Extras Jan 30, 2013 at 4:00 am



"It's my fault though, right?"

You're really gonna make me say it?
Say whatever you want, guy who missed these pitfalls by being born earlier than me.
This would make a great Portlandia sketch.
The U.S. used to be able to afford to pay for higher education without charging high tuition and forcing people into debt bondage, before "priorities" shifted. The common stereotype of people choosing "useless" majors is a sad oversimplification of things and it lets financial speculators off the hook. For all those who insist Occupy had no coherent program or set of goals, this one one of the things you missed out on/chose to ignore.
But of course the internet is full of commenters who love to scoff at all the silly college students, ignoring the system that holds them in debt and relies on them as a cheap labor force in a bad economy, as they struggle to pay off their debts.
I only have 500 words, man, but good points!
People DO use college as a placeholder, though. They do pursue classes that are ultimately useless when there are industries who need trained professionals. The cost has gotten out of hand, but just because their's is the greater sin doesn't let people like me off the hook.
Still, you are off the hook, Ian.
After reading your article Ian, I can see why Portland State University wants you to pay back the money you borrowed for tuition. More than likely their reasoning is that once the loan is paid in full, they can reasonably deny ever having you as a student. Expletives aside, although I do appreciate your liberal dispersal of them throughout your article, the ability that you display in expressing yourself isn't really college level. And when you say 'your money' I dearly hope that the Portland Mercury isn't giving you this money for writing article like this. Hopefully, you are just a worker outside the Mercury offices working at one of those food vending carts who submits the occasional witty written reparte that they spend the next 40 hours correcting and editing to have something to fill the pages. The food at most of those places is tasty, not to mention worthy of 'college level' food reviews. If they are, then it is true - Portland is the black hole of intelligence sucking the entire US into last place on a list of uneducated countries we don't even want to be on. And, so others who may chose to carry the burden of my words and accost me verbally - which I enjoy - in return for my gift to you here, let me sight some examples. 'Only ever' means absolutely nothing, even when you choose to use it with 'never ever' as some sort of poetic license. License revoked. That, in turn, was followed up with 'all the kind'. I know the words are English words but assemble together and trying to consider their meaning I really am beginning to understand "Portland." And lastly, whether you believe Shakespeare to have written all the words attributed to him or not, Othello has more implications on getting a job than you will ever be able to understand - as you so eloquently hinted at and is entirely obvious in reading your article. Perhaps 'WritingAsShit' might be a better title for your column.
Brevity is the soul of wit, Stewie. That and having something to say yourself, not being pedantic about usage in a comedian's column while misspelling words yourself, not naming yourself after a bad Family Guy character, not claiming to be the only person in the room who could understand Shakespeare, not making superior observations about what "Portland" is, etc. etc.
Yeah, Stewie:

Along with a couple of missing commas and words, you misspelled 'reparteE', 'choOse', 'CITE', and 'assembleD'.

And it's a 'column', as you correctly noted at the end, and not an 'article', as you referred to it twice earlier on.

When you're going to shoot someone's writing down, at least learn to fucking spell and edit your own shit first.
Thanks for reading, Stewie! I'm glad you liked the article : )! I do it for the fans like you! <3 <3<3<3<3!
Everyone at my job loves you & your column. Say, I have a college degree & I believe you're one of the smartest fuckers I've ever known. Also, I'm down to only about $8K remaining to pay for a communication degree I earned almost fifteen years ago.
People get bitter when they can't get their own writing published. <3
Ian, I'm sorry that you can't afford a towel (IKEA has cheap towels, and they last a while, too). And I don't agree with the system that makes student loan debt unlike any other debt (that is, impossible to bankrupt out of). But I don't think that any school is responsible for a student not choosing to study something that might lead to a job. Or for the fact that someone chooses to live off of loans and get stoned instead of going to class, or to cheat instead of study.

I bombed out of college (Portland State, actually) the first time I enrolled. I was 16, and just wanted to get high and stay in bed all day with my girlfriend. Later I had to spend long years attending classes in the evening, after work, to get my degree. It was a B.A. in English, no hot commodity. But that degree has helped me get jobs and earn more money. My sister has a B.A. in Anthropology. It has helped her get jobs. Not as an anthropologist, of course, but better jobs than she would've otherwise gotten.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think things are so very different today than when I finally graduated. There were good times and bad times economically in the past...it wasn't all golden. And I was renting a room in someone's house as recently as nine years ago, after I moved back from L.A.; I wasn't born with a silver bong in my mouth.

College isn't for everyone, and there are many pitfalls. But when I bombed out, it never occurred to me to blame the school. And I don't believe that classes in Shakespeare are the problem.
You are wrong. Things have changed a whole lot.
Preach it, Ian!

I worked 20-25 hours a week at a restaurant, while enrolled in a full course load throughout school. I took school very seriously. When I wasn't in class or working my balls off for $10/hour, I went to guest lectures, office hours, networked, etc. I got my degree in English and went back for a post-bacc in Medieval Literature. My alma mater refused to release my transcripts when I couldn't pay an outstanding balance on my account. I couldn't apply for grad school or serious jobs without my transcripts. Years later, it turned out that the remaining balance was a big, fucking ERROR! In the end, it didn't matter, I was just another account that needed to be settled.

I don't regret the classes I took, or pursuing my interests, and I'm not bitter about how my life is turning out. (Who knows? I may have been hit by a bus on my way to an accounting class or business seminar.) However, I do feel stupid for forgetting that Higher Education is a lucrative business. Of course they have something for everyone, of course they'll help you find scholarships, grants, loans, etc. College and academia seems an obvious pyramid scheme now, but that's not what everyone thought 9 years ago. Thank G(g?)od quesadillas and porn are still within my budget.
@ Ms. Beowulf:

You had me at "Thank G(g?)od...".

Reading this article reminded me of another perspective on the whole High Ed. accountability issue: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamespoulos/20…
First, a shout out to those 14 people who decided to read what I said and liked/disliked it. You tweeks trying to lash out at me obviously have not engendered or enraged people enough to get the to click the mouse for you.

@ Geyser, Polonius was an old fart, a wise one, but still an old fart, who rambled for a paragraph before uttering that famous line. He then went on to repeat that Hamlet was mad 3 or 4 times. I know the Cliff Notes or Google version probably doesn't talk about that.

My handle Stewie has nothing to do with Family Guy. I have actually never watched the show. I'm a South Park kind of guy. At an earlier age, 20 or 30 years ago, I like to drink. And drink I did. But I never seemed to get drunk. According to a friend, I just 'stewed.' Happily, I might add. Hence, Stewie. It stuck; I like it.

I am bummed you didn't tell me to move if I didn't like Portland. I am glad you didn't because I already have and I would have chided you about that. I like it far better where I am and Portland has many many faults to rail about.

@ human in training. You are right. I am on a computer that Grace Hopper used to program COBOL with. Google Grace Hopper, I'll wait............My accent aigu key doesn't work and words like expose, regime and especially, creme brulee, keep getting people angry at me and writing shit about my bad spelling. Look at that, I ended a sentence with a fucking preposition!

@ Austin - I am published. So fuck you for not asking first! That was wrong. I'm sorry. Next time please ask first....something like...Oh..and I suppose you're published?!?!?!

And finally,

@ Ian - I did read the whole article and others you wrote. I particularly liked "The Milkmother's Policeman's Gun Club's Detective Agency and Cribbage Club" although I think the cribbage club part was a tad unnecessary. The first part was funny enough. Cambodia is not a nice place to visit, let alone move to. Kvetchmas - funny!
There's my medication. Shit!
So what you're saying, Stewie, is that your nickname comes from the fact that you have no sense of humor and you're a drag at parties?

Funny .. I'd already detected that.
Allenink...I have read all YOUR comments. This one fits in flawlessly. Allenink meet Austin. You two will get along fabulously!
Ian this article is too real. Oh well guess I can use my Reed dipolma for firewood after I'm done preparing for a career in academia that no longer exists. I figure if I don't get a job out of college I can just plot to kill all the old people who stole my future from me.
The education system would be much better off if every kid would be forced to move out from their parents' home and take a shitty job to make ends meet for like 2 years before going into college. I'm not even 30 yet but have found myself increasingly unable to talk to 21-year-olds because they just have no god damn clue what actual life is like. Hell, I remember being 19 and thinking I'd never take a boring desk job, but here I am commenting on the Mercury blog in my little cubicle. I also remember being 19 and thinking I was a fucking genius for knowing who Immanuel Kant was. I kant remember now, so maybe I was.

Give kids a crash course in what a shitty job is like and how much money actually matters in life, make them budget their paycheck, and show them how much they'll be paying and for how long after school. Then let them decide whether to go to school, what to study, and whether they want to lay on the couch getting stoned instead of going to class.
There IS someone who's job it is to look out for your best interests when you are young. It's your parents. To think that it is anyone else's job only exposes the pathetic lack of personal responsibility that has become so endemic to the US. We, as a culture, have judged that 18 year olds are responsible enough to go to war and make decisions under fire. If that's right, then presumably having the forethought to pick a major and plan some life goals shouldn't be beyond the average 18-20 year old. Your predicament is the byproduct of your own shitty decisions. Being angry about that is good- maybe you'll make better decisions now. Blaming it on the school you attended is only feeding the mentality that got you in the position you're in now. Accept responsibility, no matter how shitty that feels, and start digging your way out. It's on you, man. Nobody else is going to live your life for you.
My best friend graduated from Portland State a few years ago and still has an enormous debt that feels overwhelming to her. My older sisters generation (eighties) went to Reed, Lewis and Clark etc took student loans and never paid them back (she did pay hers and it took her 20 years, but most did not), which is why it is so draconian now for kids who take loans to get a degree. My friend is the first person in her family to have a degree. In a lot of ways she regrets it. Education should not feel that way
You can accept responsibility for something and still point out how fucked the system is getting.

EVERY generation made shitty choices in college, THIS generation is being punished for those choices more harshly than any other.

To quote Forbes - "The problem sometimes is that students entering college take on huge amounts of debt to fund increasingly expensive college tuition costs with the expectation that their salaries after graduation will be able to cover the loan payments. The ugly surprise after graduation day is that entry-level salaries are often no match for massive monthly student loan payments, or worse, there’s no job available by the time the first payment comes due."

There used to be room to fuck up. There used to be room to go get a fun degree, and then head back later and study CAD or programming or medical billing or whatever the fuck kind of job is hiring these days.

I got lucky, I make a living performing comedy and writing, and college helped me land in those areas - but I am the exception. The me in this article isn't mainly me, it's all of my friends. I majored in political science, but I took a lot of theater classes... of everyone I knew from those theater classes, I'm one of two people making a living in the arts. If you're sending people away with $5000 in debt, fine, whatever - but they aren't. They're sending people away with $30,000 in debt, a useless degree and a feeling of hopelessness.

I've accepted responsibility for my part. I know I fell for the ruse, and my credit will suck for years, every check I cash will be less sweet - but you want to tell me not to be angry? I'm part of a generation who was told to follow their dream, and that going to college was an expectation and not a choice? You want to tell me not to be angry? You think this system is fine, and that every High School class should go through this same charade of bullshit until the only people who aren't crippled by debt are the people who's parents had enough money put away to fully fund their college experience?

Fuck yourself until you die from fucking yourself you condescending pile of fucked to death garbage.
And like MAGIC I commented.

(also I love this post)
Anyone have any idea how hard/easy it is to fake your own death? I am working 60 hours a week right now at jobs that have nothing to do with the degree I received in college, just to barely make my loan payments and keep a leaky roof over my head. No one to blame but myself but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.
I am fortunate; I realized at 18 that going to college meant pot, parties, beer, and lots more of the same with a side of classes and exams. I opted for the military where I could always rely on 3 meals a day and a place to sleep. I was smart enough to get into some tech schools and I even signed up for the GI Bill to help pay for college down the road.

When I got out I was able to apply the skills I gained and work my way up in the company I've worked at for the last 19 years (holy crap!!). Between the GI bill and my works policy to pay for education I earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Management while working full time. I'm one of the lucky ones that didn't take the standard path. But I observe people who did, people who trusted the system placed before them and that system ran them through the wringer. They have the bruises on their credit and wallets to prove it.

Whenever possible I suggest kids out of high school (they really aren't adults yet) go work for a year or two in a shitty job. Live in a shitty place with way too many occupants and see how much life really costs. Hopefully then they can appreciate an education and not drink, smoke, snort, pop pills, etc their way through school and then wonder what the fuck they did for the past 4 years and stare down the barrel of $30K of debt.

Yes parents should help guide their kids, but sadly most people see the system for what it should be, and not what it really is; a revenue stream. Show our 18 year old kids the different path; if they choose college once a bit wiser and knowing what they want to do hopefully they won't pursue useless degrees (the one's that don't get you employed). Hopefully they can get some life skills that get them employed.

Buy yeah the system isn't just flawed; its broken.
Hey, Ian - yeah, I do blame you. Fuck me, right? You seem to be giving your (very slightly) younger self a complete pass. Just because you didn't think about "how much a bed cost" or anything else about post-college life, you jump to the conclusion that you either COULDN'T or SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO think of those things. As if we shouldn't expect 18 year-olds to make important decisions.

Well, that's bunk. All those kids who studied medicine or engineering or computer science didn't do it because some secret advisor sat them down and explained life to them, it's because they weren't too lazy to worry about the future. Just the fact that there are lots of people slogging away at tough majors that they don't like should make it clear that no one is at fault here but you. They had all the information you did, and are the same age you were. So why isn't it your fault?

I first graduated from PSU in 2004. That's rapidly becoming a long time ago, but I doubt my experience was much different than yours. I remember getting a lot of shit for having a business major. I'd try to chat up a girl, she'd ask what my major was, and when I said "Supply and Logistics Management," she'd curl her nose and ask "Oh...well, I guess, if that's interesting to you..." And then she'd explain that it totally didn't matter what major you took, employers didn't care, and you should just study whatever made you happy! Sounds ridiculous, but I swear I had that conversation over and over again. I'd ask people what kind of research they did to draw those conclusions, and be met with blank stares. But they sure didn't get it from the school! That was their own group-think drum-circle bullshit.
Ian: You wrote something that gets 4x as many comments as the typical Mercury article/column/interview/in-depth analysis of Bilbo Baggins and his time-out in the sag wagon. Like you, when I was in college I also took a fuckload of classes about puppets, but where did it get me? Writing a column in the Mercury? No, adding a comment to 30 other comments to a column in the Mercury. I'll bet no one gets mad at me, either. Maybe if I misspelled something. Anyway, mazal tov, kid. Are you listening? I SAID HEY!
Ian, I went to the same high school and graduated the same year. Why the fuck did so many people go to college? Oh, right, because they got "good grades", not the “here’s a P for ‘pass’ now die in Afghanistan” grades that I got.

You should have gone my route: Joined up and free'd a fucking nation. Best times of my life, my friend: a romantic voyage through the Sands of Arabia. Now, I'm just sitting back and waiting for the Nation of Iraq to cut me fat check (freedom ain’t free ya’ know) and a nice “Thank You for your service” note to frame on my wall. I’ve been waiting for a couple years, but it should be here any day now, it’s not like my youthful post-high school indiscretions were a destructive waste of time and energy.

@Reymont - So what lie do you tell girls at cocktail parties now? "Business owner?" Cause I think the one who's taking the girl home says "Famous comedian under-30 and part time dishwasher."
@fidelity - I also did 4 years in the military, but it was over before all the horrible stuff that you had to go through. I was really lucky. Still, though, the GI Bill paid the entire tuition for my first degree, and then let me buy a lot of real estate at zero down and low interest rates. Isn't that the "fat check" you've been waiting for? Why have you been waiting so long?

And I don't understand your question about "what lie?" I wasn't lying about my major, back then, so...?
You know what? I am going to take responsibility for this one.

If you got a degree that was useless, it was my fault. I used tricky language, encouraged you to be lazy, over charged you for things you really didn't need. I am a marketer. Nothing personal. I helped create jobs in offices that made you think that the career could actually work, and you could land that job. I mean, it was easy to have jobs that didn't directly make profit- money was cheap 8 years ago. My company needed an inner social manager who specializes in conflict resolution.

The more they did that, the more I could work and do what I do with out being bothered. When asked, I told colleges we even needed those things. "We are just not getting enough creative writers and conflict resolution specialists" I would say, to make sure they churned people like that out so there were fewer marketers in my job pool.

So ya, sorry, but I nailed it with this one. I had to do it.
@Reymont - I'm not a college boy, never have been never will be. Have you met college kids in this town? Maybe they were different back in your day. They're the worst piles of middle-class shit I've ever seen - they seethe with white-people problems and parental issues, to the point that they’re disabled from doing anything productive. Their activism and political activities is usually predicated on pissing their parents off, or is just entirely misguided. Pissing away $30k+ dollars on a worthless certificate, like Ian is complaining about. Some of the stupidest people I’ve met have college degrees, hell, at least one was a college professor. So, no GI Bill for me. I work for a living and build wealth the old fashion way: bank rob’n, drug deal’n and gun run’n. Also, I do not participate in usury nor go into debt, so the VA/USAA loans are a non-starter. I do encourage everyone I meet to use these services though.

I was just kidding about the whole cocktail party thing, and check from Iraq. Obviously I’m not getting a “Thank you” letter and I’d be cautious with any envelope from Iraq (remember them WMDs and white powder, fo real).
I really like that you take the time to respond to your readers Ian.
Shakespeare's overrated. Kinda like our friend stewey's opinion of himself.
While certainly the cost of college has gone up at a rate better than the rate of inflation, I still see no reason why you tend to think your generation is different than any other Ian.
Unless you mean it as a generation easily taken advantage of.
Todd, I agreed with you, except for the part about claiming bankruptcy for education.
After all, it will always stay with you.

US spends more money on 'defense' and prisons than it does on education, which is because our priorities are completely fucked. Tuition used to be affordable, if we changed our priorities it could be once again.
I have a Philosophy degree. I am not sure what that means.
Did your parents ever warn you against taking out a ton of loans for drama class and dime bags?

I doubt it.

But shouldn't they have know better? Shouldn't they have sat down and talked about it with you? Weren't they already adults accustomed to paying bills and generally responsible behavior?
I never did with my parents. Did anybody? Who did you have to talk to about these things? For most I'm guessing it was the people who were tasked with signing you up for college and helping you get your loans.
Things change fast and college and the pitfalls associated with it changed a whole lot in just a few years, society is slowly starting to figure out what happened but a whole generation got fucked in the meantime.
Ian this is mostly your fault, you were a fuckup and the result is pretty predictable, but at least you've got company. good luck man
Yes, the cost of higher education is ridiculous. Yes, the value of a bachelor's degree has dropped. Yes, the economy sucks and people just getting out of college are screwed (I'm a recent grad). But to blame it on the school itself? It's not like you were at AIU or Phoenix or the terrible ones that trap students who have no chance of paying or getting a job.

You went to college, like kids in our generation were supposed to do. Me too. But I studied and realized what it would take to, you know, live after graduation. Fucking around for 4+ years and then figuring out what to do after I had a diploma in my hand never seemed like a valid option to me, or plenty of other recent graduates who are now employed. Don't blame your laziness and shortsightedness on the system, however flawed the system may be. And please don't expect the world to feel sorry for you because you didn't quite grasp what you needed to do in college.

Also, commenters, please don't stereotype all college graduates. I know, I can go fuck myself, I'm being condescending, etc. But I'm not lazy, and I worked really hard to be where I am. Plenty of people understand the opportunities they receive with access to a higher education, they just don't have their own column.
@howaboutwenot - More accurately: they do have a column (who doesn't?), but no one reads their column because they're not interesting people and they have nothing interesting to say.

@horushound - Nailed it. Bankers have fucked all of us, even non-college kids. Usury is the real enemy here.

We all know there's basically one solution to this whole debt problem (and I'm not talking student debt, but your credit card debt, car-loan debt, mortgage and share of national debt). We basically need to go fight-club on the Bankers and bring their asses to the ground. There is no other salvation, and it's their own fault for getting us here.
I have three undergraduate degrees, all attained at different points in time. Only with the first was I assisted financially by my parents. I paid for the other two but was also older and more wise to the reality of the costs. They were all state schools with in-state tuition rates, which certainly helped. It may not seem like it but I certainly sympathize with Ian and many others. It took me well into adulthood to truly figure out what I wanted to do. College should, at the very least, be a holding place for those who don't always know the right path at any time, let alone ages 18-22, one that doesn't exploit your naivety, your lack of career focus or your lack of interest in a lucrative career choice and saddle you with debt you won't shed until your balls and/or boobs are wilted and saggy. People snap to adulthood at some point (well, at least most. Well, at least some.); they shouldn't have to look back on college as purgatory. Or where they contracted financial life herpes.

The smartest choice I've ever made was to get the fuck out of law school after a semester because I couldn't foresee ever being unburdened by my potential school debt. And this was law school where you can bill people 250/hour for just thinking about them while you poop! The wisdom of my decision was shocking considering the dumb choices I've made over the years. Nevertheless, it speaks to Ian's point that I STILL had to pay 10 grand for that one semester and I still call leaving that school one of my greatest triumphs.
times have changed, but without data, Ian, discounting someone else's comments because they are older than you shows a serious lack of wisdom.
Is college suppose to be about earning money later? I studied English & Women's Studies, took a ton of music & theater classes, paid for the whole thing myself and feel great about it. I am not earning a bunch of money, but that was never my expectation. The difference? Early 90's, cheap college, and I worked pretty hard at the classes I took, so I wasn't there more than 4 years. I totally loved college and wouldn't give up that time in my life for anything.
I've been saying this shit for years. The best financial decision I ever made was not going to college and doing the opposite of what I was told I should do growing up has worked out fantastically for me.
I hear you Ian. My college has doubled in price since I went there 15 years ago. I would not go there today for that price, and I would not send my kids there. Combine that with graduating into this malaise and I feel for recent graduates.

For some reason, our government is willing to lend $20k, $50k, $100k to 18-22 year olds pretty much no-questions-asked when fully employed middle-aged people no longer meet the standards for a mortgage.

There has absolutely been a message in our society that getting a degree (any degree) will only help you in the long run. And up into fairly recently, that was pretty much true. But that has changed and the rhetoric that a lot of kids hear (because that's what an 18 year old is) has not changed with the reality.

Sadly, the kids most vulnerable to getting bad information are those from families without a history of college education. It's that "first to attend college" who is most likely to see the diploma as a magic totem, and the major doesn't matter.

High schools need to impart these realities to kids. Also required classes on financial planning and a multi-year required courses on marketing and advertising so everyone understands the modes by which people will be trying to separate them from their money for the rest of their lives.
Good thing is a person living in Portland can make a little or even a lot of ca$h by being an expert at their hobby, craft or drug dealing. But expertise doesn't always equate to talent.
You can always major in Kale
@Blabby, your last post had excellent points
I think a lot of people in my generation were constantly told two things that were both incredibly damaging. One was the idea that it doesn't matter what your degree is in, that any degree shows that you have "problem-solving skills" or something. I think the comments above have adequately address that one.

The other was "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!" How many people here were told that, or something like it, growing up?

When you put those two things together, you get a whole generation of kids saying "Well, I want to be a Graphic Designer specializing in dolphins! That's what I love, so sign me up!" And because that's such a PRETTY future, they tended to cover their ears whenever somebody tried to tell them that job may not actually exist...

It's just horrible. I saw so much tragedy in the future of so many kids at PSU, and now I swear the crowds of Occupy Portland were just full of those people. Now they've got another case of "groupthink." In college, they all convinced each other that they could study whatever they wanted and everything would be just fine. Now, they're all convincing each other that they were TRICKED, and that it's someone else's fault.

You can't convince them otherwise, when they all have ten friends who fucked up the same way and they're all so eager to believe it's not their fault that they constantly absolve each other of all guilt...
@fidelity - You had some goods points up there about college students. But just because some people hurt themselves with a tool doesn't mean you won't be able to use it successfully. Step one is learning from their mistakes, and it sounds like you've got that covered.
@Reymont - I disagree with you on the concept of collective mistakes, but I totally agree with your analysis on graphic designers specializing in dolphins. The two ideas separate ideas coming together makes a lot of sense to me.

You can’t blame people for being dumb, just as you can’t blame a horse for being dumb. Please do not tell me that you’re one of those idealistic fools who bought into “everyone is equal,” you seem smarter than that, so you must admit that some are dumber than you. Like a horse, people can be led with a carrot (Kale in this town). It’s not their fault for following short-sighted goals, especially when someone is holding the carrot in front of them. It’s the person holding the carrot who is to blame. Similarly, if I come into a town and swindle 10 people, it’s not the fault of the people they were swindled, it’s the fault of swindler: I specialize in fooling regular people, and they will lack the experience to see past my lies.

The perfect emblem of this is the collapse of our financial markets, and by extension, the student loan debt. Everyone buys into the concept of making easy money quick, even if that concept is a 4 year degree that will lead to 6-figure salary by the time you’re 30. Selling snake oil is always easy, same with a 30-year mortgage with nothing down. In retrospect, it’s easy to look back and see that a deal was foolish, but the vast majority of the people will never – ever – consider this as a forethought. No amount of education will convince them or train them, it is what it is. It’s very important in society to track down the swindlers, the people pimping bad deals, because most people will never know they’re being swindled.

Throughout history people have voluntarily entered into bondage, a completely irrational decision, today we do this with debt and usury, what we used to call “indentured servants.” Today indentured servitude and slavery is prohibited, and eventually we must reach this goal with usury, and eventually debt. Until then, don’t be surprised that people are shortsighted, and that exploitation of stupid people is bound to happen. Don’t blame the stupid people, blame the person exploiting them.

Burn the banks – that’s the way forward.
As a fellow lib arts major I can relate. But this is your sammich and now you got to eat it. You are a published columnist so I don't feel too sorry for you. Its time to accomplish shit and get er done. Oregon is a really crappy place to make a living but you can always move to a better market. My first job out of college was moving night freight for pennies on the dollar at Target

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