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Forums - Politics Discussion - Biden vs Trump 2024 Political Platforms, Policies and Issues

Chrkeller said:

Interesting graph below.  Almost like worthless degrees from for profit "universities" is in fact the problem. Hmm....

For-Profit schools make up a tiny fraction of total college enrollment, so even if they have a higher rate of default, they still make up a smaller fraction of total loan defaults (See first figure). That isn't to say that for-profit colleges don't present problems, but to say they are the problem, when they make up roughly 1/20th of college enrollment, should be clearly off the mark. Further, this data may be impacted by factors beyond quality of education, such as the socioeconomic status of the students entering. Those in families with lower income brackets are more likely to enroll in Private, For-Profit schools and Public 2-year programs (which have high default rates) and less likely to enroll in Private, Non-Profit schools or Public 4-year programs (which have lower default rates) (See second figure). 

EDIT: Also, as a quick aside, a lot of for-profit schools are trade schools/vocational schools. While there are multiple paths into those fields, it is kind of interesting that some of the solutions you posed earlier are part of the problem you are talking about now.

Last edited by sundin13 - on 14 April 2024

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sundin13 said:
Biggerboat1 said:

I feel you're being tad harsh here. I think there are a number of issued with this policy, if I'm understanding it correctly. Firstly it's treating a symptom rather than addressing the underlying cause. Is this gonna have to happen every decade to bail out the next generation? Why will their situation be any different than the current crop of debt-saddled graduates?

There's also a fairness component to this. It's not like your example above where an entitlement is given to people who's date of birth falls after a specific date. This forgiveness will treat people of the same age, studying the same courses at the same colleges, from the same backgrounds, differently based on whether they've been proactive in paying off their debt or not. Those who've endeavored to repay their debt will get nothing, whereas their contemporaries who've made it less of a priority will be let off the hook. In some instances this will be because some have made more money than others, but let's be honest, it's also because some people are more fiscally responsible than others.

It also potentially sets up a weird incentive structure going forward. Are future graduates gonna rush to repay their debts when they know there's a chance that it'll be done for them if they just wait it out...?

I live in Scotland and our fees get paid by the government. The loan that we take out for rent & living costs are repayable only when your income hits a certain threshold (27K per annum atm).  I think it's the case that whatever doesn't get repaid after 30 years is forgiven. This seems like a much better setup as obviously nobody is going to keep their salary under 27K just so they can dodge their loan in 3 decades time. But it also assists those who haven't been able to generate a decent income for whatever reason.

Bottom line, I think the US needs to address the route causes here rather than this measure, which yes, will help some vulnerable people, but will also reward others who've not been motivated or responsible enough to repay their debt when they could have, so I can see where chrkeller is coming from with some of his points tbh.

1) Talking about how it is a symptom is largely irrelevant. I don't see many people who are pro-loan forgiveness arguing against larger scale systemic fixes, but just because a symptom has causes, doesn't mean we shouldn't treat those symptoms. Seems like just deflection to me. It isn't an argument against loan forgiveness, it is just a different conversation.

2) The fairness component I also feel is nonsense. The entire point of society is progression. That means that people in the future won't have to suffer the same way as people in the past. It sucks that some people had to suffer under student loans, but that isn't a justification for making others suffer. 

3) Also worth noting that Biden has made progress in fixing the system as a whole such as implementing 20 year auto forgiveness (which is where a lot of this loan forgiveness is coming from), preventing interest from accruing beyond the initial principle (which is where a lot of the other loan forgiveness is coming from) and just making the current system work a lot better, like allowing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to actually work as intended for the first time.

1) I think it's relevant when someone who is taking a position against loan forgiveness, but for reform to the system that would benefit people going forward, is being labelled as selfish. I personally don't have a strong position on the loan forgiveness proposal as I don't know enough about the details. I did try to have a look but got a bit lost in the language being used in the particular articles I started to read...

2) How do repayments work in the US? Is it taken automatically upon reaching a certain salary threshold or is it voluntary? I mentioned earlier how it works in Scotland where certain degrees of debt forgiveness is built into the system & I'm perfectly happy with that. The bit that gives me pause around this policy (again, if I'm understanding it correctly), is that the rules are being changed in a retrospective way that benefits some who've simply not made the repayment of their student debt a priority, over those who have... I believe the forgiveness is means tested, only applying to those who make over 70K pa, or something, is that right? Does it also select for people who don't have significant assets? For instance, some may have bought a property/other assets rather than paying their debt, which again would leave a sour taste for those that paid their debt off before pursuing property ownership or investing in assets...

3) That's great, I think that's def a positive move!

BTW, let me just restate that my main gripe was with the direction this discussion was headed in terms of tone, rather than the particular policy itself.



Biggerboat1 said:
sundin13 said:

1) Talking about how it is a symptom is largely irrelevant. I don't see many people who are pro-loan forgiveness arguing against larger scale systemic fixes, but just because a symptom has causes, doesn't mean we shouldn't treat those symptoms. Seems like just deflection to me. It isn't an argument against loan forgiveness, it is just a different conversation.

2) The fairness component I also feel is nonsense. The entire point of society is progression. That means that people in the future won't have to suffer the same way as people in the past. It sucks that some people had to suffer under student loans, but that isn't a justification for making others suffer. 

3) Also worth noting that Biden has made progress in fixing the system as a whole such as implementing 20 year auto forgiveness (which is where a lot of this loan forgiveness is coming from), preventing interest from accruing beyond the initial principle (which is where a lot of the other loan forgiveness is coming from) and just making the current system work a lot better, like allowing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to actually work as intended for the first time.

1) I think it's relevant when someone who is taking a position against loan forgiveness, but for reform to the system that would benefit people going forward, is being labelled as selfish. I personally don't have a strong position on the loan forgiveness proposal as I don't know enough about the details. I did try to have a look but got a bit lost in the language being used in the particular articles I started to read...

2) How do repayments work in the US? Is it taken automatically upon reaching a certain salary threshold or is it voluntary? I mentioned earlier how it works in Scotland where certain degrees of debt forgiveness is built into the system & I'm perfectly happy with that. The bit that gives me pause around this policy (again, if I'm understanding it correctly), is that the rules are being changed in a retrospective way that benefits some who've simply not made the repayment of their student debt a priority, over those who have... I believe the forgiveness is means tested, only applying to those who make over 70K pa, or something, is that right? Does it also select for people who don't have significant assets? For instance, some may have bought a property/other assets rather than paying their debt, which again would leave a sour taste for those that paid their debt off before pursuing property ownership or investing in assets...

3) That's great, I think that's def a positive move!

BTW, let me just restate that my main gripe was with the direction this discussion was headed in terms of tone, rather than the particular policy itself.

1) Yeah, the way Biden has had to do forgiveness has essentially been to break it up to target it almost as much as possible so it can be pretty confusing to read through. I just feel like any path forward without helping the people who are already suffering inevitably misses the mark, especially when bigger change is not really systemically possible right now as that would have to go through Congress. Biden is doing what he can with what he has available to him. 

2) So, repayment is confusing too so I won't really be able to break it down too well. Under Biden's new systems, if you enroll in an Income Driven Repayment plan, I believe your payment will be dictated by how much you earn and it will be $0 under a certain threshold, but there are numerous other plans which work differently. You largely have the freedom to pick whichever works best for you. As for forgiveness, it isn't being applied retroactively, which means if you paid your loan back, you will not see forgiveness (with a few minor exceptions which I don't think are particularly relevant). If you've paid more there will be less to forgive. That said, much of the loan forgiveness is being applied to people who have already been paying for over 20 years (so, if someone had the capacity to pay their loan off more quickly, they still might be better off than if they paid more slowly and received forgiveness), or forgiveness of interest (which wouldn't accrue if you paid off more quickly and there would be no benefit to paying off slowly to get that forgiveness). Otherwise, it is being done through programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness which has existed for over a decade (and just been broken), so as far as the fairness argument, I think it is being done in a way that for the most part doesn't make people who didn't pay better off than those who did. As far as means testing, some of it is to some degree (like the interest forgiveness), but the things based on timelines largely aren't.



the-pi-guy said:
Chrkeller said:

Interesting graph below.  Almost like worthless degrees from for profit "universities" is in fact the problem. Hmm....

There's not "1 problem". There are several.

Even in your graph, nonprofit private universities are on the bottom, whereas public two year anniversaries are almost as bad (in this measure) as private for profit. 

Of course there are multiple problems.  But anyone who is unwilling to accept that stupid degrees isn't a huge problem, at both non profit and for profit, is either naive or disingenuous.

Engineers, lawyers, doctors, chemists, computer programmers, etc are unlikely to default on loans.

For profit needs to go away.  Trade careers don't need 2 year degree, it is called on the job.  And a good percent of degrees at traditional universities need to be removed from the curriculum.

Either way, I'll happily comment on other topics, but for loan forgiveness there isn't much else to say.  I'm against it because it does ZERO to fix the problem.  If a boat has a leak, the leak needs to be fixed.  Continually bailing water isn't the strategic nor sustainable option.  But I get it, loan forgiveness makes people feel good because reasons.  

I stand by my comments.  Feel free to have the last word on loan forgiveness, I'm pretty sure this horse is long dead.  



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sundin13 said:
Biggerboat1 said:

1) I think it's relevant when someone who is taking a position against loan forgiveness, but for reform to the system that would benefit people going forward, is being labelled as selfish. I personally don't have a strong position on the loan forgiveness proposal as I don't know enough about the details. I did try to have a look but got a bit lost in the language being used in the particular articles I started to read...

2) How do repayments work in the US? Is it taken automatically upon reaching a certain salary threshold or is it voluntary? I mentioned earlier how it works in Scotland where certain degrees of debt forgiveness is built into the system & I'm perfectly happy with that. The bit that gives me pause around this policy (again, if I'm understanding it correctly), is that the rules are being changed in a retrospective way that benefits some who've simply not made the repayment of their student debt a priority, over those who have... I believe the forgiveness is means tested, only applying to those who make over 70K pa, or something, is that right? Does it also select for people who don't have significant assets? For instance, some may have bought a property/other assets rather than paying their debt, which again would leave a sour taste for those that paid their debt off before pursuing property ownership or investing in assets...

3) That's great, I think that's def a positive move!

BTW, let me just restate that my main gripe was with the direction this discussion was headed in terms of tone, rather than the particular policy itself.

1) Yeah, the way Biden has had to do forgiveness has essentially been to break it up to target it almost as much as possible so it can be pretty confusing to read through. I just feel like any path forward without helping the people who are already suffering inevitably misses the mark, especially when bigger change is not really systemically possible right now as that would have to go through Congress. Biden is doing what he can with what he has available to him. 

2) So, repayment is confusing too so I won't really be able to break it down too well. Under Biden's new systems, if you enroll in an Income Driven Repayment plan, I believe your payment will be dictated by how much you earn and it will be $0 under a certain threshold, but there are numerous other plans which work differently. You largely have the freedom to pick whichever works best for you. As for forgiveness, it isn't being applied retroactively, which means if you paid your loan back, you will not see forgiveness (with a few minor exceptions which I don't think are particularly relevant). If you've paid more there will be less to forgive. That said, much of the loan forgiveness is being applied to people who have already been paying for over 20 years (so, if someone had the capacity to pay their loan off more quickly, they still might be better off than if they paid more slowly and received forgiveness), or forgiveness of interest (which wouldn't accrue if you paid off more quickly and there would be no benefit to paying off slowly to get that forgiveness). Otherwise, it is being done through programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness which has existed for over a decade (and just been broken), so as far as the fairness argument, I think it is being done in a way that for the most part doesn't make people who didn't pay better off than those who did. As far as means testing, some of it is to some degree (like the interest forgiveness), but the things based on timelines largely aren't.

Thanks, as is almost always the case, it's a bit more complicated than first meets the eye!

It at least passes the test of not seemingly being in the interests of any major donors, which is increasingly rare in US politics these days.



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Chrkeller said:
the-pi-guy said:

There's not "1 problem". There are several.

Even in your graph, nonprofit private universities are on the bottom, whereas public two year anniversaries are almost as bad (in this measure) as private for profit. 

Of course there are multiple problems.  But anyone who is unwilling to accept that stupid degrees isn't a huge problem, at both non profit and for profit, is either naive or disingenuous.

Engineers, lawyers, doctors, chemists, computer programmers, etc are unlikely to default on loans.

For profit needs to go away.  Trade careers don't need 2 year degree, it is called on the job.  And a good percent of degrees at traditional universities need to be removed from the curriculum.

Either way, I'll happily comment on other topics, but for loan forgiveness there isn't much else to say.  I'm against it because it does ZERO to fix the problem.  If a boat has a leak, the leak needs to be fixed.  Continually bailing water isn't the strategic nor sustainable option.  But I get it, loan forgiveness makes people feel good because reasons.  

I stand by my comments.  Feel free to have the last word on loan forgiveness, I'm pretty sure this horse is long dead.  

It'd be great if an independent body was brought in to produce summaries of the expected tangible benefits of any given degree, i.e. average increase in salary vs no degree or vs other types of degree, and these details had to be displayed in every prospectus or degree-specific ad. It's brutal spending all that time, money & effort on something that yields little or no advantage in the job market and plunges you into debt to boot...



Biggerboat1 said:
zorg1000 said:

I don’t think he’s a hypocrite for supporting healthcare but not higher education, it’s the reasoning of “I don’t want to pay for other people’s mistakes” that I feel is hypocritical.

I also don’t like the framing that we see too often that people with student debt are dead beat, morons who got a degree in a stupid, low paying field.

Even for the ones who did make poor decisions, most people are 17/18/19 years old when they sign up for these loans. I think someone has to be a pretty big asshole for having the view that people should have decades of debt because of mistakes they made as teenagers, an age group notorious for making poor decisions. They are legally not responsible enough to drink, smoke or rent a car but take on loads of debt without any proof of ability to repay? Go right ahead!

You can apply that principle to a whole host of situations people find themselves in. Should 17/18/19 YOs be forgiven for all the financial mistakes they've made? All debt forgiven across the board? All let out of prison for crimes they've committed? Should they be compensated for choosing the wrong careers, bad purchases, bad investments? 

The human brain doesn't fully mature until it's mid-twenties, so should the above be extended to those individuals too?

Everybody will have a different opinion on these & other similar scenarios, some will say yes to all, some no, but the vast majority will fall somewhere in-between, to varying degrees.

My main point is that I find it an ever-more common position for people on the left (where I'd broadly place my views incidentally) to say that whoever sits to the right of their particular views is by definition a bad person/selfish/greedy etc. This mentality will only derail the conversation into ad homs & honestly, who has ever changed their outlook & been won over by being told that effectively, they're a piece of shit? Shaming isn't gonna win hearts & minds.

This approach is also counterproductive to the person engaging in it as there will almost always be someone with positions to the left of theirs, who can then turn the tables & define them as a POS.

I fear that more and more people are being pushed to the right, when in actuality their positions start off in a more moderate place, but they're just tired of being talked down to and scolded.

Btw, I don't have an axe to grind with you here, I lurk more than I post and I find your overall contribution to the community a positive one.

These seem like random gotchas but I’ll reply.


What other major purchases do 17-19 year olds make? Things like vehicles and housing are the other common major life purchases people get loans for where the cost can rival that of college tuition but you need proof of income and credit history to prove you can pay them back. Also we are talking about federal loans so things personal loans, credit cards and car loans don’t really apply to the discussion. When it comes to public transportation and affordable housing, I do fully support the government significantly expanding these areas. I don’t think the government really has the authority to forgive private debt but I believe they should do things that help bring down the cost of living for all Americans so they can better repay these debts or not get into debt in the first place.

As for crimes, it depends on what the specific crime was but I don’t think young people (or people of any age for that matter) doing dumb things should ruin their entire lives. Of course, people should have to serve out their punishment whether that’s a fine, community service or jail time but in general I feel the government should do more to help rehabilitate and integrate former criminals back into society. Even after serving out their sentence, many face discrimination when it comes to employment, housing and other services which leads them back to a life of crime.

I don’t think it matters what category you bring up, it can be healthcare, housing, infrastructure, education, child care, labor rights, public safety, equality, criminal justice, environment/climate, etc. my answer will probably be that the government could & should have a more active role.



When the herd loses its way, the shepard must kill the bull that leads them astray.

Chrkeller said:

Either way, I'll happily comment on other topics, but for loan forgiveness there isn't much else to say.  I'm against it because it does ZERO to fix the problem.  If a boat has a leak, the leak needs to be fixed.  Continually bailing water isn't the strategic nor sustainable option.  But I get it, loan forgiveness makes people feel good because reasons.  

Killer analogy.

The boat has a leak. We can either bail the water to keep it afloat until we get to shore or we can sink. Saying "just patch it" isn't helping anyone, because Congress (not sure who they are in this analogy, but oh well, no analogy is perfect) isn't patching anything anytime soon and besides, even if they do patch it, the boat is still full of water. 

Sometimes, the "strategic" option isn't available (for one reason or another), so we can only do what we can with what we have. The Biden Administration is doing what it can with what it has to keep the people afloat until Congress gets its act together (which may take some time). 

I support keeping the boat floating, not refusing to bail the water because reasons.



You probably can't ban for-profit universities. That's probably a slippery slope of what you consider a university. You can probably do some other things, require for profit universities to specify that they're not accredited. 

Bernie Sanders was pushing various public education reforms long before Biden was pushing for Student loan forgiveness. Student loan forgiveness isn't the bar. It's just a quick band aid. That doesn't mean band aids are bad or have no purpose. 

Biggerboat1 said:

1) I think it's relevant when someone who is taking a position against loan forgiveness, but for reform to the system that would benefit people going forward, is being labelled as selfish. I personally don't have a strong position on the loan forgiveness proposal as I don't know enough about the details. I did try to have a look but got a bit lost in the language being used in the particular articles I started to read...

I'm not even particularly bothered by someone's positions. You can be against loan forgiveness without being selfish. If your argument is that it causes other problems, I'm okay with that. That's not necessarily selfish.

If your argument is "i don't want to help people, that would cost me money." That is selfish. Even the notion of "I turned out fine, why should we help anyone else" is fairly selfish mentality.

I will say though, that selfishness isn't inherently a negative. I selfishly want to live in a good world. I want my kids and their kids to be in good shape. 

But I think it's problematic to be against something that would help people on the basis of cost, when that cost is pretty much hypothetical. We're not likely to pay off the federal debt any time soon. 

Biggerboat1 said:

You can apply that principle to a whole host of situations people find themselves in. Should 17/18/19 YOs be forgiven for all the financial mistakes they've made? All debt forgiven across the board? All let out of prison for crimes they've committed? Should they be compensated for choosing the wrong careers, bad purchases, bad investments? 

The human brain doesn't fully mature until it's mid-twenties, so should the above be extended to those individuals too?

Everybody will have a different opinion on these & other similar scenarios, some will say yes to all, some no, but the vast majority will fall somewhere in-between, to varying degrees.

My bar for these things is "does it help society?"

Should people be let out of prison for crimes they've committed? That depends. What position are they in? Are they rehabilitated? Are they crazed axe murderers? Are they in there for nonviolent crimes? 

The point of all of this is not "people under the age of 24 or whatever should be free of whatever consequences of their actions." The point is not some blanket get of jail free card.

The point is "does this actually make the world a better place?" I would argue that keeping a 14 year old crazed axe murderer, who shows no remorse, in prison, makes the world a better place. 

Do student loans make the world a better place? If not, we should do something about that. Maybe that means decreasing interest rates, or wiping out the interest accrued altogether. Maybe it means changing how we pay those things back. Maybe it means wiping it outright. I'm good with pretty much any idea that isn't "we shouldn't make the world a better place, because it sucked for me and I got out of it."

Does it make the world a better place to punish a 19 year old mom, who started college, got pregnant and got stuck in a bad job because of those circumstances? I don't think that helps anyone.

Biggerboat1 said:

My main point is that I find it an ever-more common position for people on the left (where I'd broadly place my views incidentally) to say that whoever sits to the right of their particular views is by definition a bad person/selfish/greedy etc. This mentality will only derail the conversation into ad homs & honestly, who has ever changed their outlook & been won over by being told that effectively, they're a piece of shit? Shaming isn't gonna win hearts & minds.

This approach is also counterproductive to the person engaging in it as there will almost always be someone with positions to the left of theirs, who can then turn the tables & define them as a POS.

I fear that more and more people are being pushed to the right, when in actuality their positions start off in a more moderate place, but they're just tired of being talked down to and scolded.

This is not something that is exclusive to the left.

Right wingers have on multiple occasions basically made it illegal to be left wing. 

Most people think of themselves as being morally upright, and frequently think that people who disagree with them must be immoral. 

Pro-choice people are baby killers, don't you know? 

They're communists/socialists/liberals coming for your guns, your freedom, your knives, your religion, your cars, etc.

Or recently "no one wants to work anymore"

Maybe young people today are left wing, because right wingers villainize them?

Last edited by the-pi-guy - on 14 April 2024

sundin13 said:
Chrkeller said:

Either way, I'll happily comment on other topics, but for loan forgiveness there isn't much else to say.  I'm against it because it does ZERO to fix the problem.  If a boat has a leak, the leak needs to be fixed.  Continually bailing water isn't the strategic nor sustainable option.  But I get it, loan forgiveness makes people feel good because reasons.  

Killer analogy.

The boat has a leak. We can either bail the water to keep it afloat until we get to shore or we can sink. Saying "just patch it" isn't helping anyone, because Congress (not sure who they are in this analogy, but oh well, no analogy is perfect) isn't patching anything anytime soon and besides, even if they do patch it, the boat is still full of water. 

Sometimes, the "strategic" option isn't available (for one reason or another), so we can only do what we can with what we have. The Biden Administration is doing what it can with what it has to keep the people afloat until Congress gets its act together (which may take some time). 

I support keeping the boat floating, not refusing to bail the water because reasons.

Enjoy the ocean floor.  I hear it is lovely.   😀 

I've said my peace.  I don't support debt forgiveness.  I'm entitled to my opinion.

Edit

Biggerboat1 I think it 100% spot on.  Lots of middle aisle people feel that way.  A few years ago I was a hardcore  Democrat, not so much anymore.  Largely because Democrat's force assimilation, you can't even think slightly out of party lines...  see this thread for example.  I've gotten next to no respect despite valid points and agreeing on most other topics.  Democrats are all or nothing these days.  A shame to see free thought be discouraged.

  

Last edited by Chrkeller - on 15 April 2024

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