Will 2011 bring the bursting of a “college bubble”?

As the Texas legislature along with many other state governments prepare to grapple with budget shortfalls and spending cuts, public college and university funding are likely to come under great scrutiny.  With that, a recent National Inflation Association article warns that the bursting of a “college bubble,” akin to the real estate bubble, could happen this year and bring widespread consequences.

We agree with the article’s basic premise that too many of today’s high school students are being funneled into college for purposes that better serve the employment and power-coalescing machines associated with higher education rather than helping to prepare all of these young people to be productive members of society.  College is an appropriate and important path for some students, however, others may find technical or skills-based training facilities – especially with a clearly defined field of interest – a far more beneficial and cost effective course.

As higher education costs rise, many of these kids are being encouraged to take on debt disproportional to the earning power their degree or certification will ever generate making this a decision with long-lasting and financially detrimental consequences.  And unfortunately, it’s members of the higher education industry or their surrogates that encourage this action.  We wish more financially responsible parents were in the mix so as to better counsel their children, but that general absence contributes to this and many other troublesome societal trends.

Friends and associates with recent experience on college campuses tell stories of waste, even fraud, associated with Pell Grants.  We know respectable, productive people who say that without such funding, their college experience might have been unattainable or at least far more difficult.  Today’s climate, however, also encourages disinterested and unmotivated students seeking only to “scam” the system.  This disservice is perpetrated by the higher education industry and other politically correct allies promoting a false sense of education equality over sensible public policies.  And who is hurt in this equation?  Legitimate students genuinely seeking to maximize educational opportunities, American taxpayers who foot the bill and American businesses that can’t find appropriately qualified candidates to fill positions.

This column additionally attracted our interest at EstateofDenial.com because of this reference to higher education and the legal industry:

All across America, thousands of students are graduating law school each year with $250,000 in debt, but with no jobs at law firms available to them. 15,000 attorney and legal staff jobs have disappeared since 2008, yet 43,000 law degrees are being handed out each year. Law degrees are losing their value faster than the U.S. dollar is losing its purchasing power. Lawyers are non-producing workers that do nothing to create any real wealth for society. The artificially high incomes of lawyers are made possible entirely by inflation, which steals the wealth from hard working goods producing middle-class Americans and transfers it to those who add no real value to society.

With estate abuse and probate corruption as our focus, we address all aspects of the issue.  EoD reports on how many estate disputes (via wills, trusts guardianships or powers of attorney) are contrived so as to generate billable hours for the involved attorneys.  It’s a form of barratry, a criminal practice involving the generation of profit for legal services by an attorney who stirs up a dispute and encourages lawsuits in order to file a groundless claim.  With the aging Baby Boomers, extended lifespans and families not living in close proximity as once was the case, one can reasonably wonder that a supply of unemployed or under-employed lawyers might find probate an appealing growth area.  It’s a position that bodes badly for an unsuspecting public whose assets now become “up for grabs.”  These conditions also illustrate the college scam concept of self-serving universities aggressively recruiting students to potentially assume great debt for entry into a professional field with diminishing opportunities.

This National Inflation Association column isn’t an across-the-board discrediting of college educations.  It merely offers timely comparative data, substantive reasoning and good advice to the youth of America today to “think for yourselves.”  It’s perspective that adults in these young people’s lives would also do well to adopt.

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture.  She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com, a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation and a Director of Women on the Wall.  Lou Ann may be contacted at info@EstateofDenial.com.

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