80 percent of America is in debt. The economy is set up to get us in debt and to keep us there. Banks, medical bills and education are the main causes of debt. This is a huge problem and it’s getting worse because the system has set us up to fail.
Different organizations have been trying to come together to fight for a debt-free educational system. But why would the government allow free education when they can profit off of the people struggling with debt and high interest rates. This is now a battle between activists and the government for debt free education because the deficit is so high already that the government does not want to add to it by helping the people.
In October 2015, Alexandra Flores-Quilty, the president of the United States Student Association, Saket Soni, executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance, and Luke Herrine. a legal coordinator for the Debt Collective, all participated in an interview with YES! Magazine to discuss the growth in US debt and how to transform the current systems to be less profit-driven.
The problem is that the system encourages people pursue higher education as a means to make more money in their career. But, because the cost of education is so high, it takes a lot of money to pay for schooling, which most college students do not have. Therefore they must resort to taking student loans. This leads them into debt at interest rates that increase how long it takes to pay off those debts.
This topic had minimal media coverage in the corporate media. The facts that 80 percent of us have debt, and that these debts are directly related to government institutions, tend to be unacknowledged. However, as this article shows, this topic is important and many organizations are working to help fight against growing debt rates.
Source: Kate Aronoff, “80 Percent of Us Owe Money to Institutions. Can We Leverage It to Reduce Inequality?” YES! Magazine, October 8, 2015, http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/upside-debt-crisis-luke-herrine-saket-soni-alexandra-flores-quilty.
Student Researcher: Jenna Murphy (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Jerry Krause (Sonoma State University)