USA Today looked at eight states in the U.S. that rank the highest for student debt. Ranking from #8 to #1 are: Vermont, Ohio, Iowa, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire.
“Staying in the Midwest, we move on to Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones. Getting closer to your Big 10 or Big 12 favorites for a few years is going to cost you: Graduates from the state who have borrowed come out with an average of $28,753 in debt. The percentage of students who are in debt has gone up, too, with 72% of those who attend college in the corn belt state turning to the bank for help pay for their tuition.” LINK
Research has shown that the impact of student debt on an individual’s purchasing power and lifetime wealth can be devastating:
An average student debt burden for a dual-headed household with bachelors’ degrees from 4-year universities ($53,000) leads to a lifetime wealth loss of nearly $208,000.
The more than $1 trillion in student loan debt will lead to a total lifetime wealth loss of $4 trillion for indebted households.
The average debt for graduates of the University of Iowa ($28,554 average debt), Iowa State University ($30,374 average debt), and the University of Northern Iowa ($23,575 average debt) is extremely high.
Student loan debt may reduce new vehicle spending by $6.4 billion annually, and home ownership is 36% higher among those who no longer have student loan debt.
Iowa spends more than 31% less now on higher education per full time enrolled student than was spent in the 2007-2008 school year, decreasing by more than $2,500 in real dollars.
As part of the launch of ‘Higher Ed Not Debt’ today, Progress Iowa will ask supporters of affordable higher education to tell their stories about how student debt has impacted their lives. Those stories will be shared with elected officials and other decision makers as part of the ongoing campaign.
To learn more about Progress Iowa’s ongoing efforts as part of ‘Higher Ed Not Debt’ visit http://www.progressiowa.org.
 USA Today: 8 states where student loan debt is out of control
 At What Cost? How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth
 Project on Student Debt: Iowa Institutions
 Impact of Student Loan Debt on Homeownership Trends and Vehicle Purchasing
 The Great Cost Shift Continues (New Report)
“Dollarocracy is the most important political book of the year, maybe of our times. This is exactly the book every concerned American needs to read, because the process of understanding what exactly is going on and taking America back from the corporations starts here.” —Thom Hartmann
“America has two problems: money and media.” – Randi Rhodes
Media activist Robert McChesney, co-founder of Free Press and co-author with John Nichols of Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, will give a lecture March 10 on the University of Iowa campus. McChesney has most recently authored Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. Click here for more information about Robert McChesney.
IOWA CITY- Prominent media activist Robert McChesney, Gutgsell Endowned professor at the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will deliver the 2014 Li Chen lecture for the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) on Monday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. in W128 Chemistry Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.
McChesney’s talk is titled “The Crisis of Democracy is a Crisis of Journalism: They Had a Past, But Do They Have a Future?”
He will discuss the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies and examine the relationship between the closure of newsrooms and the dearth of media coverage of public life. “We have to look to our past for an independent, uncensored newsroom,”McChesney said. “That’s the biggest challenge of our times in media and communication. We need good journalism.”
UI journalism associate professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Berry said McChesney makes longtime journalists like himself think self-critically about journalistic conventions that journalists tend to accept by rote.
Until Berry read McChesney’s and John Nichols’s book, The Death and Life of American Journalism, he said he would have dismissed the notion of government lending a hand to ailing news organizations. “The authors make a strong and thought-provoking case, as they do for many other ideas they introduce,” Berry said. “That’s precisely why students, journalists and citizens will want to hear McChesney- he will make them think, question cherished notions, and consider new ideas.”
McChesney has written or edited 27 books, more than 100 journal articles, 150 book chapters, and another 350 newspaper pieces, magazine articles, and book reviews. From 2002 through 2012, he hosted the “Media Matters” weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-AM radio.
The Li Chen Distinguished Lecture series is made possible by a gift to the UI Foundation. Li Chen lecturers must be working journalists or media scholars and must, in addition to presenting a public lecture at the UI, visit SJMC classes and meet with graduate students and faculty in the department.
For more about Robert McChesney, visit this website
We need a Secretary of State who believes in Democracy. Check out Brad Anderson, Democrat. AndersonforIowa.com
“There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote.”
In honor of Rick Perry’s presence in the Hawkeye state this week, let’s all sign and share this letter to Rick Perry for Wendy Davis!
Rick Perry rubs elbows with the billionaire Koch brothers and their special interest friends, rather than working for Texas families. He appointed an executive from a predatory lending company to the Finance Commission of Texas in charge of cracking down on predatory lenders. He cut billions in education.
Rick Perry is an embarrassment. He has put his own political gain ahead.
Wendy Davis is a leader that will work to make the great state of Texas even greater. Sign up below to stand with Wendy Davis and defeat Perry’s cronyism.
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you? There is no fight more important than the one between regular Iowans and corporate hog factories. Iowans are battling this intrusion every day in a heroic struggle to preserve our daily quality of life. The encroachment of CAFOs in Iowa has already had devastating impact on our land, water and quality of living. It’s time for this trend to reverse.
February 25, 2014
Fight continues against proposed Davis County hog farms
By Wanda Moeller, Courier Editor
OTTUMWA — Land owners in northwest Davis County are continuing to apply pressure of an Illinois agribusiness owner not to build confinement hog farms in their neighborhood.
Ron Thomas of Unionville is selling property to Parks Finishing of Oakwood, Ill., to construct hog confinement structures at three different locations. Two of the confinements will be built on Alfalfa and Clay avenues in Marion Township and the third in Fox River Township on Arbor Blvd. The proposed hog confinement facilities owned by Parks Finishing continue to be a topic of heated debate in northwest Davis County.
Under Iowa code, a hog confinement cannot be built within 1,250 feet of the nearest residence. The proposed Parks Finishing facilities will be built within 1,400 feet of its nearest neighbors.
Tuesday morning land owners from Davis County, as well as anti-hog factory hog farm supporters from Wapello, Appanoose and Van Buren counties visited the Park Finishing office in Ottumwa. They were met outside by a local representative, who listened to their concerns.
Neighbors, like Jim Ealy, aren’t giving up their fight to stop the hog confinement facilities from being built on the Thomas’ property.
“One of the confinements will be about a half mile from my house and the other a mile and a quarter away. Plus, we’ll be downwind from the third one. All three of these confinements will be upstream from the Soap Creek Watershed, Soap Creek and Lake Wapello,” said Ealy. “We don’t want them there. I don’t think my quality of life should suffer because of 7,500 hogs.
Since a January meeting with the Department of Natural Resources representatives in Unionville, the neighboring land owners and local members of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) have met with legislators at the state capitol to continue to fight against the three proposed hog confinements.
The fight against hog confinements is not contained to Davis County. ICCI Farm and Environment Organizer David Goodner says the organization plans to escalate protests and expand them, not just in southern Iowa but in other offices across Iowa. Planned protests are scheduled to be conducted in Audubon, Ellsworth and Newell next month.
Rick Perry will be in Iowa this week, February 27-28, with four stated objectives.
(1) To help his “great friend” Governor Branstad with his re-election campaign;
(2) To meet with business leaders;
(3) To “make some shows” (aka Rick Perry presidential campaign videos, corn dog anyone?)
(4) To make a pitch to send some of Iowa’s jobs to Texas.
Really? That last one was a little odd. You wouldn’t think a presidential candidate coming to Iowa would want to alert the caucus goers that that is his plan, to steal Iowa jobs… But that is what he said on the TV. So, what was up with that?
How political lying works
The part he said about making a pitch to Gov. Branstad about taking Iowa jobs back to Texas? He wasn’t really saying that so the Iowa crowd could hear. He was directing that particular lie to the Texas crowd and the Iowa crowd was just supposed to cover our ears and hum during that part, which to be honest, Americans in general are really pretty good at. We have to be or it would be just too damn hard to function on a daily basis so lost in despair for our country we would be.
But I digress. The simple truth is, he’s not actually here on a job-stealing junket for Texas, so everyone can chill. He was in fact just saying that (lying) for cover, so that disgruntled Texas constituents who happened to be watching Morning Joe, would at least now have the story, if implausible, that their governor is here in Iowa conducting official gubernatorial business for the benefit of the great state of Texas. And what does he care really, because zero Texas Republicans even watch Morning Joe.
Yes, America, it is really that easy to lie and get away with it.
Students at the University of Iowa are protesting President Sally Mason’s bizarrely insensitive and seemingly uninformed comments about rape and sexual assault. In an interview with the Daily Iowan on Feb. 18 Mason said “The goal would be to end that, to never have another sexual assault. That’s probably not a realistic goal just given human nature … “ Sexual assault is human nature?
Five times in the Feb. 18 interview, Mason characterized sexual assault as a “bad thing” that “happens” to people, not once referring to the act of rape as a crime.
“when it comes to sexual assault and other kinds of bad things that can happen to people, you have to know more about it, we have to understand it, and I think what we’re seeing now is more people being willing to come forward and tell us when something bad happens.”
So, according to Mason, rape and sexual assault is just something bad that happens, implying that it is nobody’s fault. Further, she opines that we need to find a greater understanding about it. One wonders if she also thinks we need to find a better understanding of other types of crimes.
To be fair, the interviewer’s question was specifically about how the UI was educating people on the topic of sexual assault. So perhaps she didn’t really mean it like it sounded, but unfortunately the rest of her interview on this topic did nothing to indicate otherwise.
The implication that rape is “human nature” is not only incorrect but highly offensive and dangerous and frankly, a deplorable way for anyone to characterize a violent crime, particularly a university president who should definitely know better.
In response, students organized a respectably attended protest on the Pentacrest and a protest at Mason’s annual presidential lecture (see video and links below). The Daily Iowan is publishing every letter received on the topic.
A statement was released by Mason on Feb. 20. Notice how the rhetoric changed. The word crime appears twice in three short sentences.
“Sexual assault is a terrible crime, one for which there is no excuse. The UI will take all the actions in our power to prevent rapes, to support victims, and to prosecute offenders. Even one sexual assault in our community is too many, and we must confront this together as a community. I am committed to do everything in my power to end this terrible crime on our campus.”
That’s more like it. Not only is rape now a crime, it is a terrible crime. We’re making progress! Now may they follow this statement with policy to match.
Bravo UI students for banding together and speaking truth to power!
Click here to read the DI interview with Sally Mason
Click here to view coverage of the pentacrest protest
Click here to read letters to the Daily Iowan in response to Mason’s comments
Video of protest at Mason’s annual lecture on Feb. 24: