The Biden Administration is forgiving up to $10,000 of student loans for people who make up to $125,000. Anyone getting free debt relief is obviously excited about this, and even some people who don’t have any college debt are happy to help.
The right wing media is furious though. Social media is flooded with posts pointing out how everyone else deserves a break too, poor people need more help than anyone making $125,000 per year, and it’s unfair to treat people who willingly took on loans as victims. As is always the case in American media, everyone is talking about the wrong things, which is distracting from the real issues and therefore enabling them, guarantying the problem will continue.
Everyone knows the price of college tuition skyrockets every year for no other reason than colleges can get away with extorting their customers. One of the main reasons they get away with this is they know it doesn’t matter if their students can afford tuition. As long as students can get a loan, the school will get their money, and whatever happens after that isn’t the their problem.
Imagine if the government came out and said, “We realize you need a car to get to work, and the price of cars has risen 1,000% in your lifetime. So we’re going to give everyone who currently has a car loan $1,000. You’re welcome.” Anyone with a car note would say, “Sure, I guess. Thanks for barely nothing.” Anyone without a loan would say, “Fuck you too.” They would both be right, but arguing about the details misses the point. The real issue is the extortionate increase in the price of cars. If the government simply stopped car companies from being able to overcharge their customers, they could fix the problem for free.
The second half of the real problem is the interest rates on student loans. Imagine if you bought a car for $10,000 because you needed it to get to work. Then you paid $100 every month for a year, and at the end of the year your loan balance was $10,000. Then the president of the United States comes out and says, “Don’t worry. I’ll save you by making tax payers give your predatory lender $100!”
Millennials wouldn’t be crippled by a lifetime of student loan debt if the interest rate was zero, and since student loans are the only debt that can’t be eliminated by filing for bankruptcy, I believe that would be a fair trade.
Anyone who is pissed off that it’s unfair for college debtors to get free relief shouldn’t be focusing their arguments on that one myopic point. They should be pointing out that the government could give students more help for free by simply eliminating interest rates, or at least cutting them in half. The only people who lose in that scenario are the ultra rich assholes who created the problem.
If we’re going to scream about how something is unfair, we should be screaming about the fact that the government’s only solution to students being exploited by financial institutions is to give huge lump sums of free tax payer money to the exact same bankers who created the problem to begin with. This is exactly how the government dealt with the 2008 housing market crash:
Step 1: Financial institutions bankrupt consumers by overcharging them. Step 2: Consumers can’t pay off their loans, which means the banks become in danger of going bankrupt. Step 3: The government gives the banks free tax payer money. Step 4: The CEOs of those companies buy mansions, yachts, cocaine, and hookers with that money. Step 5: The consumer never stops living paycheck to paycheck.
So, yes, I’m completely against giving those vultures more money. I want students to have debt relief, but I want them to get it at no cost to the tax payer by simply preventing colleges and lending institutions from gouging their customers.
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