Student Loan Debt Analysis Using Karl Marx’s Concepts
Karl Marx's concepts revolve around bridging the rift between the well-to-do in society and the have-nots, thus offering a comprehensive analysis of the difference in social classes. Education empowerment in society can bridge this gap although gradually. Education is a basic necessity, but its cost is skyrocketing towards a level when it becomes a luxury. University education is increasingly becoming too expensive for the average American student. The government has stopped financing higher education, thus urging individuals to either take the responsibility for their finances or apply for expensive loans. As a result, one can only wonder about the worth of a society where its youth have sunk deep into debts with extraordinary interest rates. Besides, very little remains of a society whose graduates enter the rat race to return the debt even before their careers begin. To better understand this situation, Karl Marx's theories aid in comprehending the effects of student loans on social debt and find a way of bridging a gap between the various social classes. Capitalism is a source of misery to the human race since this framework causes injustice, poverty, and inequality. Changes in the student loan system are related to Marx's view of capitalism. As Ross observed, the tuition costs for higher education have steeply increased since 1985 by approximately 500% (28). Apart from the constant rise in the cost of university tuition, the government has exited the provision of student funding in higher education. The alternative becomes even more dramatic since students are now torn between financing themselves and taking loans with exorbitant rates. With the high tuition fees charged in most American higher education institutions, the majority of students are left with no choice but to choose the latter, thus applying for student loans. Consequently, many of these students end up defaulting the loans either by choice or by a lack of capacity to pay them back, thus leading to unsustainable social debt levels. Capitalism encompasses a set of laws and policies used to suppress society. Instead of the government using its tenure to empower society, it changes the policies to extract more taxes. Fundamentally, education is vital for the growth of a nation. The federal government, however, appears to disregard this necessity by taking advantage of the high numbers of students requiring loans to finance their education to make additional profits. Advocating for affordable systems of higher education can, therefore, empower more people in society to make the world a better place. The student loan system before the 2010 reform was a better approach to curbing social debt. The government could revert to that system or come up with innovative ways to reduce the financial burden of paying back the student loans. Moreover, the ideal government model is one that subscribes to justice for all in society and works towards reducing social ills like poverty and inequalities. Increasing social debt through expensive student loans works against Karl Marx's ideas of an equitable society. The federal government scrapped the Federal Family Education Loan (FFELP) in 2010, which was offered by banks as subsidies to people seeking higher education (Ross 29). The government abolished that lending system to be the sole administrators and beneficiaries of the student lending system. Unlike many other types of debt, the student loans are non-dispensable on bankruptcy grounds, thus making it a lucrative venture for the government. The implication here is there is no way for students to escape their debts. Debt collection agencies are even capable of intercepting wages and seizing them to repay student loan debts (Ross 30). Rose further reveals that the debt collection agencies have extraordinary powers to seize loan repayments from social securities and even tax returns of individuals defaulting on student loans (30). Student loans in the USA have become a lucrative venture for the government since it constantly changes the policies to collect more taxes instead of adopting policies to reduce the social debt.
Although Marx’s ideologies are viewed as obsolete in modern society, they are still used by revolutionists in some regions of the world. Marx had deep insights into the rule of law but chose to advocate for direct actions to urge capitalist governments to comply. Taking to the streets would not be the best action plan since it could turn into violence at any moment, thus leading to casualties. From a logical perspective, since the government is the final resolution to the escalating debt burden, policymakers should work towards presenting and implementing a sustainable debt burden system. The federal government can forget about the current student debt and start afresh for the good of all instead of always seeking more profits from the weak current system. Government priorities should shift towards empowerment rather than sinking students further into debt. Many countries including third world countries offer free government-sponsored higher education, thus making it sustainable for all regardless of financial status. The US government should, therefore, change its priorities in education to build a bright future for the American nation.
Work Cited Ross, Andrew. "Anti-social Debts."Contexts, vol. 11, no. 4, 2012, pp. 28-32.
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- Oliver Tumbo (Author), 2020, Student Loan Debt Analysis using Karl Marx’s Concepts, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/966976