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You can't make an informed decision, if the ONLY choices you have are BAD and WORSE..
You are correct to point this out and it is a fallacy which is ingrained into mainstream American culture simply because it has greatly assisted the rich in the control of democracy. Many Americans are of the belief that, provided you have two or more options, you have freedom of choice. But as you rightly explicated this is not entirely true if neither option is favourable to you. Even slaves had a choice using the modern American definition, since they could either kill themselves or continue to work. This is extending it into an ad absurdum for clarity, of course, but the general principle remains the same if you're asked to pick between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Consider--one could take out loans, go to Community College and not even work (or hardly work) so that they have plenty of time on their hands and a stress-free financial life for 2-3 years, and then when it is time to pay the money back they will have a degree that the income is so much greater than the amount borrowed you will not even "feel" the pay-back plan--just like an extra monthly utility bill or so.
That is idealism. The entire point of the debate is that it doesn't always work that way, and it is not always (or even usually) the fault of the person who has borrowed money. Many people with degrees struggle to get jobs precisely because the student loan system has saturated society with university degrees, so they are now arguably not even worth the loan money it takes to acquire one in the first place. I used to know a guy with a PhD who worked as a cashier in a 24 hour garage because it was the only job he could find. It is a flawed argument to say that your income will always be higher with a degree, because that simply is not always the case.
If you are 34, and still making such poor choices--that is their fault and their fault alone. It is very different than a 19 year old.
It isn't about their "poor choices". As I've pointed out, bank loans are not presented to the public in a neutral, fact-friendly way, otherwise only truly desperate people would ever take them out in the first place. Loans are a product which the bank advertises. That is, a bank tries to persuade you to buy its product, and money is not a difficult product to sell because there are always people who need it. In fact, 34 year olds usually need money more than 19 year olds do because by that age people are supposed to be independent.
I think your blame game against people who are often genuine victims is short-sighted and cruel. One need look no further than the 2008 crisis for evidence of this. Many people who were already in debt to the banks lost their jobs because of an economic crisis which was completely out of their own control. It is effectively nonsensical to say that people should be held responsible for things out of their control simply because they are 34, or 44, or whichever age you want to stipulate.
Consider--one could take out loans, go to Community College and not even work (or hardly work) so that they have plenty of time on their hands and a stress-free financial life for 2-3 years, and then when it is time to pay the money back they will have a degree that the income is so much greater than the amount borrowed you will not even "feel" the pay-back plan--just like an extra monthly utility bill or so. Honestly, it is a great resource if people use it well--which, more often than not, they do not.
I don't think your argument makes much sense.
You pay a college to teach you knowledge to get a Degree.
If you got a Degree in Computer Science. Then learn there is no jobs that require or even want people who have a Computer Science Degree, then that is your fault.
But if you got a Degree in Computer Science. But you learn that people who went to other colleges learned way more and you actually don't know things you should know with a Computer Science Degree. Then you have something to complain about.
You cannot complain that you received what you paid for.
Cleary, the reason the banks offer loans is to make a profit. Now, having said that, the loans are actually a fantastic resource, if used wisely--much like a credit card
Since you have to pay back more than you borrowed, a bank loan actually makes you poorer than you were initially. The same applies to credit cards. Hence, mathematically, these things are the precise opposite of "fantastic resources". They are financial traps which force the people who take them out into servitude to the banks.
The games banks (and credit card companies, etc.) play can also be used to the persons advantage. For instance, they will try and play a fishers "hook and bait" game with opening offers with cash rewards, travel points, etc. etc. that most people will not even meet the terms & conditions to qualify for. However, if you do read the "fine print", and have a bit of money in the bank to "play with", you can easily start to make hundreds to thousands of "free money" simply by strategically opening and closing accounts, shifting money around at proper times, etc. etc.--all on your laptop in less than 30 minutes.
Sadly, most people will never understand the little "loop holes"/strategies, even if you gave them an exact step by step of what to do--and the banks, etc. are very, very aware of that; which is why they are willing to do it. The same applies for the Credit Cards, mortgage, etc. etc. as is the case for Student Loans.
Kids could potentially benefit from having a highly restricted cap put on how much they are eligible to take out until age 24, for instance. Then, this would incentivize people to utilize Community College more (which is inexpensive) and/or work for several years before going to school when they are older and (hopefully) wiser, more informed, etc. etc. That is their responsibility to train. If you are 34, and still making such poor choices--that is their fault and their fault alone. It is very different than a 19 year old
As for "not savvy people", I do not think the rules of a chess match should be altered to cater to the needs of a poor player
Now, a reasonably savvy person would relatively easily develop "chess" strategies to work their own "game" against them
I don't disagree. But, MOST people applying for these life altering student loans are kids.. Or, they're NOT savvy - even stupid.. So what? Should we NOT have some sort of consumer PROTECTION against savvy bankers?? Should we require banks to disclose their terms??? In PLAIN language??
I say we SHOULD.
I say that because every time your bank wants to change its terms with you, they send you this VERY long document written in teeny, tiny legalese along with your credit card statement.... They KNOW you won't read it, and to me, that means they're changing shit to benefit themselves and NOT you..
You know about that little slip of paper, don't you??