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America Is a Moral Cesspool, and Student Loans Prove It

Summary:
If America somehow managed to educate millions of college students without burdening them with trillion in debt in 1993, why is it now “impossible” to do so, even as America’s wealth and gross national product (GDP) have both rocketed higher over the past 27 years? Predators thrive on Americans’ short memories. Student loans in their present scale did not exist prior to 1994. According to the Federal Reserve FRED database, the student loan balance was zero in 1993. From zero in 1993 to .728 trillion in 2021: this is the predatory financialization of higher education which has enriched lenders, Wall Street and the Higher Education Cartel. As I’ve noted before, such parasitic rapaciousness would have been criminal a few generations ago; now it’s cheered as a

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If America somehow managed to educate millions of college students without burdening them with $2 trillion in debt in 1993, why is it now “impossible” to do so, even as America’s wealth and gross national product (GDP) have both rocketed higher over the past 27 years?

Predators thrive on Americans’ short memories. Student loans in their present scale did not exist prior to 1994. According to the Federal Reserve FRED database, the student loan balance was zero in 1993.

From zero in 1993 to $1.728 trillion in 2021: this is the predatory financialization of higher education which has enriched lenders, Wall Street and the Higher Education Cartel. As I’ve noted before, such parasitic rapaciousness would have been criminal a few generations ago; now it’s cheered as a reliable source of profits by Wall Street and treated as business as usual by the corporate-owned media.

If America somehow managed to educate millions of college students without burdening them with $2 trillion in debt in 1993, why is it now “impossible” to do so, even as America’s wealth and gross national product (GDP) have both rocketed higher over the past 27 years?

America is now a moral cesspool, and student loans prove it. Note that the $1.728 trillion isn’t the entire load of debt crushing students; that’s only the securitized student loans. Wily sharpsters have found all sorts of private-debt niches which they sell as “student loans” but which are actually consumer loans. Then there’s the credit card debt from card issuers giving students “student-only cards.” Add it all up and the total likely exceeds $2 trillion.

Monopolies, cartels, profiteers and insiders always have a raft of excuses and justifications for their exploitation of the powerless, and all those profiting from the $2 trillion have the usual excuses plus a novel set of noble-sounding academic rationalizations.

Journalist Matt Taibbi lays waste to one slice of the student loan racket in The Trillion-Dollar Lie (courtesy of correspondent Joel W.), the legal foundation of the entire parasitic swindle: “students can’t escape student loans in bankruptcy court.” But suppose the legal edifice were to recognize that universities are not “non-profits” but are instead a racketeering cartel?

While crying poor, universities have pursued a construction boom of trophy buildings without precedent and piled up slush funds with hundreds of millions of dollars extracted from student debt-serfs. If this doesn’t make your blood boil, then you must be swimming laps in America’s moral cesspool, praising the putrid stench as “the smell of money.”

Charles Hugh Smith
Charles Hugh Smith is an American writer and blogger. He is the chief writer for the site "Of Two Minds". Started in 2005, this site has been listed No. 7 in CNBC's top alternative financial sites. His commentary is featured on a number of sites including: Zerohedge.com., The American Conservative and Peak Prosperity. He graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Honolulu. Charles Hugh Smith currently resides in Berkeley, California and Hilo, Hawaii.

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