Why I am For Student Loan Forgiveness - P.O.W. Report

Friday, April 24, 2020

Why I am For Student Loan Forgiveness

I wrote this article two months ago, before the coronavirus really took hold and before the shutdowns and quarantines. It was originally published on thearthurmartin.com and since then I believe this article is even closer to the truth than when I originally wrote it considering how many people have been impacted by the shutdowns and the 'invisible enemy.' I would love your thoughts because I know that it's a controversial concept. That said, I don't know how anyone can argue against this. 

Forgive all Loans! What's the controversy?

Student Loans Should Be Forgiven and All Credit Card Debt Should be Wipped Clean

I went to college (which may or may not have been a good decision) and along with graduating from a degree in Political Science, specializing in the Art of Looking Good and Talking Pretty, I also found myself with $70K+ in student loan debt.

I spent the next 10 years stressed and working two sometimes three jobs trying to scrape together the $1K a month in loan payments every month. I won't bore you with the details as a majority of graduates and millennials empathize with this stage of “adulthood” that they found themselves in.

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate talking about student loan forgiveness and many people on both the right and the left are against this concept and so was I—until quite recently.

This article isn't about Sanders, it's about the benefits of debt forgiveness and as you continue to read this article you will begin to agree with me more and more. By the time you finish you will say, “Yes Arthur Martin, you're right!” Are you ready for the challenge?

I paid off my loans after a lot of hard work, why should others be given a clean slate?

In the 12-year span from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2017, about 12.8 million consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in the federal courts. Of those, 8.7 million–68 percent–were filed under Chapter 7, and 4.1 million– 32 percent–were filed under Chapter 13. Nonbusiness filings (i.e., filings involving mainly consumer debt) constituted 97 percent of all Chapter 7 bankruptcies and 99 percent of all Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

In 2016, the five states with the highest rates of Chapter 13 bankruptcy were Alabama (1 in 112 households), Tennessee (1 in 119), Georgia (1 in 135), Louisiana (1 in 179), and Mississippi (1 in 190). The state with the lowest rate was Alaska (1 in 4,359 households). Nationally, there was one Chapter 13 filing for every 405 households in 2016. [source]

Why is it that people get so angry when they hear about student loan forgiveness and never say anything about bankruptcy? Chances are you know someone who has had a bankruptcy, yet you've never met anyone who had their student loan debt forgiven, why?

The Millennials were the first generation to be tricked into getting loans for school.

After the Bill Clinton administration changed the laws and made student loan bankruptcies illegal, the universities jacked up their tuition rates and banks lowered their standards for qualification and made the process for applying to loans extremely easy. As this was going on, television advertisements flooded millennials and their parents with an onslaught of college ads, which made going to college after high school an obvious choice.

This isn't a fault of Boomers either, they wanted their children to have a better life than themselves. Problem is that Boomers didn't realize that 21st Century universities aren't the prestigious institutions that they grew up with in the 20thcentury—application standards decreased while the cost of education increased by 1,000%.

When I was your age Millennial!

The millennial generation can't afford to buy a house, get married, have children, buy a new car and generally are priced out of the “American dream.” Not all, not all, but most! We all know of people who buck the trends. I'm one of them. I had to get massive student loans, I repaid them. I bought a house and generally have a decent job. However, for ten years my ambitions were halted as I paid my loans off monthly. And I lost out on many potential partners because I simply couldn't support them—let alone myself!

That feeling once the final loan payments went through is difficult to describe, other than it was a feeling of, “I can finally move on with my life.”

Children are our future.

We hear that all the time! Yet children (teenagers) were tricked by predatory lending and naive parents into signing up for tens of thousands in loans they had no concept about! High Schools don't teach about loans, they don't teach about finance, frankly they don't teach anything that is applicable to real life. And with the job markets, millennials found both parents working jobs, which meant their parents really had no idea what skills their children were lacking in the real world. In other words, if our children are our future and our children were tricked into being debt slaves, what kind of future will America have?

A bleak one.

This is why student loan forgiveness is so critical. There are many ways to do that, one of which is for colleges to step up with their endowments and help their graduates. Here are the top 5 largest endowments:

Harvard University: $34.5 billion.
Yale University: $25.4 billion.
University of Texas system: $24.2 billion.
Stanford University: $22.4 billion.
Princeton University: $22.2 billion

Most people against student loan forgiveness get hung up on tax payers having to foot the bill. Ok, that's a sound argument. How about we reverse the Bill Clinton legislative laws made in the 1990's and simply make Student Loan Bankruptcies Great Again? This would have a great positive ripple effect on society. Universities would be forced to reduce their tuition, banks would be forced to make sure students qualified for loans (instead of just giving them out like candy) and the young adults who can't find jobs are able to file for bankruptcy.

There is no counter argument for this. It's common sense. Why are adults able to discharge credit-card debts and students aren't? There is no reason other than corporate predatory lending practices.

The final reason for discharging student loans is the most critical, young adults can finally move on with their life and live their dreams. How many people are stuck working a job they hate because they have debt? How many are stuck living in apartments because they have debt that's impossible to pay off? How many people aren't able to start their own business because of outstanding debts?

By forgiving student loans, the American economy can finally jump start as millions of millennials find their own two feet again!

The Ancient Israelis were right about this and they called it the Jubilee, it's time for modern Israelis and Americans to do the same:

“The Jubilee is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years) and, according to Biblical regulations, had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel. According to the Book of Leviticus, Hebrew slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.”

What am I missing in my well written editorial?

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