Skip to comments.Forgive us our student loan debt (Is forgiving debt a moral issue?)
Posted on 04/28/2012 6:42:37 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
We need to start taking student loan debt seriously, both as a troubling moral issue and as a ticking economic time bomb. By some reports, student loan debt will exceed 1 trillion dollars this year, more than the credit card debt of all Americans.
A whole generation of young Americans is at risk in this excessive borrowing. They fall further and further behind in servicing their debt because they have no way to keep up with the payments as many of them are unemployed or underemployed. They will delay starting marriage and families; they dare not take the risk of quitting a paying job (if they have one!) and starting their own business to create jobs, and they certainly cannot save to buy a home. They are trapped.
Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12) Forgiving debt is a moral issue. Forgiving some of the worst of this student debt is crucial literally to save this American generation.
President Obama has recently taken steps to ease student loan debt burdens. But the problem is too big. Some of this student debt needs actual legislation to deal with the whole system of the debt as Robert Applebaum calls for on his Web site, ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com.
Applebaum contends that executive orders can only do so much. It will take legislation that covers predatory practices as well as other changes to the way student loans are structured such as how interest is compounded. Applebaum also argues persuasively that forgiving student loan debt will stimulate the economy.
The kind of moral equality that Jesus asks us to pray for in the Lords Prayer can be seen in Applebaums argument. Jesus calls on us to pray, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
If the debt is forgiven, will that fact show up on a credit report? If so, I will make a point to NEVER hire anyone who had their debt forgiven.
Taxpayers should forgive student loans when the IRS is willing to forgive us for not paying our taxes.
All three of my sons are college graduates. They all worked to pay for their education. I don’t see where it did them any harm. One of them even paid his way thru Medical School and is now a Board Certified Surgeon.
What could be better?
“The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again..” Psalm 37:21
Soooo will the schools be giving some of their tuition earnings back too?
I worked my way thru college also...and I believe people who do that appreciate life more, and are able to face challenges better. Those who do not are, in my opinion, usually spoiled brats.
Under IRS rules if the debt were forgiven it would be considered taxable income and, to use an example, a $100,000 student loan would become $100,000 in taxable income taxes due immediately, with penalties and interest if not paid.
Thanks Vince for your reply - it gives me some understanding of the workings of your system. Seems to me that students would have to be really wise about what courses they took and from which University under your system as a private University could package up any old crap and call it something like ....’Women’s Studies’ and charge through the nose for it.
Still at least a more free market education sector allows for more choice!
Really. I probably wrote and researched as much there as I did on any of my degrees.
What's wrong with pay as you go? I worked nights and went to school days. My company was nice enough to help with tuition as long as I maintained a certain GPA. It took me a little longer, but I graduated debt free.
When China forgives us our trillions of dollars in Giveaway spending come talk to me,or when the Bank says you dont have to pay your Mortgage,or your car payment come talk to me. Until then ,work your way through a college you can afford and you wont have to woory about Mountains of debt. The government never should have been put in charge of student loans or Home Loans . With the Crew running the Country now this was all too predictable,election time Forgive everyones debt the suckers who are still lucky to have a Job will Pay the freight for those living beyond their means,vote for me
Yep - and another version uses the word 'tresspasses" to indicate it is things we have done wrong, not "gifts" we have received. I hate it when folks pervert the BIble's Truth in order to push an agenda. Happens way too much, even in Churches.
The Old Testament told folks to forvive debts after seven years - that was for individials, not for a "collective" like the government who steals from us to pay others. I also believe it was for the peace of mind of the one whoi didn't get paid back - forgiving the tort is a way to provide closure and put it behind you so it doesn't continue to eat your lunch and make you think and act in ways you wouldn't ordinarily do.
The Bible is Human Nature Exemplified and Explained with Common Sense Advice, inspired by He who created us and should know how we rock and roll.
Nothing wrong at all with that - My nephew and niece did so but not everyone is as hard working as them I suppose!
Maybe just liberals should take on the tax burden of all the defaulted student loans. After all, it was liberals who decided that every person was entitled to a college degree at top tier university and that it was the government’s duty to provide the money for that person to attend.
If you dissented, you were called anti-education.
Of course, the goal was to enslave another demographic group to big government.
“Wow Susan! Way to misquote the Bible to advance your own progressive agenda!”
That’s for sure...as if there is only monetary debt. The version I first learned was “Forgive us our trespasses...as we forgive those who trespass against us.” That actually gives it an entirely new literal meaning.
Besides that, when did any of these libs ever give a hoot what The Bible says about anything?
RE: Besides that, when did any of these libs ever give a hoot what The Bible says about anything?
ANS: When their interpretation of a passage advances their personal agenda.
Having taught college myself for the past six years, I have to disagree with your projections. Yes, there is some course content that could be covered online, and when I was a student I took one online course (rather useless, as it turned out), and several of my other professors offered copious online resources for independent learning. Now that I’m on the other side of the desk, I also make good resources available to my students, but quite frankly nothing can replace conscientious hard work, let alone class discussion. And even when I do put stuff online, a very small percentage of my students rely on it, since they know I cover most of the important material in lecture.
Perhaps more to the point, putting a class online doesn’t drive costs down anywhere near the “tens of dollars a unit” that you suggest. Instructor salaries are roughly the same for online and in-person courses, and while class management software isn’t quite as expensive as physical classroom buildings, the college still has to invest a lot in infrastructure, bandwidth, etc. It’s simply not true that an online course consists of a few static HTML pages followed by “click here to take the final exam”!
The debt does not vanish, “forgiving” debt is merely forcing someone else to pay for it.
Someone else did not accrue the debt.
Why should they pay for it??
Under my proposal, You'd be out of a job. Isn't that true?
Inasmuch as you are one of those who benefits from the high cost of education, I don't see how you can look at this objectively. The fact of the matter is that very few students actually participate in live classroom discussion and an online undergraduate course could be viewed by thousands of students at a time, thus significantly reducing the cost of a worthless liberal arts degree.
As xzins and I pointed out, we both learned more in our online discussions on theology in the Free Republic Religion Forum than he learned in all his college courses leading to his advanced theology degree. If college were online and the discussions were set up like Free Republic, then I think we could make an undergraduate degree something that NOBODY would have to go into debt to obtain.
Tell me, what was your undergraduate degree in, and what did you learn that you could not have learned in an online environment much cheaper?
And inasmuch as you’re a dumbass who’s already prejudiced against both the liberal arts (my degrees are in literature, to answer your question) and who wants to fire anyone who holds different political views, I see no reason to waste my time with you.
Appalling, isn’t it? Every time, every single time, the govt gets involved, costs and economic mechanisms go out of control.
The govt forced banks to make mortgage loans without the borrowers establishing they had any way to repay .. we had the mortgage crisis. Govt forced banks to lend tuition/room/board/fees/living expenses loans to students without any way of showing those loans can be repaid and, presto, a looming student loan crisis.
There was a time when students went to the college or university they and/or their families could afford. The student might have had to alternate going to work for a year/going to school for a year until graduation. But they didn’t graduate with impossible debt because there were virtually no loans available, much less loans forced on lenders by a generous government.
Insults. The last refuge of a man who has no arguments. Typical of a liberal.
I have to agree that a literature degree and $5 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Am I prejudiced against liberal arts degrees? When they are literally worth less than a certificate from a cosmetology school and cost 200 times as much, then I guess I am prejudiced against them. If getting a degree in Literature was as cheap as getting a degree in hair cutting, then I would not care one bit about the cost of a worthless education. But people are literally spending $200,000 to get a "Literature" degree from a University, when they can read all that crap online for free at Gutenburg.org.
Tell me, do you think it is wise in this day and age to borrow $200,000 to get a degree that is literally not worth the paper it is printed on? Would it not make sense to make getting that degree as cheap as getting a Cosmetology license or an X-Ray Technician license? Both of those jobs pay better than starting teachers and both of them are in more demand.
“...is this fair democracy to all the past generations who have paid their student loan debt as they agreed to do?”
That may be true for you and others posting here, but student loans were made exempt from dischargeability even in bankruptcy precisely because so many who came before did not honor their student loan repayments.
The author can forgive all the student debt she wants - with HER MONEY!
The problem is, the libtards want to forgive debt that isn’t owed to them but is owed to the taxpayer. That’s ME.
I’m sick and tired of carrying the deadwood in this country. Let ‘em get off their dead butts and pay down their own student loans. I pay my dues in life - it’s time for the liberals to pay theirs.
You learned nothing in college, by your own admission.
Yet, you claim to know enough about how higher education works to replace it for less than 1% of the cost.
When I calmly explained to you why your conclusions were incorrect, you refused to grant my argument any legitimacy. Now you have extended your prejudice to include every single person who has a degree (i.e. who is smarter than you) in an intellectual field.
Sounds like you’re the liberal one here. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of the thread.
I am a Christian, but since when is the Washington Post Christian? If the nation wishes to embrace the teachings of Christ I support that, but those teachings come as a bundle, not a la carte. Take them all or remain separate from the church.
I have a liberal arts undergrad with a Juris Doctorate post grad. I have been a practicing attorney for over 25 years and I am a certified expert in my field of practice. I borrowed a total of $12,000 to get all my degrees.
Frankly I could have learned all the crap I learned in Law School by just studying and participating in online courses. There was nothing magical about the classroom experience that made me what I am.
The only reason people think they need a degree from a Brick and Mortar university is because they think they need a degree from a Brick and Mortar University. As this article points out, today a 4 year degree in anything other than pre-med, engineering or chemistry is not worth the paper it is printed on, much less the $200,000 that some people are borrowing to get one.
I worked full time while going to law school. I had three kids at the time. I didn't spend my days going to school and my nights drinking and partying and borrowing money that I hoped I'd never have to pay back and that the government would one day forgive.
Sounds like youre the liberal one here. Dont let the door hit you on your way out of the thread.
LOL. I'm not the one arguing for keeping the unsustainable status quo. I'm arguing for conservative solutions to the high cost of education. You're just mad because my solutions might just bring down your salary and are threatening your distinguished career as a "Literature" Professor.
Are you actually encouraging your current students to get a degree in Literature? Do you know how many Starbucks baristas have advanced degrees in Literature and English and Women's Studies and other stupid liberal arts subjects? I would venture to say MOST of them. Most of the rest are either on the unemployment lines or sitting in some "Occupy Something" protest and refusing to bathe.
Bring down my salary? It’s at $1400/month right now, but don’t let that get in the way of your twisted fantasies.
Your cliche about $200,000 for a “worthless” degree is both inaccurate and getting old real fast. And you do realize that you’re using the same talking points as the leftist who wrote the article, right?
And I will only tell you this once: if you insult my profession one more time, you will regret it.
My daughter makes more than that every 2 weeks waiting tables part time. I put more than that every month into my 401k.
Your cliche about $200,000 for a worthless degree is both inaccurate and getting old real fast.
ROFLOL! You have an advanced degree in "Literature" and you are making a whopping $1400 a month?
I rest my case!
And I will only tell you this once: if you insult my profession one more time, you will regret it.
If you are making $1400 a month, then you are not working in a profession. You are at best working in a vocation. Starting salary for full time work at Wal Mart is $1600 a month.
BTW I'm an attorney. Everyone on the planet insults my profession and for good reason.
Please explain to me why I have to tolerate this abuse on FR. I have submitted several message alerts with no response.
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
You called me a "dumbass" and indicated that every person with a degree is "smarter than you" and then you claimed that I was "using the same talking points as the leftist who wrote the article."
My point was that there needs to be a cheaper way for someone to get a worthless degree like a Masters in Literature than to borrow $200,000. I suggested that online courses for liberal arts degrees would be the most cost effective way of doing it since there is literally no need to go to a building to learn all that useless information when you can sit in your mother's basement and read the same crap.
And then when I suggest out that your advanced liberal arts degree is not even worth the paper it is printed on, you confirm it by bragging that you are making $1400 a month teaching college! You literally proved my point.
And then after this is pointed out, you go and cry to the moderator when your feelings are hurt.
Your forum page notes that you think there are a lot of jackasses that post here on Free Republic. Hmmmmmm.
You gotta admit the line about sitting in an "Occupy Something protest refusing to bathe" is really funny!
And think about it. Conservatism must take back the education field from the liberals. A new way to be educated is one idea on how to do that.
No frontal assault. Just an end around.
Well, from what I can see, you are the one who started the name-calling in post 72. If you are going to dish out it, don't complain to the mods if you get it back in return.
Oh, and don't EVER make a threatening post again like you did in post 81.
Noted. I apologize for the threat, but I do believe that Marlowe was being unnecessarily mean.
It looks more and more like Free Republic is only the right place for a very specific kind of conservative.
Well, let's see. You called him a dumbass. And implied that his intelligence was subpar.
You are in no position to complain about how you were treated on this thread. It has nothing to do with any "kind" of conservative and everything to do with the fact that your own posts set the tone for your exchange with p-marlowe.
Alright, I give up. Marlowe, I’m sorry I called you a dumbass. I still believe that you are wrong about the nature of higher education and the best approach to fix it, but I should have stuck to policy.
Oooooooohhhh...aaaaahhhhhh........P-Marlowe, must be hiding in his momma's closet!!!
That was neither mature nor necessary, Osage Orange. Do you have a substantive contribution to make to the policy debate?
35 years later, I have a greater appreciation of the value of a liberal arts education. I have memories of a couple of theology and philosophy classes that resonate to this day. However, times have changed, as have the financial requirements for attending college. Is a liberal arts education worth racking up student loan debt in excess of $100K? Of course not, and the naivete of these young men and women pursuing such a course is appalling.
However, I also have an appreciation for the fact that my 23 YO son has more disposable income in one of his paychecks than I have in two, and he works 25 hrs/week for the TSA. Of course, he has no expenses, other than keeping his GF happy...lol!
He's one of the good guys there. He's been using his customer service skills from his previous sales jobs to reduce the edginess of his coworkers.
You wrote this:
"And I will only tell you this once: if you insult my profession one more time, you will regret it."
...And you are calling me immature? ROFLOL!!!
The question is....sthguard...did YOU have anything worthwhile to add to this conversation??
FWIW, based on your posts in this thread...I don't think you want to go down this path with me.
Quit now while you can...but I figure you won't.
We’re dealing with a couple key assumptions here:
1. There is no intrinsic value to a liberal arts education.
2. It’s impossible to pursue a liberal arts degree without taking out massive loans (the $200K figure is tossed around a lot).
Regarding Assumption #1:
Even assuming that most liberal arts graduates end up teaching for a living (which isn’t automatically the case, though it’s certainly more common in some fields than others), that doesn’t guarantee a life of poverty. Let me take my own field (English) as an example. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/article/Average-Faculty-Salaries-by/126586/), salaries for an English instructor (typically a teacher with a PhD but one not on the “tenure track”) average $41,733, while an assistant professor (i.e. a PhD new to the tenure track) averages $51,786. Typically, an assistant professor goes up for tenure after five years, and if he or she reaches the next rank (associate professor), the average salary goes up to $62,077, and the final promotion to professor bumps the average to $80,545. These numbers may not be glamorous if you’re used to six-figure incomes, but note that the average US household income is only $50K (http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0692.pdf).
More troubling than ignorance about salaries, though, is the assumption that the only measure of worth is a high salary. (And BTW, I only make $1400/mo because I’m teaching part-time while I complete my dissertation. But don’t let that disrupt the narrative.) By those standards, what do we make of the thousands of FReepers who have to get by on less than $40K? Are they equally worthy of condescension and outright snobbery? This is just class warfare by another name, and plays right into the “conservatives hate the poor” meme. But perhaps that’s the point.
Regarding Assumption #2:
This one is of course tied to the arguments about salary, since it is extremely difficult to pay back a $200K loan on a $45K salary. But the argument is still flawed in two important ways. First, the simple fact is that massive loans are not required to get through college, or even graduate school. Personally, I’ve been through two BA degrees, an MA, and most of a PhD. In that whole time, I borrowed a total of $16000, and covered the rest out of pocket or with grants and scholarships. And since I’ve been working at least part-time since I started college (with a short gap after graduation), I’ve been able to pay that loan down to $4500. Would I prefer to be debt-free? Absolutely. But I came into college without much savings, and my family couldn’t help much either, so a small loan was necessary. Some of my classmates and colleagues had to take out larger loans for one reason or another, but the idea that EVERYTHING has to come from loans is just not true. The inflated statistics are due more to people who have no business in college, or those who don’t know how to manage their money once they do start college.
Secondly, this problem is by no means limited to liberal arts majors! An engineer, computer programmer, architect, veterinarian, or theologian can make the same choices to take out extravagant loans, and can face the same problems of growing debt and a lower than expected income. In fact, in my experience liberal arts majors are actually MORE likely to manage their money well during college, because they don’t expect the same “big payoff” after graduation that those in technical fields (or law, apparently) expect. The days of starting at $100K right out of college are gone, even if you do have a fancy tech degree from a high-ranked school.
In summary, the problem comes down to personal responsibility, not academic field or expected income level. I work hard for my money, and I get to do what I love. If certain “conservatives” can’t accept that motivation, that’s not my problem!
I appreciate my liberal arts education because at the end of it I was qualified to go to law school. I really wasn't qualified to do anything else and I had started a business which was paying me double what I made my first year as an attorney and that business I taught myself by reading books and then telling people that I knew how to do what I had taught myself. I can thank my reading teachers for that, but I didn't learn to read in college.
When I was taking liberal arts classes, the principle reason I was in college and the principle reason why I was taking Liberal Arts classes was because I already knew all that stuff from High School and I needed to stay in college and get good grades because all my friends who hadn't gone to on to college were being shot at by Viet Cong and NVA regulars on the other side of the planet. After they stopped the draft, I stopped going to class. :-)
My son went to college and got an engineering degree. I think he borrowed about $30,000 over 5 years to get that degree from a State University. Right now he is shopping for a house that is literally worth double what mine is worth.
My liberal arts degree and $5 would have bought me a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The only value it had was that I needed it to get into law school. I honestly didn't learn anything in college that I could not have learned on my own. I learned a few things in law school, but the most important thing I learned in Law School was how to take the Bar Examination and I needed a law degree to accomplish that feat.
Am I supposed to be impressed that you already know everything about everything?
Briefly, though, we're dealing with generational issues here. Those currently in school by and large suffer from a sense of entitlement, which has contributed to an overreliance on student loans to fund their education.
This sense of entitlement will eventually lead to demands for forgiving student loan debt if the current cast of characters remain in DC, and that includes RINOs.
I’m having a hard time seeing student loans as this massive burden destroying lives. My student loans get sold every 6 months, half the time I’m not paying the right company. Yeah if you ignore it too much they’ll start to go after you, but if you at least make a visible effort between that and the constant sale of your loans it’s at best a nuisance.
When I got out of high school I had already learned enough to make getting a liberal arts degree an easy chore. I had already taken courses in English, Literature, Music, Art, Art History, Biology, Physics, American History, World History, Political Science, Chemistry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geography, Speech, Spanish, German, Philosophy and a full year of Shakespeare (That was a fun class).
All I did when I went to college was to take the same classes that I took in High School. I think in college I added a few electives, like bowling and photography to round out my educational resume. The only classes that I took in College that I didn't take in High School were geology, economics, sociology and psychology.
Geology was easier and more fun than bowling (basically we all went to the desert on the weekend with the professor to look at rocks and drink beer) and all I needed to do to pass Sociology and psychology was to memorize a bunch of terms and regurgitate them when it came time to take a test.
Economics was the most difficult class I had because the teacher had no clue and as a result he was unable to clue me in. I think they were teaching Keynesian economics which makes no sense to anyone with a brain.