Americans took out $1.7 trillion in government loans for college tuition.
Now, some don’t want to pay it back.
President Joe Biden says they shouldn’t have to. He wants to cancel at least $10,000 and maybe $50,000 of every student’s debt.
“They’re in real trouble,” says Biden in my latest video, “having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent.”
But wait: Shouldn’t they have given some thought to debt payments when they signed up for overpriced colleges? When they majored in subjects like photography or women’s studies, unlikely to lead to good jobs? When they took six years to graduate (a third don’t graduate even after six years).
Shouldn’t politicians also acknowledge that it’s taxpayer loans that let bloated colleges keep increasing tuition at twice the rate of inflation?
But they don’t.
“Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe points out that students’ demand for loan forgiveness is “kind of self-involved.”
“I know guys who worked hard to get a construction operation running. Some had to take out a loan on a big old diesel truck. Why would we forgive the cost of a degree but not the cost of a lease payment?”
It’s a good question.
“For some reason,” continues Rowe, “we think a tool that looks like a diploma is somehow more important than that big piece of metal in the driveway that allows the guy to build homes that you … are in.”
The political class does focus on subsidizing college.
“Now everybody is armed with a degree. What kind of world is that?” asks Rowe. “Everybody dreams of being in the corner office, but nobody knows how to build the corner office?”
Lots of good jobs in skilled trades don’t require a college degree, he points out. “The push for college came at the expense of every other form of education. Shop class was taken out of high school. We have denied millions of kids an opportunity to see what half the workforce looks like.”
It’s a reason America now has a shortage of skilled trade workers.
Yet, plumbers, elevator mechanics construction managers, etc., make $100,000 a year.
MikeroweWORKS Foundation gives young people scholarships to schools where they learn such trades. He seeks to make skilled labor “cool” again.
One Rowe scholarship recipient, Chloe Hudson, considered college but was shocked at what it cost.
“I was like, ‘I can’t afford this!’ I don’t want to be saddled with student debt the rest of my life!”
Instead, thanks to her Rowe scholarship, she learned how to weld, and now she has no trouble finding work.
“I’ve been under nuclear plants … been in water systems,” Hudson recounts. “Those jobs make me appreciate what I have now so much more.”
“What do you make?” I ask Hudson.
$3,000 a week,” she responds.
She’s appalled by today’s college student’s demand for loan forgiveness.
“There is not a single loan I have ever taken out where I didn’t have an expectation put on myself that I was going to repay it,” says Hudson. “That’s getting up at four o’clock in the morning and making sure I’m at work on time. That’s staying late. That’s working weekends.”
But now she will have to help pay for all those college students who won’t pay their debts.
“I am taxed heavily,” complains Hudson. “It’s not a good feeling to know that the government thinks that they can spend my dollars better than I can.”
Right. Government doesn’t spend our dollars better than we do. “Forgive student loans” really means workers must pay for privileged students who don’t.
Photo by Daniel Wiadro on Unsplash
7 thoughts on “Successful Without College”
Thank you for honest reporting. I look forward to all your videos. The straight forward no nonsense here is the world reporting you are providing is very much what the we need more of.
I have long held the opinion that job placement/apprenticeship was the way of the future and have advised young people to attempt that before looking at college/university.
Paying off student loans by the government is like sending kids into the candy store and then paying for their purchases. This is where there is a failure in teaching basic home economics in high school for both girls AND boys: basic cheque book balancing being part of that curriculum.
What about those of us that worked hard and saved our money to be able to send our kids to school? I feel like an idiot for doing the right thing, for having a plan and sacrificing to plan ahead for my kids. Am I going to get a credit for having paid for my kids to go to college? Also, we chose colleges we could afford because of our financial limitations. I graduated from law school in 2002 and am still paying off my loans and I often wish I had learned a trade where i could make a better living. There are too many lawyers and good jobs are hard to find unless you are right out of law school and can work 70 hours a week, have no life and have a nanny raise your kids. If everyone goes to college and it is free, the value of that degree is cheapened. Everyone will have one. Now you need a masters or higher degree to be marketable. Seems like the people that win here are the ultra liberal highly paid college professors.
I thank you for publishing this video. It provides another way to succeed. Mike and Chloe are awesome. The message is clear, I don’t want to be forced to pay for student loan debt I didn’t sign up for.
Why don’t they let those in loan default file bankruptcy? One can if they default on a business bank loan or are in credit card debt.
Federally Insured Student Loans are not discharged through bankruptcy.
I paid for my education and that of my adult kids. I find it galling that these weasels now want me to pay for theirs.