May
06
2012

“Should student loans be priced differently according to major?”

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Oh, all right… this is perilously close to being taboo to say in this culture, but I will anyway: society is not in fact set up to permit everybody to spend their entire lives playing, and nor should it be.  We have finite resources; easily sufficient ones to keep everybody fed, clothed, sheltered, literate, and numerate.  And this culture is amazingly good at making sure that this happens across the board*.  Particularly when it comes to historical comparisons; take a look around you, folks.  Most of your distant ancestors would identify this place as being some variant of the Garden of Eden.  And yes, that does include Detroit (life has really been that bad for most of history).

But the brutal truth is, not every job is created equal.  Some professions are simply more valuable to society than others.  Now, we live in a free society, largely because we still tend to have a reasonably free market-driven society, so we are understandably reluctant to tell somebody that they can’t be allowed to spend six years getting a graduate degree in Hyphenated-Identity Studies.  But society is not under any real obligation to pretend that there’s a large call for people with that academic path.  If someone can afford it on his or her own, fine.  It’s their money.  If they want a loan, well, that’s the bank’s money – and the bank should be allowed to take into consideration the notion that somebody with that degree is going to be an inherently greater credit risk than someone with, say, a degree in engineering.  Or a certified electrician.

Because Life Is Not Fair.

PPS: What?  Hold on, let me check.  Nope, sorry: Life Is Still Not Fair.

*I know, I know: your college textbooks told you otherwise.  Hey, remember the classes that had you read those textbooks?  Exactly how good were they at getting you and keeping you a job, again?

Personal satisfaction? Ah, I see.  What’s the exchange rate on that, in terms of legal tender?

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