The Daily Parker

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Short rant about student loans

I posted this last night on Facebook:

It's so interesting to me that we're having a (manufactured) political argument about canceling $10k in student debt while all the countries we compete with are horrified that people even have to pay $10k to go to university. Even privatization-happy Brits flipped some constituencies to Labour in the last general election because the Tories raised university fees to £9,250 ($10,900) per year. The outrage isn't that we forgave a token amount of Federally-held debt. The outrage is that the richest country in the history of the world doesn't ensure its entire population gets the same education as the average teenager in Belgium.

One of my more rabid Republican friends did not like that, but I'll spare you his response. Instead, I'll note Paul Krugman's take on the topic:

The right is inveighing against debt relief on moral grounds. “If you take out a loan, you pay it back. Period,” tweeted the House Judiciary G.O.P. On which planet? America has had regularized bankruptcy procedures, which take debt off the books, since the 19th century; the idea has been to give individuals and businesses with crippling debts a second chance.

But, you may argue, student borrowers weren’t struggling to cope with a pandemic. True. But many student borrowers were suckered in by the misleading marketing of for-profit colleges; millions ran up debts but never received a degree. Millions more went into debt only to graduate into a labor market devastated by the global financial crisis, a market that took many years to recover.

So don’t think of this as a random giveaway. Many though not all of those who will benefit from debt forgiveness are, in fact, victims of circumstances beyond their control.

Of course, that's an argument based on facts and evidence, so it won't sway anyone on the far right. I just wish they'd find something else to do than get outraged over every single thing the administration does.

Comments (1) -

  • David Harper

    8/28/2022 2:44:56 PM +00:00 |

    Point of information from one of your British readers.  University tuition fees were raised from £3,000 per year to £9,000 in 2012, during the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.  The Liberal Democrats suffered the wrath of the voting public at the 2015 general election, losing all but 8 of the 57 seats they had won in 2010.  The Conservatives gained 24 seats in 2015.

    At the most recent general election, in 2019, the Conservatives gained 58 seats over their results in the 2017 election.  Student fees had ceased to be an issue by this point, when the political debate was dominated by Brexit.  Labour had its worst electoral defeat since before World War 2.

    I'm not sure how these facts square with your assertion that "Even privatization-happy Brits flipped some constituencies to Labour in the last general election because the Tories raised university fees to £9,250 ($10,900) per year."

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