Solving the Student Loan Debt Problem
And who is the biggest victim in all this? I'd say me. I'm a taxpayer, and I just know that, as usual, I'm going to be expected to pay for things when the government cleans them up... or, as is more likely, makes them worse. Are we going to have a bailout for people with too much student loan debt? I hope not, because as a conservative, I like for actions to have consequences. If we bail out people with student loans, we should at least randomly select some of them to fight to the death for our amusement in the Debt Games.
But I guess I'm not the only victim here. Other victims are actually the stupid kids being tricked into borrowing huge amounts of debt to get worthless diplomas. It's hard to see them as victims when, like most people, I hate teenagers and want bad things to happen to them. And when I think about the incoherent, angry young adults in OWS, knowing that their futures have been crushed under giant piles of debt they'll never be able to repay kind of makes me smile. Even so, this collusion between the government, banks, and colleges to take advantage of stupid people needs to stop.
Now, we have minimum ages for buying tobacco and alcohol; why don't we have those for taking out a student loan? Debt is way more destructive than Jägermeister -- to both the individual and society -- so why don't we actually make sure the people deciding to get into it are mature enough to make that decision? I mean, I'm fine with treating an eighteen year old as an adult for the purposes of putting him on trial and locking him up, but let's be realistic here. Very few of them have any actual useful common sense at that age. So here's my proposal: You have to be at least thirty years old to get a student loan. That way, when someone agrees to go into debt to get a college education, they might actually have some idea of what money is and what debt means. And having had to make a living without a college education, by age thirty they'll hopefully understand what they need higher education for and get a functional degree instead of majoring in something like philosophy (and it's kind of ironic, because if you major in philosophy, you obviously do need more training in how to think).
If a person doesn't want to wait until age thirty to go to college, he'll have to save up money and pay for it himself. The point is, people are going to have to learn to be useful individuals and then go to college. No longer will it be this extension of adolescence you go into right out of high school. And if being a useful individual is too much for someone, he can just go straight to being a useless hippy without the unnecessary college step. He’ll at least be a debt-free hippie. That will give him less need to complain, but hippies are pretty good at finding new things to whine about.