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Saturday, January 17, 2015

The next bubble?



So what is it that causes a young healthy 20 something to sell all their things and go off-grid? He got rid of his nice car (with a loan) to pay cash for a clunker. Last I heard the guy was heading west with not much more than a good sleeping bag. He even got rid of his cell phone. When a young man gets rid of his smartphone he really means to disappear.

Why did that young guy decide to disappear? Student loans. He's overwhelmed by them. His education was very expensive, yet he's been unable to find anything but low paying seasonal work. It's not like he didn't try. Unpaid internships in a major city can't be swung by working class kids. The guy tried to do it by working a sales job, but there was no way to work enough hours and do the internship.

Now the young man has dropped out of the system and gone underground. When that's a person's good option, things are pretty grim.

I can't help but wonder how many young people are facing the same loan problems that young man is. If there's a lot of them it won't be long before the system chokes. My guess is that a huge percentage of those student loans will never be paid back. The economy is just not producing the high paying jobs needed to make it happen.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. "vote with one's feet"

    as times get tougher more will go that way

    Wildflower

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    1. Now imagine if those young people do an organized protest.

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  2. It really depends on the type of degree you have and what job you're looking for. Anybody with a general degree in liberal arts pretty much just shot themselves in foot to begin with.

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    1. True enough. Plenty of folks never think it though and pay too much for degrees with no market value. However, sometimes the job market makes big changes between the time someone starts school and when they finish.

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    2. It's worse than that... all the students who see that a particular field is in demand and go into that field actually generates the glut that makes it hard to find a job in that field.

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    3. Some professions go from boom to bust over and over again.

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  3. My family and I do not believe in going way in debt. That is the reason I dropped out of Penn State after only two years. That didn't put much of damper on me though. I worked all my career as a design engineer and loved it. Sometimes talent and perseverance is more important.

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    1. One of the world's best firearms engineers has only a 2 year degree from a community college.

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  4. Sixbears, I know this may seem cold hearted, but did any one hold a gun to this young mans head when he signed the documents promising to pay off these loans?

    Did he receive a degree in the STEM fields, or did he pursue a degree that basically required him to show up for class for four years straight. All of the young people that I have known for the last decade that has prospered from their degrees are those that chose the STEM field. The one major road block to a STEM degree is advanced mathematics. Most, if not all degrees in the STEM field require passing Calc I. If everyone attending university today were required to take Calc I to continue on with their chosen field of study, how many would pass?

    Sixbears, I can understand the young mans frustration, but I have to wonder if maybe he would have been better severed if he would have pursued an associate degree in the trades.

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    1. He was led to believe there were actual good paying jobs in his field -and there are, but not enough of them to make a dent in all grads. Also, new technology has greatly reduced the number of people needed.

      I've known STEM grads with good work history being unemployed for long periods of time. Some were unwilling to move, and others found their knowledge was too specialized.

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  5. Age got me. I'm a registered professional engineer and planned to work till I was 70. For various reasons my retirement wasn't as big as I had hoped it would be. Anyway I was laid off when our illustrious leader came on the scene back in 2008. Couldn't find an engineering job to save my life.

    Finally took a job with the state at less than a third of my former salary and in another city. Did that for 4 years and decided enough is enough. I wasn't clearing that much after renting a place and eating out most of the time. So went fully retired at 68. There are still no engineer positions in my field, transportation.

    So I'm working on my bucket list now :) and looking into reselling.

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    1. Good luck with the Bucket List.

      One of my uncles was a transportation engineer, but he was able to retire at the top of the economy. Good timing on his part. However, as far as I know, he's not done much with his Bucket List, so there's that.
      Good Luck!

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  6. The young man is well and truly screwed. Working day labor jobs etc just waiting for the axe to fall.Tax refunds intercepted, federal and state benefits subject to being taken;if he lives to retirement age, military pension or social security subject to garnishment, interest compounding daily, the new age slave to the bankers, no escape, no bankruptcy option.

    Might as well head to the wilds.

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    Replies
    1. When a guy feels he has nothing to loose, heading out off the grid doesn't look so bad.

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