• Clay Jackson

    Below please find the comment I left for the author of this piece. I hope that you will curate a more balanced piece so that a more constructive debate can ensue.

    “You aught to be ashamed to publish as a skewed piece of ‘journalism’ as this.

    First, let me state that I agree that the system is enormously complex, unnecessarily burdensome, subject to abuse, and that education is far, far too expensive.

    But the very same Department of Education that you seem to think aught to be some kind of benevolent savior of ‘the system’ is the organization which, in conjunction with The Congress, makes and interprets the laws that you rail against. The government created this mess. The people you–and every other American who bothers to vote–put into office have created this supremely dysfunctional system. And you honestly expect them to fix it?

    For more than 40 years, Democrats and Republicans alike have liberally applied political palliatives about ‘making education more affordable’. One simple question: how’s that working out? What has happened to the cost of education? Has it become more or less affordable, even after the band aids EACH party has put in place to stem the rising tide?

    And what makes you think that the solution to this mess is for the government to be one of the largest banks on the planet? How did that work out with Fannie and Freddie? How’s it working out with the student loan programs?

    Another question, if it’s about increasing revenues, and I applaud you for acknowledging that dirty little fact, then why not credit cards? Why not auto loans? Governmental agencies are already the only lenders available for mortgage loans and student loans, why not other kinds of loans?

    The government has been a bank for more than two decades for student loans. And yet the cost of education keeps spiraling out of control and the laws that govern the programs keep getting more and more complex. After two decades of left and right chest pounding, what makes you think that any politician, left or right, has any intention of tackling the real problem?

    Some facts:
    Lower is better, but whether you pay 3 or 4 or 5 or 6% in interest on the loans doesn’t matter so much;
    Flexible is better, but how many different kinds of repayment options there are for student loans is not the driving factor;
    What matters is the principal balance.

    Who in their right mind thinks paying $30, $40, $50, $100k for a bachelor’s degree or a proprietary/technical school degree makes sense? And the only reason that tuitions continue to rise at alarming rates is because schools (and the state governments who fund them) know that students can obtain ‘low cost’ student loans to pay for it.

    Until a politician gets up and speaks thoughtfully about the hard things that he or she proposes to do to stop the rise in tuition, then just plug your ears. All of these half measures and demonization of The Bad, Bad Banks has proven to be nothing but detrimental to the very people you point out are being the most victimized.

    This silly game of ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ that is played by both sides only makes matters worse. And you are only propagating this unconstructive line of thinking by publishing articles like this.”