Susan Boyle and Student Loans

Since I’m always talking (harping) about the lack of good news, let me begin with this bright spot. Approximately, 50,000,000 people (really an unbelievable figure) have seen Susan Boyle sing on the internet. This figure only represents those who have watched her original Britains Got Talent song performance on YouTube. If you add up all of her other performances that now appear on line, I’d guess that the number of people that have watched Susan sing is close to double the previously mentioned figure. I wonder if any CEOs have watched this performance and learned anything. Let’s start with the old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover. How often does an employee either start really strong, yet turn out to be a dud; or alternatively start weak and turn out to be a superstar. If judged by an initial poor showing or appearance, greatness may never be uncovered. Therefore, to all CEOs: always keep an open mind, reassess based on current information, and don’t be swayed by public opinion – because taking the time to find out information on your own can lead to extraordinary results. [If you’re reading this and think I’m talking about you, you’re right].

Now, back to more stimulus news. President Obama wants the Government to stop backing private loans to college students and wants the private loans replaced with direct financial aid. He claims $48 billion would be “saved” over the next 10 years. I say, cease providing any financial aid for college – private or public – and the cost of college will decline precipitously over the next decade. Follow me here.

If there was no financial aid for college, does anyone believe private colleges could still charge $40,000+ for an education? Of course not. Enrollment would then only be open to the “rich”. Would the Ivy League only allow “rich” people in their schools, or do they want smart people, regardless of affordability of the education?

Therefore, without aid, the cost of higher education would decline to what everyone can truly afford to pay, not only what the “rich” presently do pay and what everyone else gets for free (read Government grants and aid).

If some days it feels like you’re rowing the boat, and the guy in front of you stopped rowing, and the guy in back of you stopped rowing, and you’re doing all the rowing for everything and everyone, it will only become worse as we continue to throw trillions of dollars at all of the new programs. The Baseline Scenario reported that when Economist Larry Summers spoke at the InterAmercian Development Bank he stated that all crises must end. I agree with this comment, I just don’t think flooding the system with trillions is the way to start having these crises end.

Susan Boyle’s performance added some good to the otherwise daily dismal financial and economic reports. This too shall end, although any prognosticator that tells you when is lying.

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