Biden's gift to the wealthy. Mark Zuckerberg's gift to the F.B.I. Plus: monkeypox, robotic restaurants, and so much more.
If the student loan vote purchasing scam actually happens, it will set a new precedent in election politics that will be the beginning of our country's death spiral. There is simply no justification for paying $10K to, as the left loves to castigate, privileged citizens, that want to breach their contract with the US to repay their debt.
The only way this becomes fair is for every tax payor to receive a check for $10K that didn't have student loans to forgive. I only type that so as to show how ludicrous the concept is. We've entered into a time where the left is dismantling the fabric of bipartisan governance. They are using impeachment as a political tool, raiding former President's homes, attempting to stack the SCOTUS, changing election laws on the fly, introducing systemic racism into our education and federal bureaucracy, and weaponizing our federal agencies to destroy citizens that disagree with the status quo.
Common Sense, and Substack, and some other rogue podcasts, are our only hopes to fight back, as conventional media are actively helping to destroy our country through their blind advocacy of the progressive movement.
The American Dream...is largely gone. Those with the energy and determination to really hustle can sometimes still find it. But many of the paths to securing a middle-class life that were still being sold to my generation (Gen-X), ended up being dead ends in the wilderness. In many cases, the paths had been shut down because of the way the Boomers abused them.
Nor does it help that inflation (particularly real estate inflation) has made it more and more difficult for young people to find housing they can afford. My husband and I managed to avoid this largely by moving where the real estate was affordable. But that is becoming less and less of an option.
But the central premise of the American Dream--the part where our founding principals are the key to being free to seek the life we want for ourselves--has been destroyed by the Left's utter denigration of America. They hate our history. They hate our Constitution. They hate the Western values that allowed us to become a bastion of freedom. When America is a place that can only be hated, what room is there for an American Dream?
Colleges are a racket and they are a racket backstopped and fed by the federal government.
Tuition today is INSANE and it can only BE insane for two reasons, demand and lots of funding. If fewer kids wanted to go to college and even fewer had the money to pay for it, tuitions would not be where they are.
1. Employers have made a college degree a necessity for even the most basic entry level position.
2. We have told kids that the ONLY path to success is through going right to college.
3. Societally, we have created a social structure where those with college degrees (the more expensive the better) are considered to sit higher on the social pecking order.
4. We have made funding this so so much easier with federally backed loans.
In short, we created astronomical DEMAND for a college degree while pumping huge amounts of secured money at colleges.
And, what are we getting for this? Academia is a mess. Most professors are chasing tenure and doing what it requires to get it. Generally, that does not mean TEACHING, it means publishing and attending conferences. TAs and Adjuncts teach, when they teach. So nobody is really providing the education we are supposedly paying for.
Worse, when they ARE teaching, they too often engage in pedagogy, concerned more with passing on the social mores of a very left wing academic culture than assuring kids learn their subjects and develop skills.
Throw in the fact that because colleges are a racket, out to make money for the administrators and tenured professors etc, they see students as customers and keeping the customer happy and willing to pay is the number one priority. SO, schools cater to the whims of 17 yr olds and lower standards.
Our higher education system is an abomination.
Here's my personal take on the loan forgiveness. As a result of capitalized interest, I owe more on my student loans than our total gross worth. I found out, too late, that the career I so desperately wanted (to be a professor of English) was not open to me because I am not--nor was I willing to pretend to be--a Far Left Wokie.
So, for me, $20,000 in loan forgiveness is meaningless. A mere fraction of what I owe, and will never, ever be able to afford to pay back.
For me, the ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy--after a certain number of years and a clear inability to pay--is the only solution that would help. And it would help all the others who are drowning in unpayable student loans...*without* giving handouts to people with six-figure incomes.
There is something really rotten with loan forgiveness. The left ignores and dismisses this point , but it is unequivocally unfair to people who study real disciplines and get real jobs and pay their loans.
Although I do see a problem with the loan complex. At 18 years old you really don’t understand the economics of the burden. There has to be a better way. Perhaps a simple solution is to require students pursue a real major? Happy for the taxpayers to risk capital on potential engineers, but these liberal studies are terrible in so many ways. Most of these kids just show up at college and “take classes” with no real dedication to an investment in skill development.
The sign held by the young person on the left shows what we taxpayers got for paying his tuition: a love of dictatorship, zero rationality, and an inability to spell.
"poorer borrowers able to walk away from twice as much"
This phrasing is somewhat misleading. The $20,000 for borrowers who received Pell grants - "poorer borrowers," strictly speaking - means they had lower incomes at the time they attended college. It does not mean they are "poorer" now than other beneficiaries of this debacle or "poorer" than people without student loan debt.
Thank you Nick for the round up. TGIF is one of my must reads and a highlight of my week. It is great to see the quality remains while Nellie is on maternity leave.
And because I was acclaimed a few weeks ago to do a sort of foreign correspondent's type (and it amuses me) here is this week's:
This is Northumberland UK calling 19 8 22
Guilt through familial connection has come for the noted abolitionist Edmund Burke. His brother apparently was involved in the slave trade. Thus despite his own record of campaigning against the slave trade and the excesses in India at a time when it was deeply unfashionable, the House of Commons will be listing his portraits and statue as having a ‘connection.’ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/24/anti-slavery-mp-edmund-burke-put-transatlantic-slave-trade-register/
Is Big Brother already on campus in the UK? Reporting microaggression by app now exists in England. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/20/report-microaggressions-qr-codes-campus-lamda-students-told/
The Conservative Party Leadership Contest trundles on. It looks like Truss has just about trussed up Sunak. Hard to pretend to be a man of the people when you are married to one of the wealthiest people on the planet. This cartoon of Maybe lose the cushion says it all: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/morten-morland-times-cartoon-august-25-2022-pdmdxst5r
However in an effort to save his campaign, Sunak has come out and said that he was silence about the lockdowns and the affects he worried about. Certain people like Johnson’s former advisor Dominic Cummings who had to go to Barnard Castle for an eye test and Lee Cain who enjoyed a party called Sunak’s word rubbish and wrong. Recollections differ. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/25/rishi-sunak-accused-spouting-dangerous-rubbish-criticism-no/
The guessing game of who will be Truss’s gatekeepers has already started. If Nikki De Costa gets one of the positions, her views on Identity politics are well known and she is closely aligned with Transgender Trend. Both candidates at hustings yesterday stated that a transwoman was not a woman. https://conservativehome.com/2022/08/25/trusss-number-ten-appointments-if-theyre-not-right-from-the-start-her-government-will-be-blown-off-course-and-may-never-get-back-on-it/
The Queen’s health continues to be fragile (she is in her 90s) and there are plans afoot to have the ‘kissing hands’ ceremony take place at Balmoral, rather than at Buck House where it is traditionally held. The Queen is currently on her 10 week stay at Balmoral. The Queen, however, will be the one to decide where this ceremony happens. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/queen-may-appoint-new-prime-minister-at-balmoral-over-health-fears-ngmgkdz0s
Labour continues to be missing action, despite the massive strike action looming, even criminal defence barristers are going to be manning the picket lines in the coming weeks.
The cost of living crisis should play in Labour’s favour. The energy cap has increased incredibly (up 80% today) with many already struggling to pay its fee. Cue frantically googling energy saving tips. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/energy-price-cap-calculator-bills-what-it-means-cbbxd3ppc
However, it does make it hard for certain poster people of the crisis and austerity living such as Jack Monroe, the Bootstrap Cook as this expose points out. https://medium.com/@AwfullyMolly/jack-monroe-saint-or-scammer-80ec92f37bb6
Rather allowing good produce to go waste, the discount grocery store announced that it would be selling stunted produce in its shops and called on other supermarkets to do the same. Oftentimes supermarkets have certain size requirements for fruit and veg. To cope with the cost of living crisis, more and more British consumers are turning to the German discounting giants of Lidl and Aldi. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/25/supermarket-sell-stunted-fruit-vegetables-avoid-waste-drought/
In Coercive Progressivism (love this term from Caitlin Flanagan!) overreach, an employee of the Gilded Balloon theatre decided to confront and verbally abuse theatre goers because he judged them to be gender critical feminists based on their appearance and that they were attending a comic performance about vaginas. The employee has now been moved to a different theatre where presumably he will not be confronted with middle-aged women enjoying themselves. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/edinburgh-fringe-audience-harassed-by-venue-employee-in-trans-row-90jk2tjpc
Speaking of Edinburgh, the binmen are on strike, resulting mountains of rubbish, the sort normally seen Napoli when their binmen strike. This Matt cartoon says it all: https://twitter.com/MattCartoonist/status/1562477714627432450/photo/1
The literary spat of the summer involving the chairperson of the Society of Authors and a growing variety of authors continues. Author and creative writing professor Philip Hensher took umbrage on Monday to being told to ‘play nicely.’ Philip Pullman made several appearance on various twitter feeds, explaining he wasn’t sacked but quit in disgust. Kate Clanchy whose troubles on twitter caused Pullman to resign revealed that on the evening before the Society of Authors issued its ‘play nicely’, the chairperson was busy calling her the polystyrene packing of publishing. One suspects there will be more in the Weekend papers as the chairperson appears determined to keep on tweeting. This substack spills more of the behind scene letters and complaints which author after author sent in and the stock dismissive responses they had in turn. Many considered they were alone in their concerns rather than being united in their disgust at the handling of the situation. https://loobylou.substack.com/p/we-need-real-substantive-change-in?r=1ovpwt&s=w&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
Manchester United beat one of their arch-rivals Liverpool mid week which was a shock. They played like they were actually a professional team which has the ability to score goals. The transfer window remains open and much speculation remains about the deals still to be done before it closes. It happens every August, fills column inches and makes for pleasant conversation. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2022/08/25/10-big-deals-could-still-happen-transfer-window/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget
The mystery of the speeding car which never left the compound… so how was it photographed speeding? Answers on a postcard https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/22/mystery-couple-return-spain-speeding-fine-car-left-airport-meet/
Off to see if there are any more lights etc which can be turned off in the house, counting the number of quilts, blankets, wool hats etc which will be employed in the coming months and eyeing up the beeswax which needs to be made into candles.
I’m living the American dream. I’m the first person in my family to get a college degree, one I got after dropping out of high school due to serious lack of adult supervision. I’m nearly done with my masters degree. I’m happily married. We bought a home this year, with the co-signing but not financial help of my in-laws, because, how else are two teachers able to enter this market? I’m gainfully—no, joyfully employed. I’m a woman with all the rights and freedoms I could’ve ever dreamed. I’m reading this from the comfort of our leather L shaped couch surrounded by my dogs with a warm cup of coffee. This is it.
Why cancel student loan debt? If we should cancel ANY debt it should be medical debt which nobody "chooses" to take on.
The worst decision ever made was to stop allowing people to declare bankruptcy on their student debt. That's what led to poor & working class people defaulting on their loans and gave incentive to predatory "schools" to jack up their tuition.
If someone can declare bankruptcy on the purchase of a yacht, they should be able to declare bankruptcy on the purchase of an education.
Allowing borrowers to declare bankruptcy removes the burden of crushing debt, but also comes with a consequence so that people who paid off their loans don't feel like idiots.
Biden truly is buying the votes of the academic/professional class.
Shout out to America. As a legal immigrant who had my oath ceremony just yesterday (8/25) to become a naturalized US citizen (it was wonderful by the way) I have to say the American Dream will only die if Americans kill it.
A little background. I was born in Ireland, raised in England (both Socialist countries underpinned by capitalism or they’d never function), and I’ve travelled extensively in Europe. Because of work I’ve lived in Germany, the Caucasus, Baku, Azerbaijan (brutally oppressed by Communism until 1992, citizens still horribly treated as their government is still largely corrupt) and then lived 10 years in the Middle East under one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.
So for me as an immigrant now able to call myself a US citizen, I’d say to all naturally born Americans, thank your lucky stars you were born where you were born. By a mere accident of birth you have, if you recognize it, an amazing advantage over any one else born outside the US. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Remember, only Americans have the ability to kill their American Dream. Don’t do it.
I always look forward to TGIF, and this week was a delight! Excellent choice for filling in for Nellie (to whom I send best wishes). As a physician who financed my own education, I HAD to pay my loans or my medical license would be revoked. Having fulfilled my contract with my lenders, I dislike the idea of my tax dollars being used to pay the debts of wealthy collegians who can afford to pay their own way. I fully support loans and grants for students who qualify financially (which I did, for a $2,000/year Pell grant, as I was working for 2 years between college and medical school making a big $13,000/year). People making 6 figures? Not so much. I also felt the pain of tuition hikes, as my first year of med school, 1990-1, cost $7,500. My final year, 1993-4, cost $12,500. My rent only went up 3% per year, but tuition nearly doubled. Who is doing this math?
The American dream is alive and well for those with the ambition to seek it.
It’s those who are trying to convince everyone it should be handed out that I’m worried about.
“…even the poor have cars!”
Love it. Reminds me of the joke about the 1st grade classroom when the teacher has read the Three Pigs story. She asks the kids what they thought about the story, what someone would say if they were somehow inside it. Little Johnny—it’s always little Johnny, isn’t it?—says “Holy shit! A talking pig!”
Not much else goes on in the class for about an hour.
“We should neither be slutty nor prudish, but empowered and intentional.” Thank you for sharing this piece. I read it and subscribed. She was telling my story. It feels good to know I’m not alone.
Damned fine job, Nick. You have maintained the standard I have come to expect from TGIF.
Don't get me wrong; you're no Nellie. But who is, really?