Green Room

Video: Let’s talk to America’s college graduates on Bourbon Street

posted at 4:16 pm on November 16, 2012 by

Friday fun from Peter Schiff, on location in New Orleans to help answer the question of what $26,600 in debt buys you these days. Note to self: Organize similar man-on-the-street features for Hot Air with passersby in Vegas, Miami, and Honolulu.

Fish in a barrel here, my friends. Drunk fish, in a barrel full of whiskey.

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Vast majority are liberal arts students which is expected… but I am surprised to see a couple of guys with engineering degrees working at these places…

mnjg on November 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Thanks for the screen grab on the embedded video, AP. I don’t even need to push play…

change is for suckers on November 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I am surprised to see a couple of guys with engineering degrees working at these places…

mnjg on November 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Don’t know why you’d be surprised. Engineers can only engineer things that need to be built. Weak economies and lack of investment capital need less design work. Heck, most engineers I know (including me) no longer do any engineering. We work more with logistics, planning, project controls, budgeting, etc.

Hootie on November 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

The next obvious question would be “Did you vote for Obama?” But we already know how most would’ve answered.

Mark1971 on November 16, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I bet 70% + voted for Obama twice or didn’t vote at all.

dgarone on November 16, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Why shouldnt they vote for Obama? As pointed out here on the site, Obama at least dangles the carrot of student loan forgiveness for these people.

These people went to college because the government, society, everyone told them to. They majored in non-practical things, again, because everyone said it didn’t matter what you majored in, it was the degree that mattered. The fact that there are no jobs for them isn’t really their fault is it? I respect these people for working in jobs that all those Occupy folks would never take because the jobs would be too ‘demeaning’.

I have a ton of student loans, too. If the Democrats actually pushed hard for student loan reform to allow for bankruptcy or debt forgiveness of people who couldn’t get jobs, a lot of people would be perfectly justified in switching sides to vote democrat.

All the people who stupidly and greedily gambled on the housing market and lost got to walk away from their homes (at least in California) without anything but a ding on their credit. Even if you can’t walk away from your home, like in Nevada, you can still bankrupt out. People who went to school were NOT being greedy, they were actually doing homework, papers, and tests in order to make something of themselves. They were doing what they were supposed to do and they got punished for it with crushing debt and nothing worthwhile in return.

We should let those people, at a minimum, bankrupt out of their student loan debt.

kaltes on November 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on November 16, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Sorry kaltes, but you should blame those who made the trap that you now find yourselve in. It is the Democratic Party that shoveled out the loans that you now find your self trapped in. They are the ones that created the law that you now find yourself trapped in. It wasn’t Bain Capital or the Republican party that signed your name on the bottom line. You rolled in the feces, now live in it!!!!

wukong on November 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Not all Liberal Arts students are equal. Most of the people in this video look like they belong where they are. Even though I am a Philosophy major, I have taken many courses in other areas ( Accounting, Econ, Fin etc). It’s not what you major in that really matters in the big scheme of things, but who you are and your ability to adopt and learn.

aebloo on November 16, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I dunno, I think driving one of those bike taxis would be a fun job and a great way to stay in shape. Pay probably sucks though.

Ars Moriendi on November 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM

It’s not what you major in that really matters in the big scheme of things, but who you are and your ability to adopt and learn.

aebloo on November 16, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I used to see people with the Mohawk in the 80′s and think how is that job interview going to go.

Same with these people. On top of thinking they could major in anything and there was a job waiting the women with tattoos especially would never interview better than the new crop of college graduates. One thing the libreals don’t tell these people is diversity isn’t a plus in an interview. Looking or acting bizarre gets your resume in the trash can.

Conan on November 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

What a load of losers. Obama voters, every single one…if they bothered to vote at all.

AUINSC on November 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

One thing the libreals don’t tell these people is diversity isn’t a plus in an interview. Looking or acting bizarre gets your resume in the trash can.

Conan on November 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

It depends on the employer and how diverse you’re talking.

If you look completely freakish then I agree with you 100%.

But companies have for a while faced up to the reality that they can’t expect 90% of their employees to be white-bread Beaver Cleavers.

MelonCollie on November 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

You rolled in the feces, now live in it!!!!

wukong on November 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM

You are ignorant. Student loan programs were voted in by large majorities, including republicans.

I am not “trapped” by anything, but the people in that video certainly are, aren’t they? Did I say, in my comment, that *I* have student loans and no job? I did not. Maybe if you went to college like the people in that video, you’d know how to read.

kaltes on November 16, 2012 at 7:24 PM

So, I graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics with a little over $5,000 in debit that I payed off the following year with the job I got with that degree.
However, I am now paying off the $35,000 my wife racked up with a useless Sociology degree. And her car loan.

Count to 10 on November 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

So, I graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics with a little over $5,000 in debit that I payed off the following year with the job I got with that degree.
However, I am now paying off the $35,000 my wife racked up with a useless Sociology degree. And her car loan.

Count to 10 on November 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

First question, why you paying it,they are hers not yours. Second,sounds like you’re not so happy with the wife? Oy

aebloo on November 16, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I majored in English Literature and graduated from college way back in 1965. In those days, many companies would hire college graduates not because their major was of direct use to the company but because your having a college degree in any subject showed you were someone who had intelligence and worked hard.

Hermeticus on November 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

My daughter was just accepted to a very prestigious college ($59,000/yr). I am making sure she watches this. By the way, do not be a dope like me and save the money for college, you will not get a dime of retail.

flyoverland on November 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I would have liked to know where exactly these shining lights went to get their degrees.

Cornell Conservative on November 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM

It did not seem like they were all that disappointed with their lots. Maybe bouncing at a titty bar in the French Quarter is a stress-free life. Sleep in, cash tips. It beats 3rd shift at a metal bending factory.

Ted Torgerson on November 16, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Hmmm…sure were a lot of Americans doing those jobs that Americans allegedly won’t do.

xblade on November 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Having lived in Santa Cruz for a long time, I recognize this type. Well educated, they have trouble making enough to break out of living with roommates. So, they live an extended adolescence, unable to marry and have children. If the women have children at all, it’s usually as single mothers, which they see as heroic. It’s hard to break out of this situation in a society that doesn’t really have the position for which they trained you —that you’re of much lower value than you were led to believe.

claudius on November 17, 2012 at 2:51 AM

They all looked happy, so don’t knock it.

Blake on November 17, 2012 at 8:45 AM

We should let those people, at a minimum, bankrupt out of their student loan debt.

kaltes on November 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

You do realize most student loans anymore are FEDERALLY subsidized?
This will be the housing market bust. Only I’m pretty sure the numbers will be larger.
I have federally subsidized loans. I was in hock $50,000 after 7 years of college.
And I am paying them back, though it’s difficult sometimes.
ONe must wear their big boy/girl pants & suck it up.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

You should watch the video he links inside that video. It explains the vicious cycle.

College is costly, but doable with hard work.

To get a loan for college, you need to convince the bank what you’re learning will allow you to pay it back.

Legislators say “That’s no good, let’s guarantee the loans and make the banks give loans of nearly any amount no matter the degree being earned, even art!’

Colleges say “Really, they can get a loan for any amount even if their degree is going to be from a hippie art deparment? We can build new buildings and add all kinds of courses!”

Colleges raise their tuition at WAY faster rates than inflation, because students can just get more loans!

Students go into degrees that sound cool, interesting, hip, etc. taking out massive loans with no advice from the school that those majors will lead to jobs that include a bike taxi in New Orleans. Because the schools just want the cash, they don’t care about the product.

When guaranteed school loans and government grants pumped money into the system, students stopped caring about the result of their schooling, because they no longer needed to in order to get loans to go to school. Once students stopped caring, and the money became easy, colleges stopped caring and became focused on providing the crap students want.

Combine that with the false cultural narrative that if you aren’t aiming for college, you are aren’t aiming high enough, and you get what we have today: A bunch of young Americans with useless degrees and no understanding of what America is about who expect America to provide jobs to match their interests.

PastorJon on November 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I’ve been told that the reason college is being pushed on the young the way it is is because businesses are not allowed to test applicants anymore as part of the application process. So business use a college degree as a way of culling out applicants. College is a VERY expensive job application.

Orson Welles once said that his father told him to go to college because it taught you haw to show up on time and get work in on time. I didn’t go, he said, and was never able to show up or get work done on time.

IdrilofGondolin on November 17, 2012 at 9:59 AM

PastorJon on November 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Well said.
And what you explained can be said for why health care is so expensive right now.
We are giving these places a blank check.
WTH else does one expect when you give most people a blank check?

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM

So business use a college degree as a way of culling out applicants.

IdrilofGondolin on November 17, 2012 at 9:59 AM

And notice the kinds of people who can get engineering degrees now.
Smart enough to pass engineering physics does not equate to being competent.
So this isn’t working, either.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM

A lot of this will depend on where that degree came from. The US has a huge number of ‘higher education’ facilities.

A degree in English from Harvard is more marketable than a degree in “Engineering” from Evergreen College.

And as for 22 year olds doing MBAs, that is really a joke. And when it comes to MBAs 90% of the of its marketability and usbility is where you went to school.

CorporatePiggy on November 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM

the trend in nursing is you are now required to have a 4 year degree, there is no need for it but nursing assoc are pushing for it. You could get an 2 year associate-degree for alot cheaper at a community college. If you have an associate-degree the Hospitals are telling you that you must got back and get your BSN within 5 years. The Hospitals will have tuition reimbursement but there is no real need to go back to school.

Patricksp on November 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The Ohio Nurses Association would support passage of a bill that would require all new nurses licensed in Ohio to also have a bachelor’s degree in nursing within 10 years.

Patricksp on November 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Patricksp on November 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

You must be talking LPNs.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Guess times have changed. I went back to college at 25 and worked my way through it. UPS, worked for the university, delivered newspapers and anything else I could find along the way. Crammed a four year civil engineering degree into five years and was working full time during the last semester. After about 10 years started a consulting business with a credit card. Never been without work since.

Paid for two kids college degrees in engineering, math/computer science. Both kids have always worked as well. From what I can we must be doing it wrong.

DanMan on November 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The Ohio Nurses Association would support passage of a bill that would require all new nurses licensed in Ohio to also have a bachelor’s degree in nursing within 10 years.

Patricksp on November 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

They’ve been pushing that in CA for over 25 years. It doesn’t work. Most nurses see no reason to obtain a BSN, do the same work, and get paid an additional $300 a year. In fact UCSF were pushing the meme that they wanted nurses who who had masters. Epic fail. Some of the best nurses I have seen were the LPNs who worked at Highland Hospital, the county hospital and trauma center in Oakland, CA.

All these nurse associations are akin to SEIU — truly a bunch of leftys. Blech.

Blake on November 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

All these nurse associations are akin to SEIU — truly a bunch of leftys. Blech.

Blake on November 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Similar things happened in public screwl.
‘Highly qualified’ they called it. Meaning to teach physics, I would have had to have a full flow physics major in my degree.
Like nursing, it doesn’t take you needing an expert degree to teach kids a subject. I’ve known tons of highly knowledgeable & competent teachers without majors in subjects they are teaching who are far better than a person with that exact major.
I’ve had 3 official college physics classes.
But all of my geology classes involved physics in various ways.
But they were never counted.
So I’m just ‘barely’ qualified to teach physics only bcs of that.
Certification in all fields I have noticed tends to be mostly bull$hit.
Just another reason to pay a fee to some agency for a piece of paper that doesn’t physically give you any more skill.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Students go into degrees that sound cool, interesting, hip, etc. taking out massive loans with no advice from the school that those majors will lead to jobs that include a bike taxi in New Orleans. Because the schools just want the cash, they don’t care about the product.

I hear what you’re saying but don’t forget the parent responsibility. At some point the parents must guide their child out of foolhardy decisions, especially of this magnitude. If the parents don’t do this, then they’ve failed at their job. Just sayin’.

visions on November 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

If the parents don’t do this, then they’ve failed at their job. Just sayin’.

visions on November 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I still have the majority of parents to the kids I teach think college is a must for everybody.
I’m trying to change that by offering alternatives like tech schools etc.
Plus I’m also breaking out the ammo by having kids look at job demand per profession, graduate vs experience requirements & how much $$ it costs for a college education & how long it takes someone to recoup their costs for that vs other professions.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

That’s a sensible approach but isn’t there still a glass ceiling for those without some kind of degree?

At my age no one gives a rip about my degrees but they were key to that first step on the ladder of corporate porcine activity.

CorporatePiggy on November 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM

All the children are above average!

claudius on November 17, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Free market principles apply to college diplomas just as they do, or should, to everything else.

The more you produce of something, without an increase in demand, the less it is worth on the market. In this case, making it easier and easier (at least until it is time to repay the loans that make attending college “easy”) to obtain a college degree makes a college degree worth less.

The solution to the problem of people with $30,000, $60,000, or $100,000+ in college loan debt working as barristas is not “making sure everyone can go to college”, as Obama claims; it is reducing the number of people, or rather the proportion of the population, going to college in the first place.

Of course, the progressive fortress of academia will never allow their indoctrination centers to lose influence, much less allow their tenure-track gravy trains to derail, so look for the Democratic Party to make college “more obtainable for everyone” by hook or by crook.

MidniteRambler on November 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM

to help answer the question of what $26,600 in debt buys you these days.

So, what’s the ongoing message here? All forms of education above the equivalent of the sixth grade being taught by your parents at home with a McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader, a Holy Bible and a shovel with charcoal to write ciphers and letters with is silly and a waste of time?

Actually, that may not be a bad idea. Civilization (which is defined by Liberal social “scientists” anyway) is overrated and society is nothing but a thin veneer barely veiling our collective greed and oft-confessed/forgiven immorality.

Perhaps some kind of theocratic hybrid of anarchic Capitalism is indeed the way to go.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

A+ for going bongos on that post.

Never seen you post before but that is some grade A crazy you crammed into a few paragraphs.

CorporatePiggy on November 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM

It’s no shock there are engineers on Bourbon street. Half the graduating class of engineers at nearby Clemson can’t find work, either. I know one recently minted ME from Clemson who is literally bagging groceries and living with his parents still.

Some of this has to do with GPA – if you are a genius, you’ll stand out in many ways that will get you one of the few jobs left. If you’re a run-of-the-mill engineer who should probably be working as a mechanic, you will end up on the street.I also know a whole bunch of MEs who went to work in HVAC and are now laid off.

As someone upthread said: when the economy is in the shitter, there is no need for engineers anymore. Nobody is innovating, nobody is building, nobody is doing sh*t

CambellBrown on November 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

We should let those people, at a minimum, bankrupt out of their student loan debt.

kaltes on November 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Perhaps we should re think the universities that charge so much for that education and give worthless real world degrees for huge amounts of money. There is a mad scramble for the lowly 2 year RN degree in my area because there is at least some promise of a job somewhere. The colleges are behind the times, and are pillaging the pocket book. And brainwashing the youth with all the liberal garbage. They caused this bubble, let them bail out the kids.

wi farmgirl on November 17, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The solution to the problem of people with $30,000, $60,000, or $100,000+ in college loan debt working as barristas is not “making sure everyone can go to college”, as Obama claims; it is reducing the number of people, or rather the proportion of the population, going to college in the first place.

Of course, the progressive fortress of academia will never allow their indoctrination centers to lose influence, much less allow their tenure-track gravy trains to derail, so look for the Democratic Party to make college “more obtainable for everyone” by hook or by crook.

MidniteRambler on November 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Exactly!

wi farmgirl on November 17, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Never seen you post before

CorporatePiggy on November 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM

So much for your powers of observation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM

The solution to the problem of people with $30,000, $60,000, or $100,000+ in college loan debt working as barristas is not “making sure everyone can go to college”, as Obama claims; it is reducing the number of people, or rather the proportion of the population, going to college in the first place.

MidniteRambler on November 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM

No, the solution is to stop government subsidization of worthless majors pay off the government’s investment in higher education via higher taxes over the rest of the college graduate’s lifetime. The feds essentially pay for women’s studies and sociology majors. It should be the opposite. Tuition for arts and crafts majors should be subsidizing STEM and business majors, who are the ones who will be paying all the bills in the long run.

blammm on November 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM

The solution to the problem of people with $30,000, $60,000, or $100,000+ in college loan debt working as barristas is not “making sure everyone can go to college”, as Obama claims; it is reducing the number of people, or rather the proportion of the population, going to college in the first place.

MidniteRambler on November 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM

I meant:

No, the solution is to stop government subsidization of worthless majors and encourage majors in fields that pay back their government investment via higher tax revenues over the rest of the college graduate’s lifetime. The feds essentially pay for women’s studies and sociology majors. It should be the opposite. Tuition for arts and crafts majors should be subsidizing STEM and business majors, who are the ones who will be paying all the bills in the long run.

blammm on November 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I dunno, I think driving one of those bike taxis would be a fun job and a great way to stay in shape. Pay probably sucks though.

Ars Moriendi on November 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Never underestimate the value of tips from loads of drunken clients…

climbnjump on November 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

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