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Do not forgive student debt

I am pleasantly surprised that some liberal commentators agree with conservatives in opposing educational-debt forgiveness as President Biden considers such a proposal.

A blanket amnesty for debt many students acquire for education is wrong.  However, there certainly are steps that can and should be taken to reduce the burden of sizeable debt.

I have always supported the idea that some medical school graduates can reduce their debt by practicing in underserved areas of the country. That’s a good idea that benefits both doctors and patients. 

Similar plans could be devised for graduates in other fields—such as those programs already in place for primary and secondary teachers.

Where debt forgiveness is unacceptable is for students who majored in studies for which there are very low or no employment prospects. 

Yes, I’m sympathetic for them—to a degree (no pun intended).  But one should think long, carefully and realistically before incurring huge debt in the pursuit of a dream for which financial gain is unlikely.

Ph.Ds driving taxis or working as baristas (both jobs with merit but low salaries) is not a fair exchange for crushing debt.  But good academic and financial counseling before undertaking such an educational path should have been sufficient to warn of the consequence of such a choice.

The president, lawmakers and educational institutions should devise rightminded policies that recognize the pain of crushing debt for education.  Yet also underscore the need for loan recipients to understand their obligation—not avoid it.

The president, lawmakers and educational institutions should devise rightminded policies that recognize the pain of crushing debt for education.  Yet also underscore the need for loan recipients to understand their obligation—not avoid it.


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