RUSH: Here is Debbie in Colorado Springs. Great to have you on the program. I’m really glad you waited. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. I just had a quick story. It’s not a question, but I was listening to your program yesterday and I tried to call and I couldn’t get through. But somebody was complaining about how they can’t get ahead because, I don’t know, they feel like there’s not anybody there to help them, that they can’t help themselves. I’ve been married to my husband almost 27 years, and he graduated to begin with as a teacher.
The last year he taught he made $28,000, and he just wanted to make more money. We’d already had our first two children, and he went back to school, and we took out student loans. That was the only way we could do it, and we were fine with that. Five years later in his first job, he made over $138,000, and he’s only made more every year after that, and this is 15 years later. During that five years, we did live with my parents for two of those years and that was the help that we got. (giggles)
RUSH: Now, I’m curious. You know, yesterday was Sunday. You said you were listening to yesterday’s program.
CALLER: It must have been a rerun.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s what I figured. It had to be the Week in Review. That’s why you couldn’t get through, ’cause it was a rerun show. But, you know, you mentioned something really intriguing to me at the beginning of your call. You said you heard people say they can’t get ahead because they need help, and then you went on to describe how you and your husband did it. You took it upon yourselves to do it, essentially.
RUSH: Now, that got me to think: There are a lot of generational differences, obviously, in every generation. You know, I’m a Baby Boomer, and we’re far different than what came next, Gen X and Millennials.
RUSH: But, you know, you’ve kind of struck a nerve there because I remember when I was 18 and 19 getting ready to leave home, the whole notion of “help” was not there. I mean, that’s what your education was, or if you had a job, you worked that trying to get better. That was your preparation.
When it came time to strike out and seek your fortune, seek your way to pursue your desires, you just did it. You knew it was hard. You knew there was a lot of competition, and that’s why you went to school in some cases, to be prepared for that. But it is different today with a lot of young people. They do think they can’t do it on their own for some reason, that they need some —
RUSH: Go ahead.
CALLER: Oh. It’s like they want people to help them rather than them taking responsibility. “It’s risky to take a student loan out.” I heard this from many people I know people personally. They don’t want to go to school. They don’t want to take out the student loans because it’s so expensive. But if my husband had have thought that same way, he would still be making nothing. You know, he’d be in the same position that he was in, which is not bad, he was a teacher, and he liked that, but he just had more aspirations for himself.
RUSH: Well, the student loan program today has become an albatross. The word has spread like wildfire that you’re gonna be saddled with $150,000 to $200,000 worth of debt, and after you’ve got your education there aren’t any jobs out there for you. Some of this business about student loans, I actually don’t have a problem with. I think it’s a racket, especially since the government took them over.
What’s the point in going $200,000 in debt in order to get an education when you’re not even certain you’re gonna get a job that’s gonna come anywhere near helping you ever retire that debt? So I think the student loan fear that some people have is a legitimate fear. But still, beyond that, there is this notion out there among young people they can’t do it themselves.
RUSH: Here is Adam in Washington. Great to have you on the program. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I was just calling about your previous caller who said that her husband went back to school and took out student loans and didn’t expect any help from anybody.
CALLER: I’m just calling to say that that’s what I wanted, too. I went to law school, I graduated in 2010. I don’t want any help from anybody. I just want this economy to work for people like me —
CALLER: — who want to do it the way that people before did it.
RUSH: Well, let me attack the concept of “help,” before we get too far gone here, because I don’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t want people thinking that there are people who make it without help. Everybody has some kind of help. Now, the kind of help that I think most people are referring to is an “in” or somebody rigging the system for them because of contacts. Everybody would love to have that, but not everybody does. But everybody gets help somewhere along the line. Your parents bail you out if you need a couple of bucks here and there, or any number of ways that people get help.
Nobody is entirely independently self-made. The concept that it can happen without help is a — I don’t want people to misunderstand the concept.
But what we’re talking about, what you’re talking about, Adam, you want to be able, you want to have an economy where you go out and you prepare yourself and you can excel because of that preparation and because of that alone, you have a chance to succeed. You don’t want other obstacles in your way. You don’t want an economy that’s half-assed. You don’t want an economy that’s stagnant and not growing. If you’ve taken the time, you want to find out whatever you can do on your own, using your own initiative and your own desire to make something of yourself, right?
RUSH: That’s exactly what you want.
CALLER: That’s exactly what I tried to do. We lived with my in-laws for three and a half years, and I appreciated it immensely, but to live in this economy where I’m told, you know, get your education, and I’ve done everything right by, you know, everything I’ve been told and still am scraping by four and a half years after law school, it’s absurd, and it’s insane.
RUSH: Well, what do you think needs to change? If you could wave a magic wand, I mean, what would you change to have made all this preparation pay off for you?
CALLER: There’s so many regulations and rules that increase the cost of labor, that increase the cost of doing business. An employer is not going to pay a ton of money for an employee that’s not gonna be insanely productive for them. Because they have to pay that money out in other avenues for regulations, for things like that.
RUSH: That’s exactly right. Employers have work that needs to be done, and they will pay to get it done. If it’s specialized work, they’ll pay even more to get it done, and if somebody is willing to show they can do it and is willing to work hard — the formula is still there, and it still is applicable. But I’ll tell you, you’re right, there’s so much pressure on, for lack of a better term, the private sector. I think that term turns people off, but I’ll stick with it just for the sake of this call.
I think there’s so much pressure in the private sector with all the regulations, now Obamacare and the vast unknown that it is in terms of the cost of doing business, it’s really challenging. And it’s all because, or maybe not all, largely because the government has interceded in so much of the private sector. What kind of law do you practice? Because the one thing that that the Democrat Party has made sure of is that trial lawyers are making out like bandits.
CALLER: (laughing) Well, I haven’t been able to practice law because the legal market was one of the markets to take the biggest hit during the downturn in the economy. And I worked as a temporary employee working on a large settlement for three years, and now I’m working in the home building industry as like a government affairs guy. And I’ve never been able to practice law because I can’t get hired to do it. It’s a very tight market now.
RUSH: Well, have you ever thought about the old hang a shingle route?
CALLER: Yeah, I have. And there are costs associated with that, and there are tradeoffs, you know, with family time and things like that.
RUSH: Well, look, I like to say in these kinds of circumstances that it is tough, but there’s never been a time where the skids were greased. It’s always been hard. Real lasting career success has always been hard work. It’s always been hard to accomplish and it’s even harder to maintain once you get there. And it’s still possible today. It’s just that there are so many more obstacles in people’s way than there used to be.
It’s a challenge to be optimistic. I still think that pays off. It’s a challenge to be optimistic in times like this with people, because the natural tendency is to be pessimistic, and it makes sense to be pessimistic in an Obama type economy and what’s happening to the economy under his stewardship. But as you look around, Adam, I’m sure that you see successful people. I’m sure you see people making it, which, forget the details, ’cause you don’t know their entire story. The fact of the matter shows it is still possible. It still is happening.
People have to be adaptive. I have found — not saying this about you — I have found in my own life that most — and I don’t think this is as true today as it used to be, because of Obama economics, but it once was true that most of the limitations that people face in life are self-imposed. Most of the obstacles in people’s way are put there by themselves, and one of the biggest ones is moving.
Say you want to do something but the opportunity for it where you live just isn’t all that great. But your family’s there and a lot of other things about the town you live in you like. You grew up there and it’s comfortable and so forth. Okay, so maybe staying there is something you want to do, but, by the same token, you’re only gonna go so far in your chosen profession ’cause the town doesn’t offer it. That is a self-imposed limitation. And there are more of those than people realize. It’s a matter of, in some cases, it used to be of how badly you want it. But today there’s even more pressure on that simply because the economy is shrinking, as we’ve been discussing all day, and a large time on Friday.
But Adam, just keep plugging away at it, and remain dedicated — you’re young — remain dedicated to your desire. If you do that, if you stay dedicated to your desire, and if you love it, if that’s really what you want to do, at some point plugging away at it is going to pay off. You won’t be able to predict when. You’ll have to know when the knock on the door is opportunity, but it will happen, if that’s what you want to do and if you stay dedicated to those desires. And who knows; something may come up during all this that changes your attitude about what you want to do and you find it and you go there, at which point you say, “Okay, I spent all this time educating myself to be a lawyer but I don’t need it now,” and you’ve gotta make a decision to not use what you spent all that money educating yourself on, if something presents itself to you that you really want to do.
That’s another self-imposed limitation that people have. “I spent all this time educating myself, I can’t go do X because I’ve gotta make sure this pays off.” Just stay dedicated to your desires and plug away, and the odds are that your situation will improve.