Monday, April 27, 2015

Nobel Prize Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz Agrees With Me

As I have been arguing for over 6 years, Stiglitz echoes similar things: the student loan debt crisis is hurting the economy here. In addition, education is related to the public good. In short, austerity sucks for the majority of us. Get over Ayn Rand already. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always think that publicity regarding the dangers that student loan debt is having on our economy is great... and while I appreciate this article, I think Stiglitz was being a tad too PC.

He states that law graduates feel like they have to take corporate law jobs to pay off their high student debt. I think that more accurately, law graduates cannot find work at all... I'm sure many law grads would love to find a good high-paying corporate job since (according to everything I have read and every law graduate I know) most cannot even get work as paralegals anymore. I think it's also narrow-minded to assume that law students are the only graduates with high levels of debt. I know he was just using them an example though.

I liked his idea of mimicking the Australian student loan repayment model. I'd be thrilled if we could implement that here. I also think it isn't a terrible idea to have a small fee for tuition (like $300 per semester like it was for our parents).

I'd like to add that I do not like the idea of making college free only for "people who cannot afford it." I think we need to be fair across the board - either everyone gets help or nobody does and I will explain why. Any time you single out one group for special treatment, other people get left in the dust. We already have the "some-people-get-school-for-free" model here - lower income people qualify for grants which pay for the majority if not all of their tuition and books based on their personal circumstances. It leaves out middle class kids who have to count their parents' income on the FAFSA form even though their parents cannot afford to give them a dime. So, what you have is a group of kids who equally cannot pay tuition on their own but only some of those kids get it for free. While some enjoy the benefits of a free education, the vast majority have to go into massive, unforgiving debt for the rest of their lives. We see just how well that's working out for us right now.

I still appreciate the publicity for the student debt crisis.