Sunday, October 24, 2010

College graduates debt increases has an article with a headline that is very eye catching: College grads: $24,000 in debt.

As a college student, this article is very overwhelming.

During Obama's State of the Union address I had blogged about it on The Future of Journalism and there was a part about Obama saying that he does not want students to be in debt for having an education, and he made a point to really emphasize that he wants to help make it possible for students to go to school and get an education without going in bankruptcy.

The exact part of the speech referred to above is:

"...When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all fifty states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families. To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer-subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let's tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only ten percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after twenty years – and forgiven after ten years if they choose a career in public service. Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. And it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs – because they too have a responsibility to help solve this problem..."

When seeing posts about going into debt, students are probably finding Peter Thiel's offer of $100,000 to drop out of school very tempting.

The CNN Money article says that student debt is on the rise and "fewer graduates are getting jobs to pay back what they borrowed."

To make the college student feel more overwhelmed add onto the fact that unemployment rates are high and unemployment rates for college graduates jumped from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 8.7 percent in 2009 - which is the highest annual rate on record.

There is even a new term "boomerang kids" which refers to college graduates who move back home - which according to CNN Money is 85 percent.

Students with the most debt, over $29 thousand, are from New Hampshire, and students in Ohio are said to have the lowest, under $16 thousand.

Surprisingly CNN Money says, "Schools in the lowest average debt group included California Institute of Technology, Hampton University, CUNY Hunter College and Princeton University."

By Nikky Raney
Journalist & Blogger

Unemployment panic: What is a 99er to do?

Unemployment panic is rampant in America today, but what is a 99er to do without money to eat, a place to live or even the necessities to continue their futile job search?

According to Open Congress last week:
"There are about 20 major pieces of legislation being considered for floor time in the lame-duck session, and it’s hard to predict what the dynamic in Congress is going to be after the election. For example, what happenes if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV], who controls what gets voted on in the Senate, is defeated in the mid-terms? Does he scramble to pass a last legacy bill on food safety or renewable energy instead of spending the final days of his 24 year career fighting for a temporary extension of benefits for the unemployed folks that he has already spent a good deal of time fighting for? Incentives and motivations will change significantly depending n what happens on Nov. 2, so, if you care about there being a lifeline for the millions of long-term unemployed after Thanksgiving, the best thing you can do right now is start making as much noise about this as you can."

Most 99ers have been without UI income for 8 months. After living on what little UI pays for 99 weeks (out of many more weeks unpaid) the 99ers are dropping like flies. Losing your home to foreclosure, eviction or just over staying your welcome at the relative’s, the street is now the new home of many who used to qualify as “the American middle class.”

One 99er (name withheld by request) recently told the San Diego Unemployment Examiner: “The constant fear and desperation I feel is unbearable. I do not know what to do. My life is an out of control spiral downhill and I cannot do anything to stop it. I am sick of being afraid all the time and yes I have considered ending this nightmare more than once - I just cannot do that to my family. My family cannot help me anymore and I feel so guilty for needing the help they have provided. Most of them live very far away, but I may soon need to pack up and move in with them. I cry myself to sleep every night just thinking of what a failure I am now that I can no longer support myself.”

It is true that this 99er has options that many do not. Thousands are already on the street or in shelters. Some have been just too depressed or scared to live this way any longer, so they give up on life completely.

Unemployment is likely to remain above 9 percent for the rest of this year, and for much of next. That means the ranks of the long-term unemployed will swell even further. This “Jobless Recovery” has been the trend so far in this recession, and it's not likely to stop now. Are we just going to leave the long term unemployed without incomes and without job opportunities? Without money to spend in their wrecked local economies, thus making it harder for those economies to generate new jobs? If this is the economic theory Washington is going to embrace amid terrible joblessness in America, then God help us - because we have far more to worry about than the Tea Party nut jobs going to Congress.

What we really need are public jobs for all 7 million of the people who have been unemployed for well over a year. I'd like to hear politicians touting a plausible scenario for creating quick, useful public jobs on that kind of scale in this sluggish economy immediately upon Congress’ return - even as they pass a Tier 5 and extend UI filing deadlines soon to expire.

Washington had better take heed to the suffering that is rampant in the USA due to the lack of income from jobs or UI benefits before we see the frustrations of Americans break out on Main Street, as it would appear it is just a matter of time before this century resembles the tragic desperation of the Great Depression of the last century. I can’t see 2010 Americans taking this much longer before they begin fighting back with possibly catastrophic results.