Published on 3 Aug 2019
Published on 3 Aug 2019
OTTAWA — The risk of student loan defaults and delays has been on the rise, and the “system is broken,” officials warned the federal government in a presentation earlier this year.
Federal student debt alone is approximately $17 billion and the Liberal government has to regularly write off millions of dollars in loans it will never collect, say the documents, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
The presentation, dated five days before the Liberals tabled their 2019 budget, said the costs for post-secondary education have increased at rates “above wage growth and inflation” over the last decade, while the cost of living has also jumped, creating an affordability crunch for new and graduating students.
Nonetheless, post-secondary education remains a must for many entering the job market, the documents acknowledge.
As a result, there are “rising perceptions of student loans as ‘anchors’ on the economic mobility, risk tolerance and aversion, and quality of life for the first decade of students after graduation.”
The presentation makes recommendations for how to address the problem, but they were blacked out in the documents. Student groups say they have ideas of their own, including more non-repayable grants and waiving interest payments on student loans.
The Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations are each readying to launch get-out-the-vote campaigns on campuses to get students to cast ballots in the Oct. 21 federal election.
JULY 29, 2019
Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. That point inevitably arrives on the liabilities side of the economy’s balance sheet.
But what of the asset side? One person’s debt is a creditor’s claim for payment. This is defined as “savings,” even though banks simply create credit endogenously on their own computers without needing any prior savings. When debts can’t be paid and debtors default, what happens to these creditors?
As President Obama showed, banks and bondholders can be bailed out by new Federal Reserve money creation. That is what the $4.6 trillion in Quantitative Easing since 2008 was all about. The Fed has spent the last few years supporting stock market prices (and holding down gold prices) by manipulating the forward option markets.
But this artificial life support to keep the debt overhead afloat is nearing the reality of the debt wall. The European Central Bank has almost run out of available euro-bonds to buy. The new fallback position to keep the increasingly zombified U.S. and Eurozone financial markets afloat is to experiment with negative interest rates.
Writing down savings by a few percentage points helps bring the glut of creditor claims marginally back towards balancing bank deposits with the ability of debtors to pay. But such marginal moves are rarely sufficient. A quantum leap is needed.
Governments have long followed a basic guideline when faced with a need to devalue their currencies (for instance, as the dollar was devalued against gold in 1933). Nothing is worse for a politician or central banker than to be overly shy when it comes to devaluation. The motto is, “Always depreciate to access.” That means at lest 25 percent, often a third when a basic structural adjustment is needed.
The recent experiment in negative interest rates writing down savings as a necessary compliment to the inevitable debt writedowns means that financial policy makes are beginning to fact the hitherto unthinkable fact that many zombie companies and debtors have no foreseeable means of paying the amounts that they owe on paper.
The tendency of debts to grow exponentially at rates in excess of the economy’s ability to create an economic surplus to pay creditors has been known for nearly 5,000 years. My book “… and forgive them their debts” describes how ancient Near Eastern rulers recognized the inherent tendency of financial dynamics to cause instability, leading to debt bondage and forfeiture of land to creditors.
To prevent this rising indebtedness from tearing their realms apart, rulers started their first full year on the throne by clearing away the overhang of arrears that had been accruing on personal and agrarian debts. The aim was to restore an idealized “mother condition” in which bondservants were liberated, able to start with a Clean Slate with their self-support land returned to them, in balance with regard to their income and outgo.
An analogy would be the idyllic condition that the U.S. economy would achieve if we could restore the financial situation that existed in 1945. The end of World War II left an economy in which most families were almost debt-free. Families and businesses and were rife with cash, as there had not been much opportunity to spend during the wartime years, and the Great Depression had wiped out substantial debts. Returning soldiers were able to start families and buy homes by committing to pay only 25 percent of their income for 30 years. This era was as close as the United States came to a Clean Slate. Today it seems an unrecoverable golden age – as the ancient Near East seemed to be to debt-wracked imperial Rome.
Germany’s Economic Miracle consisted of its Allied Monetary Reform of 1948 – a Clean Slate erasing most personal and business. That debt cancellation was fairly easy because most debts were owed to Nazis, and the Allies were glad to see their savings claims for payment wiped out.
Fast forward to today: Indebted students graduate with an obligation to pay so much education debt that they cannot qualify for mortgages to buy homes of their own. Marriage rates are down, U.S. homeownership is plunging, and rents are rising. Automobile debt also has soared, leading to rising default rates second only to student debt defaults. The overhang of junk-mortgage debts that crashed the economy in 2008 remains on the books of families who managed to survive the ten million foreclosures under the Obama bailout of Wall Street. (His constituency turned out to be his Donor Class, not the junk-mortgage victims among his voters. He characterized them as “the mob with pitchforks” to the banksters he invited to the White House to celebrate his bailout.)
By driving down interest rates, the Fed’s policy of Quantitative Easing has subsidized an enormous debt buildup without increasing the interest burden proportionally. This has enabled corporations to carry much higher debt and even indulge in leveraged buyouts and stock buyback programs.
This QE policy has made financial engineering much more enriching than industrial engineering. But it has painted the U.S. and European economies into a corner. At some points, interest rates will inevitably begin to rise back up. Some countries will have to increase rates in order to borrow to stabilize their exchange rates when their balance of trade and payments falls into deficit. Other countries will simply see that the game is over and will give up the pretense that the personal, corporate and public-sector debt overhead can be paid.
It is to prepare for this inevitable eventuality that Europe is experimenting with its trial run of negative interest rates. Once the technique is established, it will prepare the way for the inevitable step of writing down national savings in line with the economy’s ability to pay.
That ability is shrinking much more than at any time since the 1920’s, which gave way to the Great Depression despite the many debt writedowns of 1931-32. The exponential mathematics of compound interest have created more and more claims on personal income and corporate cash flow, leaving less and less to be spent on goods and services.
Until a debt write-down occurs, storefronts will continue to close, arrears will mount, students will continue to postpone marriage and family formation, high-risk bonds will begin to give way and default.
That should be what economic theory is all about. But for the past generation, economic models have pretended that banks and creditors act responsibly enough not to make bad loans. Pension fund managers pretend that they can provide for future retirement by corporate or public employees by earning 8 percent annually ad infinitum, doubling every 7 years, as if this is really possible in an economy not really growing outside of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector (and even so, growing at only 1 or 2 percent). How then can the economy pay its debts without imposing financial austerity much like Third World countries subjected to IMF austerity programs?
Today’s economic orthodoxy denies that this debt problem can exist. Debt dynamics and the exponential growth curve of compound interest does not exist in the parallel academic universe that somehow has been situated in the social science department instead of the literature department as science fiction.
Perhaps someday a revamped economics curriculum will include the study of history to see how earlier societies have coped with the inherent tendency of debts to increase faster than the ability to be paid. It is a long history with many examples. Western civilization has failed to solve the financial problem that Near Eastern societies were able to cope with by intervening from “outside” the economy.
But these formative debt experiences are as repressed today as sexual drives repressed academically before the work of Freud. Academic economists are financial prudes. Debt cancellation is historically the solution. Quantitative Easing and bailouts of the One Percent can only be a temporary substitute. We should think of them as “abstinence” from recognizing the need to write down bad loans (“savings”) along with the bad debts.
Living on the edge, being dragged down by debt, and having little hope for the future is no way to live. But that is precisely where most Americans find themselves in 2019. Despite a supposedly “booming economy”, the middle class continues to shrink and most of the country is barely scraping by from month to month. In fact, a brand new survey that was just released by Charles Schwab discovered that 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck…
Overall, 59 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, according to the survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by Charles Schwab.
However, the Millennial generation (people ages 23-38) was the most likely to struggle in between payday, at 62 percent, followed by Generation X (60 percent), Generation Z (55 percent) and Baby Boomers (53 percent).
I realize that those numbers look really high, but this is really where we are at as a society.
In fact, a study that was just conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago found that 51 percent of all “working adults” would not be able to cover basic necessities “if they missed more than one paycheck”…
Missing more than one paycheck is a one-way ticket to financial hardship for nearly half of the country’s workforce.
A new study from NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent social research institution, found that 51% of working adults in the United States would need to access savings to cover necessities if they missed more than one paycheck.
So when the next recession strikes, millions of Americans that suddenly lose their jobs could find themselves facing financial disaster almost immediately.
The survey that was just released by Charles Schwab found that there are a lot of reasons why Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and “rising college debt” is one of them…
‘Spending is certainly one factor,’ said Terri Kallsen, executive vice president for Schwab Investor Services.
‘But especially for younger Americans, we know there are factors beyond their control that make it difficult to save, including rising college debt, stagnant wages and the high cost of living, particularly in urban centers,’ she told DailyMail.com.
Today, Americans owe more than 1.5 trillion dollars on their student loans, and it is a bubble that keeps getting worse with each passing year. The following numbers about our growing student loan debt crisis come from CBS News…
Currently, 43 million Americans have student debt. The average household with student debt owes almost $48,000 and 5.2 million borrowers are in default.
Meanwhile, college costs keep rising. At Ohio State, a public university, in-state students pay $27,000 a year. Stanford University costs $74,000.
Personally, I don’t know why anyone would ever pay $74,000 a year to go to Stanford.
And as far as Ohio State and other public universities are concerned, the truth is that you can get a better education from the Internet without too much effort. I spent eight years studying at public universities, and the quality of education is a joke.
But we fill the heads of our high school students with all of this nonsense about how college “is the key to a bright future”, and we encourage them to not even worry about how much it will cost.
So they pile up enormous loans, and many of them don’t even realize that they are destroying their financial futures until it is too late.
When 25-year-old Taylor Smith first discovered how high her student loan balance had gotten, she immediately had a panic attack…
To pay for her education at Texas A&M University, Smith worked full-time throughout college. She also cobbled together 11 student loans.
“I probably graduated with about $53,000 in student debt,” Smith said. “That number hit me for the first time my last semester of college. And it was the first time I saw the full balance. And I had a panic attack immediately.”
Our system of higher education is deeply broken, and radical change is desperately needed.
Another reason why Americans are living paycheck to paycheck is because of social media envy. The following comes from USA Today…
Call it keeping up with Instagram.
Thirty-five percent of Americans admit they feel pressured to spend more than they can afford after seeing images of their friends’ lives on sites like Facebook and Instagram, according to Schwab’s 2019 modern wealth survey. The FOMO effect is most dramatic for young adults. About half of millennials and 44% of Generation Z (those born approximately between 1995 to 2015) acknowledge their spending habits are at least partly shaped by social media.
Once upon a time, Americans were concerned about keeping up with the neighbors, but these days social media is where everybody shows off.
And this is particularly true when it comes to Instagram. As far as I can tell, Instagram is the perfect social media platform for narcissists. Everyone is constantly posting photos that show how attractive, wealthy and adventurous they are, and those with the most followers tend to be ultra-attractive, ultra-wealthy and/or ultra-adventurous.
But for most of us, life is not a constant stream of Instagramable moments. Instead, life is about doing the laundry, trying to save some money on the groceries and scooping poop out of the cat litter.
If you try to keep up with the fantasies that you see on Instagram, the truth is that you will go broke really quick.
And study after study has found that is precisely where about half the country currently is…
A study from home repair service HomeServe USA found that roughly 50% of consumers either have nothing set aside to cover an emergency or less than $500 put away. And research from the Federal Reserve has indicated that roughly 4 in 10 Americans couldn’t afford a $400 emergency.
One of the things that I always stress with my readers is that if you ever want to make financial progress in life, you have got to start building wealth.
If your paycheck goes up, that doesn’t mean that you should start spending more money. Instead, you should look at it as an opportunity to start saving more money.
But for most Americans, the future is now, and that means that most of them will ultimately end up facing financial disaster down the road.
About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The Endand Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.
“Segregated housing and schools, gerrymandered districts and voter suppression picked up where Jim Crow left off. Housing ghettos are born of racist housing policies that rob the black community of opportunities to amass wealth.” In 2011, a black mother was imprisoned for falsifying her daughter’s address to allow her to attend an affluent, predominantly white school.”
The recent college bribing scandal in the US revealed nothing we already didn’t know.
by David A Love
Earlier this month, a $25m fraud scheme which helped children of wealthy parents cheat their way into top American universities was unearthed by US prosecutors. As part of the investigation into the scheme, dozens of well-to-do parents, including Hollywood celebrities, have since been indicted for paying millions of dollars in bribes, arranging to falsify their children’s college entrance exam scores, and misrepresenting their athletic abilities to secure admission to elite universities by fraudulent means.
The revelations caused shock and outrage across the world, but they should not have. The scandal revealed nothing new. One of the worst-kept secrets of American education is that it is a rigged system. The deck is stacked in favour of the wealthy, who can buy the best education possible for their children, and at the expense of those without means, power or privilege.
Education in the US is a heavily privatised, for-profit scheme that excludes low-income people and members of disadvantaged racial groups, and only reinforces the existing socioeconomic inequities.
We all pretend the higher education system in the United States is based on meritocracy. American mythology dictates that in the land of opportunity, all people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, work hard and achieve the American dream. Yet, what can one possibly do if he or she was born without boots? Those fortunate individuals who inherit resources, wealth, social capital and pedigree accumulated over generations enjoy a distinctly unfair advantage over poor students, who must work while studying or take out exorbitant amounts of loans to pay for fees.
The US is witnessing a student debt crisis with a record $1.53 trillion in outstanding debt – a figure which has more than doubled since the end of the 2009 recession, and exceeds the nation’s one trillion dollars in credit card debt. As a result, young people are saddled with a fortune in debt they are unable to pay off with low-paying or non-existent jobs, forced for years to forego buying a house, getting married or starting a family.
Wealthy students benefit from privilege compounded by more privilege, crowding out the rest from university spots. Many universities give preferences to legacy admits, students with at least one parent who graduated from the institution – a policy that overwhelmingly benefits privileged, white candidates.
Harvard, my alma mater, accepts 34 percent of legacy applicants, as opposed to six percent of non-legacy applicants, a nearly six-fold advantage. While over one-fifth of white admits to Harvard were legacies in recent years, only 4.8 percent of black admitted students, seven percent of Latinx students and 6.6 percent of Asian students were legacies, with the total number of white legacies surpassing all legacies of colour combined. Some 14 percent of Harvard’s class of 2022 are children of alumni, and over 29 percent have family ties to the school. Legacies are a significant portion of other university classes such as Yale (11 percent), Princeton (14 percent), the University of Southern California (16 percent), and the University of Notre Dame (22 percent).
Despite the ubiquity of legacy admissions, opponents of diversity and inclusion programmes in higher education focus instead on affirmative action for underrepresented students of colour. Students for Fair Admissions has waged a lawsuit against Harvard’s affirmative action programme on the grounds that it advantages black and Latinx students at the expense of Asian-American students.
Racial justice advocates argue that a cynical game of pitting various non-white groups against each other and positioning Asians as more deserving than other brown or black students will only benefit existing systems of white privilege. In 2017, for the first time in its 400-year history Harvard admitted a majority non-white class, and perhaps, that is part of the problem for some.
Increased economic inequality in America only exacerbates the economic segregation of schools and dims the prospects of success for low-income children, who are funnelled into under-resourced two-year community colleges rather than competitive four-year colleges.
Public primary and secondary education in the US depends substantially on property taxes for about one-third of its funding. Consequently, wealthier white enclaves have $23bn more in resources to devote to their schools, and are able to carve out their own racially exclusive school districts. Poor disproportionately black and brown communities are underfunded, particularly if states do not intervene to rectify the imbalance among school districts.
As a report published by Brookings Institution has noted: “Segregated housing and schools, gerrymandered districts and voter suppression picked up where Jim Crow left off. Housing ghettos are born of racist housing policies that rob the black community of opportunities to amass wealth.” In 2011, a black mother was imprisoned for falsifying her daughter’s address to allow her to attend an affluent, predominantly white school
Elite education creates an inherent tension between meritocracy and equal opportunity and Stuyvesant High School, the most exclusive of the eight specialised public high schools in New York City, is a good illustration of this phenomenon.
Earlier this month, the school announced its admissions for the next school year; it admitted only seven black students out of 895. Black students are one percent of the school population, with Latinx students at three percent, whites at 20 percent and Asian students at 73 percent, in a city in which black and Latinx students are 70 percent.
At issue is the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT), an entrance examination which is the sole criterion for admission, which some students prepare for months or years, sometimes hiring tutors to gain an advantage. The exam contains material that is not taught in schools, raising questions regarding its validity and calls to reform the admissions process and eliminate or change the test.
High-stakes standardised testing in the US has its origins in racial bias. A century ago, the eugenics movement, which wanted to uphold the superiority of the white race were concerned the “infiltration” of inferior non-white people, “Negroes”, Southern and Eastern Europeans, Jews and others would dilute the superior genetic intelligence of the Anglo-Saxon stock. They developed IQ tests to maintain the existing racial and class hierarchy.
Psychologist Carl Bingham was very much influenced by these ideas when he helped develop the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the leading college entrance exam in the US. The SAT is an exam that, according to critics, does not predict college success or determine merit, contains questions that advantage white students, and is designed to create inequality and profit the testing industry.
It is ironic, or perhaps fitting, that rich white parents paid bribes to cheat on a test already designed to favour their children, while the SAT score of a black Florida student was invalidated recently for being too high.
The Trump administration – supported by many adherents to the white supremacist conspiracy theory that whites are threatened with extinction due to an assault by inferior people of colour through immigration, affirmative action and demographic changes – is in favour of ending affirmative action and has eliminated Obama-era measures promoting diversity in education.
President Donald Trump has presided over the undermining of the US education system through the gutting of civil rights protections, the underfunding of public education, and the facilitation of the economic exploitation of students by education profiteers. The president’s 2019 budget would cut the Department of Education budget by $7.1bn and eliminate 29 programmes such as afterschool and summer school for low-income children, bringing even more entrenchment to America’s unequal education along racial and socioeconomic lines.
African American parents have always told their children they must work twice as hard to get half as much. The problem is that with the current state of regressive politics in the US, our children’s children will likely have to hear the same words, unless we take urgent action.
As Drake University Law Professor Vinay Harpalani told me in a recent conversation with me on the topic of education: “As practiced in America today, meritocracy is largely hypocrisy. This hypocrisy is a product of elitism itself: the need to create very stark status differences. We need to think very critically about our notions not only meritocracy, but also of equal opportunity. Perhaps the most effective way to create equal opportunity is to address America’s obsession with status – an obsession which actually values inequality and justifies it under the guise of meritocracy and equal opportunity.”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.
Capitalism has traditionally ranked alongside apple pie and baseball in the hearts of Americans, yet Socialism is reportedly winning over the youth. Did they miss the mainstream reports about empty store shelves in Caracas?
16 Mar, 2019
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, under duress from the US and its allies, must have enjoyed a good laugh this week when he read the news out of America. As Washington looks determined to overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected Socialist government, with a puppet leader already waiting in the wings, a new poll showed that 61 percent of Americans aged 18 and 24 have a favorable attitude to the term ‘socialism’.
Capitalism, still weathering the storm despite the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and Jeff Bezos, got a 58-percent favorability ranking among the same demographic.
In total, 39 percent of Americans said they are “well-disposed toward socialism.”
Will this apparent shift of opinion to Socialism put the brakes on Washington’s regime change machine as it grinds inexorably towards Caracas? Will US National Security Advisor John Bolton be forced to include the United States as a fourth wheel in the “Troika of Tyranny,” as he has labeled the Latin American governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua? Better not hold your breath.
“This triangle of terror… is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of Communism in the Western Hemisphere,” as Bolton put it last year amid a full court press against Caracas.
If the United States is really such a worker-bee paradise, confident enough to impose its ‘democratic ideals’ on foreign states, then why are so many Americans reportedly abandoning the capitalist ship, or at least giving Socialist ideas a second look? Admittedly, there are some things about Socialism that make it an attractive alternative to the endless uncertainty that comes with a free-market economy.
Consider the plight of American college graduates, since here is the demographic that is second-guessing the joys of Capitalism. Before this group even enters the workforce and signs up for a mortgage, car payment, and maybe a family, they are already saddled with huge tuition payments.
Currently, there are some 44 million young Americans indebted to the tune of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, an insane amount that is even greater than what Americans owe on their abused credit cards. The average graduating student in 2017 has almost $40,000 in student loan debt, while many of them can expect to face problems finding a job upon graduation.
Now compare the situation in the US with that of the Nordic countries, where native students – as well as foreign students – study at public university absolutely free of charge. In fact, there is no need to look all the way to Scandinavia when the situation is no different just across the Caribbean Sea in the “tyranny” of Venezuela where a free education for all is considered a human right, not a privilege.
Another part of the dog-eat-dog world of American capitalism that is infuriating so many people is on the medical front. The health-care system is in reality a fierce battleground for profits among doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, drug companies, and shareholders where the patient is, in a sick twist of fortune, the victim. Is it any wonder more Americans are opting to travel to Mexico and Canada for medicine and treatment that is no longer affordable back home? Perhaps the real reason Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border is to keep Americans away from cheaper foreign medical treatment.
The last major effort to overhaul this massive industry came with Obamacare, which turned out to be a cure worse than the disease. A major study by the University of Chicago showed that 47 percent of Americans were avoiding preventive treatment from a doctor or dentist due to the exorbitant costs.
So, from a political perspective, it is no longer possible for the Republicans and Democrats to ignore the economic plight of millions of Americans, especially those who comprise Generation Z and Millennials. This group represents 37 percent of the electorate, which means they will play no small part in the highly anticipated 2020 presidential election. Now the two major parties are making flat-footed gestures to address their concerns.
Cue Bernie Sanders, 77, the ‘independent democratic socialist’ from Vermont who just signed a “loyalty pledge” with the Democratic Party as he appears ready for another shot at the White House. Sanders is a member of the ‘limousine liberal’ class who talks a great game in public about sticking it to the rich, yet in private is enjoying all the fruits of capitalist labor. How did ‘The Bern’ console himself after losing the 2016 Democratic primaries to Hillary Clinton? He went out and purchased a home – his third – on the beach of Lake Champlain, Vermont. But his real crime, as far as Sanders supporters are concerned, came when he endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. That move showed he was not only in the pocket of the Democratic Party, but not strong enough to stand up for the middle and lower classes.
Then there is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, the freshman senator from New York who rolled out her so-called Green New Deal, which, if implemented, would essentially turn the US into a third-world country with stunningly short-sighted initiatives like “build[ing] out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Apparently, AOC, as she is known among her supporters, thinks the world begins and ends at the border of America. The Investor’s Business Daily slammed her plan as a “call for enviro-socialism” that would turn into a “government takeover of the entire economy.”
The Republicans, meanwhile, are holding steady to the maxim: ‘never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’. The only hint that the Republicans understand the sea change taking place in American politics was when Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address last month that “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” It did not go unnoticed that many Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Nancy Pelosi, did not stand and applaud the statement as many others did.
This brings us to the question: could the United States actually wake up one bright morning as a Socialist state, much like its newfound nemesis in Venezuela? And perhaps even more to the point, should the United States adopt Socialist ways? This is where opinions on the matter will greatly differ. While there are some tempting ideas being put forward by the Left, like free education and healthcare for everyone, there are millions of Americans who will never be sold on the merits of Socialism, which gets just as bad press in the United States as does Communism. That should come as little surprise since no corporation wants to lose the massive profits that come with private ownership over a vast swath of the economy. But as the above-mentioned poll indicates, more Americans want to see the government take greater control of the economy.
Here is where things could get downright dangerous. First, it must be admitted that the American political and cultural scene has entered a dark place not unlike The Twilight Zone. Something truly bizarre has taken hold of the American mind, not unlike a flesh-eating virus, to the point where we now have ‘social justice warriors’ who believe it is their intrinsic right and duty to impose their vision of the world onto everyone else, while at the same time shutting down all debate on the matter. This has already been witnessed numerous times on college campuses and other meeting places across the country. On top of that, we must also consider what is being taught today in our institutions of higher learning. Much of it, as shown here, consists of courses that promote an outright socialist agenda.
The manifestations of this radical form of ‘tyranny light’ can be witnessed by the ongoing attacks on ‘patriarchy’, ‘white privilege’, and most of all on the Manhattan mogul Donald Trump, the very personification of capitalism itself.
Now mix all this pent-up political hatred and confusion together with the new wave of *identity politics, which tells people they can be whoever they want to be, even if biology suggests otherwise, and you have a situation where millions of oppressed individuals may one day get it in their heads that they, too, ‘identify’ with the rich, and then proceed to take what they believe to be theirs by whatever means necessary. In other words, a case of history repeating itself under radically new circumstances. The desire to impose some degree of equality and fairness on the American capitalist system, where millions of marginalized people regularly fall through the cracks of the economy into grinding poverty, could explode into something altogether undesirable unless steps are taken now to alleviate the risks. In that sense, Venezuelan President Maduro may eventually find himself a potential ally in America’s marginalized class, seething as they are in quiet desperation.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
March 13, 2019
When compared to a similar point in time, Millennials are deeper in debt than any other generation that has come before them. And the biggest reason why they are in so much debt may surprise you. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first let’s talk about the giant mountain of debt that Millennials have accumulated. According to the New York Fed, the total amount of debt that Millennials are carrying has risen by a whopping 22 percent in just the last five years…
New findings from the New York Federal Reserve reveal that millennials have now racked up over US$1 trillion of debt.
This troubling amount of debt, an increase of over 22% in just five years, is more than any other generation in history. This situation may leave you wondering how millennials ended up in such a sorry state.
Many young adults are absolutely drowning in debt, but the composition of that debt is quite different when compared to previous generations at a similar point in time.
Mortgage debt and credit card debt levels are far lower for Millennials, but the level of student loan debt is far, far higher…
While the debt levels accumulated by millennials eclipse those of the previous generation, Generation X, at a similar point in time, the complexion of the debt is very different.
According to a 2018 report from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, mortgage debt is about 15% lower for millennials and credit card debt among millennials was about two-thirds that of Gen X.
However, student loan debt was over 300% greater.
Over the last 10 years, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States has more than doubled.
It is an absolutely enormous financial problem, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution. Some politicians on the left are pledging to make college education “free” in the United States, but they never seem to explain who is going to pay for that.
But what everyone can agree on is that student loan debt levels are wildly out of control. The following statistics come from Forbes…
The latest student loan debt statistics for 2019 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups. There are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans. Borrowers in the Class of 2017, on average, owe $28,650, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.
What makes all of this even more depressing is the fact that the quality of “higher education” in the U.S. has gone down the toilet in recent years. For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled “50 Actual College Course Titles That Prove That America’s Universities Are Training Our College Students To Be Socialists”.
Our colleges and universities are not adequately preparing our young people for their future careers, but they are burdening them with gigantic financial obligations that will haunt many of them for decades to come.
We have a deeply broken system, and we desperately need a complete and total overhaul of our system of higher education.
Due to the fact that so many of them are swamped by student loan debt, the homeownership rate for Millennials is much, much lower than the homeownership rate for the generations that immediately preceded them. The following comes from CNBC…
The homeownership rate for those under 35 was just 36.5 percent in the last quarter of 2018, compared with 61 percent for those aged 35 to 44, and 70 percent for those aged 45 to 54, according to the U.S. Census. The millennial homeownership rate actually dropped in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter, but was unchanged year over year.
This is one of the big reasons why “Housing Bubble 2” is beginning to burst. There are not enough Millennials buying homes, and it looks like things could be even worse for Generation Z.
If you are a young adult, I would encourage you to limit your exposure to student loan debt as much as possible, because the debt that you accumulate while in school can have very serious long-term implications that you may not even be considering right now.
About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.