Skip to comments.Forgive us our student loan debt (Is forgiving debt a moral issue?)
Posted on 04/28/2012 6:42:37 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
We need to start taking student loan debt seriously, both as a troubling moral issue and as a ticking economic time bomb. By some reports, student loan debt will exceed 1 trillion dollars this year, more than the credit card debt of all Americans.
A whole generation of young Americans is at risk in this excessive borrowing. They fall further and further behind in servicing their debt because they have no way to keep up with the payments as many of them are unemployed or underemployed. They will delay starting marriage and families; they dare not take the risk of quitting a paying job (if they have one!) and starting their own business to create jobs, and they certainly cannot save to buy a home. They are trapped.
Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12) Forgiving debt is a moral issue. Forgiving some of the worst of this student debt is crucial literally to save this American generation.
President Obama has recently taken steps to ease student loan debt burdens. But the problem is too big. Some of this student debt needs actual legislation to deal with the whole system of the debt as Robert Applebaum calls for on his Web site, ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com.
Applebaum contends that executive orders can only do so much. It will take legislation that covers predatory practices as well as other changes to the way student loans are structured such as how interest is compounded. Applebaum also argues persuasively that forgiving student loan debt will stimulate the economy.
The kind of moral equality that Jesus asks us to pray for in the Lords Prayer can be seen in Applebaums argument. Jesus calls on us to pray, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
"Forgive and be forgiven. Americans are tied together in this student debt debacle, and debt forgiveness will help the forgivers as well as those forgiven."
"Currently, Im advocating debt forgiveness. It is the moral thing to do and it is the right civic thing to do. This is what Jesus actually meant; real debts, real debtors, forgiving and forgiven. This is what government is actually aboutof the people, by the people, for the people. We still have a chance to show young people that democracy can work for the common good.
Forgiveness. Its the right thing to do."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary
Former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (1998-2008), Thistlethwaite is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Here are a list of her articles for the WaPo:
Forgiveness is one thing. Suicidal business practices is another.
There is no such thing as ‘debt forgiveness’ when it comes to the government and business, someone has to pay it. Is it moral to take money from someone else to pay for another person’s debt?
They may try to make the analogy of you loaning something to a friend and wiping the debt clean, but the analogy is flawed.
Election hype intended to create a “narrative” for the indefensible. This makes as much sense as claiming that requiring ID for voting “discriminates against” the poor and minorities.
It was an immoral act to allow government funding of student loans in the first place. Because of government funding, the banks never had to consider a student’s ability to pay and schools didn’t have to figure out how to give a quality education inexpensively.
Now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Please hold off for a few years until my daughter starts (and finishes) college. Then she can run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that will then be forgiven and she nor her parents will have to pay a penny!
Yeah well, is this fair democracy to all the past generations who have paid their student loan debt as they agreed to do? The only difference between students now and in the past is Barack Obama is a desperate president wanting to be a hero and be re-elected at the taxpayers expense. This is not biblical, it is generational and class warfare being waged against the citizens of ths country by a socialist. Life is full of hardships, get over it.
Amen! Excellent post.
Wow Susan! Way to misquote the Bible to advance your own progressive agenda!
How about the verse where Jesus says to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”? How about we stop trying to buy votes for the Democratic machine by offering to give stuff to people who vote the “right” way?
Maybe it’s time to start preaching personal responsibility and stop telling the next generation that they get to do/buy anything they want and someone else will pick up the tab! And pitching a hissy fit doesn’t change that fact! If you were dumb enough to go 50K in debt to get a useless “Women’s Studies” degree, then I have no sympathy for you and I do hope that you put off having children forever!
The whole student loan industry is what has led to the massive increase in tuition - if we stopped the whole program tomorrow, colleges would have to get out of their little liberal bubbles and offer a better product at a reasonable price.
I hear “for profit universities” being blamed for this, and they may have their share of fault, but I don't see the University of Phoenix’s football team getting a new football stadium every few years. Not enough students go to "for profit universities" to drive up student loan debt higher than all credit card debt anyway, that is a diversion from the main villan, state governments, and state run universities.
State universities are just as complicit in driving up costs, and it is a moral issue to require reforms to bring the costs down before just bailing out students. If you bail out the students, you let the schools off the hook for reform.
Bailing out students can't really be done, because all that would do is transfer the individual’s debt to the government, and then they will still be paying off the government debt the rest of their lives.
A University undergraduate education is a total waste of money. I didn't learn a d@mn thing in almost all my undergraduate classes. They were just a rehash of the stuff I learned in high school.
Of course my proposal would put hundreds of thousands of left wing college professors into the unemployment line.
What could be better?
The only thing I will “forgive” is the author’s STUPIDITY!
Call for a Year of Jubilee, forgive all debt, then start over. :)
Besides, since the left owns the universities, online education is one way to cheaply take back the educating of our young. EVERY Christian College/University should be pushing or creating online extensions of their campus.
Online education could be a great equalizer.
Heaven help us if this is the teaching of a theological professor. Exactly, this is not biblical! She has not researched the stories of those who work a job in high school and during their college years, imagine a summer job.., and pay as they go!
Maybe since many are unemployed we need to have them volunteer a year or three to serve our country in the armed forces and pay them nothing. Adding that to the student loan application might help our situation.
Poor imPOTUS wants to help, but darn, it's too haaard for him .... what a crock!
He conveniently tries to deflect the responsibility to a "do-nothing" Congress or prior Administrations when he's hip-deep in the problem. To paraphrase another scripture, it's time to "Render unto Caesar" all the blame that belongs to him.
The Michigan house just voted to raise the cap on cyber schools. There are thousands on the waiting list. I realize you’re talking about college but this is good too.