Author Topic: Strike Against Student Debt / Debt Resisters' Operations Manual - your thoughts?  (Read 4026 times)

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
I read this via an acquaintance's Facebook post, and had a lot of reactions to it. Of course, I can't post them to this person's page without a negative reaction, so I'm posting this here instead. :)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/28/opinion/a-strike-against-student-debt.html?

This page was also linked in the comments on the post: http://strikedebt.org/drom/

I think the comments on the NY Times article pretty much cover what I'd want to say, but I was just... annoyed/angry/scared for the people thinking this is a good idea. I know college is expensive (DH and I are paying his way through grad school right now, and grad credits aren't cheap), but jeez, pay off your own debt or figure out a way to get it forgiven legally. I can sort of understand the scam nature of for-profit schools and those students being given some type of forbearance/forgiveness option, but someone who just decided to go to a school they couldn't really afford? I'm not so sure.

The best debt strike of all... never take on debt. I'm part of that resistance. :)

GetItRight

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 627
They are just trying to outsource their violence. They won't go out and rob people to get the money to repay the debt so they want government to do it for them. They are saying they want government to rob the general public to pay their debts or they want government to use violence to get that money back from those it was initially paid to (school administration, teachers, etc.). The government will eventually break them, or they'll end up caged or killed. More likely their wages will be garnished and they'll have a huge amount of interest charges and other fees by then.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
I don't agree with going on strike and just not paying your loans deliberately, but as I've been arguing in a related thread on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame/Comedy, I do think that you're right -- there needs to be an option for forbearance/forgiveness for students of sham for-profit "schools."  Those "schools" also need to be shut down and outlawed, but I digress...

And the student loan/financial aid/tuition/university fiscal policy system in general needs a massive overhaul.

My flagship state university's budget is being slashed by $40 million (3%) this coming fiscal year, on top of the same size cut last year.  Our President keeps hiring VP-level administrative people with ambiguous job titles at six figure salaries.  I work in admin between classes, and I personally am aware of several department-level admin people who get paid amazing full time salaries for maybe 15 hrs/week of actual work.  Plus, there are the professors who have been tenured since the 70s and 80s (back when it was WAY easier to get) and haven't pulled in any research grants (basic sciences dept, so this is very important usually) or done anything but teach their two classes per semester for 25+ years...they're getting paid BIG BUCKS too.

It's kind of like Jenga...the blocks have slowly been eroded over the years and now the ivory tower is balancing on students, overworked and underpaid adjuncts, and overworked and underpaid early-career researchers.

I think it's going to topple within in the next 20 years and kind of anticipate a massive overhaul of the student loan repayment system.  Not that I'm relying on forgiveness or anything, I'll still be paying my loans in full.  But something's got to give and the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the bullshit.

Indexer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
These people are in for a rude awakening.  The current income repayment plan with forgiveness after X years is very generous on the part of the governmenttaxpayers.  If you think you need a bigger hand out than that you need to retake that poli sci class you slept through and look at the current breakdown in washington.  There is more red than blue in the legislative branch, and taxpayers aren't huge fans of the current forgiveness plan.  They should also look at how student loans are repaid if you default on them.  If you never pay it back the government can just take the payments out of your social security check in retirement.  You are paying them back... eventually.

I think the real problem is 'why' people go to college.  You use to go because you knew you wanted to do something that actually required a college education.  Now you go to delay entering the real world for another 4 years and maybe you will figure out what you want to do while you are there.  That is at  least my opinion of many of the people I went to school with.  So many people would take stupid classes for an easy A.  Fast forward 4 years, you don't really know that much more than you did before, you get a job at StarBucks... the same job you were qualified for before you went to college, and surprise now you have to pay for the 4 years you wasted.  Now on the other hand the people I know who went in with a goal and worked their tails off have no problem paying back their student loans.

We should overhaul the student loan system.  Most loans require a credit score... maybe student loans which are approved based on your assumed future earning potential should have a 'grade' requirement.  If you are failing obviously you are going to have a hard time paying that loan back since your job prospects will be slim.

And I have student loans.  Luckily the rate is very low and I don't owe much so it isn't a stress.  I could pay them off today, but I think I can earn more in my investments.

Sofa King

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381

I think the real problem is 'why' people go to college.  You use to go because you knew you wanted to do something that actually required a college education.  Now you go to delay entering the real world for another 4 years and maybe you will figure out what you want to do while you are there.  That is at  least my opinion of many of the people I went to school with.  So many people would take stupid classes for an easy A.  Fast forward 4 years, you don't really know that much more than you did before, you get a job at StarBucks... the same job you were qualified for before you went to college, and surprise now you have to pay for the 4 years you wasted. 

I concur. I see this with MANY people I know.  I have ZERO sympathy for them.

SixtyNine

  • Guest
I don't agree with going on strike and just not paying your loans deliberately, but as I've been arguing in a related thread on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame/Comedy, I do think that you're right -- there needs to be an option for forbearance/forgiveness for students of sham for-profit "schools."  Those "schools" also need to be shut down and outlawed, but I digress...

And the student loan/financial aid/tuition/university fiscal policy system in general needs a massive overhaul.

My flagship state university's budget is being slashed by $40 million (3%) this coming fiscal year, on top of the same size cut last year.  Our President keeps hiring VP-level administrative people with ambiguous job titles at six figure salaries.  I work in admin between classes, and I personally am aware of several department-level admin people who get paid amazing full time salaries for maybe 15 hrs/week of actual work.  Plus, there are the professors who have been tenured since the 70s and 80s (back when it was WAY easier to get) and haven't pulled in any research grants (basic sciences dept, so this is very important usually) or done anything but teach their two classes per semester for 25+ years...they're getting paid BIG BUCKS too.

It's kind of like Jenga...the blocks have slowly been eroded over the years and now the ivory tower is balancing on students, overworked and underpaid adjuncts, and overworked and underpaid early-career researchers.

I think it's going to topple within in the next 20 years and kind of anticipate a massive overhaul of the student loan repayment system.  Not that I'm relying on forgiveness or anything, I'll still be paying my loans in full.  But something's got to give and the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the bullshit.
Are you talking about "IBR"?

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
I don't agree with going on strike and just not paying your loans deliberately, but as I've been arguing in a related thread on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame/Comedy, I do think that you're right -- there needs to be an option for forbearance/forgiveness for students of sham for-profit "schools."  Those "schools" also need to be shut down and outlawed, but I digress...

And the student loan/financial aid/tuition/university fiscal policy system in general needs a massive overhaul.

My flagship state university's budget is being slashed by $40 million (3%) this coming fiscal year, on top of the same size cut last year.  Our President keeps hiring VP-level administrative people with ambiguous job titles at six figure salaries.  I work in admin between classes, and I personally am aware of several department-level admin people who get paid amazing full time salaries for maybe 15 hrs/week of actual work.  Plus, there are the professors who have been tenured since the 70s and 80s (back when it was WAY easier to get) and haven't pulled in any research grants (basic sciences dept, so this is very important usually) or done anything but teach their two classes per semester for 25+ years...they're getting paid BIG BUCKS too.

It's kind of like Jenga...the blocks have slowly been eroded over the years and now the ivory tower is balancing on students, overworked and underpaid adjuncts, and overworked and underpaid early-career researchers.

I think it's going to topple within in the next 20 years and kind of anticipate a massive overhaul of the student loan repayment system.  Not that I'm relying on forgiveness or anything, I'll still be paying my loans in full.  But something's got to give and the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the bullshit.
Are you talking about "IBR"?

Huh?  No?

In terms of forbearance/forgiveness I was saying I think a new forgiveness program should be implemented for people who victimized by these scam schools. 

In terms of the Jenga thing, I was talking about literally the entire system we currently have in place for financing higher education.

bzzzt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • Location: Chicago
  • 5v to Lightning Bolts...
As like most bad choices make, these are horrible and hang with you for a long time. As a college drop out, I figured out it wasn't for me 11 weeks into the first semester. Instead of taking on huge debt and grinding out classes, I pulled the plug and paid my $4000 mistake. Not only did I get into the working world sooner, it let me have time to try other jobs and find what I liked and didn't like.

Basically, most jobs suck, make as much money as you can while still being able to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.

MoneyCat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1752
  • Location: New Jersey
This is just the first step in some very ugly -- and potentially very violent -- reactions that will be coming in the near future due to the student loan crisis.  Get ready for some fireworks, everybody.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: Chicagoland
I wondering how folks who organized their lives around educating their kids will feel about debt forbearance for some but not for those that paid the freight out of family assets:
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-adv-asian-race-tutoring-20150222-story.html#page=1

And with so many oppressed groups, who will be left to do the oppressing?
http://www.city-journal.org/2015/eon0226hm.html


Tabaxus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 454
I do feel like I'm going to feel like a sucker for paying off my $160k+ in student loans in 2.5 years--and forgoing the opportunity to (1) buy property at historic lows and (2) invest in 2011-2014 to get it done--when all of the fucking whiners manage to get some kind of large-scale student loan forgiveness/anarchist overthrow of the government accomplished to get out from under their part.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3406
  • Location: WDC
I knew I needed a piece of paper saying I stuck with something long enough to earn a diploma in order to get into the professional track of business.  I don't feel I learned much in college other than how to work the system (which is very valuable in the working world). 

I'm not a fan of the for-profit colleges and won't hire people from them (if I recognize the name).  I sort of feel bad for the people who get suckered into those diploma mills, but I also think those people are looking for a short cut.  They know there are some other options but they see an easy way to get into school without taking exams or meeting any prerequisites, so they take the cheater's route.  I'm sure this isn't true 100% across the board, but I do feel as if the phrase "you can't cheat an honest man" has some bearing in these situations.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
I don't agree with going on strike and just not paying your loans deliberately, but as I've been arguing in a related thread on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame/Comedy, I do think that you're right -- there needs to be an option for forbearance/forgiveness for students of sham for-profit "schools."  Those "schools" also need to be shut down and outlawed, but I digress...

Why?  They signed the papers saying, "You will give me $X, I will repay it on this schedule subject to the following terms."  Unless I'm very badly mistaken, student loan papers don't include, "We will guarantee you get a job at $YY,000 salary after graduation."

If I took out a loan at my bank and throw it into the next "sure thing" stock that "I couldn't possibly lose money with!" and lost the whole amount, I wouldn't expect my bank to offer me forgiveness.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: Chicagoland
 

I'm not a fan of the for-profit colleges and won't hire people from them (if I recognize the name). 

I guess I'd ask how you define self described "not for profit" colleges?  and as a follow up question, what about said "not for profit" colleges who use the same financing vehicles to fund "non revenue making" educational endeavors?   

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
On the original Facebook thread, I posted this and just cautioned those interested in trying to be "debt resisters" that the govt. usually doesn't let you get away with that tactic and posted this link: http://www.debt.org/students/what-to-do-if-you-cant-pay-your-student-loans/ No flaming so far, so that's good. My Facebook 'friend' is pretty radical in terms of politics, and she actually 'liked' my link, so maybe she posted this partially in jest.

The link I posted specifically cites fraud as a reason for loans to be forgiven, and in the initial NY Times article, the students argued fraud on the part of these diploma mill style schools. I think the really tough thing with those types of institutions is that they sometimes exist in a vacuum as the only option for people within a geography, and those people don't have enough information/education (irony?) to know any better.