Our “Let’s Pretend” Economy: Let’s Pretend Student Loans Are About Education
by Charles Hugh Smith
Let’s pretend student loans aren’t just a stupendous and highly profitable scam being run on the youth of America. Of course pretending doesn’t make it so.
We have a “let’s pretend” economy: let’s pretend the unemployment rate actually reflects the number of people with full-time jobs and the number of people seeking jobs, let’s pretend the Federal government borrowing 10% of the GDP every year is sustainable without any consequences, let’s pretend the stock market actually reflects the economy rather than Federal Reserve monetary intervention, and so on.
We also have a “let’s pretend” education/student-loan game running: let’s pretend college is “worth” the investment, and let’s pretend student loans are about education. There are three dirty little secrets buried under the education/student-loan complex’s high-gloss sheen:
1. Student loans have little to do with education and everything to do with creating a new profit center for subprime-type lenders guaranteed by the Savior State.
2. A college diploma’s value in the real world of getting a job and earning a good salary in a post-financialization economy has been grossly oversold.
3. Many people are taking out student loans just to live; the loans are essentially a form of “State funding” a.k.a. welfare that must be paid back.