The 1961 Corvette was red and white. It’s an American classic of long ago days, but I can imagine myself driving down Highway 40 in this convertible, with a smile permanently pasted on my face as the summer wind whips through my hair. How could you have a bad day if you’ve this car to drive? The top end model has 315hp, which was a lot back then. It is gorgeous from any angle and it oozes cool. It’s truly a work of art and its picture would look good hanging on my wall. (Although in reality, my wife would relegate the picture to the garage.) It has an engine rumble that sounds so good and strong that I should make it my ringtone. It’s throaty and is so fast you’ll get a speeding ticket even when you are parked. If it were idling in my garage, it would shake the house. I like that. Sure, the new ones are faster, safer and get better gas mileage. A restored 1961 beauty will cost just as much as a new one, but given the choice, it’s an easy decision for me. The classic lines and curves are more enticing than the eye candy I’d find in Miami Beach. Well, maybe a close second.
But alas, I didn’t buy that car. No, I was stupid. I saved some money in my kid’s college savings plan. I should have bought the car and had my kids 100% finance their education with student debt. That would then require a vote for Elizabeth Warren for president, who last week said, “on day one of my presidency, I’ll use existing laws to start providing that debt cancellation immediately.” That would be great, I’d get the cool car, my children are debt-free and you, the American taxpayer, get to pick up my tab! What a country we live in.
The fact that many students are saddled with thousands of dollars of student debt is a real issue in this country, and I like that Senator Warren wants to do something about it, but more “free stuff” isn’t the answer. Student debt is expected to be repaid, whether you graduated or not. Here are my thoughts. How about encouraging kids to avoid large student loans. Or maybe encourage them to first attend community college. Warren’s plan is a real slap in the face to any family that saved for education or (gasp) worked their way through college on the 8 year plan or decided to go to a trade school instead. High school guidance counselors are not helping kids by telling them to pursue their “dream” college. How about teaching a reality check to high school students that you can’t get a car loan or buy a condo if you have $90,000 of debt (the cost of 4 years at CSU). College debt can’t be forgiven in bankruptcy, so it’s not going away, unless of course Warren becomes president. And while their having that conversation with the kids, try to steer them towards a degree that will actually result in a real job in the field they studied. If the only job available for a particular major is a college professor teaching that same subject, it probably isn’t a viable field of study. Plus, you’ll have to go back to school to get a Masters degree in order to be a professor! Unless you are a trust-fund kid, the purpose of getting a college degree is to more easily obtain a high paying career. The cold hard truth is that the purpose of going to college isn’t so you can expand your social life. I am sounding more like my own father, but he was right.
It’s unfair to the taxpayers to pick up the tab for adults (yes, believe it or not, college students are considered adults who willingly go into debt even while they are in their “safe space”). What do you think will happen to college costs if they know the government will forgive the debt? Do you think the costs will go down? Think again. If you thought college tuition was expensive now, just wait until it’s free.
I’d prefer to see politicians promise to provide real world, common sense and practical advice to high school students instead of pledging to forgive their loans. Unfortunately, our leaders in Washington aren’t known for their common sense and practical approach to governing.