We Can't Do Anything About.....
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-08-05 07:00 by Karl Denninger
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We Can't Do Anything About.....
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.... (stupendously high medical prices | ridiculous college costs | cops shooting unarmed Australian women | etc)

Really?

We can't do anything peaceful and lawful about it? Oh, I fully understand why these outrageous practices exist.  You see, the hospital administrator, doctor and pharma companies have no fear when they refuse to quote you a price or bill you at 10x what an insured person who has consumed their deductible would pay through their insurance, the college dean and provost have no fear when they cause your 18 year old son to rack up $50,000 a year in student loans and the cop has no fear when he shoots an unarmed Australian woman through the window of his cop car -- and across the body of his partner.

Everyone seems to think that the concept of "fear" in this regard means doing something illegal and for which they'd immediately go to prison, which is why they're not (obviously) interested.  Oh really?

I would like to put a different postulate forward:  You really don't give a ****.

Seriously, you don't.

In fact you approve of what they're doing each and every day.

You don't care that your 17 year old son is about to get bent over the table by a university in regard to college cost.  You in fact endorse your kid being forced to pay half the kid's tuition sitting next to him in Calc class simply because you have more money than his parents do.  In fact you have already gone so far as to conspire with that administrator in screwing your own son by filling out a FAFSA form!

You don't care that the guy down the street -- or your own mother -- is billed $7,500, their entire deductible on their Obamacare insurance policy, for five stitches they need when someone who has consumed their deductible or is on Medicare would be billed $400 for the same thing.

You don't care that the Australian woman got shot and killed although unarmed in Minnesota.  After all, you're not dead (yet.)  Never mind the cops who got caught planting drugs on people in Baltimore -- more than once.

And the list goes on.  Wells Fargo, for instance -- a company that not only opened up millions of un-requested accounts and purloined millions in fees by doing so they also force-placed car insurance on car loan customers who didn't need it, bilking them and in some cases repossessing their cars for not paying that which they didn't owe while destroying their credit. You in fact don't care about the hundreds of thousands of Americans Wells screwed.

How do I know you don't care?

Because there are dozens of things you could do about it that are perfectly legal if you did care.

You could, for example, refuse to associate with said people, defined as anyone who is such a person or is employed by and thus gains their livelihood through the antics of such an organization or company.

You could stick up the middle finger every time you saw them or any member of their family.

You could picket their house.

You could picket their employer.

You could make their life so miserable that they literally couldn't associate with anyone in their hometown because everyone who chose to do so would also be shunned.

You could put Wells Fargo out of business by pulling all your money from said bank, refusing to do business with it, picketing it and refusing to associate with anyone who works there.   If you discovered that a business used them for their check processing (which is easy to determine from your canceled check stamps) you could tell that business you won't shop there as long as they use Wells because you don't want Wells Fargo to make money on your money.  In short you could refuse to pass money through the company to the extent possible and you could make working there a living hell for anyone who decided that their salary offer was reasonable given the firm's conduct.

The same is true for the local hospital, the college in your town and more.

It's not illegal to dislike someone.  It's not illegal to flip someone off.  It's not illegal to decide that you won't associate with somebody on a personal basis.  In fact, unless your decision on a business basis is predicated on one of a handful of protected classes -- race, sex, national origin and a few others it's not illegal to tell someone to screw off in a business or professional context either.

Doctors are not a protected class.  Nor are hospital administrators.  Nor are bankers that work for a specific bank.  Nor are cops, dispatchers and others that work for a cop department that likes to hire trigger-happy Somalis.

Don't talk to me about how "outraged" you are about these sorts of things.

You're not even mildly pissed off.

It was not that long ago that a certain person who I knew decided to run a five-alarm line of crap with regard to immigrants in my presence while I was out drinking with friends.  He was never really all that close of a friend, but he seemed like an ok guy and we'd hang out and drink a beer or two once in a while together -- right up until that point in time.

I've never spoken to him again and I now intentionally and quite-visibly avoid him. As far as I'm concerned he's a ghost!

That's not the first time I've decided that I will have nothing to do with a person, organization, business or anyone associated with same and it won't be the last.

Does this, for example, apply to all cops?  No.  We have a local PD here that, at least in my experience, is quite reasonable.  I have no quarrel with them.  But with anyone employed by the PD in Baltimore, or in that particular jurisdiction in Minnesota?  Nope; they can all bite me.

Likewise there's a local neighborhood with an association here that decided that a running group I hang out with didn't like us running on the roads in their development.  It's their right as a neighborhood association to make the collective decision for everyone who lives there.  But when they voiced this to our running group my response was that while I certainly respect their right to make such a decision and would, of course, honor same if anyone who lived in that development wanted me to work on their computer in the future, either at home or in their business, the price just went up by a factor of 10.  If they don't like runners then I don't like them -- all of them!

The other people at the run that evening looked at me like I had six heads and four arms for making such a proclamation.  What?  We weren't running on their lawns; we were on the sidewalks and paved streets and nowhere is there posted a "No Trespassing" sign nor is there a closed and latched gate making clear that they don't want anyone without a code or key to come into their little enclave.  I respect their communal right to decide that a couple dozen people, not blocking traffic or in any way impeding their lives, running on a sidewalk for fitness and fun, is something they don't want to see.  But my view is that such snobbish garbage has a price, and the price is that as a "prole" according to them they obviously don't need said prole's help.  If they solicit said help anyway they're going to pay an outrageously high price and I will tell them why.

See, people band together into neighborhood associations, corporations and similar structures for the express purpose of limiting personal liability and at the same time making their decisions more forceful than one individual can express on their own. By doing so they decide to collectively act, and as such it is both perfectly reasonable and fair that the consequences of those actions also be collectively applied against every member of the group who benefits from same when other people don't like what they're doing!

Americans used to have this sort of constructive and very effective view toward behavior that they found outrageous.  It's disappeared, except in places like Amish communities, where if you violate their view of sensibility you and your entire family will be shunned.

In America you're free to behave as you wish but you're not free of the perfectly-legal consequences -- that people can and will express their disgust by simply refusing to have anything to do with you.

We could solve a huge percentage of the problems in this country if we re-acquired our willingness to fly the bird and used it liberally when outrageous conduct such as any of the above surfaced applying our sanction equally to all members of any voluntary association of persons that was responsible for the conduct we object to.

When you decide to work for a corporation, buy a house with a mandatory homeowners association set of covenants on the deed or voluntarily become a part of any other collective group you do so with an expectation of benefit from those collective actions for yourself and your family.

That's fine and well but collective benefits must come with collective costs or said structures are nothing more than a means of screwing everyone that's not part of that particular "clan."

For how long would a doctor keep up with differential pricing and refusing to quote a price at all if the only people that would associate with him were those who worked in his office?  What if his kids had nobody else to play with except the handful that had families who also worked at the same hospital or office?  His wife had nobody to play bridge with -- except other hospital administrator's wives?  The current "Chargemaster" rapejob and differential pricing would disappear in an afternoon because the employees of said place would all quit except for said administrators and the hospital would be forced to close inside of an hour!

For how long would college cost $50,000 a year if every Dean, Provost, Professor and janitor couldn't manage to walk down the street without the bird in his face?  If his or her wife or husband faced the same, and their kids had nobody to play with either?  Let's extend that to grad students writing grant papers and "working" while enjoying sponsorship from said school.  FAFSA would be torn up, debt offerings would disappear in an afternoon and college would be able to be paid for by delivering pizzas -- exactly as it was 30 years ago.  Why?  That's obvious: Every professor and staff member would resign if that crap was not instantly brought to an end.

How many cops would shoot through a window at an unarmed woman if they knew that doing it would mean every single officer on the force and every administrator and employee would forevermore be unable to walk from their car to the supermarket without getting flipped the bird by everyone else?  If their families had nobody to hang out with?  Even the local "cop bar" would shut down because the only people who would drink in there are the cops and there aren't enough of them to keep the place open.  The problem would go away immediately because the price would be a complete shunning of everyone in the department, no matter their job, and every cop on the street would know that by their association with said department and (usually) union they would have become every other officer on the force's keeper.

How many banks would dare to bill hundreds of thousands of people for unnecessary and unwanted "insurance" on a fraudulent basis if they knew that the price of doing it would be that they'd literally be out of business and everyone who worked at said institution would be permanently unemployable?  It would never happen again -- you can bet on it.

Folks, we have perfectly-legal means to address damn near every outrageous bit of behavior like this.  I'm not talking about the little things that******us all off on a daily basis; those are typically individual acts and we deal perfectly well with them individually by deciding we don't want to hang out with said person any more.

No, I'm talking about frauds and scams that steal one dollar in five in our economy, that saddle our young adults with five or six figures of debt for degrees that are often worthless and in any event cost five to ten times on an inflation-adjusted basis what they should, companies that steal hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars and either toss people out of their homes or steal their cars through fraud, pig departments making "affirmative action" hires that kill people and more.  These are not small-ball things but rather ridiculous and outrageous examples of misconduct that should be prosecuted and there's plenty of reason to believe that they're also rank violations of 100+ year old law or worse.

Yes, it's true we have a corrupt political and "justice" system.  Yes, it's true that we don't have any prosecutors who will charge the hospital administrator under 15 USC Chapter 1 or, for that matter, under state consumer protection laws when they refuse to post a price and charge one person 10 or 100x what they charge someone else for the exact same thing.  Yes, it's true that our corrupt politicians made student loans non-dischargable in bankruptcy, and following that every single person who went to school has been bent over the table and taken advantage of in what can be quite-clearly characterized as financial rape.  And yes, it's true that if you or I took a potshot at someone through a car window without being clearly able to see them and they were unarmed we'd be facing 20-to-Life for Murder 2, at minimum -- yet there is not one federal or state prosecutor who has thus far brought said case.

But there is no law that says we, the people, can't peacefully and lawfully refuse to have anything to do with anyone who is in any way associated with, earns a living from, continues to eat via or profits from such an enterprise that they voluntarily join and remain associated with.

As an individual you have every right to refuse to associate with anyone for that sort of reason.

As a direct result of your decision to continue to associate with these people and their families who are directly reliant on said organizations and their outrageous conduct for the very food on their table each and every day you are choosing to endorse and permit said outrageous conduct on a continuing, daily basis.

You are in fact voting for it to keep happening in the most-effective way possible, by continuing to voluntarily break bread with, drink beer with and mingle with said people on a basic, human social basis while enabling those organizations to continue to not only exist but thrive.

In other words you are saying through your actions that their conduct is perfectly fine by you and in fact you actively support it.

If it's perfectly fine according to you why should they change what they're doing?

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Aracoma
Posts: 26
Incept: 2015-02-17

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Quote:
FAFSA would be torn up,

About 8 years or so ago (before I found Karl's blog) I decided to go back and get my master's degree (20 years after getting my BS degree). During the registration process I had the following conversation (paraphrased):

Rep: We need you to fill out this FAFSA form for us.
Me: What's that?
Rep: It's a form that will help make loans and grants available to you to lower your tuition cost.
Me: I'll pay cash. I'll send a check each month.
Rep: Well, we still need you to fill this out...
Me: Why? I don't want a loan. I'm paying cash.
Rep: It will help you get a loans and grants so your degree costs won't be that high.
Me: I'll not qualify for a grant and I don't need a loan. I'm paying cash. Is it mandatory?
Rep: Well, no. But without it you can't get a loan or grant to reduce your cost.
Me: I'll pay cash...

During his attempts to get me to fill out the FAFSA I kept getting a "unethical, slimy used car salesman" feeling for some reason so I kept refusing to fill it out. He finally moved on, the college got a monthly check, and I got my masters degree. But for years I always wondered why they really, really wanted me to fill out a FAFSA form. After finding Karl's blog and reading his posts on the subject I'm glad I listened to my internal alarms...
Flyanddive
Posts: 2218
Incept: 2008-10-10

Detroit
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A picture is worth a thousand....percent mark up


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"I've seen people go into real poverty trying to pretend to be rich."
Jmckenney
Posts: 16
Incept: 2014-11-04

Melbourne Florida
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This is a rare occasion in which I find myself in disagreement, and have a suggestion for an alternative approach.

I do not think this approach of shunning all the people in a group which has p*ssed me off is practical. If it is a small local business, then yes, I will not do business with them, and have used this tactic often. In general, though, the larger and less local the group is, the less this is likely to have an affect. In addition, I do not in general have the luxury of having data on where everyone I meet works and who they associate with and do business with. It does not seem likely that the boycott could be spread widely even amoung friends. It seems more likely that insisting that everyone I meet join multiple boycotts as a condition of being my friend would isolate me rather than the intended targets. Finally, group politics sometimes change and members of the group may not even be aware of it.

I propose an alternative, perhaps not much easier to use than the boycott method, but it is much more targeted. Every act of theft, fraud, or outrageous behavior by a group originates with an individual in the group. When you were running with your friends, someone complained. Who? I think that any action or decree or decision by a group should be traceable to whoever originated it. Evil loves to hide in a crowd, and groups should be transparent about where their rules originate. The consequences should be borne by that person.

For example, who in Wells Fargo decided to create the fake accounts? Who in banking decided MERS could override the mortgage registration legally required by counties across the country? Who in banking then decided they could institute robosigning to cover it up and commit fraud upon thousands of courts of law? Who in the government decided they could use taxpayer money to build the Bluffdale site for NSA spying on citizens that is larger than the Pentagon?

I think the reason there is so much stupid crap going on now is that there is no accountability, because there has been no prosecution of obvious high crimes and treason by elites this century, and the notion that you can get away with just about anything has spread. Without the return of accountability, I do not see a way to fix this.
Tickerguy
Posts: 149426
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
I propose an alternative, perhaps not much easier to use than the boycott method, but it is much more targeted. Every act of theft, fraud, or outrageous behavior by a group originates with an individual in the group. When you were running with your friends, someone complained. Who? I think that any action or decree or decision by a group should be traceable to whoever originated it. Evil loves to hide in a crowd, and groups should be transparent about where their rules originate. The consequences should be borne by that person.

Nope, and here's why that won't work - the reason the original act was destructive at all was that it was amplified, protected and even compelled by the larger organization.

Take the running group. One homeowner by himself could not have done anything since he or she lacks the ability to do so. Indeed it may have been someone coming out of their clubhouse ****hammer drunk and driving, which we have observed in the past and no, we didn't call the cops on them. Nonetheless that one person had nothing they could do.

But, by invoking the power of the collective, they CAN do something and did. The collective decided, using a process the members put in place, to act. Fine; in this case their acts are lawful. But then the consequence for those acts, which I find distasteful, must fall on the entire collective.

The same is true for Wells Fargo. One individual account manager could have never ****ed more than a few dozen people and without the backing of the collective he or she would have been detected and fired. Instead the original actor was rewarded and recruited others in the collective to participate in their crooked scheme! Thus Wells screwed hundreds of thousands instead of the dozens ONE PERSON could have harmed.

Again, the EXISTENCE of the collective is the ENTIRE REASON that the harm was manifest. The same is true for the hospital. Singly, one physician could never get away with billing one person 100x what he bills someone else; he'd have no 100x billed customers in an hour, and the REST of the doctors at the same hospital would have ALL the business! In addition if the collective disagreed with what he was doing he would be caught and fired. It is only through the use of force enabled by the collective that he can get away with it and spread it throughout so ALL the doctors in the place pull the same ****.

You don't like where this goes, and thus you don't want to do it. It means that you would have to cut off a large number of people who you KNOW work for places that pull **** like this. There's literally nobody that hangs around with someone for any length of time without them talking about their work, where they live and similar minor details that give away said associations -- right?

You know good and ******n well I'm right. In fact, you know good and ******n well that the shunning might well apply to you and your family by virtue of your voluntarily-disclosed line of work right here on the forum in your user profile that everyone here can see!

Health care is just one example; it's one dollar in five in the economy so I'll bet it's also one person in five who you know that works for these financial rapists and earns a living DIRECTLY as a consequence of the butt****ing they serve up on you AND EVERYONE ELSE.

In your particular case, given your public profile, I bet the percentage is much higher than one in five.....

Fine and well but then just admit it right here and now: You're perfectly ok with all the butt****ing that is going on because you will not take lawful actions available to you that would collapse said corrupt structures and in fact, in your particular case, you earn your living in no small part because of it!

It's a CHOICE and you've made it.

Enjoy the consequences but I will call YOU responsible in part because you are, and it is your choices and actions upon which those screwings rely for endorsement and thus it continues on a daily basis.

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Winding it down.

Als
Posts: 535
Incept: 2010-03-12

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The university I went to is charging over $603 per credit for instate students. There is no way the education they are offering is worth $20K a year with tacked on fees. People need to start standing up and screaming when they realize they're getting ripped off.

I had a Calculus class my freshman year that 80% of us walked out, dropped the class and demanded a refund, which we got. It was such a big deal that Playboy magazine picked up on the story and printed in one of their issues. Simple story, we had a Teaching Assistant from China that could barely speak English teaching the class. The man had a very limited English vocabulary.

I tell everyone with kids to send them to the local community college for the first two years. The one by me is $107 per credit, or 18% of the cheapest public university in town.

It costs $36,200 at the big university or $6,466 at the local community college for the first two years. Spend $72,400 on a four year degree at the University or $42,666 for the first two two years at the community college and finish at the university your choice.

This crap isn't going to end unless students and parents say we're not paying more than X per credit take it or leave it. College is a business, all it would take to push a big university close to bankruptcy is a 25%-30% drop in enrollment. They're all living high on the hog on these university campuses as they say, all it takes is a drop in revenue and the party is over in an instant.

I'll give you cute story that happened to my cousin. Dad is a Dr. Ear Nose and Throat, and his son went through four years of pre-med graduating with a 4.0 GPA. He was then passed over for admittance to the Universities Medical School. Had he had been a foreign student, he would have been admitted in an instant.

He only got in the next year after my uncle wrote a $25K check to the medical school. Yep daddy had to bribe the medical school to get his son a straight A 4.0 GPA student into the medical program.

Just for S&Giggles I looked up Carnegie Mellon at $52K a year, Duquesne University is $35K and Robert Morris is $25.4K, University of Pittsburgh $18.1K and if your in Nursing $23K a year, Pharmacy is $31K a year, computer science is $19.5K. Even if you get a good paying job right out of school, how long is it going to take you to pay off an $80K to $100K school debt, let alone an engineering degree out of CMU which cost you north of $210K?

All in all the cost of a college education should be half of the above rates.
They would be if it wasn't for all the easy money students can get in government loans. If there was a limit of $10K a year allowed in student loans I'd bet the cost of a college education would average under $15K a year.
Tickerguy
Posts: 149426
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
All in all the cost of a college education should be half of the above rates.

1/5th, not 1/2.

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Winding it down.
Goforbroke
Posts: 6996
Incept: 2007-11-30
A True American Patriot!
Drain the Swamp!
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Daughter, yesterday ... "Mom! I just got an email from [the college she'll be attending]! I just got a $3500 a year scholarship!"

Me: "Ummm ... read it to me exactly."

Daughter: "It says I got a Stafford scholarship and all I need to do is go to dinner with a student mentor once a month."

Me: "That's a loan, not a scholarship. Google it."

Daughter: "You're right."

Me: "How do you reject it?"

Daughter: "I have to decline it."

Me: "Decline it. Now."

These colleges aren't institutions of higher learning. They're full employment programs for academics and a means for creating financial slave out of their "customers."

The deception is everywhere.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
Jackrussell
Posts: 9
Incept: 2016-12-10

Austin TX area
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Ticker, you say No One Gives A Crap (I agree.....kinda like slowly "boiling a frog," it has been incremental and no one seems to notice nor care). How about just say To Heck with It and move to a poorer, back-to-basics country? Countries whose biggest problems are pickpockets and bad roads and ocassional power outages. Plenty of beaches, hiking, boating, expat neighbors to drink good beer with, etc. Just wash you hands of this Failed State corruption?

ps - just talked to wealthy friend about his house on Panama's Pacific. He has a cedula (Panamanian ID card), as a US pensioner. He says the median cost of living for a US pensioner couple is $1,250 mo.
Nonsensical
Posts: 111
Incept: 2017-06-16

Los Angeles, Ca
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@goforbroke

First let me thank you for sharing your experience, I edited this in as I had not taken the time to qualify my response like I should have. Because it's important to really look at what we're doing and at the very least see what's in our immediate power to influence things.

Is that what the email said exactly?: a Stafford scholarship (not Stafford loan) and it said you had to meet with a mentor once a month.

That all seems a bit confusing because Stafford does identify themselves as a loan because there are difference between loans vs grants vs scholarships. These are not interchangeable words.

I've never heard of a Stafford Scholarship--unless there's some person out there who set up a scholarship whose names also happens to be Stafford.

Some schools may require "counseling" before a Stafford loan is released. It's a one time meeting, and it varies from school to school what it consists of. I've never heard of a Stafford Loan requiring any kind of monthly mentoring either (sometimes scholarships can have that kind of condition).

Sometimes certain entities will try to bundle loans and scholarships together, or that basically they'll help you receive aid if you take their loan. Something like, borrow $5k from them and they'll "grant" you a $200 scholarship. These are from commercial entities.

And then there is rampant fraud in the student loan market, I mean just scams that will take your money and run, and of course that's just outright theft and is illegal. But they prey off of people's ignorance.

I'd say it's important in this case to identify whether the fault lies in the presentation, that is, it's an outright lie (but then you were able to identify it as a loan) or it's ignorance on your daughter's part. To identify a loan as a scholarship is outright fraud.

I know ignorance carries a negative connotation, and it shouldn't always, it just means lack of knowledge. In cases like these, you have an ability to address the problem. If it's fraudulent representation then report it. If it's your daughter not understanding what's being presented, then you can address that (and perhaps that should be more worrisome). In either case, you the parent CAN address it and not just simply say: well, what can you do, it's everywhere.

Because this is a real problem, we can't be too passive in our own knowledge and educating the youth and just constantly blame the "other side". Because at some point, if people insist on being a door mat, then there is no choice for others but to step on you, purposely or inadvertently.

Reason: opening qualifier
Goforbroke
Posts: 6996
Incept: 2007-11-30
A True American Patriot!
Drain the Swamp!
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Nonsensical ...

Thanks!

I will have my daughter show me the actual wording when she returns from camping on Monday. It probably is ignorance on her part, but the bottom line is that all of this stuff is new to these young adults (and who, if 18 or older are legally bound by any contracts which they sign), and universities should be extra careful to make sure that their emails/presentations are absolutely clear. If there is any ambiguity, I will most certainly contact the Financial Aid department with a suggestion to put in their suggestion box.

Over a year ago, she went into a Verizon store to get something fixed, and came out with a new phone ("you are eligible for an upgrade") and nearly double the monthly payment. She was under the impression that the rate would be the same (if not lower). Luckily she wasn't 18 yet (she's on my plan), so I was able to have Verizon reverse the transaction. It took some doing, but it was doable.

These kids need to understand that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I guess that's what old age brings you.


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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
Pjstaff
Posts: 250
Incept: 2008-01-21

Olympic Peninsula
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If you've already filled out the FAFSA and are offered a *subsidized* Stafford loan, you might want to think about taking it. There is a 1% origination fee, but no interest accrues and no payments are due while the student is still in school. Depending on your financial situation, the flexibility of choosing whether to pay now or pay later may be beneficial.
Flaps10
Posts: 6680
Incept: 2008-10-17

PNW
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In the late 90s someone wrote me a check on their Wells Fargo account.

I walked into a branch to cash it but they wanted $5 to cash the check because I wasn't a customer.

I explained that the customer was the one that wrote the check, and that if they wanted to **** someone it should be them.

I also explained to the manager of the bank that I would NEVER be a customer because I would never want to be embarrassed that someone had to pay $5 to cash a check from me.

And to this day I won't take a check from someone written on that friggin bank.
Tickerguy
Posts: 149426
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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No no no no AND NO.

There is not ONE person in 1,000 at the age of 18 who can rationally evaluate the RISK in a 4+ year commitment, and IF you borrow the money, no matter how, and then blow out of school whether through fault of your own or not you are utterly and completely ****ED.

In addition you just gave the SCHOOL an incentive to **** you out of the ONE class you MUST HAVE in a given semester to NOT wind up with an extra semester or two required to finish. They both can and WILL do exactly that and if they do you have no effective recourse whatsoever and that event will add 25% to the COST of completing your degree.

NO NO NO NO ******NIT AND ANYONE WHO SUGGESTS THIS OUGHT TO GO INTO THE WOOD CHIPPER FEET FIRST!

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Winding it down.
Pjstaff
Posts: 250
Incept: 2008-01-21

Olympic Peninsula
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Oops, I hope I didn't change the weather.

Flappingeagle
Posts: 2642
Incept: 2011-04-14

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Flaps10 I had a bank try the same scam on me. I politely pointed out that I was not going for their "fee", and that such a policy was not written on the check. Like you, I told them the could take the money out of the writers account if they wanted. They gave me the full amount.

Like the main theme of the original post, you don't have to take everything everyone tries to give you.

Flap

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Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Flappingeagle
Posts: 2642
Incept: 2011-04-14

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Quote:
There is not ONE person in 1,000 at the age of 18 who can rationally evaluate the RISK in a 4+ year commitment, and IF you borrow the money, no matter how, and then blow out of school whether through fault of your own or not you are utterly and completely ****ED.


That is 100% true not only of 18 year olds but for the vast majority of the adult population at all ages. A lot of that is due to how the finance industry has "educated" them. Take for example the 30 year home loan. No one ever mentions how that assumes that you will go 30 freaking years with no serious illnesses, work slowdowns, or job losses. People just don't see risk correctly.

Like my neighbor the bank president told me when I was a young teenager and visiting his daughters smiley, if you can't pay for it in 15 years or less you can't afford it.

We have financialized every thing and the day of reckoning approaches.

Flap

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Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Nonsensical
Posts: 111
Incept: 2017-06-16

Los Angeles, Ca
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Well, for the record I've never recommended anyone to go to college, and I would probably consider in general college administrators some of the biggest crooks, and then the NCAA in particular (the student-athlete is a huge con).

Clearly colleges have gotten out of control, but they have been for a long time. With the NCAA, it's a clear case I think of being in violation of federal labor laws and collusion, but that's an aside. But the rhetoric continues. How many politicians have we heard say something like this: it's vital to the welfare of society. Then if it's so vital then why can't the loan be discharged? I mean they can put leans on your social security--remember that thing they sold you as something you're entitled to.

But the student loan trap is anything but good for the welfare of society.

1. At some point it's not feasible to study subjects that do need access to resources like just about any science (since our current body of knowledge has become quite large), so we begin to suffer there.

2. And there's this con game about lending. We have this notion that ALL debts must be paid. But is this something we would actually want in society at large? So, say ALL debts are guaranteed to be paid back, then a lender would just lend to anyone with any crack pot idea. Actually, you wouldn't even need an idea, a lender would just lend to anyone to secure the loan since it's guaranteed.

By NOT guaranteeing loans this puts an onus on the lender to evaluate what they're lending against. Here lender and the borrower have incentives to work together. In a situation of an absolutely guaranteed loan...then why would anyone do anything as a job other than lend money? And why would the lender make any assessment of that loan if not outright work against you. Actually, if the guarantee was discharged immediately upon default, then they would have an incentive to work against you so they could be paid out sooner.

This is why liberal bankruptcy laws are so necessary because it forces the lenders to at least attempt to place money in productive things AND to work in achieving that production (that is they apply to all loans and can be discharged on demonstration of, well, being broke, not just because you don't feel like paying). I would go so far as to say no one can with certainty evaluate a 4+ commitment. I don't know, you may get hit by a car, develop cancer, war breaks out, etc. In this case, if you were to go bankrupt the lender has an incentive to assist you. That potential of assistance than the lender has to build into the interest rate.

This narrative of the moral superiority of the lender is not just a myth, it's an outright con.

Of course there's other factors that are pushing kids into college, and that is the growing number of employers requiring a college degree for entry or advancement. Some have argued that this in many cases can be discrimination. Jobs where an advance degree can be shown to have a direct impact on the chosen profession (like a physicists needing to know physics) and/or requiring state licenses )like law, medicine, etc). But what of jobs that just require just a general degree? I'm personally not sure. But some have argued that a high school degree or equivalent (GED) AND a skills test directly pertaining to the job requirements should be sufficient to demonstrate competency.

Some would argue discrimination along the lines of race and income, but there's also someone just being self-educated and who can demonstrate the needed skills. Where a general college degree is required and it can't be shown to have direct impact on the job (which it likely couldn't be shown or else the requirement wouldn't be so general).

The perverse impact that it has on someone is that corporations are taking advantage of the student loan debt to push if not violate labor laws because they can literally spit in your face and there's nothing you can really do or go because you need the job. So the question becomes, is there a perverse effect developing between employers and college tuition?

There's actually some court precedence in this matter.

They don't have to actually collude to create a perverse environment as there's a feed back mechanism in the ecosystem--much like divorce lawyers, they don't collude to drag cases out and exasperate the situation, it's just develops and reinforces itself because both sides lawyers benefit. That's pretty much how all ecosystems in nature have developed without being telelogical.

Then if it's the case that there's an 18 year old with no support community or that support community itself is just as misinformed or causing the perverse behavior or simply they are unadvisable, well, then there's an even deeper problem, especially if this is on a large scale. Or it becomes a slippery slope if we indirectly imply then that an 18 year old can't understand a contract or it's implications, then it begs the question: is 18 a proper age to be considered an adult?
Nonsensical
Posts: 111
Incept: 2017-06-16

Los Angeles, Ca
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@goforbroke.

Whether college is the best route of course you and your daughter have to decide that for yourselves since you have the particulars. Definitely minors can be manipulated which luckily we have laws concerning contracts with minors, etc (and it could be argued that they're not harsh enough).

So in your case it's a matter of is there a case of outright fraud. But misunderstanding where we project are usually how most cons work. A good con person doesn't want to be on the run from the law. So the idea is to get you to project into the deal outcomes that are not there or guaranteed. They're certainly implied, yes.

It's impossible to teach someone all the particulars. It's like approaching math. Most try to just plug and chug instead of learning the proofs. But there's an indefinitely amount of problems that can be created so memorizing particular problems is usually a failed strategy. But learning the proof and why and how things work makes your life much easier. In this case, I'd say it's always good to reinforce into someone on signing anything that they don't have to make that decision right at the moment (assuming they haven't delayed prior). And anyone telling you to sign right now on first appearance is definitely trying to usually con you.

We all have this tendency to project so we always have to be on guard mostly against ourselves. As they say in football, no matter what you think of yourself, the film doesn't lie. Or as they say in the NFL, there's two type of people, those that are humble and those that are about to be. So it's important to I think to have those developing experiences growing up where they can be quite humbling. Losing can have that effect. But it's better to lose with the stakes a lot less.

It's much better to be slow and right than fast and wrong. The former doesn't ensure success. but the later does ensure failure.
Nonsensical
Posts: 111
Incept: 2017-06-16

Los Angeles, Ca
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And college do purposely bottle neck students on cycles, that it, you have to take a set of course in a set sequence. They typically do it right between lower and upper division classes. In the math cycle, it's typically done with differential equations/linear Algebra. Right at the transition of the lower division to upper division.

This is done at community college too since all they can offer are lower division classes. This puts students in a holding pattern, where they have to eat up more cost of living expenses, and they have to fill that quarter or semester with something to retain their registration priority. With upper division priority is different an lower, so they have to nail you at the lower divisions.
Flappingeagle
Posts: 2642
Incept: 2011-04-14

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Nonsensical said
Quote:
And college do purposely bottle neck students on cycles, that it, you have to take a set of course in a set sequence.


I can tell you that we do NOT do that where I teach. We have classes for the students to take that advance them toward their degree every semester. The biggest problem we have is that students don't pay attention to what we (I) tell them. I tell them about the two sequences (math and statistics) they have to be concerned with and for some of them I might as well be shouting at an anvil. Then there is my favorite, I will map out two or three semesters worth of classes so as to create a good path thru to the degree for them, then they show up in my office a couple of semesters later with all sorts of scheduling problems and say "I decided not to follow that schedule you made out". Seriously.

For a lot of students the problem is they have this "I'll just look it up on my phone" mentality. The problem with that is, if you haven't been paying ANY attention you don't know to look it up.

Another problem with Higher Ed is that the Fed's are now tracking 4-year and 6-year graduation rates because of the number of students taking out student loans and not graduating. This is ass-backwards. What it does is incentivize colleges to let anyone who can fog a mirror graduate to keep the Fed's happy and the money flowing. Back when college was cheaper people didn't have loans and colleges could do what they should: fail out those who can't/won't make it.

I could go on for pages but I'm going to get my binoculars and go look at the stars.

Flap

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Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Malaclypse
Posts: 12
Incept: 2016-05-07

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Man. Agree with the premise of the post but with a big old but. Meaning I admit to being complicit in all of this but unwilling to try to force a change. Not because I acquaint with anybody KD would suggest we shun, but because my closest friends don't see the problems we face through the same window I do. There's got to be a line between giving up friends because they don't agree with me, giving up friends because they don't see the world through the same lens I do, and giving up friends because their job is basically theft.

To trade my future life for the future of this nation...sorry not willing to take it on
Bodhi
Posts: 113
Incept: 2008-02-23

Georgia
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Quote:
In the late 90s someone wrote me a check on their Wells Fargo account.

I walked into a branch to cash it but they wanted $5 to cash the check because I wasn't a customer.

I explained that the customer was the one that wrote the check, and that if they wanted to **** someone it should be them.

I also explained to the manager of the bank that I would NEVER be a customer because I would never want to be embarrassed that someone had to pay $5 to cash a check from me.

And to this day I won't take a check from someone written on that friggin bank.


I've done the same with B of A for a lonnng time.

When I had my telephone installation business in LA in the early '90s a customer's check for $1300 was returned for NSF. The customer promised to make it good if I would just "be patient." My patience ended 2 weeks later and I started calling his bank every day to see if funds were available. One day the funds were finally available and I drove straight to the customer's bank (B of A). I asked if they would charge me for a certified check and the teller said yes because I didn't have an account with them. I said, "Fine, give me cash." Mr. Smartass then said, "Are you planning on leaving the country?" I replied, "No, but I want to speak with your manager." He turned pale and I let him squirm for a minute. Then I looked him in the eye, raised my voice and said, "Just get my ****ing money."

I loathe all of the mega banks and have done my banking with either credit unions or small local banks since the '70s.
Ginnie
Posts: 20
Incept: 2017-04-03

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I've done shunning twice. Once was a friend who worked in HR. One job she hired illegals and coached them on their paperwork. I told her that there was an American man willing to do every last one of those jobs and she was making money to make sure they couldn't get work. Then she moved to a multi-national company where she was told to only hire 30-35 year olds with 5-10 years experience. She interviewed enough older, out-of-work guys to keep the company legal in the U.S. When I lost my job at 49, I told her that people like her were directly to blame. When her son lost his job one year after college, I told her she was to blame - did she expect to never be affected by her actions? I have never spoken to her again but have told everyone possible about those companies hiring practices. Hopefully I saved someone from wasting their time or feeling bad about not getting a job they never had a chance for. But there's no way for me to get near the top guys to shun.

Another was a small company that sold cool science stuff but when the owner started going all-in on 0bama and global warming, I took my kids and money elsewhere. He went out of business several years later. You're an idiot to run a retail business while alienating any portion of your good customers. I've taken plenty of business to other companies when I've been treated badly; JC Penney and Amazon are just the latest.

As to college costs, AP tests (you don't have to take the class to take the test but you do have to study), dual credit if it's offered and your prospective college accepts it, CLEP tests are worth checking into, community college to start unless they've already earned almost everything they can before high school graduation (my oldest had 50 credit hours of college so there was nothing left to take at the 2-year college). Pretty much try to spend the minimum on all the gen. ed. cr@p and only pay for degree specific classes at your university. I probably wouldn't send a kid who didn't get academic scholarships because I don't think they'd be ready for college. We put one kid through in 7 semesters and the other kid is on track to do the same. Saves a lot of money and puts them in the job market at the start of the year when there's fewer new grads competing. But parents must insert themselves into the process to make sure the classes get lined up correctly - some of them hate it when the parents show up for advisor meetings but some are fine with it.
Ee4fire
Posts: 332
Incept: 2011-03-24

Washington, DC
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College Costs:

My step grandfather attended Georgetown University in DC during the 1920's. His family was not wealthy, and if fact was poor. He moved to DC and got a part time job and rented a room and put himself through GU and then law school at what is now the GW law school. His tuition per semester was about $225/semester at GU.

I had and uncle who attended a four year private (Catholic) college in the late '50 and early 60's. His total 4 year bill was just under $5900 including room and board. His first job was at an accounting firm in NYC making $6350/yr.

I attended a community college and then a private (Catholic) university in the late '70's to mid '80s and graduated with an engineering degree. My total cost was just under $34,000 (including room, board, books & fees) and I had $7500 in loans when I graduated. My first job after I graduated was at a small engineering firm making $24,500/yr.

Notice the trend.


Health Insurance:

We had a small family contracting business in MD. In 1999 the State of MD instituted the MD Mandated Insurance Plan for employers in MD with 2 - 50 employees ( we fell in this category). In 5 years our health insurance costs tripled. From about $3300 per month to about $11,000 month. We used to pay the entire cost of the employees insurance, but after 5 years the employees were paying half.

Sold the business in 2004 and got the hell out of working for the gov't insurance companies and having everyone else's hand in my pocket before I could put mine in.

We are being scammed and the average John & Jane Q Public are completely ignorant and want to be scammed more.

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(Politicians), 536 commoditized temple monkeys pawing through the ruins of America in search of bribes. (The District of Corruption) works like a vending machine. You put coins in the slot, select your law, and the desired legislation slides out." Fred Reed. Some editting by me.


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