“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” [Proverbs 22:7] Sandra Fluke is set to give her prime-time speech in the Democratic Convention to be held in Charlotte, NC. She was a relative political unknown until the Rush Limbaugh flap over her self-proclaimed right to receive free birth controlled pills from tax payers, while she pursued her law degree from the exclusive Georgetown University. Republicans claimed her sudden media exposure was all a part of a contrived, “War on Women,” campaign designed by the Democrats to distract attention away from the real election issues of the national debt and the poor economy. But, the question remains, why would the party have Sandra Fluke paraded front and center on this very important stage? Why give her, of all people, so much notoriety in the convention spectacle?
Yes, she is a liberal. Yes she is advocating core liberal causes like abortion, right to contraception, and other feminist causes, but she is not the only surrogate the Dems have, and she is not the most articulate mouthpiece for these causes. She is a young radical, like the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but she is not an anarchist. She is not a typical 99% street fighter/agitator, raging against the capitalistic machine, vandalizing corporations and their capitalistic icons in the streets with the other hooligans. She is a calm, clean, and well-spoken radical. She is studying to become another brick in the wall, so to speak. She is perhaps being spotlighted and elevated to become an important part of the liberal political ruling class. But why her? Why a student?
She represents the young, college student constituency who is enslaved to the government through government student loans. She is a phase in the Life of Julia. All an elected official has to utter are phrases like, “student loans,” or, “student loan indebtedness,” or “interest on student loans,” and like a mind-programmed CIA covert operative, the new collegian constituency hopefully will snap to attention like a Jason Bourne being summoned to a task. Suddenly, a once oblivious, self-centered and self-directed student becomes an active and useful cog in a newly-developed Democrat voting block to vote their financial interest in accordance with all of the other liberal causes of the day. Sandra Fluke personifies that obedient and self-interested student lieutenant. Since the Democratic losses of the once-dependable senior block through Medicare, politicians have turned theirs eyes towards the younger voter through student loan obligations. The deeper in debt, the more obligated, the better.
The “student loan bubble,” is only the latest bubble to be created by the government amid an increasing entitlement-based populace. The housing bubble was largely instigated by years of politicians funneling loan money to its constituency under the guise of, “affordable housing.” The house loan market was swimming in government-backed loans, propped-up by Government Sponsored Enterprises [GESs] and juiced by ever increasing community organizing and political overlords shaking down lending institutions, like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. In fact, banks have been required to make riskier loans to low-income borrowers for this type of housing since 1977 under the Community Reinvestment Act. Banks were demonized and threatened by the government for discriminating against low-income applicants trying to buy a house, stating their lending practices were discriminatory and unfair. The end result: People bought houses they could not afford in a natural market, and the world’s economy fell when the bubble popped.
So we put the people who created the housing bubble in charge to fix that bubble, while they begin another bubble: Student Loans. To date, total student loan indebtedness exceeds over $1 Trillion. I routinely talk to students who are $25,000 to over $100,000 in debt to the government. It is a travesty and a national disgrace. I recently spoke with a waitress at Cracker Barrel in Concord, NC with a four-year degree in Anthropology from the University of Georgia who is $80,000 in debt, and she is not atypical! How will this poor girl ever find a job earning enough money to ever pay this back? She will either:
Be enslaved for life, will severely compromised wealth accumulation potential,
Default, which case the tax payer will be on the hook,
Marry into money, or marry so the spouse can help shoulder the burden of the debt,
Or, some ill-advised combination of all.
Colleges are not innocent by-standers in this money-grab. They are willing contributors towards this financial wreckage. They, themselves, are hurling forward with building projects and capital improvement, as if there is no end to this false money. Whether the parents or grandparents squander away their wealth in the direction of these institutions, or the students continue to be willing to follow goat after goat off the cliff to financial ruin, this whole system – like the housing bubble – will pop! It is unsustainable. It is as financially impossible and destined for failure as the Medicare system was from the beginning and is today, unless meaningful changes are made. The government take-over of the student loan industry by Barack Obama is another government boondoggle for politicians who are pandering for votes. And we fools who bite into the dangling worms of entitlement money have hooks jerked into our jaws. We become like puppets subjecting ourselves to the pulls of the political puppeteers. We do not receive what we think we are getting, but rather we give away our freedoms declared by our Constitution in exchange for an often worthless degree from a University! We willingly sacrifice our heritage as free people for a bowl of soup.
Those parents who spend their time and energy chasing college scholarships for their children, from their moment of birth, are no different. It is all welfare, when the rubric is: someone else must pay for my kid’s education. How is persistent pursuit of a child’s scholarship different than Sandra Flukes argument? Fill in the blank; Some other citizens MUST pay for my ________, because I cannot or do not want to pay for my own expenses. I think it’s my right. It’s no surprise we do so well in the Olympics, and so poorly in church! Too many of our kids from “good homes,” in AAU tournaments on Sunday mornings and lifting weights on Wednesday night are pre-occupied chasing the almighty scholarship to bother with church attendance. These kids are from Christian homes!
Something will change. There are more on-line and for-profit colleges, as well as community colleges, that totally replace or at least be a part of a person’s education, for a much better value. Tablets and internet will change everything. Whatever happened to work? Remember, Adam worked in the garden, before the fall of man. Work is not a sin, but rather, it is God-given as a blessing. It is possible to educate young adults in higher learning without committing bankruptcy, either to yourself, or grandparents, or the country.
Suitability should become an integral part of college matriculation when the taxpayer is on the hook for a federal student loan. Colleges should be responsible for documenting for their claims of short-term sacrifice equals long-term rewards. Colleges should disclose and be responsible to make the student loan applicant fully aware that based on his/her projected indebtedness, certain fields of study would be, “unsuitable,” for one’s financial circumstances. The loan should not be made. Grants are available for financial hardships and other special situations, but loans are different. Debt is different. Colleges should have “skin in the game,” should their graduating pupil, holding their degree, fail to acquire a suitable level of employment necessary to avoid default on the federal student loan. There is no way a student should ever leave a university with a degree in Anthropology, $80,000 in debt, without some degree of oversight and warning – fully documented – on the part of those who should know better. Colleges are complicit in taking advantage of gullible students, and well-meaning but ignorant family members. The debt must not equal or exceed the probably that the degree and the profession can reasonably support the expectation of returning payment to the lending taxpayers. Large debt may be suitable for a business degree or the medical profession [pre-Obamacare], but not anthropology. Colleges should be responsible for obtaining that information, maintaining that information, and disclosing that information.
Do not fall for the Sandra Flukes or any other representative of you, bidding you to long-term entrapment. Resist the easy way. Value striving and earning your own way through life. Do not overpay for education. If you are buying higher education today, you are, “buying high.” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” [Proverbs 3:5]