Mon, Jul

Grabbin' That Third Rail: Who Benefits by Forgiving Student Loans? 


THE DOCTOR IS IN - The hypocrisy of it all is astounding. 

Our government embroils us in ongoing debt, and each political party blames the other...and then comes the faux-outrage of demanding those with student loans to "live within their means". 

Living on student debt, and living on credit card debt, is destroying us all. 

Inflation is something that is about as much a civilization destroyer as any, but to young and not-so-young Americans, the debt from college and career-related education is a source of both terror and despair. 

Hence, Joe Biden, despite its likely unconstitutionality--in large part avoided a 2022 election blowout to the GOP by promising student loan forgiveness.  

And if the Supreme Court declares his forgiving of hundreds of billions of student loans to be unconstitutional, then there will be many who will decry the prevention of feeding their families... 

...while many others will be furious and insulted by having repaid THEIR debts, or having NOT taken out student loans 

...if indeed they went to college at all because of the inability or unwillingness to take on student loans

Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court's conservative justices are focused on whether President Biden overstepped his reach by announcing his debt forgiveness program, and the Court's liberal justices are focused on whether the GOP-dominated states have the right to protest

Which means this will likely become a partisan mess, yet again. 

Which is a damned shame because there's potential for common ground: 

1) ARE the states or the feds demanding limits on the tuitions and/or budgets of public schools with respect to the unending rise in costs that force student loans? 

2) ARE the states or the feds demanding stricter rules on which students can take out which level of loans, based on actuarial data associated with the financial status of a given student and/or the likelihood of paying back a student loan based on a major or a career choice? 

3) ARE the states or the feds demanding more cost-effective housing and food, and cheaper on-line courses to allow college and/or trade schools to become more affordable? 

4) ARE the states or the feds demanding universities and trade schools create new "sweat equity" loan payback programs by requiring rough, tough, and low-wage jobs in underserved regions of the United States? 

Right now, the ones who benefit the most from exploding tuition hikes and potential student loan forgiveness are universities expecting taxpayers to assume the costs of their profligate spending. 

These universities don't deserve it, for the most part, because most don't really educate and prepare students for that magic thing we call a J-O-B. Indoctrination and not education, preaching and not debating, and liberal arts are no longer "liberal" with respect to higher learning. 

I'm sure that this topic will remain a political hot potato for some time. 

But the one thing that is NOT being taught in either K-12 or the university system is fiscal literacy. 

And rule #1 of fiscal literacy is not take on more debt than can be paid back, which means do NOT drown yourself in debt at the start of your life and enslave yourself to ruthless, callous universities, banks, and politicians who swear that they're in your corner.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband to a wonderful wife and father to two cherished children. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)

Get The News In Your Email Inbox Mondays & Thursdays