Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Student Loan Crisis: Creation of the American Indentured Slave Class

Hi Tom, I enjoy your blog. I was reading an NYT comment board that you should consider contributing to. (BTW, I have no connection to the NYT -- I just created a temporary Gmail address as a return address so I could post my own comment there.)

It seems that the Times thinks that lawyers have no problems paying off their student loans.

Here's the story and the comment board: http://news.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/05/08/when-student-loans-dont-pay-off/

Keep up the excellent work. Best.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

May 8th,
2007
12:16 pm It’s good to see articles like this because perhaps they will alert the public to at least think before they continue to throw money at higher education. The sad truth is–and I say this as both a customer (student) and (now former) participant (academic) is that the schools simply keep quiet about the reality that paying all that money is no guarantee. By keeping quiet they allow the myth to stay alive–and to rake in the cash. For example, most law students think they will make a lot of money, but the brute truth is that most of them don’t. Unless you attend an elite law school or graduate near the top of your class, you will not be offered a job that will even cover your loan costs, let alone live. That’s the reason so many lawyers default on their loans–they simply can’t pay them. If you don’t believe me, check the going rate for non-elite law jobs in NYC–$25-30/hr, or $35k/year. Please note that I am not making an argument about how much one needs to live on in NYC. Yes, there are people who live on that in NYC. But they aren’t licensed professionals with seven (!) years of educational expenses to pay off.
The next time someone you know says they want to go to law school to make money, do them a favor and encourage them to put their talents to use directly in the private sector.

— Posted by sparky

Anonymous said...

"I’ve just graduated from a small liberal arts school, having transferred from a larger, prestigious school. I owe approximately $75,000. I’m going to law school, borrowing approximately $50,000 more per year for that (tuition, fees, books, housing).

So, by the time I’m all done, I’ll owe something like $225,000."

Note to poster: Kill self.

Anonymous said...

Even if you went to a top law school, not everyone is able to stay for seven to 10 years before (probably) not making partner. (And if you think it’s all about merit, I have a bridge to sell you.) In addition, all the statements about how a law school education allows you “to keep your options open,” and that there will always be tons of remunerative work no matter what you end up doing, is cr-p.

I feel deep shame about my debt situation, even though I know I’m doing basically everything I can. I check craigslist every day and I see jobs posted that pay $25-an-hour — for lawyers. For clients who are charging out the lawyers for many times that amount. I’ve done some (better paying) temporary work in the past in order to make money while trying to get into another line of work, and people are treated like garbage. Twelve hours a day of virtually not moving while staring at a computer screen all day long. Getting time marked off if you go to the bathroom for too long. It’s worse than working on an assembly line. Assembly line workers are treated with more respect because they are unionized.

Anonymous said...

"Chiropractic schools can do this because of a loophole which exempts nonprofit institutions from the truth in advertising guidelines. While the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to investigate claims of false advertising by commercial businesses, they do not any authority to investigate claims of false advertising by nonprofit organizations such as chiropractic schools."

Put law schools under that umbrella.

Anonymous said...

As a bankruptcy lawyer, I see cases like this all too often. But then compare the case of an upper class kid whose parents help him start a restaurant. He takes on credit card debt, vendor financing and lease obligations, but if it doesn’t work, he can discharge all his debts in Chapter 7. Business debt is dischargeable, student loans are not.

Does anybody need more evidence of class war than this? The prudent but lower class person who wants to better himself goes to school to get a good job. The risk-taking upper class person who wants to better himself (think George Bush’s first oil company), starts his own business. Both fail. But the W-2 employee is indebted for life, while the businessman is not. Indeed, the businessman can go on to start other businesses, live off his parents or even become President.

Anonymous said...

you’d be better off to go to culinary school with your boyfriend than to go to law school. In fact, you would be better off to seek NASCAR pit crew training. As a new lawyer, I can tell you that lawyers are a dime a dozen. Unless you practice in a small firm in a small town, you had better be prepared for an uncertain career. I can assure you that Hostile Work Environment is understatement for businees as usual in most of America’s medium to large law firms. It ranges from merely impolite to vicious. Do yourself a favor, investigate the reality before committing to law school. Law schools will never show you the post graduation truth. Law schools are cash cows and have no scruples about misleading you. Spend a summer in Washington, D.C. as a paralegal or contract staff in some law firms. You may then decide to enter the military.
Vincent Savage

Anonymous said...

the funny thing no one is talking about on here is the student loan scandal that is going on, where it is coming out that schools and lenders were/are colluding to rip off students, and just today one of bush's guys in the department of education steped down, I think because he had been given stock options by a student lender. Why are we not marching in the street over this? This is criminal.Why are we not calling congress all day everyday. These debts, at the very least, should now be made interest free and fee fee, since by simple contract law you can't profit from fraud. why are we not talking about this more? Tom why are you not talking about this scandal more?

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Victim said...

Im new to this stuff, having been out of it for over 10 years, they are comming after me for loans I thought were discharged years ago.

My eyes are opening very wide as to the dept enslavement being embraced by a government that is blowing away a million dollars a minute, but can't help the victims of student loan farming by predatory trade schools.

And I have noticed one thing: VERY FEW if any articles are attacking the real source of our problems: The schools who misrepresnted the facts about their schools, to get us to sign up and obtain student loans from which THEY benifited from. Being in debet for the rest of your natual life, not being able to save for retirment, or anything because of government confiscation of your retirement, is not a benifit of attending those schools.

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