Why The Conservative Movement Is Becoming Irrelevant. (Meme watch – us poor folk should be grateful Mitt Romney has eleven houses or whatever)

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Do you want to know why the Conservative Republican Party is marching toward irrelevance? This statement from a January 4th article captures a snap-shot of their state of mind:

“The truth is that income inequality is of minimal importance in a nation like America, where so many people already move between classes, where the poor are doing so much better than they used to, and where our poor already do so well compared to the rest of the world.”

To prove this is true, they say:

“Among children from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, 84 percent of those who go on to get a college degree will escape the bottom fifth, and 19 percent will make it all the way to the top fifth.”

That’s a quote from Rich Lowry in The National Review. That article provides no links to statistics to try and prove those numbers are true. Further, if a whopping 19% do escape and enter the top fifth, that means that a real whopping 81 % FAIL to scrape into the top fifth percent!

My God! That’s a horrible failure ratio! This is what you’re touting as a wonderful societal structure????

But it gets worse. Going to college means getting yourself into tons of debt. And that means the very real possibility of being in that 81% and not having a great job but still being responsible for paying back the massive amounts of student loans for an education you can’t use. The original article appeared on Townhall.com. Glenn Reynolds, a lawyer and a long-time member of the Townhall team who blogs as Instapundit, maybe an original member, has been documenting a subsegment of the economic system that has experienced just such a problem, the overflow of lawyers and the what he calls the “higher education bubble“. Here is but one example of an Instapundit headline:

“December 15, 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: “I consider law school a waste of my life and an extraordinary waste of money.”

This is a very real phenomenon. I know. I’m a member of the higher education bubble generation. Instapundit / Glenn Reynolds usually concentrates on the law profession and law schools, but this phenomenon goes across the board. There are many more college graduates than there are jobs for them. Town Hall author John Hawkins, National reviews Rich Lowry are clearly living in the past:

“In the 1980s and 1990s, the demand for college graduates started booming, especially in the lead-up to the tech boom, said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia who has studied this trend. Wages grew and a college education paid off.

But when the tech bubble burst, the economy was left with an oversupply of college graduates. Some went into industries related to housing or finance, and then the recession wiped out those jobs. No industry has emerged to employ all the people who got college degrees in that time, he said.

As more college graduates have flooded the market, employers are able to offer lower wages. The earnings of college grads have fallen about 13% in the last decade, according to Drexel University economist Paul Harrington.

The Conservative writers, who routinely espouse this philosophy as matter of fact and some sort of natural law, seem to have no idea what is happening in the real world. Further, they never tell you what the

Further, what is the difference between the top and bottom fifth, and the middle?

Here is what that looked like before Republican President George W Bush left office in 2007.

Here is another chart, which displays the dollar amount that each of the fifth made in 2007 (source).

Here is what the chart of fifths looked like as of April of 2013.

Note that the flat line trend started long before Obama “destroyed” the US economy with his socialism and and Marxist policies.

As of 2011, the median income level, which is the income of half of the US population, is at $50,000 dollars (source).

Here is the chart of cost of going to college up to 2008.

The trend hasn’t reversed itself in the five years since that chart was printed.

So, not only has the pay rate of those in the lowest fifth remained stagnant, but that holds true in the second and third fifth as well. Yet the cost of college, the thing that is supposed to save everyone, along with medical and other cost, have greatly increased. And now, after the great recession, many professions, like that of the lawyer, just doesn’t have enough jobs to provide for all the people who are part of the 81 %, who finish college with a degree but don’t have a good paying job to pay the debt load of that education,  I have no clue how this statement:

“The truth is that income inequality is of minimal importance in a nation like America, where so many people already move between classes, where the poor are doing so much better than they used to, and where our poor already do so well compared to the rest of the world.“Among children from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, 84 percent of those who go on to get a college degree will escape the bottom fifth, and 19 percent will make it all the way to the top fifth.”

Makes any sense or is very comforting at all. This party has morphed into a caricature of Herbert Hoover, a man who’s ideology left him completely unable to deal with the massive problems he faced.

PS. And what is happening even as we speak? This very model of prosperity is the exact model we are following. You have more and more young adults trying to go to college, pressured by a society that has insisted and insured that you won’t get a descent job if you don’t. Since college is expensive and many families can’t pay for their education, the student have to take out loans. Many of those students don’t even finish which means that they can’t pay them back. As we have seen via the very statistics that are supposed to bolster the Conservative model on how to succeed at life, those that do finish don’t get great paying jobs like society and the supposed “jobs creators” promise”, and the struggle to pay back their loans. The Great Depression was fueled by way too much credit in the markets and within the general population. The Great Recession was fueled by the same thing; too many people and investors living on over-extended credit. The credit bubble in the education system created by massive student loan debt is HUGE. Yet these republican “scholars” keep pushing this model as the solution to all our problems.  What is going to happen when the inevitable happens and this bubble bursts?

I’m hoping it doesn’t happen. But I see no way around it, especially with the lack of vision displayed by both sides of the isle.

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