Re: Student Loan Forgivenes
[ Edited ]
s Act of 2012
07-26-2012 10:50 AM - edited 07-26-2012 11:00 AM
The harsh reality about student loans is that those payments are delaying young people marrying, starting families, establishing their own households, buying homes, etc., and all of those things are huge drivers of economic growth. We're already seeing declines in the type of purchasing caused by those activities, and it's having a negative impact on our economy. Doing something to solve that, even if it "bails out" some unworthy over-borrowers is good for the whole nation in the long-run.
BUT (and this is a big BUT), we also need to realize that this situation was created by a variety of factors and address them at the same time. Some people went to schoosl they couldn't afford for no good reason. Some people went to a 4-year school because they were told they had to, and really they needed a technical degree or aprrenticeship program to equip them for a good career. Schools have driven up tuition faster than anyone's savings could keep up, and the schools themselves need to retool and consider the return on investment they provide for their students.
This bill is a good start,and will do good things for everyone, but the impact will only be lasting if it's paired with efforts to keep borrowing reasonable, steer people toward affordable and appropriate programs, and have universities retool their programs to fit the modern economy and changing student needs. There will always be a place for brick & mortar 4-year degrees, but we need other options too, and young people need to know about them so they can make good choices.
We do seriously need to revisit this "everyone needs to go to college!" mentality we've cultivated here in the U.S. The messaging starts in preschool, for goodness sake, and the design of even kindergarten standards of learning around this goal results in a curriculum that's stifling (for children and teachers), lacking in creativity, and does nothing to encourage the development of critical thinking. It's completely nonsensical and unnecessary... and, as you've said, unsustainable. It's like in trying to be the best in the world at everything, we've found ourselves winning the race to the bottom.
There is no reason in the world that everyone needs to go to college, and plenty of reasons many people should not. I imagine this will be even more the case for my son's generation, as the job paradigm of the future is likely to be less of an employer-employee model and more of an entrepreneurial/independent contractor model. I'm one of those stupidly over-educated people and, honestly, I'm hoping my son will choose a different path.
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