There is a terrific article on Market Watch on efforts to cancel student loan debt.
As a consumer debt expert that regularly studies the impact of debt and human lives, I can clearly see the importance of tackling the systemic problems that have been created through all student loans, both private and federal.
This is not a black or white topic. I always think of Shreck on challenging problems like student loans.
Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.
Just Like Onions
Like onions, student loans have layers as well.
If we get focused on just the debt, that would be a mistake.
The article says, “My generation was told that if you go to school and you study hard, you can get a job and you can live the American Dream, whatever that means,” he said. “What we found is that people are moving in with their parents, rent is too expensive, food is too expensive, livable wages are stagnant, and people have debt hanging over their heads.”
Crushing student loan debt is the symptom. The real issue is the blind acceptance that going to college at any cost is the logical thing to do. It is not.
These days degrees in liberal arts are crashing and closing; there is a good argument to be made that the fundamental traits that make up a person and their experience are much more valuable than a degree in a dead language.
I was talking with a business owner yesterday, and they are interviewing for a technical position. For them, the way a person handled communications, logic, and the interview process was exceedingly more important than a degree with loads of debt behind it.
This employer gave potential applicants a technical task to complete and paid them their asked hourly rate to do it. Some passed, some turned in crap work, and just a couple asked smart questions, turned in the work, and got paid to interview for a full-time, well-paying job.
Heck, even I teach a class on Udemy about How to Buy a Tesla Like a Pro.
I Get It
Students on the backend that are now burdened with crushing student loan debt seek some rope to pull them out of the deep debt hole.
The Debt Collective Biden Jubilee 100 effort wants to draw attention towards the debt cancellation effort.
Unfortunately, the forgiveness of student loan debt will be a happy blip. Still, the buckets will refill again unless we tackle the underlying issue of reimaging what higher education should be. When you understand that about 75 percent of people with some student loan debt never graduated, you can begin to understand the larger problem. The degree gives people the supposed reward. Most never earn a degree.