I used to sympathize with the current Millenials re this issue but then I realized that there is no reason to; unlike my Gen X generation, Millenials have loads of info abt damn near anything at their fingertips via the Internet. Back in the ol' public library days, if you lived in Doorknob like I did, there were precious few info resources even at a local library that discussed things like avg earnings for fields, etc. Now, a Millenial has 0 excuse for not going in with open eyes. If a recent HS grad goes $100k into debt for a degree in basket-weaving, that's their problem-- and their debt. Don't start talking abt how we need to "forgive" these loans or do anything else. You made your bed, now sleep in it-- just like the rest of us have had to.
Oh yeah, and if you expect honest "guidance" from college admission counsellors-- really, what are you thinking? I can understand a naiive HS grad getting hornswaggled, but their loan-co-signing parents? Come on! If you can get the loan money for a Mercedes but make only $20k/yr, do you expect the car salesman to try to talk you into a cheaper model or not get the car at all? Colleges are businesses, and not just businesses, but hugely-gov't-subsidized ones (i.e., we the taxpayers are subsidizing them). Want to see college tuition costs drop? Reduce/remove the gov't-guaranteed loans and you'd see ppl getting a lot more practical real fast abt where and for what they go to college or which one they send their kid off to.
"Higher education" has become a racket. People running colleges have zero interest in seeing you graduate with a marketable skill-set or even a valud degree (cheating is rife on campuses all over the country and little real effort is put forth to stop it-- but collect donations? There's no end of effort there!). All they want is your money.
Never expect someone to betray their own income stream. Want to pay $150k for a worthless English degree? No problem! Sure, reading Proust might make you more "interesting" at certain kinds of snooty parties, but unless you can make a living off attending said parties and expounding on Proust, fuggedaboutit, as they say in the old neighborhood. Being "interesting" plus $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Now, if you can open a business as successful as Starbucks... now you're *really* interesting...
I believe there are too many people going to college for the sake of going to college. Many of them are not learning any tangible skills like engineering or medicine. What we end up with is a crop of graduates with degrees in sociology, film studies, women's studies, anthropology, and political science. They're great at critical thinking, but can't begin to offer employers a useful skill set on the job.
The example of the journalism student with the $80k in loans is a good example of what happens when people have unrealistic expectations of their career choice. In a time when CNN no longer has an office of investigative journalism, and most 'news' sources are relying more and more on opinions, unpaid bloggers and pundits making money from the books they sell on the side, there is essentially no 'profession' left in that field worth pursuing. Perhaps she'll find a job at the Podunk Chronicle for $1/word, but I doubt that she'll find much more than that! Not today, not in the USA. At some point, you would THINK that a financial aid counsellor would tell her to face reality, and choose a degree that has at least some potential. As bad as her case is, it's hardly the worst I've heard. I was reading a story once about a man who owes $120k for his culinary college education, and all he could find in his field was a job as a line cook at a chain restaurant, for $10/hour. I managed to graduate more than a decade ago, with an engineering degree and $25k in loans, and even in my field, there are few jobs that pay more than squat.
BTW, as far as the teaching student is concerned; there are PLENTY of jobs in the field. You just need to make a commitment for something like 5 years, and teach in rural schools, mostly on Native American reservations. And, they'll pay for at least some of your loans.
Higher education is a financial gamble and some major/school/job market combinations are losers. Perhaps it shouldn't be that way, but it is. Every article of this type I've read contains a profile of a student who majored in a liberal arts field from a high priced private school. The Veeder and Burdick quotes in the middle of this article nailed it. Personal financial responsibility.
Ps. I am also keenly aware of my typo in the first sentence. Didn't notice it until my edit-time ran out!
I am substitute teacher, so I can empathize with the struggle that Ms. Nicholson faces. While I do not see it as crippling, the debt load I carry from undergrad and masters level education is about $75,000. My family has made a fair amount of avant-garde choices in order to make those payments work and still have a lower middle class lifestyle. But when I show our numbers to friends, they are shocked we live on so little. And we do so because of student loan debt... the only debt we have.
Here's the real mystery to me: In order to be a teacher in NY state (or most other states for that matter), a student is required to earn their bachelors degree and then a masters degree within 5 years. So, presumably, by age 26 or so, a teacher in NY state will have managed a minimum of 6 years of higher education. And that's just to earn the certification. That does not earn the student a job. Often you have to choose a more prestigious school, or take on additional schooling, to stand out. Both options cost more money. How is it that the required schooling needed to earn certification and stand out in the flooded job market costs almost double the starting pay for the teaching position one is training for?
That game is not the fault of those who choose that line of work. One doesn't become a teacher because it's a cash-cow. But shouldn't there be some parity between the investment and the return? I'm not perscribing an answer or even pointing a finger... I'm more noticing that, based on a simple cost/benefit analysis, the cost of education for future educators makes the profession a poor investment. Seems ironic... especially in a climate where we are banging our fists on tables about wanting highly-qualified and competent teachers... and how education is the backbone of an informed citizenry.
I do not understand why someone would pay $80,000 to RIT for a degree in journalism. A little research, which some one interested in that field should find easy to do, would clearly show that a) there are very few jobs in that field, and b)those jobs are unlikely to go to an RIT grad when there are so many highly regarded j-schools in the nation already producing too many grads for the job market. RIT is a TECHNICAL school, fer cryin' out loud.
"no, property taxes don't benefit renters over owners. Ultimately, renters are paying the property taxes through their rent, along with every other legitimate expense the property owner incurs by owning and renting out his property. The property owner, in turn is able to write off property taxes as a business expense. I call that a zero-sum game." ---Willa Powell
Sorry, it's not a zero sum game. For instance, a $100 tax will result in about $20-35 tax benefit to the landlord, or, more correctly a $65- 80 cost. Oh, and if the "rich" have such a low tax rate, then their tax benefit would be minimal.
It would seem, in an apparent effort to protect the good governing sane politician, that City is once again practicing censorship.
Did someone make a phone call?
It is my understanding that is is one of only two places left in the City of Rochester for Veterans. If the Eastman House had their chance, too bad. Best wishes to Monroe Voiture, the Veterans, and the numerous non-profit organizations that meet there. Let's remember our Veterans and show them the support they so deserve.
Ms Powell, Thanks both for your comments and your service. My mention of proportionality of city services was based on the ratio of taxes paid to use of city services such as police and fire dept (sub-standard housing often leads to increase in fire dept interaction, poverty with increased police interaction ). Poor residents are also more likely to use city funded neighborhood services (rec centers, libraries, cool sweep spray parks etc). I was pointing this out not to make any kind of moral or ethical judgement (the city's JOB is to provide these services and it is both right and good that people use them) but rather in response to the oddness of the idea that red-light camera's hurt the poor. This simply makes no sense. If one factors in the demography of the city schools (your area of expertise, not mine), one can see how a the idea that using traffic tickets to help balance the budget in no way is doing so "on the backs of the poor". This simply makes no sense. I by the way like that the city helps to fund the city schools and wish it could contribute more ( I say this because in your previous postings you seem quite defensive about any mention of the city's economic contribution to the schools - you seemed to infer from Richards' expanation of where the city budget dollars go that he was saying they shouldn't go to schools instead of simply expaining why/how the city is underfunded by the state). This same demographic reality is why it is ridiculous to place blame for the schools struggle on the board and teachers (which our friend David Gant and by extension Lovely Warren seems apt to do). I obviously like Richards and want him to be Mayor, but I like logic more and tend to post only in response to bizarre or dis-honest statements. I know Richards is an old white guy with a business background, so that for some (and commenters represent a tiny non-representative sample) City newspaper readers he is going to be percieved as an evil republican, no matter what his policies are, just like commenters of the D&C call him a commie. I find it very odd that people view Lovely Warren, who again supported Richards over Johnson about a year and a half ago and has supported just about every proposal he has made, as an "alternative" candidate. I think, on some level, it is fine if someone wants to vote for Ms Warren because she is an African American woman. There are worse reasons to vote for someone (though I think we've all found that having an african american mayor, or governor, or president has not someone made the problems of urban african american communities magically go away), but pretending she is a real alternative is disingenuous. The real point of divergence would seem to be on education, where Ms. Warren appears to be to the right of Richards.
This discussion has evolved to be as much about taxes as about candidates and their policies, and I'm afraid my questions and comments are only going to perpetuate that, but here goes.
"Sane politics" writes that poor people use a disproportionate percentage of city resources. Can you explain that further? I'm not sure that is entirely true. If they are on public assistance, then they may be using a disproportionate percentage of COUNTY resources, but that is the role of county government : not so much about police, fire and public works as city and town government is.
"Chaim DeLoye" writes "we can conclude that taxes in general are designed to benefit renters at the expense of property owners. Agreed?" perhaps that was intended a satyrical, but I will answer as if it were sincere: no, property taxes don't benefit renters over owners. Ultimately, renters are paying the property taxes through their rent, along with every other legitimate expense the property owner incurs by owning and renting out his property. The property owner, in turn is able to write off property taxes as a business expense. I call that a zero-sum game.
Silly and sad to reach to someone's lazy side instead of challenging the student. It seems this approach would ingrain a defeatist mentality in the student, instead of teaching them how to raise to a challenge.
The city and county should support these guys in their efforts because we need to encourage tourism here. It's expensive to stay in hotels, and this is a great alternative.
Chaim and Sane,
First, Chaim, taxation policies are and always have been unfair in their construct. But, we do not have a flat tax system nor do we pretend that tax policy is designed to be anything but disproportionate.
Sane, before you rant about Warren supporting legislation and policies...we have a "strong Mayor" system and one party rule. What do you expect?
So, now that those responses are out of the way, here are the more direct responses.
I believe that the Richards era in City Hall has been "underwhelming"! He is full of bluster and confrontation, but shows no vision or leadership. The policies that I stated were examples of the highest profile issues of the Richards years and not one, not any of them show the compassion and leadership our city deserves.
He has, for example, with the MCC debacle, placed the interests of an out of town developer ahead of the safety and security of our children. He has insulted media people with his childish "talking down to us" style. The deal at Main and Plymouth with his Rump group buddy, "Dutch" would be front page if it happened in the County Office Bldg., not in City Hall.
And Sane, you write in much the same way a prior poster, "Good Gov." did...until other posters began to question if he was Gary Walker...spinmeister for Richards.
I am a democrat and a city resident. And, for the record, I am very much in favor of Lovely Warren debating the accomplishments of the Richards administration. I do not need to be "talked down to" by either of you for doing so!
Clint - So by your logic property and school taxes , being based in the assessed valuation of a home, are designed to balance municipal and school budgets on the back of the affluent since they pay higher taxes on their homes then the poor do on theirs. As a matter of fact, given that a large percentage of the poor rent rather then own their homes, then I guess we can conclude that such taxes in general are designed to benefit renters at the expense of property owners. Agreed?
And let's take this to the next level of conspiracy. Undoubtedly a sizable percentage of property owners in any given school district no longer have, or never had, children attending the schools. So isn't this the ultimate balancing of a budget on the back of one group by imposing a tax on someone who receives NO VALUE for their money?
Oh , and by the way, if one obeys red light traffic signals then I submit they need not fear that ANY budget is being balanced on their back.
Sane, you sure sound like a good gov kinda guy. :)
Clint- To suggest that red-light cameras hurt the poor is so ridiculous I can't believe I am attempting to explain why. Poor city residents are LESS likely to drive than their fellow citizens and use a diproportionate percentage of city resources. Therefore by any SANE estimation poor city residents are helped by increased revenue from traffic violations (many paid by suburban commuters and ONLY paid by those breaking the law). More importantly, EVERY policy you complain about has been SUPPORTED by Lovely Warren. Red-light cameras, MCC at Sibley, Mid-town. ALL supported by both Warren and Richards. I wish City paper would cover the issues and not the horse race so that voters might become a little more informed.
Lets try it this way. More poor people live in the city. More poor people drive in the city. If the same percentage of people that drive get tickets, regardless of race or income...more poor people would get tickets by virtue of their density and proximity! Get it?
I vote for George Eastman House. It's a valuable asset to the Rochester community and it future expansion should be supported by all Rochesterians, I'm surprised at the brazen self-interst of the Monroe Voiture.
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