I am not rich. In fact, I am not even close to rich. I am so not rich that my recent marriage took place in a court house where no pictures were allowed due to post 9/11 security measures. I was married by the former Chief of Police of Blacksburg, VA. He looked like he would kill you or marry you (either way you were going to be closer to God). So when I say that the MoveOn.org crowd calling on all student loans to be “forgiven” (i.e., they want their own bailout) are all a bunch of student leeches, my liberal friends can put away the class warfare card—it’s of no use here.

The gist of MoveOn’s argument is as follows:

Picking up the protesters’ thread, liberal interest group MoveOn.org is pushing a national petition that at last count had 600,000 signatures for the forgiveness of “all” student loan debt in America.

The petition, drafted by attorney and MoveOn member Robert Applebaum, claims debt forgiveness would have an “immediate stimulative effect” on the economy as “millions of Americans” would have more pocket cash.

“As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats,” the petition says. (emphasis added)

So the recipe for long term economy growth is to put more money into the hands of a bunch of dolts who thought racking up tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loan debt for a “Peace Studies” degree was a good idea? Why don’t these kids use their debt for inspiration! They can prove how entrepreneurial they are by figuring out creative ways to pay off their loans.

Or not. MoveOn.org would rather put iPods and iPhones into the hands of kids who whine about the “obscene” profits guys like Steve Jobs racked up, while simultaneously using the technology he created that raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions across the globe.

Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute hits the target when he says:

“The people ultimately on the hook for federal student loans are federal taxpayers. That would increase the debt and that would put taxpayers even more on the hook for even more debt. Forgiving student loans would also effectively repeat the financial-sector bailouts of 2008 and 2009, one of the issues the protesters are decrying,” McCluskey added.

“We shouldn’t do the same thing …with student loans.”

The spoiled student protesters don’t care about the taxpayer because, at worst, all they’re doing is milking mom and dad (and someone else’s mom and dad) for a bit more cash. What happens when the “Not in My Back Yard” mentality meets the “As Long As I Get Mine” mindset? You get the Occupy Wall Street movement, complete with bowel movements on cop cars, anti-capitalist pablum, and protesters who—when pressed—admit that their demands are just one big, gluttonous, Christmas list for the self-serving student population.

Take a look at my student loan debt. I took it on because I thought of it as betting on myself. I ate that loan debt because I was after human capital, hoping that in the long-run it would pay off. I still believe that. And even if it doesn’t, so what? At least paying it off on my own will leave me with a little self respect, something completely foreign to the MoveOn.org crowd.

Unlike the MoveOn.org crowd, some of us have a little self respect. Mommy and Daddy didn't pay for my college tuition. I DID. And whatever I borrowed, I'll pay back. Learn a little self respect, kids. You'll be glad you did.

6 comments

  1. Wow, that’s really harsh don’t you think? Especially since the Airlines got a bailout, and the car companies and the banks… So the Rich people are entitled to a interest free bailout but not the common student? The company execs still got their 1 million Xmas bonus by laying off people and creating the majority of the drain on the taxpayers. I’m not going to pander to the 1%.

    I’m not rich, I’m not from a rich family, I was also in the military, and our rate of student loan debt is the same. My parents haven’t put a dime toward my education. I work and I’m working toward my Master’s but the job opportunities aren’t great (I wait tables). But I will be stuck with these much longer than my parents were. I’m not sure when the next good job opportunity will be. God Forbid I want the American Dream!

  2. Urbansidhe, thanks for the comment. With that said, I was never in favor of ANY bailouts for ANY industry. You don’t start bailing out losers, because once you do that there’s no end to it. Your philosophy seems to be, “They got theirs, so why can’t I have mine?”

    Not once did I ever say rich people were entitled to bailouts. However, they are entitled to their own money. If they made their money through legal means, but you don’t like the laws that are on the books…then perhaps you should look at the people who crafted the laws in the first place. The government creates laws that warp the free market and creates strange incentives (e.g., sub-prime mortgages), and then when it explodes in their face they blame “the rich.” Wrong answer.

  3. Douglas, if you think the economic problems in this country are because of laws that ‘warped’ the ‘free market,’ you need to study some history.

    1. Anonymous, if you think I take the anonymous comments (devoid of substantive arguments) seriously, then I suggest you stay anonymous—because I’ll intellectually tear you to shreds if you identify yourself.

  4. Not to agree or disagree with any bailout; however, education is the best investment in future economic growth and federal student loans are capped at below the cost of quality public education costs after you factor in textbooks alone.

    The petition isn’t for private student loans.

    You can try to rip this anon to shreds intellectually, but you can’t disagree with the statement that education is an investment.

  5. New anonymous post, different IP address. Sigh…

    Regardless, did you ever look into the role the federal government plays in the skyrocketing cost of higher education (another bubble that will ultimately burst)? Look at the incentives their policies create among educational institutions and you’ll find the answer.

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