College Debt and Gentrification
Raise your hand if you can’t buy a house
in the neighborhood you were raised in.
Raise your hand if you don’t have health care.
In his new book, Daniel Brook discusses how all of these
issues are intertwined and are disproportionately
affecting young college graduates and the middle class.
Daniels general premise is that 25 year olds, living Brooklyn,
San Francisco and Los Angeles are graduating with
$100K worth of debt , and consequently are choosing to
work in finance instead of public service because they
need to eat and pay off debt.
He goes on to say, that if they founding fathers, based this country
on rebelling against the British Aristocracy, then a system
that forces our best and brightest, especially those that are low
income and poor, to become investment bankers, then
we have lost. This flies in the face of what America’s original
purpose and vision.
To me, it just rings of the Systematic Removal of the
Middle Class from the Cities.
So much of what we see with the inability to
raise a family middle class in the city was brought to us
by Ronald Reagan. He killed unions, de-funded the Legal Services,
under-taxed the hyper affluent and deliberately underfunded
government positions so so that our best minds would
be more inclined to join private industry instead rather than
serve the public.
The Freddie’s of the World shouldn’t be turned into
Alex P. Keaton’s in order to remain living in the city.
The issues crystallize when he focuses on the
challenged facing college graduates and young
families such as exorbitant rent/housing costs,
health care, child care, egregiously low minimum wage.
For the record Bill Clinton continued these policies.
” Most American don’t connect tax cuts that favor the rich to the countries
growing inequality…because no one- that is the Democratic Party
is not making the point.”
One of the first thing President Reagan did was publicly disable
the air traffic controllers union. Wiki provides the short explanation
Only a short time into his administration Federal air traffic controllers went on strike, violating a regulation prohibiting Government unions from striking. Declaring the situation an emergency as described in the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, Reagan held a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, where he stated that if the air traffic controllers “do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated”. On August 3, 1981, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order to return to work, breaking the union.
It hasn’t always been this way. FDR believed in progressive taxation.
FDR instituted the first minimum wage.
As a result this country experienced some of its most broadly
share prosperity ever seen by this country.
Think about it. Six figure family education/housing debt is a recent
phenomenon. Similarly, the notion of the double digit college
tuition is a post Regan phenomenon.
Daniels rational is that university Board of
Trustees, who set tuition standards, are wealthy,
so they don’t see why students would be unable to
afford $35-$50K per year.
With this context, the move to offer more
financial aide to Harvard students
whose parents make less than $150K
per year makes sense.
$150K is the new $75K.
Six Figure College Debt.
Young people making career decisions based on
whether they will have healthcare.
Assets (Housing, Stocks) being taxed at 15% while
wages (our bi-weekly pay checks) are taxed at 28%.
(The above stated tax info is crude, but peep Warren Buffet,
he speaks on it as well).
What part of the game is that?
Priced out of the Mission, Harlem and Forte Green.
It will take a visionary leader to address this. Our cities
and the future of our country depends on it.