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America Is a Moral Cesspool, and Student Loans Prove It

If America somehow managed to educate millions of college students without burdening them with $2 trillion in debt in 1993, why is it now “impossible” to do so, even as America’s wealth and gross national product (GDP) have both rocketed higher over the past 27 years?

Predators thrive on Americans’ short memories. Student loans in their present scale did not exist prior to 1994. According to the Federal Reserve FRED database, the student loan balance was zero in 1993.

From zero in 1993 to $1.728 trillion in 2021: this is the predatory financialization of higher education which has enriched lenders, Wall Street and the Higher Education Cartel. As I’ve noted before, such parasitic rapaciousness would have been criminal a few generations ago; now it’s cheered as a reliable source of profits by Wall Street and treated as business as usual by the corporate-owned media.

If America somehow managed to educate millions of college students without burdening them with $2 trillion in debt in 1993, why is it now “impossible” to do so, even as America’s wealth and gross national product (GDP) have both rocketed higher over the past 27 years?

America is now a moral cesspool, and student loans prove it. Note that the $1.728 trillion isn’t the entire load of debt crushing students; that’s only the securitized student loans. Wily sharpsters have found all sorts of private-debt niches which they sell as “student loans”
but which are actually consumer loans.

Then there’s the credit card debt from card issuers giving students “student-only cards.” Add it all up and the total likely exceeds $2 trillion.

Monopolies, cartels, profiteers and insiders always have a raft of excuses and justifications for their exploitation of the powerless, and all those profiting from the $2 trillion have the usual excuses plus a novel set of noble-sounding academic rationalizations.

Journalist Matt Taibbi lays waste to one slice of the student loan racket in The Trillion-Dollar Lie (courtesy of correspondent Joel W.), the legal foundation of the entire parasitic swindle: “students can’t escape student loans in bankruptcy court.” But suppose the legal edifice were to recognize that universities are not “non-profits” but are instead a racketeering cartel?

While crying poor, universities have pursued a construction boom of trophy buildings without precedent and piled up slush funds with hundreds of millions of dollars extracted from student debt-serfs. If this doesn’t make your blood boil, then you must be swimming laps in America’s moral cesspool, praising the putrid stench as “the smell of money.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. Way back in 2012 I laid out a way to offer 4-year university degrees for 10% of the current cost (minus living expenses, which accrue whether you’re a student or not) in my book The Nearly Free University. There are models which would produce better educational results at a fraction of the current bloated cost.

To all those swimming laps in America’s moral cesspool, a few words of warning:

1. America has run out of powerless people who can be exploited and turned into debt-serfs.

2. The pendulum of exploitation, racketeering and greed that’s been pushed to near-infinity is about to swing to the other extreme. The banquet of consequences will soon be served, and the doors to the banquet hall will be locked. The courses in karma and Divine Retribution will be especially enlightening.

Student Loans Owned and Securitized, 2008-2020

Student Loans Owned and Securitized, 2008-2020

- Click to enlarge

 

 

Full story here Are you the author?
Charles Hugh Smith
At readers' request, I've prepared a biography. I am not confident this is the right length or has the desired information; the whole project veers uncomfortably close to PR. On the other hand, who wants to read a boring bio? I am reminded of the "Peanuts" comic character Lucy, who once issued this terse biographical summary: "A man was born, he lived, he died." All undoubtedly true, but somewhat lacking in narrative.
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