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10/10/2011

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Adam

Student loans are particularly insidious for a few reasons outside of even being undischargeable:
a) They are offered to young people with the least experience to understand the implications
b) They are based on need rather than ability to pay (sounds like a good idea), which makes them very easy to get
c) Which means that colleges can raise their tuition without students freaking out because they can still get loans
d) Which means young adults out of school pay the money back into the financial system instead of into the larger economy

So yeah, the fact that you can't get rid of them even if you go bankrupt is just one of their many bad traits. But they are part of the system - colleges would have to drastically reduce their tuition if student loans didn't exist. Kinda like mortgages and housing! Funny how this works... And we all know what happened to housing prices.

CHilke

What is correct is that the student loan scam caused college tuitions to be inflated beyond all reason. But the idea that just ending loans will make college affordable is fallacious. Colleges will not lower their prices - they will just remain out of reach for anyone but the children of the very wealthy, save a handful of academic and sports superstars. Sadly, academic superstars tend to come from the ranks of the already wealthy, since in our country they are the only ones who have access to decent schools.

If less middle-class people cannot afford college, it's not a problem. In fact, it conveniently solves a problem. We all know the amount of decent jobs is shrinking. Corporate America can just give it's declining pool of jobs to trust-fund babies and claim that they cannot create jobs because of "the lack of education." That will cover up the failing economy. If they do legitimately need college graduates for some reason, they can get more than they possibly need from overseas. India graduates more computer science majors than there are college students in the U.S. And we haven't even tapped into China yet! So why would college costs decline? After all, the rich have more than enough money to send their kids. Plus, they can use the lack of degrees and excuse to pay even lower wages. In business parlance, it's a win-win!

No college won't become affordable without loans, it will just make it easier to create a permanent American underclass. And it will make it easier to blame the victims. The only solutions are to 1.)make college free for all as is already done in many European countries. Maybe make it based on exam scores. Or b.) institute tuition caps as is done in Britain, I believe. And/or 3.) Businesses should stop requiring degrees for every stinking job they have, from secretaries to mailrooom clerks. In the age before degrees, people could move up the ladder based on talent, not about how much their parents spent on paper credentials.

Gail

I apologize for going off-topic, but until I checked in here at DOTE and saw the date at the top (I've lost track!) I had forgotten that today is the special anniversary of a video that caused such frothing outrage amongst the most earnest reformers ever to be at the helm of the big environmental organizations, I can't resist:

http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2010/10/no-pressure.html

S P

Look the plutocrats want to get rid of the pesky middle class, and what better way to do that then to drown them in debt, beginning at a young age.

And instead of having no debt and a job in industry, lo and behold you are drowned in debt and have a job as a barista or concierge.

Checkmate.

Not that I have any great love of the middle class, because I don't. They already proved their idiocy by voting for Republicans time and again and going into debt to get a bachelor degree, SUV, and McMansion and make believe they are rich.

So no tears will be shed by me. But it's interesting to watch the whole dynamic at work, and how a culture destroys itself.

John Andersen

I agree, the glory days of the corporate drone are over.

The good news is former drones now have an opportunity to turn in real human beings, and do real things with their time rather than just muck about in some corporate office.

Ed

Don't go to college then. If I would have to go to college once again and get my Masters in Biology (as I did years ago back in the Reagan/Thatcher era that kicked of all this mess). I wouldn't go through the hasle and the stress. Today perpectives look even more dire. Just know that everything is skewed against you and resign before you get into trouble. If there are all these beautifull colleges and universities but no one attends......and if you have to study, study abroad. Since in the UK the college fees have been inflated by the Cameron administration, Dutch universities are swamped with English students (not a problem your welcome). Maybe Americans could start studying in China....? BTW my 15.000 guilder student loan had a payment structure in which I could default on the payments without consequence when I would have been unemployed. Student loans have gone up here as well up to 40.000 euro's now so we are creating the same problems here. So please Americans stop exporting your problems :-).

Greetings, Ed

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