Admittedly my first post was unnecessarily verbose, in the sense that it went on and on and clouded my main point.  Let’s give it another shot.

My main point:

By going through the steps required to ensure a higher quality of life, we are actually increasing the risk of having a lower quality of life.  The level to which this is a risk is dependent on many things, but ultimately obtaining an education should not come with adverse risks.  There they are, though, brought to you hand-delivered – wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper and topped with a bow – by the United States federal government and their counterparts in the financial sector.

It’s true that everything has risks.  When I go running a risk exists that I will be hit by a car, break my ankle, have a heart attack, or one many other things.  So, sure, it’s not inherently terrible that by going to college you are faced with a potential chance of downfall.  The difference, however, is that were I to be hit by a car it will most certainly have been an accident.  It’s doubtful that the President of the United States, with Congress and Wall Street, will have paid someone to drive a car down my running route, told them the time of day I go running, and said to them “do your worst.”

That is exactly what is happening right now with student loans.  Utter absurdity.

The US federal government is not only allowing, but essentially condoning and supplying the weaponry of, a hostage situation of today’s “youth” (presumably those in their mid-late 20’s and under).

  • You want a decent paying job?
  • Have your own home?
  • Have a reliable vehicle?
  • Save for retirement?
  • Save for an emergency?
  • Enjoy the fruits of your labor occasionally?

These are all good things, and believe it or not, they are what has driven our economy for the better part of the 20th century.  Yet, these are slipping out of the reach for many people.  Assuming nothing is changed, these many people will become many more.  Those many more will become even more.  Get the picture?

Maybe I’m being too cynical, but part of me thinks that there are people out there who don’t want everyone to have the same chance.  They like the idea of having the edge, the lead, the advantage.  My response to them is that nature has already given us certain advantages.  If you give 20 people the same sets of tools, you will not get in return 20 exact outcomes.  Some will be better, some will be terrible, but on the whole most of the 20 outcomes will be adequate.

Ultimately it’s a matter of what we as a society consider a fundamental good.  If we decide that education is not a fundamental good, then let’s get out of the business altogether.  If we decide that health care is not a fundamental good, then privatize the whole thing.  If we decide that wall street works best on its own, then shut down all of the overseers.

We, as a nation of individuals, have choices to make.  We can choose to let the reigns loose and accept what comes, or we can choose to make progress.  It does not take an historian to know what happens when we have let the reigns loose.  Look at your retirement account, open a newspaper, or look at too many people’s ever-dwindling funds.

I choose progress.  I choose to live in a society and a community that fosters growth and looks for actual outcomes over empty rhetoric.  Two years ago I was starting to be convinced that progress had come, and we were finally on our way.  The future is yet to be written, but it looks bleak.  It highlights that the system is bigger than any one individual, regardless if their job title happens to be the one given to the most powerful person in the world.

Here’s the kicker, though, that no one seems to get: the system is ultimately useless if there aren’t enough people operate within it.  The current trajectory is one of self-annihilation.  What are we going to do to change course?  What are we going to do to realize our dreams?


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