Posted by: ginalazenby | August 5, 2013

The nightmare awaiting students …..

I have just been at Canada’s lifelong learning centre, Hollyhock, on Cortes Island for a special Summer Gathering of Social Change leaders. It has been a magnificent week.

Whilst there I have been meeting so many interesting people with fascinating stories. I thought I’d hang out with the younger folks one lunchtime but our conversation gave me indigestion. They told me about the student debt situation in the USA. The facts are unpalatable. When Derek Hoshiko started to explain what’s happening, I grabbed my iphone camera so that I could share their story …

All I can say is: shame on those who make the laws that allow this huge burden of debt to fall on the shoulders of the next generation. Get this …  student debt surpassed credit card debt as the largest form of debt in the USA and in 2012 more history was made as the amount of unpaid student debt surpassed a staggering $1 trillion dollars. Derek & his pals were plotting ways to take action to help students by forming a co-op to buy the debt from the bankers and service it at lower interest rates.

Read more about the situation in the USA on the Student Labor website …” Two-thirds of students walk across the graduation stage with a diploma in one hand and a bill in the other, at an average of $26,600. When they get home, they’ll most likely be met with a call from a debt collector …”. One way to unionise people at the start of their working life is to alienate them with an unjust burden.

I am guessing that if an older person walked off the street and asked for a loan the size of student loan they would be refused as any bank manager would see they it was an unsustainable debt and refuse them. Derek said that very few students really truly understood what they were letting themselves in for as they followed their friends and peer group into university. Their parents had memories of being able to work to pay off their debt whilst still at college but those days are gone …. such is the debt size now that it is impossible to graduate without a debt of (average) $26,000. Watch the short 2-minute video with Derek Hoshiko.


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