Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pig Slapdown

WB has chastised me for blaming bankers (from Gringotts or elsewhere) for the student loan mess. Fair enough, I suppose, as there is plenty of blame to go around. Congress wanted to make college affordable for more people without actually spending any money. Schools wanted to scarf up more money. Bankers, who are, after all, in the business of lending money, didn't want to be cut out of a new business opportunity, and didn't want to wind up on the hook for a bunch of bad loans. Students and their parents wanted educational opportunities. When the resulting politics/sausage making was done, we got the mess we got - a system where a bunch of bad loans were made because lenders weren't really lending their own money.

I happen to think that loans are a bad way to finance education. I recently opened an old book and found a receipt for my term's tuition way back when I was an undergrad - $99.00 Not free, but damn cheap by today's standards, even with inflation thrown in, so the US once had a nearly free college education. We abandoned that policy mostly because of the mania for cutting taxes on the wealthy.