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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 15, 2010 / 3 Tamuz 5770

Profiles in cowardice: Victims who aren't

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The New York Times, in its periodic efforts to describe as victims people who aren't, had a profile May 28 of the plight of Cortney Munna.

Ms. Munna, 26, took out nearly $100,000 in student loans to pay for the four years she spent at New York University earning an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women's studies. Now she's having difficulty paying the loans back.

This ought not to be a surprise, since a degree in religious and women's studies is excellent preparation for a career in the fast food industry, or as a photographer's assistant making $22,000 a year, which is the best job Ms. Munna has had since her graduation in 2005.

"After taxes, she takes home about $2,300 a month. Rent runs $750, and the full monthly payments on her student loans would be about $700 if they weren't being deferred, which would not leave a lot left over," wrote business columnist Ron Lieber.

Ms. Munna acknowledges she could have gone to a less expensive school, or taken time off to work, but she, her mother (who encouraged her to take out the loans) and Mr. Lieber say the blame for her predicament rests chiefly with school officials and the banks which lent her the money.

"What was Citi(bank) thinking, handing over $40,000 to an undergraduate who already had amassed debt well into five figures?" Mr. Lieber asked.

"When financial aid (at NYU) told her they could get her $2,000 more in loans, they should have been saying, 'you are in deep doo-doo, little girl,'" Cathryn Munna said.

In a similar predicament is Samantha Hillstrom, 23, a production assistant at CNN who amassed $115,000 in student loans while attending a private college in New York City.

Both Ms. Munna and Ms. Hillstrom think they should be permitted to declare bankruptcy, or have their loans forgiven.

"I chose to go to a private school and I chose to work in a field where the starting salaries are low," Ms. Hillstrom said on Anderson Cooper's blog March 30. "Does that mean I chose to live a life of struggle, wondering how I am going to pay my rent, afford the basics of living and still stay in my chosen career field...all the while putting up with high interest rates and an amount of debt that brings me to tears?"

Why yes, Ms. Hillstrom, it does. You are an adult, responsible for the choices you make. You have no right to expect others to subsidize your preferences, or to bail you out from the consequences of your mistakes.

"In short, Hillstrom went to a college she couldn't afford, did not research her options, did not bother to learn the terms of her loan, got a degree that was not terribly useful (I'm guessing), and took a job that does not pay very well to pursue her 'lifelong dream of a career in television,'" wrote Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine. "Of course she wants a bailout; everyone else who has screwed up royally seems to be getting one."

I have little sympathy for the holes Ms. Munna and Ms. Hillstrom dug for themselves. But I do have some. Higher education is the greatest consumer fraud in America today.

According to a recent federal government report, the lifetime earnings of a college graduate are $900,000 more than someone who has a high school diploma only. If you have a master's degree, you should expect to earn $1.2 million more than a high school grad.

But the expectation is false.

The data on which the study was based are dated. It's mostly from a time when a college education cost a lot less, and delivered a lot more.

"The amount families pay for college has skyrocketed 439 percent since 1982," Money magazine noted. "Normal supply and demand can't begin to explain cost increases of this magnitude."

Some majors, such as medicine and engineering, add value to society and income to graduates. But with the explosion in college costs has come an explosion in garbage courses and garbage majors. Your degree in ethnic or women's studies gives you no economic advantage over a high school grad...unless you can get a job teaching ethnic or women's studies, and those gigs are getting harder to find.

College is also great for partying and social networking. But you can do that for substantially less than $50,000 a year.

Ms. Munna and Ms. Hillstrom didn't figure this out. But other young people are. Which is why Glenn Reynolds, who teaches law at the University of Tennessee, thinks higher education will be the next economic bubble to burst.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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