Indeed. The one thing that drives economic growth and improvement in all aspects of society is innovation and creativity in the context of being able to take risks. The last thing a graduate with a massive student debt can do is innovate, create or take risks - they need to find a job and keep it.
By the time the debts are paid off people often have kids and/or a mortgage, so there is little flexibility or room for risk-taking and innovation. Keep the job, (in the US) keep the health insurance, whatever it takes. Intentional or not, it makes for a very passive workforce. The only people who can afford to take risks are those who come from money, the rest just need to knuckle under.
It is also a surefire recipe for long-term economic decline and stagnation. Higher barriers to education and learning mean fewer people are able to access them. Massive debts mean fewer people are free to make the most of it on graduation. And technological change means fewer people are needed for non-creative, non-innovative jobs all the time.
That said, I think universities are pricing themselves out of relevance. As research institutions they are still somewhat functional. As learning institutions they are becoming ever more focused on empty credentialism. Education inflation now means that a degree is needed for a job that used to be done with a high school diploma, and a master's degree for jobs that used to only require a basic degree.
When my kids reach the age of choice I won't be opposed to their entering university, but it won't be about 'getting a job'. And I will do everything in my power to ensure they stay out of debt. I think the cost of a degree, and the opportunity cost of massive debt obligations, are becoming far more than any potential benefit.