Something for nothing: The student loan forgiveness sham. By Rubin Rothler LLB, LLM
College tuition and fees in the US have grown and outstripped inflation to the point where US institutions of higher learning are sitting on a cash mountain of $200 billion dollars.
Only 40 percent of working Americans have college degrees, and only 13 percent have post-graduate degrees. Yet 50 percent of student loans are for those who have post-graduate degrees. Depending on the level of their expertise, post-graduates will have substantially larger lifetime earning potential than blue-collar workers. Much of skilled labor and even the members of the workforce having a first college degree will earn substantially less than post-graduates (although there are areas of exception). The statistical averages confirm that post-graduates will have median lifetime earnings exceeding $3.2 million (while doctoral degree holders earn $4 million and professional degree holders earn $4.7 million) as opposed to graduates, small business owners and working family income earners who will earn much less. In the main, most college graduates are better off. As the New York Times elaborates: “Fewer than 40 percent of Americans graduate from a four-year college, and these college graduates fare far better than non graduates on a wide range of measures. College graduates earn much more on average; are less likely to endure unemployment; are more likely to marry; are healthier; live longer; and express greater satisfaction with their lives. These gaps have generally grown in recent decades.”
Under Biden’s student loans forgiveness program, the exorbitant loans for high earners are going to be transferred to working families and lower wage earners. “Education debt,” as Sandy Baum and Victoria Lee have written for the Urban Institute, “is disproportionately concentrated among the well-off.” Indeed, the Times correctly concludes that the “Democrats have increasingly become the party of college graduates living in expensive metropolitan areas…As a result, many economists have expressed scepticism about the idea of universal student-loan forgiveness. It resembles a tax cut that flows mostly to the affluent: Americans who attend and graduate college tend to come from the top half of the income distribution and tend to remain there later in life. College graduates are also disproportionately white and Asian.” This gift to the liberal elite and to the left-leaning academic establishment is being peddled to the public by an administration pandering to the Socialist wing of the Democratic party – as if this debt transfer were a loan cancellation. The mainstream media and social media platforms promulgate the lies even while struggling families, small business owners and blue collar labor are being plummeted at the supermarket checkout and gasoline pump by the inflation under Biden.
Further injustices include the unfair treatment of those who have already repaid their student debt and will now be expected to help pick up the cost for Biden’s welfare to the affluent with ever increasing taxation. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, said: “Biden’s student loan socialism is a slap in the face to every family who sacrificed to save for college, every graduate who paid their debt, and every American who chose a certain career path or volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces in order to avoid taking on debt.” Adding insult to injury is the expectation that working families pay for the higher education of a sizable sector of liberals who have degrees and postgraduate degrees in fields such as gender and ethnic studies that amount to nothing more than pseudo academic qualifications of little value in the productive job market. This underscores how the Democratic party has become a party of the rich, bamboozling its ‘serfs’ (who vote Democrats) into believing it is the party of the people. It also exemplifies how political conservatism, economic libertarianism and the phenomenon of Donald Trump represents the authentic interests of the average working man and woman.
Still some doubt exists over whether the proposed scheme will in fact be enacted. As a particularly partisan issue, it has to face the inherent uncertainties of an executive order, especially when there is a lack of Republican endorsement for it to pass in Congress. It may be subject to judicial review if construed as a legislative overreach by the executive branch of government. The funding and legislative authority vested in Congress can invalidate the executive order if it goes beyond the scope of Presidential power under constitutional legal muster. “Let the lawsuits begin over presidential authority,” Robert Kelchen of the University of Tennessee predicted. “I wouldn’t count on forgiveness happening for a while, and it may go to the Supreme Court.”
The student loans forgiveness program is a populist measure that’s mostly a product of political expediency. As such, it is a half baked compromise that doesn’t really cater to the purportedly intended class of recipients. Rather, those probably bound for relative affluence are further compensated by government largesse. The ‘champagne socialists’ pushing for this action, are far removed from the Democrat base who are disproportionately non-graduates. Its impact is likely to exacerbate the current rate of inflation, which will in turn most hurt those at the bottom of the income ladder.
While debt relief is a valid issue in itself as the overall economy and its technological base requires professionals with university graduate and post graduate qualifications indirectly benefiting the non graduate labor force, the inequity and the “welfare for the rich” proposition of Biden remains the absolute reality. The debt is transferred from the haves to the have nots. The logical question the administration, the mainstream media, and the liberal elite avoid is obvious. ‘Why do the academic institutions that consistently raised tuition and college fees above the rate of inflation, pushing students into high debt in the first place in order to build their monumental cash surplus, not offer debt relief in the form of a rebate from their astronomical capital base since they accelerated it off the backs of the students who took out the loans to give it to them’? The answer of course is liberal elitism.
The college and university establishment are controlled by liberal elitists, and liberal elitists do not think that way because they are only liberal when it comes to their own interests.