Don't Worry About Paying For College In The Depression Because Nobody Will Go To College
Eliot Spitzer has a great idea for making college more affordable! Ha, not really. But he has an idea about how we can make it possible for people to pay back their $160,000 loans from undergrad without ending up in debtor's prison.
The basic idea is that instead of paying a fixed (and massive) amount every month, which is very hard when you're just out of college and making $20,000 a year working for Clean Water Action, you would pay some percentage of your income. The more you make, the more you pay, until you're done.
This all sounds great, except for this minor point: Who the fuck, in the middle of a deep global DEPRESSION, will continue to borrow six-figure sums to finance an undergraduate education which is not, it turns out, any guarantee of future employment anyway?
Your editor is not exactly an economist, so maybe the following theory is all complete hooey. But does it not strike anyone that the current (and likely short-lived) attitude about education, that it costs what it costs and if it is terrifyingly high well that is just the price of doing business these days, sounds a lot like what people were saying about real estate in a couple years ago? This whole, "Get in now and don't worry about being fleeced because otherwise you're completely doomed" attitude?
In addition, the notion that the educational market does not respond to basic laws of supply and demand, and that it can continue to command an endless supply of middle-class youngsters paying $40,000 a year tuition even as that amount threatens to supercede their parents' annual incomes, just seems ... wrongheaded.
To conclude: Thanks, Eliot Spitzer! You have successfully solved America's college education dilemma from 2005.
Loan Ranger [Slate]