Paul Krugman makes the point that rising education costs are strangling the future —
Letâ€™s start with some advice Mitt Romney gave to college students during an appearance last week. After denouncing President Obamaâ€™s â€œdivisiveness,â€ the candidate told his audience, â€œTake a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.â€
Oh, sure. Go to college. Start a business. Mom and Dad will just lend you the money.
This reminds me of the English twits who withheld aid from Ireland during the Hunger, telling themselves that deprivation would teach the lazy good-for-nothing Irish to take some initiative and learn to work. Really, some of them said that. There’s a good article on British policies during the Irish Famine at the BBC that makes those twits sound just like today’s Republicans.
Krugman points out Mittens’s famous cluelesses, then goes on to point out that getting an education isn’t necessarily helping young people today —
There is, however, a larger issue: even if students do manage, somehow, to â€œget the education,â€ which they do all too often by incurring a lot of debt, theyâ€™ll be graduating into an economy that doesnâ€™t seem to want them.
Youâ€™ve probably heard lots about how workers with college degrees are faring better in this slump than those with only a high school education, which is true. But the story is far less encouraging if you focus not on middle-aged Americans with degrees but on recent graduates. Unemployment among recent graduates has soared; so has part-time work, presumably reflecting the inability of graduates to find full-time jobs. Perhaps most telling, earnings have plunged even among those graduates working full time â€” a sign that many have been forced to take jobs that make no use of their education.
College graduates, then, are taking it on the chin thanks to the weak economy. And research tells us that the price isnâ€™t temporary: students who graduate into a bad economy never recover the lost ground. Instead, their earnings are depressed for life.
Of course, as Krugman goes on to explain, conservatives are doing everything possible to make the situation worse instead of better. They keep voting to shrink the economy instead of grow it. Nothing I’ve seen recently says “We Are Idiots” more clearly than Club for Growth’s call to vote “no” on student loan subsidies. They should change the name to Club for Stunting.