Other YAL bloggers and I have posted repeatedly on the way government intervention in the student loans/aid market has driven up the cost of college. See, for instance, Peter Schiff on “How Government Programs Drive up College Tuitions,” or Mish Shedlock on how Obama’s student loans proposals will just lure students into greater unsustainable debt.
So this selection from the Best of Craigslist seemed appropriate, amusing, and economically on target [warning: *ed out foul language]:
Dear University Alumni Office,
I’m sorry to hear that the university’s $750 million endowment has fallen in value to $500 million because of the recession and because your bank died. I’m also sorry to hear that you’re dealing with declining enrollment due to the fact that middle-class families are no longer willing or able to bet their homes on a $45,000-a-year higher education for their children. I really am.
So, what I want to know is, why are you wasting money on glossy fundraising brochures full of meaningless synonyms for the word “Excellence”? And, why are you sending them to ME? Yes, I know that I got a master’s degree at your fine institution, but that master’s degree hasn’t done jack sh*t for me since I got it! I have been unemployed for the past TWO YEARS and I am now a professional resume-submitter, sending out dozens of resumes a month to employers, and the degree I received in your hallowed halls is at the TOP OF IT and it doesn’t do a f*cking thing.
You know, maybe if you wanted a little bit of money from me (and these days you’d get about $3) maybe you should send me a fancy color brochure admitting your role in the bubble economics that got us all in to this mess.
For example, since 1987, higher education expenses have gone up 450 percent, while personal income in this country has gone up 87 percent, making tuition IMPOSSIBLE to afford without special financing. But, during this time, you were thriving because people could come up with the cash in two ways:
1. Get a home equity loan and use the inflated value of their house to pay for their kid to get drunk and/or raped at your school and then lose the house when the market crashed.
2. Get a federal loan.
HAD IT OCCURRED TO YOU THAT NEITHER OF THESE SOURCES OF MONEY ACTUALLY EXIST? THAT IT WAS BEING MANUFACTURED BECAUSE YOU MADE PEOPLE THINK THAT ONE OF YOUR DEGREES WAS NECESSARY TO CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE BUBBLE?
Oh yes, federal loans. I’ve got $40,000 of those, which are in “forebearance” right now because I’m unemployed, meaning that the feds are paying the interest for a while, which is convenient for me, but not for our government which is now owned by China. You know, the idea behind federal loans was that it would allow more students to attend your university, not let you INFLATE your tuition to obscene levels! I mean, what the f*ck were you spending the $16,000 per semester on, anyway? I was in a public policy program, so that meant we got to sit in classrooms and listen to Professor God up at the front of the lecture hall glorify Himself and Creation as He saw it and talk about how much smarter he was than anyone else and how much he’d learned at MIT and the RAND Corporation.
Really, that’s about all you did for us — gave us a lecture hall, gave us an arrogant bastard to listen to, and gave us a room full of computers we could use sometimes, and you gave us a degree that employers look at and say “This guy knows how to write reports. Amusing.” And I will be paying for this privilege until I am 51 years old.
So I’m sorry that the economy’s been rough on you. Maybe, if you wanted to save a little money, you could stop printing and sending brochures to my parents’ house (oh yeah, that’s where I live because I can’t afford rent on ANYTHING). And, maybe I’ll donate a little bit of money to you in 2030, when I get the loans for your imaginary education PAID OFF!