Generation gaps

So what is there now?

Gen x, y, z. Then there’s the Baby Boomers (with apparent sub-divisions). Is that the same as the “Greatest Generation”? No? Which ones are the yuppies? Subset of the hippies? When the hell did we start naming generations anyways? After WWII? I think after the atomic bomb was dropped everyone temporarily lost their minds and starting naming generations of people as some sort of coping mechanism. What a terrifying invention for mankind. An instant way for one person to totally obliterate our known existence. Wheee!!

At what age are you allowed to be right about something? Is it on an individual basis? Or is it a collective experience? Does it even matter?

I was totally caught off guard when I found out most bloggers were usually twice my age.

My grandfather was so adorable the first time he ever asked me about the internet. I think he was confused about what the boundaries and limitations were between the physical world and the virtual world.

It was kind of like the time I saw my Mom trying to put a 5 and a 1/4 inch floppy disk into the CD drive of our new family computer. Their life was mechanical, my life was electronic. That’s quite a difference in how you see the world working.

This is my current understanding of upward mobility.

I started working in high school to save to go to college. I worked my way through college, didn’t/still don’t own a car but always owned a computer (I travel on the interwebs these days :p). I graduated and got a job.

The generation before me, worked their way through college, maybe owned a car, graduated got a job.

Generation before that, worked through High School. Probably didn’t own a car. Graduated. Got a job.

Generation before that, worked through some schooling until something better or worse came along. Got a job.

So every generation has its own path to moving up. Each one had wars and struggles and fears and “insurmountable odds” to over come. Each one is just a little bit better off than the last. Especially in terms of education. For example, I now need a masters degree (actually for the sciences a PhD). A bachelor’s degree has lost its value from oversaturation. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Soon college should be the required degree of knowledge to advance forward (if it hasn’t reached that point already). Hopefully by then it will be free to attend a 4 year university and possibly mandatory. But in the meanwhile I need to go back to school in able to move forward.

There is a bit of a problem this time around though.

Private or “alternative” student loans are the fastest growing and most profitable part of the student loan industry. Ten years ago, only five percent of total education loan volume was in private loans. Today they represent an estimated 20 percent of what all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and their families borrow to pay for school. In 2005-06, lenders issued $17.3 billion in private student loans.

More and more students and parents are turning to these instant loans to help bridge the widening gap between college costs and available aid. The interest rates and fees can be as variable and onerous as credit cards, and private loans lack even the limited borrower protections that come with federal student loans. Colleges routinely offer private loans as part of student financial aid packages, and lenders also aggressively market private loans directly to consumers. Yet private loan borrowers do not have access to the kind of information and consumer rights that other types of borrowers can count on.

Actually a big problem. D-e-b-t. All the new college graduates are swimming in it! I have debt coming out of my ears. And so does every other unfortunate 18-27 year old not born into a wealthy family that tried to go to college. And to do all those things I’m supposed to do like buy a house, a car and have kids? All those require me to go even further into debt by getting a mortgage or a loan. But you say things will be alright in about 30-50 years when I pay off my variable rate loans right? That’s when I’ll buy a house? Just as long as I never stop working and I never complain? Yeah. I’m currently using Credit cards to build credit to that at least my credit rating is decent and then I might be able to afford a house when I’m at least 30.

You can’t claim bankruptcy on student loan debt!

Since 2005, private student loans have been as difficult to discharge in bankruptcy as federal student loans. There is some justification for making federal loans very hard to discharge: they are backed by taxpayer dollars, and they come with some borrower protections in cases of economic hardship, unemployment, death, and disability, as well as several repayment options. But private loans involve only private profit and come with no such guaranteed protections. Shielding private loans from bankruptcy means that repayment demands can essentially extend forever, leaving even the most destitute borrowers with no way out. This makes lenders less cautious about making high-cost private loans to people who may not be able to afford them, as well as to students at schools with low completion and job placement rates. Giving private loans such high status in bankruptcy also puts other creditors at a significant disadvantage.

It’s like the sub-prime housing mortgages only with no escape for an entire generation of college graduates. Super!

My interest rates are currently 12% (started at 8.5%) variable for my $11,000 (now $16,000) debt to private source student loans. It’s been sold three times to various other loan companies since I took it out about 2 1/2 years ago. I almost managed to pay off my credit card debt during my 6 month grace period. But now I’m back to collecting 15% interest on that debt so I can keep up with my student loan payments. Hooray! This is all in addition to the $23,000 I owe to my federal loan debt which thank god, is at a fixed 7% interest rate.

I would love, love, love to claim bankruptcy! Just to break even and be at 0! I have the time to start over and I own nothing of value besides this computer. I spend every last dollar each month just to not owe too much more than I owed the day before.

Just to slow the rate at which my negative net worth is increasing.

I never had any money to begin with. I tried to save up before I left home. Turns out $3,000 does not get you through college (even in 2001-02 before the dollar was worth crap).

I only regret one decision in my quarter century on this Earth (and believe me this covers the full gamut of things I should be regretting in my life) and that is taking out a private source student loan. I’m at a total loss as to what I’m supposed to do now. I thought my education would free me. This I may not be able to actually recover from.

I’m in this constant loop of what the fuck is going on here?! I’ve had 3 representatives from 3 different companies on independent occasions tell me to hire a financial adviser. Yeah. I’ll get right on that. Let me just pull a few hundred dollars out of my ass. Or should I just charge it?

No one is allowed to give you financial advice for free, and no one is allowed to tell you your credit score unless you pay one of three different companies $15. No one knows which credit score you need to have your application approved and checking the score during approval lowers your score. It’s like talking into an alternate reality.

I cry every time I get off the phone with a loan consolidation company. It’s so frustrating and everyone you talk to could give two shits because everyone else they talk to all day long is in the same position.

My new plan is that eventually things will get so bad that there will be an option to bail out, but only if you didn’t re-sign anything right now while all the credit markets are failing and trying to cover their asses.

Because why would I consolidate my variable rate private source loans into another variable rate private source loan while being told the approval conditions are unknown to them and unavailable to me?

But who knows?

Maybe I’m just paranoid, because I constantly feel like someone is out to get me and steal my every last penny….

I canceled my cable TV last week (I’m keeping the internet until the bitter end!). There is a $10.00 “downgrade fee” in addition to a $25.00 fee for some guy to knock on my door at 9:45 am to pick up my cable box and “trap” the cable signal.

This is my punishment for not having a TV? I pay $35.00. Lame.

Although, I shouldn’t be complaining too much. You’d think the loss of cable TV would be the end of the world. Surprisingly, you thought wrong.

According to these interesting cable tv statistics for 2021, pay TV providers brought in $85.5 billion in revenue for 2018. If you think about it, that’s an extortionate amount, so I doubt that they’re missing my custom too much.

The manager still hasn’t called me back.

Oh and while I’m at it, Get off my Lawn!


My memories of politics go like this:

Berlin Wall

Old guy


Bill Clinton with nice hair

Sex, sex, sex, blow job, semen stain

Stolen election by an asshole in a cowboy hat




I know why “young people” showed up to vote in 2004, 2006, Iowa and New Hampshire. Because most of us are getting screwed and no one seems to be interested in doing anything about it. Everyone’s too busy bickering with each other about all the other things they fucked up.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really fucked up kids my age too that are only going to contribute to the problems unless they are stopped now. But what can you expect? Who raised them? Maybe parents. Maybe a scary cult church. Maybe TV. Maybe video games. Maybe their school. Maybe medication. Maybe the military. Maybe the prison system. Who knows anymore. It takes a village to raise a child. What happened to all the villages? And why is the village idiot president?

No one’s perfect but we’re the ones whose peers are supposed to die for all this and we’re already inheriting a huge mess. Most weren’t even old enough to vote in 2000. Some weren’t even old enough to vote in 2004. There’s no draft anymore because of Vietnam. If you draft more people will actively resist. So instead they destroyed what we had and then paid 10x’s the amount to lawless mercenaries and drove the entire country into debt. Now our real veterans are being treated like shit and no one’s protesting. It’s still wrong. It’s always been wrong. But apparently it’s snotty to complain or stupid to think that “young people” will show up to vote in 2008. Spare me. I’m tired too.

Recent college graduates and “young people” are also the largest group of uninsured in the country.

*This was just a random response to negative comments I’ve seen made over parts of the blogosphere towards or about “young people” once the numbers from Iowa (and now New Hampshire) were in. I did really like the piece clammyc wrote up here about the youth vote, I think it’s very important to engage everyone and keep them involved for the long haul. This year is going to be interesting to say the least and there is a good possibly of shifting the nations political views dramatically for the long term. Might as well make the most of it!


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  1. Whenever I get one everyone will be welcome to lounge on it 🙂

  2. I had student loans the second time I went back to school at age 29 and in Canada at that time you could not declare bankruptcy to keep them from st angling you, the interest rate was not negotiable, nor were the payments. The only good thing about the loan program at that time was that if you showed good faith for a couple of years 9 paid up they would knock a certain amount off your loan base on how much it was. The big piece of luck I had was that the Canadian dollar was weak against the American dollar so I worked overtime and made extra payments.

    My personal opinion: everybody with the grades should have access to an affordable post secondary education be it college or trade school. Private lenders should not be allowed to loan students money. Those going into areas of national shortages teachers, nurses where the pay is decent but not great should get help with affordable housing in exchange for teaching in needy areas and tax breaks.I am a nurse, the average nurses is aged 44.I am almost 44. If nobody goes into nursing soon we won’t have any.

    If colleges spent as much money on academic scholarships as they did for sports scholarship we would be a nation of genius intellects. The argument that sports generates revenue and academics doesn’t is a false one. And given the graduation rates of some young people in revenue generating sports at big time colleges we should be ashamed of the way they are used for glory and not given any attention for their intellectual development.

    You raised a critical issue.

  3. sorry if some of this was total gibberish…

  4. allows the marketers to sell shit based upon the era you grew up in.  See it completes the link for them, it categorizes the time frame and identifies the socially engineered propaganda they fed you.

    More than education


    It time frames radically different matruation processes.  The compassion exhibited by kids today?  The extent to which kids seek out the wisdom of an older generation?  These things are being engineered out of society.

    You want “change”, ya, well you are going to get it.

    But it won’t be GOOD.

  5. of younger voters will highlight issues like affordable education and predatory loans for students and regular working Americans.

    Between pricey college educations and the option to go serve in Iraq, young people are really getting fucked over in this country. They should be pissed.

    And actually young people and middle aged crones like myself have more in common in our dreams and aspirations than one might think. Inter-generational wars do absolutely nothing but serve to split and divide people so we don’t fight the real battles.

    • kj on January 11, 2008 at 02:18

    sorry, couldn’t resist.  @;-)

    Loved your essay, Victory Coffee.  My thoughts?  Take it away, ya’ll can have the torch, I’ll follow.

  6. or grandchildren.

    We all have a stake in the past and future generations.  

    A member of my generation coined the phrase: “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30”– which became an often repeated mantra.  Apparently those of us repeating that phrase didn’t think ahead to the time we would be over 30 😉  

    Many in the older generation(s) are mortgaging their homes and raiding their retirements to help their children or grandchildren with college tuition.  The exorbitant tuitions are a burden to so many these days, and IMHO, something must be done at a federal level to ease this burden.  

    The issues of the day:  Iraq, education, healthcare, the economy, the environment, civil liberties, etc. affect us all, to some degree.  We’re all in this together.

  7. no one is allowed to tell you your credit score unless you pay one of three different companies $15.  No one knows which credit score you need to have your application approved and checking the score during approval lowers your score.

    By law you can receive one free credit report from each company once every 12 months. I don’t think that checking your own score hurts you these days either. Go here to get your free credit report.   Annual Credit Report  (filling out one form gives you all 3 reports)

    I’m somewhat shocked at how the interest rates have soared.  In 2005 we were able to consolidate my husband’s Fed. student loans at fixed 1.9%.   That wasn’t that long ago. The private loans sound really outrageous with their variable rates.  12%! That’s big time usury.

    Have you looked at Sallie Mae?  I noticed on their site they will consolidate the Private loans.  They will even consolidate the Fed & private loans together, but don’t do that or you will lose the fixed rate on your Fed loan.

    I also wanted to mention that if you go to Grad school in a biomedical field you will probably be able to find a program that will cover your tuition, and pay you a stipend as well.  So at least you don’t have to take out more loans for advanced education and you will be paid to go to school.  That’s how my program worked (I graduated in 1992 so I have no idea if that’s how things are today).  I didn’t have to pay a cent for grad school and my living expenses were covered too.  That was a sweet deal.  Oh – and while you are in school you can defer those other loans (at least the Fed. one).

    Good luck VC!

    • nocatz on January 11, 2008 at 17:59

    from teh Orange

    By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

    The over-50 exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal immigrant or con artist is much less.

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