Shame on US

Enough already? Just when I thought I’d said and read enough on this topic, I found this discarded magazine at work, a new one dated August, 2016.

Consumer Reports : “I kind of ruined my life by going to college.” ~ Jackie Krowen, 32, Portland, Oregon

Consumer Reports is not some rag, but a respected periodical that thinking people turn to for well researched statistics on goods and services that they will potentially spend their hard earned money on. 

Jackie, who was quoted on the cover of Consumer Reports, has accrued $128,000. In student loans, of which she owes a balance of $152,000 (acrued interest baby), at a monthly payment of $1,200. In exchange for this ball and chain, she has a nursing degree. Nurses make a decent living. She can probably afford the monthly payment if, at 32, she moves back home to live with her parents. (My opinion.)

Let’s look at another student who was interviewed. His name is Saul Newton, 28, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This young man dropped out of college at 20 after accruing only $10,000 in debt, because he saw the writing on the wall, and was worried about the cost. He enlisted in the military with hopes of going back to school under the GI bill. He ended up fighting the Taliban. Today, he works for the Wisconsin Veterans Camber of Commerce, and is quoted: “You shouldn’t have to go to war to get a college education.” For what it’s worth…nothing, I agree.

Private equity firms, Wall Street banks,  and the federal government are all profiting large from the student loan industry. Lobbyists have ensured there is no way out of this debt either. These lenders will take your disability checks, and your pension, they have secured that right. Still don’t think this is serious? There is no getting out of these loans. They can not be discharged in bankruptcy. 

Wait a minute…even bankruptcy won’t get these loan sharks off the backs of average American citizens? But Donald Trump, a Billionaire, and the republican nominee for the highest office in this great nation, has filed bankruptcy six times, as a business strategy. American Airlines, a company with billions of dollars in assets filed bankruptcy as a business strategy…that strategy being to bust union contracts, dump employees pensions, go after retiree healthcare, and dole out millions of dollars in bonuses to upper management, but still, a strategy. 

From this, I surmise that bankruptcy protection is a tool to be used only by the top 1% of the population, not by the average Joe drowning in debt. 

42 million Americans owe $1.3 trillion dollars in student debt, and as the clock ticks down toward the beginning of the fall semester of 2016, I, and my children, dead men walking, will be joining them. All this for an education that doesn’t guarantee employment.

*My other posts on this topic:

Suffer Your People

Magic Books

Student Debt

Wait and Hope

False Contentment
July 24, 2016, One Word Daily Prompt: Clock~ <a href=””>Clock</a&gt;

3 thoughts on “Shame on US

  1. We live in a sick world. What’s the point of college? Even if you get the degree you might not be hired – and even if you are hired you might not actually have the skills you need. Scholarships are drying up and federal grants for college are becoming harder to get.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem here is greed. Banks, schools and government officials have us up against a wall. Education is the only thing that keeps us civilized. It is sick that education isn’t a priority in this country, and that everything has become about the rich getting richer. The middle class deserves an equal opportunity here. We are the ones who end up footing the bill, and in the long run, middle class Americans will decide going into the kind of debt a college degree requires isn’t worth the pay off.

      Liked by 1 person

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