Federal Myopia: Chasing the Wrong Priorities Essay

1107 Words 5 Pages
Since World War II, home ownership and higher education have been equated with success in America. In this 21st-century economy, higher education is more than ever an important pass to upper social mobility. However, like the American Dream of home ownership that was shattered by predatory lending, The American Dream of higher education is also being threatened to be crushed by ever-growing student loan debts. Following the Great Recession, it is only normal to worry about an impending student debt crisis given the parallels it has to the housing crisis. Not only do both issues stem from inequality and involve huge amounts of loans that are doomed to default, but most important, they lack proper government intervention. Similarly to …show more content…
However, the “privilege” of advanced academic achievements is exceptionally costly. Many, if not all students, have to resort to federal or private student loans to cover the expensive cost of higher education. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as of the fourth quarter of 2013, federal student loan debts have been calculated at “$1.08 trillion,” only second to mortgage debt. This high level of indebtedness is starting to raise the alarm, especially when you add to it the increasing default rates. College graduates, degrees in hand, are struck by the less than promising reality of the job market, and often having to settle for low-wage jobs, many are saddled with hefty debts. The increasing default rates are not solely the result of the government’s failure to regulate the expensive costs of college, but also its failure to create new jobs and raise the family median income. While the cost of tuition has more than doubled in the past two decades, the median family income has been stagnating. According to Stiglitz, the median family income is now at “about $50,000 compared to $46,000 in 1980 (adjusted for inflation.)” With tuition costs soaring and incomes stagnating, even college graduates who are able to get a well-paid job will be shackled by the heavy burden of debt for a long time. Those who are less lucky and are hit by the scarcity of job opportunities in their field of study have to ultimately

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