Malcolm Harris our special guest to discuss his N+1 magazine piece Bad Education. The Project On Student Debt estimates that the average college senior in 2009 graduated with $24,000 in outstanding loans. Last August, student loans surpassed credit cards as the nation’s single largest source of debt, edging ever closer to $1 trillion. Yet for all the moralizing about American consumer debt by both parties, no one dares call higher education a bad investment. The nearly axiomatic good of a university degree in American society has allowed a higher education bubble to expand to the point of bursting. Since 1978, the price of tuition at US colleges has increased over 900 percent, 650 points above inflation. To put that number in perspective, housing prices, the bubble that nearly burst the US economy, then the global one, increased only fifty points above the Consumer Price Index during those years. But while college applicants’ faith in the value of higher education has only increased, employers’ has declined. According to Richard Rothstein at The Economic Policy Institute, wages for college-educated workers outside of the inflated finance industry have stagnated or diminished. Unemployment has hit recent graduates especially hard, nearly doubling in the post-2007 recession. The result is that the most indebted generation in history is without the dependable jobs it needs to escape debt. What kind of incentives motivate lenders to continue awarding six-figure sums to teenagers facing both the worst youth unemployment rate in decades and an increasingly competitive global workforce? Malcolm Harris is the senior editor of The New Inquiry and the editor of the collection Share or Die on millenial life during the recession.
Professor of Criminology at University of Nebraska Omaha and co author of American Swastika Dr. Pete Simi our special guest to talk about Wade Michael Page who killed six people at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. He had talked to Page at length about the white power movement in the United States. Read HERE. Simi also said that he spoke to Page at length about his time in the military. Page told him that before he went into the military he had heard about the white power philosophy but the military to him was an important experience in shaping how he saw the world. Dr. Simi's research interests focus on juvenile delinquency and gangs, extremist movements, violence, social psychology, and qualitative methods. For more than a decade he has conducted extensive fieldwork with right-wing extremist groups across the United States. His book manuscript, American Swastika, explains the social-spatial contexts neo-Nazis use to sustain their movement in a highly antagonistic environment. He is currently focusing on understanding the radicalization and deradicalization processes by conducting in depth interviews with right-wing extremists including those convicted of federal terrorism-related charges.