China fact of the day

The U.S. higher education sector will also be hard hit, with U.S. universities increasingly dependent on tuition from Chinese students. According to the Institute of International Education, China has remained the largest source of international students for ten years running,44 with 369,548 Chinese students enrolled in U.S. higher education programs in 2018 and contributing $15 billion in tuition payments.45 The postponement or cancellation of U.S. college entrance examinations in China, indefinite travel restrictions, and continued uncertainty surrounding when U.S. college campuses will reopen are expected to reduce Chinese demand for U.S. higher education in the 2020-2021 academic year.46 University administrators report that cancelled recruitment events in China and inability to work with local recruitment agencies could further depress Chinese student enrollment in U.S. university programs.

Here is the full document, on cascading economic impacts from China more generally.  For the pointer I thank a loyal MR reader.

Comments

This could really suck. Love good Chinese food and the areas around higher end universities have become fairly reliable sources for it. With all of the Chinese students going away will have find other sources.

Steve

So because of China 369,548 Americans are denied an opportunity to go to college. American colleges should be required to take only American students until all Americans who want to go to college have been accommodated and only then allow foreign students.

And since foreign students pay full price, and American students can't afford college, this would only lead to American schools running out of money. Sounds like a plan!

Somehow they survived without the 50% Asian student body. Cut the fat and the worthless Grievance Study departments.

Great Website with nice Design.

This is what happens when racist universities kick out Asians for checking the wrong box.

meanwhile
david brooks(harvard, newyorktimes.com) claims giving your own kids music lessons causes "inequality"

Chinese student enrollment in US schools already was down since 2017 as Trump's trade war and anti immigration rhetoric drove away students. Most international students want to stay in the US after studying, and Canada and Australia have much more welcoming pathways to a visa than the US H1B lottery.

yes and there is no way things will change in Australia just because of this little ol' virus.

For Australia, sure! Just pointing out that Chinese enrollment *in the US* long predates the coronavirus

That's correct. The plan is to beat Europe and the US in getting Chinese students signed up by becoming a disease free zone. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I can here a car backfiring...

We should cancel all their student visas and deport them. They are mostly the children of party apparatchiks and future spies anyway.

Screw them.

Screw you EdR. Immigrants built AmeriKKKa. Not people like you. I personally favor citizenship being a privilege not a right. Commit a serious crime? Get deported to a country paid to accept you, for purposes of this discussion, call it Liberia. Don't make enough money, own enough assets? Same (until such time you can buy yourself back into the USA if you qualify by income and/or assets). And finally, bring back Greek style ostracism: every two years, like when it's time to elect representatives, have a ballot question that allows you to deport one unpopular person for up to one year (again, ship them to Liberia). I'd like to see some 'reality TV' stars sent to live in Africa for a year.

Mr Lopez, for someone who constantly posts their trolling BS on here about being part of the 1% and boasting of your 19 year filipina girlfriends, you seem a bit thin skinned this morning. What wrong? Run out of Viagra last night?

Count your lucky stars that you only meet him virtually. I’m sure he’s Insufferable in person. I can think of 3 or 4 others that I would never want to meet.

At most, there might be 3 or 4 commenters here I would ever want to meet in person, not the inverse.

Lol! Little touchy there señor Lopez?
Immigrants contributed to America, but they did not build it by themselves. My grandparents were immigrants and I have married two of them and I'm working on the third. It's my contribution to the diversification of the nation. !
Did you know that Thai is a derivative of Sanskrit? I didn't. Why do you care about 350,000 Chinese children of CCP thugs? Our university system wasn't built for them and they displace Americans - there are a finite number of seats. These students aren't the best and the brightest, so we are not creating a new generation of American scientists and engineers. No doubt the CCP will reward them handsomely to turn over American intelligence and IP. If you want immigrant students so bad, toss the CCP brats and bring in 350,000 non-Chinese Asians. To make sure we check all PC boxes let's bring in 350,000 Asian female STEM students. I'd go for that.;)

We should use those student visas as leverage to get our way with the middle kingdom. When they cheat us or screw around near Taiwan we can send their kids back home to sleep in the basement. That will get their attention. It's cheaper than an aircraft carrier.

I don't know why I even respond to you, since you are so rediculous - bragging about your family money and your Phillipina child bride - I thought you just HAD to be a parody. Nobody could be that clueless. Once again, I have been proved wrong.

A chinaman make a kuckold of ye?

Since when did the U.S. become such a passive, insecure country that it is afraid of being spied on by a bunch of international students? If the son or daughter of a highly connected government official comes to your country, that's a golden opportunity to either recruit them as spies or place them under surveillance.

Or make them love (and copy) your country?

You know how Kim and his sister spent a few years in a Swiss boarding school? Now they like Swiss chocolate, their trains run on time, and North Korea has a great banking system (specializing in counterfeiting).

This is why the US is unable to convince many foreign students of the supposed superiority of our values. They end up in the boondocks surrounded by belligerent xenophobes who believe all manner of conspiracy theories and come away thinking wow America is not the shining city on the hill I thought.

Perhaps they should lay out a red carpet to a Potemkin Village? It's what China does.

(With schools to boot, which are strong but perhaps not as what is presented as "typical"....)

International students are far more likely to hear about AmeriKKKan racism, xenophobia, etc. tirelessly repeated by the useful idiots of university faculties.

"end up in the boondocks surrounded by belligerent xenophobes"

They go mainly to California and other urban areas, not "boondock" areas.

"xenophobes

Nice tolerant attitude you have for Americans.

Sure most of the central government’s policy responses have focused on the supply side, but local governments seem to be pumping out millions of rmb worth of vouchers for services across the country. On the east side of Beijing, in Chaoyang, there is a potential outbreak. On the west side of Beijing in Xidan (where I used to live) and Xicheng they have issued vouchers worth 100 million rmb. Demand just isn’t what it used to be. It’s not like it is a ghost town. It just seems like only a lot of young people out in cafes and restaurants. I’m not really sure what more the government can do. China is a low trust society. Even people in Germany, a high trust society, seem to be slow to embrace their new found freedom to consume.

$15 billion!

That's nothing. America has to print that every second just to make minimum payments on the increasingly massive national debt.

$1.4 quadrillion a year for interest? We’re in worse shape than I thought. Damn Trump!

That's ridiculous. It's more like every 2 weeks. Of course that was before the current crisis....

In theory India and Pakistan could fill every old Chinese spot and there would still be millions left over.

Honestly, most of these Chinese kids weren't going to get a good education in the US anyway. The language barrier is one complication but above all, US universities have decayed significantly over the years at the same time Chinese universities have come a long way. Their parents were sending them to American universities because they have (had?) a certain prestige in China, but if that isn't an option the signalling game just resets at a cheaper level.

As for the universities, they have absolutely glutted themselves to an absurd degree on the wealth of foreign students (and the enormous debt of American students). They will have to learn to tighten their belts, and they will ultimately be better off for it.

I think quite a few Chinese send kids overseas as insurance — at least among government officials. The lower level ones might want their kid to acquire a foreign passport of green card. The better off ones want to a way to move money offshore and investing it.

Some parents do send their kids overseas just for the prestige or to spare their kids the domestic admissions exams. But quite a few students go overseas because they dislike the domestic education system/society.

Undergraduates today in China are more militantly patriotic, more hostile in my experience. They’ve really done a number on them. Numbers are going to decline anyways, if I recall correctly, because the kids just don’t want to go. Or if they do go, they don’t want to go to America. The US is pretty much demonized every week on television here. And Covid-9 is just making it way more intense — at least in the media.

American universities will have to endure the ungrateful task to educate their fellow citizens and the youth of their own country instead of making money with foreign students. What a shame!

...is that foreign students pay full freight. Domestic ones you either have to discount the tuition (especially in state students at state schools) or find enough rich Americans, or plunge even more not-rich Americans into debt.

Foreign university students are one of the best ways for the US to project it's "soft power" as well.

Or cut expenses. How many diversity vice presidents does one need?

Plus, many US colleges have huge endowments. Harvard can not charge tuition at all to anyone and not even touch the principal.

At the end of the Christmas break, Chinese students who had gone home for the break, returned to campus, many returning from Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. And not only returning college students, but returning prep school students. Should colleges and prep schools been more vigilant and imposed restrictions on returning Chinese students? Were they not more vigilant because the schools are so heavily dependent on students from China? Parents of American students at these schools were livid, many withdrawing their kids well before the schools shut down.

In his column today, Bret Stephens argues that Ohio should not be subject to the same lock-down order as New York since their infection and death rates are so different. A worthy argument if New Yorkers stayed in New York and Ohioans stayed in Ohio. But they don't. At least not until now. With different lock-down orders among the states, will the states adopt travel restrictions? If Trump can impose travel restrictions on Chinese, why can't the governor of Ohio impose travel restrictions on New Yorkers? Indeed, would it be a dereliction of duty if the Ohio governor didn't impose restrictions on New Yorkers, including New Yorkers who wish to attend Ohio State?

Is this dependence upon Sino students a reason why US academia, in general, is so forgiving of Beijing practices?

If Trump put a million-and-a-half Muslims into concentration camps,x what would be the reaction of US academia? So when President Xi put a million-and-a-half Muslims into concentration camps, why they generally muted response?

Can't tell if you are serious but out of the principle of charity, Harvard Law had a few recent discussions on Xinjiang:

https://hrp.law.harvard.edu/student-perspectives/surveilled-detained-disappeared-repression-in-xinjiang/

https://hls.harvard.edu/event/surveilled-detained-disappeared-repression-in-xinjiang/

Where we gonna get smart people?

From the Temple.

Shalom!

Like other luxury brands, U.S. universities will be hurt by a lack of Chinese consumption .

Dependency on Chinese youth streams probably isn't a good idea anyway. Aging population.

That said, keeping some brain drain to China going is probably no bad thing (get the best talents working in research for the US, worsen their narrow demographic base) but perhaps target Indian students a bit more as well.

I don’t believe in “dependency.” If you have a job or business that you know will gradually become obsolete, surely it makes more sense to try to milk as much money out of it while you can rather than quit prematurely because you’re afraid of dependency. Nearly all products have a lifecycle; getting a lot of revenue from a product in the heyday of its lifecycle is not dependency but smart business.

I don’t believe in “brain drain” either. Knowledge is not zero sum—more and better research is good for all humans. But if you wanted brain drain, you’d probably need to make immigration easier and also not have your media and local people constantly sending out xenophobic messages that tell Chinese people “wow I’m not really welcome here and half the locals want to bomb, isolate, or impoverish my family, we need a big strong government to protect us after all.” There was already a study in 2016 showing that liberal Chinese become more supportive of the Chinese government when they can access Western media and this effect has probably increased substantially today when most articles involving China in the mainstream media have a threatening tone: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2604321

Shrug. Another analogy is that some people advocate that pivoting away from dependence on the White vote as a good thing for the Republicans do to future proof, well before they face a electoral denouement. The other argument is they should lean into it to milk it for all its worth and damn the future consequence. We can see both arguments and I don't know which is tactically best from a neutral POV.

Brain drain may not apply to nations in the sense that most knowledge is broadly applied and shared among humanity and discovery is generally good for all. There's also Alex T's argument that brain drain is good at stimulating local substitution and gives more incentives to develop.

But I suspect it does apply in the sense that those who remain back home are more likely to be put into service in means that serve the ends of the party.

Encouraging migration via general positive sentiment among potential migrants has to be balanced against a need to maintain a credible and selective migration policy in general. I suspect the "We must do everything every migrant ever wants or it may make some potential migrant unhappy and they won't come!" bunch are bluffers (the best will still come), and even if it was true, it wouldn't be worth doing what they want anyway. YMMV.

It's interesting the degree to which people rejected Thomas Friedman, and in so doing bundled his facts with his analysis. This is not Tom:

The following chart highlights this expansion along with the shifting distribution of degree attainment by country. Within that base of 137 million degree-holders in 2013, for example, 17% were in China, 14% in the US, and 14% in India.

Looking ahead to 2030, we see a very different distribution projected with 27% expected to be in China and 23% in India. The US share of the global population of degree holders is projected to decline to 8% by that point.

Put another way, China and India together are forecast to be home to nearly half of world’s university graduates by 2030.

The fact is, the US does not have a monopoly on higher education. And if we refuse to participate in "the market" it will continue on without us.

"Brain drain," is a dead letter at this point.

Secular trend of growth in education and selective emigration of more highly educated persons such that a country has fewer of them than in a naive counterfactual, are entirely compatible propositions.

That also sounds like a corner case, relative to 300 million degree holders in 2030.

Depends on how important the corner is. If it's at the far tail of achievement, it may be a corner that's quite important indeed.

" Ordinary Chinese will be reluctant to study in the US knowing that their every move is being observed by US agencies that receive accolades only for exposing them as spies. "

Yeah, I'm sure surveillance by intelligence agencies is a deal breaker for Chinese students....

Well played, sir.

Could be -- it may be that getting away from surveillance is one of the attractions of leaving China to study.

Hah! The day more than a handful of Chinese universities can compete with what’s on offer in the US — and that’s being diplomatic — is the day I try to disinfect my lungs with a UV light. Never gonna happen in my lifetime.

All foreign students should be deported, not simply Chinese students.

If this manufactured crisis has shown anything, it's that no one needs to be physically present in this country to get an education (presuming one actually gets educated at American universities today).

There's no reason to give foreigners, and freshly-indoctrinated ones at that, a foot in the door to citizenship, creating further vectors for diseases that cause the Chicken Littles among us to shut down the economy.

If that means some of our esteemed colleges are forced to cut down on their largesse and end their programs that serve no other purpose than to disseminate agitprop to malleable minds for the radical left, well, I guess we'll have to make that sacrifice.

As Trump keeps failing, the Nazis are getting more and more desperate.

Isn't it easier to just kill all foreigners?

And then we'd not have companies like Google, Stripe or Tesla competing with All-American companies, because their mean, evil founders that aren't US citiizens would have become entrepreneurs somewhere else. We'd have truly american companies, like Ford, show us their ingenuity and leadership. Those foreigners could never outcompete us. We could go all in on our natural resources instead, and then our nuclear capabilities and political leadership in their 70s would make us thrive, and be as fearsome as the soviets under Brezhnev. A future as bright as that of the soviet union is within our grasp, if we only dare to take it!

"founders that aren't US citiizens would have become entrepreneurs somewhere else"

Unlikely. Most places in the world don't have "entrepreneurs" like we do.

Musk is South African. Name a entrepreneur creating a large company in South Africa?

Stripe got US venture capital to start and grow. Good luck creating an internet payment hub in tiny Ireland depending on Irish capital.

Maybe Larry Page would have invented Google all by himself. The booming Russian tech world shows how easy Brin would have had it. [hint, not at all]

These foreign citizens succeeded because they took advantage of all the US had to offer.

I think you are correct, but on the other hand the US has benefited from their skills also. It's clearly a Win-Win. There's no sufficient reason to shut the door on high skilled foreigners. Particularly ones that are paying their own way.

This is one of those big debates.

Is it the case that immigrant entrepreneurs are just "doing what comes naturally" and would do so anywhere, but do so in the US because it brings them greatest remuneration and speed.... or.... is it the case that the companies are ultimately just the outcome of US economic structural features, and the migrant entrepreneurs are not really the cause but simply a proximal "tool hand" for ultimately ideas and business which would've been expressed anyway (just under a native "hand")?

I'd tend to suspect more generally the latter, and that the US is "special" while Musk, Thiel and Brin (and so on) really aren't, at all. But it's not like we have an alternate timeline to test this in.

Musk isn't an 'entrepreneur'-he's a fraud

Stripe? You are indeed easily impressed: one of dozens of payment processors which sit on top of VISA, Mastercard to collect a few basis points on transactions.

Brin & Page? Name a new product from their company. I dare you.

btw, the 'booming Russian tech world' is in Israel.

"All foreign students should be deported, not simply Chinese students."

That makes no sense. The US stands to benefit from highly skilled immigrants and the ideas and enthusiasm they bring. Low skilled immigration is a net drain, but there's no reason the US shouldn't desire to bring in those with high skills that will be a net surplus to the economy.

I recall that scene from Game of Thrones where Geoffrey is ranting "I am the king" and his grandfather cuts him down, "anyman who has to say I am the King is no King". All the "MAGA" chanting by a certain political faction here has wiff of the same desperation.

The point of being great is to be great, if you have to say it then at best you are losing it, if it isn't already gone.

In five years China will shrug and say it's colleges are as good as our Harvards and Princetons. In 15 years American kids will study Chinese in order to get slots in Universities in China....although they might not actually attend in person.

For STEM they'll probably get there, though like all things Chinese it will be very far from equally distributed and probably not enough to modernize the economy. When the Soviets were competitive in hard scientific discovery, engineering and maths, they sure as hell weren't competitive in the economy.

For political science, economics, history, etc. it's really unlikely they'll ever get there. How do you get good econ research if the state wants you to say Marxist-Leninist things which aren't true? Is there really a ideologically neutral and true theory of history? If there is, the Chinese Communist Party ain't gonna take you there. Even in biology and medicine I'm not sure they'll ever get there if the Party does weird things like trying to use universities to rubber-stamp health initiatives that don't make sense or Chinese traditional medicine.

And it's worse for more culturally loaded dimensions; Marxist-Leninist states probably couldn't understand Western history even if they were Western (just as studying Chinese history is really hard in the West)...

Could be a good feature. Keeping departments outside STEM lean allows focus on the things which build useful usable knowledge. American universities would contribute more to growth if they looked more like Tsinghua.

I suspect that in China they won't actually keep things lean but will end up with lots of non-STEM stuff that teaches Party-approved nonsense, and students will sign up for this as it means good Party provided jobs in the longer term.

Even if they did keep things lean, I guess I'm not cynical as to believe that you can a) push good humanities students into being mediocre STEM students and *this is net beneficial* or that b) a society with none of the knowledge the humanities try to offer with be qualitatively as rich or robust as one without that.

The impression I get is that the Chinese Party essentially survived the collapse of communism by simply deciding they wanted to keep power but didn't care about the 'Party approved nonsense'. Hence you get a country that says it is socialist but has billionaires and a rich class that can Holiday at gambling resorts that appear modeled on the Casino Planet in the second to last Star Wars movie.

The impression I've got more recently is that this is apparently the common, generally reproduced view in the West, but the reality is more "We added epicycles to the old ideas, and you better believe them, or at least not publicly contradict them" more than it is "We nominally say we're founded on scientific Marxist-Leninist socialism but it's an open secret we're not and actually none of this is evident if you look at the output of our universities and other public institutions".

That said, perhaps this is less of a restriction than I think.

Yes, for non-STEM subjects on campus you had best follow the party line. Wait, are we talking about China or here?

Interesting point on the humanities. Although historically there was a lot of humanities even without political freedom for most of European history. I suspect the Chinese Communist Party might decide it doesn't really have to challenge non-STEM fields. As long as you're not challenging their rule of China, you can do what you want. Hence Chinese Harvard offering a degree in French History needn't be all that different than US Harvard.

The other possible model is an imperfect type of academic freedom. I recall Isaac Asimov's Foundation series had the academy on the Empire's capital planet as the safest place for rogues to hang out as that was the one place the Empire allowed some freedom as a type of Faustian bargain.

I would suspect the Party has a pretty broad definition of what is challenging the Party. (If they don't, it's a lot easier - but everything seems to suggest they do).

It may not actually matter for them if they can't compete in non-STEM fields though, but it probably matters for us if we're thinking about a mass exodus of all higher education (and not just STEM). Though to think of it; I can't really see STEM students who tend to quite loudly object to anything where Western unis are even perceived to be in quite mild alliance with any authoritarian-nationalist trends in Western governance signing up for courses at Chinese universities in cahoots which are openly creatures of the CCP. (They're not totally hypocritical.)

China has active social media, original movies, science fiction, TV, etc. STEM, except for health care, is not an automatic ticket to growth. Look from 2000 to 2020. How did 'high tech Japan' do against the US?

You'd be surprised at how low tech Japan is, business wise.

Worked on a project a few years back that involved a Japanese firm and its subsidiary. IIRC they insisted on faxing everything.

Faxing.

But they were the best fax machines I'm sure.

I think there's a bit of a cross purpose here, I'm talking of "Competing for mindshare and students by competing for quality in non-STEM intellectual fields", more than "Competing for market share in creative industries".

I'm not sure you really need much, or any, academic freedom in non-STEM to compete in the business of creative industries. I mean, creatively, artistically the PRC "mainland" is kind of unimpressive, pound-for-pound when you set it aside most nations, in particular contrast to Hong Kong or Taiwan, or probably even Singapore. But they can certainly churn out Extruded Entertainment Product and the PRC populace certainly do seem to buy it. I don't see any of it as really to be too successful outside the borders, except stuff themed on the USPs of Chinese food, Chinese history or massive economies of scale (to drive big budget effects and casts and such). But it probably doesn't need to.

This just means that more Tier I universities will be opening campuses in Hong Kong or Shang-Hai with the same lack standards and easy grading that they currently use at all of the campuses in the middle east.

If the cash cow cannot come to the mountain, then the mountain will have to go to the cash cow.

Yes, this means more education happening in Asia, but I don't think it's clear that our "standards" are that great.

Remember, too much time, effort, focus, and investment is spent on US News rankings.

WTF man, that's a fail in itself. Regulatory capture, but by a private publisher of public universities.

We are not optimizing a "software engineering degree" for application in the field. We are optimizing it for US News rank.

The lack of standards exists currently at U.S. universities that like to admit international students to cheap graduate program so that those students can pay full retail plus the international student charges. Many of the international students would probably never be admitted if they were middle class American citizens that required financial aid and tutoring.

International students are a huge cash cow for universities. So if those students do not come to the U.S. then the Universities will open satellite campuses in China.

Look at all of the Satellite campuses in Dubai so that Universities can soak the students of the gulf states.

"those students can pay full retail"

As someone trying to get a party kid into a good school, this seems less a bug and more a feature.

And kidding aside, I think there is room for both. The out of state acceptances we have are to help pay those states' costs.

Our kid is wait-listed for a better UC. Hope this helps!

But in a more general and less self-interested sense, I think this is the least of "education's" problems. All of education, and not just "higher" needs to be restructured and refactored for a high connectivity and high bandwidth world. Remote degrees should be the norm, and people with money for "the full college experience" should find it another way.

We-work, but for online college dorms.

And sure, if you are an elite looking to install your kid in the elite you might want more than that. Harvard can still be a thing. But let's not pretend it can be the model for education going forward. Harvard and similar schools have incentives that are too misaligned with those of the median student.

I think we just learned that the median student can pass a class on Zoom?

If we're shooting for the virtualization of education, why keep a carve out for ultra-driven ambitious parents to push their kids into the elite? Bug, not feature, and bugs should get bug spray.

I don't think virtualization can really substitute for education for many courses. How do you do virtual lab work? You need a lot of robots before that's possible. Certainly for some though.

Virtualization seems a mixed bag in terms of downstream effects on culture. Probably less "Barely above-average-educated college students depart from their natal communities and begin to perceive of themselves of a separate, special community" (ugh), but more "Extremely Online Politics".

First of all, we are a free society, and the input tax paying citizens have on higher education is only "direct" for our state schools. So that's where we should demand change. Some old and private institutions might change, but some might have a sufficient and available market to remain just the same.

For virtualization, sure there might be limits, and not all courses of study could be fully remote.

But as far as the social implications, that's not up to us. A Zoom generation would make their own culture.

Oh, I suspect there are quite a few legal constraints on how old and private institutions operate that come from the public. Probably quite a few more conventions that also provide constraint, in real terms, via malleable social convention.

Remote degrees will never be a real thing for undergrad.

Learning isn’t the point.

I am still struck that almost nobody here seems to appreciate that some degree subjects require students to attend labs.

It's not a difficult problem to solve, but nonetheless it's a striking omission. Does it mean that almost all commenters did somewhat vacuous degrees?

I got a degree in a science with a lot of labs, but my perception at the time was that most students on campus never visited one.

And of course my later career in software development tailored my thinking the other way. I've done tons of structured and unstructured learning since then, all virtual, remote. In the olden days with "books" and more lately with "MOOCs."

I know we are a meritocratic group here, but I think it's important to remember that the median worker, with the median degree if they can get it, is productive.

And it's easy for the meritocratic to forget that a little hard work can often beat IQ on innovation. Sometimes you have to try a lot of things, rather than ponder.

The median worker doesn’t have a college degree.

As I said, "with the median degree if they can get it"

.. but even without, the late twentieth century quality improvement didn't come from carpet people(*), it came from breaking down the walls.

* - I was surprised to hear that our assembly line workers called us "carpet people." We worked in the same building, but engineering was carpeted, where manufacturing was not.

Yes Kaizan. That has nothing to do with the 'median degree'.

Remember the typical occupations in the US are: truck driver for men, retail worker for women.

The median worker is semi to low skilled.

This is a little off topic, but I was thinking. If we turned our interest rates negative on the 30 year bond, and then refinanced our national debt . . . would that make the debt a profit center?

I doubt the market for negative interest rate US bonds is nearly as big as the market for positive interest rate US bonds.

Sure. But the market hasn't really dictated treasury yields for a long time. The fed decides the discount rate, if there aren't enough buyers - it buys them itself.

Some countries have issued negative yield bonds.

I know it's wacky. But so are negative oil prices. In a world where there is no safe place to park your money, could the debt of a nation like the USA become a profit center for that country?

"could the debt of a nation like the USA become a profit center for that country?"

Yes, I think that's plausible. I just don't think the US would be able to have very much debt at negative rates. Then again, what does China do with all those excess dollars without increasing the exchange rate of its own currency?

IOW, 3% of our census consists of Chinese students, some of whom are undesirables. We'll survive.

US higher ed is hit hard by their own decision to refuse tuition from Americans like Lori Loughlin. She had to pay $500k of illegal bribes for the privilege of paying full tuition. If the universities want more tuition dollars, they simply need to stop refusing those dollars.

I presume Cowen's cosmopolitan crowd has sympathy for Chinese citizens having access to exclusive American Universities, but does not have such sympathy for the American citizens, and worse, white Americans, like Lori Loughlin's daughters.

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