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F your student loans

By Shun Smith

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

For anyone with a student loan, if it were a couch, I would put my muddy shoes on it and tell you, “Fuck your student loans.” For those of you who remember the Dave Chappelle Show, the most famous of all his skits was story time with the late Charlie Murphy and his hilarious interactions with Rick James. In one skit, Rick James was invited over to Eddie Murphy’s house and proceeded to sit down and kick back on Eddie’s couch all while yelling “Fuck your couch nigga!” In a not-so-dramatic fashion, many Americans like me are Rick James and your student loans are the couch. Instead of the Murphy brothers wailing on our legs, Joe Biden has taken action that some predict may wail on our pockets with more inflation.

Bipartisan news media reports that the half-a-trillion policy may increase the already high inflation hitting Americans by up to 0.08%. Besides the ill effects this will have on the economy, the glaring decision to tell Americans that personal responsibility doesn’t matter is a slap in the face to those of us who have paid off loans or don’t have a four-year degree.

Most Americans have not obtained a bachelor’s degree. The president seeks to place the burden of student debt cancellation ranging up to $20,000 directly on the back of taxpayers. Starting with some hard truth, the current wage gap between non-degree and four-year degree holders is over $20,000 annually. If you only have a high school diploma, you’re more likely to be unemployed than someone holding an associate degree or higher.

In typical democratic fashion, student loan debt relief has been painted as a black issue. In 2021, Color of Change hired Global Strategy Group (GSG) to conduct an online survey of 803 registered voters across the country. Black registered voters represented 120. The poll deduced that 84% of black voters support student loan debt elimination.

A few things to note: GSG is a major democratic consulting firm with clients like democratic politicians, American Civil Liberties Union, Google, and Pfizer to name a few. The firm has not disclosed annual revenue reports in over a decade, however other financial reports show millions have flowed from left-leaning groups.

Further, I am no statistician but a sample size of 803 people with a subset of 120 black voters with a +/- 3.5% margin of error is questionable. Nearly two decades ago before it became faux pa to question science and statistics. Columbia University Professor Andrew Gelman did just that, challenging the accuracy of small sample size polling representing America’s entire adult demographic.

In his 2004 piece for Scientific American, Gelman argued that public polling is generally a waste of time due to how frequently public opinion changes from day to day. It may be dubious of me, but I feel as if some black Americans may agree with student loan debt forgiveness because it has the allure of reparations. That’s just another carrot used during major election cycles to garner black votes.

But I digress. It would be low-hanging fruit to ask why we should pay for another’s underwater basket weaving degree or that graduate degree in gender studies. Although tongue and cheek, the previous statement does have some legitimacy. Why would anyone want to contribute to the delinquency of someone else’s financial obligation? Be it black or white, those individuals chose the schools, the degree paths, and selected the lender to finance that highfalutin education. 

Somewhere along the line, people became fine with the $100,000 tuition cost to attend public universities and earn a degree in any number of social service professions. Parents and borrowers became okay with universities price gouging degrees for future income potential.

Just imagine being a parent and logging on with your child and seeing that they want to attend Alabama A&M University or Delaware State University (both chosen at random). Both cost over $24,000 a semester, and both offer at least 60 programs (A&M lists 200), primarily in business administration and management. Upon further research, it was surprising to discover that in both states the business administration degree holder may earn over $42,000 a year.

There are a few things that may be happening. Colleges have greatly inflated the value of education and earning potential, job hunting sites overestimate salary projections, the new college graduate has floundered in the workforce, or D. all the above.

Regardless of the overestimated income earned of college graduates, the value of a four-year degree exceeds that of a median salary earner. Undoubtedly, student loan forgiveness will greatly benefit the middle class. That’s all thanks to the mandatory benefaction of the uneducated masses (myself included).

Before advocates started searching for government handouts via tax dollars to pay tuition, the conversation ought to have begun with the Department of Education followed by any university receiving government funding. Lowering the cost of higher learning hasn’t been addressed by policymakers and seems to be an afterthought. This leads us right back to the question, why are the rest of us footing the bill? Americans shouldn’t be made to feel sympathy or concern because politicians seek a quick midterm political win. So, fuck your student loans.

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Shun Smith

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