Financial Disparity

dfw_sailor

Super Anarchist
1,473
608
DFW
You're the resident Populist Liberal - what can we do to lower the disparity?
Have a serious look at how Oz does it for citizens.

Competitive course entry.

Sliding scale of fees based on likely salary and course popularity e.g. stem / teaching etc are much cheaper than medical.

No up front fees. When you start earning money once you reach median wage you start paying the government back via a levy on your tax bill.

The more you earn, the faster you pay back. If you don't earn, you don't pay, and it isn't considered to be a personal debt.

The amount is not subject to simple or compound interest.

The government pays the educational institution direct.

This is how to obtain an educated workforce.

Strong interests in the US do NOT want an educated population.
 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
I don't really care about the high-end institutions. Just like a don't care about Rolex watches. I'm not asking for Rolex to make a Timex (Timex does that just fine). If you want to go to an expensive school, but can't afford it, maybe student loans aren't the answer. Maybe a rebuilt Pell grant system is, with a bit of work-study thrown in for skin-in-the-game. Possibly, we outlaw Student Loans.

We've elected the right people in California such that the community colleges offer good quality for low cost. The State system is a a bit better and offers 4 year degrees, dorms, etc, but is still affordable. The University system unfortunately is capacity constrained in a big way, to the point of likely needing several new campuses to keep up with the demand. Those new campuses will need to be associated with existing brands like UCB and/or UCLA.

A community college 2-year degree can be affordable, even though a lot of 2-year degrees won't open a door for a job because a lot of corporations want the 4-year degreed students. But even state schools without room and board are pulling into the $15k/year area. There are more affordable 4-year tuitions in cheaper areas of the country, but then the average salaries are lower in those areas as well. $15k/year when the student still needs to come up with housing, food and transportation isn't really "Timex" pricing for a 20-something year old. How much is tuition at an affordable college in California, say Fullerton ... $12k?

Anyway, if these schools are riding on high on tax-free revenues, state and Federal subsidies and subsidized loans for their student-shaped cash cows, then this kind of pricing is still predatory, let alone the schools that pop out tuition rates above $20k or more per year.

Of course, the blame isn't just on the academic industry, it's on the hiring managers, human resource people and corporations too ... they want employees with degrees, they will put it into the minimum hiring guidelines though it isn't clear why ... maybe college students are more compliant, or maybe it's classism and elitism?
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,224
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De Nile
A community college 2-year degree can be affordable, even though a lot of 2-year degrees won't open a door for a job because a lot of corporations want the 4-year degreed students. But even state schools without room and board are pulling into the $15k/year area. There are more affordable 4-year tuitions in cheaper areas of the country, but then the average salaries are lower in those areas as well. $15k/year when the student still needs to come up with housing, food and transportation isn't really "Timex" pricing for a 20-something year old. How much is tuition at an affordable college in California, say Fullerton ... $12k?

Anyway, if these schools are riding on high on tax-free revenues, state and Federal subsidies and subsidized loans for their student-shaped cash cows, then this kind of pricing is still predatory, let alone the schools that pop out tuition rates above $20k or more per year.

Of course, the blame isn't just on the academic industry, it's on the hiring managers, human resource people and corporations too ... they want employees with degrees, they will put it into the minimum hiring guidelines though it isn't clear why ... maybe college students are more compliant, or maybe it's classism and elitism?
Why degrees? It shows that a student can set a long-term goal and achieve it. It's not really for their skills out of the institution.

Community colleges near me are about $1200/year in tuition. Yep, only gets you 2 years. Then you transfer to a State or UCal System, at $7,000 for state, $15k for UC.

No matter if you go to school or not, you still need room and board.

Using the most cost-effective approach, you could get a UC Berkeley degree for less than $35k in tuition and fees. That's not bad. You should expect one hell of a return on investment. And, as a country, it's STILL stupid to rely on bank loans for that.

Now, could we dramatically increase funding for Pell grants? Hell yes. You need to have a family income of <$20k to qualify for max Pell grant. That's stupid, and would only be available to those who are emancipated, orphans or have parents who are disabled. But then the rightie populists would whine about unfairness.

In all, the Aussie model sounds pretty good. Rich kids can still do what rich kids do, but merit works for the masses.
 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
Why degrees? It shows that a student can set a long-term goal and achieve it. It's not really for their skills out of the institution.

Community colleges near me are about $1200/year in tuition. Yep, only gets you 2 years. Then you transfer to a State or UCal System, at $7,000 for state, $15k for UC.

No matter if you go to school or not, you still need room and board.

Using the most cost-effective approach, you could get a UC Berkeley degree for less than $35k in tuition and fees. That's not bad. You should expect one hell of a return on investment. And, as a country, it's STILL stupid to rely on bank loans for that.

Now, could we dramatically increase funding for Pell grants? Hell yes. You need to have a family income of <$20k to qualify for max Pell grant. That's stupid, and would only be available to those who are emancipated, orphans or have parents who are disabled. But then the rightie populists would whine about unfairness.

In all, the Aussie model sounds pretty good. Rich kids can still do what rich kids do, but merit works for the masses.

I think the 4-year tuition rates of $5k or so are per semester, not per year. The point remains, the academic institutions have become more like corporations; they look for ways to increase their revenues, regardless their tax-free status, endowments, and government grants. They raise their prices as soon as the subsidized loans from their students allow them to do it.

When nonprofits like United Way, Salvation Army, Goodwill YMCA, etc., look for ways to increase their revenue at the expense of the communities they serve, it's not so different than these public colleges that do the same thing. At least we can opt out of churches and many non-profits. We can't really opt out of higher education if we want certain types of jobs.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,224
5,458
De Nile
I think the 4-year tuition rates of $5k or so are per semester, not per year. The point remains, the academic institutions have become more like corporations; they look for ways to increase their revenues, regardless their tax-free status, endowments, and government grants. They raise their prices as soon as the subsidized loans from their students allow them to do it.

When nonprofits like United Way, Salvation Army, Goodwill YMCA, etc., look for ways to increase their revenue at the expense of the communities they serve, it's not so different than these public colleges that do the same thing. At least we can opt out of churches and many non-profits. We can't really opt out of higher education if we want certain types of jobs.
Those are full year prices. Of course, I hear you that schools charge what they can. My oldest is going to a small private school. It’s 5x+ the tuition cost of that budget UC degree I did the math on. But, I do believe there is value in the network of the school, it’s hard to put a $ on that.
 

dfw_sailor

Super Anarchist
1,473
608
DFW
In all, the Aussie model sounds pretty good. Rich kids can still do what rich kids do, but merit works for the masses.

It also gives the government levers that can be adjusted. Not enough teachers? Lower the fees a bit etc.

Australia generally has good governance, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics has bi partisan and public support for forward planning.

Of course the left wants higher median wages and more government services, compared to the right which wants the opposite, but both sides have to be somewhat reserved because if they push too far to one side they will lose government.

Because voting is compulsory policies have to stay reasonably centrist.

But, all these positives don't mean everything is great in Oz. Without going into thread drift (please), Australia doesn't have any oil refinery industry left, and sends crude to Asia for refining, and then imports refined product. All well and good except Oz only has storage / reserves for something like 10 days. So if an Asian naval war breaks out, Oz will be Sol.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,224
5,458
De Nile
It also gives the government levers that can be adjusted. Not enough teachers? Lower the fees a bit etc.

Australia generally has good governance, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics has bi partisan and public support for forward planning.

Of course the left wants higher median wages and more government services, compared to the right which wants the opposite, but both sides have to be somewhat reserved because if they push too far to one side they will lose government.

Because voting is compulsory policies have to stay reasonably centrist.

But, all these positives don't mean everything is great in Oz. Without going into thread drift (please), Australia doesn't have any oil refinery industry left, and sends crude to Asia for refining, and then imports refined product. All well and good except Oz only has storage / reserves for something like 10 days. So if an Asian naval war breaks out, Oz will be Sol.
That does sound like a lack-of-planning problem…
 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,062
3,241
Tasmania, Australia
That does sound like a lack-of-planning problem…
Not really, it's a short-term thinking 'game the system' problem.

If you don't do any refining then refining can't count towards your greenhouse emissions, and all that dirty industry is someone else's problem.

Government after government has made an art form of this sort of thing. But eventually the shit hits the fan. Our power generation and distribution system is shaping up to be an example.

Anyway WRT education it sorta works. ATM the Victorian Govt is offering free places in nursing I believe, with the proviso that you have to keep working for them for a few years post graduation. When I got my first degree, cadetships and such agreements were very common across nursing, teaching and engineering.

FKT
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,224
5,458
De Nile
Not really, it's a short-term thinking 'game the system' problem.

If you don't do any refining then refining can't count towards your greenhouse emissions, and all that dirty industry is someone else's problem.

Government after government has made an art form of this sort of thing. But eventually the shit hits the fan. Our power generation and distribution system is shaping up to be an example.

Anyway WRT education it sorta works. ATM the Victorian Govt is offering free places in nursing I believe, with the proviso that you have to keep working for them for a few years post graduation. When I got my first degree, cadetships and such agreements were very common across nursing, teaching and engineering.

FKT
One thing the US does do well is offer visas for immigrant healthcare workers who go to poorly served locales, and my sister was able to work off her loans in a similar way, a locale with few teachers.
 

giegs

Anarchist
764
363
Arid
Getting back to the question of financial disparity....

When are kids taught about things like savings, retirement, and investment accounts? What access to guidance on risk do they have? What stability do they have to even play and learn those games?

Talking finance, I'd always put my money on the kid flipping dimes in the parking lot instead of the kid who has an investment banker for a father. How do we level that playing field while maintaining the hustle?
 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
Those are full year prices. Of course, I hear you that schools charge what they can. My oldest is going to a small private school. It’s 5x+ the tuition cost of that budget UC degree I did the math on. But, I do believe there is value in the network of the school, it’s hard to put a $ on that.

After WWII, pretty much any college degree was sufficient to identify a member of a somewhat-more elite class of people. Those people got hired for good jobs. There were city schools then, they were essentially free, City College of New York wasn't an easy school to get entrance or graduate, but the tuition was the cost of the textbooks.

Now it's 2022, and it's just as easy to get a good education with a $100 Chromebook and a YouTube account, even in the complex topics like advanced math and chemistry, than from a university. But the "value in the network" still draws students to the big debt of the Ivy League schools and the elite private schools rather than the State schools and commuter schools.

Hiring happens in these networks, it's even possible to watch the connections form on LinkedIn.

That's my concern with this polarization of education ... it isn't the quality of the education, a few decent textbooks and an internet connection can teach someone what they need to know. It's still the network. Someone with a degree from say University of Phoenix or another proprietary school may have an uphill battle in converting their college debt into a job, there is a stigma with proprietary schools. Less so for state schools and commuter schools, and even less with currently in-demand fields like healthcare. But this elitism in education isn't really going anywhere, the colleges just make more money.

But what is wrong, I think, is that these high end schools receive tens of billions of dollars from taxpayers, and still manage to keep their graduation ranks pretty tight. It isn't the "Timex versus the Rolex" that you describe, it's more like a bus pass versus a car. I would love to see Harvard, Yale, Caltech, NYU, Pepperdine, Claremont, Bard, Vassar, USC or Harvey Mudd and others have an affordable option ... if nothing else, to break down some of these lingering, toxic elements of classism and elitism. Once the passengers are on the escalator, it isn't really clear who flew first class.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,224
5,458
De Nile
After WWII, pretty much any college degree was sufficient to identify a member of a somewhat-more elite class of people. Those people got hired for good jobs. There were city schools then, they were essentially free, City College of New York wasn't an easy school to get entrance or graduate, but the tuition was the cost of the textbooks.

Now it's 2022, and it's just as easy to get a good education with a $100 Chromebook and a YouTube account, even in the complex topics like advanced math and chemistry, than from a university. But the "value in the network" still draws students to the big debt of the Ivy League schools and the elite private schools rather than the State schools and commuter schools.

Hiring happens in these networks, it's even possible to watch the connections form on LinkedIn.

That's my concern with this polarization of education ... it isn't the quality of the education, a few decent textbooks and an internet connection can teach someone what they need to know. It's still the network. Someone with a degree from say University of Phoenix or another proprietary school may have an uphill battle in converting their college debt into a job, there is a stigma with proprietary schools. Less so for state schools and commuter schools, and even less with currently in-demand fields like healthcare. But this elitism in education isn't really going anywhere, the colleges just make more money.

But what is wrong, I think, is that these high end schools receive tens of billions of dollars from taxpayers, and still manage to keep their graduation ranks pretty tight. It isn't the "Timex versus the Rolex" that you describe, it's more like a bus pass versus a car. I would love to see Harvard, Yale, Caltech, NYU, Pepperdine, Claremont, Bard, Vassar, USC or Harvey Mudd and others have an affordable option ... if nothing else, to break down some of these lingering, toxic elements of classism and elitism. Once the passengers are on the escalator, it isn't really clear who flew first class.
They can have an affordable option, they can offer means-based tuition. If not, the Feds could withhold any fed grants, guarantees on loans, research $s, etc. it could be done.
 
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BeSafe

Super Anarchist
7,980
1,289
Vetting competence and capacity is difficult though, so what stands in for the piece of paper?
Aye.. and there's the rub :)

One of the downsides of 'late stage capitalism' is consolidation and all that comes with it. Fewer large corporations means that decisions are more impactful. As those decisions get made - and occasionally go wrong because they always do - more layers of 'vetting' are instituted. Those layers of vetting themselves then become a dominating factor in hiring/promotion decisions.

In early/mid capitalism, generally the market decides who is the most competent. By late stage, that has largely been supplanted.

That's not unique to capitalism - it's really true of virtually any governance system. Early democracies, socialist states, even monarchies/dynastic rule all tend to follow that arc. Early on, some version of meritocracy plays out where there's lots of opportunity - but as things settle down, stratification sets in.
 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
Vetting competence and capacity is difficult though, so what stands in for the piece of paper?

Vetting competence and capacity is a human endeavor, never perfect. Anyone who relies on a piece of paper to do that for them will reap the benefits and punishments of their laziness.
 

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