Student loans are really "a list of people liable to additional taxation after graduation"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/24/pour-encouragez-les-autres-3.html


#2

It really is that simple

Is it now?

OK then.


#3

I dunno, I think if you take out a loan, you should pay it back. Personal responsibility, and all that.


#4

Sure, for a car loan or a mortgage. But education should be free and encouraged, not restricted and punished with undischargeable perpetual servitude. If you’re not supporting a free or significantly reduced tuition, you’re just supporting a system of exploitation of the poor by the wealthy. Personal responsibility would be great if the deck wasn’t stacked against students. Personal responsibility, while sounding independent and “responsible,” just ends up being a veiled battlecry in favor of greater wealth inequality and social injustice.


#5

Absolutely, but when all universities or places of higher learning move to high tuition fees that require students to take out loans that will put them in debt for their entire adult lives there’s hardly an alternative shy of going to another country that hasn’t enacted this model as well, or just not getting a degree. It’s hardly a choice trapping students like that.

However i have my own student debt and i have been doing my best to pay it. It’s been really hard to make a dent in it but i’ve taken up my responsibility to manage it, however until recently i was hardly making any money in my previous shit job and i wasn’t making much progress. The student loan is a fucking cancer and anything that can be done to alleviate people like me would greatly help. If someone offered to make it go away i would be glad, not because i’m trying to shirk my financial responsibilities but because it is causing my family to get sick with worry (literally) and makes me feel more trapped than ever. Honestly the biggest regret i have is getting a higher education, and that to me is a sign of what the times are like.

People used to dream of getting a higher education and these days people dream of having never gone.


#6

I think you’re confusing the means of social production (an education, which _should_be an inalienable right for all) with personal property. This is a prime example of the Capitalist lie.


#7

Labour’s record on student finance is pretty dire. In 1997, they promised, in their manifesto, not to introduce tuition fees. In 1998, Labour introduced tuition fees. In Labour’s 2001 manifesto, they specifically legislated to rule out top-up fees, and then in 2004, Labour brought in top-up fees. This time, Jeremy Corbyn made some enthusiastic sounding noises about university debt forgiveness, without, in his own admission, knowing what the figures were, which was then much trumpeted by his supporters. After the election, when, told the cost, the Labour party explains they aren’t going to forgive the debt, they’d just like to. Labour have taken students for suckers time and again - why should this be any different. At least it’s not written into their manifesto any more…


#8

Would you loan tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to a teenager?


#9

To be fair, it’s hardly a Labour-only phenomenon. Lib Dems promised to abolish fees in 2010 too, and very (in)famously ruled it out the day after the election. And for the Tories… well, they will sucker literally anyone, students are no exception.

But yeah, I agree the current system is stupid. However, a lot of the people benefiting from it (university admins, professors etc) are in the core Labour electorate, so there is little incentive to change it. It would be much easier for the current majority, if they took their heads out of their asses for a minute: trade reintroducing grammars for free selective university education and debt forgiveness. It’s a no brainer, it would align perfectly with their core voters and would cull the Labour surge in its crib. But that would mean, y’know, actually making policy, which is not something we can ask of the current bunch.

(Note, I’m not saying I support such a position myself; I’m only pointing out that it would be politically smart to adopt in the current climate.)


#10

:heart: :heart: :heart:

three extra likes.

That example is among the first lies told as truths in the Cargo Cult.


#11

In a sense, the education debt system is the new company store model. The wealthy control employment requirements, outsource training to universities (poorly), and then invest in the securitized debt to make extra money off their profits. It doesn’t really matter if the company store you’re indebted to is owned by the company/investors you work for or not since at a certain level the wealthy are a stand alone complex working for each other’s benefit without the need for direct cooperation.


#12

I am interested in seeing some context and facts about people that have taken out student loans but then don’t go on to get a degree vs those that do get a degree.

Like what is the risk reward there ?


#13

I see your point but it gets tricky with education. If a person really wants to be a doctor, there’s no cheap way to get through med school that I’m aware of. Then again, a doctor might have an easier time paying back his or her student loans than the person who spent $70k pursuing a Masters degree in Puppetry from the University of Connecticut (yes, that’s real). Until higher education is free, I guess the best advice is to find ways to cut costs where possible (in-state school vs out-of-state, community college or trade school, etc).


#14

This is exactly it. If you’re going for an expensive degree like an MD, which offers the prospect of a high-paying job when you finish, sure, take out the loans. If you’re getting a degree in theater arts, or underwater basket weaving (which is a real thing) and you decide to take out lots of loans, you should repay them. And as you said, there are lots of options. Not everyone has to go to an Ivy League school.

I’d love to see an analysis of how many people with useless degrees are in favor of loan forgiveness vs. people with useful and lucrative degrees.

I took out loans, got a degree, and I paid them back, because I’m a responsible adult.


#15

“If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” -Frank Zappa


#16

I agree, but the cost of higher education needs to come down, so a student can actually work through college and pay for it as they go. That was something that I was able to do while going to school from 1995 to 1999. I took out loans one year because I just couldn’t work and keep up my GPA. I paid off that loan within 4 months of getting a job after graduation. This is how it should work. In some cases I agree it should be free, like maybe 2 years of community college. That’s enough schooling for a plethora of jobs. If you want to be something like a chemical engineer, I don’t think free schooling is going to get you the quality of education you need. So take out some loans if you have to, get that engineering degree, and pay them off in under a year because you’ll be making bank with a sought after degree like engineering. But holy crap, some of these universities are charging WAY too much.


#17

useless degrees

I’d hazard that we’d see a lot fewer offerings of not-terribly-useful degrees if the employment landscape didn’t dictate college degrees as a baseline requirement for anything but blue collar work. Lots of entry level jobs just specify “4 year degree”, which the cynical refer to as a “brain license” and the even more cynical refer to as a “middle class entry ticket”.


#18

Thing is, it’s not the specific thing of student loans, it’s the power to do this that’s troubling. Arbitrarily going back on deals made and wiping stuff off a private company’s books, what could possibly go wrong? If they do that here, what’s to stop them doing this with other debt? I know some view this as a feature not a bug, but threatening arbitrary gov’t interference in investment is not something that usually leads to prosperity and stability.


#19

I realized the whole damn system was a scam when I was looking at a certain high-priced degree program some years ago, did the (surprisingly complicated) math, and realized that if I simply took the loan and stuck the money in a conservative investment fund I’d actually come out better in the long run than if I got the degree, higher salary and all!


#20

This is the most succinct summation I’ve seen yet.
Deserves All The Likes!