ROMNEY WORDSWORTH – To all those High School Seniors out there working on their college application essays, please stop until you read this article!
There was a time, actually not too long ago (1940’s and earlier), when colleges were few. In 1901 America had fewer than a thousand colleges, with a combined enrollment of about 160,000 students. The 1920’s and 1930’s added hundreds of Junior Colleges
(later renamed community colleges), about 440 with a combined enrollment of some 70,000 students.
In 1940, only 5% of men had gone to college. It was the playground of the Idle Rich. In 1944 Congress passed the G.I. Bill, kicking off the creation of our current Government-Education Industrial Sized Complex. Today there are approximately 7,234 colleges and universities of all types. For the American Middle Class, going to college is nothing special. It is expected of you, like going to high school. But is it a good idea for you, or for the country?
The Collegiate Class of 2014 will be the most indebted in history, with an average per pupil debt load of $35,000. The Class of 2014 will also have the distinction of having the greatest amount of joblessness and unemployment in American history…at least until the statistics are available for the Class of 2015, when they will doubtless inherit the same dubious distinction. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014-2015 school year was $31,231 at private colleges, $9,139 for state residents (and illegal aliens) at public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. If you want to go for the Brass Ring of an Ivy League education, the cost of tuition rises to $49,069 for Princeton, $52,650 for Harvard, $52,700 for Yale, $53,136 for Brown, $53,976 for Penn, $54,645 for Cornell, $55,365 for Dartmouth, and Columbia holds the title of Most Expensive, at…well, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Just remember that these figures don’t even include the costs of food and housing, which brings the tab up to the $60,000+ range.
All told, a college education will run you, on average, between $120,000 to $300,000. But is this a good investment?
In the Land of Obama, it’s considered a good month if the economy manages to produce 200,000 new jobs (the accounting, of course, being highly suspect). But when you divide that by 50 states that works out to a paltry 4,000 jobs a month. That doesn’t include the number of full time jobs that were eliminated and turned into two part time jobs in order for employers to get around Obamacare mandates, which the Regime counts as a net gain of one job. Think about how many High Schools are in your state. Multiply that by the average class size (anywhere from 200 to 1600) and you start to realize how badly America is falling behind in job creation, and why there are 94 MILLION working age Americans who are unemployed.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Wouldn’t it be better for you, and for the country, if the Federal Government gave out loans to High School graduates to start their own businesses, instead of going into debt and face the grim job prospects that exist today?
The cost to purchase a Franchise in an existing business chain would be comparable in price. According to the website FranchiseGator.com, the cash required to buy into a franchise and open a store is about the same as what students are taking out in student loan debt these days. Consider the costs to open these businesses:
Home Based Franchise. Cash required: $1,000-$5,000
U-Turn Vending. Cash required: $20,000. Become a Vending Machine King.
ServiceMaster Clean. Cash required: $40,000.
Liberty Tax Service. Cash required: $50,000 and it includes training in tax preparation.
AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. Cash required: $50,000.
MaidPro. Cash required: $50,000.
Kumon Learning Center. Cash required: $70,000.
LaVida Massage. Cash required: $80,000.
Dollar Store. Cash required: $100,000.
Domino’s Pizza. Cash required: $120,000.
Johnny Rockets Restaurant. Cash required: $200,000.
Koko Fitness Club. Cash required: $200,000.
McDonalds Restaurant. Cash required: $1,000,000.
Dunkin Donut. Cash required: $1.5m
These figures include the cost of the franchise fee, which can be hefty ($45,000 for McDonalds and $75,000 for Dunkin Donuts) or cheap ($1,000 for Kumon) and other estimated startup costs like commercial space rent, equipment, employee payroll, and the like. Costs can vary greatly depending on what state and area of the country you set up your business in. The national average for renting commercial office space is $23.23 per square foot, but, again, this varies widely across the country. This is far from an exhaustive list, but is illustrative.
This doesn’t include non-franchise options, like buying an existing Liquor Store or Coin Op Laundromat, which will run you $20,000-$50,000.
Sure, there will be a percentage of those whose businesses fail. But we already have plenty of students who fail to get jobs, and who fail to pay back their student loans. The average default rate on student loans was 13.7% as of September 2014.
Do you need a Business Degree to run a business? NO! Historically, most businesses have been owned by Tradesmen and Entrepreneurs who have not gone to college at all.
Are there careers that require a college degree? Sure there are! But it ought to be obvious to everyone by now that we have too many college degree holders chasing too few such careers. There simply aren’t enough of those types of jobs to go around.
So instead of a system where our young people are taking on $100,000 in debt and end up with a part time job pouring coffee, we could have a system where the government helps our young people to own their own business, which provides them with not just a job, but a career. Plus, it would create jobs for others, and it would set the fledgling business owners on the road to financial independence! Consumer demand would be boosted, strengthening the economy on the whole.
You can guess, of course, why your government doesn’t want such a system, and why they prefer a system that shackles you at the beginning of your adult life with a mountain of debt. The last thing the government bureaucrat statists want is a world filled with wealthy, financially independent citizens. Such citizens would have no need for a bloated welfare state that bribes you with crumbs.