The fact is that the total of student loans outstanding, and the administration thereof, represent a huge and perhaps insoluble problem where trusting students unknowingly have signed up for a lifetime of troubling financial issues by borrowing money that they won't be able to repay.
And another simple fact is that the K-12 focused Department of Education wasn't created to help students and their families. Instead its intention was and is to assist 'union educators' and their political allies. Yes, politics sucks.
College lending programs are no longer primarily centered around serving the best interests of the students. As the student loan crisis grows bigger each day, the U.S. Department of Education seems to be totally disinterested is dealing with the issues confronting new and old borrowers alike.
1 - STUDENT LOANS
A Student Loan System Stacked Against the Borrower says this in part:
"“It feels like I’m being set up to fail.”
That’s how Patrick Wittwer, 31, described his experience trying to repay his roughly $50,000 in student loans. Between misdirected payments by one of the companies servicing his loan and the abusive collection tactics he encountered when he fell behind, Mr. Wittwer said the repayment process simply seemed stacked against him. . . .
Consumer advocates say student-loan servicers often make an already heavy debt load even more burdensome for borrowers. . . .
A report issued late last month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau supports this view. Even though the economy and labor market have improved, student loan borrowers are experiencing high distress levels compared with borrowers with other types of consumer debt, the government report found. More than one in four student loan borrowers are delinquent or in default on their obligations.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we learned repeatedly about dubious practices among mortgage servicing companies that made it harder for homeowners trying to repay or renegotiate their loans. Now, similar horror stories are emerging about the companies servicing student loans....
Repaying a student loan is challenging enough without servicers adding to the burden with incompetence or dubious practices. Borrowers and taxpayers deserve better."
2- DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Department of Education isn't what it purports to be. What should be a focus on the well being of the kids and their parents isn't that at all. Initiatives such as government funded school choice, advice on the perils of borrowing for college, and courses dealing with basic financial literacy aren't part of the Department of Education's standard 'curriculum.' Instead there exists a collusive partnership between government and the professional 'union educators' who combine to make up the education establishment.
Educators are failing to teach tomorrow's leaders about the virtues of American private enterprise and how that has made our nation and its citizens the most prosperous in world history. In today's American system of education, the idea of a meritocracy and individual entrepreneurialism is absent. Instead the trend of embracing mediocrity and equality in results is everywhere.
We call teaching a profession, but the teachers are paid according to seniority and level of formal education. Their job security is guaranteed by the tenure system, and there is a systemic powerlessness to remove poor teachers from the classroom. Meanwhile, the good ones go largely unrewarded in the name of producing 'income equality' for those bad teachers, regardless of performance.
Since this embrace of socialist practices prevails in teaching, can you guess what our kids are being taught about free markets while in school? Not much, if anything.
In any event, Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan in 'A memo to President Carter about creating the Department of Education' offered this advice:
"From a 1978 memo to President Jimmy Carter from Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan regarding the possible creation of a U.S. Department of Education:
The following are the major political considerations that you should be aware of in making this decision:
1. The teachers organizations—particularly the National Education Association—are the fastest growing, most active, and by many standards the most effective political organizations in this country. With a membership that exceeds two million, they comprise one of the most committed and articulate political constituencies in our country.
2. These groups—particularly the NEA—have been our political friends in the Presidential campaign and our allies on many crucial legislative battles. For the first time in its 114 year history, the NEA endorsed a Presidential candidate in the 1976 general election. . . .
I would strongly recommend that you support the creation of a separate Department of Education for the following reasons:
Your unequivocal promise in the campaign to do so
The teachers of this country have been our political friends in the past and can be our valuable political allies in the future
The arguments for the creation of a separate department are at least as convincing as the arguments are against it
If you make the decision not to create the separate department, I would strongly recommend that we not pursue some organizational middle ground that would allow us to claim that we have met our campaign promises to the teachers. We promised a separate department, and I think that it would be an insult to our teacher friends to argue that some internal reorganization is a satisfactory substitute for the separate department they were promised."
When the outcomes and costs are appropriately factored into the equation, today's American system of public education doesn't measure up well when compared to the 'good old days.'
Politics still sucks.
So do the effects of America's collusive government and union dominated system of education from kindergarten though college and beyond.
That's my take.