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Debt Jubilee Maybe Be Solution to Corona Economic Collapse

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On 4/3/2020 at 10:30 PM, smltwnrckr said:

Not true. 

I don't get your argument. Tens of millions just suddenly decided to commit economic suicide en masse is more believable than while it is still possible to get an education without a mountain of debt, that option is possible for a smaller and smaller proportion of people?

Also it's real, real weird to see guys with politics like yours to be apologists for economic policies that were use by the aristocracies of Rome and Byzantium and the UK to strangle the lower classes and thereby hollow out the economic and social strength of their own nations. Debt bondage has a long history and its results on national economic health has traditionally been 'not great'. Bringing up fairness is some nonsensical red herring.

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On 4/4/2020 at 10:15 AM, Los_Aztecas said:

I have had the same experiences as @smltwnrckr. My family made too much money growing up, and we didn't qualify for much financial assistance. Co signed loans were a no go. Instead my siblings and I went different paths. Junior colleges to state schools, while working minimized debt. The military provides excellent education benefits post service. It is possible to graduate college with a usable degree and a valuable skillset without a mountain of debt. It is not easy, it is a sacrifice. My life would have been much better if I was out partying at a frat instead of working nights, or if I went to a better school like Stanford and racked up debt with the clarity that I wouldn't be responsible for it. 

It's not just my family. Most of the working professionals I know are vehemently against student loan forgiveness as well. Fairness and justice are important themes in our country. You argue that because the system is broken people should not be responsible for their decisions because of fundamental injustice. I agree that the system needs an overhaul, but there are still options to limit debt. It is a greater injustice to those that were responsible to institute a college debt jubilee. 

I paid my own way through college by working.  As far as the student loan debts go, how much of that debt was incurred by people going to scam schools like Corinthian Colleges, ITT Tech, etc.?  As citizens we should have a reasonable expectation that our government will prevent such criminal enterprises from preying on the population rather than encouraging the criminals by fronting student loans for useless programs like those offered by scam for-profit schools.   

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On 4/4/2020 at 9:13 AM, youngrebelfan40 said:

If she has a post-graduate degree with no outstanding debt, she's pretty exceptional. Over 90% of people with professional degrees have debt, and 2/3rds of people with a masters degree have it. The number for all college degree holders system-wide is around 70%. Even in fields that mostly have funding available (research doctorates like ours), over half of people have some kind of debt. This points to a systemic problem, not one of personal choice. If people could just "choose" to be debt-free, they would. 

If it is a systematic problem, it is one that is also revolves around specific personal choices. And the problem isn't that they have debt, the problem is whether or not that debt is manageable. In many, many cases, it's pretty easy to tell before getting your degree what the likelihood is of you getting a job that will pay you enough to pay down your debt. Not always, not completely. But I would suggest the idea that all or even most of the people who took out loans to pay for college did so without considering the costs of the debt vs the value of their degree is in fact at least to some extent (if not all) an issue of personal responsibility over the choices you make. Maybe we disagree. I thought the same thing to one extent or another in 2008 with home loans. And student debt is less predatory of a thing than some of the home loan practices going on before '08, IMO.

I'm certainly not arguing that the higher education system and its costs aren't completely +++++ed up especially for the poor and working class. Even the middle class. I'm just saying that I am not a fan the idea that wee need a wave of forgiveness of student loans.

On 4/4/2020 at 9:13 AM, youngrebelfan40 said:

 Despite your rather problematic use of anecdotal evidence,

Is the evidence itself problematic, or the fact that it is anecdotal the problem? Because if it's the former, I am around this a lot so I got a million of 'em. If it's the latter, that is just not true - this sort of thing requires anecdotal evidence for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it's very hard if not impossible to quantify the thing I'm talking about in the moment. In order to do that, you would have have some metric that is able on a large scale do all sorts of projecting forward and backwards - future earning potential and future financial decisions, other options in the moment, as well as previous financial decisions - for everyone who receives a student loan. You could argue that the banks have metrics that account for some of this whenever they give a loan, though the fact that the government is involved in the student loan business probably makes it much different than a home or car loan. But in lieu of some sort of quantifiable data that allows us to put a number to how responsible or irresponsible these decisions are at the time, or how much agency the people had in making them, we have two things - we have the data in place now of how much student debt people have (the outcomes), and we have the anecdotes of individuals who made these decisions and the specifics of their situations at the time (the stories). 

Second, and perhaps more important, is the fact that your argument is implicitly anecdotal as well because you're not arguing that these numbers exist, you seem to be arguing that they indicate that people had little to no agency in their decisions to sign up for this debt, and thus should have little to no responsibility for this debt. (forgive me if I'm characterizing this in a way you disagree with, but it appears this way to me) This assumes a particular kind of person in a particular kind of situation, it's a generalization based on a story we are telling ourselves about who borrows money for school and why, and it's one that requires other anecdotes to counter. You are saying people with student loan debt shouldn't have to pay it because they were taken advantage of. I'm saying people made choices, and should understand the consequences of those choices.  The numbers just tell us how much debt there is. The stories tell us whose version is closer to whatever Truth with a Capital T exists out there. I'm saying I know a lot of people with a lot of student loan debt, and most of them who are complaining about it right now should have considered their options better at the time. 

 

On 4/4/2020 at 9:13 AM, youngrebelfan40 said:

 

you do seem to draw a line between "moderate and manageable debt" and "a shit ton of student debt." What is this line for you? How much debt is acceptable before it becomes a matter of personal responsibility?

Again, almost all debt is literally a matter of personal responsibility because no one holds a gun to your head to take out a loan. I suppose health care expenses (hospital bills) and some other examples serve as exceptions. But certainly not student loan debt. And I don't claim to draw the line between what is manageable and what is too much... it depends on the person, and on the costs you are willing to pay to get your degree whether it means living more like a pauper and/or not going to your top choice of school or living in your top choice of apartment during the degree or limiting your quality of life for years after as you pay down the debt. That's kind of the point here. I think that distinction is best made at the time of the loan by the person taking the money and the institution giving it. It seems if we decide to institute a government program to erase student loans for some or all people with student debt, someone in a government office will be assigned the responsibility of making this distinction. I'm sure that will end well for everyone. 

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On 4/4/2020 at 10:03 AM, DoubleBlueGold said:

You're too damn smart to be using personal anecdotes as the solution. 

Personal anecdotes are not the solution, they are a way to understand the problem. I'm suggesting that people who take out student loans have agency. I didn't know that was such a crazy thing to say.

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Just now, smltwnrckr said:

 

 

Again, almost all debt is literally a matter of personal responsibility because no one holds a gun to your head to take out a loan. I suppose health care expenses (hospital bills) and some other examples serve as exceptions. But certainly not student loan debt. And I don't claim to draw the line between what is manageable and what is too much... it depends on the person, and on the costs you are willing to pay to get your degree whether it means living more like a pauper and/or not going to your top choice of school or living in your top choice of apartment during the degree or limiting your quality of life for years after as you pay down the debt. That's kind of the point here. I think that distinction is best made at the time of the loan by the person taking the money and the institution giving it. It seems if we decide to institute a government program to erase student loans for some or all people with student debt, someone in a government office will be assigned the responsibility of making this distinction. I'm sure that will end well for everyone. 

What does that have to do with anything!? If you set up a system where half of the middle class beggar themselves to get... middle class jobs vs a system where only 1/10th do, you've deliberately set up a system to destroy the middle class and leave them permanently bonded to an aristocratic class above them. Those societies suck, for the majority of their citizens, for their economies, often for the very aristocrats who eat their seed corn to concentrate economic and political power. In an empire like ours that kind of trap is often fatal for the existence of the state. 

Preventing that isn't a matter of fairness or personal responsibility. 

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On 4/4/2020 at 9:42 AM, DoubleBlueGold said:

Is a 17-23 y/o who desperately wants an education to gain social mobility really being irresponsible? Or is the system irresponsible by allowing said student to take on a huge loan that delivers a false sense of social mobility?

If that person isn't going to be able to pay off the loans after the end of the education, I would say that by definition is an irresponsible decision... at least financially. Maybe they don't have the resources in place (not even financial resources, but mentorship resources) to make that decision. I would say that's another conversation than a blanket loan forgiveness. And the system is all kinds of screwed up... all the way down the cost of tuition in state schools going up like crazy in the past decade to the idea that college is the only route to social mobility. How is a debt jubilee going to solve those things, though?

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1 hour ago, NMpackalum said:

Ok boomer is all you have? Uh... yes I’ve checked. I have 3 college age kids. I’m actually paying the bills.

Then you are aware that it costs $30k for in state tuition per year for in state tuition at UNR med school according to google.  That is on top of undergrad.  That is $150k just in tuition...easy...before books, lodging, food, etc.  How is a person going to "work their way through school"

Colorado State charges $12k per year for in state tuition for undergrad.  That is $50k just in tuition before a 4 year degree not including room and board.

Community college is $4k per year in Colorado but only have 2 year degrees. 

When you did undergrad at UNR it probably cost $250 per year.  That is why people think boomers are clueless about this issue. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, smltwnrckr said:

If that person isn't going to be able to pay off the loans after the end of the education, I would say that by definition is an irresponsible decision... at least financially. Maybe they don't have the resources in place (not even financial resources, but mentorship resources) to make that decision. I would say that's another conversation than a blanket loan forgiveness. And the system is all kinds of screwed up... all the way down the cost of tuition in state schools going up like crazy in the past decade to the idea that college is the only route to social mobility. How is a debt jubilee going to solve those things, though?

Why could boomers get philosophy degrees and still recover?  Why does this generation have to make perfect decisons at 18 years of age.  It is because tution is so high but you literally HAVE to attend college to have a reasonable shot at the middle class. 

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2 hours ago, happycamper said:

I don't get your argument. Tens of millions just suddenly decided to commit economic suicide en masse is more believable than while it is still possible to get an education without a mountain of debt, that option is possible for a smaller and smaller proportion of people?

Also it's real, real weird to see guys with politics like yours to be apologists for economic policies that were use by the aristocracies of Rome and Byzantium and the UK to strangle the lower classes and thereby hollow out the economic and social strength of their own nations. Debt bondage has a long history and its results on national economic health has traditionally been 'not great'. Bringing up fairness is some nonsensical red herring.

 

1 hour ago, happycamper said:

What does that have to do with anything!? If you set up a system where half of the middle class beggar themselves to get... middle class jobs vs a system where only 1/10th do, you've deliberately set up a system to destroy the middle class and leave them permanently bonded to an aristocratic class above them. Those societies suck, for the majority of their citizens, for their economies, often for the very aristocrats who eat their seed corn to concentrate economic and political power. In an empire like ours that kind of trap is often fatal for the existence of the state. 

Preventing that isn't a matter of fairness or personal responsibility. 

First of all, I think it's disingenuous to compare student loans in the United States as it currently stands to debt bondage in in the Roman Empire. Or at least misguided. Maybe we can disagree on that. Second of all, the "not true" that you seem to decide makes me an apologist for all of late capitalism and the history of debt bondage was to the assertion that it is impossible to get a quality education without a crippling amount of debt. I'm saying that it is, indeed, possible. You probably aren't going to get to live in the dorms, and go to the football game at your regional private school or big-time R-1. But directional state universities and JCs offer quality educations that end in a degree, and that degree has ultimately the same value as it would if you went to a bigger, "better" school with a few exceptions. Is this route harder than it was 10 years ago? Yes. Is getting an affordable education harder than it should be? Probably. Is it even harder if you're poor than if you're rich? Absolutely. Being poor is harder than being rich no matter where or when you live. Should there be systematic changes that make it more affordable? I'd love to have that conversation. However, it is very possible today to get a degree without saddling yourself to debt for the rest of your life. You don't need to go to Stanford for that. 

How many of the people who would get bailed out by a student loan forgiveness delayed gratification and made the choice in front of them out of financial utility vs wanting to go to a cool school or have the cool dude college experience? How many people who actually made those choices in ways that limited their future liabilities by taking a sober and realistic look at what they want, why they wanted it and then considering the best route to get there without straddling their future selves and families with debt? And how many of them wanted to go to college - THAT COLLEGE, OVER THERE - and live in the dorms and flirt on the quad? How many of those people are regular middle class people who could have afforded a less expensive college experience for their kid and opted to do it because, well it's their kid... they deserve it. We love them so much after all, so anything for them. I don't think it is an argument for debt bondage to think that these questions should matter when we decide to forgive a generation of students of the obligations they accepted as adults with agency.

I'm not saying that the system is awesome. I'm saying that a major student loan bailout is a bad idea and won't ultimately fix the problems in higher education.

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The current economy has not worked very well for the majority of Americans.

Wages are stagnant, no job security, a widening income gap, no living wage, limited healthcare and college out of the grasp of most.

So arguments about damage to said economy versus people's lives? I'll take the people.

The economy? Can be rebuilt. Along more equitable lines. 

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And enough with the boomer bullshit.

Or can't you make your points without first starting off with a dig. That doesn't set the stage for much dialogue, all it does is sabotage a conversation.

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28 minutes ago, Akkula said:

Then you are aware that it costs $30k for in state tuition per year for in state tuition at UNR med school according to google.  That is on top of undergrad.  That is $150k just in tuition...easy...before books, lodging, food, etc.  How is a person going to "work their way through school"

Colorado State charges $12k per year for in state tuition for undergrad.  That is $50k just in tuition before a 4 year degree not including room and board.

Community college is $4k per year in Colorado but only have 2 year degrees. 

When you did undergrad at UNR it probably cost $250 per year.  That is why people think boomers are clueless about this issue. 

 

 

The solution to something that costs too much isn't to make it "free."  It sucks that life isn't easy and is full of choices.  Kids can work while they go to school.  I worked 30 hours a week while attending BYU.  It made for some rough weeks, but I survived.  If you decided to go to school, not work, and rack up $100K in debt, there is more than a little blame on you.

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2 minutes ago, mysfit said:

And enough with the boomer bullshit.

Or can't you make your points without first starting off with a dig. That doesn't set the stage for much dialogue, all it does is sabotage a conversation.

ok boomer

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1 hour ago, renoskier said:

Do you think the entire  northern hemisphere all decided to overreact at the same time?

I don't know the policies of  the "entire northern hemisphere" and I suspect neither do you.

BUT to the extent they are working to the same, admittedly flawed model, then yes, it is entirely likely that this is one big overreaction.

 

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On 4/4/2020 at 9:49 AM, renoskier said:

 

Where did she do her undergrad and masters work? How were those paid for?

undergrad - uc davis. paid for by small student loans, part-time employment, living at home. Loans paid off (by me and her) while she was in grad school.

Masters was part of the PhD program, so fully funded.

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2 hours ago, sandiegopete said:

I paid my own way through college by working.  As far as the student loan debts go, how much of that debt was incurred by people going to scam schools like Corinthian Colleges, ITT Tech, etc.?  As citizens we should have a reasonable expectation that our government will prevent such criminal enterprises from preying on the population rather than encouraging the criminals by fronting student loans for useless programs like those offered by scam for-profit schools.   

I know a number of people who have bumped themselves into higher pay scales because of "degrees" from scam colleges. I agree that we should look at student debt differently when it comes to for-profit schools, but a lot of people got what they paid for from those schools too.

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1 hour ago, Akkula said:

Why could boomers get philosophy degrees and still recover?  Why does this generation have to make perfect decisons at 18 years of age.  It is because tution is so high but you literally HAVE to attend college to have a reasonable shot at the middle class. 

How many boomers who got philosophy degrees had a reasonable shot at the middle class who wouldn't have been fine otherwise? 

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2 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

How many boomers who got philosophy degrees had a reasonable shot at the middle class who wouldn't have been fine otherwise? 

Actually, that is what motivated me to go college.  I was a late bloomer academically, working contract employee for one of the largest corporations and was always passed over for entry level by college grads, probably philosophy majors.

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4 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

 

First of all, I think it's disingenuous to compare student loans in the United States as it currently stands to debt bondage in in the Roman Empire. Or at least misguided. Maybe we can disagree on that.

I agree that student loans on their own aren't the only factor in comparing our current situation to debt bondage. However, the whole discussion about a debt jubilee, and the argument against it, seems to come from a very... pro oligarchy place. The results of such debt burdens placed upon the middle class will certainly result in a similar situation as Rome or Byzantium and likely to similar effects. 

4 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

Second of all, the "not true" that you seem to decide makes me an apologist for all of late capitalism and the history of debt bondage was to the assertion that it is impossible to get a quality education without a crippling amount of debt. I'm saying that it is, indeed, possible. You probably aren't going to get to live in the dorms, and go to the football game at your regional private school or big-time R-1. But directional state universities and JCs offer quality educations that end in a degree, and that degree has ultimately the same value as it would if you went to a bigger, "better" school with a few exceptions. Is this route harder than it was 10 years ago? Yes. Is getting an affordable education harder than it should be? Probably. Is it even harder if you're poor than if you're rich? Absolutely. Being poor is harder than being rich no matter where or when you live. Should there be systematic changes that make it more affordable? I'd love to have that conversation. However, it is very possible today to get a degree without saddling yourself to debt for the rest of your life. You don't need to go to Stanford for that. 

Sure. Many people can do it. But less and less people have been. That leads me to see poor or deliberate design, 

4 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

How many of the people who would get bailed out by a student loan forgiveness delayed gratification and made the choice in front of them out of financial utility vs wanting to go to a cool school or have the cool dude college experience? How many people who actually made those choices in ways that limited their future liabilities by taking a sober and realistic look at what they want, why they wanted it and then considering the best route to get there without straddling their future selves and families with debt? And how many of them wanted to go to college - THAT COLLEGE, OVER THERE - and live in the dorms and flirt on the quad? How many of those people are regular middle class people who could have afforded a less expensive college experience for their kid and opted to do it because, well it's their kid... they deserve it. We love them so much after all, so anything for them. I don't think it is an argument for debt bondage to think that these questions should matter when we decide to forgive a generation of students of the obligations they accepted as adults with agency.

I'm not saying that the system is awesome. I'm saying that a major student loan bailout is a bad idea and won't ultimately fix the problems in higher education.

I'm not worried about fixing problems in higher education. That's not part of the overarching theme of this thread. Priming an economic expansion by using a bailout to purchase and forgive trillions of debt is what we're talking about. Could it work? Sure, as much as any kind of spending could work. 

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50 minutes ago, happycamper said:

I agree that student loans on their own aren't the only factor in comparing our current situation to debt bondage. However, the whole discussion about a debt jubilee, and the argument against it, seems to come from a very... pro oligarchy place. The results of such debt burdens placed upon the middle class will certainly result in a similar situation as Rome or Byzantium and likely to similar effects. 

Yeah, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one... especially the pro oligarchy comment. On one hand you seem to be talking about this as a unique and novel idea to deal with an unprecedented economic situation. On the other, you seem to be saying that the economic conditions before COVID-19 as they relate to middle class debt, especially student loans, were leading us to invasions from hostile barbarians. I honestly recall us having this exact conversation or one very much like it right around 2009 or so. I'm not sure what that says about any of this. But I'm sure it says something. 

50 minutes ago, happycamper said:

Sure. Many people can do it. But less and less people have been. That leads me to see poor or deliberate design, 

Well more and more people are getting college degrees in the last 50 years or so, so at a certain point people seem to be over and over again willing to pay the price for them. Well, maybe until they have to actually pay the price.

50 minutes ago, happycamper said:

I'm not worried about fixing problems in higher education. That's not part of the overarching theme of this thread. Priming an economic expansion by using a bailout to purchase and forgive trillions of debt is what we're talking about. Could it work? Sure, as much as any kind of spending could work. 

I am worried about problems in higher education, and that's the overarching theme of my participation in this thread. The whole point I decided to insert my big fat foot into this whole thing was because of the idea perpetuated by many that people who took out student loans had no or very little agency in that decision, and that's why we should forgive their debt. This idea, that we should bail out people who hold student debt because they didn't know any better or had no other choice than the ones they made, has been around for quite a while. And those actively promoting idea paint the same picture of a particular kind of student loan debt holder, one who I suggest is rarer than many people make it out to be. Furthermore, I recall these conversations popping up right around the wake of the last massive bailout... student loan debt was going to be the next housing crisis when the housing crisis wasn't even over yet. So while you may be arguing, reasonably, in good faith, that this is the best thing we can do right now for our current economic predicament, you'll have to forgive me thinking bout this issue in the same context I thought of it a month ago - when I was certain this kind of proposal would be floated whenever we slipped into our next, inevitable recession. 

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