The Reductio Before The Absurdum

16 02 2010

Sometimes, you need horror stories like these to see how much of a hustle the education-industrial complex has become.  Sometimes, you need one more straw to break the camel’s back.  Or, to put it another way, pride cometh before the fall.

I’ll net it out:  A doctor in Columbus, Ohio racked up $550,000 of student loan debt on her way to becoming a doctor, and there’s no way she can pay it back.

Here are a few excerpts that jump out at me:

But as tuitions rise, many people are borrowing heavily to pay their bills. Some no doubt view it as “good debt,” because an education can lead to a higher salary. But in practice, student loans are one of the most toxic debts, requiring extreme consumer caution and, as Dr. Bisutti learned, responsibility.

However, you’re not going to get a job that’s so much better than the one you would have had with just a high school diploma or undergraduate degree that the extra salary covers your increased student loan payments, much less any remuneration for having to become a workaholic to make that money, and the time you spend away from your spouse, significant other, children, pets, blogging, tweeting or gamimg.

If you’re a white man, it’s even worse.  You have no affirmative action points, and all the education in the world won’t change that.

Unlike other kinds of debt, student loans can be particularly hard to wriggle out of. Homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments can hand over the keys to their house to their lender. Credit-card and even gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. But ditching a student loan is virtually impossible, especially once a collection agency gets involved. Although lenders may trim payments, getting fees or principals waived seldom happens.


Sallie Mae supports reforms that would allow student loans to be dischargeable in bankruptcy for those who have made a good-faith effort to repay them, says Ms. Holler.

Student loans are almost impossible to discharge in bankruptcy because Federal bankruptcy law only allows for their full discharge if paying them back, even under a payment arrangement, is so financially impossible for the borrower in question that it would hinder him or her from existing as a halfway functional adult.  The only slight good news is that if the creditors put a rock on your check, the garnishment can’t be more than 10% of your gross pay, IF AND ONLY IF the garnishment is for student loans.  However, a rock on your check for any purpose is also a rock on your credit rating.  Hence, you can read in the article that this DOCTOR with more than a half megabuck in student loan debt can’t buy a house or new car with her bad credit, and that the financial stress has precluded her and her boyfriend from marrying and procreating.  Assuming that they’re both white, this rot-gut system has precluded the birth of white children, and therfeore contributed to our own dispossession in our own country.

I predict that at some point in the future, there will be serious action either as a result of executive action on the part of the President, or Congressional legislation, or maybe rulings on the part of the Federal judiciary using the doctrine of unconscionability, that will discharge a lot of this student loan debt, or at least make a lot of major changes in the way post-secondary education is financed.  If any action happens from either 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill, it will be when Republicans run one or both.  It would seem ironic that a Republican would want to stiff lenders, because Republicans are perceived as the party of big business.  However, the Democrats and academia are so closely intertwined that you can’t discern a boundary between them anymore.  As I have explained in this medium time after time, Democrats want to reduce the interest rates on student loans and increase grant amount baselines, and other Federally funded scholarships, NOT because they want to help the average borrower, but they want to create as many favorable financial conditions as possible for colleges and universities to raise yearly tuition rates higher and higher every year.  This means that more money funnels through the halls of academica, and with an overwhelming majority of college and university staff and faculty being Democrats and liberals, the Democrats in power hope that this primes the pump for more Democrats in the future.  The only loser is the average student who has to borrow increasingly higher and higher principal amounts every year.

So let’s put all the pieces together.  You’ve got more and more people coming out of undergrad, grad school, med school, law school and other professional schools with ever increasing student loan debt burdens, all of them competing for fewer and fewer jobs that pay less and less, competing with more and more cheap labor legal and illegal aliens.  Something has to give.

Personally, I think the Europeans have the right idea.  College is free, but is limited only to top-flight students who have proven their chops during their previous academic career, so national governments’ budgets aren’t overburdened in that regard.  Vocational and practical tracks do exist, meaning that most people will be able to make a good living based on the education taxpayers provide to them through their late teenage years.  While countries like Germany and France are even crazier than the United States in terms of racial pandering, and have onerous “hate speech” laws that practically criminalize having a conservative opinion on race, paradoxically, they have not embraced affirmative action or positive action to the insane degree that the U.S. has, and there is much less legally permitted “skilled” H-1B style immigration, so white people can still get jobs commensurate with their virtually free education.

Another option, either by itself, or to supplement a European system, is Milton Friedman’s idea of allowing interested businesses and firms to fund the educations for people who would major in a field that the business needs, and the student would work for that business for a certain number of years after graduation at a slightly reduced wage or salary scale.  Part of the reason why the pay would be lower during those years is that a business could buy an insurance policy on the students they are sponsoring in this manner, so that if they can’t hack it and drop out of school, the business could get its tuition money back, and not lose anything.  Your working for lower pay would be a way to pay back the company for that insurance policy.  I think the Friedman idea would be better alongside a European system, because that would be a way to get some students into college that otherwise would be rejected for the standard reasons, sort of a “second chance” card, if you will.