My thoughts on student debt and the status quo
Let me precursor this post by stating that I went to a private university and graduated with a bachelors degree in business so I am by no means against higher education. In fact I think that it is very important for countries to invest in their future world leaders because we will one day be governed by today’s youth.
There is an undeniable looming crisis in higher education and nobody is talking about it. We have a systemic belief that a college degree is the ticket for reaching prosperity but we’re ignoring the fact it’s leaving millions of people with crippling debt. Universities keep raising tuition rates and banks keep handing out loans. It’s the perfect storm.
It doesn’t take an economist to see there is an issue when student debt far surpasses the average annual income. What’s extremely concerning is how there is no scrutinization in the world of underwriting student loans. An 18 year old wants to take on a massive debt without any income verification or any proof of being able to pay back that note? No problem. A 25 year old wants to take out a loan to start up a business. Eh, tough shit.
How do you spot a bubble? Take 1.5 trillion in debt and then spin a scary narrative. Borrowers are going to start defaulting on loans when they realize they can’t repay their $100k debt off of a Biblical studies degree. The majority of Americans are so burdened by financial debt that there’s no room left in their budget to spend money on products to keep the economy churning. If there was a way to build a credit-default swap and short the student debt I would double down. We’re in serious trouble.
So on that positive note, why are millions of young Americans still signing themselves up for this misery? I was actually one of them so let’s dive into it. I graduated with about $50k in debt and started my first 9-5 job underwriting MCA loans at a financial firm. I quickly realized this wasn’t going to cut it so I took on 2 other side hustles just to get by. Within 8 months I pulled the plug on my career and decided to waitress/bartend full time until I could figure out what the fuck I’m going to do. I didn’t let emotion interrupt logic and it was the best decision I ever made. I knew I wasn’t going to settle for the false blanket of “security” these jobs promise you. I wanted financial freedom and knew I had to go all in. “Burn the ships!” as Cortés said.
Here’s the deal. I think if you’re going to school to become a doctor, lawyer or some specific trade where the ROI warrants the investment- DO IT. But if you’re going to school to get a business degree or some other bullshit degree, maybe reconsider. It’s 2019 and we have an advantage presented to us that has never been seen before. You no longer need to spend obscene amounts of money to get a degree because the startup costs to pursuing your dream may be $0. You want to get into broadcasting? Great. Go start a channel. Want to start a yoga mat business? Great. Build your brand on social media. See where I am going with this? The internet is your oyster!
If you are not leveraging social media platforms you are severely missing out on some big opportunity. I don’t care what your line of work is, if you are not branding yourself or your business in this day in age you will get out-executed by your competition. For someone in real estate who is complaining about sites like Redfin slicing their margins because of automation, you need to get more creative with how you do business. We are currently living through one of the most pivotal times in history that hasn’t been seen in decades. We are shifting from brick-and-mortar to click-and-order. Instant gratification.
In my next post I am going to discuss some companies that are absolutely CRUSHING IT in today’s market because of their genius marketing- and I mean genius. I think you’ll extract a lot of value from it that you can apply and fit into your own mold.
As always, thanks for coming by!