What’s the saying: “The rich get richer and the poor stay poorer?” How about this one instead: “The rich get richer and the poor end up remaining poor because they take out student loans that invariably can’t be paid pay back because the economy’s still in the drink and there’s no jobs out there.” Admittedly it’s a bit wordy but at least it seems more true-to-life don’t you think?
Where once there existed a noticeable Middle Class from sea to shining sea, now barely a hint remains with only the wealthiest and poorest in the country becoming exceedingly more so. We were all taught that going to college meant life was supposed to get better, as in more opportunities to grow, realize our dreams, and succeed at this crazy game called life? I never thought it meant bread-lines, bankruptcy, and sleepless nights wondering how in the world you were going to pay it all back. Something’s definitely wrong here.
Fortunately for those of us wallowing in student debt-angst, there’s some concerned Americans out there trying to help ease our anxiety. A few months ago Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan introduced resolution #365 on the House Floor asking Congress to “cut the United States’ true debt burden by reducing home mortgage balances, forgiving student loans, and bringing down overall personal debt.”
House Resolution 365 points out that mounting student loans, mortgage payments, and credit card debt generates a vicious economic cycle, creating a mass of nervous consumers who avoid spending any additional money on account of their growing debts. This in turn causes those same suffering businesses to forgo hiring because they lack the customers to keep them afloat.
Now even though this resolution wouldn’t necessarily be a means to an end, it would certainly shine a light on some of the key issues that need to be addressed before our economy gets back on track. In reality, how do you expect the economy to get the ‘stimulation’ it needs when the working-class must take their spare dollar and let it go towards paying off student loans? It’s about time we stop punishing men and women for investing in a college education. Without education, how else can a society prosper?
If the future of our nation’s economy depends primarily on the Middle Class funneling money back into it in order to keep the whole thing afloat, then something’s got to be done to help those grappling with the nearly $830 billion in unpaid student loans. It’s ‘sink or swim’ time, with most currently dragging the bottom. In my opinion, Clarke’s idea is right on the money… literally.