Thursday, September 30, 2010

Senator Harkin, Luke Swarthout, I love you both

Senator Harkin is becoming my hero, and so is Luke Swarthout. Right now, Harkin said this about the for profits. Here's how he sees it (I am ripping this nice diagram from a Tweet sent out by @EducationSector): "The industry money trail according to Harkin: Taxpayers --> Poor Students --> For-Profit Colleges --> Shareholders.

Yup. That sums it up. Thanks, Sen. Harkin and Luke!


Anonymous said...

Tell those homeboys that the "for-profit/non-profit" dichotomy is an illusion.

Those guys need to go after non-profit school as well. Change "shareholders" to "presidents/profs/administration" and you're set.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

@Anonymous Oct 1, You are right about the illusion of a dichotomy. While I want to crush the for-profit industry (and I told one of their associations who is now following me on Twitter just that), I think their an easy target and a good punching bag for those on the Hill. MUCH more needs to be done. That's why I continue to call for a radical restructuring of the entire system. I won't ever let up on that.

PubliusEsq said...

Support the Franken/Dodd bill (Fairness for Struggling Students Act (S 3219)) and the house version (Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act (HR 5043)) which will stop the discrimination against students and allow private student loans to once again be dischargeable in bankruptcy. HR 5043 has been voted out of subcommittee and is now in the House judiciary committee. S 3219 has also been voted out of subcommittee and is in the Senate judiciary committee. Call your Congressmen, Senators Franken and Dodd and members of the House and Senate judiciary committee to show your support. Time is of the essence.

A good example of how the banks actually write legislation is the bankruptcy reform legislation of 2005. In the bill Congress produced, private student loans were no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy. The banks were able to write this bill because students have no organization or lobby paying favors to congressmen.

I have seen it done with mine own eyes. The bank's inside counsel draft the legislation and then pass it on to congressional staffers that they have quid pro quo relationships with, often the staffers and bank's attorneys went to the same schools, and the bills are then introduced into committee in the form drafted by the banks.

No national purpose was served by this legislation. In fact, the bill has served to cause many who tried to better themselves through higher education to wind up as indentured servants slaving away for banks. American's families are impoverished and generations will live in poverty because the banks pay legislators lucrative rewards in the form of campaign contributions and high paying jobs.

These private loans, because of little regulatory oversight, often become unpayable because the interest and fees increase to an amount larger than the original loans. The only reason former students are discriminated against in bankruptcy (other bank loans and even gambling debts are dischargeable) is because students have no lobby, and the corrupt political process favors the disproportionate influence of the banks which use the legislative process to do their own bidding.

Americans should not have to live in indentured servitude because the economy cannot provide a job for them at a living wage, often because the banks and corporations use their undue influence in the political process to shape the economy for their own purposes, not for the good of the country.

Anonymous said...

Folks. This is so much more complex that you have it. I'm for advocacy on all sides but you need to take the time to get informed on the basics.

Take a look at this independent letter to the Secretary of Education

And work through a few of the different perspectives expressed here, including the Department's own databases if you have the resources to do so.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

@Oct 1, 2010, I appreciate your post, but I want you to be aware that I realize that this situation is enormously complex. I have reliable sources who are experts in this area, and they have provided me with deep insights into this situation. Moreover, I have done my own research. I think it problematic that you assert that none of us are aware of the basics.

Anonymous said...

Isn't "Intered" a strong advocate for the for-profit sector? What is the basis for calling that an "independent letter"?

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Anonymous @Oct 2, yes, they are an advocate for the for-profit sector, and that's why their remarks are dubious. They are threatened by the fact that the system is being questioned. They will throw in statistics of their own and claim that it's "objective," just as they did in this letter. However, anyone with a social scientific background is fully aware that those who wish to promote a specific type of agenda will use statistics to their own advantage. That's common knowledge.