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 ...
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.
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