As Forbes has it,
we are spawning a generation whose debt loads are already so high that they will be forced to forego the consumption necessary to create demand and employment for the rest of us–and consumers are the true job creators.
Currently, student debt is estimated to be around $1 trillion, and the average individual owes about $24,000. While this is roughly 1/10th the size of the mortgage debt that played the key role in triggering The Great Recession, it is also a type of debt that simply is very hard to get rid of. Furthermore, delinquency rates on student loans are currently 10%, but this is likely understated because of deferment options. Our current system has created a millennial generation in limbo. Many of us are not buying a house, starting a family, taking that trip to experience the world around us, or even paying rent on time. We are carrying the unsettled karma of a society that did not punish the banks for their abusive practices that caused the great recession, and now their talons are in the flesh of our nation's future.
For my part, I intend to help strengthen the existence in Atlanta of the Southern Debt Resistance Movement, and to that end, I contacted CACHE about organizing together.
There are exciting things happening in Chicago. CACHE is establishing a biweekly Debtors Unanimous meeting to allow people to learn that they are not alone and that they have options in facing debt. We will be doing the same in Atlanta. We are generating literature with practical knowledge about these meetings, debtors' options, and the movement itself. As we take this idea and turn it into a reality, we need to find organizers to roll out the movement across multiple campuses across the country. If this excites you, then please contact CACHE and join the movement to create a more just tomorrow. We will be in contact with you.
In the meantime, you can begin preparing through SELF-EDUCATION.
A good initial step is to read the following chapters from Strike Debt's The Debt Resistor's Operations Manual Chapter 4: Student Debt: Foreclosing on the Future and Chapter 9: Debt Collection: Don’t Feed the Vultures.
For additional resources regarding student debt, follow the links below:
Lessons Learned from the Privatization of Sallie Mae
Delinquency: The Untold Story of Student Loan Borrowing
Who Borrows Most?: Bachelors’ Degree Recipients with High Levels of Student Debt from the Trends in Higher Education Series
Direct Consolidation Loans from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office
For longer reads, Andrew Ross’s Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal and Alan Collinge’s Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History.
You may also sign a petition to support Warren's bill here.
3:08 PM PT: At the insistence of a certain Daily Kos member, I am compelled to point out that what the above quoted PCCC language refers to is a loan from the Fed, which is merely a national bank that exists within the taxpayer created and funded infrastructure of the United States Government, operates using the cables, roads, and on the soil which is funded and kept running by the United States Government, and the States and territories that also compose it, and operates under a charter from the United States government which grants it sovereign immunity (in the visage of limited liability) which is loaned from the power and privilege of the United States Government, which is an agent of the very taxpayers who the Fed is operating on behalf of.
The Fed determines the rates of loans following policies set by Congress.
The Federal Reserve System is not "owned" by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as "independent within the government.
The Fed operates on a profit; it is the bank of the United States, and is created so that it will operate at a profit. All of the rules are designed to that end, but you cannot take that fact in isolation and then suggest that this has any meaning in a vacuum.
The central purpose of the Fed is to "keep our money valuable and our financial system healthy." The Fed rationalizes the said loans to banks that get as low as .75% because this supposedly keeps our money valuable and our financial system healthy, but I suggest that these rates given to the students who are supposed to be the backs on which our future economy will be towed, is a far more sensible way to meet that goal
Further, taxpayers own the money that the Fed generates, that is why surplus money held by the FED goes into the Treasury. Logically, if surplus money goes to the Treasury, and some of the money is meted out to big banks at low interest rates, then the money, it follows, would otherwise go to the tax payers. It is not a stretch to say that this money belongs to tax payers.
Thus I cannot honestly say that the Fed is directly collecting your tax dollars and then loaning them to big banks at low interest rates, but the effect is pretty much the same.