WTF America?

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    Let us ignore for the moment that, for the most part, selling of Natural Resources to other Countries (such as Oil for Norway and Hydroelectric for Sweden) finances the Government Largesse. What you find is that (like the Middle East) you have a large number of “Highly Educated” People who end up working menial jobs (if they can find jobs) because EVERYBODY is “Highly Educated”. Know a person in Norway with a Masters Degree in Literature who runs a Cash Register. When I asked him why he got a Masters in Literature instead of a Sciences Degree that would have gotten him a better job, the reply was that he didn’t want to flunk out and lose his (basically) free ride. So for 8 years he got fed, housed, medical treatment etc on the Public Dime to get a Degree that is essentially worthless, and this person is not atypical.

    I’m of the opinion that if you rack up $40,000 in Student Loans to get a Degree in Women’s Studies you’re getting what you deserve.


    I see your point about the field of the degree you choose, it’s why I haven’t bothered to get a masters in political science, no real monetary value there. As much as I enjoy the topic, it’s not putting food on the table.
    However, consider the following:

    There are people who racked upwards of $120,000 in student loans, got law degrees, passed their bar exams and can’t get a job.

    $40,000 doesn’t even begin to cover undergrad costs anymore, forget going for anything above a bachelors.


    I totally agree with this, but I’d even be willing to give that public education thing a try. You get a free ride – IF you want to learn something that might actually benefit the people paying for it, like engineering, medicine, chemistry.

    BUT: You drop out or don’t actually work in your chosen field afterwards, you’re paying us back. Every cent, with interest.

    Women’s studies? Literature? Art History? Cash up front!


    This makes sense. I’d only adjust it to say that if you can’t find work in your field, payback might not be necessary.


    No, it is. If you study a field that’s already oversaturated, that’s your problem. We’re only actually paying for your ride if you actually show results.


    Easy enough to have the government offer scholarships in areas of high need or demand and require say, ten years work in that field. The TV show “Northern Exposure” was about just such a program. Not all that uncommon. But you need to supply an out if the market shifts and there are no longer any jobs in that area once the person completes training.

    Luke Magnifico

    But then you end up with the people who don’t have high-paying jobs having huge debt while the people who make big money are home free.

    I thankfully live in a country w/ free education. I only pay the “student contribution”, ~€2000. But if you said to me “Sure, go to college, we’ll pay for it, , but if you fuck up you’re going to owe us tens of thousands” I wouldn’t take the risk.


    Instead of telling us what is wrong with our country, which we all already know, tell us how to do something about it. Because believe it or not, most of us do want to do something about it but have no idea how or what to do about it.


    This is how you do something about it:
    Demand change to the system, insist on lowering the cost of higher education. Call your politicians starting at the state level, (State Senate, Governor, etc) and Federal (Representatives, Senators, President) and tell them what you want. Let them know that a vote for this or proposing a bill for this earns your support and vote, and that doing nothing costs them your vote.
    Make sure you follow through by voting accordingly showing your support.


    Translation: Stomp your foot and yell that you want other people’s money.


    Calling your elected officials and making your voice heard and your intentions to do something about it known is a lot better then stomping your foot.
    The money is already there, we just have to give to the people instead of the banks. As long as you pay taxes, it’s your money too, so if your not ok with the way it’s being spent, you can tell them that too.


    WTF? Trillions of govt debt and you have the nerve to say “the money is there”? The money is not there. Hasn’t been anywhere near “there” for about a hundred years.


    Your right, let me rephrase that to say: they’ve already spending the money, we just have to spend the money on the people instead of the banks.
    We did have a balanced budget under Clinton, if we had maintained that, we might not have the deficit we do now.


    *they’re already spending… not they’ve


    Still wrong. They should stop spending the money. Because they don’t have it. Never did. Never will.

    Luke Magnifico

    The fact of the matter is that even now, in the depths of your debt, your government spent about a quarter of the budget on jets and guns. It doesn’t matter if you have the money or not, it’s being spent, so why not spend some of it on education instead.

    There’s about 20 million students currently attending college in the States. If you gave every single one of those people $30,000 you’d still be coming in more than 100 billion dollars under your military expenditure.


    :I’m not wrong, there is a budget, the problem is that the government spends with no regard to the budget. If you mean no spending outside the budget, then I agree we should stay within, but we just need to budget for education. If you mean no spending at all, then I disagree, the government has to provide services & Infrastructure for the people. Otherwise why have government?
    We can budget education costs for students into the budget, and take out subsides for things like Fannie May and/or Freddie Mac.


    That 77 Trillion in illegal offshore accounts ? Appropriate, create the jobs to rebuild the American infrastructure, done.


    Disregard crewmanguy, in this case he’s either naive, or one of them usefull idiots.
    Since we talking about America, how about that: “Voting from rooftops” thing ?

    As for “free” public education. It’s often free only in theory, and since they can’t charge you up front for studying, they charge you for anything else.

    As for the over-saturation, choosing wrong field. You’re right. So why does politicians, media, etc., encourage people to go to university, and shit, and uses the whole “you can be anyone\anything you want to be” propaganda ?

    As for “Eurolove” in general. Western Europe for decades tried to make “better socialism”. In the beginning, after the WWII it worked – countries got rebuild (with help, and “guidance” from USA), people lived better, but along the line, greed got better of people, and: “the more you eat, the hungrier you get”, kicked in. Effects of that can be clearly seen in Greece, and other countries who now are asking for (more) money from the EU, IMF, whatever. So I wouldn’t go all dreamy eye about “teh European way” just yet.


    Not like we have anything like that in the US, with some states taking vastly more in federal resources than others. Never happen here, right?


    “Instead of telling us what is wrong with our country, which we all already know, tell us how to do something about it.”
    And you did the exact opposite.


    Ya know…this all sounds good untill you start really looking at those countries.

    Denmark: According to newly revised statistics, Denmark had the world’s highest tax level in 2005 and 2006, at 50.7% and 49.1% respectively and also held this position 1970-74 and 1993-95. These figures do not include income from ownership.

    Finland: The middle income worker’s tax wedge is 46% (NationMaster) and effective marginal tax rates are very high.[13] Value-added tax is 23% for most items. Capital gains tax is 28% and corporate tax is 26%, about the EU median. Property taxes are low, but there is a transfer tax (1.6% for apartments or 4% for individual houses) for home buyers.[13] Alcoholic beverages are separately taxed and highly restricted. For instance, McKinsey estimates that a worker has to pay around 1600 euro for another’s 400 euro service[54] – restricting service supply and demand – though some taxation is avoided in the black market and self-service culture. Another study by Karlson, Johansson & Johnsson estimates that the percentage of the buyer’s income entering the service vendor’s wallet (inverted tax wedge) is slightly over 15%, compared to 10% in Belgium, 25% in France, 40% in Switzerland and 50% in the United States.[55][dated info] Tax cuts have been in every post-depression government’s agenda and the overall tax burden is now around 43% of GDP compared to 51.1% in Sweden, 34.7% in Germany, 33.5% in Canada, and 30.5% in Ireland.

    Norway: The tax level in Norway is among the highest in the world. In 2009 the total tax revenue was 41.0 % of the gross domestic product (GDP).

    Sweden: The Swedish economy has extensive and universal social benefits funded by high taxes, close to 50% of GDP

    fracked again

    Yeah. It sucks getting something for your taxes.


    I guess living in a highly educated country with equality for all, cheap medical care and education, well maintained roads and infrastructure costs something.

    What Fracked said.


    It is hard for Americans to get behind paying taxes when the taxes they pay go to fund a Government that misappropriates all that revenue.


    If by “Misappropriates” you mean “wastes on yet another WWII style aircraft carrier, yes”


    Only way to change anything in the USA is stop voting for the oneparty system, same fucking coin and no change.


    The EU is collapsing into total economic ruin and you folks are still touting it like it’s the way to go.

    Gotta love that.


    Scandinavia + Finland does not equal the EU.

    Just thought I should make that clear.


    They may not be part of the EU but they are all working under the same general financial model and we have already seen how that is working out.


    Shows how much you know about that situation when the 4 countries mentioned have nothing to do with the Eurozone countries that are in flux. Not to mention that Norway aren’t even a part of the EU. The only reason the USA (yes I’m making an assumption on your nationality) is afloat is that it is too big to fail, y’all enjoy China owning the majority stake of the country soon.


    As they say, if you owe the bank a hundred thousand, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a hundred million, you own the bank. China and the U.S. are in a spiral–either a death spiral downwards or a success spiral upwards. Which it will be remains to be seen.


    Props to OP. Just reading american’s responses to that is hilarious. But I’d have bet someone will be shouting “Die you European communists !”. I’m a bit disappointed.
    Asking students to refund if their speciality is “saturated” is bright though. And who decide which job is saturated ? Wall Street ? Ha ha you guys…


    Especially when a field might be wide open when you start your training and saturated when you finish – kind of like “career gambling”


    This has happened a number of times. The dot-com bubble left a bunch of people with associates degrees in web development. The 80s saw a glut of chemical and electrical engineers. Now law students are deferring their loan obligations because they are working as office drones at temp agencies for $14/hr. Even nurses (didn’t they say that as the country aged we would have an insurmountable need for nurses) have to be not-too-choosey when it comes to where they will be working when they graduate. Predicting what job will be in high demand 4-8 years from now is not an easy task (of course if you choose to study philosophy or art history, well… at least you knew what you were getting into).


    This is hilarious. Did you know that just about anyone who’s become a millionaire in the field of computers (e.g. Bill Gates) is a college dropout? Do you know why? Because everything that has to do with computers changes too fast and you have to be really good at learning on your own to survive in the field.

    And here’s the tiny detail: what the f**k is preventing you from learning ON YOUR OWN without having to rack up $40,000 in student loans? Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re functionally retarded and can’t understand anything unless someone spends six months explaining it to you in short sentences using small words.

    And for those touting the lil’ European countries, you need to remember that the high taxes are FOR EVERYONE, not just “the evil rich”. So the only difference between racking up student debt and living in Europe is that the student debt has an actual total value and as soon as you pay it full, you can forget about it. With high taxes, you’ll keep paying and paying and paying for the rest of your life. Over the course of their lifetimes, they’d end up paying a whole lot more than you do.


    Yeah, that’s why I plan on becoming a neurosurgeon by studying on my own. I’ve found lots of good books on the subject. Care to be my first patient?


    Someone has been watching Good Will Hunting (understandable).

    Sure, you could basically learn a whole lot without going to school, but degrees do matter as a mark of assurance to the people that buy your services afterwards.

    Also, if you’re going into the medical field people might frown on you digging up dead bodies to further your self-education.


    Dude, Gates was another Million Dollar baby that couldn’t fail, so if it hadn’t been computers it would have been something else. Him and Trump are sons of multi Millionaires…enough said !


    Most jobs require a degree to attain them. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. That’s really the only way to succeed as a self taught anything.


    While in theory I agree with a lot of what the OP has said, I would like to point out one thing: Norway has never complained that the U.S. spends more than the next 14 highest spenders on military infrastructure when they benefit from the fact that (for the most part, stay away from the Somali coast) oil tankers can circumnavigate the globe, and sell their commodities to any port that will have them, safely. During the 20th century, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. spent their own money to make a world where international trade was safe, easy, and affordable. Petty international squables have not lead to nations mining each others’ harbors, or attacking freighters bound for each other’s shores. Why? Because no one could afford to piss off the American interests who have business dealings with both nations. Since the collapse of the USSR, the whole world has been riding the US’s coattails, and pretty much giving lip-service to contributing their fair share towards ensuring the global security that allows globalization to function. No wonder we are in debt. That doesn’t excuse our international arrogance, our poor fiscal policy, or our bizarre belief that we somehow found a better fiscal model than anyone in Europe did, but it is worth bringing up. If the rest of the world would pony up their fair share based on how much they have benefited from overall global security, the US would be a lot less in debt.


    A note to fellow Europeans: If you were American, and you knew your government was misappropriating your tax dollars, would you want to pay higher tax?


    The other part of this that one needs to examine is the US prison system. Yes it is a HUGE financial expendature but lets look at who all is incarcerated:

    In 1980, our federal and state prisons housed fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens. By the end of 1999, these same prisons housed over 68,000 criminal aliens. Today, criminal aliens account for over 29 percent of prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities and a higher share of all federal prison inmates. These prisoners represent the fastest growing segment of the federal prison population.


    Because being Mexican is now a crime in Alabama.


    The answer is because none of you other crappy nations will police the world. We have to police it, protect it, fight for it, and die for it. That’s why we don’t have a better more subsidized education system, healthcare etc…It’s because the world is a VERY dangerous place and we’re the only ones with the nuts to keep it going.


    Yeah, you really want to live in a country where the tax rate is 60%+ and everyone has free degrees to the point where you need at least a Masters to drive a taxi cab…

    Make higher education worthless and the degrees won’t be worth the paper they are printed on.


    I’m happy to have earned my own education, found my own job and have my government protect me rather than feed me.

    Obviously (and sadly) that seems to be an odd concept to many of you.

    What are you all going to do when the money runs out?

    Luke Magnifico

    Protect you from what? The terrorists they pissed off in the first place?


    Did you think that one up yourself?

    Sadly, I suspect that you did.

    Normally I’d enjoy a battle of wits, but not with someone who is unarmed.


    That unarmed bit, did you think that one up yourself?



    One of the easiest indicators of an idiot is someone who thinks everyone else is an idiot.


    Another indication that someone is an idiot is when everyone else thinks he is one.


    But the idiots never recognize that, thinking everyone else is an idiot and therefor incompetent to judge them



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