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When the student loan bubble bursts

College students all over the country are in tens of thousands of dollars of debt for educations that would be largely subsidized in more civilized countries. Does anyone really think most of this debt is going to be paid off in an economy from which jobs are disappearing?

From Occupied Chicago Tribune:

Middle class families have seen their wages stagnate for decades, while the cost of college education has risen more than 300%. Lingering unemployment means new graduates are hard-pressed to pay off their burdensome debt, which now averages more than $25,000. In 2007, 50% of college graduates were able to find work immediately. In 2009, this figure had dropped to 20%. Increasingly, graduates and drop-outs are facing a lifetime of struggle and indenture-ship after leaving college.

However, far from being a narcissistic pet issue for the disproportionately young Occupy crowds, student indebtedness in countries without universal education systems is a symptom of the same underlying pathologies that brought down the housing market five years ago, and could soon be the cause of another sudden, catastrophic economic contagion…

Protection racket

The same people who are protecting us from explosives in our toothpaste:

Four present and past security screeners at LAX took 22 payments of up to $2400 each to let large shipments of coke, meth, and pot slip through baggage X-ray machines. Oh, we are so very, very shocked.

In one incident detailed in the 40-page indictment (Link), screeners plotted to allow eight pounds of crystal meth to get through—then one of them ducked into an airport men’s room where he was handed $600, the second payment for that delivery.

Asshole

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

 

Spring fund drive

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Harder! Faster! Longer!

Great Britain and the austerity fairies.

My world is over

This pseudo-Sixties ballad from “That Thing You Do!” is a perfect example of the genre:

Drown in my own tears

Gennaro Porcelli, the “Eric Clapton of Italy,” covers Ray Charles:

SEC outs whistleblower

Once again, the WSJ comments are more interesting than the story. Commenters seem evenly divided between the “Barry’s government is incompetent” and the general acceptance of the idea that the SEC is thoroughly bought off:

Federal securities regulators, in a sensitive breach, inadvertently revealed the identity of a whistleblower during a probe of a firm that ran a stock trading platform.

The gaffe by the Securities and Exchange Commission occurred during an investigation of Pipeline Trading Systems LLC when an SEC lawyer showed an executive who was being questioned a notebook from the whistleblower filled with jottings about trades, calls and meetings. The executive says he recognized the handwriting.

Virtually Speaking Science

Wednesday, April 25 | 5 pm eastern | 2 pm pacific | Virtually Speaking Science: | Tom Levenson talks with American science writer Gary Taubesabout Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, released in December 2010. Taubes is the author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion(1993), and Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), titled The Diet Delusion (2008) in the UK and Australia. VS Science is hosted in Second Life by MICAFollow @GaryTaubes @TomLevenson Listen Live & Later

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