Yep! The whole structure of our country--the whole thing--is built on exploiting people for their labor and exploiting whatever resources we can grab. When I say resources I am trying to include institutions that humans naturally build to take care of themselves, spiritually, intellectually and physically. We built our country literally on the backs of people (chattel slavery) and since we were forced to give that up we have allowed employers to pay as little as they can get away with (I am counting all kinds of employers) and paying the least for the nastiest jobs. Now water sources are drying up and soil is contaminated. Our form of government was advertised in the Declaration of Independence as people first but that was smoke and mirrors. Everything was and is for sale and everything is steadily becoming corporatized. K12 Education is the next major institution on the block. Pretty soon parents will have to go in debt to send their children to elementary school. I think the embrace of guns is a symptom of despair. We are shooting each other when it’s the system that needs to be shot. The whole structure needs to be fixed.

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First of all, thanks for the video Pen. It’s meaningful to see a face and hear a voice.

We have the same problem in Canada, but as usual it’s not jumbo-sized like everything in America. Universities here have, in general, kept the growth in cost down to merely outrageous rather than stupefyingly sinful as in America.

I have a son who got so many scholarships that he was, in effect, paid to go to University.

Another son quit two years in, then did a community college degree. He still owes about $35k. But in all honesty, he’s not financially disciplined.

A third son got a 3 year degree, then did a 4th training to be a teacher. His debt is now whittled down to about $3000 (9 years later).

And I have a daughter who spent 9 years in school. Four went to get an Honours BA and five trained her to be an emergency room physician. And she married an emergency room physician - they trained together.

Their debt has all been consolidated by their bank with a house purchase. So they owe over a million dollars. They’re both in their mid forties now and they’ll be 60 before they don’t owe a dollar (if all goes well).

But they earn 600k a year and live very well. They work very hard, but have lots of time for their kids. The other day my daughter described herself to me as a “contented woman”, so I don’t think they are up nights worrying about debt.

All in all, I think the Canadian government could and should have done more. On the other hand, I don’t believe they have been gouged by the state.

America is a festering tangle of problems that are currently threatening to morph into one paralyzing crisis. It is absurd how much money has gone into the military - that has been a clownish use of financial and human resources. It is a tragedy that capitalism has run amok. Americans are now free to descend as low down the scale as they wish. And it is ironic that just as the economy has switched from Industrial to Information, young men are opting in huge numbers not to pursue higher education.

I am not optimistic in general. But when I read of your success Pen in finally taming the monster, I realize that where there are people like you, there is hope.

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Apr 13Liked by Penfist

It's amazing how much propaganda Anericans have been fed for decades, by both parties.

Educated people improve a society, tradespeople improve a society, healthy people improve a society.

Yet Americans somehow simply accepted the idea that there are no options but to borrow obscene amounts, which we then have to work decades to repay.

We've also accepted overpriced healthcare, overpriced food, overpriced housing...

Everyone is angry...who they're angry with and who they blame is the problem.

The only way of light to emerge from the multiple crises enveloping the country is the near-universal agreement that the status quo is untenable.

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Ah, the good Ole US of A. Where oligarchs get rich on education, health care and prisons! It a sick enterprise. It is nobles and serfs.

Thanks for the "vlog". You made your point quite well. Looking forward to more.

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Apr 13Liked by Penfist

This is outrageous. Education should NOT be big business. But ... you know how I feel about that. Neither should any of the necessities of life. I’m sick and tired of people going bankrupt because they wanted an education or needed medical care. It’s telling that Republicans are the ones stopping student loan forgiveness. Clearly, business can’t run a government that serves the people. But, overpricing education is a good way to keep people uneducated. And then tell them they aren’t missing anything because universities are hot beds of communism and socialism.

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