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Solving the Student Loan Debt Problem

The nonsense has to end.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

May 11, 2012 - 12:00 am
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I have a great new idea: Let’s use the government to help give giant, unsecured loans to one of the dumbest groups in our society — teenagers.

Oh, we already have a trillion dollars of outstanding student loans? Never mind.

Now, I don’t like to use the word “crisis” unless people are actually running around the streets on fire and screaming, but this whole student loan mess is becoming a bit of a problem. Student loans top both credit card and auto loan debt, and student loan debt is all held by an increasingly worthless group: college graduates. We give $100,000 loans to teenagers — people you normally wouldn’t trust with $100 loans — and then they party for four years while majoring in art history and graduate to join an Occupy Wall Street protest to complain about all the debt they have and can’t pay back. If the goal is to create annoying, useless hippies, I’m pretty sure it can be done for much cheaper. This student loan nonsense has to end.

Oh, I know many will object to that. “Making these loans is investing in our children’s education.” But objectively, this has been an absolutely horrible investment lately. Taking the same money we’d put into a college education and instead placing it in a mutual fund would get you a much better return on your money. Plus that won’t eventually scream about the 1% and defecate on a cop car. I mean, just look at how few people can get jobs right out of college these days. Rats trained to pull levers to get food pellets have more useful skills than most of today’s college grads. And the cost of training rats doesn’t grow faster than inflation.

How did we get here? In a sane world, if a teenager walked into a bank and said, “I would like a $50,000 loan to major in modern dance,” the bank manager would call security, who would then pummel the stupid kid, and everyone would end up smarter for it. But what happens instead is that Uncle Sam walks by and says, “I like his moxy. Give him the loan; I’ll guarantee it. And I’ll make sure he can’t ever get out of his stupid choice through bankruptcy.” So they give this giant amount of money to a dumb kid, and then the colleges are waiting outside, saying, “Hey! They’re giving huge loans to moron teenagers; we need to get some of that money!” So we have colleges preying on these gullible saps, increasing costs while their diplomas plummet in value in a complete mockery of our capitalistic system.

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