Bloomberg Cautions Riots from Jobless – Especially Jobless College Grads

Posted on September 18, 2011

The prospect of future social unrest in America just got a boost and press compliments of Mayor Bloomberg of NYC.  When the sons and daughters of those who could afford to send their children to college end up suing their colleges for inflating facts and figures about job availability in the legal profession, you have to take the possibility of civil unrest seriously.  Why?  Because the masses need the leadership of educated activists.  This seems to be Bloomberg’s thesis.  Let the bad times begin. [International Business Times]

Well, Mayor, their “unrest”  when it comes will emanate from necessity rather than from some ideology or philosophy of government.  The hard fact is this.  A student loan is the only loan that cannot be erased through bankruptcy. That’s right. It will follow you wherever you go throughout your life.  This is enough to fire the engines of many despairing would-be rioters.

The amount of money Americans owe on student loans recently exceeded the nation’s credit card debt. That may lead many to ask: Is it smart to borrow a lot of money to go to college? Student financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz says that college debt is OK — if you’re careful.

“It’s smart if it’s enabling you to invest in your future,” Kantrowitz tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “But if you borrow more than your expected starting salary after you graduate, you’re going to struggle to pay your loans.” [NPR]

Students suing colleges and/or universities for inflating figures about job opportunities is long overdue. [Huff Po]  What students and parents forget is that education – especially higher education – is one of America’s last great big businesses.  They are selling product.  Who is the largest employer in Rochester, NY?  Why that would be the University of Rochester.  Kodak isn’t what it was, Gannett and Xerox have fled the region so the University and other good schools of  higher education in the area have made up the deficit.  However they have succeeded by hard work and great grant writing abilities.

The top job now is radiologic technologist. [see good profile of how to look at this and other careers here]  But by the time millions flock to train for this, the saturation point will have been reached. The point is, in today’s world, students have to pay more attention to what they must do to survive and less to what they would really want to do.  Increasingly those of us who were fortunate enough to have been in college in the 1960s remember the banquet of courses available and the feeling that we could go anywhere and do anything.

The trend now is for students to go to community colleges that offer more job-related training for the  jobs that remain.  They cost far less that private and many public colleges and universities.  But even in the face of that option, jobs of any kind are too scarce and students chasing them too many. [Chronicle of Higher Education] But you say you are a budding novelist or that you want to study art?  Sorry.  Until you get a job in healthcare or as an engineer and get some money to pay off your student loans, you will have to pursue those careers as hobbies.  Hate math?  Forget it.  You will have to learn to deal with it.

Will young people with large loans to pay off leave their hamburger flipping to orchestrate and lead civil unrest against banks and brokerage houses? Do the rest of the unemployed masses want unemployed students to lead them?