5 06 2009

Here’s but one of many of them, commenting on a Gail Collins column in the New York Times of 6/4/2009 on proposed changes to the student loan program:

“In France, which Republicans like to ridicule, college graduates will owe NOTHING when they graduate from college and even earn a stipend while attending. The same generally true in most of Europe.

America is no longer a country that is friendly to the middle class. Upward mobility and the American Dream is going to the same place as the Pontiac.

Our capitalist vultures would sell mortgages in heaven if they could, and charge for air if they could get away with it.

Why doesn’t Obama have the same mindset when it comes to health care? Why is he pulling the single payer option off the table, when everyone knows it is more cost effective as Medicare has proven? He doesn’t even have to abolish private insurance, just offer the public option, and let the public decide. It can be one option among many. Isn’t that in the spirit of competition?

The same could be applied to college loans. Let the government be one player among many and let the students and their families choose what is the best deal for them. Is this not in the spirit of competition too?

I have another idea. What if like Europeans, we viewed education as a right, just as health care should be. Every student who can qualify should be given the opportunity to go to college. How come European and Scandinavian countries can afford to do this and we can’t? Are these countries Soviet style regimes or full of empty government ration stores like Cuba?

A college education is the only way to ensure upward mobility for the middle and working class. I guess we can afford to subsidize greedy bankers, but not our young when it comes to their higher education. We then wonder why we lag behind every other major industrialized country when it comes to education, particularly in science. Maybe people would study science if they could afford to go to college, or if the government thought it wise to invest in them. My God, I must be possessed by the demonic spirit of Stalin and Lenin. Where else would I get such ideas?

Our way of life is to guarantee that except for the most affluent of students, our young people will begin life with a mountain of debt, and most likely stay that way. You think we’re trying to teach them something by setting up that kind of situation? I do. Feel overwhelmed, insecure, dis-empowered, and in a perpetual state of scarcity and forced to live off credit. Be happy you have a roof over your head, a job and if you complain you’re not a true American!!!!

The reason there are so many products flooding the shelves of supermarkets is to keep us in a state of need, over-stimulation, being enticed this way and that, wanting to try this and that, until our wallets are empty and we go home with stuff we don’t really need, vaguely satisfied, until the next day when we start the process all over again.

We are no better than rats in a maze, or junkies in a perpetual state of want, and like junkies we will do almost anything for our fix, like accept the fact companies should make a profit off our need to stay healthy and educate our kids. I think there was a song a few years back, that had lyrics to the effect “the American Dream blew apart at the seams.” It has!

— martin, New York”

Here’s the url for the above comment:

Lots of people will probably read that comment on the New York Times comments page. I am very glad — and very grateful for the Internet, which allows such people to be heard at last.




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