As we move into the fifth year of this most recent global economic crisis, much has been written about the criminality of the banking community, sovereign debt, and the impacts of austerity measures, but that is just part of the story. To really understand the “whole of it” you also have to look at food prices, the escalating health care system delivery costs, and finally and most disturbing the cost of higher education. All of these sectors have been usurped by a “corporate’ for profit mindset and are totally out of control.
Since the collapse of 2008, speculators have moved into the commodities sector and food prices have escalated out of control, essentially because there is NO control. The prices of all key staples increased, except for rice.Maize prices increased by 9%, soybean oil by 7%, wheat (U.S. HRW) by 6%, and sugar (world) by 5% just this last year. These price variations were the largest increases observed since June and July of 2011. The price of rice (Thai, 5%) declined in the same period by 6%, adding to the price decline of 2% observed in the fourth quarter of 2011. Both abundant supply and strong competition among exporters have caused the international price of rice to decline. Although food production outlooks remain strong for 2012/13, there is a global food crisis. Why? Profiteers plain and simple.
Twenty years ago U.S. healthcare cost $2800, on average, per person. Ten years ago, that figure had risen to $4700 per person. And four years ago, in 2008, it was $7500 per person. The cost to cover the typical family of four under an employer plan is expected to top $20,000 on health care this year, up more than 7% from last year. These health care cost increases have increased the number of people dying because of a lack of access to health care and has resulted in a substantial increase in personal bankruptcies, especially among retired people. Not only is there no controls over these costs, the government has essentially prohibited competition by restricting large governmental providers from even negotiating more competitive costs.
But nowhere is the lack of control more apparent that in the cost of higher education. This month information was released regarding consumer credit growth. Most of the headlines took this as positive economic news but digging deeper into the data we realize that the bulk of the growth came courtesy of exploding student debt. Even with the encyclopedia amount of data showing how horribly run many for-profit colleges are run, the government continues to back these risky endeavors while saddling young Americans with unrelenting levels of debt. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the predatory nature of these operations just like it was easy to see subprime loans were going to end badly. So why continue to allow this to go on? Why is the system so adamant on continuing to pour layer upon layer of student debt syrup onto the younger segment of our nation that is already struggling in the employment market?
A recent University of Georgia study is sobering in its findings. When comparing the UG tuition escalations to other higher institutions here are their findings:
The average 10-year increase in tuition and fees for residents was 111%. The University of Georgia’s increase was 156%, 3rd highest out of 13 institutions.
The largest increase occurred at University of Arizona (231%), University of California-Davis (185%), and University of Georgia (156%).
The lowest increases were at University of Maryland (58%), Louisiana State University (65%), and University of Missouri (85%).
Over the past 5 years the University of Georgia has had the highest increase (89%), followed by University of Arizona (83%), and University of California-Davis (75%).
Over the past 5 years University of Maryland has had the lowest increase (8%), followed by Ohio State University (17%), and University of Missouri (22%).
The average 10-year increase in tuition and fees for non-residents was 94%. The University of Georgia’s increase was 138%, 2nd highest out of 13 institutions.
The largest increases occurred at University of Florida (163%), University of Georgia (138%), and University of Arizona (138%).
The lowest increases were at North Carolina State University (43%), University of Missouri (58%), and University of Kentucky and Iowa State University with an increase of 72% each.
Over the past 5 years University of Arizona has had the highest increase (80%), followed by University of Georgia (60%) and University of Florida (59%).
Over the past 5 years North Carolina State University has had the lowest increase (15%), followed by Iowa State University (18%) and Ohio State University (22%).
How much debt have we loaded onto the backs of our youth and young developing professionals who are the essential elements to stimulating our economy? It’s this big:
How out of whack is this really? Consider this fact, the total combined GDP growth in the US from 2008 until 2011 was a mere 2.7% TOTAL!
When you wonder why the global economy is imploding, that there is 25% percent unemployment of the educated technically capable young productive people, and why there are riots bursting forth in every developed country on the planet, remember these facts. A global oligarchy has usurped and trumped government and now believes they can complete a global economic enslavement plan. If you don’t see this you are blind and in denial. If we do not unite soon, this is a fait accompli and you will have to explain to your grandchildren why we didn’t do anything to prevent their bondage. You up for that?