I’m kind of two kinds on this issue, but more on that in a minute.
Just as the Republicans are at a cross-roads (trumpers vs moderates), the Democrats are also at a cross-rods (liberals vs moderates). And I gotta be honest, a lot of the time the liberal side pisses me off.
Don’t get me wring, I think we need serious reform and social change. I’m all for a living wage, healthcare for all, revamping the police, and overhauling our election system, etc. But when I hear liberals bitching that “democrats are just as bad as republicans and nothing is gonna change” I kinda see red.
A friend of mine just today was saying this very thing. I called him out saying “Biden hasn’t even taken office yet and already you’ve made up your mind?” There’s no difference? Really? Biden has a plan for Covid and for getting kids back to school. And for rebuilding our global reputation. And has chosen intelligent and diverse people for cabinet posts.
And has even floated the prospect of student loan forgiveness.
Granted, Democrats are still 1/2 of a two party system. I don’t see a third party gaining a strong foothold anytime soon. If anything, I see the two parties moving more centrist, with each having far left and right factions.
Anyway… back to the student loan thing.
Okay. I get it. College has become one of those “expected” things. To get a decent, high earning, white collar job you need a college degree. Only college costs skyrocketed disproportionately (much like housing and durable goods, etc) because of the perceived demand. Even being prohibitively expensive, kids sunk themselves in debt to get a degree based in the promise of a bright future— but then the payback didn’t materialize.
So now we have a whole generation that can’t afford to invest in society (houses, cars, washing machines, vacations) because they’re crippled by debt.
And hell- we’ve bailed out the financial industry. And the auto industry. And the farmers. And give billions to foreign powers. So why not wipe out the student loan debt, right? It makes sense.
But I gotta admit, I have a tiny bit of heartburn over this.
I saw a meme posted the other day comparing student load debt to hunger. It was something like “you don’t want the government to pay for student loans, but would you let someone starve just because they can’t pay for a meal?” Or some such. Instantly I was pissed off because this is a false equivalence.
It’s more like, “People decided to go to a restaurant, did a ‘dine and dash’, then want me to pay the bill.
When I went to college, it was definitely more affordable than it is now. But I also went to a private school. And believe you me, the financial implication of this choice was very present in my decision making process. I had loans. And grants. And some paltry scholarships. And my parents chipped in a lot. I went in knowing that I had chosen an expensive school and was going to be expected to pay back what I borrowed.
Which I did.
Cuz it was drilled into me: if you can’t afford something- then you don’t buy it.
So while I understand that paying off the current debt load makes sense in order to prop up a generation (and our country as a whole), it still sticks in my craw just a little.
And I think this is what a lot of Americans are feeling. Those “centrists”. I know there was the “American promise” but nothing forced these kids to go to get 4-year degrees. What about 2 year technical degrees? Or trade school? Or working in a factory while taking online classes from South Northern New West Dakota Tech Institute or something?
So if this student loan forgiveness actually happens, Good. I’m not gonna cry about it or protest. But I’m gonna want to know how we’re paying for it, since tax revenues were slashed under 45.
And that’s a whole other topic.