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Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers On The Backs Of The Young


Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers On The Backs Of The Young

Ellen Brown

Higher education has been financialized, transformed from a public service into a lucrative cash cow for private investors.

"Slavery by debt has continued to this day, and it is particularly evident in the plight of students." (Photo: Michael Fleshman/cc)


The Student has a sacred JOB of learning how to CONTRIBUTE. This fact should be recognized. I speak with the credentials of one who tought in higher education for a quarter of a century.


Can’t wait for Part 2 which no doubt will be ignored and/or banks will throw a lot of money at it to be defeated just like state ran banks loaning money to the community and then reloaning the funds to the community.

Another legacy of Bill Clinton’s that I don’t believe I knew about or I forgot. Get rid of neo cons/war mongers from the dem party/repug party and bring back sane policies that will actually make us good again.


This is a very important article on the ways in which debt as used as a means of class control, with both parties competing to load ever never chains on working people.

As a community college instructor/peon 15 years ago, I met literally hundreds of victims of wortheleas student loans purveys by phony “colleges.”. DeVry, one of the biggest offenders, occupied a building right in the middle of the giant LaGuardia CC campus, preying on students who found the relatively cheap CC too demanding or too unwelcoming.

Significantly, the student debt system was tightened in 1998 and 2005 under both Clinton and Bush, with key roles played in both cases by the sainted Joe Biden on behalf of the many creditor firms located in his home state of Delaware. The other holy man of the liberals, Obama, finalized the slavery by making it virtually impossible to discharge any student debts via bankruptcy and allowing huge numbers of rip-off “colleges” to load debt onto unwitting young people.

A truly progressive party which mobilized around the issue of debt slavery would have a good chance of making a serious impact, even under the antiquated US constitutional system. The first goal, as I see it, would be to make bankruptcy freely available under the old common law criterion of “if you owe more in debt than you have in assets, you can go bankrupt.” Returning to this traditional pattern would impose needed discipline on creditors - if they knew they couldn’t get their only back, they wouldn’t loan money. Or even better, they would be driven to bankruptcy themselves. The second goal would be to impose extreme regulation on credit rating companies - if they could only retain negative information for maybe two years, millions of working people would get a a fresh start. Third goal is really the most important, and this author explains why. Returning to Lincoln’s policy of the government issuing greenbacks would eliminate all the current nonsense about “national debt.” Sure, the bankers would scream when faced with policies that meant their extinction as a species, but American working people would cheer.

Or if this seems too radical, liberals can always vote for the ancient phony Joe Biden in 2020.


“Liberals” probably will vote for Biden in 2020, which means Biden won’t win because progressives will not vote for Biden whose only positive is that he is better than Trump…a low low bar.


Let’s hope Joe Kennedy III decides to run… or warren?


Let’s hope that the DNC lets somebody like Kennedy or Warren run.


My sentiments too – mobilize around debt slavery. We can’t wait for our leaders; we need to lead them.


Biden won’t win, neither will Warren.

Joe Kennedy would be the Democrats best choice to pull the Millennials in.


The German education system is one we should consider. Not everyone in their school system is designated for a college or university program. The aptitude exams help decide where a student should consider their goals. Why does every student have to go to college? Is there some magical property that defines someone’s career goals and quality of life that are only attainable through a college sheepskin?

What about trade schools? Doesn’t the US require electricians, HVAC techs, vehicle mechanics, and a host of other careers that don’t require a college education? What about internship into similar fields? If you can’t afford college after high school these are achievable alternatives. Other ways to get college tuition paid is through the military or research companies and non-profits that will help pay your loans or forgive the debt entirely.

The whining I’m reading about being students and not customers is nothing but window dressing and a waste of time. Find another way to achieve your education or career goals because no one else is really going to shoulder the burden for you if you choose the student loan route and the world doesn’t owe you a break on tuition. Sorry, that’s just that way of the world.


Likewise society has a sacred duty to educate, without making the student a debt slave for life.


Ms Brown’s optimism is admirable, but optimism alone will not do it. The system is broken. Donald Trump is president. DT was empowered by a fraudulent electoral system that no longer expresses the will of the majority. To understand how the votes are manipulated, study gregpalast.com & blackboxvoting.org among other sources. It was not the Russians who put Trump in office; it was the money of the oligarchs, Koch brothers, R. Mercer, P.Singer, et alia. The billionaire class owns this country, the rentiers, the parasites like DT himself. Until the electoral system is fixed so that it accurately monitors the will of the majority, there is no solution but a nasty revolution. Nothing less than electoral reform is going to give this country back to the people. What is being done to make sure 2018 is not the complete fraud that was 2016?


Yeah, we need political dynasties. After all, the common people can’t be trusted to govern themselves.


Collage is a JOKE! Its an elitist thing of the past meant to give a lie that some have earned the right to make lots of money.

The propaganda machine tells us that over 6 million jobs go unfilled because people don’t have the skills to fill them. Here’s a thought----HOW ABOUT THE COMPANIES THAT NEED THESE PEOPLE ----TRAIN THESE PEOPLE! Working in the private sector I was amazed at the incompetent people who would be hired out of collage. It is also amazing how incompetent the private sector is at training people.

And slavery------its everywhere------just keep the illusion alive that we are free???


I prefer to assess individuals on their merits rather than classify and
generalize, myself.


I’ve had the questionable pleasure of meeting Joe Kennedy. He’s another entitled Kennedy kid. The only reason he got into Congress is that in MA the name still forgives all.


Well then you have the advantage over me. I only can go by his work as
Congressman, the positions he has taken, his background information. If
there are better candidates out there, I am more than happy to examine
their backgrounds as well and see what they have accomplished.


The present circumstances are fairly deliberate, at least in that people with large influence decided to increase student loan debt in order to limit the professional choices of graduates, to corral them into corporate jobs and away from ideas of self-fulfillment or public service. As usual, of course, these people of influence did not and do not much understand the ramifications of such things, but the conditions are brought about by purposeful action.

A key document in this is Samuel P Huntington’s address to the Trilateral Commission in 1976, entitled “The Crisis of Democracy” (http://trilateral.org/download/doc/crisis_of_democracy.pdf).

In the wake of civil rights and war resistance, Huntington complains to his wealthy audience of an “excess of democracy,” and speaks of ways to rein it in, largely by shifting the financial burden of education to students. Students could not be expected to shoulder costs up front, so loans were to be issued. The resulting debt was to force them to sell their services to the highest bidder, with relatively few other considerations. Of course, this is what happened.

This not a matter of government as opposed to industry moving in and financing education. Government had previously done that more, both providing more money directly to state schools and by providing a larger percentage of grants to students, from the GI Bill forward.

For the moment, at least, there are some facilities open to students, such as Income-Based Repayment or IBR. Of course, it would be consistent with the overall policy that these be eliminated, so they might.

In general, a key feature to avoid repossession is to make few purchases on time and also to hold real property as a homestead or, usually better, in trust. The individual student might thereby to have living quarters despite being permanently in debt and in failed debt.

It is very likely that some economic jag will be used to eliminate such protections now that younger generations with large college debts are moving along in the workforce, very much as the 2007-9 crash served financiers to largely eliminate the private-side pensions of Boomers more or less exactly as large numbers were to enter retirement age.