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Thread: I feel sorry for Mirai Nagasu

  1. #181
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    Oh man....reading about disproportional inflation of education costs makes me want to weep. Right now, I'm paying about $80,000 a year to go to school--over $50,000 a year for tuition, $30,000 a year for rent, food, living expenses, transportation, etc. Granted, I go to a private school and live in an expensive part of the country but the fact is that the inflation of tuition costs has outstripped the inflation in the general costs of living by a considerable amount, actually. And the economic situation is hardly getting better, which further compounds this sorry situation. Paying under $1000 a year for higher education seems literally unfathomable.....

    Anyway, about Mirai living in Arcadia--although Arcadia may be a wealthy city, that doesn't automatically mean that Mirai's family is well-off. If her family is anything like some of the other immigrant families I know about, they may be living in something like relatively inexpensive apartment housing or subletted suites in the area which allows them access to Arcadia's well-regarded public schools, community centers, etc.

  2. #182
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    That's a shocking amount of money, Evangeline. As you say, education has a higher inflation rate than salaries and other items. But salaries were shockingly low in the days of $1,000 college tuition. When I first started working, my salary was $8,000 a year. And I didn't get up to $10,000 for quite a few years after that. I was working in an office, not in a minimum wage job, either. Maybe these facts only serve to prove your point that the rate of salary inflation has not kept up with the increase in tuition.

    I don't know what it is that has made tuition costs rise so much more steeply, but it makes me sad to see higher education closed off for so many people and such a strain for those who do manage to try for a degree. My family went in a generation from being poor immigrants who didn't even speak English to successful middle-class professionals. They did it with just one tool: an education. They would turn over in their graves, as would their parents, if they knew how hard it is now for people to make that leap.

  3. #183
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    I wonder how much money Mirai gets for doing shows.

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Very true, but sadly that is not the preferred way anymore in this country.
    It is unfortunate Mirai got the flu. It does affect you physicallly obviously And it is unfortunate she didn't make the uS team to get major funding. But the same could be said for many others. Life isn't fair but Mirai's situation isn't that unlike others. She has shown great potential iel Oly 2010 but we have all seen reasons even without a flu how she could end up off the US team if we were being honest. If she has to practice "would you like fries with that" it may even motivate her more. A lot of us didn't have families wealthy enough for us to go after our dreams and we had to make some hard decisions. We can't all be Michelle Kwan's or whoever. Maybe she can recycle some onld costumes and recycle some old routines to help save money and to maximize points as she knows the choreography. Look at that Canadian Emanual Sandu - he used old costumes and routines and has no coach.

  5. #185
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    Strange as it seems, one of the biggest reasons why college tuition is increasing at a rate of more than twice the rate of overall inflation is because of the well-meaning student loan program passed by Congress in 1992. Suddenly all students, not just poor ones, could obtain government guaranteed student loans. Colleges and universities treated that as free money -- they raised tuition to soak up all the extra cash that was thus converted to student debt.

    This was consistent with the voodoo economics that was instituted in 1980 for both the federal government and individuals. Live beyond your means now, hope that you are dead when the bill is presented to your grandchildren.

    The other factor is the fiscal pinch that state governments are in. They have no extra money to fund their state university systems (basically for the same reason -- they already spent all their money years in advance of earning it.) This is why tuition at state universities is actually rising faster even than at the most expensive private colleges.

    Where does the money go? Well, I am a University professor. I got an annual raise of $214 dollars last year. The university paid for it by removing the telephones from all faculty offices and discontinuing putting chalk out in the classroom chalk trays. Use your cell phone, buy your own chalk.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Where does the money go? Well, I am a University professor. I got an annual raise of $214 dollars last year. The university paid for it by removing the telephones from all faculty offices and discontinuing putting chalk out in the classroom chalk trays. Use your cell phone, buy your own chalk.
    Seriously? Wow.

    Do you really have to buy your own chalks?
    Last edited by gimble; 02-04-2013 at 09:57 AM.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Strange as it seems, one of the biggest reasons why college tuition is increasing at a rate of more than twice the rate of overall inflation is because of the well-meaning student loan program passed by Congress in 1992. Suddenly all students, not just poor ones, could obtain government guaranteed student loans. Colleges and universities treated that as free money -- they raised tuition to soak up all the extra cash that was thus converted to student debt.

    This was consistent with the voodoo economics that was instituted in 1980 for both the federal government and individuals. Live beyond your means now, hope that you are dead when the bill is presented to your grandchildren.

    The other factor is the fiscal pinch that state governments are in. They have no extra money to fund their state university systems (basically for the same reason -- they already spent all their money years in advance of earning it.) This is why tuition at state universities is actually rising faster even than at the most expensive private colleges.

    Where does the money go? Well, I am a University professor. I got an annual raise of $214 dollars last year. The university paid for it by removing the telephones from all faculty offices and discontinuing putting chalk out in the classroom chalk trays. Use your cell phone, buy your own chalk.
    I work at a state university myself and this is so true. The state, especially after the recent recession, drastically cut funding to the university, so you can imagine how that loss was made up--tuition hikes! It's a joke to call it a "public university" when 10% or less of your operating budget comes from the state. They haven't given us raises in years, even though the facility upgrades and construction continues at a rapid pace. We have classrooms with super fancy technology and several brand new research facilities and shiny new dorms, but no raises. Go figure.

  8. #188
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    RANT ALERT !!!! Our economic difficulties all stem from the same source. Wealth is created by making things, not by typing on a computer keyboard. As an industrialized society, the vast majority of our wealth is created by sweating on an assembly line in a factory. ( Agriculture, fishing and mining also create wealth, but to a lesser extent. )

    So in a nutshell, factories create most wealth. Period. All these free trade agreements we have created over the last 20 years have allowed American companies to shut down 40% of our factories, lay off millions of workers, and move production to China and other third world countries.

    Why did they do such a thing? Because those apple pie American companies don't want to pay decent middle-class wages and benefits. They want to pay slave wages in China. And so they do. ( rant over )

  9. #189
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    Interesting story you gave about Mr. C. I took a great pic of him and Howard together at a skating event...maybe I will ask Howard if I can post it. Perhaps your story might explain a bit about Mr. C's comments to Mirai over the years in the Kiss and Cry, maybe they seemed a bit harsh, like "You"ll live" but he does know perspective about what is important and what is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    That's an amazing story about your friend Howard; goodness, he even trained with Maribel Owen, who perished on that flight with both her daughters. Yes, not being on that plane because one didn't make it onto the podium must give one perspective on the other distresses of life. By coincidence I was going through my skating books earlier today, and I was reading Skate Talk, the book with quotes from skaters, coaches, choreographers, and officials. In one passage, Frank Carroll talks about how sad he was for years because he would want to pick up the phone and call Maribel Owen about, for example, a problem he was having helping a skater with a rocker in school figures, and she was gone.

    I hope Mirai can pick herself up and continue in one direction or the other. Either way, she has a lot to look forward to. One thing I especially like to think about with Kurt Browning is that he never won an Olympic medal of any color in three tries. It was so hard for him at first; remember how he apologized to Canada on TV? Yet he has had an unparalleled career, both Olympic-eligible and professional, that dwarfs the careers of many an Olympic gold medalist. At first even I, just a devoted spectator, was devastated for him--imagine how he felt. But somehow he picked himself up and shook it off. This career arc should give hope and inspiration to everyone in skating. More is possible. And conversely, Michelle's career arc gives hope that a skater can find a rewarding path outside of skating. Whichever route Mirai takes, I hope she can look forward with renewed enjoyment and optimism.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    That's a shocking amount of money, Evangeline. As you say, education has a higher inflation rate than salaries and other items. But salaries were shockingly low in the days of $1,000 college tuition. When I first started working, my salary was $8,000 a year. And I didn't get up to $10,000 for quite a few years after that. I was working in an office, not in a minimum wage job, either. Maybe these facts only serve to prove your point that the rate of salary inflation has not kept up with the increase in tuition.
    The average annual per capita income in the US in 2011 was $41,560. Tuition at a private college costs around $50,000 a year....you may draw your own conclusions.

  11. #191
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    All very true, Mathman. My wife was a prof. And yes, the govt did heavily fund education when I attended college in the 1960s and 1970s....and before. At least at the land grant school like the U of Ill. And we put a man on the moon and made massive advancements in medicine. But now the fed and the states have no money for education, although society seems to provide lots of money for football programs. Anyway, I feel for people trying to become educated in order to better themselves and society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Strange as it seems, one of the biggest reasons why college tuition is increasing at a rate of more than twice the rate of overall inflation is because of the well-meaning student loan program passed by Congress in 1992. Suddenly all students, not just poor ones, could obtain government guaranteed student loans. Colleges and universities treated that as free money -- they raised tuition to soak up all the extra cash that was thus converted to student debt.

    This was consistent with the voodoo economics that was instituted in 1980 for both the federal government and individuals. Live beyond your means now, hope that you are dead when the bill is presented to your grandchildren.

    The other factor is the fiscal pinch that state governments are in. They have no extra money to fund their state university systems (basically for the same reason -- they already spent all their money years in advance of earning it.) This is why tuition at state universities is actually rising faster even than at the most expensive private colleges.

    Where does the money go? Well, I am a University professor. I got an annual raise of $214 dollars last year. The university paid for it by removing the telephones from all faculty offices and discontinuing putting chalk out in the classroom chalk trays. Use your cell phone, buy your own chalk.

  12. #192
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    I have mixed feelings about this thread. It feels a little intrusive to be discussing the state of the Nagasu family finances. I'm sure the Nagasus are neither the poorest nor richest family in figure skating--I almost feel like it might embarrass Mirai if she knew people were talking so much about her family's income.

    On the other hand, I'm sure many would argue that financing a skating career in North America is one of the most underdiscussed and least known aspects of the sport. The fact is, finances do matter. Just think of Rudy Galindo, for example. Rudy was open about how he came from a family without much money, and as a result, it was not easy to keep his skating going. It was a struggle at times, and I think he also stated part of his reason for turning pro after 1996 Worlds was to capitalize as much as he could on his success at that time. In the end, his tremendous talent could not be denied, but how many more U.S. titles and World medals might he have won if he'd had steady financial support for his training?
    Mirai's camp made her financial situation known a few years ago.

  13. #193
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    If you remember, the Nagasus did not have the financial resources to even go to the Olympics until an electronics company stepped up with a sponsorship deal to help fund a family trip to Canada.



    A makeshift appeal for financial support on a single sheet of printed paper was pinned on the restaurant’s notice board. Not many were aware of it. Even fewer were moved to dip into their wallets.

    There was an economic down turn then and, of course, now, so I suspect they are in much the same financial boat now as then.

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolymerBob View Post
    RANT ALERT !!!! Our economic difficulties all stem from the same source. Wealth is created by making things, not by typing on a computer keyboard. As an industrialized society, the vast majority of our wealth is created by sweating on an assembly line in a factory. ( Agriculture, fishing and mining also create wealth, but to a lesser extent. )

    So in a nutshell, factories create most wealth. Period. All these free trade agreements we have created over the last 20 years have allowed American companies to shut down 40% of our factories, lay off millions of workers, and move production to China and other third world countries.

    Why did they do such a thing? Because those apple pie American companies don't want to pay decent middle-class wages and benefits. They want to pay slave wages in China. And so they do. ( rant over )
    I agree with you, and I don't think it's a rant. The economic benefits of farming out labor to another country don't go to workers, and they don't go to consumers. They go to executives and shareholders. This creates a disconnect between the top economic level and everyone else that is not healthy. Add to that the reluctance of anyone to raise taxes, and the main stream of money coming into the country stays concentrated in a very small group of hands.

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    The average annual per capita income in the US in 2011 was $41,560. Tuition at a private college costs around $50,000 a year....you may draw your own conclusions.
    If Mirai's family really doesn't have the money, she would get financial aid. Few people could afford college if they had to pay the current costs. Some of that high tuition money is used to give financial aid to those who show need.

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