Last Wednesday, President Biden made his big announcement about how he plans to handle America’s $1.8 trillion (and growing) student loan bubble.
Biden’s plan grants $10,000 in relief for everyone with outstanding undergraduate student loans making less than $125,000, plus an additional $10,000 in relief for anyone who used a Pell Grant to attend college. The announcement cancels all remaining student loans for about 20 million people, and more than 20 million others will have at least part of their debt removed.
President Biden also extended the pause on student loan repayments, begun by Donald Trump in 2020, for another five months, but insisted this extension will be the last one and that payments will resume come 2023.
What to make of all this?
1. If you’re a responsible member of the middle class, then get f…ed.
Suppose you followed the playbook of middle-class, so-called “bourgeois” values: careful planning, responsibility, thrift. When it comes to America’s bloated college industrial complex, this creates a lot of options. Some people work a job on the side so they can attend school without taking out loans. Some people choose a cheaper or less distinguished school so they can get a scholarship, potentially hobbling their long-term career prospects for the sake of avoiding debt. Some people do a stint in the military to get G.I. Bill benefits. And of course, millions of parents save for decades to enable themselves to pay for a child’s education without them using loans.
The message of Wednesday’s development is, screw all of those suckers.
Bourgeois values are values that look to the long term. They are ideal for a stable, functional, healthy society whose institutions reward good behavior and punish or discourage poor behavior. For centuries, America was a country like that, and so those with good habits thrived.
But America is crossing the tipping point, where the most politically rewarding path is to provide handouts to the less capable, less responsible, and less worthy. In the decay of the American Empire, we are firmly into the “strip it for resources” phase.
This isn’t your country anymore, bud. Enjoy the $500 billion bill.
“we did the right thing and we got screwed”
Yes—middle-class values are no longer viable in the Globalist American Empire
A hard, but important lesson https://t.co/sAIdMNm1I2
— Darren J. Beattie (@DarrenJBeattie) August 25, 2022
2. Never expect gratitude.
So, are all the beneficiaries of America’s largesse grateful in the slightest? Haha, dream on.
President Biden literally went before the country and announced that he was giving away $10,000 to millions of people, and $20,000 to millions more, as long as they were poor enough to have received a Pell Grant. Like any current Democratic proposal aimed at the poor, it was intentionally designed to heap subsidies upon black Americans. Forty-six percent of blacks who attend college get a Pell Grant, so Biden basically just gave $20,000 to half of America’s blacks who ever attended college. The White House’s announcement even bragged that the relief had been carefully designed to disfavor whites versus other groups.
What was the response? From many, sneers.
Canceling $10,000 in student debt when the average white borrower is $12,000 in debt, while Black women hold on average over $52,000 isn’t just unacceptable, it’s structural racism.
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) August 23, 2022
The Hill collected several hundred words of whining for a Thursday article, “Biden student loan plan leaves Black borrowers wanting more.” Several people complained that the Biden administration had not explicitly given extra money to higher-income blacks while excluding whites based on skin color:
In 2016, South Side Chicago native James Alford proudly became the first in his family to graduate from college.
But that sense of pride was marred by student loans. When Alford graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in Black studies, he was around $50,000 in debt.
Now, at 30, with his Master of Science in adult and higher education, that number is closer to $120,000.
“It’s cool, but it really doesn’t mean anything,” said Alford. “I feel like there were promises for more, and I feel like more could be done to ease the burden on people of color and first generation students.”
Leonard, who asked for his last name to be withheld, went to college with the help of Pell Grants. But he now makes an annual salary of $140,000, disqualifying him from this round of loan forgiveness.
“While I am a higher earner and am better off than someone making a fraction of what I make, I still live paycheck to paycheck in NYC and am already freaking out about the repayment pause ending in December,” Leonard told The Hill in an email.
“I come from a low-income family and sometimes help family members financially,” he added. “There should be some kind of forgiveness for recipients who are ‘high earners’ but are economically disadvantaged compared to the large majority of high earners (i.e higher earning white people).”
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