Promising Signs That America Is Waking Up to the Student Debt Crisis

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    • #59558
      eridani
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      https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/24/promising-signs-america-waking-student-debt-crisis

      n addition to age, self-reported household income predicted support for supporting student debt relief, when controlling for other factors. As the Democratic Party struggles to appeal to the voters who turned out in 2012 but stayed home in 2016, student debt relief stands out as an issue. Indeed, one in four Americans who voted in 2018 but did not vote in 2016 are student debt holders (the analysis only includes individuals old enough to vote in both elections). Sixty-four percent of these voters supported Democrats.

      Student debt has the potential to help Democrats to make inroads with a broad array of voters. As previous Freedom to Prosper research showed, one in five people responsible for paying off a student loan is over the age of 50. Perhaps surprisingly, more than half of individuals over the age of 26 who were responsible for paying off a student loan do not have a college degree, according to the CCES 2016 survey.

      We should expect growing support for this item for a few reasons: Younger voters of all political stripes are being exposed to the status quo student loan system. Younger voters are also less likely to accept the toxic brand of “conservatism.” Because party ID and ideology are good predictors of support for student loan relief, and because party ID and ideology are clearly favorable to Democrats among the next generation of voters, we should be prepared to push the issue of student loan forgiveness.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #65196
      eridani
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      The $1.5 Trillion Question: How to Fix Student-Loan Debt? (Ep. 377)

      The $1.5 Trillion Question: How to Fix Student-Loan Debt? (Ep. 377)

      If you look at higher education as an industry — which you should, because essentially it is — then you’d have to acknowledge that this industry has been booming. Between 2000 and 2010, undergraduate enrollment at U.S. colleges increased by 37 percent. As demand rose, so did the price: from 2000 to 2016, the average annual cost of college more than doubled, from around $15,000 a year to nearly $32,000. Over the past 20 years, only two other goods or services have risen as much as college. One is hospital services; the other is college textbooks.

      Since 1985, college costs have risen four times faster than the Consumer Price Index. Why? There are a number of reasons. One has to do with what economists call Baumol’s cost disease. That’s what happens when salaries rise — in this case, the salaries of college administrators and faculty and staff — without a commensurate rise in productivity. You also see this in the performing arts — and in hospital services, by the way. Even though there’s a lot of technology in hospitals, and in colleges, they still require a lot of real people spending a lot of real hours to get the work done. It’s not like manufacturing, where automation creates efficiencies. It’s not like software, where the millionth copy costs way less to make than the first one did.

      Another reason the price of college has risen so much? Because college has become even more valuable. People with a college education have always earned more than those without; but if you look at the data from 1970, and then from 2000, and then from 2015, the earnings gap between workers with and without a college degree has become an earning chasm.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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