This is Crazy

"This is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize that enough, man. This is crazy... Now get off your asses and do something..." -New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, to the federal government (following Hurricane Katrina in 2005).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TALK TO THE HAND: RESPONDING TO CRITICS

...and leave a message after the beep.

The student loan scam/crisis/bubble is simple, and yet complex at the same time. We have a system (student lending) that was initially created to assist making education possible to people who could not afford college expenses out-of-pocket, when tuition was over 400% less expensive than it is currently. The loans were for manageable sums of money to pay reasonable tuition, when a college degree had more value than it does now.


But that system has been corrupted and perverted by greed at the hands of college administrators, politicians, banks and other lenders, and has resulted in grossly over-inflated tuition prices and "sub-prime degrees" which are not worth the money borrowed for them. And now the nation is beginning to buckle under the pressure of the weight of a generation of citizens engulfed in toxic student debt.


The corrupt roots of the problem have begun to surface more recently. Many people are waking up to this disturbing fact, and are beginning to realize the catastrophic consequences of allowing banks and greedy administrators to rig the American higher education system and exploit an entire generation of students. This impacts society and the economy on many different levels in very negative ways.


But it is the corruption inherent in this system that is slightly complicated to understand, and sufficiently so as to keep the vast majority of citizens from educating themselves, and voicing the appropriate outrage for demanding change. 


Those who understand the outright fraudulence involved in the student loan scam realize the entire economy is suffering because of a system that creates indentured system servants. These indebted students mortgaged their lives to obtain overpriced degrees, which had been marketed to them as the key to solid careers and a decent standard of living.


Occupy Wall Street has been the biggest movement to protest the scam as part of a larger protest against the destructive greed of the wealthiest and most powerful 1% on earth. And clearly the 1% (and the politicians they own) didn't like it. The movement was effectively crushed by the American police state.


THE STUDENT LOAN SYSTEM IS UNSUSTAINABLE!


Do not be fooled by talk of cutting interest rates on student loans! A very rudimentary investigation into the student lending fiasco with tell you interest rates only play a small role in this.


Tuition rates are too high and have been driven upward by the lending system! THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED!


College degrees are over rated! Minimum wage is too low, and people need to be able to earn a living wage without being forced to buy unnecessary degrees. THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED!


But despite the fact that there is ample, growing evidence to support the FACT that there is a student loan crisis- the culmination of a continued system of exploitation and unsustainability- some people still insist on holding onto the same old arguments about the matter. Here is the most common and poorly conceived thought which is often expressed on the issue:


"PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN OUT THE LOANS IF THEY COULDN'T AFFORD TO PAY THEM BACK."


The simplicity of this comment reflects a complete lack of awareness on the part of the person holding that opinion. 


A) student loans are marketed as something that will assist you in purchasing a degree that will supposedly help you earn more money in your life, and thus pay off associated debt for pursuing that degree. We are seeing on a large scale now that this is something which is fundamentally false for many students for a whole host of reasons.


As such, no one intentionally takes out loans they can't afford to pay back. They take out loans they believe they can and will pay back, only to learn later they are unable to afford the debt, as the degree they purchased is not as valuable in the workforce as they had believed, and were told, it would be. 


Young students are particularly vulnerable to deceptive marketing from schools and lenders. Their idealism and lack of life experience creates the perfect conditions for a student loan scamming. Then, once they have become indentured servants through their loan debt, the pig-culture that conned and exploited them, shames them by telling them it was their fault for taking on the debt.


B) When a person makes this comment blaming students for their debt, it shows they are also unable or unwilling to think about other variable factors that may have influenced the student debtor's life. Did the debtor earn a degree in teaching where the state has cut jobs and frozen hiring? Did they take out $15,000 to go to school, but have the total quadruple because of unfair lending practices and usurious interest rates? Did a personal tragedy befall them in the midst of earning the degree, or once repayment began? How might the horrendous economic conditions, which are a direct result of Wall Street gambling, and the greed of the 1%, have impacted the job market for indebted graduates?


C) Many, many, many students severely regret taking on the student loan debt they now carry. So in that regard they would agree that they shouldn't have done it. They know different things about the world economy and social priorities of our nation now. They made decisions about the value of their degrees based on a false cultural notion that they were doing the right thing for themselves, and now they know otherwise. Should they be punished for life for that? 


Students don't actually "consume" or "obtain" anything nearly worth what they now technically owe for their education in the vast majority of cases anyway. People are being massively overcharged for a product that is becoming less valuable, and those who have rigged the lending system are getting wealthy off of it. If you fully blame students, then you tacitly support the dishonesty, greed, exploitation, and unethical business practices of others.


D) The government, lenders and institutions bare responsibility for knowingly allowing students to over borrow for a product that will not return enough money to justify the investment in most cases. And it has become clear that they are not interested in the outcomes of the students, or the economic and social welfare of the younger generation, but rather on short term profits! 


Tuition needs to be more affordable, living wages need to be increased, and jobs need to be created.


E) It is true that some students make poor decisions about matters of personal finance, including some related to higher education. But the lenders and schools coax them into doing this because they profit directly from it. The ease of obtaining student loan money, using fictitious statistics about the value of earning a degree, and the student's need and desire to survive and succeed in life create the perfect conditions for the exploitation and robbery of the student.


STOP BLAMING STUDENTS ABOUT $1 TRILLION IN OUTSTANDING LOAN DEBT, AND BLAME THE GREEDY PIGS WHO ARE DELIBERATELY MAKING MONEY OFF OF THE STUDENTS' LACK OF AWARENESS ABOUT THE TOXICITY OF THE STUDENT DEBT THAT IS AGGRESSIVELY SOLD TO THEM!


IF YOU DO BELIEVE IT IS PURELY THE STUDENTS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MESS, YOU SHOULD STILL WANT TO SEE THE LENDING SYSTEM CHANGED, BECAUSE A SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS FOR THIS AMOUNT OF DEBT ACCRUAL IS HURTING THE ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMY! 


SO SIMPLY SAYING, "PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN OUT THE LOANS IF THEY COULDN'T AFFORD TO PAY THEM BACK" IS A VERY IGNORANT RESPONSE TO THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE ISSUE. THIS IS A SITUATION THAT DEMANDS WE THINK AND UNDERSTAND MORE THAN THESE CRITICS ARE OBVIOUSLY WILLING TO DO, OR PERHAPS ARE CAPABLE OF. 


BUT THEIR IGNORANCE CAN NOT STOP GROWING AWARENESS. THE TRUTH IS BECOMING MORE CLEAR EACH DAY. GREED ALWAYS EXPOSES ITSELF FOR WHAT IT IS IN THE END.

11 comments:

  1. Excellent and talented writing Paul. There is much work to be done, and I fear that we are only at the very beginning.

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  2. Thanks! We can never give up on changing this corrupt system.

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  4. Student debt is the worst! I can not believe how much debt I have accumulated from student loans and credit cards throughout college. The thing that makes it worse is that I have not even been able to find a job in the major that I studied for yet! I have been looking into some debt management programs, but it is still looking grim for me. I am hoping that when I land a higher paying job all this anxiety will go away.

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