Don’t forgive them their student loan debts

For some reason, many on the right such as Vox Day, Mike Cenoivch, and others are embracing student loan forgiveness.

Mike is blaming universities for scamming people, when the problem is economic incentives. You make something cheap, abundant, and necessary, and it follows that demand will go up. In 2008-2009 during the financial crisis, there was a sudden labor glut and employers became much more choosy and requiring degrees for even the least skilled of work, and although this trend goes as far back as the ’80s, it really accelerated in the aftermath of the great recession and has persisted ever since. So this means the wage and employment gap between college grads and non-grads is the widest it has ever been and keeps widening. Thus, college attendance is higher than ever, even when adjusted for population, and because student loans are backed by the government, which has the deepest pockets of all, colleges can raise prices accordingly knowing that students will be able pay, and the the government issues more loans and bigger loans, etc. It’s a viscous circle.

The usual argument, that for some reason the ‘right’ has embraced is, an 18-year-old who graduated high school is not developmentally mature enough to understand how a student loan works, yet somehow as adults when they acquire credit card or mortgage debt, are suddenly smarter. Considering that 70% of American cannot pay off their credit card balances, and also that mortgage debt was a major contributing factor for the 2008 financial crisis, and also the fact that so many adults struggle with credit card debt, shows how this argument that adults are supposed to be wiser regarding debt than 18-year-olds, is false. Also, the size of combined university endowments is around $470 billion as of 2018, which if taxed by 50% would only pay 1/5 of outstanding student loan debt and do nothing about future debt. Also, endowments are funded by alumni, not tuition, so garnishing endowments is a tax on donors, who are innocent parties.

A better solution is to deal with the underlying problem, that being credentialism. That has to be the first step, and only then will demand for college and thus prices and debt go down. A second approach could be to treat student loan debt more like a credit card debt or mortgage debt. The government has made it too easy for young people to accumulate so much debt, unlike private debt, which has much tighter standards. Treating student loan debt like other types of debt , such as fewer forgiveness programs, higher interest rates, tougher standards, etc. would be a better approach. If you make something cheap and abundant but also necessary, then demand will go up. They say that student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy court, which is true, but the interest rates are much lower than credit card payments and there are so many deferment , forbearance, and other aid programs, and discharging credit card debt is not exactly easy either.

Vox writes Eliminating student loan debt

Giving handouts in exchange for votes, in this case, forgiving student loan debt, is not going to endear Trump to millennials and is why democracy is so flawed to begin with. If Trump were to do this, which he won’t, and this costs the democrats the 2020 election, you think they are not going to respond the next time they get in power with an even bigger handout, ad infinitum. Vox day argues that degrees are worthless, but the data confers that college degree holders make more moeny than only high school grads.