How Did Student Debt Come To This?

I realize this is not a big story these days, especially with the death of the queen….but I post this because this will happen again….greed will make it so.

Since Biden has come up with the debt forgiveness thing for students struggling with their student debt there has been a swell of opinions in blogs and social media….some say it is about time someone did something about this problem and others that say it could end this country once and for all…..and yes I had a post on the Biden decision on student debt….

Did Students Win?

I also gave the reservations that some hold about this decision….

Reservations On Student Debt

Now that both sides have their day….how about the history of how this all began….

My thought is…..
College tuition is a full-on scam in the U.S. The thing I hate about the current educational system in the United States is that it is designed to put a college student in debt. As of 2022-2023, the average a student can expect to pay for one year’s in-state tuition, school-related expenses, and fees is $25,707 at a four-year state university, and for an out-of-state student it’s $43,421. As of 2022, the maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant money a student can get [per year is only $6895. That leaves the in-state student with $18,812 they have to cover somehow–and that almost always means borrowing the money. As a result, it’s common to see a student graduate college with a bachelor’s degree, and well over $50,000-$60,000 in debt that they’ll have to start paying off about six months after they get out of college. The government knows this, and the lending institutions know this. Students are actively getting screwed by this system.

As usual the Old Professor wants to give the history behind this situation…..

With the vociferous debate over President Joe Biden’s announcement that the federal government will cancel a portion of outstanding student debt, it’s important to understand how Americans came to owe the current cumulative total of more than $1.6 trillion for higher education.

In 1970, Ronald Reagan was running for reelection as governor of California. He had first won in 1966 with confrontational rhetoric toward the University of California public college system and executed confrontational policies when in office. In May 1970, Reagan had shut down all 28 UC and Cal State campuses in the midst of student protests against the Vietnam War and the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. On October 29, less than a week before the election, his education adviser Roger A. Freeman spoke at a press conference to defend him.

Freeman’s remarks were reported the next day in the San Francisco Chronicle under the headline “Professor Sees Peril in Education.” According to the Chronicle article, Freeman said, “We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat. … That’s dynamite! We have to be selective on who we allow [to go to college].”

“If not,” Freeman continued, “we will have a large number of highly trained and unemployed people.” Freeman also said — taking a highly idiosyncratic perspective on the cause of fascism —“that’s what happened in Germany. I saw it happen.”

Could any of this problem have been the doing of the feds?

Until 1965, the cost of college at private and public institutions remained fairly in line with inflation — these were the good old days, when a minimum wage summer job could cover all of one’s annual tuition, and then some. So what happened in 1965? President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Higher Education Act, which created guaranteed student loans by subsidizing capital for banks that would provide loans to low and middle income students. 

This simultaneously expanded college access, especially for less privileged students seeking to attend private institutions, while keeping loan burdens manageable because private banks still controlled who could receive student loans and for how much. From 1964-77, the tuition at slowly growing private universities grew 11.5% more than inflation, while that at public institutions, it grew 1.6% less than inflation as the government massively expanded public college systems to accommodate an exploding college-age population fueled by the Baby Boom.

This is an op-ed but all the hub-bub….

The greed, self interest and racism of US citizens never ceases to amaze and appall me.

President Biden was dragged, against his own wishes, into using his executive authority to cancel a paltry $10.000 in federally insured student college debt for all those former students with current income of less than $125,000, and an extra $10,000 in forgiveness for those former students who had qualified for Pell Grants — a need-based federal scholarship frant limited to students whose families had annual incomes of below the poverty time at the time they were attending college.

Now most Republicans in Congress or running for Congress — an institution known appropriately as a “millionaires’ club” because so many of its elected members either ran for office having millions of dollars in assets or became millionaires in office because of the corruption of the US political system — are opposing this Biden executive order, claiming it will be inflationary, will cost too much, isn’t fair to taxpayers. But perhaps even worse, are many ordinary Americans, most of them upper middle class or wealthier, who are grousing because they paid off their student loans on their own and don’t think their taxes should have to go to fund a cancellation of debt for poorer former students who have not repaid theirs.

How pathetic is that!

Enough With the Unseemly Whining About Student Debt Forgiveness!

A little something to think about (if you have the time)……

Trump had more than $280 million in loans forgiven and failed to pay taxes on most of the money he pocketed.

Why are neoliberals and cultural conservatives opposed to student debt relief? Look no further than the reasons Ronald Reagan ended free-tuition in California’s state university system, when he was governor. Roger Freeman, one of Reagans top advisors in the 60s, who was later to help craft Nixon’s ruinous education policy, spelled it out pretty starkly: “We are in danger of producing an educated proletariate. That’s dynamite! We have to be selective on who we allow to go through higher education. If not, we will have a large number of highly trained and unemployed people.”

Personally when it comes to college I think if a student goes to college in their home state then the first 2 years should be free….

But that is just me.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


2 thoughts on “How Did Student Debt Come To This?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.