Tad Hopp accumulated $100,000 of college debt, now he wants a taxpayer bailout

Brain vs Heart, from: theawkwardyeti.com
Brain vs Heart, from: theawkwardyeti.com

Here’s an interesting editorial from a “Christian” left blog. (H/T Acton Institute)

The author, Tad Hopp is graduating a PCUSA seminary – an extremely liberal, left-wing denomination.

He writes:

I graduated college in 2007.

[…] I majored in English, not exactly what most people consider a ‘marketable’ or ‘practical’ degree…

[…]I went to a somewhat expensive private school…

[…]I did what many students in their last year of high school do: I went to the school where I felt I was being called…

[…]I do not regret my four years at my undergraduate institution one bit.

[….]When I graduated college, I owed nearly $50,000 in student loan debt and was unemployed for almost six months before I finally found a low-paying office job.

[…]“Can’t find a job? Well, you should have majored in something more ‘practical’, like economics or business or medicine.” Yeah, that would be great…if those were the subjects where my skills and passions lie. They’re not.

[…]I felt called to go to seminary.

[…]I will graduate seminary with close to six figures worth of student loan debt.

Let’s take stock of what he’s said so far:

  • he studied English, a language that he already spoke, which has one of the lowest employment rates
  • he was warned by people who knew something about earning and saving money not to study English
  • he went to a school he couldn’t afford to go to, and he graduated with $50,000 in debt
  • he went to seminary, another subject that doesn’t pay, and added another $50,000 or so of debt
  • he says that he doesn’t have to study subjects that lead to a career because he isn’t “passionate” about them
  • he “followed his heart” by going to the school that he had mystical, emotional, intuitions about = “calling”

My advice to Tad at this point would be for him to take the Bible seriously when it says this:

2 Thessalonians 3:10:

10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

And 1 Timothy 5:8:

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The Bible is giving us the goal of working. So what should we do to be able to reach that goal? Why should anyone hire us? What is working really about? It’s those kinds of questions that should guide what we study in school, and what jobs we pursue.

We know what careers have the highest starting salaries and mid-career salaries:

Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)
Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)

(Source)

Why do some people get paid more than others? The answer is supply and demand. Prices are a way of determining what is most valued by your fellow man. Business owners pay more to people who offer their customers more value. If you really want to serve your neighbor, you have to learn something they really want, but can’t easily obtain. And then you will be paid more. You can’t do what makes you happy. You have to do what makes customers happy. That’s how the free market works – you make money when you provide something of value to others. You make money when you serve others. This is something that is very hard for self-centered, feelings-driven young progressives to grasp. But it’s something older Americans all know.

More Tad:

Is the PCUSA doing anything to address this crisis?

[…]What has our government done to address this issue?

[…]I, like so many in my generation, voted for Obama…

[…]It seems to me that we’ve bought into the lie that student loan debt is brought on by the individual person…

[…]You know what I think might stimulate the economy? Automatically cancelling every single outstanding student loan!

He insists that the results of his own choices aren’t his fault. But didn’t he make the choices about what to study? Didn’t he make the choice to follow his heart? Didn’t he disregard the advice of people who urged him to be practical? Who is to blame, if not he, himself?

Tad needs to push away all his friends who told him to “follow his heart” and stick close by his friends who told him to focus on providing value to others. Don’t look for advice from dreamers, look for advice from doers. Dreamers talk. But doers have demonstrated the ability to create plans that work to achieve results.

By the way, some of you might be wondering how serious this person was about his Christianity. Well, in another post, he comes out as gay. So clearly the Bible is being interpreted in a way where feelings are overturning the plain meanings of words. People who read the Bible closely never come away with the message that they should follow their hearts.

15 thoughts on “Tad Hopp accumulated $100,000 of college debt, now he wants a taxpayer bailout”

    1. How did people this weak and irresponsible even get into the land of George Washington? He is nothing like the character that’s embodied in the history of America, or our armed forces. He isn’t doing a good job of measuring up to their sacrifices.

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  1. 1.PCUSA is very liberal. My 90 year old widowed mother (the rub is been center right all her life) belongs to a PCUSA church. Rainbow banners streaming at the entrance. Women clergy, militant feminism, gay clergy, pro-choice, social justice homilies (no tenets of the basics of the Christian faith, no references to the scriptures or to the early church fathers, almost neo-pagan), performs and celebrates same sex marriages, global warming hype, tells parishioners we need socialism and to support Bernie Sanders, rabid gun grabbing, open communion for anybody who strolls in the door, seething animus for Trump, traditionalist people, and homeschoolers…. and on and on. Her church could seat 300-400, but Sunday services are typically 20 or so people, mostly middle aged-to old women.
    2.I agree in supply/demand for the job market and wages, but I take issue with the salary stats quoted in this article. May be statistical averages, but not indicative of the country as a whole.
    Here in Kansas City (lower wages=lower cost of living) the salaries would be considerably lower. Traditionally, engineers start higher, but not withstanding cost of living raises, top out quickly. This is why you’ll see engineers moving into management or sales.
    I’ve seen graduate M.E.s and E.E.s coming out of the University of Missouri Rolla and K-State (both decent engineering schools) starting for $30-$40K. A young man who went to my church was a graduate from the Civil Engineering program at K-State. 4.0 GPA. Took him a full year of aggressively searching before he landed a job for $30K for a small local consulting engineering firm. After a year, he quit, and he’s now in his third year of a union electricians apprenticeship. Will earn more as a journeyman or master electrician than he would as a Civil Engineer, so there’s an example of “supply demand”.
    I’ve supplemented my day job teaching in a 9 month welding program as an evening adjunct at a local community college for 4 years now. We’ve had several young men come through the program who were graduates of M.E programs. After searching aggressively for over a year for engineering jobs (4.0 GPAs, were willing to start at the bottom, and relocate too), and working restaurant and warehouse jobs, they opted to retrain to get at least better jobs in welding. The machinist and millwright programs at the CC have also seen this trend. This is why I disagree that STEM is always the “cure for all”. I also agree with Mike Rowe “don’t chase dreams, chase opportunities” and “find something that people will pay you to do, then get good at it”. Far too many turn their noses up at unglamorous jobs, dirty jobs, trades, and grunt work.

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  2. I went to a private undergraduate but with significant academic scholarships that made it cost equivalent to attending in state public undergraduate (and my parents were willing to pay for that in tuition). I majored in chemistry.

    The national honors of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi were all about love of learning and a breadth of studies. I took the minimum amount of classes required for general education. However, I systematically read the works of Jane Austen over the winter of my junior year. Since it was for my own amusement, on my own time, I didn’t have to petition the academic board to take a higher course load. Writing my essay about that (and my excellent grades in my actually for credit courses) got me admitted to both of the honors societies.

    I don’t really have any sympathy for people who deliberately borrow money to study something that no one cares to pay them for knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope he stays in that denomination. It says a lot about a heart lead pastor.

    Had he skipped English and had gone to a decent seminary and had some debt before becoming a preacher I would empathise more as good people wanting to learn the depth and history of scripture along with how to learn to interpret a language correctly is use.

    But English is exceptional at teaching people how to poorly interpret things since it is all about deep hidden interpretations of the person, and not about language structure and syntax. Taking a literal interpretation first if it makes sense and only moving to allegory and other forms of interpration if the literal one made no sense

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    1. I wanted to be an English teacher when I was in high school. I took two night courses in it at University, and decided to go into computer science. It was all political leftism and feminism and race theory.

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      1. It is sad how far left it has gone and I am sure I would be shocked to see how much it went from when I was a kid.

        I enjoy reading stories etc, but having to get some these meanings from it wrecked it for me as I found that part uninteresting.

        But the good part of language and grammar and teaching people to appreciate reading is a good thing.

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        1. Oh, I love the meanings of Cyrano de Bergerac and The Faerie Queene. But I don’t like the left wing ideology they inject into the classics, or the new nonsense books they read now from leftist authors. The classics were best for a reason.

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  4. The seminary should have told him that, in light of his $50,000 debt, he needed to pay it down significantly–or pay it off–before they would accept him.

    Seminaries should not be turning out graduates with huge amounts of debt that would hinder them from becoming effective pastors–or shifting that burden onto unsuspecting congregations.

    If you can’t be a good steward of your own finances, how can you be expected to be a good steward of the finances of a community of faith?

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      1. It wasn’t always. In the 50’s it was very conservative. But by the time I went there (decades ago) it was already fatally tainted by leftism. I LOST Biblical knowledge while being there. It is far worse now.

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