Mike, Student Loans, The Power of Respect, France,
An acquaintance that I admired passed away recently. I had met him through a Mastermind that I have since exited. He was a dear man, sophisticated, savvy, nerdy and abstruse for all the right reasons. He left behind a wife of many years, adult children of various ages, and dear friends.
I was notified by his passing from the staff at the Mastermind in the most tone-deaf email I think I’ve ever read. I physically cringed reading it. On every single line of the email, the name of the organization was prioritized over the individual whose life had ceased to be an active blessing to others. The organization was mentioned 6 times in the email, the deceased only twice.
I’ve been tone deaf in my life, many more times than I want to remember. I should extend grace to others who fall into the same trap, but for the record, when I die, please don’t send an obit whose message is that my passing is only important as a member of some small organization. I work hard to make sure that my impact reaches far beyond that scope. And so did Mike.
"Simple mindset shifts:
- I'm not hurt, I'm healing.
- I'm not losing, I'm learning.
- I was not rejected, I was redirected.
Negative things happen. Negative mindsets make them harder."
— James Clear
Charlie Leichtweis hosts The Power of Respect podcast where he talks with leading business thinkers about how respect plays a role in business and life. I enjoyed having a great conversation with him ranging from Family Office challenges, to growth opportunities and how people are the secret to any business’ success.
“People jump from the top floors of buildings, no the bottom.”
— Stan Slap
Tyler Cohen wrote a piece about the Biden Student Loan Forgiveness package that put me on my heels. Because of how the forgiveness numbers shake out, he argued that “the Biden student loan plan would incentivize students to take on more debt and incentivize schools to raise tuition with most of the increased costs being passed on to taxpayers through generous income based repayment plans.” It’s a typical pandering, do-gooder, style policy where the cure is far worse than the disease.
Most glaringly, because the loan subsidy is based primarily on post-college earnings, programs that leave students without a degree or that don’t lead to a good job will get a larger subsidy! Students at good schools and high-return programs will be asked to repay their loans nearly in full.
Want a free ride to college? You can have one, but only if you study cosmetology, liberal arts, or drama. Want to be a nurse, an engineer, or major in computer science or math? You’ll have to pay full price (especially at the best programs in each field). This is a problem because most student outcomes—both bad and good—are highly predictable based on the quality, value, completion rate, and post-graduation earnings of the program attended.
If you do a back of the envelope calculation you’ll findthat typical graduates in Mechanical Engineering will on average get a 0% subsidy but graduates in Music will get a 96% subsidy, in Drama a 99% subsidy and Masseuses a 100% subsidy. Biden is literally shadow taxing engineers to produce more massage therapists.
“The plans of the diligent lead only to abundance; but all who rush in arrive only at want.”
— The Tanakh
France spends $43bn per year on subsidizing the electrical bills of its citizens. French public finances will remain stretched into the future and with the Putin Problem haunting the energy sector, it could break French finances completely. Next year sees no drop in the expected budget deficit, which will remain at 5% of GDP which exceeds the 3% threshold required by the Eurozone.
France spends about 14% of GDP on public pensions, compared with an OECD average of 8%. A significant portion of that spending goes to people who were not born in France, but rather immigrated there precisely because such benefits are available.