Chicago’s South Side

By John Ruberry

I’ve been saying that Chicago will be the next Detroit for years, and on Thursday, syndicated talk radio show host–and former Tea Party congressman–Joe Walsh, was making the same prediction on his program.

Walsh was discussing a just-released pension study which the Chicago Sun-Times reported on.

Standard & Poor’s surveyed pension obligations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, Indianapolis and Austin.

Chicago performed the worst across the board — registering the highest annual debt, pension post-employment benefits costs as a percentage of governmental expenditures and the highest debt and pension liability per capita.

And there is more:

The report noted that the “median weighted pension funded ratio of 70 percent” for the 15 cities “underlies a wide range of positions with Chicago only 23 percent funded across all plans and Indianapolis the most well-funded at 98 percent.”

Chicago’s pension burden is $12,400 per person–more than double that of New York City and it has the lowest bond rating of those 15 surveyed cities. The S&P report says that in 2015 Chicago “only made 52 percent of its annual legally required pension contribution.”

If you are looking for more bad news you came to the right place. More than five times as many people live in New York and Los Angeles combined–but there were more murders in Chicago last year than the total in both of those cities. As for Chicago’s population, it’s at a 100-year-low. Leading the exodus are middle class blacks.

CPS school on the West Side that closed in 2013

Chicago’s jobs program for people with education degrees, better known as Chicago Public Schools, has been cited by other middle class ex-Chicagoans, including your humble blogger, for decades as the main reason they abandoned the city. CPS bonds are rated as junk. Lack of money may lead to the last thirteen days of the school year being cancelled–and the CTU may add a fourteenth with a one-day strike in May to protest that early shutdown. Yep, I don’t get it either.

CPS officials have been battling the union for years to force teachers to pay more into their own pension funds. Yeah, they can afford it–of teachers in the largest school districts, CPS teachers rank in the top three in pay. But hey, the union members probably are thinking, “Why should we pay more when we have so many taxpayers who can foot the bill?”

But that’s the mindset that got Chicago into its mess. Oh that, and public-sector unions contributing heavily into the campaign funds of Democratic politicians.

Critics of my Chicago-is-the-next-Detroit hypothesis point out that large corporations have been moving their corporate headquarters into Chicago of late, the most prominent examples are ConAgra relocating its HQ from Omaha to Chicago and McDonald’s, which will move back to the city after four decades in suburbia. But no one can say how many of these corporate big shots will live in Chicago.

Two years ago Chicagoans were slugged with the largest property tax increase in the city’s history to pay for, yes, unfunded pension liabilities. Last year Chicago water and sewer taxes were hiked. Remember what what I wrote earlier, Chicago’s pensions are only 23-percent funded. Does anyone think that there aren’t additional massive tax increases in Chicago’s future? And when the producing segment of Chicago is even more depleted–chased out, that is–how will Chicago pay for street repair, schools, and snow removal–as well as adequate police and fire protection?

The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that public-worker pensions cannot be reduced.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Here’s what I base my Chicago dystopia projection on. Defenders of the status quo place blind faith into their hope that Chicago can somehow hang on until enough pensioners die, which probably won’t be until the middle of the century. They offer no credible solutions. Nothing. They’re as delusional as Gerald O’Hara meticulously counting out his Confederate bonds in Gone With The Wind–“All we have left”–after General Robert E. Lee surrendered.

There’s a way out–changing state law so municipalities and government agencies can declare bankruptcy, which is something Bruce Rauner, Illinois’ reform governor, favors. But the Democrats and the public-sector unions will never agree to that.

John Ruberry, who moved from Chicago to the suburbs in 1999, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

On Saturday at CPAC I ran into Naseem and her Mother Salome

I suspect that a lot of liberal heads exploded during that interview

Speaking of liberal heads exploding you know how the President has talked about Bernie supporters who went for him, well I found one at CPAC Dustin who I interviewed with Charles

I was a tad surprised by the call for unity as a goal and political goals rather than policy goals

His answer concerning Sanders voters thinking staying home or voting Hillary was quite interesting.

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all videos not blogged about yet here). If your interview hasn’t been blogged yet I promise I will get to you

3/10
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Pastor Greg Young and Cody from MD
Voices at CPAC 2017 Senator Rick Santorum

3/9
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Mona Salama & Tyler
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kurt Schlichter and Stephen Kruiser

3/8
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Caleb from South florida and Robert Stacy McCain
Voices at CPAC 2017 Rep Josh Moore NH and Micha Pierce from WI and American Majority

3/7
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Zaire Ali from MD & Daniel from LA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michael Graham & Bill Lewis

3/6
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court NIRSA Liberals strike back, Plus Elliott and Adam
Voices of CPAC 2017 Marc Hayden Conservatives vs the Death Penalty & Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of the complications from her “routine” surgery.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar




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If you are not in the position to hit DaTipJar We will be very happy to accept your prayers

At CPAC 2017 you can learn a lot by just being willing to approach people, for example from Reresentative Josh Moore of NH I found out what was going down in his state

Networking as he said is a big part of CPAC

MUCH later I spoke to Micha Pierce who was one of the speakers on a breakout panel

You can hear the difference in tiredness in me between the pair but my guest was still fresh enough to talk which is what counts.


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all videos not blogged about yet here). Be aware that due to the sheer volume of videos to upload if I interviewed you it might be days before you see it here

3/7
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Zaire Ali from MD & Daniel from LA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michael Graham & Bill Lewis

3/6
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court NIRSA Liberals strike back, Plus Elliott and Adam
Voices of CPAC 2017 Marc Hayden Conservatives vs the Death Penalty & Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of the complications from her “routine” surgery.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. You can be listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog for as little as $2 a week. If only 130 of the 209K+ unique visitors who came in 2016 .07% subscribed at the same levels as our current subscription base we would make our current annual goal with ease. If we could boost that number to 260 I could afford to cover major events in person all over the country.

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



If you are not in the position to hit DaTipJar We will be very happy to accept your prayers

The smartest man in America is not white, and, predictably, not a leftist.

by baldilocks

From the University of Washington at Tacoma Writing Center:

STATEMENT ON ANTIRACIST AND SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK IN THE WRITING CENTER

The writing center works from several important beliefs that are crucial to helping writers write and succeed in a racist society. The racist conditions of our society are not simply a matter of bias or prejudice that some people hold. In fact, most racism, for instance, is not accomplished through intent. Racism is the normal condition of things. Racism is pervasive. It is in the systems, structures, rules, languages, expectations, and guidelines that make up our classes, school, and society. For example, linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent “standard” of English. Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.

There’s more, but that’s the gist.

We non-whites are too genetically disadvantaged to toe the same standard offered to whites, you see. Our defects are hard-wired.

This is a declaration of war.

And who is their enemy? The non-white students who buy into this declaration of their allegedly innate inferiority are their enemies. This is an intentional effort to hobble any consumers of this garbage–for life if possible.

Hardcore white supremacists are more honest and less dangerous than these academics. At least the worshiper of white carcasses will tell you up front that he hates your black carcass and wants nothing to do with you. These credentialitarians are far worse. They insert their true opinions about the inferiority of non-whites into the guise of combatting racism. It’s a Trojan Horse.

“You darkies don’t have the capacity to learn proper English, so we won’t make you do it and we’ll give you a degree anyway.” That would be a more honest statement.

Leftists…

(Thanks to David Thompson and Ed Driscoll)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

There’s an old saying that makes its rounds at law schools across the country. The most talented law students become lawyers and eventually judges. Those who can’t make it as lawyers become professors. While this is meant as a derogatory statement students make about their law professors, there’s a bit of truth in it. No, I’m not suggesting that law professors are or were bad lawyers, but it’s no surprise that even in the relatively-conservative profession of the law, a majority of educators tend to lean left.

It’s much worse in other professions. I don’t have to convince you that higher education is a infested with leftist educators and administrators. Any debate about that reality has been thoroughly quashed in the last few years. Instead, it’s important for us to come up with a plan to address this issue going forward.

Here’s the biggest problem. They’re embedded. It would be nearly impossible for a conservative revolution to happen in college leadership or among professors because they already own the entire market. They run the schools. They run the departments. They hire and promote the professors they want and the vast majority of them are leftists. This is a problem that we won’t be able to solve from the top, so we have to address it from the bottom up.

We have to start with the students.

This is often framed as a challenge for America’s future, but that’s only half the story. As adults, we often view college students as relatively impotent. Perhaps in the past they were, though one can argue that most major movements in our history have started with passionate students operating within their collegiate environments. Today, they’re even more empowered because of social media. The always-on aspect of American society gives the professors and students a much louder megaphone. Instead of having to contest with bad television coverage from protests, we are now faced with a generation that has more reach than ever before. They can reach each other and they can reach the rest of the world.

To fight this, we have to do three things.

Prepare our Children

As a parent of a college student and another about to enter, I have been spending a great deal of time preparing them for the attempt at indoctrination they’re bound to experience. The only surefire way around it is to not send them to college (and yes, that’s a valid option in today’s economic construct). If you’re unwilling to do that, then it’s imperative that you get them prepared.

How it’s done is up to you. I was blessed with children who are quite discerning for their age. They both came to the conclusion that they were conservatives without me bombarding them with propaganda or putting posters of Ronald Reagan on their walls as children. When they had questions, I answered them. We’ve shown them the correctness of fiscal and social conservatism, but it must be taken a step further.

As good as conservative philosophies are to those who will listen, it’s still challenging to overcome the onslaught of leftist thoughts that they’ll experience in college. There’s no real way around it, so it’s important to do two things: prepare them before they go and be open to questions once they’re in the belly of the beast. So far I haven’t had to explain away any liberal ideas that started creeping into their mindset, but I’m prepared to do so at any point.

Call out Hypocrisy

The other bastion of liberal ideologies is the mainstream media. With few exceptions, they are also populated with a majority on the left. This makes for a great tag-team effort between schools and the media. The leftists at colleges make a fuss and the leftists in the media paint their fuss in a positive light.

It’s up to bloggers, video producers, and social media users to call them both out when they’re hypocrisy is apparent to us. Because of the nature of our situation, we can’t expect them to do it themselves. We’re the voice of dissent against leftist hypocrisy in higher education. The media will not do it for us.

Engage in Discourse

We’ve seen conservative speakers shunned by colleges across the country. This is no reason to stop trying. In fact, we need to do it more.

It’s not just up to public speakers who attempt to speak at colleges. We also need to be active on college forums. We should be replying and being the voice of reason on college publications. We should address them directly on social media. The best friend of leftist indoctrination is a silent right.

Can we convince a leftist professor that free markets yield better results than heavy regulations and obtuse tariffs? No. However, when we engage publicly with them, it’s the audience watching the exchange that has the opportunity to see the right way.

It’s not going to be easy to take on the leftist juggernaut of higher education in America, but it must be done. Conservatives can only win through legislation as long as we have enough voters putting conservatives in office. This will trend away from us if we let the left have carte blanche on the biggest future (and current) voting block.

Technology is completely transforming education in more ways than one. Without looking back at the progress that has been made in the last couple of years, it can be difficult to understand the speed at which education has changed during the last decade. And if the past is of any indication, technology will continue to have a huge impact on how education will be dispensed in the future. In this article, we’re going to explore three ways new technologies are completely revolutionizing the world of education.

Online Educational Programs of Equal Quality as Brick and Mortar Institutions

While online diploma mills showed up almost as soon as online education was becoming serious, most online educational programs by major institutions are of equal quality as their brick and mortar counterparts.

Online education no longer consists of watching videos and filling out a survey, then receiving your “credentials” after the final payment clears. Instead, improvements in technology allow the teacher to present the material actively or passively by showing pre-recorded lessons.

In the case of online MBAs,  MBA online coursework includes projects that your designated teacher will review. Whether they are market analysis or business case studies depends on the class, but at the end of the day, the same level of work is required of online MBA students as regular ones.

Online Education Eliminates the Need for the Training Department

Does your company have offices in California? Do you have someone in that facility up to date on sexual harassment rules and qualified to give the state mandated training for all managers in that facility? Unless you have a large office in that state, you probably don’t have someone with the expertise to teach that state mandated training. Then there are requirements like diversity training for federal contractors and suppliers who work with federal contractors. Online education is increasingly eliminating the need for keeping Human Resources personnel up to date on all of these rules and regulations, or paying an exorbitant amount to an outside trainer to teach the classes.

Instead, there are a number of companies that offer these classes online. To help reinforce the lessons and prove that the student paid attention, quizzes will be peppered throughout the online material.

Your Company Needs Fewer People to Train Your Customers and Clients

Another way technology is transforming education is by reducing the time and effort required to train customers and clients. For instance, your company can create training videos on how to use or maintain particular products and then post them online. The benefit of this includes fewer calls to technical support from people failing to follow the instructions correctly. And you have fewer sales people asked to train customers instead of focusing on what they should be doing, selling. This makes you whole sales and customer service team that much more efficient.

Online education is reducing the need for trainers to travel to various worksites in the same city or around the world to train customers, clients and employees. Online education allows companies to tap into lower cost knowledge systems and online educational programs like online MBA courses bring advanced degrees within reach of far more employees at a lower cost and greater schedule flexibility, without sacrificing quality.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to pursue your degree with the masters of science in nursing online curriculum program, then it may be helpful to learn about the ways it can shape your future. Earning a degree is nothing to take lightly. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication, so you want to know it’s worth it in the end. While there are all kinds of ways it can shape your future and benefit you, we’ll take a look at some of the top advantages to earning a degree.

Provides You with Confidence

As you head into the world and search for that career job, confidence is something you will need. If it’s your first real career position, confidence can be a bit hard to come by. By earning your degree you will be armed with all kinds of skills and knowledge that will provide you with that boost of confidence you will need. It will help to carry you through that first position as you work to build upon your knowledge and gain experience.

Open More Job Opportunities

Another great advantage to earning a degree is that it opens a variety of career paths. There is no need to just focus on one set job, as your degree can help you land a variety of positions. What this means is that you can find a job easier and faster. It also means you can switch things up if you’re unhappy with your current job.

Increase your Earnings

Of course, it’s always nice to know that you can make a decent amount of money in your field. By possessing a degree you will be guaranteed higher earnings potential. Now this may not happen right away in your first job, but as you work your way up the career ladder you can command a higher salary than those without a degree. You will be eligible for those higher up positions since you will have the qualifications and skills required.

Enjoy Health Benefits

Here’s a factor that doesn’t always pop into your mind, but usually the higher paying jobs also offer some sort of health benefit package. Think how much this can save you down the road in medical costs. This is even more important if you plan on having a family, or already have a family to care for. This can work out to be a pretty big advantage.

Increased Job Security

It’s true that no job is ever 100% secure, but when you have a degree your employer is likely to value you that much more. They know they just can’t turn around and hire any person to do your job. You come with a set of skills and knowledge that is needed.

Making a Decision

as you mull over all the advantages to earning your masters degree in nursing it becomes evident that it can lead to all kinds of benefits not just for you, but also for your family.

Let me start this post by answering that question with a big YES. Online MBA courses are now the most popular courses in education, with thousands of new students enrolling to get their master’s degrees. You don’t need to worry about the online MBA education not meeting the standards set by companies looking for new managers and supervisors either, because over 300 of the best courses from top names such as Ohio University are fully accredited.

There are other reasons why pursuing your MBA online is a good idea. An online degree can be up to 40% more affordable than the equivalent offline master’s degree. Plus, you have complete control over how you take the course. You can allocate more time, take more classes each semester and complete the course in as little as a year. You can also choose to take the course more slowly, especially if you’re maintaining a full time job or running a business at the same time.

 

To find out more about online MBA degrees, the Rise of Online MBA Education infographic by Ohio University is definitely worth a read.


Ohio University Online

An old lecturer of mine once said that marketing is a combination of art and science. As I delve into the world of internet marketing further, I find what he said to be true. Marketing involves a lot of creativity, but it is also a scientific process. Both creative thinking and data-driven decision making abilities are critically important if you want to be a good internet marketer.

One of the best ways to master these skills – and the other essential abilities every marketing executive must have – is by pursuing an MBA from top names such as Pepperdine University. Today’s best MBA programs are tailored not only to help you master marketing-related skills, but also to allow you to understand the A-to-Z of internet and mobile marketing along the way.

Upon completing the course, you will have a vast new array of knowledge to implement.

 

Find out more about these knowledge and other details about how an MBA can help you be a better marketer from the Anatomy of a Marketing Executive by mbaonline.pepperdine.edu.

Marketing Executive | MBA Online Pepperdine

 

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-6-22-56-am

A student loan bailout is a dreadful idea–one that would cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

An estimated 5.3 million people are enrolled in repayment plans, with about $353 billion in outstanding student loans, according to the General Accounting Office. The GAO estimates that $215 billion, or only 61 percent of the debt, will be paid in full. Another $108 billion will be forgiven altogether, with the remaining $29 billion discharged because of death or disability.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump said he would make it even easier for students to let their payments slide. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/10/13/trump-just-laid-out-a-pretty-radical-student-debt-plan/

As a college professor for more than 20 years, I understand that student debt is a serious issue. But it doesn’t make sense to let borrowers off the hook. Students and their parents signed a contract for a loan to get money. If they borrowed money to buy a car or a house, they would have to repay the loan.

As Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith put it: “Students who take out loans don’t tend to follow the strict rational decision-making process that economists often blithely assume. In other words, they fail to calculate carefully whether it’s worth it to take out the loans, and they don’t have a good idea of what it will take to pay off the debt. Students who take out loans don’t tend to follow the strict rational decision-making process that economists often blithely assume. In other words, they fail to calculate carefully whether it’s worth it to take out the loans, and they don’t have a good idea of what it will take to pay off the debt….That mistake is increasingly being encouraged, aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”

Individuals have an option if they cannot pay their loans: bankruptcy. That’s a difficult lesson, but it may get people to think twice about meeting their commitments in the future.

It is also important to look at the underlying causes of student debt, such as the government regulations that create bloated administrative staffs.  Since I started in higher education in 1994, I have seen the expansion of administrative personnel to meet, in part, state and federal guidelines. For example, there were three administrative jobs at the first school I worked at. The second one had seven. My current school has more than 30 administrative staff members, including a dean, a senior associate dean, an associate dean, four assistant deans, a senior vice dean, a compliance officer and myriad other positions. Throughout the university, I have seen the addition of hundreds of people to fill administrative posts. It seems as though everyone has an assistant who also has an assistant.

Trump and his new secretary of education. Betsy DeVos, need to tighten the requirements to get loans and cut the federal regulations that result in colleges and universities expanding their administrative staff. Both of these actions would go a long way to reducing the cost of higher education and make students responsible for their financial decisions.


Christopher Harper worked as a journalist for more than 20 years. He teaches media law.