Friday, May 11, 2012

A Brilliant Point

From Joanne's blog:
Frank Fleming offers a modest proposal to solve the student loan and debt problem: Set a minimum age of 30 for college loans.
In a sane world, if a teenager walked into a bank and said, “I would like a $50,000 loan to major in modern dance,” the bank manager would call security, who would then pummel the stupid kid, and everyone would end up smarter for it. But what happens instead is that Uncle Sam walks by and says, “I like his moxy. Give him the loan; I’ll guarantee it. And I’ll make sure he can’t ever get out of his stupid choice through bankruptcy.” So they give this giant amount of money to a dumb kid, and then the colleges are waiting outside, saying, “Hey! They’re giving huge loans to moron teenagers; we need to get some of that money!” So we have colleges preying on these gullible saps, increasing costs while their diplomas plummet in value in a complete mockery of our capitalistic system.
We don’t let 18-year-olds buy alcohol,  Fleming points out. Why let them borrow huge sums of money? If the borrowing age for student loans was set at 30, borrowers “might actually have some idea of what money is and what debt means.”
I don't know why this is "a modest proposal", as I could take it entirely seriously--unlike the eating of Irish babies.

On a related note, I truly don't understand why parental income is taken into account when determining what price to charge adults for college.  That's some crazy market distortion, there.

1 comment:

C T said...

Not to mention hugely unfair to those whose parents decide to treat them like adults once they're 18. We don't have a college fund for our kids. We are sacrificing here and now to give them a good start and expect them to be primarily responsible for themselves when they become legal adults. Of course, we'll help a little financially (a place to live if they stay local, some travel funds, etc.), but when they reach adulthood, they'll be young, energetic, and well-educated and so in a position either to make a decent income while going to college or get merit scholarships and graduate fellowships. They absolutely can't rely on us to spend $40K+/year on college, even if we have enough money for it. (Not that we think we will....)

Lest that seem cold, please consider the double standard US society has for sexual activity in the young. Messing around with intimate bodily fluids and possible creation of another life at 16 - unavoidable. Working through college at 18+ - victim of mean parents. Youths are expected to remain dependents when it comes to school and adult-like when it comes to one of the most complicated aspects of human existence, one that too many older adults have serious problems with. We'd be better off as a nation flipping these expectations. At the very least, having our adult children support themselves through college is likely to make them more responsible in their sexual behavior, if only for lack of free time. :)