If you’re a college graduate with a ton of student debt, this one is for you. If you are the parent of such a child, this is also for you.
Because it is time to ask why this is the only country in the world where we allow our children to be burdened with tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt before they start earning a penny.
At some point, most countries have realized that it pays to encourage bright children to college. This inevitably led to state-subsidized student loans. The problem, however, was that the colleges used the credit guarantee to increase tuition.
If it were $ 1,000 or $ 10,000, it would look pretty much the same for the student if he got a loan to wear it. In other countries, the government’s guarantee came about in the form of an agreement with the colleges: the students can get the loans, provided the colleges limit their tuition.
Reasonable, right? Only we did not do that. We allowed the colleges to pull up the tab and populate the campus with idiotic courses and administrative pats.
In 1976, tuition and fees to private colleges were $ 10,000 in 2016 dollars. Now they are $ 33,000. Public schools quadrupled from $ 2,500 to $ 10,000.
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At that time we did not have safe rooms and did not censor the freedom of speech. We did not have courses like “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus” (Skidmore) or “Starting Dungeons and Dragons” (Oberlin). We could not afford them.
Students today come from college, who are relatively poorly educated. We trained too many of them to be unemployed, and we gave them an unemployed economy. Worse, they come as debt slaves from college, where everything they earn pays their debts. At this point, they must ask themselves: why bother? It’s like a 100 percent limit income tax that is pretty much no incentive to go out and earn.
That’s why I sympathize with the more extreme forms of millennial protest. Mostly their demands are nonsensical, but their complaints are real. At the moment, many of them can not even keep up with interest on the loan. They are the victims of a generational betrayal, where we paid low tuition fees to Baby Boomers and then, as college teachers, taught them courses that made them unfit for work.
In other countries, students come from college with minimal debt. You get a fresh start in life. That’s what’s needed here.
The relief we offer our debt slaves is cheesy. We have a bankruptcy plan, but it’s so kinky and devastating that very few graduates make use of it. We also give students who go on the public service a break in the form of debt relief if they keep their payments for ten years.
This has put students in the public service, but now there is a risk that the program will be set to zero. This is a beautiful example of bait-and-switch, for people who have gone into public service to use the plan.
The answer is dazzling. Let everyone qualify for the debt relief program, whether their jobs are in the public or private sector. Or even giving them a fresh start with the right to bankrupt their debts had a rightful student until the 1970s.
At some point, we realized that bankrupts are not a moral hoax. We have understood that the debtor’s prisons make no sense, and that debt slavery is the second cousin. Prison has prevented anyone from making money, and debt slavery takes the incentive to make money.
The student debt burden is putting graduates in an economic impasse that makes us more of a class society. It is not a problem for the wealthiest Americans who can easily pay the loans, but it can be a crippling burden for everyone else.
And if we allow a bankruptcy relief for students, I would add a little reform. Drop the burden of discharge on the college that has taught them so that they bear the cost of courses that are unfit for their graduates to employment.