College students shouldn’t expect others to pick up the costs for their investments.

Somehow or other, a tweet by RI League of Cities and Towns Policy Director Jordan Day found its way into my stream, yesterday, lamenting the cost of her student loans.

Day appears to have graduated from Rhode Island College in 2013.  She worked on Jorge Elorza’s campaign for mayor through all of 2014, which rolled into a series of jobs in his administration culminating in Senior Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Capital Improvement Program Analyst before she took the job with the League this March. Online government transparency is not what it once was, but we can probably assume that Day has not been working for minimum wage for the past few years, anyway.

Day’s tweet was a one-year check-in on her college loans.  On July 21, 2020, she reported:

The fact that I borrowed $26,750 to go to college, have been paying off my loans since I was 24, and owe $32,934.07 really makes me mad.

As of yesterday, the total was $35,959.91.

In response, former Democrat state senator Adam Satchell commiserated that he’s “40 and still paying,” and will be until his daughter is in college.  Satchell is a guidance counselor in the West Warwick public schools, which again: not minimum wage.  Travis Escobar — a Community Relations Manager at Fidelity Investments, having spent most of his time after graduating from RIC in 2013 with United Way of Rhode Island, finishing as Project Manager of Public Policy — chimed in that the duration of the loans is “criminal.”

One wonders what concept progressive policy experts have of education and debt.  It seems to me that these three Millennials have all realized a substantial return on their college investments, interest included.  If they don’t think that investment was worthwhile, they shouldn’t have undertaken the debt and should blame those who ought to have advised them differently.

I suspect none of them would characterize their college degrees as bad investments, however, which means that they think they ought to be made even better, subsidized by somebody else.  Since one doubts that any self-respecting progressive would begrudge the unionized college employees their pay, the likely payor they would target would be the faceless taxpayer.

Of course, since the beneficiaries of college debt subsidies would have to be those who went to college, the taxpayers most unjustly affected by such a program would be those who didn’t.  Perhaps the trio would dodge that point by claiming to want to “tax the rich,” but mandated costs have a way of being passed down the economic ladder, such that the subsidy for college graduates would most harm those with the fewest advantages.


Featured image by Good Free Photos on Unsplash.

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Rhett Hardwick
Rhett Hardwick(@thomasoftheriver)
4 months ago

I wonder if once again allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy wouldn’t alter the landscape. I doubt that a lot of lenders would finance a degree ending in “studies”. I recall when student loans became non-dischargeable. The newspapers were full of stories about MD’s finishing their internships and walking down the street to the bankruptcy court. Could have happened, I suppose. But, I think a “narrative” was being created.

Jerrett Boehning
Jerrett Boehning
4 months ago

Colleges already receive government subsidies (paid from tax dollars). College students from “low-income” families already receive “free” (paid from tax dollars) tuition. Students with college debt must not be from “low-income” families, they must come from families that desired to teach their child lessons in economics.

  1. That which you earn you appreciate.
  2. Nothing in life is “free” (including things paid by tax dollars)
  3. Compound interest
  4. Accountability
  5. Integrity

If that’s the case they earn an “F” in that lesson. The student loan process (one I have some familiarity) ensures the student is aware of the cost of the loan, and the payment plan.
The idea of compound interest is a “dual-edge sword”; on the one hand a savings account accrues interest on the balance including any previously accrued interest (none of these millennials would complain about that?). On the other hand, in a loan, the balance accrues and additional amount based on the agreed-upon interest with a periodic payment that is intended to cover said amount plus some amount that reduces the principal. If you want the loan to decrease, you pay the principal at a higher rate than planned. It’s just math. Can’t really complain about math… when it fails to suit you. (Who am I kidding, people prove daily they can complain about anything. Weather, race, gender, education, masks).
In short, if you don’t like your loan (assuming you already got the loan… or don’t get he loan if you don’t want to have one) use extra income to pay down the principle more rapidly. Ask people to make principle payments in lieu of holiday gifts. Stay off Twitter.

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