a Wooden Arrow Company

I woke up this morning thinking about student loans. Dave was talking yesterday at work (we have jobs- for now) about how people who were in high school with him years ago and went to work in factories afterward are now going to college. I asked him how many of those people were going to school now because they have lost their jobs and think postsecondary education will not only allow them a possible new career path, but something to do while waiting for jobs to become available in the area where he grew up.

In this country we hear how important a college education is for getting a "good job" that "pays well" and "contributes to the global economy." Yet, postsecondary education in this country has become progressively more expensive, relative to the cost of living, and financial assistance has become less available, over the past several years. Kids are told that if they take out student loans and graduate with degrees, they will be able to find jobs so they can pay those loans back. But that isn't necessarily the case. And furthermore, there is evidence all over the place that there are job options that pay better than those associated with college degrees. Granted, there are figures that will show you that for the most part, someone who has higher than a high school education makes more money than someone who did not pursue college, but in these days people have limited choices and have to make them judiciously. And with student loan debt looming over people's heads down the road, and increasing restrictions on even that kind of money for school...

Suze Orman on that money show that made me want to hurl throwing stars at those experts to see if they could get out of that mess, was handing out tips to regular people about how to make sure this financial crisis affects them as little as possible, and how to avoid being crushed by the system down the road. She reminded college students that should you encounter difficult financial times, your student loan debt will not be forgiven, or struck from the books. You will always be responsible for it, until you have paid it off. That's right. You can get a deferment- with interest if the loan is not subsidized- should you return to school, and you can get a forbearance if the straits are rough enough for your lender to deem you worthy of a break for a while, but your tax refund will be taken away- if you have a job and get one- for the purpose of working toward satisfying your debt if you skip out on payments. The government will not come to your assistance if you suddenly find yourself unable to pay. So make sure you pay that student loan debt off right away- with those big fat paychecks you get from that sweet sweet job you land as soon as you graduate.

I tell you, I woke up thinking this stuff and got so mad I wished I could burst into flames like Selma Blair gets to do in the Hellboy films.
Finally, someone please tell me how this is necessary in the "Economic Rescue Plan:"
"Popular with lawmakers, the provisions include a research tax credit worth about $8.3 billion a year for companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Harley-Davidson Inc., and subsidies for the overseas financial services earnings of U.S.-based multinational corporations such as General Electric Co. and Citigroup Inc."
Well, at least it provides money for Microsoft to work on finally getting Vista right so maybe the third time I have to send Scutabaga back to Texas for repairs, will be the last time. I'll need it for job seeking.
With all these extenders hanging off the bill the Senate just passed, my bet is on the tourniquet Judd Gregg called for applying to stabilize the problem being the only medical attention it will receive. Then the doctors and nurses will file out of the ER, wash their hands, and go have a drink.

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