Strike Debt! Movement of debt resisters
The Empire of Illusion Chris Hedges
The Neoliberal Arts Harpers
Rolling Jubilee Project that plans to abolish debt
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League William Deresiewicz
The Great American Bubble Machine Rolling Stone
What's Wrong With the Liberal Documentary Jill Godmilow
Goldman's Latest Boiler Room Stock America Rolling Stone
Looting Main Street Rolling Stone
Stop the Wall Street Recruitment Stanford Daily
The Soul of Student Debt Chris Maisano
Idea of the Week: Inequality and New York’s Subway The New Yorker
Neoliberalism and the City YouTube
The Service Patch NyTimes
Rebecca Solnit Diary London Review of Books
Some Food for Thought:
Today student loans represent the single largest debt burden for people under 40. In fact, from 2004 to 2009, only 37 percent of federal borrowers managed to make timely payments without postponing or becoming delinquent. Those most likely to default are unemployed or underemployed.
From 2001 to 2011, state and local financing per student declined by 24 percent nationally. Over the same period, tuition and fees at state schools increased 72 percent, compared with 29 percent for nonprofit private institutions, according to the College Board. Many of the cuts were the result of a sluggish economy that reduced tax revenue, but the sharp drop in per-student spending also reflects a change: an increasing number of lawmakers voted to transfer more of the financial burden of college from taxpayers to students and their families. (Local funding is a small percentage of the total, and mostly goes to community colleges.)
Ohio’s flagship university, Ohio State, now receives 7 percent of its budget from the state, down from 15 percent a decade ago and 25 percent in 1990. The price of tuition and fees since 2002 increased about 60 percent in today’s dollars.
CommonSense Media compiled a report (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/research/socialmediasociallife-final-061812.pdf)in the summer of 2012 that found the following:
o 90% of teens have used social media at some point
o 43% of teens wish they could disconnect from social media
o 41% of teens say that they feel they are addicted to their cell phone
o Teens that text exchange 1500 messages a day on average
o 62% of teens are getting their news online
o 63% of teens go online every day
o Laptops are becoming increasingly more prevalent while desktops are becoming less popular over time
o Approximately 40% of teens are creating content and sharing it online
o Nearly 15% of teens say that private messages have been forwarded beyond their intended recipient
“The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes.”
Perhaps this is because the term social-networking is actually a misnomer, when the reality is that it’s self-destruction disguised as self-promotion. The critical word there being ‘self.’ As Sherry Turkle put it, “we slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we’re at risk, because actually it’s the opposite that’s true. If we’re not able to be alone, we’re going to be more lonely.”
Quotes from The Marriage Plot
“At Madeleine’s appearance, they stirred rising out of the gloom like open-mouthed carp. She hurried to the back stairs, thinking the things she always thought when it came to frats and frat guys: that their appeal stemmed from a primitive need for protection (one thought of Neanderthal clans banding together against other Neanderthal clans); that the hazing the pledges underwent (being stripped and blindfolded and left in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel with bus fare taped to their genitals) enacted the very fears of male rape and emasculation that membership in the fraternity promised protection against; that any guy who longed to join a frat suffered from insecurities that poisoned his relationships with women; that there was something seriously wrong with homophobic guys who centered their lives around a homoerotic bond; that the stately mansions maintained by generations of dues-paying fraternity members were in reality sites for date rape and problem drinking; that frats always smelled bad; that you didn’t ever want to shower in one; that only freshman girls were stupid enough to go to frat parties…” (pg. 35)
“Leonard’s dark moods had always been part of his appeal. It was a relief to hear him enumerate his frailties, his misgivings about the American formula for success. So many people at college were jacked up on ambition, possessors of steroidal egos, clever but cutthroat, diligent but insensitive, shiny but dull, that everyone felt compelled to be upbeat, down with the program, all systems firing, when everyone know in his or her heart, that this wasn’t how they really felt. People doubted themselves and feared the future. The were intimidated, scared, and so talking to Leonard, who was all these things times ten, made people feel less bad about themselves, and less alone” (108)
banking article New yorker :
“It’s all about clients,” Pandit went on. The biggest mistake Citi and other banks made during the boom, he said, was coming to believe that investing and trading on their own account, rather than on behalf of their clients, was a basic aspect of banking.
- this attitude trickles to employees who just look out for themselves rather than the rest of society
securitization business, which pools together auto loans, credit-card receivables, and other forms of credit, and then issues bonds backed by them - make a line out of this for children in offices
In 1940, a former Wall Street trader named Fred Schwed, Jr., wrote a charming little book titled “Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?,” in which he noted that many members of the public believed that Wall Street was inhabited primarily by “crooks and scoundrels, and very clever ones at that; that they sell for millions what they know is worthless; in short, that they are villains.” It was an extreme view, but public antagonism toward bankers and other financiers kept them in check for forty years. Economic historians refer to a period of “financial repression,” during which regulators and policymakers, reflecting public suspicion of Wall Street, restrained the growth of the banking sector. They placed limits on interest rates, prohibited deposit-taking institutions from issuing securities, and, by preventing financial institutions from merging with one another, kept most of them relatively small. During this period, major financial crises were conspicuously absent, while capital investment, productivity, and wages grew at rates that lifted tens of millions of working Americans into the middle class.
The question is: where do you need to be with yourself such that when the time comes to ‘cast your whole vote,’ you’re reasonably confident you’re not being either fear-based or ego-driven in your choice …
As a student at an Ivy League university who is doing consulting next year, I know first hand how true everything this writer says is. The big finance and consulting firms have such a massive presence on campus and make it so easy to apply. It is so difficult to apply to jobs at regular companies or think tanks or political organizations. They don't advertise as heavily on campus, on our campus career services site, and their job application process through their own website is tedious and 90% of the time results in no response. Also, it is definitely true that these finance firms advertise their jobs as a temporary learning experience--otherwise no one would do it. Who wants to work 90 hours weeks for years on end without contributing to society. No amount of money makes that worthwhile.
So totally disconnected from reality, which is typical for a rich kid. I'll be graduating soon with a giant student loan. My best job prospect because of a not-so-lucrative field that I'm in is $50K. Which I'd be happy to have and cross my fingers that I will land a job sooner rather than later. But here a child who never had to worry about money writes about some lofty ideals and ideal jobs and not to accepts the jobs that I and so, so many other grads would be ecstatic to have just to keep our noses above water and pay rent.
Mr. Wiggins, who is also an organizer of HackNY, a technology-focused group that tries to steer engineers and programmers away from Wall Street, said that the well-oiled recruitment process would be difficult to stop.
“Zero percent of people show up at the Ivy League saying they want to be an I-banker, but 25 and 30 percent leave thinking that it’s their calling,” he said. “The banks have really perfected, over the last three decades, these large recruitment machines.”
Other students argued that the flood of talent into finance and consulting is a giant waste. Too many students slide into the finance job application process by default because it feels comfortably like applying to college. There’s a certain automatic prestige to it. It’s competitive, so it must be good.