In this episode we cover a very censored topic: student loan debt. Disturbing facts about student loan debt are rarely covered by both mainstream and alternative media. Why is this? My guess is that Americans–both liberal and conservative–still have a perception that college graduates are wealthier and more privileged than the rest of us.
Seems there are few Americans left with the empathy, compassion and willingness to understand those who are suffering right here in the USA. A lot of Americans are reluctant to give up the “American dream” mythology. To admit that talented, intelligent and well-educated people often don’t make it unless they were born with a lot of money in the first place is hard–very, very hard for most Americans.
In fact, I would liken it to getting a macho, “man’s man” athlete to admit to having once been sexually attracted to another man or to convincing a nun to admit that abortions are sometimes necessary. Liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, Americans are united on one idea: they’re all a bunch of temporarily embarrassed millionaires, convinced that the system will work for them… someday… eventually… if they work hard enough and maintain a positive attitude.
Consequently, there are still a lot of misconceptions about the student loan issue. Propaganda (a.k.a., “fake news”) proliferating across the media persists that college students aren’t budgeting their money and are recklessly taking out loans they can’t afford.
News flash: College students, by definition, can’t afford to take out loans. They’re students, after all. They apply for financial aid because they don’t have much money. But the government, our educational institutions, and sadly, many of our fellow Americans, have decided that student loans should be provided as a form of “financial aid” to needy students. When will we accept that WE have created this problem, not the students who are being victimized by this faulty system?
But in case you are interested, I’m listing some facts about student loan debt that you won’t hear spoken about in many media circles. Read on and be enlightened:
–21 states will take away your driver’s license if your student loans have gone into default. Yep, that’s nearly half the country. Montana, apparently, has overturned the law, but not sure why some “liberal” states such as California and Washington State have maintained such draconian legislation. It seems like common sense that preventing a person from getting to and from work would not help that person to pay off debts, but apparently, common sense eludes nearly half the country. (Heck, look who was just “elected” President!)
–Many states will also take away your professional licenses if your loans have gone into default. So if you’re a hair dresser or have another job that requires licensing, you may lose your ability to work, thus making it harder to pay off that ever increasing debt.
–Once your loans have gone into default, the government may garnish your wages, your tax refunds and even your social security/disability benefits! So… retirement and disability are out of the question! Don’t get sick! Don’t grow old! Gotta get rich quick!
–Student loan debts ARE THE ONLY DEBTS that cannot be written off in bankruptcy. Billionaires such as Donald Trump can declare bankruptcy more than once after making poor or reckless business decisions. Gamblers and over-spenders can declare bankruptcy. One may buy a house or car that one doesn’t need then declare bankruptcy later on. But intelligent people who simply want to better themselves by obtaining an education have no quarter. We are being discriminated against. Why?
–Propaganda spread back in the 1970s, accusing affluent doctors of refusing to pay off their student loans. A study proved this “fake news” to be exactly that–false! Yet the government began to restrict bankruptcy protections over the next few decades until they were removed entirely. This is reminiscent of Reagan’s welfare queen propaganda that convinced a nation that helping poor people was actually a terrible thing to do, thus justifying Reagan’s harsh budget cuts on programs serving the poor.
(What? Are you suggesting we can’t trust the government? Heavens, no. I’d never suggest such a thing.) Find out more by clicking on the link below:
–This is NOT a “millennial” issue. There are student loan debtors of retirement age who are having their social security/disability payments garnished because of student loan debt.
–The not-so-very-liberal Bill Clinton administration removed bankruptcy protections for student loans in 1998 and decided to garnish social security benefits from debtors in 1996. (Still LOVE Hillary?) Of course our dear friend (fiend?) George W. Bush kindly placed the final nail in the coffin in 2005 with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Consumer Protection Act (another Orwellian term for a law that does the opposite of protect consumers. Like the Patriot Act, it’s another fear-based law proclaiming to protect us–while it actually exists to protect them from us. Their fear of us, the people, and a possibility of another revolt similar to that of the sixties when hippies stopped a war and got men putting flowers in their hair.) But never you mind what I have to say. Ignorance is strength, right?
You know, we Americans may have lost our ability to recognize that we’re all in this together but those in power have not. They truly are in this together. Yes, Virginia, there is a conspiracy. Politics is a game of conspiracies where the powerful struggle to maintain their power over the masses. If you don’t believe in conspiracies then, sorry, but you don’t understand how politics works. The truth is, Democrats and Republicans are both secretly and very deeply in love. Touching, isn’t it?
–This is unconstitutional. The Bill of Rights are the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. They were written to please the colonists who were concerned that the US Constitution was not democratic enough. The Bill of Rights prevented the federal government from taking too much power by granting powers to the people. You can read the Bill of Rights by clicking on the link below:
The 8th Amendment clearly states that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Of course, our government has violated that amendment many times, most disturbingly by the setting up “secret” torture prisons at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib in an effort to get around our nation’s laws against torture.
Of course, the 6th and 7th Amendments are supposed to guarantee us a speedy trial that allows members of the public or a jury to be present as witnesses. (Witnesses provide important oversight over power.)
But we student loan debtors are granted no such luxury. We are treated like illegal aliens within our own country. In fact, an immigrant could live a better life in the USA than a college grad saddled with massive student loan debt. How can this be?
Well, it seems that laws no longer matter when an ignorant, dumbed-down population isn’t familiar with its own laws and appears to not care anyhow. It’s easy for politicians to break laws them simply create new laws that make what was once illegal, now legal, so they can continue to break laws.
Could this ultimately be the reason for draconian legislation against student loan debtors? To further dumb-down the masses by discouraging higher education? The liberal arts teach us to be philosophical, to question authority, to use our imagination so that we can create a new reality. The liberal arts teach us the mistakes made and lessons learned from history and a lot about human nature. All of this is very useful for creating a better world. Is that way the liberal arts are now being vilified? (With apologies to Meryl Streep.)
By the way, if you have student loan debt, don’t give up. Write to your Congress person and insist that bankruptcy protections be restored. Contact activist groups such as the ones listed below to get involved. Better yet, contact alternative media sources such as TYT Politics, DemocracyNow, et al, and every alternative source you can think of then pressure them to cover this story.
The American people need to know that student loans are ruining lives. This is a serious issue and needs to be addressed. Americans need to be informed. Our politicians don’t care about us, but they can be made to care. They can be embarrassed into caring. Right now, they’re just hoping that Americans won’t find out the truth so they can keep getting away with what they’re doing. So perhaps contacting Congress won’t work, but contact the media! As many sources as you have time to contact. Let’s get the word out!
Click on the sites below for more info: