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Old 12-16-2008, 06:24 PM   #16
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So you got a student loan, then?



More than one.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:37 PM   #17
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I just figured out today, I have seven or eight white shirts yet I only wear one. There is nothing wrong with the other shirts, most of them are pretty nice. Admittedly one or two might be a half size too small. Two are formal dress shirts, so fair enough can't wear them.

You wonder, how do you accumulate all this stuff? I don't even remember buying some of them.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:12 PM   #18
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I refuse to accept any responsibility for the stuff I do and don't have until I get my own place. My mother uses my closet for her own storage than I use it for my own, so I've no fucking clue what's going on.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:37 PM   #19
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I assume that it's rampant consumerism because people used to save much more in prior generations and current ones almost exclusively don't. The savings rate has been at historical lows for a long time now.
Well, when prices go up and up, the inflation rate goes up, cost of living soars, tuition is insane, unemployment here is at 9%, the housing market and local economies are collapsing, yet the minimum wage stays the same for 15 years...yeah some people can't save as much. When the min. wage went up, where I work people got screwed. Those below the new wage were increase, but everyone else who was above it stayed the same and didn't get the same percentage increase even if they did harder jobs and/or had worked their longer. Luckily I moved into a salaried position right before that or I would have been pounding down the door at Payroll.

And like Martina said, between Phil and I we have three degrees and nearly $100K in student loans. I have been paying loan bills on my college education since I was 17 years old and TODAY I am finally paying off the principle amounts. My mom said when she went to college, she could work full time all summer and save up enough to pay for the next year of school. I worked full time all summer and made more than my mom does now and still could not make a dent in tuition. Not to mention, scholarships are super competitive now. My mom could get nearly a full ride for a 3.5 GPA. A 3.5 GPA got me $2500 for academic merit when tuition was $26,000. Even the state school would have been nearly $20,000/yr.

I pay more each month in student loans than my dad does on his mortgage. With that, the heating bills constantly doubling, health insurance coverage getting stingier and stinger....nope I don't exactly have pills of money left over for savings.

But...no car loan and no credit card debt! I'm proud of that.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #20
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Yet, the only blue collar wages (or average white collar for that matter) that have actually kept pace with cost of living are the autoworkers who many many people believe are overpaid.

And now, they've been told "let them eat cake" unless they take a 30% pay cut and other drastic concessions.

WTF
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:15 PM   #21
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Well, when prices go up and up, the inflation rate goes up, cost of living soars, tuition is insane, unemployment here is at 9%, the housing market and local economies are collapsing, yet the minimum wage stays the same for 15 years...yeah some people can't save as much. When the min. wage went up, where I work people got screwed. Those below the new wage were increase, but everyone else who was above it stayed the same and didn't get the same percentage increase even if they did harder jobs and/or had worked their longer. Luckily I moved into a salaried position right before that or I would have been pounding down the door at Payroll.

And like Martina said, between Phil and I we have three degrees and nearly $100K in student loans. I have been paying loan bills on my college education since I was 17 years old and TODAY I am finally paying off the principle amounts. My mom said when she went to college, she could work full time all summer and save up enough to pay for the next year of school. I worked full time all summer and made more than my mom does now and still could not make a dent in tuition. Not to mention, scholarships are super competitive now. My mom could get nearly a full ride for a 3.5 GPA. A 3.5 GPA got me $2500 for academic merit when tuition was $26,000. Even the state school would have been nearly $20,000/yr.

I pay more each month in student loans than my dad does on his mortgage. With that, the heating bills constantly doubling, health insurance coverage getting stingier and stinger....nope I don't exactly have pills of money left over for savings.

But...no car loan and no credit card debt! I'm proud of that.
You have the right attitude. Hopefully your tuition was for a profession that will earn the money to pay it back. It's always hard when you're young but if you keep it up there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I would have hoped that policies in the U.S. could be implemented so that people could get insurance in different states so there would be more competition. There are many different options in different countries:

Health care systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I like the idea of paying premiums through the government and have delivery of the service private so that there is competition. Taiwan has this though they had to make some changes because of unnecessary treatments being charged to the government. When the government is used free rides have to be prevented because everyone loves a free ride. France is usually named the best, but the health of people on the average in different cultures also helps any particular system. I'm sure if the west ate better and exercised more there would be less use of health resources.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:48 PM   #22
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Don't you get a subsidised tertiary education purpleoscar?

I'm just finished my honours degree in Australia and I have a rather small $20,000 debt with favourable repayments; that my geology degree gives me good options (60,000 - 80,000 p.a.) leaves me in no position to complain. But not everybody gains marketable skills, or they have to wait years to get into an economically secure position. An American system may produce an ivy league with private donations etc., but it can also leave people with crippling debt through their youth.

Education provides economic benefits for any society, it is the best way of increasing social mobility; a libertarian argument for heavily subsided education could be made on the basis of long term return (educated middle class delivers more tax dollars and private charity than a debt ridden underclass and tax-avoiding upper class). It eliminates the need to have rabid revolutionaries trying to kill the rich to feed the poor.

And yes, preventative medicine is good, but I hardly see how privatisation dramatically impacts peoples choices. It isn't as though when you are paying for your own insurance you stop eating fish and chips or another smoke.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:53 PM   #23
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On average, yes,
Just assume from now on I'm talking about averages and trends. I know that some individuals do different. I don't have time to parse out individuals unless I know them personally. I'm sure savers look at these debtors and wince at the debt load they carry.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:34 PM   #24
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Don't you get a subsidised tertiary education purpleoscar?
Yes partially. I had a small student loan of 20,000 and paid it off quickly. I also lived with my parents during university to avoid around 50,000 of debt. I still have to take designation courses which are not subsidized so education isn't quite done for me yet. We also have technical colleges too.

The U.S. has state universites so it's not all private. I wouldn't want to eliminate state schools. I don't think even Adam Smith would either.

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I'm just finished my honours degree in Australia and I have a rather small $20,000 debt with favourable repayments; that my geology degree gives me good options (60,000 - 80,000 p.a.) leaves me in no position to complain.
Geology is good. I know a guy who's into Geophysics and doesn't have unemployment problems. I think where people get trapped is when they take degrees in things like psychology where there are little employment options. I took an intro psych course as an option and the instructor callously laughed at students who could only get as close to a psychology profession as wiping the floors in an psychologists office after graduating.

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Education provides economic benefits for any society, it is the best way of increasing social mobility; a libertarian argument for heavily subsided education could be made on the basis of long term return (educated middle class delivers more tax dollars and private charity than a debt ridden underclass and tax-avoiding upper class). It eliminates the need to have rabid revolutionaries trying to kill the rich to feed the poor.
I don't have a problem with some subsidized education but it still won't help with poor career choices. I've seen people work in my accounting firm as secretary and are openly disappointed with their job prospects after getting a sociology degree. There is more demand, therefore higher pay, for technical jobs.

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And yes, preventative medicine is good, but I hardly see how privatisation dramatically impacts peoples choices. It isn't as though when you are paying for your own insurance you stop eating fish and chips or another smoke.
Well if another state has lower insurance premiums for the same coverage and you can't access it then I think it's stupid for the U.S. to have that. In Canada we have a health monopoly and progressive governments in Europe haven't adopted it because there needs to be some element of competition to bring down costs. Most lists of the best health care systems don't put Canada as #1 unless the list is made in Canada. We have longer lineups and rationing of resources but we are universally covered.

What people want to know is what the best quality and lowest cost balance we can get and having private and public mixes usually are better than one extreme or another. Some have more private and some less, but again if people practice preventative medicine they are more likely to do fine with a more privatized system. Families with catastrophic health problems from birth or a young age will need more government help.

Health care systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are lots of different options and the U.S system is far from being the overall best.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:04 AM   #25
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OK a few things about education in Canada, purpleoscar.

First of all, not everyone has the luxury of living with their parents while pursuing their education. Sometimes you have to leave to go to a university that offers the degree you're seeking. Sometimes you have to leave to get to a better school than the one where you live. Sometimes it just isn't an option to live at home and sometimes it's time to learn to live alone. In any event, $20K may have been the ideal case scenario, these days it's probably closer to about $25-30K in an Ontario university for a 4 year degree counting ONLY tuition and books (not a penny of living expenses or commuting). So that's one thing.

Another thing is you've only done one degree. That's great. Some of us spent another 2, 3, 4, 5 years at school in addition to our first degree. Some of us also did very expensive secondary degrees which obviously add to the cost. And some of us even did very expensive degrees far away from home.

I think you really almost always fail to consider the perspective of other people, so you base your conclusions on what you've done or what worked for you. That has nothing to do with many of the rest of us.

I won't even get into your extremely judgmental "poor career choices" comment. I have an irritating uncle who says things like that, except he'll one up you since he doesn't find anything aside from meds/law/dentistry to be a "wise" career move.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:07 AM   #26
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I think where people get trapped is when they take degrees in things like psychology where there are little employment options. I took an intro psych course as an option and the instructor callously laughed at students who could only get as close to a psychology profession as wiping the floors in an psychologists office after graduating.
This instructor sounds like quite the advocate for the subject he was teaching.

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I don't have a problem with some subsidized education but it still won't help with poor career choices. I've seen people work in my accounting firm as secretary and are openly disappointed with their job prospects after getting a sociology degree. There is more demand, therefore higher pay, for technical jobs.
University is not the place where you go to learn a trade. Part of the point of a university education is to learn higher level thinking, to be able to evaluate, to synthesize, and process. These are important skills that allow flexibility in a continually changing market. That said, I graduated with a degree in one of those so-called "useful" fields, but sadly, my province places little value on education, which isn't surprising given that they have much the same attitude towards creativity and learning that you seem to. Despite the premium that Alberta places on "technical" jobs, there is still value to society in people who think with more than the left side of their brain.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:25 AM   #27
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This instructor sounds like quite the advocate for the subject he was teaching.
He's a funny guy most of the time but I get the impression that he looked at his students as future competition in the teaching profession.

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I graduated with a degree in one of those so-called "useful" fields, but sadly, my province places little value on education, which isn't surprising given that they have much the same attitude towards creativity and learning that you seem to. Despite the premium that Alberta places on "technical" jobs, there is still value to society in people who think with more than the left side of their brain.
What field is this?
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:48 AM   #28
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What field is this?
Education. Like I said, this province places little value on it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:51 AM   #29
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First of all, not everyone has the luxury of living with their parents while pursuing their education. Sometimes you have to leave to go to a university that offers the degree you're seeking. Sometimes you have to leave to get to a better school than the one where you live. Sometimes it just isn't an option to live at home and sometimes it's time to learn to live alone.
True, that. I do not live in Canada but my school required you to live on campus for two years. Plus to graduate you need CCE credits which are hard to get unless you study abroad. Can't live at home when you're taking class in west Africa, Washington DC, Spain, etc!

Now if I could go back and do it again, I'd go to a different school, the one my little sister goes to. But they were always sort of up-and-coming and in recent years really grew and have good programs. So what it is now is not what it was when I was looking at schools (then it was more of a junior/community college type school and now it's a big university). So, I don't regret the school I chose because it did get me a salaried job with great benefits (relative to other jobs in the US right now, probably crappy compared to most other western countries). My husband will probably admit his first degree was a waste of time. He didn't take it seriously and didn't know what he wanted to do. Thankfully that won't cost us much, since he went in with scholarships and also was an RA so he got money for that. His second degree is costing is a LOT, mainly because I co-signed the student loans and I have like zero credit because I've never owned anything and don't even have a credit card. But, now that he is finished, his new degree puts him in high demand (k-5th el ed and special education...not many male el ed teachers out there that are qualified to teach special ed/conginitively impaired).

The problem is that these days a degree is like a high school diploma. Unless you are trained in a trade, you're kind of screwed not to have one, but they are super expensive to get.

Also if you don't start out ahead it's hard to end up ahead. What I mean is most people I know had parents who paid for their college, gave them cars, spending money, a place to live when school was not in session....for those of us who did not have that luxury, yes we are nearly 100K in debt. I moved out at 17 and never looked back. My parents could not afford to pay for my education even if they wanted to. I did work throughout high school but a 17 year old does not exactly have a pile of savings in the bank.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:01 PM   #30
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OK a few things about education in Canada, purpleoscar.

First of all, not everyone has the luxury of living with their parents while pursuing their education. Sometimes you have to leave to go to a university that offers the degree you're seeking. Sometimes you have to leave to get to a better school than the one where you live. Sometimes it just isn't an option to live at home and sometimes it's time to learn to live alone. In any event, $20K may have been the ideal case scenario, these days it's probably closer to about $25-30K in an Ontario university for a 4 year degree counting ONLY tuition and books (not a penny of living expenses or commuting). So that's one thing.

Another thing is you've only done one degree. That's great. Some of us spent another 2, 3, 4, 5 years at school in addition to our first degree. Some of us also did very expensive secondary degrees which obviously add to the cost. And some of us even did very expensive degrees far away from home.

I think you really almost always fail to consider the perspective of other people, so you base your conclusions on what you've done or what worked for you. That has nothing to do with many of the rest of us.

I won't even get into your extremely judgmental "poor career choices" comment. I have an irritating uncle who says things like that, except he'll one up you since he doesn't find anything aside from meds/law/dentistry to be a "wise" career move.
Okay but when students get jobs and have to pay higher taxes for the increased education spending I don't want to hear complaining. There's no free meal.

Also at somepoint if people are making poor career choices since they can't get a job with sociology and psychology they are going to have to make "judgments" on whether they should stay on the same track or go to a sector with more labor demand. There are people making judgments like this all the time. I chose accounting because I knew that I could find multiple opportunities in different industries for it. Yet I know people who are middle aged and are taking humanities courses with massive $100,000 loans and don't intend to pay it off but carry it until death. That's why the last year of high school is so important in regards to career choices. I call it "wise" and not "extremely judgmental". People aren't evil for making mistakes but they should research more on employment opportunities before they plunge into huge debt.
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