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Mattnotda
California
BYU, Army, PhD at Kansas State, wife and 3 kids in the mean time.
Interests: Watching Romney kick the crap out of Obama in debates.
Recent Activity
God Speed, Gary Becker. You will be missed. The world would be a much better place if more people applied your analytical approach to potentially emotional issues. You may be gone, but I thank God above for the time he lent you to us.
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Reducing principal of student loans based on income will provide some pretty perverse incentives. Students should consider the cost of their education when deciding how much to borrow, or whether to go into that field at all. Income-contingent loans will both increase the cost of education in the fields that don't pay as well, and may well increase the number of people who go into those fields, further depressing pay in those fields.
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I agree that the relationship between a college education and higher income is not always causation, and that studies investigating the correlation between the two need to account for the effect of IQ and other factors. However, 1. While our potential IQ is genetic, the degree to which it is expressed depends on many things, including education and other mental stimulation. In short, a good education, both in college and earlier, will increase one's IQ. 2. Undoubtedly there are many people enrolling in college who should not. But I would not call this "excess enrollment", as there are also many people who do not utilize this opportunity, whether by choice or because of their circumstances. 3. Increased income from college depends largely on either acquiring marketable skills in college, or at least convincing someone that you did. Many of those in college are specializing in areas that will not translate into particularly marketable skills. This is going to depress the apparent benefit from a college education.
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You had me until you got to the 'safety net' thing. Yes, we do need a safety net, but as long as a democratically elected government runs the safety net, it will primarily be a means of buying votes.
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I have an idea. Since there is no way a large federal government can govern a nation of 315,000,000 people spread across 3,79,000 square miles, lets devise a system where the federal government is primarily responsible for defense, international trade and affairs, protecting rights, minting currency, and making sure states don't put up trade barriers. In fact, let's explicitly ban the federal government from doing anything else. Let's relegate all other such power to these individual entities called states, each of which will contain far less land, and far less population than the nation as a whole!!!! Oh wait; I guess that's what the constitution was supposed to do.
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Hey Jack, the "Affordable Care Act" actually helps trap me in my job. I would love to be an independent contractor, but since the affordable care act has basically destroyed the individual insurance market in California, the hurdles to my dreams have gotten a whole lot higher. The reason people have been trapped in their current jobs via pre-existing conditions is that health care was ever attached to employers in the first place.
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Higher marginal tax rates may not have much impact on the work performed by high income employees, but I believe that it will have a substantial effect on high earning small business owners. Business formation and expansion entail risk. Increasing marginal tax rates reduces return on investment, while arguably increasing risk simultaneously. This is a disincentive to job creation. The impact of raising tax rates on these small employers is disproportionately large compared to the fraction of high earners they represent.
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I believe you have cause and effect mixed up a bit when you conclude that education leads to more stable marriages and fewer out of wedlock births. Kids who have kids of their own are not typically the kids that will pursue a higher education, or make for long term marriage partners. As for the need for more affordable child care, one would assume that if both parents are working in good careers, they should be able to afford child care, which would give career women the opportunity to have more children. Unfortunately there is this thing called a progressive income tax. If both husband and wife are working, that extra income from the second salary is taxed at a much higher rate than the first income, especially when you consider the tax breaks 'used up' on the first salary. This isn't the only additional expense, and loss of efficiency on a 2 wage earner household, but it is a big one.
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I don't think the key is to spend more on education. We do need to be a lot better at spending it wisely. It's absurd that what we invest in a child's education depends so much on what zip code the child lives in. Of course if we were spending less on pensions for people retiring in their mid 50's, we would have a lot more resources for education.
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I disagree strongly with the notion of tying loan repayment to income. There are already too many students majoring in areas with a very limited job market. This, of course, is a big part of the reason many students are unable to pay back their loans. Students need to think about how exactly they are going to make a living with whatever skills they are acquiring. This includes a fall back option, such as for history and English majors who hope to teach, but may not find a job due to education cutbacks, or an overabundance of people in their fields hoping to teach. If there is serious doubt about a student being able to pay back a student loan in a given career, perhaps he should choose a different career.
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Oct 15, 2012