Oct
05
2014
7

I *do* feel bad for people with horribly crushing student loan debt.

But that’s because I don’t like to blame people for falling for a lie:

…while some people say these 18-year-old kids don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, let’s not pretend we don’t know better. I distinctly remember asking my friend how he would pay off the roughly $70,000 debt he would incur to obtain a major in Ancient Greek and Latin at a liberal arts college in the Midwest. His answer? A simple shrug and flippant “It’s not something I have to worry about right now — hopefully they’ll be forgiven by the government.” Now that he’s still waiting tables four years after graduation, I’d say it’s well past time to start worrying.

Bolding mine: contra the article (which is otherwise fine, if a touch schadenfreude-y) there’s a reason why college students perennially think that their insane student loan debts are going to be forgiven.  It’s because the Democrats campaign on the subject.  Note: ‘campaign.’  They don’t ever actually do anything about it, because any meaningful way of doing so* would tick off the universities, which are frankly more reliable long-term allies of the Democrats and thus highly valuable to that party.  Your average 18 year old college freshman, on the other hand?  Well, there’s an excellent chance that within ten years he or she will be voting Republican; the ROI on helping out that class of person is thus downright awful. But Democrats can’t just come out and say that, because in the short term the Democrats need the votes.  So… the dance goes on. (more…)

Jun
27
2013
1

Why the Democrats are about to HAMMER young people on student loan rates.

You’d think that the Democrats would be capable of basic constituency services.  But apparently not:

Senate Democrats battled among themselves over student loans Thursday, holding dueling news conferences about the right way to prevent interest rates from doubling in four days.

It was an unusual situation for the party with an issue on which it has typically been united. And the split all but guaranteed that the chamber will blow past the July 1 deadline, when new student loan applicants who receive need-based federal aid will see their interest rates rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Basically, the mess here is due to a combination of ham-handed incompetence and a basic petty inability to compromise*. To drastically over-simplify: the President wanted a deal on student loan rates;  Senate Republicans are happy to oblige the President, given that Obama is willing to give away a bit, for a change (and the alternative is the House Republican plan, which both Obama and the Senate hate); Senate Democrats got their noses out of joint on the subject; and now they’re yelling at each other and having dueling press conferences and generally doing what Washington, DC does best.  Which is to say, nothing – but nothing is being done in a dynamic and very earnest manner that assures people that Issues Are Being Addressed**. (more…)

May
11
2013
1

“Student loans are like herpes with compound interest.”

Glenn Reynolds thinks that this Daily Show skit on our current student loan crisis will help collapse the (related) current educational bubble:

I agree, but I want to address another point. (more…)

Nov
13
2012
7

The NYT would like you to be upset for student loan holders, not upset AT student loan grantors.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

It has been six years since Ms. Fitzgerald — broke, unemployed and in default on the $18,000 in loans she took out for Jenni’s college education — became a boomerang mom, moving into her daughter’s townhouse apartment in Hingham, Mass.

[snip]

“It’s not easy,” Ms. Fitzgerald said. “Jenni feels the guilt and I feel the burden.”

Actually… (more…)

Sep
09
2012
--
May
26
2012
--

#rsrh Shorter Wall Street Journal on Student Loan Bubble…

when it pops, it’s going to end up with the federal government holding the NON DIS-CHARGEABLE BY BANKRUPTCY loan papers on several micro-generations of students – definitely to the tune of over 400 billion, very likely to that of 500 billion, and very possibly even higher.  This will not topple the government, but a bunch of voters are about to discover that what Uncle Sam giveth, Uncle Sam can taketh away… and that Uncle Sam is a lot more hard-nosed about the latter than the former.

Via @iowahawk.

Mar
26
2012
10

#rsrh Barack Obama’s Student Loan ‘tax farmers.’

The fish rots from the head down.

For the benefit of my readers who have had public school educations – and thus probably only have a rudimentary grasp of European history – tax farming was a practice from the Roman empire where the state licensed out the right to collect regional taxes to private individuals and groups, told said groups what they had to kick back every year, and then left the tax farmers to acquire the money somehow.  If you’re wondering what then stopped the tax farmers from gouging their victims, wrecking long-term financial structures, and/or generally making life miserable, let me answer that: absolutely nothing.  Which is one reason why you’re reading this missive in a language influenced by Latin, but not descended from it.

Not that things are nearly that bad in this country.  Unless, of course, you have a student loan that you can’t pay.  Then you’re fodder for the administration’s privatized student loan debt collectors – who will hound you to a fare-thee-well, complete with a total disinclination to give you any idea about how to get them off of your back.  Because they actually aren’t from the government, and they’re certainly not there to help. (more…)

Mar
23
2012
6

#rsrh Dick Durbin actually does something useful.

He’s pushing for a bill that would allow college students to discharge their student loan debts via bankruptcy.

Yes, I know, our entire financial system will take a hit when that happens.  I’m not the guy who made the debts not removable by bankruptcy in the first place, and I’m definitely not any of the people who jacked up tuition prices so badly, either.  It’s a crisis that’s not going away, and if there’s a better way to solve the problem of the tuition student loan bubble that won’t involve copious amounts of pain, I’m all ears.

And mind you: I paid mine off.

Via Instapundit.

Nov
16
2011
1

#rsrh BTW, the student loan system needs reform.

They’re too damn high and brutally hard to get rid of, on the average; and they’re largely that way because the colleges don’t actually have any skin in the game.  I think that it was Glenn Reynolds who suggested that one answer would be to allow student loans to be discharged by bankruptcy again – and to put the schools that facilitated the debt on the hook for ten percent of the liability.  Even if that’s just going forward (IANAL, but I think doing otherwise runs you into ex post facto territory), you’d still be amazed at how fast colleges get spiraling costs under control.

See?  I’m not totally heartless.  Or, at least, I can direct my heartlessness at Big Academia, which is frankly in need for a little laudable public humiliation and shaming.

Aug
21
2011
6

#rsrh Student loans / potholes / stimulus suggestion.

This thought just popped into my head as I was responding to an email, and I thought that I’d share it further. Because I’m just a helpful guy that way.  Anyway, here was my suggestion:

Let’s combine a new CCC program with a student loan forgiveness deal: twice minimum wage, but every dime above minimum gets deducted automatically and goes to pay off your student loan principal. I’m sure that we’ve got some potholes that need patching, and getting to watch a twenty-four year old semiotics major visibly realize that it’s all come to this will justify the cost right there.

Discuss.  I can see a couple of potential problems, myself, but understand: this is only one-third, at best, about any sort of economic ‘stimulus*.’  The actual goal here is to take as many members the 23-45 year old ‘over-educated idiot’ demographic of the population as possible and violently rip them out of their insulating – and smothering – cocoon from the real world.

Think of it as… shock therapy.

Moe Lane

*Although frankly if we’re going to throw money away anyway we might as well throw it away at student loans, which need drastic reforms.

Jun
08
2011
6

SWAT team raids by… US Department of Education.

No.  Seriously.

[UPDATE: Folks, it looks like they just updated the story and changed the URL.  Here you go with the new one.]

Apparently, there was this woman who had skipped out on her student loans, so the feds sent a SWAT team to her house to deliver a search warrant.  That is to say, the SWAT team stormed the house, broke down the door, handcuffed her husband, and stuck around for six hours until it finally was successfully pointed out that not only was the woman not there; she had in point of fact skipped out on her family, too. [UPDATE: The government is now claiming that the Education/SWAT raid wasn’t due to student loan defaults; which doesn’t actually resolve any of the questions below.]

Now, you’re probably asking yourself the following questions:

  • Since when did the Department of Education get to do what sounds awfully like no-knock raids? Answer: I’m not sure.  Perhaps this question should be presented to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (Democrat), who is of course appointed by President Barack Obama (Democrat).
  • Since when does a search warrant for student loan defaults [UPDATE: or fraud, really] permit the same tactics that one would use to secure a crystal meth lab that has a sideline in illegal automatic weapons? Answer: there is no way that I can match the righteously outraged fury of Reason.com on this one, and I will not even try.
  • Wasn’t there some kind of student loan relief program signed into law?  Answer: HAHAHA!  No.  The closest thing to that is that students in the future who paid their loans all along will get forgiven the balance five years early – which means, in twenty years instead of twenty-five.  Yup, I know that the President promised otherwise.  The President makes a lot of promises that he doesn’t keep.  He lies a lot, too*.
  • Should I be paying off my student loans, then?  Answer: YES.  Or else the SWAT teams may come for you.  And, presumably, shoot you if you freak out about it.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Hey, I didn’t vote for him.

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