Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's Time To Erase Student Loan Debt

There's a superb piece in the NYTimes this a.m. about t
he aggressive collection tactics a company hired by the federal government uses to collect student loan debt that has fallen behind. It's one of those instances where a company hired by the government believes itself to be above the law and simply ignores extenuating circumstances in using the law as a hammer to punish people who run into financial difficulty.

The tactics came about because of overuse of bankruptcy laws by students in the 1990s and the hiring of this specific company to compensate for the loss of a lot of federal dollars for education. A Stanford University law professor is quoted as saying, “For every dollar that the aggressive debt-collection firm fails to recoup, that’s a dollar that someone else is going to have to pay."

 Of course, if we had a system where education was guaranteed everybody--as Jimmy Carter tried to do--this would not be an issue. Education for all Americans, like health care for all of us, should be a right and the cost should be shared by all of us. We almost criminally waste national resources on nonsensical wars and that money could easily pay for education and health care. It's time to get serious about our country's health and education.

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