America’s Student Debt Problem Is Much Bigger Than Anybody Realized

Submitted by Shaun Bradley via TheAntiMedia.org,

The Department of Education recently released a memo admitting that repayment rates on student loans have been grossly exaggerated. Data from 99.8% of schools across the country has been manipulated to cover up growing problems with the $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans. New calculations show that more than half of all borrowers from 1,000 different institutions have defaulted on or not paid back a single dollar of their loans over the last seven years.

This comes in stark contrast to previous claims and should call into question any statistics provided by government agencies. The American people haven’t fully grasped the long-term implications of loaning a trillion dollars to young people who have no credit or assets.

Increases in tuition seen over the past two decades have become a point of controversy and angst for those who don’t fully understand the contributing factors. Between 1995 and 2015, the average cost of a public, four-year university skyrocketed by well over 200%. Although federal student aid programs are often championed as a necessity, they have been instrumental in making higher education unaffordable. The opportunity to pay for college by working a part-time job evaporated as soon as huge sums of money were handed out to anyone with a pulse. Since students no longer pay their tuition upfront, colleges are able to raise prices in perpetuity, knowing the government will step in and make credit easier and easier to obtain. As an added bonus, outstanding student loans account for 45% of the government’s financial assets.

Subsidizing the lives of an entire generation has turned personal growth and advancement into a choice instead of a necessity. After all, why take risks or work your way up from the bottom when with just a signature, the life you’ve always wanted could be laid at your feet? It’s not hard to figure out why so many people are tempted to take advantage of the instant gratification that comes from student loans, but like everything else in life, they have a price. The same safety net that delays the anxiety of the future also ensures that monthly payments will be owed for decades to come. Procrastinating when faced with pivotal life decisions is an instinct that used to be overcome as a teenager, but today it is worn like a badge of honor well into adulthood.

The policies of intervention haven’t stopped at federal aid, and loan forgiveness is now being offered to those willing to work in the public sector or at a non-profit for ten years. This perverse incentive only serves to drive those desperately in debt further towards government dependence. Productive jobs are created when the needs of others are met in the free market, not by joining the ranks of the state for self-preservation.

The idea that success comes exclusively through attending a university has created a stigma against some of the most valuable occupations. The lack of real skill sets has lead to a shortage of welders, electricians, carpenters, and other trade workers. Instead of learning through experience with apprenticeships, many students have embraced four years of sleeping in, drinking heavily, and getting an increasingly useless degree. While there are many fields that require specialized training, the surge in popularity of degrees like sociology, anthropology, and communications clearly illustrate a disconnect between the needs of the economy and the skills of the incoming workforce.

The normalization of this system has blinded individuals to their own potential. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs and thinkers are those who have bypassed traditional education. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and hundreds of other innovators achieved greatness by breaking from predictable paths to knowledge. Instead, passion and experience were the foundations that gave them the confidence needed to make groundbreaking strides. What it means to learn and be educated is changing rapidly as technology develops, and it will eventually force the State to adapt with it.

Albert Einstein was able to spot the innate flaws in the education system even back in 1936, but it’s doubtful he could have fathomed how far things would go:

“I want to oppose the idea that the school has to teach directly that special knowledge and those accomplishments which one has to use later directly in life. The demands of life are much too manifold to let such a specialized training in school appear possible…The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost.”

Those who do achieve their degrees often do so without developing important skills like critical thinking and individual discernment. The scariest part about this revelation is that almost 90% of outstanding private loans are co-signed by parents, making this an intergenerational problem. As the instability of pension funds, social security, and economic conditions continue, any additional burdens passed onto the baby boomers could have far-reaching ramifications. The vast distortions in information that this report exposes should motivate everyone to become an independent fact checker. The only way to reform this broken system is to shift the pursuit of knowledge towards the direction of each individual’s passion instead of creating more cogs for the machine.

Photo: jeco graduation hats via photopin (license)

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About the Author: Tyler Durden

  • JohnDille

    John, right-wing groups tied to the Koch brothers just announced they’ll spend more than $300 million to influence politics in 2018 – tearing down every last check on Donald Trump and his risky, reckless agenda – and they’re sure to make me a top target.

    But I’m not going anywhere. Not even one month in, Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress are already banning refugees and immigrants and trying to repeal healthcare and defund Planned Parenthood. It’s time to fight, and I’m counting on your support.

    YEAH… RICH REPUBLICANS DO IT MUCH BETTER…. THEY JUST BUY INFLUENCE BY BRAINWASHING IDIOTS LIKE YOU!!! AND THAT WORKS VERY WELL,DOESN’T IT? NOBODY IS MORE BRAIN WASHED THEN YOU ARE!!! AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING!!!

  • daniel1154

    Dillie. Politics is about persuasion and the ugly acts of Democrat leaders is turning off working and voting Americans. The whining because they didn’t win, inciting violence and riots, obstructing Trumps appointees, acting like spoiled school children throwing temper tamtrums. When Trump cleans up the election fraud, Democrats may never win another election.

  • JohnDille

    Rep. Beth Fukumoto said Republican Party members demanded that she resign as Minority Floor Leader after she spoke at the Women’s March in Hawaii.

    In her speech, she called Trump a bully and said his remarks were racist and sexist and had no place in the Republican Party.

    “I raised concerns that that teaches our kids that it’s OK to be a bully, and I think that should have been a nonpartisan message, but the reaction I got from the Republican Party and from my caucus was overwhelmingly negative,” Fukumoto told reporters Wednesday. “The pressure on me is getting greater and greater to just comply with the wishes of the national party, and that’s not my job.”

    In Hawaii, there are only six Republican representatives in the state House, including Fukumoto, and the state Senate is all Democratic after the lone Republican was voted out of office this year.

    “We’re all good, and then she gives the speech at the women’s rally, which was basically an anti-Trump rally,” said Republican Rep. Bob McDermott. “She said our president is a sexist, is a racist, and that we have a bully in the White House. … That is very problematic for the top elected Republican in the state.”

    McDermott and others asked Fukumoto to stop criticizing Trump if she wanted to retain her post, he said.

    “I’m being removed because I refuse to support a Fascist bully,” she said in remarks on the House Floor.

    “The minority leader is being punished for taking part in the women’s march. I think that is absolutely disgraceful and appalling,” said Rep. Cynthia Thielen, a Republican. Thielen, who says she’s been a Republican since before most of her fellow lawmakers were born, choked up as she defended Fukumoto before the vote.

    “My party is the party of Teddy Roosevelt, who established the national parks,” she said. “My party was the party of Goldwater, a social liberal who felt way back then that gays should be allowed to serve in the military.”

    Rep. Gene Ward, minority floor leader, said “She picked a fight with her party, she picked a fight with her president, she picked a fight with her caucus and she lost,” he said.

    Fukumoto sent a letter to constituents asking for their blessing to switch parties and said she will wait for their replies before taking further steps. Fukumoto said. “There’s plenty of room in the Democratic Party for people with moderate viewpoints, and that’s where I stand.”
    THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS MELTING AWAY AS REAL AMERICANS QUIT SUPPORTING FASCIST REPUBLICANS, AND START SUPPORTING DEMOCRATS AND OTHER REAL AMERICANS!!! OBVIOUSLY, DANIEL IS A FASCIST AMERICA HATING LOSER REPUBLICN!!!

  • daniel1154

    Dillie. The disintegration of the Democrat party has made you deranged. Give it up man. You are going to go to your grave with them a small minority and insignificant, if it even exists by then.

  • JohnDille

    IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT??? YOU WANT TO USE TRANSGENDER BATHROOMS AND YOUR MOTHER WANTED TO USE CONTRACEPTIVES SO SHE DID NOT HAVE TO GET PREGANT WITH YOU?? I DON’T BLAME HER!!! TOO BAD ABORTION IS NOT LEGAL IN THE CONGO, OR YOU WOULD NOT BE HERE!!!

  • daniel1154

    Where does it give you a right to transgender bathrooms and free contraception? That is why the Democrat party is on the ash heap. Instead of respecting the constitution and the working people that support it they take on lunatic fringe left wing causes.

  • JohnDille

    WHERE IN THE CONSITUTION DOES IT SAY THAT RICH RIGHT WING FASCISTS SHOULD CONTROL THE UNITED STATES??? SO YOU FASCISTS ARE VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION SIMPLY BY EXISTING!!!

  • daniel1154

    Democrats hate the constitution. They shred it. The constitution was designed to limit the power of the Federal Government. The left doesn’t want that.

  • JohnDille

    DANIEL… DON’T YOU THINK THAT THE ENDLESS LIES AND BALONEY BEING SPEWED BY FOX NEWS AND ALL THE VERY WELL PAID PROFESSIONAL RIGHT WING LIARS WILL HELP RICH REPUBLICANS OVERTHROW THE USA AND SUBVERT THE US CONSTITION??? THAT IS THEIR CLEAR GOAL… BUT WILL THEY SUCCEED WITH THE HELP OF BRAINLESS AMERICA HATERS LIKE YOU??

  • daniel1154

    Dillie. Do you think name calling and dirty accusations from all these old leftist Democrats sits well with the American people? Pelosi accusing a Trump confidant of being a “white supremsist”. Obama and Kane encouraging riots? This name calling and temper tantrums because they were voted out of power makes them look even more unworthy.

  • JohnDille

    As Oswalt says, that’s when the “s*** storm” really started: “Pro-trump accounts BOMBING my feed with ‘wife murderer Patton Oswalt Tweets and ‘libtard cuck’ Tweets and death threats and every variety of misspelled rage.”

    Oswalt continues, “The main thing that Trump supporters are excited about, now that he’s president? Is that finally, at LOOOOOONG LAST, all of the awful things they want to say, that used to lose them friends and jobs and marriages? They’re EXCITED about potentially getting to say them with ZERO repercussions. Just like Trump did. All the way into the White House. All the way into unlimited, forever power to spew any awful s*** that comes to your head and no one dares correct you, rolls their eyes, or punches you in the nose.

    “But I’m afraid Peoria Realtor is going to be the first in a long line of Trumpers who will realize, on the other side of firings and divorces and black eyes, that Trump’s Teflon Umbrella covers Trump and no one else,” he concludes. “His cabinet and staff are going to learn that as well. That might be fun.”

  • daniel1154

    So you believe what some communist Democrat party hack says? You are a bitter old man Dillie, desperate for help. Everyone knows the Democrats and Union Goons cause the violence, with George Soros funding.

  • JohnDille

    Two progressive activists were hospitalized Sunday night after being beaten and, in one case, thrown down a flight of stairs at an event hosted by conservative James O’Keefe, a self-styled investigative journalist and an established fraud. Both were released Monday with minor injuries; police have made no arrests.

    The violence ensued when Ryan Clayton, who blogs for The Huffington Post, took the mic for questions at a “Friends of Abe” event in midtown Manhattan. Clayton runs Americans Take Action, which recently took part in a counter-sting operation against O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. The former had begun singing before he was identified, grabbed from behind and put in a chokehold. “I felt a pop-pop-pop-pop-pop, and then there was nothing left to pop,” he said. “There was a moment I thought, ‘Oh God, this is how I die.’ Last night was the most terrifying night of my life.”

    Clayton was sent tumbling down a staircase before his fall was broken by a man standing mid-way down. He claims he was kicked in the head.

    Jason Charter, the other activist injured in the melee, reports that he too was assaulted and that his camera, phone, wallet, glasses and tie were all stolen. “Somebody looked at my neck tie and I was thrown to the ground,” he said. “I had a foot placed on my neck and held down. My lower right abdomen is very sore from the kicks.”

    James O’Keefe, who made a name for himself in right-wing circles for his surreptitious recording of ACORN offices in 2009, has declined to comment on the incident. A spokesman for the police says that officers were called to respond to a harassment complaint rather than an assault. Last week, an antifa protester was shot in the stomach at a demonstration in Seattle.

    “I feel like I stood face to face with fascism [Sunday] night in a bar in Manhattan,” said Clayton. “The brown shirts are here. And they all seem to be Trump supporters!”

  • daniel1154

    Dillie. You have to make things up because your party is so far out of the mainstream. The Democrats are on a suicide mission, totally disengaged from reality.

  • JohnDille

    PRBABLY THE SAME PLACE YOU GET ALL OF YOUR FAKE NEWS!!! YOU CLEARLY BELIEVE YOUR FAKE NEWS… WHY WON’T YOU BELIEVE MINE… EVEN THOUGH MINE IS BASED ON ACTUAL NEWS REPORTS!

  • daniel1154

    Where did you get this fake news Dillie?

  • JohnDille

    NOPE… THE NEWS STORIES DETAILING BREITBART ALLIES PAYING PEOPLE TO INCITE VIOLENCE IS QUITE SPECIFIC! IT IS CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT BANNON IS BEHIND ALL OF THAT, AND THAT HE AND HIS ALLIES ARE PLOTTING A COUP AGAINST TRUMP… WHICH IS WHY HE AND HIS ALLIES ARE LEAKING SO MUCH STUFF ABOUT TRUMP! MAKE TRUMP LOOK BAD… AND BANNON TAKES CONTROL, AT LEAST BEHIND THE SCENES!

  • daniel1154

    George Soros is paying all these protestors, as always, just like Clinton did to cause trouble at Trump rallies. They were caught red handed.

  • JohnDille

    OLD NEWS…. BREITBART AND THEIR RIGHT WING SUPPORTERS AND ALLIES ARE PAYING STUDENTS AND OTHERS TO INCITE VIOLENCE AT PEACEFUL LIBERAL PROTESTS… SO THAT TRUMP CAN DECLARE MARTIAL LAW AND CRACK DOWN ON SUCH PROTESTS! HITLER AND HIS ALLIES USED THE EXACT SAME TACTICS.

  • daniel1154

    But why are Democrat politicians inciting riots? Do they want to be an even bigger minority. Working people who play by the rules won’t stand for that.

  • JohnDille

    OLD NEWS…. BREITBART AND THEIR RIGHT WING SUPPORTERS AND ALLIES ARE PAYING STUDENTS AND OTHERS TO INCITE VIOLENCE AT PEACEFUL LIBERAL PROTESTS… SO THAT TRUMP CAN DECLARE MARTIAL LAW AND CRACK DOWN ON SUCH PROTESTS! HITLER AND HIS ALLIES USED THE EXACT SAME TACTICS, BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT BRAIN DEAD PUPPETS LIKE YOU WILL SUPPORT THEIR FASCIST ACTIVITIES, NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO!!!

  • daniel1154

    Sitting Democrat Senator and former Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kane incited violence, and contributed to what has happened at Berkley and elsewhere. Is the Democrat party determined to commit suicide by becoming totally irrelevant instead of just mostly irrelevant?

  • JohnDille

    At the time my mother and I were getting ready to leave for America, neither of us knew the ways in which the contours of the world could be different. For people of my mother’s generation, the Party’s truth had become so embedded in their understanding of themselves that the boundary between what they represented and what the government propagandized had faded, shifting to form the outline of a manufactured reality.

    Perhaps this is exactly what Trump and his more ideological aides, Steve Bannon among them, envision. But it’s just as likely that they, too, have become so convinced of their alternative reality that what we recognize to be fiction genuinely constitutes their fact. Orwell again: “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” In any case, no matter what Trump thinks of China, something about the increasingly aggressive repression of the media by China’s President, Xi Jinping, may well hold some appeal for him as a model. How liberating would it be, Trump might wonder, to make all legislation a matter of executive orders and sign them at will without Congress, vexing million-strong protests, and a media that readily reports them?

    In the next four to eight years, American children will be born in a country led by a vainglorious man who wishes to fit facts—and their future—into the convenient shape of his ego. But democracy, freedom of expression, and, above all, the right to truth are not antiquated pieties. They belong to citizens who can still make their voices heard, before resignation metastasizes into complacency, exhaustion into self-doubt, just as it did in the China of my parents youth!

    Jiayang Fan became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 2016

  • JohnDille

    In recent days, as Trump and his cohorts have peddled blatant falsehoods—that his Inauguration attracted the largest crowd in history, or that he lost the popular vote owing to millions of votes by illegal aliens—I have wondered about the extent to which minds can be controlled, or, rather, commandeered, by the relentless deluge of misinformation.

    Like many Chinese immigrants, my mother and I came to America so that my father could pursue graduate studies, not to seek political freedom. When I was old enough to study the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen massacre, periods in Chinese history when the authoritarian government subjected its citizenry to inexpressible brutality, I would wonder about everything I knew, or thought I had known. The one time I asked my mother about why she did not resist, she answered distractedly and somewhat defensively: it was a very confused time. Who could know what was true and what was false? What to believe and whom to trust?

    The muddling of fact and fiction is a tried-and-true tactic of totalitarian regimes. What’s more, when the two are confused for long enough, or when an indefatigable war on truth has been waged for a year, or two years, or perhaps eight, it will likely be harder and more tiresome to untangle them and remember a time when a firm line was drawn between the true and the false as a matter of course. If amnesia breeds normalization, fatigue has always served as the authoritarian’s great accomplice. If President Trump succeeds in his efforts to get America to believe his lies, it will only be because the American public has been beaten down by the never ending stream of lies that Trump and his supporters routinely repeat, and seem to actually believe.

  • daniel1154

    How did you feel about Hillary Clinton raising all that money from foreign donors, counties hostile to the US, big Corporations, big banks and Goldman Sachs, all to personally enrich herself and her pedophile husband and buy the election to boot?

  • daniel1154

    Dillie. Isn’t it terrible what Democrats did to this country in creating this debt in order to buy votes? Unconscionable.

  • JohnDille

    I AM RETIRED AFTER 55 YEARS OF WORKING!!! SO… POINTING OUT THAT YOU REPUBLICANS ARE NOTHING BUT LIARS AND IDIOTS IS NOW A PART OF MY JOB! THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS ME SOCIAL SECURITY, AND I TAKE THAT AS COMPENSATION FOR SPEAKING UP ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES AND ITS REAL ACTUAL AMERICAN CITIZENS!!! WHICH MEANS CALLING IDIOTS AND PUPPETS AND LOSERS LIKE YOU ON YOUR LIES AND LIBELS AND SLANDERS AND RACIST NONSENSE! AND I HAVE ALWAYS DONE MY MANY DIFFERENT JOBS… TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY… FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS NOW!!!

  • moosegringo

    STFU DILLY. Go get a job instead of hopelessly flailing away at life every day on this board.

  • JohnDille

    RELATIVELY FEW PARENTS SIGN THESE LOANS… MOSTL BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT HAVE THE FINANCIAL ABILITY TO DO SO! NEVE FORGET… 40 YEARS OF REPUBICAN POLICIES HAVE LEFT A SOLDI MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WITH… ESENTIALLY… NOTHING!!! THE NE WORTH OF THE 2 RICHEST KOCK BROHERS IS GREATER THAN THE NET WORTH OF THE ENTIRE BOTTOM 50 PERCENT OF ALL AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS OR INDIVIDUALS!!! GREAT JOB, REPUBLICANS!!! NOW YOU CAN MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF OUR KIDS WORKING CLASS GROW UP TO BE DEBT SLAVES… OR WAGE SLAVES… OR BOTH!!! AND WE CAN BE VERY SURE THAT YOU WILL DO A GREAT JOB WITH THAT, AS WELL!!!

  • JohnDille

    Ever since FDR and the ‘new deal’ (i.e. bad deal), Democrats have been borrowing and spending at increasing rates with each administration. FDR increased the federal debt by a factor of 10 during his administration (it was $ 22 billion when he began, and ~ $260 billion when he died). THE FEDERAL DEBT WAS 400 BILLION OR SO WHEN RICHARD NIXON CAME INTO OFFICE… AND 40 YEARS LATER… AFTER 28 OUT OF THOSE 40 YEARS PRESIDED OVER BY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS AND SEMI REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL MAJORITIES…. A LOT OF SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS WERE REALLY REPUBLICANS, IF YOU WILL RECALL… THE FEDERAL DEBT WAS 11 TRILLION… A 27 FOLD INCREASE IN JUST 40 YEARS! AND WHILE FDR PULLED US OUT OF OUR WORST DEPRESSION EVER, AND FOUGHT WORLD WAR 2, AND GEARED UP FOR THE COLD WAR… WHAT DID WE GET FOR ALL THE MASSIVE INCREASE IN FEDERAL DEBT UNDER REPUBLICANS???? WHY NOTHING… NOTHING AT ALL… EXCEPT THE RICH GOT MUCH MUCH MUCH RICHER… AND ALL THE REST OF US JUST SLOGGED ALONG IN PLACE… NOT GAINING MUCH… AND OFTEN SLIPPING INTO POVERTY!!! GREAT JOB REPUBLICANS!!! FDR WLL LONG REMAIN A TRUE HERO TO ALL REALL AMERICANS… WHILE REPUBLICANS WILL CONTINUE TO DO THEIR BEST TO DESTROY AMERICA FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE VERY RICH!!! AND DONALD TRUMP WILL… NO DOUBT… DO A GREAT JOB FOR REPUBLICANS… AND MAKE THE RICH EVEN RICHER STILL… ALL WHILE DESTROYIN AMERICA AND IMPOVERISHING EVER MORE AMERICAN WORKING PEOPLE!!!

  • JohnDille

    SO… REPUBLICANS TELL ALL THE UNEMPLOYED AND ALL THE LOW WAGE WORKERS OUT THERE… GET AN EDUCATION AND LEARN SKILLS SO YOU CAN ESCAPE THE LOW WAGE SLAVERY THAT WE RICH REPUBLICANS HAVE CREATED FOR YOU! AND WHEN MANY MILLIONS OF LOW WAGE OR NO WAGE WORKERS TRY TO DO THAT BY BORROWING MONEY TO GO TO SCHOOL… BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY IN HADES THAT THEY COULD GO TO SCHOOL ANY OETHER WAY… WHAT DO REPUBLICANS SAY??? WHY… THEY CALL ALL THOSE STUDENTS A BUNCH OF SLACKERS!!! REPUBLICANS TELL THEM… GO OUT AND GET A LOW WAGE JOB AND BE A SLAVE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, RATHER THAN GO INTO DEBT IN ORDER TO AT LEAST HAVE SOME SMALL CHANCE OF DOING WELL IN LIFE!!! MY MY MY, AREN’T REPUBLICANS A BUNCH OF LYING THIEVING HYPOCRITES??? OH, MY… YES THEY ARE!!!

  • Dr. Michael Cesar

    Truly, the government debt problem is both sad and unsustainable. Ever since FDR and the ‘new deal’ (i.e. bad deal), Democrats have been borrowing and spending at increasing rates with each administration. FDR increased the federal debt by a factor of 10 during his administration (it was $ 22 billion when he began, and ~ $260 billion when he died). Obama (the 44 the president) borrowed more money than all 43 Presidents before him combined (when he started we owed ~ $ 8 trillion; he left us with $19 trillion of debt).
    Furthermore, the Dem’s socialist ponzy schemes (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, student loans, etc…) have yearly increasing spending budgets with corresponding insufficient annual revenues. This leaves America with a growing debt trajectory that will inevitably implode (best estimates : about 10-15 years away). Our present leader, President Trump, can only hope to somewhat alter the curve downward a few points, but he will not be able to fix the problem. The daily ‘flash-mobs’ led by leftists will prevent the implementation of the needed cure : a return to the traditional, free-market economy (which comes from the Bible; remember traditional America was a Judeo-Christian nation) .

    When He returns, the Lord Jesus Christ will eliminate the rebels and their debt.
    The Bible says: Great is the wrath of the LORD…because (they) have not hearkened unto all that which is written. In that day, saith the LORD, I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not seen.
    Hang in there – the LORD is coming ! Maranatha.

  • Fabian

    As mentioned in this article, we can stop calling these loans student loans. They are in fact parents’ loans. I refuse to sign the papers. I’m not going to feed the beast.