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The looming student loan crisis

The looming student loan crisis

Before we get into dissecting the student loan issue, we need to understand how it happened.  For all of you folks who have unpaid student loans – and especially those with big burdensome loans – never forget that your problem was caused by a bunch of left-wingers in Congress and academia.  They are the same folks that brought us the real estate bubble that triggered the Great Recession of 2008.  I mention that because they were both the result of promising something allegedly for nothing.

As a student loan holder, you are merely the middleman in a scheme that used taxpayer money appropriated by progressives in Congress to enrich their pals in academia.  While you are weighed down with the burden of re-payment, the educational institutions have been reaping huge windfall profits – academic gouging, to be precise.

The evolving increases in the size of the loans did not buy better educational opportunities for you, the student.  But they did enable the schools of higher learning to consistently increase their tuition well ahead of inflationary price rises.  Essentially, the schools were increasing their income from taxpayer money – or at least taxpayer guaranteed loans – with the students being the conduit AND the holder of the debt.

It is a form of inflation in which more money chases fewer or unchanged spending opportunities.  The scheme was so successful for the colleges and universities that the students were left with debt far exceeding the value of the education they received.  Student loans have ballooned so much that they outpace virtually every other type of consumer debt.  Think about that.  Student loans are now one of the major types of debt – exceeding mortgages, car loans, consumer purchases, credit cards.

In fact, student loans have far exceeded the ability of graduates of even the more prestigious educational institutions to attain jobs commensurate to their investment.  That is why it took decades upon decades for students to pay off their debt.  The Return On Investment (ROI) is abysmal.

Student loans – which were sold as a benefit to middle-class kids – are now the latest example of the credit trap – a loan that is very difficult to pay off in a reasonable time with affordable payments.

The scheme was so corrupt that now the left-wingers who concocted the scam are looking to the taxpayers to bail out the victims.  Folks like Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want to erase the sins of their policies by simply writing them off – sticking the taxpayer for the trillion-dollar obligation.  To be specific, 42 million Americans owe $1.7 trillion dollars in student loans.

To put that into perspective, that is the same amount President Biden wanted in his final Build Back Better bill – an outrageous expenditure.  But in terms of the federal budget, it has the same impact. It makes no difference if you spend $1.7 trillion or write off $1.7 trillion.

Just as the Congress enabled citizens to buy houses they could not afford, the Student Loan Program provided students with the ability to purchase an education they could not afford thanks to the gouging by the schools. It is even worse than the housing catastrophe since the house at least had had a market value commensurate to the purchase price, but the education received for the exorbitant tuition was worth much less than the purchase price.

The big spending Democrats have put the students and the country into a no-win position.  The kids were screwed, but we can hardly write off the debt. The real solution is to have the colleges and universities pay off the debt from their trillions of dollars in endowment funds – funds made fat by all that student loan money.  

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

25 Comments

  1. David mccoy

    Simple solution. Don’t borrow more than you can pay back. If you can’t afford college don’t go. Lots of people are doing just fine without college. The indoctrination in socialism isn’t worth it.

    • VIETNAM VET 67-68

      WE THE OLDER GENERATION HAD MORALS AND ETHICS WHO BELIEVED THAT YOU BORROW ONLY WHAT YOU CAN PAY BACK AND ITS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OWE UP TO IT. I COULD NOT AFFORD TO GO TO COLLEGE AND I WOULD HAVE NEVER PUT MYSELF THAT FAR IN DEBT FOR A MAYBE GOOD PAYING JOB. I WORKED HARD AND PAID MY DEBTS AND WOULD EVENTUALLY FIND MY JOB THAT PAID ME MORE THAN 60% OF THE DEGREE EARNERS, GET SOME BALLS AND PAY YOUR DEBT, GET TWO JOBS LIKE I DID TO PAY DEBT AND BUY WHAT I WANTED. WHAT A BUNCH OF WHAAAA CRYBABIES GET SOME AMERICAN GRIT AND PAY YOUR DEBT AND STOP DROPPING MORE DEBT ON THOSE WHO PAY TAXES WE HAVE PAID ENOUGH, DON’T NEED YOUR PROBLEMS ADDED !! VIETNAM VET 67-68

      • frank stetson

        I do agree that folks should pay their debt; there’s nothing here that they shouldn’t have seen coming. I think just letting them off the hook because we feel bad is abhorrent, especially to those who paid the full freight with the sweat off our brows. That said, I have np problem helping to avoid default. If that means using some taxpayer dollars to avoid default, as long as we get our money back some day, seems like an OK investment.

        That said, I think VV really answered his own question. He says he got 60% of the degree earners and it’s doesn’t take much to see that 40% is probably a pretty good number to take a loan against….. Fact is HS degree = $39K average income with 4% average unemployment, 4Yr Degree = 65K and 2.2% unemployment. Like an extra $650,000 over a 25-year work span. I think I can take a college loan for that!

        However there are many paths; today, I might be looking at professions that require “accreditation” in that, similar to a Union, accreditation provides a certain amount of job security, a certain community of folks with shared interests to network with, lots of good things. This would include cpa’s to project managers —– anything that requires joining, getting a license, etc., perhaps on top of a degree, but not always. Seems like a better way to go given not many Unions for white collar positions.

        And really — all caps still? Makes one wonder if you just don’t understand capitalization in the English language so default to an easier APPROACH.

  2. Rat Wrangler

    Prior to the 1970s, 60% of the decent jobs in the US did not require degrees. Today, you need a college degree to be a janitor at a high school. Perhaps the best way to deal with this is to attack the businesses that demand unnecessary degrees. The easiest way to tell if a degree is necessary is to ask in what subject it needs to be. If the answer, as it often is, states that it does not matter, then the degree is unnecessary. It makes no sense to hire a chemist with a degree in basketweaving, as an example. Since it would be difficult and expensive for our government agencies to have to examine each job and its education requirements, the best way to handle the problem would be a dual minimum wage plan. Presently, our Federal minimum wage is $7.25, set in 2009. That is too low. Let’s say that we set minimum wages at the Federal level to $10. Under the dual plan, any job requiring a college degree of any sort would have to pay a minimum of $18 an hour. That additional money could be set aside to pay off the student loans, so no government debt forgiveness would be needed. In reality, I suspect a lot of companies will drop the degree requirements.

  3. Doug

    I saved for over 20+ years for my two children’s college education and now the progressives wish to have my tax dollars pay off the loans of others, is blatantly unreasonable. I would like to know if the progressives plan to reimburse me for the dollars I spent.
    The article should point out the average salary that a tenured professor makes-especially at the Ivy League Schools. The vast majority professors rarely teach anymore. They use graduate students to do that work. The professors are involved in money making research projects that the government already pays the colleges to conduct, or they are required to “publish” an article or two in some type of magazine. Most of these “research” projects are worthless and offer little to no value for the general population. The article should also provide examples of the fields of study/degrees that these progressives have introduced over the past decades. These degrees are so minimal that a student will not be able to get hired or earn a living to pay off their student debt. It would be better to avoid college and just go to work. I highly recommend joining the military where the compensation and benefits are sustainable. Those who do, will then have the GI Bill to pay for their education. At the same time they learn discipline and work ethic.
    Even the state supported schools having increased their tuition to unsustainable levels. As a result they are favoring minorities with grants and tuition-free assistance for acceptance and are biased against families that have a good source of income and have saved for their children.

    • Samual beverlY

      I agree that the military is a good option. But not with a moron being my commander in chief.

      • Joe Gilbertson

        That is a very good point. Our kids get brainwashed in the universities, and now they are starting to brainwash them when they go into the military, with all this “woke” stuff.

        • frank stetson

          Sam, Trump only thinks he is still President. There’s a new guy in town now Sam. And psssssssssst, Sam, whether you are in the military or not, he’s still Commander in Chief…… And you are not. Never will be.

          Joe, oh the horror of being woke. The shame. Once again, from Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of woke: “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)” Oh yeah, Joe, you don’t want none of that shit. It’s bad to be aware, terrible to be attentive, and sure as hell don’t need to think about racial and social justice. Bad juju. Only the brainwashed need this stuff.

          If it’s Blue, Joe can only see red. Tell me what’s wrong with woke: the concept?

          Sigh.

          • Samaul beverly

            He’s there physically but not mentally And he will never be my commander in chief

        • Ben

          Joe,
          The military has traditionally been the first to be woke. Allowing blacks to join, mixed race platoons, women working next to me , immigrants serving. We just didn’t have the radical right echo chamber to complain about it.

          • larry Horist

            Ben … Are you aware that our military was segregated during the Civil War — with Frederick Douglass recruiting for the black companies? Are you unaware that Woodrow Wilson segregated the military with the active support of a young FDR? And it was segregated until Eisenhower implemented the integration order shortly after taking office? You may recall that Truman issued the executive order under pressure in the 1948 campaign, but he did not fully implement it during his four-year term. In fact, Ike actually integrated airborne units in WW II despite FDR’s segregation policy — having the Tuskegee Airmen participate in integrated crews. And it was those on what you deem the “radical right” how did most of the heavy lifting on that issue. I have not heard anyone on the right complain about the integration of the military publicly or privately. So … maybe you just made that up.

          • frank stetson

            One of the strangest things I found in doing my family’s genealogy was the draft registrations for young men in the 1940’s, at least until 1945. The draft form had a marking in the lower left corner, printed at the 45, which basically said “tear this corner off if person of African descent.” The form has no data regarding race beyond that. Think about it. The people maintaining the system, the forms, were white. They never asked the person their race, race never came into it, Blacks probably never knew. But the forms clearly indicated, via the torn corner, if the person was Black. I will let you guess what happens next but integration is not it. My immediate thought was: what kind of person comes up with such an insidious, secretive, system to select people based on race. I mean it’s a little thing but seemingly a great example of the evil nature of systemic racism. Just imagine the planning and implementation of this little thing. Insidious is the word that comes to mind.

            No Ben, that does not sound like the military was woke during WWII in the 1940’s. Have you see the movie “Red Tails?” According to the movie, there was racism that stopped talented people from serving to the full extent of their talent, Black people. And Elenore Roosevelt was a fierce advocate of equality in the armed forces, at least the army air force.

            In Vietnam we were more egalitarian, we had an integrated army, matter of fact, we let more Blacks fight that un-War for us that were represented by the general US population. We re-engineered the GI Bill denying many benefits to many blacks. Crosses were burned in Vietnam, hate crimes ensued, the army did little. At one point: “Black soldiers made up 16.3% of those drafted and 23% of Vietnam combat troops, despite accounting for only roughly 11% of the civilian population.” One out of four, need I say more? Certainly equal rights does not come to mind.

            https://time.com/5852476/da-5-bloods-black-vietnam-veterans/

            FDR’s case, IMO, Larry, is a little more complex, more nuanced, than the binary black and white conclusion. I think Blacks generally favored FDR. Yes, he incarcerated Japanese Americans. But he favored Jews in his administration at 15% of top positions while only 3% of the population, lobbies for quotas at Harvard to increase attendance while at the same time saying: “but not too much please, that’s not a good thing,” and generally saying some not so nice things about Jews in public. His housing policy precluded Blacks. And so on. It is a nuanced response and very political in nature. Perhaps the best example of this is Elanor and FDR differed on Elanor’s support of the NACCP supported Anti-Lynching Bill: https://www.history.com/news/fdr-eleanor-roosevelt-anti-lynching-bill

          • larry Horist

            Frank. A couple of observations. Yes, black voters stuck with FDR despite the fact that the New Deal programs were DESIGNED to shift jobs from blacks to whites — jobs whites did not want until they lost their jobs. It was very effective as the numbers show. At the onset of the Great Depression, black had about the same rate of unemployment as whites — even slightly less. Somewhere around 3.5 to 4 percent. After the New Deal policies got rolling, white unemployment was just around 15 percent … but black unemployment shot up to over 50 percent. FDR was not nuanced on race. He was a full-throated white supremacist. He vehemently opposed intermarriage.

            I found your job application info interesting. I may have to do some research and add it to my book. That sounds like something that would have started under Wilson — who required photos with all federal job applications for the same reason. Although it would not be beneath FDR to have imposed that policy. I will have to check it out.

            FDR’s anti-Semitics is more nuanced. He came out of New York where Jews have long enjoyed position of power, so he had some history in working with Jews. However, he still had anti-Semitic views including intermarriage, etc. And remember how he turned back that ship of Jewish refugees from Germany — forcing them back to almost certain internment and death. His policies were not exactly great for Native Americans, either.

            You are correct about his wife. She was almost a 180-degree opposite in terms of race and women’s issues. In my manuscript, I have references to several occasions when she tried to intercede at the request of black leaders. She failed in every attempt.

            Several years ago, I spoke at a black church and a woman stood to defend FDR — saying “he got us out of the Depression.” While that is also debatable, I suggest that she look at the unemployment rates of the black community since FDR and told her that black American had never gotten out of Depression-level unemployment.

          • frank stetson

            Larry, was draft registration and not all but more than one state. Think it would have been Roosevelt, 1940’s, unless it came from WWI — not really sure on it being in WWI: I will look. If you have a genealogy website that has military records, pretty easy to find. I would paste it here, but ….. It is weird.

            With FDR, nah, not quite there and you saying it does not quite get me there. I still see nuance, like the Jewish racism. FDR seems to temper all with politics.

            But there is no doubt he was racist, just not sure that the sum total of his racism weighed against his results does not yield that nuanced result.

            One of my favorite examples of the racism of silly people is J.P. Morgan and Bank of United States, a Jewish held bank. Morgan had bailed out many a bank and when the BotUS came to him he said no. Ultimately they paid .95 on the dollar —– they were basically fucking solvent. But down they went in 1931 and many feel that when the nation heard those rumors that The Bank of the United States failed, the runs began. Not 100% sure of the veracity here, but still a good story….

  4. Antonio M Hevia

    Yes the article is correct regarding the cause, but the repayment problem is exacerbated by the finance rates. Graduate Students are being charged 7% or more while the prime rate is close to zero. Back in the 80’s my loans were around 3% and the prime was in the teens. Rates should be lowered instead of forgiveness.

  5. frank stetson

    It appears to some that progressives are the root of all evil, the source of everything wrong. Mr. McCoy points out the first problem which is certainly not based on your political party: a man should never borrow more than he can pay. Now Mr. McCoy ruins his great concept by professing that people do fine without college and college is an indoctrination in socialism. I would think socialism is the farthest thing from you mind when you see those loan payments….. And sure, you can do fine without college, but the statistics say that you will probably earn more IF you have an advanced degree. Somehow, getting a factory-level education when there are no factory jobs does not sound like a brilliant plan….. But on average, college educated folk just plain make more money. Statistically.

    I never quite understood this one. Every time I looked at college loans, the concept of low cost did not seem to match the interest being charged. And the fact there was a longer pay time just meant more interest to me. Like my parents before me, I paid cash and bemoaned those seemingly getting free money. So, I have a hard time understanding the huge number of defaults from either the lender’s or borrower’s perspective. Just does not compute how that can happen. And then I see colleges offering singles, kitchens, lots of perks. I had a 200-year old fridge, a hot plate and a toaster oven… I like things nice, but at what price?

    Larry says: “never forget that your problem was caused by a bunch of left-wingers in Congress and academia. They are the same folks that brought us the real estate bubble that triggered the Great Recession of 2008.” Oh my, what fools these conservatives be. I have to thank Larry for forcing me to look into this.

    The first thing I noticed is Larry blames The Great Recession of 2008 on left-wingers in Congress and academia. How did academia cause The Great Recession? Wasn’t The Great Recession on Bush’s watch as he was President j2001 – j2009? Didn’t Republicans own the House from 2001-2007? Wasn’t the Senate spilt by one or two seats, just like today, with the leading party having a tenuous grip at best, not a mandate? And yet Larry blames a non-existent Democrat President, blames minority leftists in Congress and, for God knows what reason except you love throwing red meat to your dogs, academia???

    My thought going in was this was like welfare in the 80’s; a good idea that was corrupted somewhat just due to the ravages of time and somewhat due to unintended consequences come home to roost. Plus, IMO, all this “free money,” enticed colleges to make dorms nicer, singles more plentiful, unnecessary things that increase price creating an unbelievable college tuition inflation curve. It’s easy when free money keeps flowing.

    Some history. In 1944, the GI bill lifted many out of the factories and into white collar management jobs. And I do mean white. Roosevelt, Democrat, signed this bill. The economy bloomed too creating more white collar jobs. Most GI Bill college attendees were white. 1954’s Brown V Brown decision opened the doors to more Blacks attending college. In 1958, the cold war prompted the establishment of the NDEA or National Defense Education Act, loans and scholarships. Wow, education as national defense, what’s next, a vaccine mandate for national defense? Those were the days. Eisenhower, Republican signed this into law. Democrat Johnson then updated this in 1965 adding a income-based metric, which sure sounds like a good thing to level the playing field between rich and poor. Called Federal Family Education Loans or FFEL.

    Along comes Regan and with tax cuts, less money to the States, the States cut funding for colleges while simultaneously being forced to raise State tuitions. Not to worry, there’s free money still. Regan further cut college funding putting more pressure on schools to raise tuitions. Between 1980-1990, tuition went up 50%, or around 5% a year. These are just just under Democratic rule.

    In the early 2000’s, Bush helped online education become established; college enrollment for private schools grew over 300%. Seems like a good thing. In 2008, Bush’s Great Recession caused much to collapse including Federal, State funding, and even private donations to colleges. The same recession increased enrollments. With demand comes even higher prices.

    During all this funding for loans moved around from direct loans to guaranteed loans to other funding mechanisms. Congressional games. This bounced around until in 2010, Obama eliminated the FFEL program. Since mid-2010, all Federal student loans have been Direct Loans with the savings used to increase funding for the Pell Grant program, more free money.

    Bottom line: The CBO says: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” During this period, the quantity of loans granted more than doubled, and, of course, the amount of each loan increased dramatically. From 2000 to 2021, the value of each loan has increased by over 75%; adjusting for inflation yields an increase of 326%. Total student debt grew by over 600%. Over that same period, tuitions have increased between 150% to over 200% with the biggest increased for State institutions and outpacing inflation by a factor of two or more.

    I don’t have an answer but it sure isn’t as simple as just blaming the Democrats and academia. There’s a lot in motion from free money to price gouging to inflation costs to more expensive college options and living arrangements to a changing economy that demands a four-year degree to thrive instead of just survive. I think the response will be complex too and probably not a single solution but instead a series of actions.

    Our colleges are some of the best in the world and we attract the world’s best talent in our college gene pool — hate to fuck with that. We need more price competition but not at the cost of quality. Our students are taking on too high a debt burden, we need to stop that, plain and simple to Mr. McCoy’s point. A college loan is a good thing, hate to curtail that opportunity to lift the student, lift the economy. But a failed loan is a failed life and that should be a rarity, not the current high rate.

    Meanwhile, the world economy moves on; people are getting more educated and smarter every day. We need to be part of that. We can’t win if we don’t educate a lot of kids with advanced degrees. And not just four year. We need more.

    I honestly don’t exactly know the problem, or all the problems here, much less the portfolio of solutions probably needed to fix. But one thing is sure: we should not loan student money if the student can’t repay the loan. That’s just bad business all around.

    • larry Horist

      Frank … I blame the great recession on the left-wingers in Congress. You will recall that the recession was caused by the collapse of the housing market … the burst of the bubble. But how created that bubble that would inevitably burst. It was the leadership of folks like Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank who pushed through the affordable housing legislation that forced the banks to provide mortgages to people who could not afford them. During hearings, Republicans not only opposed the legislation, but predicted what would happen. That same progressive thinking is what has created the student loan bubble — and again having the banks provide money the recipients could not afford in the long run. They now want to prevent the bubble from bursting by deflating it with debt forgiveness in the trillions of dollars — which will add to other economic problems.

      • frank stetson

        “Frank … I blame the great recession on the left-wingers in Congress. You will recall that the recession was caused by the collapse of the housing market … the burst of the bubble. But how created that bubble that would inevitably burst. It was the leadership of folks like Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank who pushed through the affordable housing legislation that forced the banks to provide mortgages to people who could not afford them.”

        I hear ya Larry, but as often is the case; if it were that easy, everyone would have seen it coming. I think many agree with your surmise it was the housing market; not as many are bold enough to have the blame squarely and solely on the Democrats. Collapse of the housing market had a major effect, but was the housing market the the cause or was is more complex.
        Some feel it started with financial industry deregulation that permitted banks to hedge fund trade with derivatives which then added demand for mortgages to support these essentially banking trades, so banks invented interest-only mortgages attractive to riskier subprime borrowers.

        It all went well until 2004 (Bush) when the Fed raised interest just on a big mortgage interest reset. In 2007 (Bush) this uplift and demand hit home creating a situation where homeowners with higher monthly payments could not sell their houses, even at breakeven or a loss and Obama inherited the collapse that was on Bush’s watch.

        But the deregulation of the banking industry, long lobbied for by the banks, started with the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act which replaced the 1933 Glass–Steagall Act. This bill was also known as the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, the sponsors who are all Republicans. In 1999, Republicans held the majority in both houses of Congress.

        So in the immortal words of Ricky, “Larry you got some splaining to do” to show us how Democrats alone caused all this.

        Larry, forgive my ignorance and poor searching, but only only Dodd-Frank act I know of is in 2010 and I doubt that’s the one you are talking about since, if anything, it made mortgages harder to get, especially for those with added risks. Obviously 2010 won’t prove your point here so I would need some clarity

        Bottom line: blaming one party for The Great Recession is like saying The Great Depression is solely Republican Hoovers fault. While Hoover did not help, he harmed, IMO he is not the only reason for that economic calamity. So, show us the money, show us how you came to the belief that the Dems did it, when the bill that caused in was Republican, the Congress was Republican, and the Republican President had been on duty for 8 years when it hit.

        You and Joe have been very partisan, sans Trump, as of late. Feelin your oats? Under pressure? That was one heck of a 1.6 memorial speech by Joe. Tough act to follow. Hey, so FL is throwing out 1,000,000 covid tests as people wait hours in line due to lack of supply. Did Desantis become DeGrinch? What’s going on down there?

  6. Ben

    Larry,

    If only those evil right winged business owners didn’t demand a college education for even the most menial jobs. Or paid a living wage for jobs that didn’t actually require a college education, there’d be a lot less student debt.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      There is a point there (not that I’m blaming Larry). In a small company like mine, I get resumes and I read through every one of them, and look at the candidate as a whole. I’ve hired quite a few who didn’t fit the mold but had something I wanted.

      The way corporations hire new people is that they have someone at a very low level throw away the resumes of anyone who doesn’t meet certain criteria. The actual hiring manager doesn’t see the resume of anyone who gets thrown out because they don’t have the exact amount of experience, the exact degree or perhaps even the right race/sex.

      And yes, this applies even more so in such wonderful liberal companies like facebook and google.

      The effect this has is detrimental, a good description is in Chomsky’s Manufacturing of Consent, where he talks about how journalists don’t make it to the big leagues without going through a funnel of liberal conditioning.

      • Joe Gilbertson

        If anyone is left to read this, here is a prime example of how google leave hiring of an engineering manager in the hands of and incompetent recruiting staff. Its funny even if you don’t understand the computer jargon. http://www.gwan.com/blog/20160405.html

        • frank stetson

          Funny Joe, you are not lying here….and you have proof…..what a difference….. :>)

          Working in the Fortune 100, I can attest to the weakness in HR hiring processes in big business. First, we were in a decades-worth of downsizing so often had to look internally or get approvals many levels up to go external. I came on board in the later case, so an outsider looking at all this for the first time.

          We had a HR screening process, with HR screeners, and while not as silly as your link, it was subpar at best. Being Frank, I used to say these HR folk were left over WWII equal-opportunity hires used to meet quota. Yeah, I keep trying to tell you, I am a centrist Democrat with many conservative values.

          My on-board guy was probably exactly that. While I can’t speak to his part in making EO quota, he certainly was WWII, black, and should have been fired. Here I was, young, a rube, coming from a rural state, a ten-person firm, life in the center of a 300-acre farm, entering an urban setting, 50,000 person company, and the best he could do was hand me a outdated book of rentals… My office moved before I got there and he didn’t update me. I arrived to an empty space, had to work some miles away, obviously was way late for my first day, and, of course, had already got accommodations based on the first address. Thank God we hadn’t bought the house yet. This many years later, it still memorably bad.

          I will say, on the other hand, when going overseas, HR magically got my Visa, arranged for my shots, bloodwork, whatever was needed (and they had a medical facility in house), gave me a life-saving med package, magically got me business-first tickets with my only asked for this place on this time, arrange all hotel, etc. Ah, those were the days when other people did all those things we have to point and click at today :>) Sometimes they did this stuff with 48-hours notice.

          For hiring, the HR guys would screen, give you a short list, and you could fire away. As I said, you know what I thought of those folks. I opted to upset a few HR types and request the full, unscreened, unedited, list which took some schmoozing to pull off. Then I made my own short list, in my inimitably street-smarts fashion, I called my own references that might know these folks, and shortened my short list shorter before I did the final interviews myself. HR did not like this, but deemed it better to let me slide rather than risk the stink of battle I might provide.

          Now, that was the 80’s; things got much better by the 90’s as we stopped downsizing, experienced rapid growth, and had many outside hires bringing new blood, less WWII, and many new ideas. But I can see where other large companies would fall into the process trap, where HR might not represent the best and the brightest, and where managers are forced to comply with funny things like you showed above. As I said, this was true in the 80’s and 90’s for my Fortune 100 company.

          Funny piece Joe, I bet folks have more.

    • larry Horist

      So Ben … your solution is to reduce the level of college educations by producing more jobs that do not require degrees and less that do. More McDonalds workers and fewer astrophysicists. Our international competitors would LOVE your idea. I am sticking to the idea that America is better off with the best educated population in the world. THAT should be the goal. Like Joe Gilbertson, I ran a small business for years and personally reviewed every job application. I looked as skill levels, references and salary demands — AND a lot of gut instinct. I was not looking for the best able worker as much as the person who would grow into the job. And since advancement in my business was limited, I would encourage them to move to better jobs in the future.

  7. Ben

    Larry, here is the post I was responding to. I guess that’s the problem with you radical righties, you take everything in a bubble as opposed to the whole context.

    Joe Gilbertson on January 4, 2022 at 2:22 pm
    That is a very good point. Our kids get brainwashed in the universities, and now they are starting to brainwash them when they go into the military, with all this “woke” stuff.

    So as you can see, I did not “make it up”

    Now, yes, 200 yrs ago, your grandson would not have been able to serve along side you…if you had served. Curious, which side would you have fought for? The conservative slave owners? Or the progressive abolitionists ?

    Regardless, my post stands true that the military is traditionally the leader in being woke and the civilian sector eventually follows suit.

    • frank stetson

      eh….I might go “government is the leader” but the military seems to lag the general trends of the Federal Government when it comes to being “woke.”

      I mean overt systemic racism class-marking blacks in secret in the 1940’s for WWII does not seem leader-like to me. I mean class-marking is one thing, but systemic is another, and in secret is pretty damned bad. Seems like they knew it was wrong, would seem wrong to many, so they did it and hid it at the same time.

      The fact that blacks were over represented in the Vietnam War probably due to income as well as race does not seem woke in the 60’s to 70’s. Over represented not being a good thing, at the same time I bet blacks were equally represented in most branches of the Federal Government, perhaps just not in upper management positions at that point.