by Dan Amoss
08/13/12 Jacobus, Pennsylvania – It’s May 2013 on an ivy-draped college campus. You just graduated with a degree in English. In 2009, you borrowed $50,000 from the US Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program. Job searches for teaching and journalism positions have been fruitless. Within a matter of weeks, you must start making loan payments on a waiter’s wages and tips. On sleepless nights, you fear what defaulting on this loan will mean down the road.
Signing up for a huge student loan was a mistake. Both you and the lender had assumed a certain type of job market would exist four years into the future. Your lender — the US government — has long subsidized unsustainable activity. In 2009, economists encouraged politicians to promote even more nonsensical spending than usual. “Spending on something — anything — is valuable and necessary stimulus!” they said.