Civil War pensions and today's student loans
Another excellent essay! Someone once said "There's no such thing as a free lunch. It may be free to the person eating it, but someone else's labor and capital had to produce it."
Let's be honest -- the loan forgiveness was a bone to help Democrats in the midterms, hoping the elections happen before the unconstitutional edict is stopped. If we really want to fix the problem and forgive these loans, take the millions in endowments colleges have banked on the backs of these borrowers to pay for it. Colleges and the federal government have colluded to cause this problem, and now they want to absolve themselves by saddling taxpayers with an additional $30 billion PER YEAR. And we think the Civil War pension lasted a long time...
excellent as usual. Incredible fact at that the very last Civil War pensioner died in 2020! I suppose the last ones were young second or third wives to Civil War vets. I agree that the real problem is college costs too much. For myself I have decided to be an autodidact of languages, literature and history. I was lucky to have some college experiences but wonder if I could afford the education I got in the 1970s today. I am retired and have no school loans of my own but still owe for a Plus Loan I for my son almost 20 years ago! I am finally at the end and have about 3 1/2 years before that is paid off. I never missed a payment. I tried to keep my school loans at a minimum. Of course, i never went on Spring Break or lived an opulent lifestyle. My own kids worked while in college and mostly paid their own way (certainly for graduate degrees). They all went to State Colleges. As a teacher a private college in the East was out of the question. I don't know the answer but young people will have to make hard decisions in the future. I do know we all have limited time and financial resources so we have to live within those limits
In a word, yes, this stunt is the classic pandering for votes using the public coffers and I totally disagree with this move, which on its surface doesn't even seem legal. The REAL issue that needs to be addressed in this nation is the cost of college. You see, our mother's wish before she passed in 1978 was for my twin and I to be the first in our family to get through college. By working and taking semesters off to save we both managed to do just that without parents around for any support (UFC and UF). The thing is, that simply could not be done today. This increase has by some estimates been 180% from 1980 to 2020. When I walk around the local CO university I see dinning halls that rival the best hotels and a sports complex that was completed in 2016 for a whopping $156,000,000! Lastly we need to get away from this notion that every child in this country NEEDS a college degree. Organized countries like Germany have a robust system of trade schools and apprenticeships to develop an excellent class of highly trained craftsmen and women. Perhaps it would have been wiser for that giveaway to bolster such a system? It would increase our productivity and help alleviate the rift between the college set and the working tradespeople. But wisdom seems to be in short supply these days when it comes to our elected officials sadly.
Another thought-provoking essay, Bill. In terms of student loan forgiveness, I will gladly accept $20,000 from Biden to pay off my wife’s student loans. However, is that the best thing to do with federal money? I am a secondary social studies teacher, and my wife is an LMFT. We both have master’s degrees, and we do fine in the money department. As you point out, a lot of the loan forgiveness will go towards college educated people, who by definition of having a college degree will already make more money than their non-college counterparts. Should the 2/3 of the country without degrees be forced to pay off the loans of the 1/3, especially when many of the 1/3 (like my LMFT wife) don’t need it? Is it right for people to essentially vote themselves money from the Treasury by electing politicians who they know will give them money? And it doesn’t get to the root of the problem that unless something is done to fix the college tuition system, this loan forgiveness will have to be repeated every 4 years, which means that the next logical step would be to simply make college free