AT&T Call Dropping

I called AT&T today. Here is the approximate transcript from the call:

me: Hi, I’d like to make a change to my service.

att: Ok, what would you like to change?

me: I’d like to cancel my free Call Dropping Service.

att: Ok, I’m loading your account now, one minute.

me: Thanks.

att: I’m sorry, sir, we’ don’t have any Call Dropping Service.

me: Are you sure? Don’t use AT&T?

The operator was quite nice and helped lookup a variety of other AT&T services as well. She checked to see if they had a “Call Scrambling” service, as well as a “Automatic Call Blocking” service (where AT&T automatically doesn’t deliver a call). The last one tripped her up because they do have a service by that name, but she didn’t understand that I had never configured it and that I seemed to be describing having used it.

Eventually I got bored and hung up. Thank you to the patient operator. I still hate AT&T though.

Good Idea: Slash Government-backed Student Loans

Why is the price of college going through the roof? They could be rising due to increased costs. Or they could be rising because that is what the market will bear.

Mark Cuban proposed this recently, and I think he’s right. The government keeps throwing more money to students. Awash with cash, those students then go to school and spend it. With plenty of eligible students, the schools simply raise rates, the government loans more, and the cycle repeats. Shall we stop the madness? Stop giving out massive government student loans and this problem could evaporate entirely.

Here’s a fun info-graphic about college loans.

And here’s Mark:

3. Limit the Size of Student Loans to $2,000 per year

Crazy ? Maybe, maybe not. What happened to the price of homes when the mortgage loan bubble popped ? They plummeted. If the size of student loans are capped at a low level, you know what will happen to the price of going to a college or university ? It will plummet. Colleges and universities will have to completely rethink what they are, what purpose they serve and who their customers will be. Will some go out of business ? Absolutely. That is real world. Will the quality of education suffer ? Given that TAs will still work for cheap, I doubt it.

Now some might argue that limiting student loans will limit the ability of lower income students to go to better schools. I say nonsense on two fronts. The only thing that allowing students to graduate with 50k , 80k or even more debt does is assure they will stay low income for a long, long time after they graduate ! The 2nd improvement will be that smart students will find the schools that adapt to the new rules and offer the best education they can afford. Just as they do now, but without loading up on debt.

The beauty of capitalism is that people like me will figure out new and better ways to create and operate for profit universities that educate as well or better as today’s state institutions, AND I have no doubt that the state colleges and universities will figure out how to adapt to the new world of limited student loans as well.

Finally, the impact on the overall economy will be ENORMOUS. There is more student loan debt than credit card debt outstanding today. By relieving this burden at graduation, students will be able to participate in the economy