I heard Bernie Sanders grumbling about erasing student loans as part of his bid to be President. It’s a popular trope. Not so much dealing with student debt as offering free stuff to get votes…a hallmark of the Democratic Party. A number of candidates want to offer free college tuition, purging of loans, forgiveness of loans, etc.
This rhetoric plays well with young people who are “saddled” with “crippling” college debt. You see it in media all of the time, students saying they have graduated, can't find jobs befitting their degrees, and are facing large loan repayments. I call these “pity pieces," aimed at manipulating our emotions.
Let me be clear: I am solidly against forgiving student loans. I'm in favor of lowering the interest rates and fixing the system so that students don't have to juggle a confusing array of multiple loans. But forgiving them? No. And on the subject of free college, I am also against that as well.
Forgiving or writing-off of loans is not "free." When a politician uses the word "free" they mean, “paid for with tax dollars.” Bernie has suggested that Wall Street pay for this…as if it is their problem or fault. I hate the banking industry as much as the next person, but why should they have to shoulder this expense? This is just a candidate looking at the corporate world with greed in their eyes. Trust me, it won’t stop there. Ironically, people against the banking bailout in the early century are in favor of bailing out students.
Part of the argument is that students with degrees can't get jobs. I struggle with that because our unemployment rate is the lowest in decades. Is it they can't find jobs that pay outrageous salaries that they think they deserve? There are a lot of jobs out there. Or did the students get degrees in fields where there are no jobs? Someone majoring in Astrobiology, Adventure Education, or Social Justice, is going to have a very hard time finding a job because these are hollow degrees devoid of value. (Yes, these are real college degrees!)
When I went to college there were two fields I considered going into: history and journalism. My parents had me research what those jobs paid. Simply put, they didn't. I figured out pretty quickly that if I wanted to have a life, I needed to get a business degree. That would pay my bills in the real world.
I went on to write history and true crime books - so I found ways to keep in touch with the passions of my youth. But as a career choice, common sense and my parents prevailed. I am not telling young people to not follow their desires, but simply that society doesn't owe you a job if you pick a ridiculous major. You may have to take jobs you don't like to get by. You made a choice about your degrees, in many cases, and now you must live with that. It is called life. Suck it up buttercup.
I am also against two-thirds of Americans who don’t go to college paying for the one third that do.
What lesson are we teaching young people by simply erasing their debt? We are telling them that they are not responsible for the consequences of choices and decisions. Worse yet, we are teaching them the government will bail you out if you whine enough about it. As a student, you agreed to pay that money back when you took your loan. What do you think will happen when you buy a house or car? Are you going to expect us to pay for those as well? This plays well with the Democratic Party - they want people to be dependent on the government for everything.
The calls by candidates for "free college" certainly has appeal, but it ignores millions that don't want to go to college, who opt for other training such as a trade school. Also, it isn't free. If you charge the banking industry, they will pass it onto us. In the end, this will cost everyone money. Do we, as Americans, have an obligation to pay for students to attend college?
So what is this about really? It is about buying votes of young people. Promise free stuff so they will vote for you. It is shameful to see the Democrats stoop to this blatant pandering. This is bribery, plain and simple. It tells you how desperate they are to defeat President Trump in 2020. Shame on them and anyone that supports this insane concept.