If you’re not familiar with the proposed “Student Loan Fairness Act”, good for you. That probably means you don’t have student loan debt and therefore don’t give a crap what it is, or it means that you do have debt, but you are paying it off like a responsible adult without looking for ways to escape from a situation you placed yourself in.
Being a young American adult myself, I know all about that damn act, since my generational peers are the namby pambys disseminating petitions to get the act into effect. Bunch of greedy wankers if you ask me.
Here is the sparknotes version of the Student Loan Fairness Act: People decided of their own free will to go to college and then decided, also of their own free will, to take out student loans to pay for said college. People now don’t want to pay their student loans because it’s too hard, and they deserve to get things for free because they’re special. People want to convert their private loans to government loans. People want their government loans to be forgiven so they don’t have to pay them off. There are obviously more details to the proposed act, but that’s basically the gist of it.
Who is this act “fair” for exactly? The schools who fulfilled their end of the bargain by providing you with the education you chose to receive, who you now blame for your crippling debt? The rest of the American public, who will end up paying your loan balances off as taxes if you do succeed in subsidizing your loans through the government and earning their loan “forgiveness”? Or is it “fair” for you, the borrower attempting to use this act because you “deserve” to have money, and shouldn’t have to pay your debts? I’m not sure if that’s technically “fair”, or just douchey. Everything about this act is a terrible, horrible, no good, rotten idea. Let me break down why this is for you, facet by facet, using my double edged sword of logic and reason.
First of all, a large part of the reason why school is so damn expensive is because student loans have already been at least partially subsidized by the government, which gives schools access to loans guaranteed by the government. A university can charge as much as it damn well pleases, if students are simply accepting the price and financing their educations. This is doubly true if those students are financing through a government loan, because if the student can’t make his payments and defaults on the government loan, the University is still getting paid. The only difference is that the schools will get their money from the government, which, obviously, gets its money from me, via my taxes. If these loans are available, and students keep purchasing them, there is no incentive for schools to lower their prices to manageable levels. If government funds aren’t available for student loans however, the benefits would be twofold. First, if would-be students can’t get loans, they won’t be able to afford the outrageously inflated prices of some colleges and universities, and they won’t go there, so they won’t ever take on this crippling amount of debt. Subsequently, if the schools want to put butts in the seats, they’ll have to lower their prices to more reasonable levels, enough perhaps, that huge loans won’t even be necessary. For us consumers, that’s a win-win. Placing more student loans in the hands of the government (which, by the way, is already crippled by its own debt, and is clearly terrible with money), thus allowing schools to keep their prices obnoxiously high? Not so much.
This college-make-less-expensive process won’t help those of us who have already graduated of course, but just for once maybe we as Americans can do something for future generations, instead of just fucking them over for our own short term benefit?
Secondly, if you took out loans, and they’re too much, and you want the government to “forgive” them, ie pay them off with my tax money, you can go fuck yourself. Who should be paying the loan you chose to purchase? Probably…..you.
Couple of things to think about. College isn’t a right. Nor is it mandatory. Nor does it guarantee you a good job upon graduation.
You don’t have to go to college. If you insist on going to college, you don’t have to go straight into an expensive 4 year or longer program. You can instead enter the work force right after highschool, save money, and go to night school. Or you can go to a trade school. Or you can join the military, receive vocational training during your enlistment, and then go to school after your service. Or you can strip, and pay your tuition straight cash. Or you can do your undergrad in an inexpensive state school instead of an expensive ivy league. All i’m saying is, there are options beside taking out loans to go to college. YOU didn’t choose those options. Instead, you decided that taking out 300k of loans with a 96% interest rate for an undergraduate degree in philosophy was a good idea. Now that you can’t pay your loans, you think you deserve assistance? You deserve nothing except a slap in the face.
Let’s be honest, you made the horrible choice to finance an overpriced education because you bought into the myth that a college education guarantees you a better job with more money. Wrong. It’s true, a college education can make you more desirable to potential employers. What it cannot do, is create jobs. Once you have your degree, you absolutely have an advantage over someone without a degree that has other similar qualifications, but you’re still not entitled to a good job. If the jobs don’t exist, they don’t exist. That’s not your college’s fault. You still need to pay for the education you received. Not the government. Not me. You.
I can understand the frustration, if you worked your ass off to get a useful math or science based degree, like an engineering degree, or a medical degree, or a business degree, something that if you were able to get a job in your field upon graduation, you would be making enough money to pay off your loans. You took a risk, invested in yourself, and it hasn’t paid off. Too bad, so sad, shitty things happen to good people here in the real world. It sucks that there aren’t enough jobs available in our current economy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have to pay off your loans. If you got some bullshit liberal arts degree however, you shouldn’t even be part of this conversation, as you don’t have a leg to stand on. The best you could ever hope for was making 32k a year even if you did get a job in your line of study, and you can make that much money waiting tables, so go fucking wait tables and shut the hell up.
If you buy a house that is too expensive for you, and you can’t make your payments, the bank takes it away from you. If you buy a Ferrari, when you can really only afford a Chevy Cobalt, eventually you lose your Ferrari. Once you’ve received your education however, it can’t be taken away from you. Your only option is to pay. And that is as it should be. So what if you have to keep living in your parents house and eating Ramen, and moonlighting as a bartender to make ends meet? That’s the world we live in now. We are going to grow old and die as a poor generation. Deal. With. It. There is nothing inherently special about you or I. We don’t deserve anything. We are not entitled to anything. Everything we have, we need to earn. Instead of whining about it and trying to get help from other people, grow a backbone, be an adult, and handle your shit.