Warren’s plan would go around Congress by pulling the levers of the Higher Education Act, which allows for the secretary of education to make changes to federal student loans. Warren would have the secretary c ancel up to $50,000 in debt for those living in households with a combined income under $100,000 and then have a graduating scale for those making up to $250,000-with less debt relief coming for those who make more money.
This approach is not the preferred approach of the Collective. Instead, it prefers Sanders’s plan, which would wipe away all $1.6 trillion in debt for everyone. In , the Levy Institute published a study that analyzed the effects of a mass student debt cancellation in the United States. After running multiple simulations, the study found that a mass cancellation would raise the GDP and decrease the average unemployment rate. It would result in a rise in interest rates and add a blip to the deficit, but mass forgiveness would also provide a boost to the budgets of state governments, many of which have continually slashed funding for both public K12 schools and higher education.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average borrower in repayment has to fork over $200 to $300 every month. And that’s part of what’s so radical about debt forgiveness at this scale: What becomes possible with that money freed up? Think of debt forgiveness, then, as a stimulus program-or a kind of universal basic income you pay yourself.
This reframing is what the Debt Collective provides people who have been taken advantage of by the university system, whether scammed by a for-profit or forced to take out loans to afford the increasingly insane nonprofit tuitions. As the government holds $1.5 trillion of the $1.6 trillion in student debt, the solutions offered by the next Democratic president will be determined by how persistent voters are in demanding relief.
It is offering an opportunity to bind their collective debt together and weaponize it, a nod to the you own the bank framework of debt at this scale
This is not going to happen without a grassroots mobilization. People need to demand it, Larson said. The reason that people are even talking about it now is because ordinary people rose up…. People from the bottom up saying this is unjust, this is wrong-and not only that, but here’s how you online payday loans Mount Olive bad credit fix it.
Friday will ericans of this great systemic failure. The strike will, in theory, serve as a signal to the 45 million people with debt that they are not alone in this hole the government willingly tossed them in-and that they have power to get out together.
It’s a model that’s proved successful so far. When asked about the conflicting emotions that are stirred by the Debt Collective’s daily work-seeing such a fast adoption of its policy proposals and simultaneously realizing the full scope of the issue-Appel cited a line from a recent speech she heard by abolitionist and renowned prison scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore: We’re here to acknowledge victory, and we’re here to organize for the day after victory.
This sentiment-that the government should not be in the business of underwriting the pursuit of higher education-was steadily adopted by the entire nation in the decades since. As a result, college is now viewed more as a privilege than a public good. It is advertised as a path to a job rather than a place to probe one’s interests. And through this reframing, it became easier to commodify and individualize this experience as one akin to leasing a car-if you, an individual, want this service, you’ll have to pay for it, and pay big.
In an email to The New Republic, he wrote that he had no knowledge of credit or loans when he enrolled because, prior to that, he used cash for everything
Nathan Hornes was one of the students that Corinthian took advantage of in the United States and Canada. So when the word loan’ [came] up I had no clue what that would even mean, he explained. I have to press that the people in financial aid are trained to make sure that they word things in a certain way as to not alert prospective students.
But the once-fringe solutions pushed by the Debt Collective and others have steadily transformed into the mainstream approach. In the 2020 race, Democratic candidates Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both introduced plans and legislation to forgive varying amounts of student debt. The difference in the two candidates’ approach comes down to that age-old question: To means test or not to means test?