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Student Loan - The Next Financial Crisis

Your concern is my concern!

40 million Americans owe more than 1.2 trillion dollars in student loans.   The amount of debt is bigger than all of the credit card debt in America.    It is predicted that the next financial bubble in the U.S. to burst is the student loan bubble.    It’s a matter of fact that student loan is already killing the economic prospects of millions young Americans.       Added to the insult, companies prefer to hire cheaper foreign workers under the H-1B program sponsored by our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren while American students in STEM fields are going to huge debt for their education.   When these young American graduates, they are being discriminated by companies.

As a doctor in America, I have plenty of student loans – even more than most of you.      I went to school in the Netherlands, if I was a Dutch citizen, it would have been free for me.   But I am an American citizen so I have to pay the full cost of tuition with student loan.     In Europe, higher education is free and people there look at the student loan debt that American students have to take on with horror.      They actually don’t understand why American students tolerate it and not having a political revolution.    A cousin of mine graduated from one of France’s best universities.   After earning a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economic and Political Science, one of the world’s top economic schools, she took a huge pay-cut to take a job at the United Nation doing economic development in Africa after spending a couple of years working as an investment banker in London.   She told me that the only way she could afford to take this huge pay-cut was because she had no student loan to worry about so she could afford to take risk.     In the U.S., even if you graduate from a famous public university like U.C. Berkeley, your student loan is still considerable and your job option would be limited since the student loan is hanging around your neck like an albatross.     A medical student from an American medical school is buried in educational debt up to his neck.   That’s why he/she cannot afford to be a primary doctor.    It’s a big loss for American society at large and it’s one of the reasons why American medicine is so expensive compared to other industrialized countries.

Under my watch, student loan would be one of my top 3 priorities in Congress (the other two are reforming the foreign-worker visa like the H-1B and pushing for a single-payer/public healthcare option).     The 3 issues are actually linked as you can see from the testimonials below.    The presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposes a free university system similar to what is available in Europe.    That’s nice and I support it completely.    But what about the people who currently have student loans like you and me and 40 million other Americans?     Will there be loan forgiveness for existing student loan if higher education becomes free?     I certainly hope so and I will definitely push for it in Congress.    Or at least the loan interest should be much lower than it is right now.     Banks are able to borrow from the U.S. Treasure at close to 0% interest.     Then why the interest for the cheapest student loans for American students is almost 6% and much more for more expensive loans?    I believe that the interest rate on student loans shouldn’t be higher than a 30-year mortgage rate which is currently under 3% (banks are already making tons of money from the 30-year mortgage rate at 3%).       And the total amount of student loan should be completely forgiven after 10-year of payment (which is current system in Australia right now).    And student loan should be treated just like any other loans that can be discharged at bankruptcy.    It used to be the case until American banks got greedy and they pushed for Congress to change the rule.    I will push to reverse this change.    Let me remind the voters of the 19th Congressional district once again that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren voted to bail out the banksters in 2008 at the cost of a trillion dollars for American taxpayers.     Her bailout only helped a tiny number of banksters who destroyed your retirement savings and your children’s college funds and brought us the greatest recession since the 1930s.    For a similar amount, what I am proposing actually help at least 40 million Americans among whom are your children and grandchildren.  How many times in her 20+ plus years in Congress have you heard Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren talked about the issue of student loan?    Zero.      In her decades in Congress, the student-loan and healthcare issues have been totally neglected by her.     As I already told you, if you look at her record in Congress, the only things she has done is pandering to the illegal immigrants to get votes and to sell American citizens out to corporate interests with the H-1B program.    


Anonymous 12 minutes ago

You can't trust Zoe Lofgren any farther than you can throw her. 

She is a fat immigration lawyer who's sole purpose to support the immigration lawyers and their pocketbooks.

The original H1-B mess is hers and hers alone. When speaking to her about all the negative aspects of the H1-B program she always pulls the "we need more data" or "we need to have a study". It is and has been clear that she does not support the best interest of the American workers. People like her are responsible for thousands and thousands of Americans losing their jobs, careers, houses and many times their families.

Do away with worker visas, we have enough workers already!

Wyatt  South Carolina

December 8th, 2010  11:10 am

This article is the same Kool-Aid we have been drinking for years. Taking savings from a foregone Disney vacation would not put a dent in the costs of the cheapest masters degree program! Oh, well there is always student debt to take on! And then you say that college educated people are only 5% unemployed on average. If he is going for a masters it is implied that he is college educated. Looks like that didn't really work out either. And what will be the point of going into debt to get this education when people like you are pushing as hard as they can to bring in ever more foreigners to take all the jobs that this guy would be studying to get?

233.HIGHLIGHT (what's this?)

Logan  Portland, OR

March 7th, 2011 12:42 pm

College degree? Please. I'm 14 months out of law school. I live with my parents, work nights at a bar, volunteer with legal aid, and am running for city council. If I win the election, I'll receive the princely sum of $300 per month. Meanwhile, I have $80k+ in student loans that I cannot envision myself ever paying off short of winning the (job) lottery.


 Ravenna Ohio 13 hours ago

NO MORE HB1 VISAS unless it is absolutely proven by the company requesting the visa that there are no American citizens with the skills to perform the job. No more Disney and Silicon Valley hiring foreigners to save money and drive down wages and leaving our kids saddled with high debt from going to college.

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David Brooks’s column struck me as particularly tone-deaf to the realities of being a young person in America today. If he had considered that even the most well-educated millennials have come of age by entering a dismal job market of stagnating real wages with an average of more than $30,000 in student loans,then maybe Mr. Brooks wouldn’t find it so “amazing” that we young Americans look with envy to a continent of free college and a strong safety net.


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 New York 4 hours ago

Isn't it a crime that we allow lending institutions to make money using government borrowed money (currently with little to no interest) from our vulnerable young people? As Elizabth Warren said, students should be able to borrow at the same low rates that banks do...we don't need college students paying the middle man...and while I'm at it...why is college SO expensive? should be better supported for by our government...instead of paying for wars and tax breaks for the very rich.

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 Tennessee 4 hours ago

We can talk left and right about personal responsibility in college debt but the larger picture is why is college so damn expensive? Why was (mandatory) food and board so expensive? 

You can give kids a clear view of their loan burden before going into college but I don't think it will make them take out less loans - this is the ugly cost of going to school in America. Trust me: I graduated from undergrad with $72k in loans. My French husband graduated from an elite engineering school in France with $0 in debt.

The only reason we were financially able to buy a house was because all those years of not paying back student loans allowed him to save up for a down payment.

There are a million of angry things I could say about student loans and the very real burden they put on our young, but I will only praise the French system instead: the only reason I'm even able to pay for a NYTimes subscription is because of them. Thanks, France. Keep up the good work.


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