Posts Tagged ‘ power ’

Fantastic Speech On Your Body Language–Worth A Watch!


The (Supposed) Coming College Bubble…

I have a dilemma here.

I’m at the point in my life where I finally have the motivation, drive, and work ethic to go after–and actually complete–a Bachelor’s degree (I’ll be majoring in International Business/Finance…not sure which, yet).  You may remember that I tried this roughly twelve years ago, and failed miserably at it for various reasons.  Well, that was then, and this is now.  

Today, I have been accepted to two universities so far, and one is pretty well-known the country over as a premier DC school.  Of course, it is also a private school, and runs nearly $40K per year.  To the average American, someone even thinking of taking out roughly $120-150K in student loans is absolutely nuts to do so in this economy.  To those in high and powerful places, that amount of money was well worth the investment.  I have not yet heard a decision from Georgetown, but if it was good enough for the likes of John Foster Dulles, Robert Gates, and Bill Clinton, it’s plenty good enough for me.

Many who actually know something about the way economics and business work have been saying for the last five years or so that college tuition is a bubble.  It probably is–tuition keeps rising so dramatically because student loans are easy to get, and the school isn’t held accountable for what happens in the marketplace.  That is–the government is subsidizing all of these student loans, so there is no real competition amongst the schools–they just get an almost infinite supply of students who have access to the money they are asking for.  If there was competition between institutions, Economics 101 would show that tuition prices would drop like a stone.  I’ve been watching a lot of Shark Tank lately–great show, if you’ve never seen it–and Mark Cuban seems to be someone who I identify with as far as methods and approach to problem-solving.  He’s a hard-nose, and he can be ruthless (I need to work on that part, I guess), but he knows what he’s doing.

He posted recently on his blog about the coming bursting of the college tuition bubble, and it has me at a crossroads.

Will this bubble finally burst in three years?  Five years?  Ten years?  When will this situation happen?  What will be the catalyst?

Herein lies the dilemma.

I don’t have five or ten years to wait around for this thing to happen.  I have right now.  As it is right now, I’ll be overpaying for my education by many times, I’m sure, but my choices seem to be either do it, or wait.  And I’m not putting my entire life on hold so I can be pursuing my first degree in my late thirties, while I have kids running around and a career to tend to.  I don’t want to make foolish decisions here–I’m very well aware of the implications of taking on this debt–but I don’t have the time to sit around and wait for things to blow up, and then settle again.  Plus, if you look at things pragmatically, after the housing bubble burst, no one had access to any loans.  What the heck good could come of that for me?  Sure, tuition came way down, but still not enough to attend school without a loan…which no one will be able to get for five years afterward, while the market resets itself…

I guess I am torn about it because I still feel like a college degree hasn’t reached the point of having a negative ROI–for those focused on my major, in particular–but at the same time, the inflated prices of tuition (and don’t forget books, too), are enough to make me, the average American, cringe.

Tell me your stories, Blogosphere.  How has your education made or broken your job prospects?  Has it changed the way you make decisions?  Think about money?  Think about your career?

Heck, is anyone else out there in my shoes?

Life Is A Six-Speed Manual.

I’ve been pondering lately how life is like a transmission.  First gear (when you’re born) is starting to move, and requires the greatest learning curve.  It is where acceleration, over time, is never faster.  You must learn at least two languages–one spoken, the other with numbers.  You must learn to feed yourself, walk, speak.  You must learn to coexist with others in social settings.  You must learn to navigate a large and extremely complex series of emotions, and apply them at the very least to your relationships with your parents and siblings.  The amount of information to take in at this stage of your life is staggering.

Second gear covers your teenage years and your twenties.  You’re running at 5,000 RPM, picking up speed, going to school, getting your life moving.  You move out of the house, go to college.  Pay your own bills.  Repair your credit.  Buy your own car.  Get a dog.  You’re busting your ass to become independent, get a career on track, plan for a spouse and family.  Putting out near-maximum effort just to get ahead.

Third gear is to second gear what your 30s are to your 20s.  If your transmission is geared to get comfortable around this time, you are finally enjoying the fact that many who first meet you don’t immediately assume that you are inept because you are so young.  You are not so new to the work force that your experience actually counts for something.  If your transmission is geared for massive acceleration, you are still clawing for every extra MPH you can get, constantly trying to get ahead to sixth gear in as little time as possible.

Fourth and fifth gears are effectively purposed the same as third gear is–forever accelerating, forever working toward the ultimate goal of getting comfortable.  The thing about everything after second gear is that there are times when you are working, working, working, until you can work no harder–and only when you have enough speed and momentum to jump up to the next gear can your engine (for a short time) drop its RPMs, and doesn’t have to work so hard.  Then, something new comes along (a kid, a mortgage payment, a lawsuit), and once again you are forced to work harder, to put out more power, to put on more speed.  Some people spend a long, long time running at the top of their current gear’s limits before being able to breathe a little easier in the next step up.

This is why everyone is envious of those who are the wealthiest people in this country:  They are cruising along in sixth gear–typically the Overdrive gear–and they are comfortably doing 90 or 100 miles an hour while their engines loaf along at 2,500 RPM, sipping gas and barely breaking a sweat.  Everyone else is mired in the middle gears while these people are at the pinnacle of financial freedom, and in many cases, the higher up they go, the less actual work they must do to stay there.  Also, nothing makes people envious more than when people in their 20s and 30s find ways to either run through the gears quickly, or skip to sixth all together.

I suppose if life is a six-speed manual, people must be engines then–it would explain why some move slowly, and others light fires behind the tires at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Right now, I’m one of these:  

Soon, I’ll be one of these: 

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