Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Don’t forget, folks, the student loan debt is the largest debt owed on Earth. The only thing that trumps the outstanding student loan debt in the United States is the federal budget deficit or the national deficit. That is the only debt that exceeds student loans. There are over $1 trillion — you can hear Dr. Evil saying it now in an Austin Powers movie. It’s almost as though some maniacal plot has been executed against the young people of these United States. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: The Congress of these United States yesterday let pass the, what are they calling this thing, the patch that could have been passed for all of you tykes and tykettes out there that have student loans that are about to double in interest rates. I thought for sure that they would cave on this like they do every year on the alternative minimum tax, because they have to patch that every year so it doesn’t clobber about 100 million people. They patch the AMT every year and they patch the Medicare payments so that doctors are paid a little something, not much, just a little something something on Medicare payments they have provided. This year is a little different. This is surprising here.
The interest rate on student loans was allowed to double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent yesterday without action by the almighty federal overlords or the student federal overlords or the federal overlords of the students in Mordor on the Potomac River. This is going to have consequences. I believe I read that the average cost will be about $2,600 per year, that that’s what the average student will pay. Folks, it doesn’t seem like a lot, $2,600 per year. Do the math, that’s $50 a week. That is $50 less that can be plowed into productive measures. It’s $50 less, for example, that you can spend or invest in your lawn cutting business had you foregone entrez vous into that university that you didn’t need to go to.
There’s an editorial today in the USA Today squared, one of the few places on earth where we can still get editorials online without having to pay for them. When I say USA Today squared, it just saves me from having to say the USA Today today. That’s what I mean by that.
For many 20- and 30-somethings, paying off the cost of college takes priority.
Shayna Pilnick, 28, would like to buy an apartment but can’t afford a mortgage.
Mike: How do you buy an apartment? Andrew, have you bought your apartment or are you just renting your apartment?
Andrew: You buy a condo; you rent an apartment.
Mike: That’s what I thought. Even in the penthouse that you occupy there in Maryland?
Andrew: Yeah, sure, penthouse.
Jacqueline Mannino, 23, and her boyfriend, Benjamin Prowse, 26, want to get married. [Mike: Word of advice to Mannino and Prowse. If you’re going to wait until you’re financially able to get married, then you will never get married. Either pull the trigger or don’t.]
Jacob Childerson, 24, and his wife, Jennifer, 25, wish they could start a family, but they live with Jennifer’s parents.
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Mike: Again, if you’re waiting for the magic elixir of financial solvency to begin popping the kids out, you will be waiting until you’re — you’ll be like those people in the beginning of Idiocracy, the yuppies that sit around and go [mocking] “I don’t think it’s a good time. I think we should pursue our careers, don’t you, Muffy, before we begin the process of giving birth to children and having to rear the little ducklings as they run about?” Of course, they wind up never having any while the trailer park couple down the street has 15.
Mike Church Show Transcript – The Media Won’t Tell You But The Numbers Don’t Lie, The Recession Is Back
What’s holding them all back: tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Like countless Millennials across the country . . .
Mike: When does Millennial, what is the cutoff age for a Millennial? You’re a Millennial, aren’t you?
Andrew: I don’t really know.
Mike: Is Millennial someone that became an adult after 2000? That would make sense. That would make you a Millennial, right?
Mike: You’re in this number but you don’t have any student loans. You were smart. You paid all cash for your stuff.
Andrew: I paid off my loans already.
. . . they find themselves tethered to that debt load, stuck between the desire to become fully independent adults and not being able to afford the financial and cultural milestones traditionally associated with young adulthood.
Mike: What are the financial and cultural milestones traditionally associated with young adulthood? Is that the possession of sports cars? Is that having a 60-inch flat panel HD television hanging on the wall in every room with an Xbox ONE or Sony PlayStation 74 or whatever number they’re up to now attached to it? Is that a cultural milestone? Is that having the largest, latest and greatest Samsung handheld phone device? Are the cultural milestones, are they all electronic? They’re either electronic or they’re mechanized, although I don’t think most young people are judged or defining themselves by their automobiles like they once did when I was a chi’ren.
Rising tuition costs and an anemic job market are feeding the vicious cycle, as a generation with more student loan debt than any other is struggling to find its economic footing.
This confluence of economic trends makes Congress’ impending decision on student loan rates [Mike: The story was written before the decision was made.] all the more critical for today’s college students. New federal student loan borrowers may see their interest rates double [Mike: They did.]
“You could have generations that never get in the economic mainstream,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education. “If you never get into the whole U.S. economic system because you’ve been held back by too much early debt . . . we could have a lot of people who just never really come anywhere near their potential.”
A report out last month from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests myriad ways in which student loan debt may be having a ripple effect on the economy. Based on more than 28,000 comments submitted by consumers and industry leaders, the report found that debt held by millions of Millennials may be forcing this generation to . . .
Mike: Don’t forget, folks, the student loan debt is the largest debt owed on Earth. The only thing that trumps the outstanding student loan debt in the United States is the federal budget deficit or the national deficit. That is the only debt that exceeds student loans. There are over $1 trillion – you can hear Dr. Evil saying it now in an Austin Powers movie. [mocking Dr. Evil] “And then, #2, there were only $1 trillion.] It’s almost as though some maniacal plot has been executed against the young people of these United States.
Here’s the question, though: Who was it that executed the plot? Who was it that told these tykes and tykettes, who was it that instructed them to go out and borrow $20,000, $40,000, $80,000, $110, 000, $200,000 so they could go to school? Who began this madness? Whose idea was this? Why aren’t we seeing postmortem or ex post facto lawsuits against guidance counselors and what have you that told them, [mocking] “You gotta go to school.” — “But I can’t afford it.” — “Get a loan.” Then again, how many of the “Millennials” that have this student loan debt took the loans out in the form of grants so that they could have fraternity parties, took the loans out in the form of grants so they wouldn’t have to do the unthinkable and pick some lettuce or wait some tables while they were going through school? Here’s what the Millennials are putting off:
Home ownership, divert money from retirement accounts, impede the ability to take small-business loans, and forgo securing car loans.
Mike: No, they’re not. It is really amazing to watch the proliferation of new automobiles that populate the countryside of these United States, it really is. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone’s new car, and the new cars that you hit are, by and large, owned by young people. They may be getting smaller in size. The little Suzuki car is becoming a favorite. Some people have the little microcar that Mercedes puts out. Did you know that Mercedes made the smart car? Did you know that?
Andrew: I did not know that.
Mike: They don’t advertise it, but it’s the same factories that crank out Mercedes also crank out smart cars. Back to the story:
Though hard data linking student loan debt to a delay in these financial commitments are elusive, personal finance experts say that when one is saddled with any kind of debt, economic lives can grind to a halt. The consequences of massive student loan debt – a trillion dollars and counting – could threaten the standard of living for this generation and harm the country’s economic competitiveness.
Mike: I love how GDP is used to measure our global competitiveness. We don’t compete with the rest of the planet in what the rest of the planet has, and somehow we are not as good as we could be. I’ve traveled outside of these United States now. I’ve gotten a little peek at what youths in other countries might have, and they don’t have the accoutrement that the youths in this country have. [mocking] “Mike, you’ve got to stop bringing up Scotland.” No, screw you. I’m going to keep bringing it up.
When I was on the streets of Edinburgh, I saw lots of young people that I would call Millennials. The major difference that I noted, and I actually wrote this in a pen and ink written on linen paper journal that I bought specifically for the trip. I noted that one thing that separated the Edinburgh youths from the Atlanta youths or New York City youths or New Orleans youths is they were not meandering about the Edinburgh urban landscape with their noses buried in smartphones. It was really quite breathtaking, as a matter of fact, to actually see people walking down streets looking straight ahead instead of down. We are in the midst of creating an entire generation — I find myself doing it from time to time — of people that never raise their heads. You go into a restaurant and expect to see people eating these days. Instead of seeing people eating, what do you see them doing? What are they doing at the table when they’re not eating? They’re Farmvilling, Mafia Warring, Twittering or whatever it is they’re doing. They’re buried in their phones. That is not the case in Scotland as of yet. Maybe it is in other European cities. I just haven’t visited them.
This whole student loan thing is now being reduced down into an economic disaster. I don’t mean to pooh-pooh the overwhelming fact that it is going to weigh heavily on many of you young people’s economic fortunes for some time to come. The economics of it is the symptom of the disease. This is what ought to really piss you off. Not only are you in debt, not only do you have to repay this, you’re staring at this piece of paper you’re wondering if you’ll ever get to use called a diploma. You wonder if you’ll ever get to use it to gain entrance into some field that requires it. Then even if you do, you wonder if the cost that you incurred for gaining the piece of paper is going to be offset by the increase in earnings. As we learn more about this and as time goes on, it becomes more and more provable that the relationship between the two is not automatic. In other words, just because you have the piece of paper does not guarantee you or inure to you the benefit of higher-paying wages.
You have the debt, the piece of paper, you’re probably not going to work in the field or anywhere near the field on which the piece of paper is stamped. You are now four to six years behind where you would have or could have been had you chosen not to go to the university or school you were told to go to and took the students loans out to start with. In other words, you could have begun a career at the bottom of the food chain, pick any industry out there, doesn’t matter which one. You could have started in shipbuilding. You could have started in hotel and restaurant management. You could have started in retail management. You could have started in computers. [mocking] “But Mike, I don’t have a computer science degree.” You could have been the guy or gal that stocks the shelves at Best Buy and worked your way up the ladder.
This isn’t to say that you couldn’t have taken part-time classes all the time you were doing this and paid your way and gained experience in a field which would enable you to earn more than you earn when you first got on the bus. We don’t even teach this anymore. The term entry-level, I don’t even know if that’s out there any longer. Does anyone thing that their children are going to gain entry-level jobs or do they just assume they’re going to put them into these incubators called colleges and they’re going to come out and automatically going to earn X?
A strange and tragic thing happened on the way to salvation via the college education. The evidence mounts every single day. There’s not a day that goes by now that someone is not out there writing or, as I’m doing right now, talking about the tragedy and travesty that is the situation of so many that are now so in debt. Someone might want to ask the question of future members of Congress or those that seek the office: Is there any way you guys considered a blanket amnesty for student loan owners? Everybody else gets a bailout. The Feds basically subsidized and guaranteed all the Stafford loans. All the federal government would have to do is say: That’s just another trillion added to the $17 trillion. Nobody’s really counting that anyways, doesn’t matter. Come on, all you student loan holders, you can all come in and you’re free.
It would have to be a blanket forgiveness, but why shouldn’t they get it? Their case is no more or less desperate than the case that was made for General Motors and people that worked at General Motors plants, is it? Their case is no less desperate than people who were stockholders who were associated and affiliated with AIG back in 2008 when they got their bailout. In other words, why not bail out the student loan holders? Give them a second chance at life. After all, it was this society and this culture that told them to do what it was that they did that landed them $1 trillion plus in hock.
End Mike Church Show Transcript