Fandango’s Flashback Friday — February 26

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 26th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on February 26, 2006 on my very first blog. Can you believe that this post is 15 years old?

College Tuition, Ice Cream Cones, and Sneakers

In a recent issue of BusinessWeek there was a brief article entitled, “Tuition: it’s not like an ice cream cone.” As a payer of tuitions and a fan of ice cream, that tagline grabbed my attention.

The article opened with a reference to a family with two kids who are attending Middlebury College in Vermont. The father commented that he spends virtually all of his family’s discretionary income on his kids’ college educations. He went on to say, “We look at it as an investment in their lives.”

That’s the issue raised in the BusinessWeek article. It noted that “government number crunchers” don’t see education expenses as an investment. Even though households in this country shelled out $224 billion last year for education, the wizards in the government view that outlay as “consumption, no different than buying an ice cream cone or a pair of sneakers,” rather than as “investment.”

The article goes on to say that, “if the money socked away by households to be spent on education was counted as savings, then the U.S. personal savings rate for 2005 would have been 2.0%, not the -0.5% the official numbers show.”

I can relate to the plight of the couple with the two kids at Middlebury. I just started the onerous process of doing my taxes for 2005 and saw that I shelled out close to $85,000 last year in after tax dollars to pay for my daughter’s graduate school and my son’s law school. Essentially, I’ve been paying college tuitions (and related expenses such as room and board, books, and incidentals) continuously since 1997. Yet, because my adjusted gross income is deemed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be “too high” to deduct even a penny of that from my tax liability, I’m shit out of luck.

I am delighted that I can afford to fund my kids’ educations and not burden them with huge student loans they’d otherwise have hanging over their heads as they start out their professional lives. Like the father in the article, I consider that money to be an investment in my kids’ futures (and in my retirement planning).

But my Uncle Sam sees it as ice cream cones and sneakers. Go figure

27 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flashback Friday — February 26

  1. Mister Bump UK February 26, 2021 / 3:10 am

    I just hope that, all these years later, you regard it as a good, er, consumption of your cash!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 26, 2021 / 9:49 am

      I guess we’ve both been at this blogging thing for a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lssattitudeofgratitude February 26, 2021 / 5:15 am

    I will be an even older older old woman when I reach 15 years. Mazel tov on your blogging history.


  3. Paula Light February 26, 2021 / 5:48 am

    Ridiculous that the cost of education is so high when the cost of lack of education is much higher. See: the election of 2016 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen February 26, 2021 / 11:11 pm

        We really need to improve the education system (or systems) — for everyone regardless of income or zip code — from public schools to community colleges* to state university access, without going into personal debt. It’s a very high priority, to my point of view. However, I know of plentiful “educated” people who are s•t•u•p•i•d when it comes to politics or civics. (Yet: is it stupidity or something else?)

        I just heard, yesterday, of an extended family in-law [ex] who is carrying on about the government (federal) not having wanted to help Texas in order to avoid crisis… when, in actuality, it was Texas that blocked out the government (federal), prepped to secede. That after I’d facetiously {and completely unrelated to and out of the sight of the extended family} commented (a day or so before) that Trump fan types will be saying to keep gov’mnt away from my federal bailout.

        All the people~ I know or know of who are going in the direction of Republicans (the magaT cult) have bachelors degrees or more and are from the generation before boomers on through roughly the mid third of (the long segment of years attached to) the generation called “boomers.” I wonder if this is about people not being very sharp when their learning occurred long ago, or if it has to do with not having had educated parents, or what?

        Everyone I’m referencing as falling that way is either white or functioning as white (after having been assimilated to conquering colonials). Yet, I also know of (white and culturally white) people who were born in those timeframes (with and without degrees to their credit), who have already passed away, and who weren’t buying into Trump and — in some cases at least — hadn’t been bamboozled by Republican gobbledygook prior either.

        I wish I had talked more with my ex husband’s mother[+] as to why she’d turned away from voting Republican decades earlier, for example. (Her parents, at the end of their lives, were voting Republican locally and on a state level while choosing Democrats nationally. I didn’t discuss that with them, either. But most Democrats in top leadership began a stealthy move towards Republicans, fiscally and philosophically.)

        Anyway, it’s brilliant and wonderful that you got your son and daughter through their college-level educations without debt weighing upon them. This is the right thing to do, in my opinion. And the system seems to see it that way, in that the ability for a student to get funding is callibrated according to the parents’ income. But some young people can’t count on their parents (regardless of having the income). Additionally, I know my parents[+] didn’t need to count on their parents (other than to live with them… and, of course, some kids can’t even count on that after they’re eighteen). Our greater society valued higher education, for its own sake, back then; graduation with bachelors degrees in the early sixties.

        Then something predatory happened. Some change occurred in the hearts of Americans on the whole (the majority or enough to make significant changes). And it has taken a while for some of us to catch on that the country we’re living in isn’t like it used to be. But some of us want to reform it in the sense of making it better, while others want to continually talk about “tax reform” in order to neverendingly reduce the taxes of and increase the monopolistic capacity for the very richest people (while convincing poor and low-middle-class people masochistically to be on board for that in the name of making-america-great-again).

        + I do know, her father was in a union. He worked in the oil industry and wasn’t rich or poor but provided inheritances to each of his two daughters upon his death. My parents were both teachers (one specialized), and I have more regard for the teaching profession than they seem to have had; they were against the unions (my mother still is and is in favor of Trump). I have an aunt who is a registered nurse (retired) and (her husband) my uncle, who is an anesthetist (retired), who are for Trump.

        *One of my sons has told me that if he ever gets to a point when he has money to donate or pay for a wing or such, he will do something with the community college he attended while he was in high school (completing nearly two years of college while in high school via AP courses and other advanced classes). The high school itself was great, too; although he has ended up doing stuff about numbers, he was very involved with history and social studies (and the lead-in to his majoring in the crossover of economics) at that age. {A feature he didn’t like was all the stories the English department has on the reading list of “depressing” classics. But he did discern that Animal Farm points at the likes of (American) Libertarians or Republicanism. If you’re not allowed to think for yourself, you will be told it’s about Democrats or socialism.}

        ~ In reviewing what I wrote for this comment, I’ve remembered one person I met who was a bartender and maybe thirty years old and for Trump… oh, plus a young feller who was sitting at his bar one evening and conveyed his goals as he ran to be governor. He said he was a “conservative.” The first two subjects he forwarded a reasons to select him were the selling off of the governors home (gut everything being the motto) and legalizing on-line gambling.

        This evening, I heard someone on a news program who has lost a loved one in the cold of Texas in the last week. He used the word education or educate a couple of times. But he was referring to everyone being instructed or informed what to do in dire circumstances like cold and like lack of running or clean water (either because the utility has broken down or its supply has been contaminated or because the pipes in the home have burst).

        In a congressional hearing with heads of companies responsible for the failings in Texas, a head of one of the utilities answered a question as to what he would do differently: that he couldn’t think of a single thing he’d do differently. No matter the harm or that best practices had been reported ten years ago to avoid failings and harm. That in mind, maybe getting residents ready for failed utilities is too clear as to the lack of due diligence.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mason Bushell February 26, 2021 / 8:19 am

    I never understand the mega fortunes needed to get educated. The economy would always be better if education for all was free. in that way everyone could get better jobs, earn more and make the country richer.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Mason Bushell February 26, 2021 / 10:10 am

        Absolutely. Everybody no matter their finacial situation should be able to find a course and qualifications they can afford to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. annieasksyou February 26, 2021 / 9:56 am

    It’s great you could pay. But we now see what student loans are doing to people’s lives. Help is clearly needed.

    This post still draws people bc of the title, I think. Acrostic was originally more legible than now. First part of post is dated—second is a call to action that I believe must begin now so we make gains, instead of suffer losses—in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 March 1, 2021 / 10:15 pm

    Ice cream cones and sneakers… so far from the truth!

    Liked by 1 person

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