” A word of caution for kids heading off to college this year: Your degree may be worth less and cost more than you think. Your job prospects will likely be grim, whether or not you get that sheepskin. Oh, and you’re on the hook for trillions in federal debt racked up by your parents and grandparents.
Washington has willfully ignored the looming crisis of entitlement spending, knowingly consigning young Americans to a future of crushing debt, persistent underemployment, and burdensome regulation. Politicians on both sides of the aisle share the blame.
This summer, Congress made a big bipartisan show of cutting student loan rates to 3.4 percent from an already artificially low 6.8 percent. But even that seemingly helpful gesture will wind up hurting the Americans it claims to help. Federal student aid, whether in the form of grants or loans, is the main factor behind the runaway cost of higher education. Subsidies raise prices, leading to higher subsidies, which raise prices even more. This higher education bubble, like the housing bubble before it, will eventually pop. Meanwhile, large numbers of students will graduate with more debt than they would have in an unsubsidized market.
And when those new, debt-laden graduates head out into the labor market with their overpriced diplomas, they may not be able to find a job. According to data provided to me by my Mercatus Center colleague, former Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) commissioner Keith Hall, fewer than half of Americans today between the ages of 18 and 25 are employed. For those in that cohort actively on the job market, the unemployment rate is 16 percent, versus 6 percent for job-seekers aged 25 and above.
This jobs crisis will have long-term consequences for young Americans. A forthcoming paper in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics on Canadian college graduates by the economists Philip Oreopoulos, Till Von Wachter, and Andrew Heisz shows that in economies like ours, during normal times, the average person sees 70 percent of career wage growth in the first 10 years on the job. That is terrible news for people who are unemployed or underemployed at the start of their careers. The study also shows that those unlucky enough to graduate during a recession will suffer a 9 percent pay hit from the start of their careers-and it will likely take them a decade to climb out of that hole.
Weak economies always hit younger people hard, but this weak recovery is taking a particularly heavy toll, despite the massive government intervention in the form of stimulus and job programs. In fact, much of the uncertainty that gets in the way of employers hiring new full-time workers can be traced to government policies.“
Illustration by RJ Matson
” America is still gaining jobs under President Obama, but millions more live in poverty, typical household incomes have not kept pace with inflation, and the federal debt is up nearly 90 percent and on pace to double before he leaves office. Stockholders, meanwhile, are far wealthier than they were the day he was sworn in.
U.S. oil production continues to boom, as do wind and solar power, while dependence on foreign oil keeps dropping. International opinion of the United States has slipped a bit, but generally remains far higher than before he took office, except in the Muslim world, where it has gotten even worse.
These are among the findings in our latest update of “Obama’s Numbers.”
Take these numbers with a grain of salt .
Niall Ferguson: Obama’s Gotta Go
” In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak.”
Believe it or not , this is no third world slum ... This is Detroit
” Forbes just published its 20 Most Miserable Cities List for 2013. The magazine left off several obviously more “worthy” contenders, perhaps because its decisions to include and exclude certain criteria were, to say the least, more than a little odd.
I have listed the magazine’s top twenty following the jump, along with each city’s mayor and that person’s political leanings, showing a commonality the magazine’s Kurt Badenhausen failed to observe:
20. Youngstown, Ohio — Charles P. Sammarone, Democrat
19. Gary, Indiana — Karen Freeman-Wilson, Democrat
18. Poughkeepsie, New York — John C. Tkazyik, Republican
17. Cleveland, Ohio — Frank Jackson, Democrat
16. Atlanta, Georgia — Kasim Reed, Democrat
15. Atlantic City, New Jersey — Lorenzo Langford, Democrat
14. Milwaukee, Wisconsin — Tom Barrett, Democrat
13. Camden, New Jersey — Dana Redd, Democrat
12. St. Louis, Missouri — Francis Slay, Democrat
11. Toledo, Ohio — Michael Bell, ran as an independent but is a lifelong Democrat
10. New York, New York — Michael Bloomberg, Nanny State “Independent” since 2007; Democrat before 2001; ran as a Republican in 2001 just to get a spot on the ballot.
9. Waukegan, Illinois — Robert G. Sabonjian, Democrat (see first paragraph following this list)
8. Stockton, California – Anthony Silva, a Republican sworn into office by Democrat and former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
7. Warren, Michigan — James Fouts, Republican
6. Vallejo, California — Osby Davis, Not determinable
5. Modesto, California — Garrad Marsh, “non-partisan,” clear Democrat sympathies
4. Chicago, Illinois — Rahm Emanuel, Democrat
3. Rockford, Illinois — Larry Morrissey, Independent
2. Flint, Michigan — Dayne Walling, “nonpartisan,” formerly worked for U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, a Democrat
1. Detroit, Michigan — Dave Bing, Democrat
‘Richard Windsor’ departure from EPA is
a victory for transparency
” Lisa Jackson’s forthcoming departure from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
a major victory for transparency and
accountability in Washington.
After years of whispers that EPA officials
frequently used private email addresses,
fake names and coded messages to
circumvent the Freedom of Information Act,
or FOIA, Jackson admitted recently to using
“Richard Windsor” as her chosen nom de
plume on a government email account. ”
” The EPA IG could hardly do otherwise. The
use of private or secret emails enables high
government muckety-mucks like Jackson to
hide things about which they don’t want the
rest of us to know. But we don’t need an
investigation to know officials have been
hiding bad things within the EPA for a very