During an economic downturn, one of the reasons I think people don’t spend money is debt. For students in particular, the debt is a metric gob (one metric gob equals twenty metric shit tons). For the newly graduated, paying off massive debt becomes part of the privilege of an advanced degree with a higher paying job. I’m not an economist but wouldn’t a population spending money from their higher paying job help the economy?
Let’s look at an example from Ted. He is your average American guy. He likes football, smashing beer cans on his head, and has auditioned for High School Musical at least twice. He studied micro underwater transistorized converter biology zirconium chips, and received his BMUTCBZCA degree. The schooling cost about forty thousand in students loans and now he is gainfully employed at MUTCBZC LLC B2B CRM PSA NFL NBA LOL HF TTYL IF YOU HAVE ONE MORE ACRONYM I WILL FUCKING END YOU. Instead of buying the forty thousand dollar home entertainment system, Mustang (horse not car), or Malibu Stacy Ultimate Dream Collection, Ted pays off his debt. He later wipes a single tear from his eye as he realizes that Malibu Stacy would have made the High School Musical cut. The point being, those with debt aren’t spending money.
In the spirit of Ideas That Won’t Change the World, I have the answer to such quandaries. To reform the educational system, the government must breed Tribbles. Those lovable, furry, infesting creatures from the Star Trek universe are the key to the student loan crisis. Simply place the fuzz buckets into any given financial aid office, watch them reproduce, and repeat this process until student loans are gone like the good ol’ days (“When I was your age, I had to wait all night to download one song! You ingrates!”). With no students receiving money, the student lending money reservoir will begin to over flow. Simply divert the cash reserved for the student to the institution responsible for the education. Ultimately, the colleges end up with the money anyway, why should the student repay money their school spent on a coffee mug design?
Since all the money normally reserved for student loans is now being paid to the educational institutions, eliminating tuition should be simple, like telling Slow on the Intake Hank to flip the switch. His strait man friend will then scream wildly, “No not that switch! That’s the launch every nuclear weapon switch!” Hank’s only response: a shrug and a laugh track. Ensuring the student’s education will remain free is fairly simple. All the staff in charge of student loan collections will be retrained with medieval torture tactics. Supply the agents with an ax and have them use the “crazy eyed stare” during accounting meetings.
What’s the return for the federal government by handing out all this money with no direct return on investment? The government throws around money for less fruitful ventures (The Missing $25 Billion), why not invest in students? With an educated, well trained, and higher paying population, I’d imagine the government will reap some benefit. Maybe with well paid, debt free employees, there will be more economic growth and tax revenue. After all, well-educated college graduates need to purchase parts for their robot armies somehow! Ignore that last comment.
While I might not know the complexities of a robust economy, I believe people with debt don’t contribute to growth. Starting out most of the working force with an average of thirty thousand dollars of debt doesn’t seem to be the seed of a bustling economy. Student loans need serious reformation. Unfortunately, in a complex society simply nailing theses to a doorway won’t work. Law makers need to think outside the box… where they are locked up… until they think of a solution that doesn’t suck.