Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupy: The Student-Loan Debt Problem

PBS' Need to Know has a short run-down on Student Loan Debt and the Occupy Wall Street movement.  While I have no doubt that starting out life with this kind of burden is possibly unbearable while starting out on a career, who's fault is that?  Well, mine.  I pointed out last week that tuition costs are out of control because of a lack of state funding for higher education, and I'm not paying state taxes at a level that they could provide a valuable public good.  We're all screwed.  We've hit a wall where we can't pay teachers at a level where they can pay back their student loans at Directional State Schools (i.e. Western Illinois, UW-LaCrosse, Central Michigan, etc) and then wonder why we can't find quality teachers.

Yet.... I don't have sympathy for someone who took out loans to attend 8 years of private schools and complains that they can't find a job.  Why is that?  Is it because I feel that the person with the public school loans considered the cost when they made the initial decision, and those with private school degrees did not?  I'm not sure.  I'm also not sure how to reconcile this and move on.  Because, it can't be good for anyone in society to owe over $100,000 in debt, but there needs to be a moral hazard to prevent someone else for doing it.  What I can't figure out is where the line is.

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