Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1573:legal-reasoning-redux-5&catid=38:there-and-never-back-again&Itemid=65

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Against Loan Forgiveness

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This White House petition just came to our attention resulting in a massive headdesk:

The Presidents proposed 2015 Budget includes a provision that will change the Public Interest Loan Forgiveness (PILF) program by capping overall forgiveness to $57,500. This change only hurts the hard working employees who work by serving their community often in low-wage jobs. These individuals' student loan amounts often exceed the cap as they consist of people with more than a college degree: Social Workers, Speech Pathologists, Lawyers, etc. These dedicated public servants chose to work for the public good with the added promise that their dedicated service of 10 years would be rewarded with complete loan forgiveness, only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them by a misstep by the administration. Please sign this petition and support those who work to help you.

This is just another case of special snowflake syndrome, but not the way you think. The people calling for loan forgiveness are absolutely right that education is way too expensive and if you have to use debt to finance your education you'd be unable to take low paying public interest jobs. They're not asking for loan forgiveness because of a sense of entitlement, they're asking for it because they want to be public servants and they don't see any other way of doing it with their debt loads.

It's special snowflake syndrome because it fails to ask a very simple question: How does this affect other people?

Loan forgiveness programs present the college-bound with a very enticing narrative: Either you'll make a lot of money in the private sector and your loans won't be a problem, or if you don't get such a job you can go into the public sector and your loans won't be a problem. Either way you do not need to care about how large your loans are. And when customers don't care how much they have to pay, prices skyrocket.

And that royally fucks things up for the folks starting college after you. Tuition keeps rising and when they enter the workforce fewer of those private sector jobs will cover their debt. That increases competition for public interest programs and that competition means there's too many high-debt grads for the number of jobs. Now you've got people with huge debtloads who can't pay them off.

Just to kick the folks behind you in line while they're already down, the more of your loans that you get forgiven, the less money there is to go around for everything else, and the less popular these forgiveness programs become, making it increasingly likely that we'll have to either lower the amount available or get rid of the forgiveness entirely.

 

The better alternative to loan forgiveness is increased wages. If your job pays (after taxes) $30,000 and gives you $10,000 in loan forgiveness that's exactly the same as paying you $40k and letting you give the bank $10k. Bank gets paid the same and you have the same money left over.

What's different though are the incentives. If you're going to be making $40k no matter how high your loans are, you're going to seriously consider keeping them low. Price competition among universities helps to bring down the cost for everyone, so bam, you've already done a tremendous public service even before you've graduated.

Funneling the money into salaries also allows public sector jobs to attract better employees. By having so much of the compensation tied up in loan forgiveness the jobs attract people with lots of debt while people with high debt will tend to look elsewhere. Now this is just going to be a general trend, but we're willing to bet that people who graduate with little debt are more likely to be desirable employees. People who got scholarships tend to be pretty bright, people who worked to pay their way have experience, and people whose parents paid out of pocket have parents who can donate to the public interest organizations their kids are working for (and have friends that can be hit up for donations as well).

So, people with debt aren't any worse off, people without debt are better off, there's an incentive to keep your costs under control so you're better off, and keeping costs under control helps everyone else. Who's hurt by this? People with above average debt. If the money is moved into salaries, people aren't being compensated based on their debt, so people with a ton of debt are now worse off. ...Tough? It's certainly not a perfect system, and governing means making choices, picking winners and losers. Sure there will be some losers, people who were previously winners in the system, but the current plan of debt forgiveness just makes the entire game stink.

All I Want For Christmas Is To Sue

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It's not even Iron Bowl (ie: Thanksgiving) weekend yet, but apparently the Christmas season has already started. Of course, for those of you with jobs, the Christmas season started with Q4 when you looked at how far you were from reaching your annual billable hour target.

But, there's a cold front hitting New England and the Mid-Atlantic, and snowflakes have been spotted in Philly -- and we don't just mean the newest crop of students who think they'll beat the law school employment odds. Actual, melt on the ground, not melt-down in your class snowflakes. So, I guess that means it's Christmas Law Revue video season.

And by season, we mean one video from some kids at Syracuse Law. Enjoy:

We also would have liked: All I Want For Christmas Are Two Vacant Seats (on the Supreme Court)

Gives a new meaning to "Bang on the drum all day."

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Millennials are shallow, lazy, entitled, self-centered, delusional, trophy brats. They expect to be given great jobs right out of college when they've got zero experience and have not yet put in any of the hard work (except for the last 16 years of hard work, but no credit for time served). And they expect that great job to come with a pile of money (after adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage has dropped 20% over the last 40 years, and Gen Y is entering the workforce with $25,000+ of debt). It's like these damn kids think they don't have to spend the first two years of their careers fetching coffee and doing grunt administrative work for free (something never before expected of any generation).

So if Gen Y is busy tweeting their entitled attitudes during their lunch break (which was supposed to be spent working, you bums!), just what is the incredibly industrious Boomer generation doing all day?

Turns out they're looking at porn.

And they're bad at it.

A survey of 200 IT professionals found that 40% had to spend time removing malware from an executives computer which was downloaded by clicking a malicious link on a porn website. There are laptops, and tablets, and loads of free porn websites that are free of malware, so the Boomer executives (that's right, executives) aren't just wasting their time at work looking at porn, they don't even understand how computers or the internet works.

It's not just the folks who accidentally dropped their little blue pills into their morning coffee either. 56% of IT professionals said that executives had downloaded malware by clicking on a link on a phishing e-mail. Another 45% found malware that got there because the executive let a family member use their work computer -- and assuming they're not lying, that means the family member was smart enough to do all their dirty work on someone else's device. Perhaps the wrong person is in the boss's chair.

So, maybe Millennials are lazy and entitled, but they're at least modest about it. They want to be paid to do a job. Boomers want to be paid 270x as much to watch porn.

The National Intelligence Law Job Opening You Didn't Need Illegal Surveillance To See Coming

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Remember when Senator Ron Wyden as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" And James Clapper answered "No, sir." Remember that?

Then it came out that the NSA collects data about pretty much every communication that happens in the United States. And the NSA tried to argue that telephony metadata isn't data, because you know, it's metadata, even though Wyden said "any type of data," and metadata is a type of data. The NSA's argument would have been more plausible if they said telephony metadata isn't data because it's phoney.

With even more news about our government's extensive spy program coming out, people are pissed off and calling for heads to roll. Specifically, Clapper's head and a charge of perjury for lying to Congress. A poll conducted in five states found a substantial majority of Americans want Clapper prosecuted, 69% in Kentucky, 68% in Texas and 65% in Iowa; even in the blue states of Hawai'i and California folks want Clapper behind bars, with 57% and 54% respectively supporting prosecution. [HuffPo]

So, it should come as no surprise that the federal job opening has a high-paying job available. No, it's not Director of National Intelligence. Not yet, at least. But as of last Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is looking for legal counsel:

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Provide expert legal advice and guidance to senior Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) leadership on complex areas of law affecting ODNI’s duties and responsibilities under the National Security Act, Presidential directives, Executive Orders, and other related laws and policies.  

Provide expert legal counsel to support the development, review, and preparation of United States (US) Government-wide and IC-wide policies, procedures, guidelines, rules, and standards.

Counsel clients, including senior ODNI leaders, on complex legal issues and provide innovative and highly effective guidance on possible courses of action; expertly prepare complex, high profile, and persuasive legal documents on complex legal issues for a variety of internal and external recipients.

[USAJobs]

Interestingly, the job appears to have zero qualifications other than U.S. Citizenship, a resume and a cover letter:

 

No mention of having attended law school, or passing a bar and having a law license, or experience in a relevant field, or even the typical X years at Y paygrade. None of that. For $150,000 a year, you'd think the government could afford to hire someone with at least a JD (though according to the Department of Education, if you have more than $96k in student loans, the $150k salary doesn't get you out of financial hardship, so maybe not). Maybe this is how Clapper got in trouble in the first place.

Hint: If you're called before Congress to testify, and are given the questions in advance, and one of the questions will require you to either perjure yourself or to disclose classified information, and a non-answer would in effect be disclosing classified information, you're allowed to request a closed session so that you can answer honestly without violating any laws.

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