prisoners of debt

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by golden_rivet, Oct 29, 2006.

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  1. Having worked in several universities in the last couple of years I'm struck by the lack of opportunity young people have once they have acumulated the debt that accompanies obtaining a degree and how young people are being brainwashed into the necessity of living with debt: house prices, the cost of living and the pressures to endlessly buy into our consumer society (mind you I do like this laptop!). Thatcher may have started the rot by conning their parents into the joys of house purchase and getting the working classes to support the middle classes by spending their hard earned money on small amounts of shares but this present government which benefitted from the free education available in the past has done absolutley nothing to improve the situation.

    "A man in debt is so far a slave" Emerson 1803-1882

    "Debt is the slavery of the free" Publilius Syrus 1st Century B.C.

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" :wink:
  2. Do you mean like er, blank week.

  3. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Fine. But factor into that the ability for debt to be accrued with consummate ease these days, and the ability for people to irresponsibly spunk cash down the drain on fripperies and non-essentials. It's more a mindset than it is a miserable situation and one that self-perpetuates the further it is allowed to go unchecked. This nation clocked up on trillion pounds of debt two years ago and this figure is rising quickly, year-on-year. I owe money, but I have the financial attributes to either sell assets to clear it, or cash in investments to alleviate it. I am net in profit on my life account, and that doesn't come from being irresponsible, it comes from following my ambitions to enable my wants and needs to be reality. In other cases, many rack up huge debt in spite of their capability to settle the account - 'catalogue shopping' for example - and aspire to a luxurious lifestyle without striving to earn the capital to enable it.

    Being in debt isn't, however 'slavery'. Slavery is being in debt without considering what the consequences of fickle aspirations are. There are obvious exceptions to this, but by and large, it is the cae.

    Students and 'debt'? I say this. I'm ******* likely not aligned to pay for thousands of bone-idle, workshy gobshites who spend precious few hours 'studying' Modern Pop Music or Media Studies just for my 'investment' to be squandered as they drop out and flip burgers or change subjects every term. Talk to me about sciences and academia and I am on board. But grubby teenagers who claim that the world is their before they've ******* earned it grips my shit. I am currently assisting in the degree of my daughter at Uni (in English) and assisting turf out my son from his cloistered life in sixth form and he studies his past-time. He has a few shocks when he opens the doors to employed life. Fortunately both have enough work ethic to have part-time jobs to augment their lives. My payments stop as soon as they walk out the gates of their educational establishments. Students should consider how theer careers will pay back the student laons on the far side of their (let's face it) not exactly strenuous two to three years in Uni or college. Insisting the public in general should pay for their luxury and in some cases the foot-up into a well paid existence is taking the piss, and if they are in debt, they have it all to do to manage that.

  4. Ah but Levers, that depends upon both the University and the College. Whilst some may indeed have a laid back attitude when it come to a student's personal application, that is not always so. Take London University for example. UCL or the LSE would not tolerate lazy students. In Law the courses are necessarily challenging and demanding and students are expected to pass with a First. Indeed at the LSE any potential students not aiming, or who do not demonstrate the calibre, to attain a First, will not normally be offered a place. At London University a student must attain a grade of at least 70% to get a distinction (this grade is needed for almost all a student's work to attain a First at Undergraduate level).
  5. Send the lot of them to live in Jockland where it's free along with certain vital medication denied to the English, Welsh and Northern Irish!
  6. Do I spy a covert Journo? Interesting question, just 2 days before this announcement: The last quotation has got to be a tabloid stoker, albeit a clever one.

    In the 60s, University was encouraged by the Government as the means of keeping our economic and technological advantage in the World. Remember the "brain drain"? The principle of University for all was not a feature of that and some capable people never went to a university because their family or economic backgrounds wouldn't support it. That said, they then had the opportunity of the polytechnic and employer sponsored "sandwich courses". Noo Labour, though, has flooded the universities with students and allowed the universities the free market ideal of popular degree courses, irrespective of the net advantage to UK PLC. Cleverly, the Treasury has conspired for students to finance themselves (except in Jockistan, as observed by Harry M) via student loans. In all fairness here, students don't have to pay the loan back until they start earning +£15,000 a year and it's free of interest (like many students). The repayment rate is 9% of the loan, annually.

    Taking G Rivet's salient point of slavery through debt, a particularly feckless student could avoid paying anything back simply by avoiding the income threshold. Little slavery involved there then. Looking at the wider point, I suspect that students will have already been sold the "live in debt" way of life by mass advertising, unsolicited loan offers and the credit card companies. Our national level of private debt is alarming and I wonder what the effect of the lenders foreclosing or debtors electing for bankruptcy would be. The story of the Emperor's New Clothes springs to mind. As Levers recognises, there is clever debt and stupid debt. In the middle, there is mixture of the 2 in varying degrees, balanced against the live for now and sod tomorrow mentality that seems widespread. I would suggest that unrestrained debt could easily end in tears; be this total loss of assets or the assets, in the end, being worth only a fraction of their original cost. I think the net loser will be the Country in general, including we few individuals with no financial debt.

    The solution is for us all to work diligently towards supporting the "chav" ideal of wanting it all now. If the feckless fashion followers fall, they will probably take the rest of us with them. Remember, "freude durch arbeit"; you know it makes sense.
  7. Is it time for the government to rethink the strategy of letting anyone who wants attend university? Many of the courses seem to be of little use and end in a degree which few employers recognise. This leaves the student disheartened and wondering why he/she bothered.
    Yes its nice for all to go to University but having spoken with many graduates I wonder whether it would have been better for them to have studies English language & mathematics to the old GCE O level standard.
    I think its fine for all to attend university, lets face it they are now paying for it. However my belief is that students should be encouraged to take subjects that the country needs. this could be done by offering refund of all tuition fees on successful completion of the course.
    Dentistry should be encouraged but all graduates to commit to 5 years service in the National health service on completion of their course (much like the old navy system for mechanicians). And of course all fees refunded plus if needed a bursary.
    At least this way graduates with needed skills will start off relatively debt free. Those who just like to attend university doing flower arranging etc. fine they are paying.
  8. It's interesting to compare the response to this topic compared to the endless stream of replies to the 'poppy nickers(sic)'. We are keen to criticise our youth when some of them do the dirty but we aren't so keen to see them set on the road to a happy and fulfilling life where they contribute to the best of their abilities. I wonder why that is? I've noticed a 'seeing things in black & white' tendancy on these fora which has got to be one of the causes/consequences of the breakdown in what academics refer to as 'civil-military relations'. Perhaps it's because most contributors are bitter and twisted passed over in their professions and can't bear the exuberance and promise of youth. Perhaps it's because actually (sorry loggie) it wasn't the Bliarite govt. who invented the 'mickey mouse' degree it was that of the 'Queen of the Malvinas' Maggie Thatcher who started the rot with the infamous MBA and the Universities went racing helter-skelter down the rotting drain after it and most of the Torys on the forum would die rather than criticise her. To be fair changing Polys into Unis was a nasty trick which pandered to the academic insecurities of all those Polytechnic lecturers who had always felt a bit inferior. Imbued with the power of their nomenclature they had to expand their provision and ended up in SERIOUS financial difficulties. So if you can't get funding from the fascists or new labour (ROFLMAO) where do you get it ???? Oh yes ... the poor stupid students themselves ...

    Perhaps we should start limiting access to education (nods to Slim) then we can create our own underclass again and have some viable industry to compete with the slave labour conditions in the Far East.
  9. I left school at age 15 and started working for a living. Other options open to me at that time would have been to go to technical college and study for GCEs. Having hated school I chose work. Later in life through further education I gained an ONC and an HNC.
    Its not that I am advocating an underclass, merely suggesting that University is not for everyone. Many holders of micky mouse degrees seem to think that they are superior to those who work with their hands, i.e. plumbers, electricians, carpenters & bricklayers to name a few. They seem to forget that many of these professionals (and they are just as much if not more so than someone with a degree in media studies) have been working and paying taxes since they were 16. Many have attended day release courses and achieved academic qualifications. These taxes are being used in part to support the University student.
    These days it seems to be the norm to go to Uni, why? We need skilled artisans, we do not need degree wielding media studies boffins who are unemployable and eventually find work stacking shelves in supermarkets.
    A modern degree is not always a measure of intelligence
  10. I left school with only O levels, worked and paid for my own higher education out of my income - as I'm glad to see students are having to do themselves these days! My first foray was at the Polytechnic of Central London studying Danish for three years and my last foray (so far) was reading Law at Birkbeck. I must admit I genuinely enjoy academic studies and writing, etc in its own right. There's nothing quite like dismantling the cherished ideas of an eminent academic in a paper and them having to conceed the point - and this is my sparetime hobby.

    I agree that there are too many people studying at University for qualifications that have been devalued by low pass marks. Many of the newer universities appear to offer a distinction grade - a First - for a mark as low as 35%. At London University this would be a bare pass mark with 33% being Fail. In practice employers recognise the stretching Degrees like Law and Philosophy or Science ande Maths more than say Sports Science or Business Studies.

    Where I work these new degrees are not recognised at all for posts requiring the skills one would normally associate with someone educated to degree level. Many students at this supposed level seem to have no idea how to write a paper properly, how to cite their materiel, argue their point or do academic research properly without sole recourse to Google! How would they have coped in the days before the internet - well they wouldn't have!

    End of rant.
  11. My sentiments exactly Steve but with much better wording.
    These students are being sold down the river if they really think that a Micky mouse degree will stand them in good stead for any future employment prospects.
    A degree for degrees sake seem to be coming the norm, in fact at Sunderland university students even go through graduation ceremonies complete with cap & gown even when receiving their HNC/D.
    In my day the certificate came thought the post. It was however highly regarded by industry.
    Time I think to get back to degrees being worthy of the name.
  12. Regarding the last paragraph and the 'underclass'-----------

    The most of the 'slave labour' jobs are presently being filled with the influx of EEC immigrants .
  13. Why Danish?

    I speak it myself, but it's not a language that I can imagine being particularly useful outside of Denmark.

  14. Maybe you could get a Job as an interpreter within the muslim Community?? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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