Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Bubble

Why American Families are Worse off Now Than They Were in 1997

When we evaluate whether or not the economy is performing well, we sometimes pay too much attention to GDP. Gross domestic product tells us about the total amount of exchange going on in an economy, but many of those exchanges only serve to enrich those at the top of the economic ladder. To get a better sense of how ordinary people are doing, we need to look at real (inflation-adjusted) median household income. Today I checked in on the American figures, and they are bleak:

The median American family is not only poorer than they were before the 2008 crisis–they’re poorer than they were during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. What on earth is going on?

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Oregon’s College Funding Scheme

In the state of Oregon a new mechanism for funding university studies has been proposed. The scheme is called “Pay It Forward“. The idea is that instead of charging students tuition to go to universities, the state will fund their education and then extract payment after the degree is finished as a percentage of their income. For a student with a bachelor’s degree, the expected repayment would be 3% of income for the following 20 years. This presents a very different alternative to the university funding system presently in force throughout the United States, so let’s dissect it. Would Pay It Forward make Oregon’s university system better than it presently is? Is it the ideal alternative, and if not, in what respects does it differ from that ideal?

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Elizabeth Warren’s Student Loan Mistake

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has recently come out with a proposal to make the interest rates on federal student loans identical to the interest rates the federal government gives to large banks. This sounds really progressive and wonderful, and it is no doubt well-intentioned, but it is, unfortunately, an extremely misguided and foolish policy. Here’s why.

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The Trouble with Sending Everyone to College

As time has passed, more and more people are going to college in the United States. Unfortunately, this is not a good thing. Let’s see why.

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