Monday, December 7, 2009

Saddest Comment of the Day

In response to an article I posted, which was entitled, "Student Loan Debt 'Crushing Burden'  That Harms Young Families," a young woman - Ms. G. - replied: "the grief of not having a family due to student loan debt is probably going to crush me."

I read that comment on my Blackberry on my way home from my retail job (a co-worker was ill, so I had to cover for her shift on my day off - days that are precious, because they allow me to do as much reading, writing, and advocacy work as humanly possible). In any event, Ms. G.'s remark saddens me, and it also made me think about the meaninglessness of certain customers who get irate when their size or color is not in our store.

Let's hope Ms. G. is able to hold little baby feet in her hands some day.


Anonymous said...

oh boy, well, my bad for letting my moment of grief slip onto the internet. This issue does indeed grieve me, and thanks for calling me a young woman:) (just turned 40)..I certainly never intended my "education" to derail me from having a family when i took them on at 24. Ye old biological clock is ticking either frantically or winding down. I am sure i am not entirely alone, but having grown up under less than favorable financial circumstances i have been reluctant to inflict that on a child. Let's hope that the choice between having a family and earning an "education" are never mutually exclusive.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Oh no! I hope you didn't mind me quoting you . . . I was very moved and wanted to remark about it.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

40 is not old!

Nando said...

Thank you for posting these stories. It is important that people understand this situation. Crushing student loan debt DOES CAUSE many young people to postpone marriage, having kids, and buying a home. These are life-changing events.

Our parents and grandparents were able to do these things with relative ease; and, in many cases, armed with only a basic high school education. I personally know dozens of college graduates who struggle to find paid work. Many of these people have advanced degrees. Many of those who do work find themselves working in retail sales, customer service, and similar industries.

From my blog, I know of several others in the same situation. Most of these people have law degrees and law licenses. I am tired of people and policy-makers ignoring this issue. I am angered by university administrators making huge sums of money by strapping their students/customers with significant, non-dischargeable student loan debt. And I am beyond tired of industry publications like National Jurist acting like this is okay, as long as some of these schools offer their students a "financial literacy program."

Page 27. The cover story starts on page 22.

At this same school, the university president makes $2.8 million a year!! As reported by the Boston Globe:

How many thousands of young people mortgaged away their future - while being told (from their earliest days) that this was the greatest and most sound investment they could EVER make - so that this man could make well more than $2 million a year while masquerading as an "educator"?

This is disgusting and revolting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon - you are not alone. I was 42 last year when the economy tanked. This past year was probably the last year I could have really tried to conceive - but on and off unemployment, no health insurance, I just couldn't. I drove myself crazy applying for jobs to get insurance - but only got temp gigs - I was at first extremely angry and depresssed - even considered suicide although I hardly used to be suicidal - I thought what's the point of living. As the months went on my depression probably even hindered my job search - but just a short while ago as I realized I could become homeless if benefits were not extended I finally realized as bad as it is - it could be a lot worse. If I had a baby and was homeless - I don't think I could survive. For the first time in years I thanked God I did not have a child. I still desperately wanted to have one but it's put things a little more in perspective.

Lysander said...

I plan to have babies anyway.
Have you seen idiocracy?

Both my husband and I are mired in Student Loan debt.

They can't take back our educations, but I'll be damned if they take my child baring years.
If we have to live in a shoe or a trailer, we will.
If we can't make our SL payments, the gov or the banks can try to sell our kids on the black market.

Seriously though, I refuse to be victimized any more than ABSOLUTELY necessary.

While it undoubtedly takes more than love to raise a family, many more around the world are getting by on less.

That said, I mean no disrespect to Ms. G. Before I recently got remarried, I raised my daughter on my own while finishing school and working. Not having enough money is seriously not fun at best and more than a little stressful. I can totally respect her decision.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

I don't think you're being disrespectful. I just think you're saying that you refuse to have these loan sharks affect your decision to have children. It's an empowering post, and I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that someone has posted this issue, somewhere. I just discovered this blog from a link at the Exposing the Law School Scam blog and I'm adding it to my bookmarks. My wife and I are in a very similar situation and will probably be unable to have children.

That intelligent, educated people--the kinds of people our society should want to have children--have had their lives destroyed and thus cannot afford to have children is one of the saddest and most compelling arguments we have in our battle against an over-educated populace.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

I am glad you found my blog, Anon. I don't think that the problem is related to an over-educated populace. To me it's an issue of how the economy is driven and the way in which it depends upon having pools of surplus labor (that way industries can keep wages low).

As a result of Wall St. hijacking the entire economy and grasping onto a majority of wealth (most of which is inflated and not real), they have effectively cornered all industries. (I am not a fan of capitalism). It seems to me that industries filled with educated individuals have been affected even more so as a result of the Great Depression Deux - although in the case of academia, it has been bad since the 80s, and has turned Ph.D.s into uninsured, poorly paid adjuncts. Moreover, nobody is admitting it here, but we're IN a depression.

These articles offer startling evidence of just how bad it is here and how it will most likely get worse -

It is my hope that the Obama Administration will do the right thing and help people who are part of the indentured educated class . . . we'll see.

Again, I am sorry that you and your wife are struggling. If it's any consolation, you are definitely not alone.