POWER

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NOW IS THE SUMMER OF OUR DISCONTENT

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

The previous post briefly discussed the growing student debt advocacy movement, and how it has been influenced by the law school "scamblog" sites in recent years. Through their writing, these scambloggers- law school students and graduates- have illuminated a severe problem in this country: greedy and dishonest institutions fleecing America's new generation of students and professionals, and hastening the destruction of the middle class. Now it is time for others to speak out as well.

THE LAW SCHOOL SCAM EXPOSED

Essentially, new, unnecessary law schools have continued to open, thanks to the unconscionable accreditation "standards" of the ABA (American Bar Association). These "law schools" charge exorbitant tuition, leaving many graduates with six figure, undischargeable student loan debt, not including any undergraduate loans. To make matters worse, the employment market for new lawyers is not only down because of "the economy", but it has changed permanently due to advancements in technology, and the outsourcing of American legal work to foreign countries.

Many law school graduates can not find legal jobs, and have difficulty gaining employment in other fields because of their advanced JD degree. The false reporting by US News and World Report, as well as the various universities themselves, has misled many prospective students regarding the realities of post-graduate employment opportunities. The ABA and some "law schools" are KNOWINGLY OVERSATURATING THE LEGAL MARKET with graduates that will likely NEVER FIND EMPLOYMENT IN THE LEGAL FIELD, and misleading and harming students who will struggle seriously with their student loan debt for decades!

This problem is not only experienced by students of lower-ranked schools (better known as Third Tier Toilets), but from "better" schools as well. Either way, it is an unacceptable situation being fueled by extreme greed on the part of the part of the ABA, the universities, and the lending institutions. Some people are getting extremely wealthy from this system of "education"- and it's not the graduates.

THE REAL LAWYERS OF ORANGE COUNTY

Check out this recent Craig's List job posting for an administrative assistant job seeking law school graduates- in case you have any doubts about the changing nature of this profession!

SAD BUT TRUE: THE LAW SCHOOL SCAM MADE SIMPLE

ANSWERING THE CALL TO ACTION: A LIBRARY OF INFORMATION

Recently this blog called on subprime advanced degree holders from other fields to speak out about their experiences with loan debt, misleading marketing information on the part of their schools (as well as other sources), and the current realities of employment with their degree.

The first response came in regarding the MLIS degree (Master of Library and Information Sciences), and it appears to be rife with some of the same sort of corruption we have seen in the law $chool bu$ine$$. This will be the first degree to be explored in a series on this blog called SUBPRIME DEGREE EXPOSÉ. This series will begin in July, and will be followed by similar posts about subprime degrees in other disciplines.

AN OPEN CALL, A CATTLE CALL, A STANDING INVITATION

There is a movement to take on student lending corruption, and if you are a victim- and there are many of you out there- BECOME INFORMED AND SPEAK OUT! Tell us about your subprime degree. You can contact this blog at paul.small2007@gmail.com. If you prefer, just leave a comment below this post. If you are so inclined, consider writing a blog of your own or becoming involved in another way.

STOP THE INSANITY

The student lending crisis in America needs to be further exposed, and relief for those who need it must be demanded. Young, naive students should be protected from falling into the trap, and being ripped-off. Changing the higher education system so that it is about (affordable) education for students and not higher (undeserved) salaries and bonuses for corrupt, greedy, pigs in university administration, or the $tudent loan companie$, etc. has to happen.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A SUBPRIME DEGREE? 

The term subprime lending is widely used in describing the types of loans that led to the collapse of the US housing market three years ago- which had a ripple effect in the global markets, and has devastated the lives of many people and their families. It basically refers to making loans to people who are thought to have potential difficulty paying back the loan, and as such they are given less favorable lending terms and interest rates. Due to lack of government regulation (deregulation), criminals masquerading as businesspeople actually have devised schemes to profit off of borrowers who end up defaulting on their loans.

Mortgages and student loans are different in ways, but both can be subprime. Students are regularly allowed to borrow to the max to finance degrees presumably to pursue a career in that field. Many students borrow large sums of money without fully realizing the degree they are borrowing for may not help them get any job that pays enough to pay back the loan.

$100,000 in debt to become a social worker? $90,000 to study film? How about a BS in history for $65,000? Sound like a good ideas? Hmmm... probably not. But, young, naive students do it all the time, not fully understanding the serious ramifications this will have on their future.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO THE CRISIS

Opinions on how to approach the student debt fiasco in America are mixed, of course. The problem is systemic, having been influenced by various areas of politics and culture over the past couple of decades. The debt crisis will not go away by itself, and student loan defaults are increasing. The media is covering the story more frequently, and a simple Google search will reveal this- from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and even the foreign press.

Perhaps the single most important change that must be demanded from politicians is the return of standard consumer protections to student loan debt- meaning that this debt can be discharged in bankruptcy- like all other types of debt. Currently, student loan debt is the only type of debt that can not be discharged through this process. Credit card and gambling debt- no problem. The Student Loan Scam, by Alan Collinge is an excellent source of information regarding specifics on this topic.

By allowing this change in The US Bankruptcy Code, the most severe cases of harmful, unmanageable debt could be offered relief. But it would also begin to change the extremely profitable, and corrupt system of overlending to students!! If you don't already know this, LENDERS MAKE EVEN MORE MONEY WHEN A BORROWER DEFAULTS!

Sallie Mae loves it when someone decides to go to a third tier toilet law school, or an expensive private school to get a degree to prepare for a career in an underpaid profession, like teaching or social work. But, if lenders know that bankruptcy is an option for the overburdened borrower, they may not be so quick to let an 18 year-old get in over their head financially for a liberal arts degree at their "dream school."

Restoring these protections is an essential first start, but that alone will not be enough. Other solutions will be mentioned in the next post. What are your thoughts on solutions to the debt crisis?

4 comments:

  1. Excellent! I'm going to put a link to this at the top of my most recent Post.

    Keep shining that spotlight.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Jordan:

    Write to me, and let us talk about this.

    I have had a lot of suicidal thoughts over my debt as well, and have posted lots of poems I have written dealing with suicide over student loan debt, and not one lawyer in this country, or anyone else seems to care.

    Let alone an entire faculty and administration of the Law School I went to. Touro

    Which is a disgrace.

    Maybe we can help each other to keep sane.

    I have contacted Ann Coulter.

    Also Katie Couric, Howard Stern. Maria Shriver.

    The novelist Stephen King, who is a big rich corporate type.

    With dead silence as a reply.

    Dead silence.

    There is no need to set yourself on fire.

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  4. Jordan(Kevin)-
    Please contact me at paul.small2007@gmail.com. We need to fight for justice without hurting ourselves. They have caused us enough harm. Making a statement is one thing, but please do not light yourself on fire. Contact JD Painter Guy also. Life can really blow sometimes, but we need to fight on. I hope to hear from you. Paul

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