Grad Students Getting Evicted Into The Streets

Mar 31 2008 Published by under General Politics

As usual, Female Science Professor has an outstanding post up this morning. Unfortunately, however, this one is not about the the trials-and-tribulations or joys-and-pleasures of academic science. Rather it describes a terrible situation that increasingly faces her students, and that is only going to get worse, and worse, and worse:

Several of my graduate and undergraduate students have recently had their lives disrupted because their apartments were in houses or apartment buildings that went into foreclosure. Some have already had to find a new place and move, and some have to move within the next 1-2 months.
* * *
Even without the current mortgage crisis in the U.S., students are too often the victims of irresponsible or even unethical landlords, as I well know from my own experience with an avaricious, grasping, duplicitous, thieving scoundrel of a landlord when I was in graduate school. And now this. In addition to the problems that make the news, the mortgage crisis has generated a cascade of lost time and productivity that affects graduate and undergraduate students, and all those who work with them.

Of course, this kind of thing is just the beginning, and it ain't just grad students who it is happening to. If you are not comfortable with honest, angry language, don't read below the fold.


Unfortunately, this is the just the very beginning of the economic shitstorm, and it ain't just students who are going to get caught up in it. One can only hope that the American voters understand the truth of the matter, which is that normal non-super-rich American citizens like FSP's students are the ones who always get fucked by "conservative" right-wing financial policies, while the super-rich "Masters of the Universe" always get bailed out and continue to fly around the globe in their private jets.
The right-wing Republican version of "free enterprise" means "privatize obscene corporate profits; socialize obscene corporate losses". And see if you can guess who's gonna pay for the socialization of the obscene corporate losses? It sure as fuck ain't the super-rich bastards who privatized the profits.
Normal human being citizens of the United States better boot these sick Republican motherfuckers out of office in November, and never let them anywhere near the levers of power again. They are sick, sick, sick people, and they care nothing for anyone or anything except their own obscene wealth and grotesque self-aggrandizement. Poor-ass fucking graduate students are thrown out into the streets while these assholes continue to fly around in private jets paid for with others' labor eating caviar and laughing their sick depraved asses off. "Free-market" my fucking ass.
(This post solely represents the personal opinion of PhysioProf, and is not an official position of the DrugMonkey blog collective. If DrugMonkey himself disagrees with anything I have said, he will surely make it known.)

16 responses so far

  • juniorprof says:

    Tell it like it is PP!!
    The New York Times ran an editorial back in Oct that I think we should also keep in mind when considering this mess. It is only going to get uglier and someone up on the hill better sack up and do something about it before all of this precipitates a depression.

  • I'd like to reprint that Times editorial alongside every column where someone claims that Michelle Obama is incredibly ungrateful to be criticizing the US, because she herself made it big coming from a blue-collar black family; or that Obama is getting ahead because he's black. (Et tu, Geraldine?)
    Er, not to start a Clinton/Obama on your mortgage thread, sorry 🙂

  • Albion Tourgee says:

    Hmm, grad students as victims, I kind of like it. On the grad student victimization scale, how to compare a grad student getting evicted from their apartment because of some scuzball financier, on the one hand, and on the other hand,
    grad sutdent victimized by university paying president $500,000 plus per year while grad student is paid less than tuition from one (1) undergrad to teach a couple of sections of 20 undergrads, thus leaving no money to deal with problems like eviction, and/or landlord, or
    grad student required to adhere to politically correct views to avoid rejection of thesis proposal (happened to my sister!), or
    grad student ideas appropriated by professor needed for realistic advancement in field who publishes career furthering article without credit to idea's originator. Or...
    Seems to me, on the other hand, that of all the victims of scuzzy landlords & financiers, grad students just aren't the folks I'd put at the top of that list, when evicted from the next apartment might have been an uneducated single mother with a minimum-wage job or someone in his 80's with health problems or ... etc. I know it's not all grad students have had a pretty privileged upbringing to get there, but it's mostly from we highly educated classes who one might suppose are adept enough at scrambling to stay out of the way of landslides, at least I hope so.

  • chezjake says:

    Not that it will help students/grad students with current problems, but my university has for years maintained a database on landlords who rent to students. All student renters are encouraged to file their compliments and complaints, and also encouraged them to check the database before renting.

  • The Real Ronald Reagan says:

    Give me a break. Aggrandizement is the name of the fucking political game. Do you honestly believe Obama and Clinton aren't eating the fucking caviar with a nice little $10,000 bottle of Merlot? Do you see Obama in the trenches or Hilary busting her balls on some assembly line? At least Republican's policy is in line with their actions and lifestyle. Can't say the same about the entitled fucking rich kid Demo-crites who think they're saving the world by slumming it in subsidized off-campus housing, while they burn through plastic eppendorfs, falcon tubes and culture flasks so they can ass-lick their way into the club of self-righteous ivory tower free-loaders. All the while complaining about the "right wing wackaloons" who keep the goddamn oil flowing, the factories churning and the money moving so you little fuckers can keep on pipetting liquids around on your way up the tenure track. Do you fucking Demo-crites really think that all you have to do to make some shit happen is write a fucking grant, put it in the mail box and wait for the cash to start flowing in? I'd like to see how that strategy would pan out at the White House. Personally I'd rather vote for amoral shitbag aggrandizers who will do what it takes to keep this nasty motherfucker of a country running over some pansy-assed inept aggrandizers whose "integrity" can do nothing but steer the mothership into the ground.

  • ---"Of course, this kind of thing is just the beginning, and it ain't just grad students who it is happening to"---
    PP,
    I agree, this is total bullshit. I've been wondering---what if the govt took the 200 billion (or 400 billion or whatever number they decide on eventually) dollars to bail out corporate thieves, and instead just bought out the houses for the people in trouble at good discounts? So here's the deal---we'll pay off your house, you pay us back interest-free (we've got your IRS filings to track you) and Bear Stearns or whomever made these irresponsible fucking loans gets to hold the fucking bag for a change. Since the investment bank would get back a big chunk of the money, they wouldn't collapse---but they would incur penal losses, which they richly fucking deserve.
    So it would be a blatant handout to mostly some common-folk who are in trouble --- and who should be responsible too--- but fuck it. The super rich have been getting blatant handouts for years now, and have been even more damned irresponsible---see Iraq war contracts, tax cuts, estate tax reform, etc etc etc. So notch one up for the little guys, enact meaningful reform such that this kinda lending can't happen again and move on with life. So the govt loses a few tens of billion---big freaking deal, we're gonna lose that money anyway. At least try and have the rich fuckers hold the bag for a change. You wanna prop up the economy---well, prop up the economy directly, instead of the my-prop-up-will-help-the-common-folk-once-it-tricles-down-my-trouser-leg-after-leaking-thru-my-diaper bullshit.

  • steppen wolf says:

    Way to go PP!

  • PhysioProf says:

    Personally I'd rather vote for amoral shitbag aggrandizers who will do what it takes to keep this nasty motherfucker of a country running over some pansy-assed inept aggrandizers whose "integrity" can do nothing but steer the mothership into the ground.

    Looks like my evil twin finally found us!

  • Eric Lund says:

    I know it's not all grad students have had a pretty privileged upbringing to get there, but it's mostly from we highly educated classes who one might suppose are adept enough at scrambling to stay out of the way of landslides, at least I hope so.

    In case you haven't noticed, many grad students (especially in science and engineering departments) are foreigners who might not realize what recourse they have, even in states which offer recourse to tenants. These people are no less vulnerable to scams and abusive landlords than single mothers or sick elderly people--in fact, they are often more vulnerable because they don't have family who can help support them while they are looking for a new place. That's why FSP's story is so alarming: she works directly with people who are clearly innocent victims of the credit crunch fallout, and there is nothing she can do to help them.

  • The Real Ronald Reagan says:

    Boo fucking hoo Eric. Those poor free-loading foreigners! How could we be soooo mean to them? While I try to stop bawling my eyes out, let's get one thing the fuck straight. This country is great because it rides on the backs of foreigners, not because it invites them over for tea, free education and cheap rent and then wishes them well as they take what they're given and use it to kick our asses of their backs. All the John Lennons and good karma in the whole damn world can't make Pennsylvania oil come back, diamonds come out of the Rockies, California gold rush, or bananas and Starbucks coffee grow in fucking Alaska. Eric you need to sack the fuck up and realize that the king who lets the slaves into the palace is never king for long. And you are a fucking king of the world whether you want to admit it or not.

  • DuWayne says:

    Oh, the problems most certainly do go up from there. I'm not a grad student (yet) but I do live towards the bottom end. An even bigger problem than eviction through foreclosure, is looming and in some places beginning to manifest.
    As people are losing their homes, they find themselves entering the rental market. While they were too overextended to keep up with huge payments, they still have more money than many renters tend to. So as they are entering the rental market, the price of rent is going up, so landlords can cash in on this new addition to the market. While the folks at the higher end won't be interested in "cheap" apartments, this has a trickle down effect that will affect even those at the very bottom.
    I am in a pretty reasonable position to deal with it, if it becomes an issue here in Portland (though the housing market is not in nearly the bad shape it is in other cities), but there are plenty who are not. And it's not just grad students. While I feel for them, I have more concern for extremely low income families, single parent or not. Homeless kids are not a pretty sight.

  • BB says:

    well, it's a good thing you hyphenated "poor-ass fucking graduate students" the way you did.

  • Neuro-conservative says:

    An amusing rant, as always, PhysioProf. However, I think thou dost protest too much -- it reminds me a little bit of Eliot Spitzer. Somehow, I don't think that you are struggling to pay the rent, or that your hands are entirely clean of corporate largesse. Am I right?

  • Neuro-conservative says:

    I thought so.

  • PhysioProf says:

    I thought so.

    If you mean by this that you thought your original comment was based on a false, misleading, and pernicious premise purposefully designed to propagate a sick depraved "conservative" idea, and thus not worthy of addressing, then you were absolutely correct.

  • FO says:

    Personally I'd rather vote for amoral shitbag aggrandizers who will do what it takes to keep this nasty motherfucker of a country running over some pansy-assed inept aggrandizers whose "integrity" can do nothing but steer the mothership into the ground.

    Can anyone here translate this for me? I don't speak Pig.

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