Hello I am a new member of the occupy la website, I have very strong feelings for the movement becuase I have been affected by the student loan debt and the forclousre of my family's home. I was surfing online to read articles about student loan debt and how recent grads are dealing with the pressures of not being able to pay. One of the the top search results was a blog about how student debt is not like slavery. I was curiuos about their point of view and read the blog and the many responses to the blog. The main blogger had a few valid points that I would agree on but as a whole it seemed very one sided and lack of any research on the point of view of the protester that claims student debt is like slavery. I made a comment about that and it was promptly deleted. For a long time I have remained quiet on my views on student loan debt in fear of being repramaned. I am quiet no more.
This is the blog that inspired me to write http://overflowingbrain.com/2011/10/17/why-student-loans-are-not-slavery/
The following is what I would have responded to the blog...
It’s not nice at all to call the recent grads that are struggling and wish for student debt forgiveness whinny, bitches, or ignorant. You don’t know what their story is about. When you say oh well they got themselves into a lifestyle debt and that’s why they complain about not being able to balance, is true for some but not all. All graduates that get their degree and strive to better themselves should not be put down. Getting a degree is an accomplishment. I agree that you should pay back your student loan. Paying back is the right thing to do and shows that yes you should keep your promises and so forth.
I believe the American ideology (the American dream) has all the blame to why students are so angry about outrageous student debt. Our country promises that if you go to college and pursue a higher education then you will get a great paying job and be happy. Yeah you will have some student debt but its okay because you will have a good job that will help pay it back. Invest in yourself and reap the blessings. This idea has come true for some; I would say good amounts of people are satisfied with the outcome. Kids are taught that if you go to college you will have a good paying job, work at a place you love, get married, have kids, have a house, and retire happy knowing you have lived the life you always wanted.
So kids work hard at school make the grades, and they are taught oh they should go to the best schools. The tuition costs are high but there’s more chances getting a job if you go to a prestigious school right? All these thoughts go through a teenager’s head. Oh yeah, wait you wonder why a teenager from high school didn’t think about the huge amount of debt they will have?
Maybe some went to community college because it’s hard to get in any college these days. They work so hard to transfer to a college of their dreams because who is to tell them oh well you shouldn’t go to Harvard because your poor and you won’t be able to afford it and the debt will suck the life out of you. Maybe some chose to go to the best school in there line of work because a prestigious school will get them a better job then a cheaper school that won’t help them at all. Maybe some kids learn there’s no way in hell they can find a decent job without going to college and getting bachelors in something.
Then the kids go to college work their asses off and finally they graduate. A majority of these kids come from middle class and even poor families because they think that just maybe they can have a chance to better themselves and help their family. They graduate and BOOM!!!! There’s no jobs….the grad gets hurt or really sick now there’s medical bills for the grad with no health insurance. Oh well that’s life right? The life of an adult is full of surprises…wait a sec, what?... Their poor family lost their home and now the family has to split up in order to survive. The student just graduated and they are knee deep in debt already with no job. In order to survive the student takes a job at a fast food restaurant lying on his application that he has only high school education otherwise he would not be hired because he is too qualified. The student loan payments come in and the bill is double what he makes sometimes triple. Negotiations with the bank is futile, they just want their money they don’t care how you get, I believe the loans should be paid back after all he did borrow it and graduated. He makes payments but not enough to please the banks. The loan defaults and now the student has to pay back even more then what he borrowed.
Who is to be blamed? Culture? The banks? The student? You have portrayed the recent grads as whinny bratty kids. I have yet to read a post on the opinion of the recent grad that believes the student debt is slavery. Why would he say it’s like slavery? Is the recent grad oppressed? Maybe. Can he get married? Probably not (no money for ring, certificate, ceremony, financial stability.), can he buy a house? Nope, can he save money at all? Right now no!! Why does the grad believe it’s like slavery? I believe slavery is a word too severe to use. But there is a problem here; America is not how it used to be. These recent grads have to suffer and delay living because of our economy. Grads have to settle and make do for now and suffer with the thought oh I just have another 20 years and I’m free.
Education should be free and not limited to those who only have money or accept the thought of paying back for 20 years or not going to college at all because of the costs. Ask yourselves why is this grad saying it’s like slavery? Maybe it’s a metaphor for their suffering or a cry for mercy. The definition of oppression is the unjust, burdensome, cruel exercise of power. The act of being weighed down body and soul. These grads that have no job or a poorly paying job have no money and yet the banks oppress the grad and family with their student loans. The grad should have known what they got themselves into; they should have gone to a cheaper school. Who is to tell this citizen of the United States of America they can’t go to the best school? Maybe we should make it easier on everybody, the poor should only go to the cheaper schools and the rich (you know the ones that can actually pay for school or at least pay back loans if they can’t get a job) should go to the private colleges and the best universities. There are a few definitions for slavery here is one slavery: N,1. (Law) the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune. The person part doesn’t necessarily mean a person it could be a company such as a bank enforcing student loans, causing hardship and controlling the inability for the grad to pursue a healthy life, liberty, and fortune. Is student loan debt like slavery? I suggest you ask a recent grad that is struggling if it is.