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Forgive Student Debt, Fight the Recession
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Steelrails,

Did you swallow a cliche' book? You really do read a lot of things into these posts.

I will reiterate my proposal: it is an inverse Bush tax cut. Instead of the wealthiest getting the biggest amount, the poor get the biggest amount.

What it is not: It is not loan forgiveness. It is not a guarantee of a middle class lifestyle, though I wish it were.

The government can just write a check or give a tax grant to people who have student loans, home loans, car loans or high credit card debt. They can spend it and stimulate the economy or they can pay back their debts or whatever they choose.

For example, lets say that we take 1% of all tax revenues. Then, we give that money to those most in need. So, instead of the Bush tax cut where you get back the money you put in; those who are wealthy would get nothing and those who have the least get the biggest share.

Now, you can call that a tinge of nastiness but you have people who have benefited greatly of the last 30 years, partially due to a reduced tax burden and then you have most people who have not done so well in the last 20 to 30 years. The rich won't miss it. The poor will appreciate it. And, the rich will eventually get it anyway because the poor will just spend it or pay back their debts. So, it really helps everyone!!!

If you really worry that they will spend it on sinful things, then you can just say that the money can only be used to pay back debt. I don't care. No one earmarked what you could do with the Bush tax cut but I guess you are not supposed to tell the rich what to do but you can the poor.

The program would not increase the national debt because it would either be paid for by cuts to other programs or my preference increases in taxes for the wealthiest.

Okay, now slam my proposal because that is what we are supposed to do on this forum.


I'm not in favor of tax cuts for the poor or wealthy at this point.

I'm in favor of things that will resurrect our manufacturing an non-college educated labor base: Controlled, increased protectionism as well as state-by-state consideration of state health care (NOT a national plan) to help offset some of the retirement costs for manufacturing companies. Combine that with greater restrictions on student loans.

No bailouts for anyone! Don't bail out the auto companies, stop the problem before hand and do what the Japanese do to ensure their domestic auto market is strong: Make it extremely difficult for foreign competitors while still competing in the export market to ensure competitiveness.

The key to our economy is NOT the college-educated. It is the high-school educated.

Quote:
I'm fascinated with the idea on the right (from some) that we are educating too many people and educating them too much. This is quite different than the attitude in the country I grew up in. It seems very radical to me. I'd like to hear more. In 'Brave New World', if I recall, they injected a bit of alcohol into the brain of fetuses to ensure that only a few were intellectually capable of enough education to serve the corporations. Should we be considering that approach?


I think we should have people as educated as possible. Education is not about degrees. It is about going out and doing things like reading and learning. But degrees should be a limited resource to protect their value.

Quote:
You say this as if you think there is a significant difference between them. Granted, they are not all three from Texas. Beyond that, pretty much same-same.


Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan were both against the Iraq War, and the Patriot Act, and have voiced significant reservations about the Federal Reserve, the Drug War, free-trade, fiat currency, U.S. Imperialism, and NAFTA. Far cry from Hannity.

Pat Buchanan's own magazine featured an article in 2004 that made "The Conservative case for..." a variety of candidates including John Kerry and Ralph Nader. Although Pat himself tepidly endorsed Bush, a mistake I believe, the fact that his own magazine would feature an article prominently endorsing Nader makes it clear he is no Hannity-Limbaugh-O'Reilly type.

Pat Buchanan is quite interesting, on the one hand he will talk about the greatness of Western civilization and whatnot, and then also take us to task for stationing troops in other countries (How would we feel if Arab troops were based in America?) and our disgraceful past in dealing with the other people of the world and saying its no wonder no one in the world trusts us considering some of our monstrous acts.

Do you seriously believe that there would be a major stimulus from debt forgiveness? If people already aren't paying their loans and struggling to stay above water, how does forgiving their loans change that situation?

Better to do something that generates jobs, good jobs.

To modify an analogy- better to make sure the river is full of fish than to give a man a fish.

That and remind people that in order to catch fish you have to wake up at 4AM and stay on your boat until sundown, you can't just lounge around at the dock and throw out a net and expect it to be full.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:

Do you seriously believe that there would be a major stimulus from debt forgiveness? If people already aren't paying their loans and struggling to stay above water, how does forgiving their loans change that situation?


Uh. It removes a major drain on their expenses. It would allow them to save for retirement and engage in more consumer spending, two things the bank bailouts did not accomplish.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:
Steelrails wrote:

Do you seriously believe that there would be a major stimulus from debt forgiveness? If people already aren't paying their loans and struggling to stay above water, how does forgiving their loans change that situation?


Uh. It removes a major drain on their expenses. It would allow them to save for retirement and engage in more consumer spending, two things the bank bailouts did not accomplish.


Not defending the bank bailouts...Utterly worthless

But people who are poor aren't going to start saving for retirement.

And they'd engage in consumer spending that would benefit the service industry. What do you really think they'd start saving for retirement and buying 'Made in America' manufactured goods? Come on.

It's not like if they got that forgiveness they'd be instantly able to sign up for payments on a new Chevy or anything...It might, might go to bills, but the logic being, hey if that got forgiven, why not my cell phone bill...I mean, aren't many just not paying the bill? Or if it was it'd be pizza and weed and stuff from 7-11. Just as 'Trickle Down' is load of manure, so would 'trickle up'.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
Kuros wrote:
Steelrails wrote:

Do you seriously believe that there would be a major stimulus from debt forgiveness? If people already aren't paying their loans and struggling to stay above water, how does forgiving their loans change that situation?


Uh. It removes a major drain on their expenses. It would allow them to save for retirement and engage in more consumer spending, two things the bank bailouts did not accomplish.


Not defending the bank bailouts...Utterly worthless

But people who are poor aren't going to start saving for retirement.


The poor won't save for retirement?

Based on what? The many graphs and statistics you've provided to back up your statements over the life of this thread?

/sneer
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The oddest objection is that the people in the 23-33 age cohort couldn't use an extra $500 (the figure the author of the original article used) a month. This is the time span when the average person is getting married, setting up a home and starting a family. They are buying cars, electronics, household appliances, furniture, clothes, eating at restaurants, taking trips...consuming--exactly what the economy needs.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
The oddest objection is that the people in the 23-33 age cohort couldn't use an extra $500 (the figure the author of the original article used) a month. This is the time span when the average person is getting married, setting up a home and starting a family. They are buying cars, electronics, household appliances, furniture, clothes, eating at restaurants, taking trips...consuming--exactly what the economy needs.


Yes. if I didn't spend $350/month on student loans, I'd consider buying a car, although knowing me, it would probably go towards plane tickets.

Quote:
And they'd engage in consumer spending that would benefit the service industry. What do you really think they'd start saving for retirement and buying 'Made in America' manufactured goods? Come on.


What's wrong with spending that supports the service industry? Please tell me. And there are plenty of people my age who do save. They must have since some of my peers have managed to buy houses and condos in one of the priciest real estate markets in the country... (bought post-bubble btw)
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
The oddest objection is that the people in the 23-33 age cohort couldn't use an extra $500 (the figure the author of the original article used) a month. This is the time span when the average person is getting married, setting up a home and starting a family. They are buying cars, electronics, household appliances, furniture, clothes, eating at restaurants, taking trips...consuming--exactly what the economy needs.


And are all of those people actually paying on their loan?

Again, most of those products you mentioned relate either to the service industry or involve imported merchandise. Yes, more money would be spent at Target and McD's. Not the greatest for job generation.

from what I understand, people say they are suffocating even without payments...

Quote:
What's wrong with spending that supports the service industry? Please tell me. And there are plenty of people my age who do save. They must have since some of my peers have managed to buy houses and condos in one of the priciest real estate markets in the country...


Service industry jobs tend to pay near-minimum wage. Yes, it'll be a windfall for pizza drivers and CVS, and McD's, and Applebee's. They'll need more waiters and fry cooks.

I think OWS people are saying that they aren't satisfied being fry cooks...

But yes, lets keep on blaming external factors instead of internal ones...

Quote:
he poor won't save for retirement?

Based on what? The many graphs and statistics you've provided to back up your statements over the life of this thread?


And you have?

But yes, lets keep on blaming external factors instead of internal ones...

Look, there are people who are exceptions to my world view, but I don't think they constitute the majority.

Can you accept the possibility that a good number of these people are in their state because of mistakes they made? Not because of 'Crony Capitalism'

Why is it so hard to look at internal factors as causes of misfortune?

Oh right, because it interferes with the victim narrative....
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steely, how can you not know that we won't ever be a manufactoring country again? That's the way the global economy works, countries specialize. No matter how much we undercut our workers wages and lifestyles third world people will work for less, and for worse life styles. As to the service industry bit, you truly don't understand economics. Money spent in one sector is diffused through out the entire economy. When one sector has more money, than it can hire more, and thoose employees spend that money throughout the economy. For anything to have a stimulative effect, it can't go to paying back loans. That people are paying back loans instead of being consumers is what's killing the economy, if we gave the loan money back and they paid other debts and saved it would be horrible from an economic perspective. I think that forgiving the debt of people who have paid off the initial amount would be the most fair policy, but it wouldn't have the same stimulative benefits.
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be a little peeved if there was large scale student loan forgiveness, as I chose to go to McGill over schools with slightly better names in the States and internationally (NYU, specifically) due to the desire to avoid taking out loans. I didn't want to be one of those fools that was $100,000 in debt for a liberal arts degree, and I was able to graduate debt free with parental support and cheaper tuition than I could have found in my home state. To some degree, I would feel as if I was being punished for having thought ahead, as I feel like NYU would have positioned me a bit better going forward (though not significantly so).

Generally speaking, the system is very, very broken, and needs to be fixed. One crazy policy idea that I would like to see enacted are different interest rates depending on your major. Provide lower interest rates on hard degrees, i.e. science and engineering, as these are much safer investments (and are disciplines we should be incentivizing people to enter into). Provide higher interest loans to people who study softer disciplines that are less likely to pay off in the long run (read as: liberal arts degrees), as these are higher risk investments from the lender's perspective, given the pay disparity. It's a bit ridiculous that you borrow at the same rate regardless of whether you're studying dance or electrical engineering.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
Quote:


And are all of those people actually paying on their loan?

Again, most of those products you mentioned relate either to the service industry or involve imported merchandise. Yes, more money would be spent at Target and McD's. Not the greatest for job generation.


You seem convinced all of 'those people' are not paying on their loans. What is the rate of default? Delinquency?

I'm curious what you think the typical family spends its income on. I'll go out on a limb and guess that very few families hire the services of a web design firm or a bridge construction company.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to a different article with a different proposal to address the problem:

Something has to be done about the debt. Household debt is currently at 90 percent of GDP and unless the powers that be do something to help people out, calls for mass forgiveness will only grow stronger...

First, Mike Konczal wrote about student loan debt. A very brief history: Every single law Congress has passed regarding student loans since the federal program was introduced in 1965 has benefited lenders and made repayment or bankruptcy harder for borrowers. In addition to being unfair, this seems perhaps like bad policy, unless we really think it’s best for college graduates to spend their first decade (or decades) in the workforce sending substantial portions of their income to private lenders.

Mike Konczal’s plan is very simple: Just roll back the laws to what they were before 1990. Then, student loans are dischargable in bankruptcy after five years, instead of never...

That’s addressed by the second part of Konczal’s plan, which is clever: Give citizens the same break we gave major investment banks, which in 2008 were allowed to convert into bank holding companies in order to take advantage of access to the Fed “discount window”:

Why not also do a “deathbed conversion” on those who are suffering under the burden of heavy student debts and low incomes and let them immediately refinance all their student loan rates at the current ultra-low discount window rate? Mass refinance all student loans into the current low rates the financial sector enjoys. This would give the 99% of Americans just a hint of the kind of total government support places like Goldman Sachs have gotten.


http://www.salon.com/2011/11/07/some_plans_for_addressing_american_debt/

The second part of the article addresses ideas about reforming the mortgage system, which is not a part of this particular thread.

I especially liked the final sentence in the article: The more we talk up plans to alleviate household debt, the more likely it is we’ll eventually see something substantial from Congress and the White House.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
And to all the people who paid for their college without student loans, what do we tell them? What do we say to the people who have dutifully paid back their loans?

Here's an idea- Let's treat college loans like other bad debt. If you can't pay, it can be repoed. That might light a fire under some people's butts and instead of spending their discretionary money on partying and weed, they can pay off their debt.

You want something that would help the economy? How bout all the delinquent college loans being paid back to the institutions that lended them the money.


So, when the government(s) bailed out the crap banks, what did they say to the "good" ones?

Isn't that in a similar train of thought?
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:
Steelrails wrote:
And to all the people who paid for their college without student loans, what do we tell them? What do we say to the people who have dutifully paid back their loans?

Here's an idea- Let's treat college loans like other bad debt. If you can't pay, it can be repoed. That might light a fire under some people's butts and instead of spending their discretionary money on partying and weed, they can pay off their debt.

You want something that would help the economy? How bout all the delinquent college loans being paid back to the institutions that lended them the money.


So, when the government(s) bailed out the crap banks, what did they say to the "good" ones?

Isn't that in a similar train of thought?


Different scenario- the collapse of those institutions might have damaged the others, again, not that I agree with the bailouts.

I fail to see how not forgiving college debt will damage me however.

The people who signed those agreements knew the terms.

As I said, I'm open to the idea of something that is done to ALL college students. If they want to give a general credit or refund to ANYONE who attended college since say, 1998, to be used as seen fit, then fine. But its pathetic that people who have paid off their loans or didn't take any in the first place could loose out on 10s of thousands of dollars simply because they were responsible or blessed with supportive parents.

So here's a unifying idea- A $10,000 check to anyone who graduated from college since 1998. You can use it to pay down debt or spend on hookers & blow or buy season tickets or buy a car or whatever. I'd even be willing to see double that provided to people with over $40,000 in debt provided a significant percentage was used to pay off loans. I don't like the idea of throwing money at the problem, but at least it seems like a fair compromise.

But no, loan forgiveness is a crap idea without similar compensation given to those who didn't take loans out.

Can you not see it from the perspective of people who either paid off their loans or didn't take any in the first place how they are getting shafted?

Nope, the only people who did wrong were crony capitalists or people who said "you must go to college" or blah blah blah. Never one's own self.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can you not see it from the perspective of people who either paid off their loans or didn't take any in the first place how they are getting shafted?


Try looking at it from a different perspective. Those who are finished paying off their loans and those who didn't have to take out loans are fortunate not to be stuck in a financial hole in the midst of a crappy economy. This is their chance to sacrifice for the country.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no problem or qualms with paying off my student loans. I borrowed the money, I should pay it back.

Here is my issue: why the hell is the interest rate on government loans 6.8%??? That's just disgusting given current interest rates. They should lower it to at least 5%. The reason it is fixed at 6.8% )or 6.625% if you are paying them off through a direct debit program) is Congress yet again selling out to Wall St...
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