First and foremost on the list of perps is a financial system and government attuned to keeping the economic engine forever growing at a steady clip. The dollar system needs to expand marginal borrowing. Consequences be damned, any means necessary to hit that 3% growth number. Student loans have replaced the revolving credit card debt system as the means for Americans to live beyond reality. These loans were made nondischargeable in the late '90s (thanks
The system gets a nice boost from this. Where was the watchdog? Our media was too tied into this to complain. Schools advertise. Those for-profit colleges that WaPo ran and kept after selling off the WaPo media entities minted serious coin. Looking at the loan numbers after 2008, the Federal government money went straight into their pockets. Those for profit schools were breedig grounds for fraud up-front as enrollers were paid on the number of students they pulled in and federal money they collected, nothing related to student retention. Churn and burn. Banks earned money servicing loans. Traditional colleges took in enough money to continue raising the cost of tuition. The University of Alabama costs $24,000 for one year's worth of tuition, which is more than Dartmouth, Cornell, Harvard etc. were charging in 2003. Education is a jobs engine. Education trains our future workers. Say it enough and click your heels, it may come true. These students all still believe that getting the degree is the key despite the staggering number of unemployed college graduates. If the Bucknell University graduate is collecting food stamps, then the online slow bleed degree, pajamas wearing student will be as well.
The students themselves are a combination of delusional and desperate. In the WSJ article, Ray Selent, age 30, was a communications major who couldn't find work in his field so he's been in school recently to be an actor. The action picture of him acting is worth the click on the WSJ link alone. He used his student loan money for classes, his cell phone, seeing movies and to pay his mom rent. Tommie Matherne is a father of five in Billings, Montana who was not earning enough as a security guard so he went to school. They use the cash to stock up on food and pay bills. I hope this is not the same Tommie Matherne in Billings, Montana on LinkedIn who is a comsci guy with lots of computer skills listed. He has taken out $51,600 in loans. Expectd diploma in 2015. These people have swallowed the have to get a degree propaganda. There are other ways to pay the bills.
These people are also in denial. Some are using money just to maintain living standards. Cell phones and movie tickets are wants. I would love to know the ages of Matherne's kids. He is 32 now in 2014, which made him 28 in 2010 when he was a $10/hour security guard. Did he have all five kids before 28 or did a kid or two come along after 2010? The media wants us to pity him, but hey, reality is nuanced. Ray Selent claims the money keeps him from falling apart. Living with your mom at 30 should be bad enough, but I guess the cell phone keeps him happy. He will be acting in no time. Maybe the USG can fund local community theater. Student loan money can be transmitted through EBT cards, so if your strip club accepts EBT, then taxpayer receipts and Chinese/Russian/Petro-exporter lending funds lap dances. I am hearing echoes of the Charlie LeDuff Detroit book where his brother says sure the system screwed people over, but Americans also forgot that you have to work for it. We just want to hustle our way through life.
No one wants to cut back. No one wants to face reality. The starts of Great Depression 2.0 hit people, and people forgot to change their lives to the changed situation. Take in your elderly parent, hell no, let him sit in a raisin ranch that charges just exactly what his social security and medicare pays for. Not have kid number five, hell no, gimme debt slavery for a hit. Our corrupt system does not need the economic boost as much as it needs this pool of screwed over and lied to Americans in a system of increasing wealth inequality to keep that debt heroin needle full. Paper over the social dysfunction. Keep them buying Iphones with that student loan money just so the mandarins can pass through another round of red rover red rover immigration and put one more year between the financial crisis and any criminal charges. Play the game long enough, and the underclass will forget all about 2008. Give yourself enough time and you can find new patsies for when the reflated bubble loses steam. I checked the five stages of grief. After denial comes anger, so the system better have one juicy target for the little people to be angry at when the financial meth is gone. Go long pitchforks.