These days, all the cool young protestors seem to be talking about one thing. The calls for beheading Wall Street executives have quieted down a little and the new focus is- student debt. Yes, those evil giant banks are at it again- forcing poor innocent students into taking massive loans with crushing interest rates that will haunt them for the rest of their adult lives.
There is a petition circling colleges- the Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. To anyone with a rational mind, and even the slightest comprehension of how the free market works, the petition is laughable. The petition scathingly rips into the notion that higher education is an individual commodity rather than an investment in the ‘collective future’ of the nation.(Silly conservatives and their ideas about individualism.) It also boldly states that student loan forgiveness will stimulate the economy and restore the American dream for millions of middle class Americans struggling under the burden of their debt. Aw. With rhetoric like that, is it any surprise that the website, SignOn.org, is sponsored by the totally agenda-less George Soros funded MoveOn.org?
Oh to live in the world of liberal logic. Somehow, millions of defaulted loan payments just magically vanish and the economy is fantastic. Those defaulted payments don’t get passed on to investors and customers of the loan holder’s bank through increased fees to make up for the financial loss.
Even Steven Lerner, SEIU and Occupy Wall Street organizer, hinted that part of the next phase for the Occupy movement is student debt strikes. Lerner wrote in a recent article for the left-wing publication, The Nation “There is growing interest in Occupy and student groups in a student debt strike. The banks can’t foreclose on a brain or a degree. If a critical mass of student debtors—a million or more—pledged to refuse to pay, it would create a collection crisis that could force negotiations about reducing student debt.”
Those evil banks, asking poor, starving students to repay the money so generously loaned them. How dare they ask you to be accountable for your actions! How dare they limit your access to college education! A guaranteed human right! (Apologies to Thomas Jefferson, who’s probably rolling over in his grave). Because of course, handling debt responsibly and not taking on more than you can afford, is not an option.
Whatever happened to the self-made man? In the 21st century, where even if you don’t have high-speed internet access in your home (yet another basic human right those evil Republicans are trying to deprive the underprivileged of) you can go to any local library and use a computer, shouldn’t self-education be easier than ever? Basically every government organization and college has an online library where you can access important documents and research. Or crazier still, you could pull one of those dusty old books off a shelf. (Except then you’d probably just be accused of hating the environment.) But that would require you acting as an responsible, functioning individual in society rather than a piggy-backing parasite of the collective. After all, every enlightened liberal knows, personal responsibility and integrity are the crazy ideas of those pretentious old wig-wearing men who wrote that ridiculously outdated document all the disillusioned conservatives are still clinging to.