Chain Chain Chains: Or will America’s student-loan victims finally fight back?

By: Jane Stillwater

http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2011/08/chain-chain-chains-or-will-americas.html

“I have seen the best minds of my generation…” tied and bound like calves to the slaughter by America’s banksters and America’s Congress.  And I have also watched, helpless, while trillions of precious American dollars have been wasted on futile and unnecessary wars during the last decades — blood money that has been brutally extracted from the very marrow and bones of the best and brightest of our youngest generations.

Chained down by loans that they can never escape from, America’s students — who should have been given an excellent education for free in order to keep America strong and democratic — groan under the heavy loads placed on their young backs after being forced to purchase their college degrees at too great a price.

But what if this whole generation of our best future leaders should suddenly decide to rebel and cry out, “Enough!”  Enough of having our life-blood sucked dry by these blood-sucking stock-market-casino vampires and war-profiteer-Dracula wannabes who now own our Congress, our media, our ballot boxes and even our souls!”

Egged on by their billionaire keepers, Tea Party members have been whining constantly lately about how hard life has become for them.  However.  All of their complaints are but a drop in the ocean compared to real indignities now being suffered by America’s exploited and cannibalized youth — as the cream of our next generation now faces being constantly humiliated, pursued, spied upon and haunted night and day by insatiable debt collectors for the rest of their lives.  And yet Tea Partiers loudly rebel against some small and vaguely-perceived injustices.  But at least they don’t have repo-men phoning them and dunning them and flooding them with threatening letters night and day until they are afraid to open their mailboxes or answer their phones — or are forced to change their names, forsake their families and live underground.

So what will happen when the exploited youth of America finally wake up and also start to object to being treated like corporatists’ personal blood banks?

If I was a member of America’s current drained and bleeding young student generation, I would be out there freaking fighting right back!  You betcha.  If I had been forced to become a chained and bound victim of student-loan slavery, no one in Congress who voted for obscenely-large bank subsidies or for giving plane-loads of money to war profiteers instead of to universities or for this treasonous idea of eternal non-forgiveness of student loan debts?  None of those blood-suckers would EVER get elected again.  I’d make damn sure of that!

So perhaps it’s also time for these innocent victims of America’s student-loan machines’ voracious appetite for young blood to strike back.  Hell, why not?  With unemployment rates so high for this generation, they probably have nothing else to do with their time.  So why not become their captors’ worst nightmare — a bright shaft of sunlight falling on these corporatist war-mongering bankster vampires’ pointy little white teeth.

PS:  My friend Barbara just informed me that this is National Book Week.  “To celebrate it, just grab the book closest to you, turn to page 56 and read the fifth sentence.  And whatever it says will describe your status right now.”

Strangely enough, the book that happened to be lying on the floor next to my chair was “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,” by Kitty Kelley.  And the fifth sentence read, “Bert admitted he had informed his board that the sales profit was going to W.A. Harriman and Company, but he neglected to tell them that the banking house was only a temporary receptacle for his own personal profit.”

Unfortunately, this sentence describes my current status exactly.  I now live in the American Republic, and, like the Roman Republic before it, this Republic has been completely weakened and screwed over by corruption.

PPS:  In a recent AlterNet article, clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine stated that one of the main reasons that young Americans currently don’t fight back against corporatist vampires and corruption is exactly because of their debts.

“Large debt — and the fear it creates — is a  pacifying force,” stated Levine.  “There was no tuition at the City University of New York when I attended one of its colleges in the 1970s, a time when tuition at many U.S. public universities was so affordable that it was easy to get a B.A. and even a graduate degree without accruing any student-loan debt.”

Yeah!  My U.C, Berkeley tuition around then was $150 a quarter.  In 1968, I was able to pay my entire room, board and tuition costs solely out of the money I made by working at my summer job in the Post Office.

“While those days are gone in the United States,” continued Levine, “public universities continue to be free in the Arab world and are either free or with very low fees in many countries throughout the world.  The millions of young Iranians who risked getting shot to protest their disputed 2009 presidential election, the millions of young Egyptians who risked their lives earlier this year to eliminate Mubarak, and the  millions of young Americans who demonstrated against the Vietnam War all had in common the absence of pacifying huge student-loan debt.

“Today in the United States, two-thirds of graduating seniors at four-year colleges have student-loan debt, including over 62 percent of  public university graduates.  While average undergraduate debt is close to $25,000, I increasingly talk to college graduates with closer to $100,000 in student-loan debt.

“During the time in one’s life when it should be easiest to resist authority because one does not yet have family responsibilities, many young people worry about the cost of bucking authority, losing their job, and being unable to pay an ever-increasing debt. In a vicious cycle, student debt has a subduing effect on activism, and political passivity makes it more likely that students will accept such debt as a natural part of life.” http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439×1672817

What a tragic waste of America’s most valuable resource — its youth.  Now in chains.  But perhaps it’s not too late to change….

****

The youth of Israel are fighting back — it’s the Israeli Spring!:  From Uri Avney:  Tent cities are springing up all over Israel.  A social protest movement is gathering momentum.  At some point in the near future, it may endanger the right-wing government.

At that point, there will be a temptation – perhaps an irresistible temptation – to “warm up the borders”.  To start a nice little war. Call on the youth of Israel, the same young people now manning (and womanning) the tents, to go and defend the fatherland.

Nothing easier than that.  A small provocation, a platoon crossing the border “to prevent the launching of a rocket”, a fire fight, a salvo of rockets – and lo and behold, a war.  End of protest….
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1312551971/

8 Comments on “Chain Chain Chains: Or will America’s student-loan victims finally fight back?”

  1. The Tea Party has been fighting to reduce spending on Education, which I am naturally against, but it seems like a lot of your characterizations are subjective, with little evidence backing them. I’m earning my Master’s in Education and I think your blog would benefit greatly from citing more numbers and less adjectives.

  2. Jane, I love you. Finally other generations are starting to speak up, and say ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Many of us older victims of the for profit trade schools have been suffering for 30 years or more and have paid for it all by having our American dream, our piece of American pie stolen from us, while all congress did, was pass laws to further line its own pockets, instead of helping the Student victims.

    Maybe we need a multi-generational lawsuit representing students from over 40 decades of abuses from the Student loan system, to get some relief from the crushing debt, that congress it self helped to create.

    Thank you for making it clear, and continue the good work.

  3. Ryan, i believe there is nothing quite as effective as relating personal experiences, and at the same time, nothing quite so subjective. Numbers begin to lose their meaning when they are crunched, when they are manipulated, when they are shifted to focus on specific demographic locations, ignoring all others. As someone earning a Master’s Degree, i’m sure you understand how easily this can be done. Say you want to increase the police force (or pay) in a town of 5,000 people. You discover there was a nine percent increase in crime the year before. In a town of five thousand, it doesn’t necessarily mean there are more criminals. For all you know, the existing criminals were simply more active, but stating that crime (not the number of criminals) has risen nine percent suits your purposes better.

    Don’t get me wrong. For a documentary news article, we prefer the writer to use an objective voice, state all the facts and give statistics when they are appropriate, but this is an opinion piece, not a documentary article. The writer is clearly stating her personal viewpoint, from the experience of living in a town that contains a major University (Berkeley) and the hardships encountered by the students who go to school there.

  4. Hey everyone, if you’re looking for a place to speak out about your student loans, feel free to join this facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/forgivestudentloandebt/ made of like-minded individuals.

    I pay my monthly payments like a good borrower, but in the meantime we need to grow our numbers and put all our energy in the same place if we want Congress to ever pay attention to us.

  5. Ryan – you want numbers? According to the 2010 Census there are 161 million adults between 25 – 64, 95 million of which have some, a BS or a grad degree. According to FinAid.or, 65% of all students borrow to go to school. Of THAT, according to the DoE, only 40% of ALL student loans is in active repyament, which means 60% are defaulted, deferred, or on forbearance. This does not count the 12 million in the 18 – 24 bracket.
    There are currently $550 Billion outstanding federally-guaranteed loans and another $400 Billion in private loans outstanding.

    For comparison, at the height of the subprime crisis, they were estimating a mere 10 million mortgages were in trouble. Houses can be sold, given back, bankrupted, re-negotiated, short sold, foreclosed.

    THIS bubble cannot ‘pop’ because ALL student loans are exempt from bankruptcy, and almost never get discharged in disabililty.

    Do you understand NOW?

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