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Damage done by student loans


Student debt is bigger than credit card debt, and most of it is owed to the government, which has unprecedented powers of collection. Because most students get loans, schools have little incentive to keep costs down, and keep raising tuition.

(emphasis mine)
Another debtor, a 38-year-old attorney who suffered a pulmonary embolism and went into default as a result, is now more than $100,000 in debt. Bedridden and fully disabled, he accepts he will likely be in debt until his death. He asked that his name be withheld because he doesn't want to incur the wrath of the government by disclosing the awful punch line to his story: After he qualified for federal disability payments in 2009, the Department of Education quickly began garnishing $170 a month from his disability check.
The massive earnings the government gets on student-loan programs amount to a crude backdoor tax increase disguised by cynical legislators (who hesitate to ask constituents with more powerful lobbies to help cut the deficit) as an investment in America's youth.

"It's basically a $185 billion tax hike on middle-income and low-income citizens and their families," says Warren Gunnels, senior policy adviser for Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the few legislators critical of the recent congressional student-loan compromise.
There's a particularly dark twist to the education story, which is tied to the collapse of the middle class and the overall shittening of our economic landscape: College degrees are actually considered to be more essential than ever. The New York Times did a story earlier this year declaring the college degree to be the "new high school diploma," describing it as essentially a minimum job requirement.
So what can be done about this? Are there any organizations pushing back on it?

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/819845.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
My partner dropped off a resume for a job at an indoor dog park. The job was basically picking up poop and refilling water bowls. He has over 10 years of experience working with animals as a vet tech. The business owner flipped through his resume and said "What, no college degree??"

Aug. 19th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
Aug. 20th, 2013 06:47 am (UTC)
Aug. 19th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
There's an extent to which preference for college degrees is really preference for people from the right socioeconomic background.
Aug. 19th, 2013 11:37 pm (UTC)
Good point.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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