The Student Loan Scam
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “This is another bubble that’s getting ready to explode, that is the direct result of the arrogance and hubris of those men and women who run and administer the national federal monstrosity, who will not take no for an answer, who don’t have a modest bone or a sense of modesty in their body, and who have no sense whatever of what obligation it is that they are passing on not only to our children but to theirs, too, an obligation that cannot be met.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: From Lee Siegel, this was in the Sunday Review of the opinion pages at The New York Times, “Why I Defaulted on My Student Loans.” This is another bubble that’s getting ready to explode, that is the direct result of the arrogance and hubris of those men and women who run and administer the national federal monstrosity, who will not take no for an answer, who don’t have a modest bone or a sense of modesty in their body, and who have no sense whatever of what obligation it is that they are passing on not only to our children but to theirs, too, an obligation that cannot be met.
ONE late summer afternoon when I was 17, I went with my mother to the local bank, a long-defunct institution whose name I cannot remember, to apply for my first student loan. My mother co-signed. When we finished, the banker, a balding man in his late 50s, congratulated us, as if I had just won some kind of award rather than signed away my young life.
By the end of my sophomore year at a small private liberal arts college . . .
Mike: There is no such thing as a liberal arts college. There may be one or two, but there are no liberal arts colleges. A liberal arts college would teach the four, the quadrivium. They would teach astronomy, music, philosophy and – I’m rusty on my quadrivium. I’ll look it up.
. . . My mother could no longer afford the tuition that the student loans weren’t covering. I transferred to a state college in New Jersey, closer to home.
Year later, I found myself confronted with a choice that too many people have had to and will have to face. I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school. Or I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.
I chose life. That is to say, I defaulted on my student loans.
As difficult as it has been, I’ve never looked back. The millions of young people today, who collectively owe over $1 trillion in loans, may want to consider my example.
It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college. Having opened a new life to me beyond my modest origins, the education system was now going to call in its chits and prevent me from pursuing that new life, simply because I had the misfortune of coming from modest origins.
Am I a deadbeat? In the eyes of the law I am. Indifferent to the claim that repaying student loans is the road to character? Yes. Blind to the reality of countless numbers of people struggling to repay their debts, no matter their circumstances, many worse than mine? My heart goes out to them. To my mind, they have learned to live with a social arrangement that is legal, but not moral.
Mike: We could read the rest of the story but let’s just review. The guy took out student loans and his mother co-signed for him. He was sold this phony bill of goods that says you have to go to one of these four-year-long or five-year-long or six-year-long brainwashing institutes that are going to cleanse your mind of whatever your parents and your church and your God may have planted in there. They will completely erase, finish the job of erasing that the public schools didn’t do. In exchange for that, you get a little piece of paper that some guy sitting in some office playing air guitar on his phone when he’s not busy interviewing you is going to tell you that you have to have in order to be employed at his fine and august establishment, even though you have a degree in fashion marketing and you’re applying to be a sales clerk. We won’t split hairs now, will we?
How many kids out there – I saw a statistic. Rod Dreher had looked this up. The number of young lawyers being cranked out today of law schools is twice the amount of what is needed to fill law offices. Of course, there’s a way to fix that. Don’t become a lawyer; become a politician and write more laws so you need more lawyers to interpret them. That’s an easy fix. Believe me, they’re hard at work at this right now. That’s not inequitable, it’s an immoral, a deceitful fix, but, be that as it may, that’s what’s going on and what will continue to go on. But from the point of view of acquiring an “education,” you have to go to a university. It’s got to be: Look, if they don’t have a good football program, why would I want to go there? If they don’t have a good baseball program, basketball, why would I want to go there? There’s an awful lot of pride and vanity involved in this. This is not a blanket accusation because it can’t make that against all those institutions that have football and baseball programs, and that all of their programs are necessarily bad or corrupt.
However, we can conclude that the system that is now marshaled by and directed by the national legislature and the entity they had to create to administer this is corrupt. In order to know this, we would have to know a little bit about the old prohibition against what was called usury. The education institutions have gotten fat and happy. You can go to any college campus today and just marvel at the size of the stadiums, marvel at the size of the dorms and the swimming pools and every other architectural monstrosity – none of them are classically designed with any thought, with any aesthetic beauty. They look like, just compared to what beauty architecture can render, they’re ugly. They’re hideous. They’re horrid. And they’re expensive. The universities have taken the “we can be vainglorious and egomaniacal, too. Look at how big our dormitory is.
What is usury? Let’s interject usury into it. Usury is basically receiving a payment in excess of what the principal was on something that was lent that had no value. It was decried in the Old Testament. Our Lord decried it to a degree. People avoided interest and interest rate schemes all the way up to the Middle Ages.
Then banks came along and most people became accustomed to and made moral peace with banking as far as banking goes. That’s not what we’re talking about now. If usury is the concept that you have loaned something to someone and that something either did not belong to you or did not have a worth that you were going to execute before you loaned it – for example, if you loaned clothes that you were going to wear, obviously when you get them back they’re going to be ragged. If you loan them out for a year, they’re going to be full of holes or they’ll smell or whatever the case may be. You’ve lost the use of the clothes. It’s fair to say: Okay, pay me a rental fee. That’s not usury.
I don’t want to get too deep into this because it can get very complex, and I’m not an expert on it. I read about an hour’s worth of stuff last night to prep for this. Let’s just move onto the next phase here. Now that the national leviathan, the monstrosity that sits on the banks of the Potomac River, Mordor on the Potomac, now that it is nearly the sole purveyor and proprietor of student loans, where does it get its money to loan? This is how we can prove that this is unabashed, corrupt, immoral, sinful, deceitful usury. Where does it get its money it’s loaning to little Johnnie and little Susie? Is it its? No, it’s a government. It doesn’t have any money. Where would it get it from then? Well, it can either print it, meaning it has no value and no worth, or it can steal it from you and it can steal it from me. Then it can loan it out to little Johnnie and little Susie. If it does that, it didn’t own the money to begin with. It’s not its money. It’s your money; it’s my money. And they’re going to charge an interest on it and then persecute and prosecute our kids until the ends of the earth to force them to repay for something that was not theirs to loan in the first place.
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That is how despicable and disgusting this entire affair is. And the universities that go along with it and have gone along with it, what does that say about their ethics? How can you possibly teach the liberal art of philosophy when you don’t even know the first thing about simple ethics? When Lee Siegel says he gave his student loan up and encourage others to, people are going to say, [mocking] “He’s a deadbeat kid. He’s wrong.” I don’t know. I don’t know that he’s wrong. The only manner in which he may be wrong is that the kid agreed to the agreement. But they’re kids. When you’re 18, you’re not a financial genius, or most aren’t. You don’t know what the world has in store for you after it all. This is a huge problem and is a societal, civilization-wide corruption. Very few of the kids that go off to university should go off to university. Does that mean that they cannot receive some training in a skill that they may seek? No, it doesn’t. That’s what it amounts to, job training, which is not college. It’s not university. But since we redefine everything else these days, let’s just redefine that. The whole system is entirely corrupt.
End Mike Church Show Transcript