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17. Students Crushed By One Trillion Dollars in Student Loans

In April 2012, US student loan debt topped one trillion dollars, more than credit card debt. Although corporate media dutifully reported this milestone, they underplayed its significance and ignored one promising solution. Student loan debt is the only form of consumer loan debt that has increased substantially since 2008. The threat of massive student loan defaults requiring another taxpayer bailout is a systemic risk as serious as the bank failures that brought the US economy to the brink of collapse in 2008. The Federal Reserve could introduce a new quantitative easing program to remove student loan debt, giving the economy a boost similar to that created by the GI Bill.

Censored News Cluster: From “Bankster Bailout” to “Blessed Unrest”: News We Can Use to Create a US Economy for the 99 Percent

Ellen Brown, “A Jubilee for Student Debt?” Yes! Magazine, October 20, 2011, http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/a-jubilee-for-student-debt.

Alex Pareene, “The $1 Trillion Student Loan Rip-Off: How an Entire Generation Was Tricked into Taking on Crushing Debt that Just Enriches Banks,” AlterNet, October 20, 2011, http://www.alternet.org/story/152809/the_$1_trillion_student_loan_rip-off%3A_how_an_entire_generation_was_tricked_into_taking_on_crushing_debt_that_just_enriches_banks/?page=1.

http://www.mediafreedominternational.org/2011/11/21/students-are-crushed-by-1-trillion-dollar-student-loan-debt/

Student Researcher: Joshua Nervis (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: David McCuan (Sonoma State University)

  • NoWay December 24, 2012

    First, the ‘students’ are not ‘being crushed’. They signed an agreement for their loans. Nobody forced them to do so.

    Second, the bogus ‘bailouts’ are OVER. I am not going to have more US debt loaded on to my back because of bunch of entitled people took out loans and now whine about it. No whining about jobs, either. ‘Jobs’ have been a problem for years now, nearly going back to NAFTA when the parents of these same whiners laughed at Ross Perot. Now they whine because of ‘no jobs’. Tough, they can whine at their ignorant arrogant parents who raised them.

    And the ‘Fed’ idea? That’s really piggish. The Fed is a problem, not a solution. NO, the rest of us do not want to subsidize devaluing OUR dollar yet more because the irresponsible don’t want to pay their debts. Those who took loans better pay them back or face garnishment. The rest of us are done paying for entitled irresponsible whiners.

    • R December 28, 2012

      First, students are not forced into taking loans by anyone… Except the entirety of U.S. culture and an increasingly competitive meritocracy where it is difficult to get a job without a degree of some kind.

      Second, if you don’t want more bailouts I suggest you leave the country or work to change the system. The very fact these people had to take out loans means they are absolutely not entitled. as for jobs, we can whine all we want but until people do something about it pointing fingers is meaningless.

      The Fed… I don’t really have anything to say on the Fed, but to insinuate that citizens are irresponsible for not managing to pay down debts when the system is rigged to keep people in debt as long as is humanly possible is foolish at best. Doubly so when you remember that banks choose who to loan money to and thus have acted irresponsibly if they lend to those who cannot repay, relying on further bailouts rather than making healthy business choices.

      • Z January 3, 2014

        Go to a community college and transfer to a state school. It should cost less than $10,000. High school students feel entitled to a private education at USC and take out a $200,000 loan for an English degree. Then, when they can’t pay it back, they expect hard working Americans to foot the bill.

  • NoWay December 24, 2012

    First, the ‘students’ are not ‘being crushed’. They signed an agreement for their loans. Nobody forced them to do so.

    Second, the bogus ‘bailouts’ are OVER. I am not going to have more US debt loaded on to my back because of bunch of entitled people took out loans and now whine about it. No whining about jobs, either. ‘Jobs’ have been a problem for years now, nearly going back to NAFTA when the parents of these same whiners laughed at Ross Perot. Now they whine because of ‘no jobs’. Tough, they can whine at their ignorant arrogant parents who raised them.

    And the ‘Fed’ idea? That’s really piggish. The Fed is a problem, not a solution. NO, the rest of us do not want to subsidize devaluing OUR dollar yet more because the irresponsible don’t want to pay their debts. Those who took loans better pay them back or face garnishment. The rest of us are done paying for entitled irresponsible whiners.

    • R December 28, 2012

      First, students are not forced into taking loans by anyone… Except the entirety of U.S. culture and an increasingly competitive meritocracy where it is difficult to get a job without a degree of some kind.

      Second, if you don’t want more bailouts I suggest you leave the country or work to change the system. The very fact these people had to take out loans means they are absolutely not entitled. as for jobs, we can whine all we want but until people do something about it pointing fingers is meaningless.

      The Fed… I don’t really have anything to say on the Fed, but to insinuate that citizens are irresponsible for not managing to pay down debts when the system is rigged to keep people in debt as long as is humanly possible is foolish at best. Doubly so when you remember that banks choose who to loan money to and thus have acted irresponsibly if they lend to those who cannot repay, relying on further bailouts rather than making healthy business choices.

      • drew June 19, 2013

        Student loans are a problem when you pay a higher interest rate for you student loan than your mortgage! If they are worried about people paying back student loans then offer lower rates for those who make payments on time.

      • brandon romero December 5, 2013

        what is the average of money student own to the bank on to colleges or university

        peace let me know i k=need help to do my final essay.

        Thank you:
        Brandon Romero

  • v4ngu4r10 January 10, 2013

    NOTE: This post is not intended to feed the trolls who commented before me.
    I would like to point out how absurd it is that students have to pay such high tuition these days in order to get a decent college education while our government spends our citizens’ tax dollars waging wars all over the world, funding occupations and engaging in them ourselves? (3 billion a year, for instance, to Israel, in order to fund a corrupt system of apartheid?)

    I grew up in a very broken family, and my parents didn’t even have the capacity to provide me with any sort of financial education, let alone any support in school or life in general. However, I worked hard enough to get average grades, and even though I didn’t have the money for college visits, SAT prep or even application fees (not to mention, I bounced around five different homes in my senior year alone) I got into a few good colleges. Yet my grades and SAT scores were too low to get scholarships at those colleges, and I was on my own apart from government aid.
    I was brainwashed- by the public education system and the nature of living in poverty- into thinking that college+drive/hard work=good job and a good life ever after, but that equation is simply wrong. There is so much more you must take into account before you sign those loan papers, but without the proper education or guidance, many young people (especially those who come from low-income families) fall victim to predatory practices within the education system as well as within the bank system. (They seem to go hand in hand, in my experience.)
    The financial aid workers ensured me repeatedly that I could afford to go to their school. I could not possibly comprehend the true significance of the large, abstract figures they threw around in that office. Not only did they downplay the “loan” aspect of my “aid”, but they made it seem as though the amount I borrowed wouldn’t matter. I came from a poor neighborhood and didn’t really know anyone who went to college, so I thought that once I had a degree, success was certain. Therefore, whatever it would cost to go to school would be more than worth it in the long run. Then, I changed my major. (Shouldn’t students be free to do this? Or must they have wealthy parents in order to deserve the privilege?) And without realizing it, to put it plainly, I really screwed myself by changing my mind about what I wanted to study.
    My point is that the United States is full of diverse people from diverse backgrounds. It is unfair to assume that most people come from comfortable backgrounds and have families who can help guide them through such a complicated process. In fact, I would venture to say that if you truly believe that, you’ve been quite sheltered. There is a serious class divide within this nation, and the few who are on the good end of that divide are quite lucky to be there. Our government needs to take care of its students and do them well, because they are the future of this country. But what kind of future will there be in America if bright-minded students spend all of their productive years working solely to get out from under debt?

    • David Kerry September 30, 2013

      LOOK R-U-D-2 I don’t know where you and your so called broken home were hatched but in my family we were taught to love our neighbour Especially the poor Jewish Holocaust people and All Jews. the Good old U.S.A. fought bravely the commies al qaeda the insurgents in many countries so you and your commie alike friends to have a 1st class education! as for tiny Israel they have committed themselves to help us fight terrorism all over the globe no thanks to you and your like! further more tiny Israel helps the world over in their plight against thugs like you from the above ilk. get over your delusions and get a job

      • Adam N.T. Protester February 16, 2014

        The ‘state’ of israel murdered counte bernodotte volke
        the kennedys over diamona
        rachel corrie over a video
        our USS Liberty sailors as a pretext to nuke Cairo
        our 300 firefighters on REICHSTAG911 detonating 3 underground nuclear devices and turning the 3 WTC buildings 1, 2, & 7 into dust and then controll detonating them

        ALL FOR THE TWIN ANTI PURPOSES OF BIBLICAL BORDERS & PIPELINISTAN

        stop foaming at the mouth and be for jesus & Republic rather than treason, the denial of christ and war profiteering anarchy….sayanim bi…ch

  • v4ngu4r10 January 10, 2013

    NOTE: This post is not intended to feed the trolls who commented before me.
    I would like to point out how absurd it is that students have to pay such high tuition these days in order to get a decent college education while our government spends our citizens’ tax dollars waging wars all over the world, funding occupations and engaging in them ourselves? (3 billion a year, for instance, to Israel, in order to fund a corrupt system of apartheid?)

    I grew up in a very broken family, and my parents didn’t even have the capacity to provide me with any sort of financial education, let alone any support in school or life in general. However, I worked hard enough to get average grades, and even though I didn’t have the money for college visits, SAT prep or even application fees (not to mention, I bounced around five different homes in my senior year alone) I got into a few good colleges. Yet my grades and SAT scores were too low to get scholarships at those colleges, and I was on my own apart from government aid.
    I was brainwashed- by the public education system and the nature of living in poverty- into thinking that college+drive/hard work=good job and a good life ever after, but that equation is simply wrong. There is so much more you must take into account before you sign those loan papers, but without the proper education or guidance, many young people (especially those who come from low-income families) fall victim to predatory practices within the education system as well as within the bank system. (They seem to go hand in hand, in my experience.)
    The financial aid workers ensured me repeatedly that I could afford to go to their school. I could not possibly comprehend the true significance of the large, abstract figures they threw around in that office. Not only did they downplay the “loan” aspect of my “aid”, but they made it seem as though the amount I borrowed wouldn’t matter. I came from a poor neighborhood and didn’t really know anyone who went to college, so I thought that once I had a degree, success was certain. Therefore, whatever it would cost to go to school would be more than worth it in the long run. Then, I changed my major. (Shouldn’t students be free to do this? Or must they have wealthy parents in order to deserve the privilege?) And without realizing it, to put it plainly, I really screwed myself by changing my mind about what I wanted to study.
    My point is that the United States is full of diverse people from diverse backgrounds. It is unfair to assume that most people come from comfortable backgrounds and have families who can help guide them through such a complicated process. In fact, I would venture to say that if you truly believe that, you’ve been quite sheltered. There is a serious class divide within this nation, and the few who are on the good end of that divide are quite lucky to be there. Our government needs to take care of its students and do them well, because they are the future of this country. But what kind of future will there be in America if bright-minded students spend all of their productive years working solely to get out from under debt?

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