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« Who really cares anyway? | Main | Eating well »

Feb 05, 2010


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Andrew Brod

Cutting out the middle man in student loans is such an obvious way for the government to cut costs without altering its service. But as has been noted in the healthcare debate, what one person calls "inefficiency" is often what another person calls "income." And so the very magnitude of the inefficiency of the current program drives the vigorous opposition to reform.

Reforming the student-loan program wouldn't expand government, except insofar as the savings (on the order of $85-90 billion over 10 years) could be used to send more kids to college. But I presume the townhall meetings sponsored by the public-teat-sucking private lenders feature dark warnings of a "government takeover" of student loans. Booga booga booga!

As with so many other issues, the Dems could make this issue theirs if only they'd collectively grow a pair.


So in Brod's view, there can't be any negative impact from "cutting out the middle man in student loans."

Are you sure?

Can we apply the "middle man" out of a lot of transactional matters?

How about medicine? Let's eliminate most of the doctors, and the ones who remain will be parked behind a desk to make decisions on information passed to them by lower level caregivers and bureaucrats?

Let's continue to mortgage brokers, insurance agents, and financial advisors.Let's let everybody deal with an $8.50 per hour drone at a call center for these things.

Here's a great idea: How about rethinking the traditional role of teachers of all kinds, particujlarly faculty members at colleges and universities? Can't knowledge be passed to students without having to go through the filters of live faculty members?

Let's put education all on line, with various Profs in the Box on call 24/7 on the institution's Help Desk.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Andrew Brod

Wow, what a lame response. I didn't say that all middlemen are inefficient, and I think Bubba knows that. I was going to suggest that he stick to the issue and avoid the red herrings, but I think he's demonstrated his approach.

Also, perhaps Bubba could explain why he objects to reducing the cost of a government program. If he doesn't think the government should be doing student loans, that'd be one thing. But then he should say so.

Finally, if Bubba would look around, he'd know that there is already a good deal of "rethinking [of] the traditional role of teachers of all kinds, particularly faculty members at colleges and universities." News flash: online teaching is definitely on the rise. But hey, thanks for the suggestion anyway.


If you make enough ridiculous assertions about what socialism is then maybe enough people will be thrown off and won't recognize it when it really happens. At the very least it allows for the real goal (for now) of instituting European social democracy in America to continue to fly under the radar.

I'm not sure if Ed thought this one up all by himself or someone over at TPM or Kos had the idea.

Anyway, I agree with Andrew on this one and think that cutting out the middleman is a good idea. However, I failed to read any part in the article though where anyone hurled an accusation of "socialism" against those who would remove the middleman.

The better analogy for the middleman would be fascism, although it is not a perfect fit either. Maybe we are better off calling it what it is- capitalists trying to make a buck off of a government program. Then again, I didn't go to Haverford so what do I know.


IndyMac, FannieMae, FreddyMac are examples of nationalized lending programs. Of course Obama has a way of nationalizing the program to make it more efficient. More jobless liberal arts graduates will join the 54% unemployed and underemployed in the demographic. The ones with nongovernment jobs are working for foreigners. I wish there were a way the democrats could call this their own idea, but it's as old as Andrew Jackson. Why doesn't the government cut itself out of the student loan business by making all educational expenses deductible from fed taxes. The reason why is that nationalization of programs is the only way government can pass the debt of the father and mother to the children and the children's children. When the children can't pay this debt, they have to get lawyered up, pay fines, get evicted and jailed. The Germans stopped the tyrany of passing debt to children 120 years ago. This is another teleprompter soundbite for the proles and court prophets. Get over yourselves.


As we have documented before, Brod takes himself way too seriously.

As such, he missed the point.

As usual.


if they were good lobbyists and contributors, they won't lose their teat. Enron schemers ended up on the door steps of financial companies and they became 45% of the capitalization of the S&P during the last decade. They produced nothing except incumbents, like Enron, and had the teat with sugar on it while they got their back rubbed.


"Brod takes himself way too seriously." -- Bubba

Ooooh! Snap! Checkmate!

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