1. #18286
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The problem with this scenario is that people who were irresponsible are getting the benefit compared to people who made sacrifices to pay off their debt.

    If this outlook were a unique problem to modern conservatism, there would have been a time in the recent past when government typically paid people's debts.

    I certainly agree with the concern that if we made a habit of paying debts, colleges would gouge taxpayers.

    As for higher earnings going to taxes, that happens no matter what. There is a tax deduction for interest on student loans, but that's not enough to make up for the cost of the government paying it off.

    My opinions on the recent tax bill are a bit more nuanced, so you're basing an impression about my views on a caricature.

    But what I think about a different topic is irrelevant to the question of whether a blanket erasure of student loans is right. We know that you didn't support the tax giveaway, so any argument in its favor is not going to be persuasive to you.

    Presumably you have the same opinion in any situation in which anyone's feelings are hurt.

    I don't think I've really addressed the political implications of hurt feelings before.

    If someone works 2,000 hours over three years to pay off their college debt, and someone else who went to the same school at the same time has their debt erased by the government, the person who worked much harder for several years doing something that should be encouraged (paying off debt) should have the right to be upset.

    When it comes to hurt feelings, the reason someone is hurt matters.

    If someone's feelings are hurt by a racist or homophobic slur, that might merit some kind of punishment for the other party.

    If someone's feelings are hurt because their shortcomings were accurately identified, that doesn't merit any kind of punishment. If a binge-drinker with an IQ of 90 and poor work effort is told that his problems getting a job are that he drinks too much and is unreliable, that might be information he can use to change himself going forward.

    We should strive to have a society where people are not wronged.
    My two cents. My parents had three children in college, at least two at a time. They couldn't afford that, and we knew it. My siblings and I paid our own way though college, or got student loans or other financial assistance. I can't speak for them, but I worked my butt off holding down several jobs including being in the Army reserve, all to pay off my college....I wouldn't want that on anyone.

    I came to the conclusion that, if you want a good education, if you really want to benefit from the college experience, you can not do it and be stressed out over juggling several jobs while going to school. My grades suffered from it and I missed out on a lot of education related opportunities.

    After I finished college and got my first job, I was able to pay off my student debts within a year and a half. Not because I was earning a huge salary, but because college was a lot less expensive back then than it is now, and because I worked hard while in school to minimize my debt after school.

    The cost of college now is several times what it was back then, and I can't see students doing what I did and surviving.

    I am all in favor of making College, or any type of advanced education, more accessible and more affordable.

    One caveat, I worked for a University and I know that when they lose money employees and resources suffer. Whatever means is made to lower the cost for students, must also take into consideration the costs involved in paying staff and other employees. These include all levels of workers, from cafeteria, to maintenance, to support staff, to instructors. It must also take into consideration how budget cuts might affect materials, resources, and services.

    That is my two cents.
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    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Allen View Post
    I think your disagreement with the proposal is a moral one, not a rational one. Which is not something I would seek to demean at all, just pointing out that if there is a disagreement here, I do not think it is about the logical consequences or how positive the proposal might be for the economy over all.

    You have said you are concerned it might create "perverse incentives" ... that would seek I guess to address a sense of utilitarian morality? Then, forgiving student debt could not be right, because it would be harmful for society, in general? That is one perspective to argue the issue I guess, but it would really only be persuasive for you if your own morality is based in utilitarianism.

    Some of your wording though seems to suggest your morality may be less concerned with what is best for everybody collectively, as more concerned with the idea that everybody is treated/judged/rewarded exactly equally. Because really, even if you and I went to the same school and graduated at the same time, and you worked very hard to pay off all of your debt in just five years while I still had a mountain of debt left, when suddenly the government came in and absolved all of my debt, as well -- in a practical way, my being debt-free doesn't hurt you in any way, at all.

    I suppose that is something to do with your point about hurt feelings. We may mock or dismiss your sense of injustice at having my debt erased, but it is no small thing, for you.

    I agree we should strive to have a society where people are not wronged. A very important issue there, however, is that we do not all have the same moral code. So, which do we use?
    There is certainly a moral component here, but logic should also apply. When two of the most prominent Democratic Senators are talking about this, it sends a signal for ordinary people to pay the bare minimum.

    My morality is certainly based in utilitarianism, which would also be a rational moral code. It's important to figure out what helps the most people.

    If we have a system in which people are wronged, that can have deleterious effects. People may decide the system has lost its moral authority, and can be cheated when it comes to taxes, following regulations, etc. They may also decide that they'll stop being responsible, if they can rely on the government to bail them out. And the people who get bailed out might figure that this system will repeat itself. There is also a potential backlash, as several groups of taxpayers (those who worked hard to pay off the student debts, those who didn't go to college) see their money going to a group that earns above-average income and is distinguished by not paying their debts.

    The harm thing gets complicated. If someone makes sacrifices to pay off their debt, or to avoid accruing so much debt in the first place, they're living worse at an important stage in their life. By opting for a state school and/ or an academic scholarship instead of a costlier private school, they may lose out on typical college experiences, networking opportunities, etc. If someone works overtime in their twenties to pay off student loans, that person's going to have a tougher life than a contemporary who went to the same school and is paying the bare minimum. Their quality of life would be better if they had suspected that Uncle Sam will take care of it. They have also lost the opportunity to make investments that could have helped later (setting up retirement funds, going for professional development, purchasing job-related tools, etc.)

    A further question on harm is that the schools have presumably made serious mistakes, which is why tuition is so high. In some cases, legislatures will have added unnecessary costs. They will continue to make these mistakes if they get bailed out by the government.

    I am curious as to the alternate moral code here. What is a moral alternative here? It's not about equality if the money is going to people more likely to have above-average income.

    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    On that...

    Where is the serious Republican Party effort to address even looking into the cost of a college education?

    From what I've seen, they just use "College Liberal Brainwashing..."(or something along that line...) on conservative radio or FNC.

    It certainly feels like something that they would be in a position to get Democrats to the table on. That's if they were actually serious about dealing with it.
    That's a fair point.

    Some of the suggestions are about restructuring debts. Marco Rubio proposed to make it harder for someone to lose their professional license if they default on school loans, and to make it easier to pay student loans under different plans and conditions.

    https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/col...able-20190617/

    Josh Hawley wants colleges to be responsible for 50% of student loans that are defaulted. He also wants to make grants more available for non-college apprenticeship programs.

    https://www.heritage.org/education/c...ach-could-help

    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    Yes, the "Someone whose working life was ending right after the change took place" argument is the equivalent of "We can't end slavery/ inequality/ corporal punishment or whatever because those who lived through it for most of their lives benefit less than those who were only starting to suffer".
    Except it's not about "someone whose working life was ending right after the change took place." This is people who entered college at the same time and were in the position to enter the workforce at the same time. Those who were responsible and made personal sacrifices in order to pay their bills on-time will get nothing. Those who delayed payment will benefit from a decision which is at best morally grey.
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 11-29-2020 at 05:56 PM.
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    Thomas Mets

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4saken1 View Post
    Hey, does everybody remember that passage from the Bible where Jesus was feeding the hungry, then everybody else was like "Wait.......if he's just handing out food, why should I even bother working for mine?"
    There are much better biblical comparisons for anyone in favor of cancelling debt.

    But there's a difference between learning someone else got a free lunch, after you paid for a lunch, and learning that the government paid someone's college bills, after you worked overtime for several years to get rid of your debt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    My two cents. My parents had three children in college, at least two at a time. They couldn't afford that, and we knew it. My siblings and I paid our own way though college, or got student loans or other financial assistance. I can't speak for them, but I worked my butt off holding down several jobs including being in the Army reserve, all to pay off my college....I wouldn't want that on anyone.

    I came to the conclusion that, if you want a good education, if you really want to benefit from the college experience, you can not do it and be stressed out over juggling several jobs while going to school. My grades suffered from it and I missed out on a lot of education related opportunities.

    After I finished college and got my first job, I was able to pay off my student debts within a year and a half. Not because I was earning a huge salary, but because college was a lot less expensive back then than it is now, and because I worked hard while in school to minimize my debt after school.

    The cost of college now is several times what it was back then, and I can't see students doing what I did and surviving.

    I am all in favor of making College, or any type of advanced education, more accessible and more affordable.

    One caveat, I worked for a University and I know that when they lose money employees and resources suffer. Whatever means is made to lower the cost for students, must also take into consideration the costs involved in paying staff and other employees. These include all levels of workers, from cafeteria, to maintenance, to support staff, to instructors. It must also take into consideration how budget cuts might affect materials, resources, and services.

    That is my two cents.
    I want to be clear that I'm in favor of making college/ advanced education more accessible and more affordable.

    The argument is about paying for existing debt for people who already went to school.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

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    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Except it's not about "someone whose working life was ending right after the change took place." This is people who entered college at the same time and were in the position to enter the workforce at the same time. Those who were responsible and made personal sacrifices in order to pay their bills on-time will get nothing. Those who delayed payment will benefit from a decision which is at best morally grey.
    Your entire argument relies on the assumption that people who paid off their student debt simply worked harder than everyone else, and that if everyone had been willing to do that we wouldn't have a problem at all, and like just about every garden variety conservative talking point that you spit out, it makes absolutely no sense if you think about it for just a second and ignores about a million other confounding factors. Besides, aren't conservatives always the first ones to point out that life isn't fair and that instead of complaining about it, you should put yourself in a position to do something about it? Well, we won this election and this is the policy that the vast majority of Democratic voters want, and so even if you completely ignore all the myriad economic and societal benefits of the policy and just consider it as a quid pro quo from Biden to his loyal voters, you should just suck it up and deal with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There are much better biblical comparisons for anyone in favor of cancelling debt.

    But there's a difference between learning someone else got a free lunch, after you paid for a lunch, and learning that the government paid someone's college bills, after you worked overtime for several years to get rid of your debt.

    I want to be clear that I'm in favor of making college/ advanced education more accessible and more affordable.

    The argument is about paying for existing debt for people who already went to school.
    I know. The moral of my story is that Students shouldn't have to worry about debt, before they graduate or after.

    If a reset is needed, and a way can be found to do it, then everyone who can't afford to pay off their students debts within 2 years of graduating should get a reset. Decrease the debt by 50% fro every year past the 2nd year after graduating. If they are still in debt by year 6, reset it to zero.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    ...

    That's a fair point.

    Some of the suggestions are about restructuring debts. Marco Rubio proposed to make it harder for someone to lose their professional license if they default on school loans, and to make it easier to pay student loans under different plans and conditions.

    https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/col...able-20190617/

    Josh Hawley wants colleges to be responsible for 50% of student loans that are defaulted. He also wants to make grants more available for non-college apprenticeship programs.

    https://www.heritage.org/education/c...ach-could-help

    ...
    Neither of those things are going to actually make the cost lower.

    If the whole point is that administrative cost is actually what is driving up the cost of a college education without adding any actual value?

    No one is stopping the Republican Party from actually making this case.

    If anything, doing so would probably put them into a better position in the eyes of John/Jane Public. The Democratic Party wouldn't really be in a position to drag it's heels looking into without that they will only look out for the public to a certain point being right out in the open.

    That said, I don't really see any Republicans who are even remotely serious about doing so.

    Past that, Hawley?

    Is there really a serious issue with getting apprenticeships paid for? Because there is a pretty clear problem with the weight that college debt is putting on American citizens.

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    Amazing Member Adam Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    There is certainly a moral component here, but logic should also apply. When two of the most prominent Democratic Senators are talking about this, it sends a signal for ordinary people to pay the bare minimum.

    My morality is certainly based in utilitarianism, which would also be a rational moral code. It's important to figure out what helps the most people.

    If we have a system in which people are wronged, that can have deleterious effects. People may decide the system has lost its moral authority, and can be cheated when it comes to taxes, following regulations, etc. They may also decide that they'll stop being responsible, if they can rely on the government to bail them out. And the people who get bailed out might figure that this system will repeat itself. There is also a potential backlash, as several groups of taxpayers (those who worked hard to pay off the student debts, those who didn't go to college) see their money going to a group that earns above-average income and is distinguished by not paying their debts.

    The harm thing gets complicated. If someone makes sacrifices to pay off their debt, or to avoid accruing so much debt in the first place, they're living worse at an important stage in their life. By opting for a state school and/ or an academic scholarship instead of a costlier private school, they may lose out on typical college experiences, networking opportunities, etc. If someone works overtime in their twenties to pay off student loans, that person's going to have a tougher life than a contemporary who went to the same school and is paying the bare minimum. Their quality of life would be better if they had suspected that Uncle Sam will take care of it. They have also lost the opportunity to make investments that could have helped later (setting up retirement funds, going for professional development, purchasing job-related tools, etc.)

    A further question on harm is that the schools have presumably made serious mistakes, which is why tuition is so high. In some cases, legislatures will have added unnecessary costs. They will continue to make these mistakes if they get bailed out by the government.

    I am curious as to the alternate moral code here. What is a moral alternative here? It's not about equality if the money is going to people more likely to have above-average income.
    Well, apologies, it was not my intent to suggest your moral code was not rational. Absolutely logic should apply, and I have no doubt you are concerned with what helps the most people.

    I just don't know that I would agree that the morality you're describing would fit "Utilitarianism" in the philosophical sense that I was thinking of it: "Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism and altruism, utilitarianism considers the interests of all humans equally."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

    Which, in this context, I would think would not necessarily prioritize which individual students have already paid off their student loans or not, compared to the larger picture of balancing things out, if student debt has gotten out of hand? Which I think is meant to be the point of the Senators suggesting loan forgiveness. I don't think they are likely motivated by some desire to try and help anybody cheat, or to cheat anybody.

    One alternate moral code this can unfortunately conflict with though would be that of Virtue Ethics, which includes the Cardinal Virtue of Justice: "Justice is a quality or habit which perfects the will and inclines it to render to each and to all what belongs to them. The object of the virtue of justice is the other person's rights, whether natural or bestowed by Church or State... whereby the just man renders to each and all what is due to them in due proportion: what it is their moral and legal rights to do, possess, or exact."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_ethics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_virtues

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_(virtue)

    Obviously letting Wikipedia do the heavy lifting here, but the point is that this second approach is just as concerned with what is right, and with determining what that is through logic ... but, it also has this kind of underpinning to it that would have a problem with a Utilitarianism approach that just sought to make everything "easier" for everybody ... I guess because the feeling would be that it violates some Natural Law about people getting equal rewards for unequal effort: "According to natural law theory, all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by "God, nature, or reason."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law

    In other words, perhaps you are bothered by the suggestion to forgive student debt because you feel it violates some authority of right and wrong that's higher than the US Senate?

    That's fair enough if you think so, I guess I'm just saying -- seriously doubt any of the posters here are going to be likely to change your mind, if that's the case!
    Last edited by Adam Allen; 11-29-2020 at 08:25 PM.
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    It appears that even some Republicans are getting tired of Trump's antics.
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    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    Your entire argument relies on the assumption that people who paid off their student debt simply worked harder than everyone else, and that if everyone had been willing to do that we wouldn't have a problem at all, and like just about every garden variety conservative talking point that you spit out, it makes absolutely no sense if you think about it for just a second and ignores about a million other confounding factors. Besides, aren't conservatives always the first ones to point out that life isn't fair and that instead of complaining about it, you should put yourself in a position to do something about it? Well, we won this election and this is the policy that the vast majority of Democratic voters want, and so even if you completely ignore all the myriad economic and societal benefits of the policy and just consider it as a quid pro quo from Biden to his loyal voters, you should just suck it up and deal with it.
    I've been pretty explicit in my understanding that policies have tradeoffs. Pretty much every policy is going to have some innocent people who are worse off and some who are better off. It's a matter of finding the right balance.

    Obviously, for some people the reason they're able to pay their student debt faster isn't because they worked harder, or because they made wise decisions (IE- picking a stem major rather than something that doesn't correlate to high income.) It may be because they had relatives who worked hard (or wealthy relatives who didn't work hard) and sometimes there will be some kind of lucky break. Likewise, some people who aren't able to pay their debt could have tried hard, but had bad luck (entered the job market at the wrong time, needed to take care of other expenses a prudent man would consider worthwhile, etc.) You're responding to an argument I haven't made.

    I do think that on average, the average person who has paid off their debts is more responsible than the average person who has not. We should generally encourage people to pay off their debts as quickly as is prudent. There may be a place for government intervention for people who are unable to pay college loans, but this works better if that number is as low as possible.

    Conservatives do tend to argue that life isn't fair, and you should put yourself in a position to do something about that. Typically, doing something is working harder, or working smarter (selecting professions with upward mobility, moving to locations jobs are available) rather than taking money from people who are lower on the income level, or who have taken care of their responsibilities..

    Biden's comments on student loans were softer than the promises made by Sanders and Warren.

    He can do whatever he's legally entitled to do. We'll see how the voters who don't have student loans respond to policies that are going to favor those with above-average income.

    Some of the procedures require getting congress on-board. Even the argument that the Secretary of Education can cancel student debt requires the action of someone who needs Senate approval, so that's probably going to come up in confirmation fights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    I know. The moral of my story is that Students shouldn't have to worry about debt, before they graduate or after.

    If a reset is needed, and a way can be found to do it, then everyone who can't afford to pay off their students debts within 2 years of graduating should get a reset. Decrease the debt by 50% fro every year past the 2nd year after graduating. If they are still in debt by year 6, reset it to zero.
    How are we going to determine if someone is unable to pay off their debt within 2 years, compared to someone who is unwilling to do it?

    If this policy becomes well-known, wouldn't colleges take advantage of it? Why not charge more for a degree with the understanding the government will take care of most of it, and that the costs will be roughly the same for eight years?

    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    Neither of those things are going to actually make the cost lower.

    If the whole point is that administrative cost is actually what is driving up the cost of a college education without adding any actual value?

    No one is stopping the Republican Party from actually making this case.

    If anything, doing so would probably put them into a better position in the eyes of John/Jane Public. The Democratic Party wouldn't really be in a position to drag it's heels looking into without that they will only look out for the public to a certain point being right out in the open.

    That said, I don't really see any Republicans who are even remotely serious about doing so.

    Past that, Hawley?

    Is there really a serious issue with getting apprenticeships paid for? Because there is a pretty clear problem with the weight that college debt is putting on American citizens.
    For some on the left, there is an understanding that a four-year degree is the only valid career path. Getting apprenticeships paid for is an alternative to that, so it's problematic by that logic. Providing alternate pathways to stable careers would reduce the number of people competing for spots in colleges, which should help lower costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Allen View Post
    Well, apologies, it was not my intent to suggest your moral code was not rational. Absolutely logic should apply, and I have no doubt you are concerned with what helps the most people.

    I just don't know that I would agree that the morality you're describing would fit "Utilitarianism" in the philosophical sense that I was thinking of it: "Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism and altruism, utilitarianism considers the interests of all humans equally."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

    Which, in this context, I would think would not necessarily prioritize which individual students have already paid off their student loans or not, compared to the larger picture of balancing things out, if student debt has gotten out of hand? Which I think is meant to be the point of the Senators suggesting loan forgiveness. I don't think they are likely motivated by some desire to try and help anybody cheat, or to cheat anybody.

    One alternate moral code this can unfortunately conflict with though would be that of Virtue Ethics, which includes the Cardinal Virtue of Justice: "Justice is a quality or habit which perfects the will and inclines it to render to each and to all what belongs to them. The object of the virtue of justice is the other person's rights, whether natural or bestowed by Church or State... whereby the just man renders to each and all what is due to them in due proportion: what it is their moral and legal rights to do, possess, or exact."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_ethics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_virtues

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_(virtue)

    Obviously letting Wikipedia do the heavy lifting here, but the point is that this second approach is just as concerned with what is right, and with determining what that is through logic ... but, it also has this kind of underpinning to it that would have a problem with a Utilitarianism approach that just sought to make everything "easier" for everybody ... I guess because the feeling would be that it violates some Natural Law about people getting equal rewards for unequal effort: "According to natural law theory, all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by "God, nature, or reason."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law

    In other words, perhaps you are bothered by the suggestion to forgive student debt because you feel it violates some authority of right and wrong that's higher than the US Senate?

    That's fair enough if you think so, I guess I'm just saying -- seriously doubt any of the posters here are going to be likely to change your mind, if that's the case!
    I'm not an expert on philosophy. The definition of utilitarianism I got was that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority, which seems about right. There are additional complexities to be sure. The idea that consequences are the only thing that matters would seem to neglect chance.

    I think the Senators are trying to do right, although they do have a blind spot in that they seem to be absolving the political allies (the colleges) that are responsible for the problem, by charging too much and/ or failing to adequately inform students of the costs vs the potential gains of various programs. In addition, they're not offering any solution to the problem of college costs getting out of hand. Those costs will now be spread to everyone else.

    There is certainly a higher sense of right and wrong in the idea that a group that does the right thing fails to get the reward that another group is given. I would still be worried about the consequences of this in the long-term.

    As for the idea that there's a greater authority of right and wrong than the US Senate, most of us would probably agree with that. However, this isn't a case of the congress planning legislation and working to get majorities of the vote. This is two Senators trying to encourage the President-Elect to bypass their institution.
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 11-29-2020 at 09:33 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

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    Amazing Member Adam Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I've been pretty explicit in my understanding that policies have tradeoffs. Pretty much every policy is going to have some innocent people who are worse off and some who are better off. It's a matter of finding the right balance.

    Obviously, for some people the reason they're able to pay their student debt faster isn't because they worked harder, or because they made wise decisions (IE- picking a stem major rather than something that doesn't correlate to high income.) It may be because they had relatives who worked hard (or wealthy relatives who didn't work hard) and sometimes there will be some kind of lucky break. Likewise, some people who aren't able to pay their debt could have tried hard, but had bad luck (entered the job market at the wrong time, needed to take care of other expenses a prudent man would consider worthwhile, etc.) You're responding to an argument I haven't made.

    I do think that on average, the average person who has paid off their debts is more responsible than the average person who has not. We should generally encourage people to pay off their debts as quickly as is prudent. There may be a place for government intervention for people who are unable to pay college loans, but this works better if that number is as low as possible.

    Conservatives do tend to argue that life isn't fair, and you should put yourself in a position to do something about that. Typically, doing something is working harder, or working smarter (selecting professions with upward mobility, moving to locations jobs are available) rather than taking money from people who are lower on the income level, or who have taken care of their responsibilities..

    Biden's comments on student loans were softer than the promises made by Sanders and Warren.

    He can do whatever he's legally entitled to do. We'll see how the voters who don't have student loans respond to policies that are going to favor those with above-average income.

    Some of the procedures require getting congress on-board. Even the argument that the Secretary of Education can cancel student debt requires the action of someone who needs Senate approval, so that's probably going to come up in confirmation fights.

    How are we going to determine if someone is unable to pay off their debt within 2 years, compared to someone who is unwilling to do it?

    If this policy becomes well-known, wouldn't colleges take advantage of it? Why not charge more for a degree with the understanding the government will take care of most of it, and that the costs will be roughly the same for eight years?

    For some on the left, there is an understanding that a four-year degree is the only valid career path. Getting apprenticeships paid for is an alternative to that, so it's problematic by that logic. Providing alternate pathways to stable careers would reduce the number of people competing for spots in colleges, which should help lower costs.

    I'm not an expert on philosophy. The definition of utilitarianism I got was that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority, which seems about right. There are additional complexities to be sure. The idea that consequences are the only thing that matters would seem to neglect chance.

    I think the Senators are trying to do right, although they do have a blind spot in that they seem to be absolving the political allies (the colleges) that are responsible for the problem, by charging too much and/ or failing to adequately inform students of the costs vs the potential gains of various programs. In addition, they're not offering any solution to the problem of college costs getting out of hand. Those costs will now be spread to everyone else.

    There is certainly a higher sense of right and wrong in the idea that a group that does the right thing fails to get the reward that another group is given. I would still be worried about the consequences of this in the long-term.

    As for the idea that there's a greater authority of right and wrong than the US Senate, most of us would probably agree with that. However, this isn't a case of the congress planning legislation and working to get majorities of the vote. This is two Senators trying to encourage the President-Elect to bypass their institution.
    So one, on the higher sense of right and wrong there, totally appreciate that it's your honest opinion that it seems wrong, but I hope you can appreciate that all the people disagreeing with you here are also being honest. And true, it's just one forum, devoted to comic books, so not a representative sample by any stretch, but still I think worth keeping in mind ... definitely possible that many others may just have a different view of the right or wrong of this.

    And two, while we might agree in some abstract sense, because we are talking about a practical sense, I think it bears asking -- what greater authority would that be, exactly? And I mean, I hear you -- it's not Congress planning legislation ... but, if it's something even distantly possible, however unlikely -- if they really did suggest it, and he really did decide it was something to really do -- what real-world authority should we consider higher than Congress?

    I mean, we have the other two branches, but if the President is already on board, wouldn't the matter seem settled?
    Be kind to me, or treat me mean
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  12. #18297
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I've been pretty explicit in my understanding that policies have tradeoffs. Pretty much every policy is going to have some innocent people who are worse off and some who are better off. It's a matter of finding the right balance.

    Obviously, for some people the reason they're able to pay their student debt faster isn't because they worked harder, or because they made wise decisions (IE- picking a stem major rather than something that doesn't correlate to high income.) It may be because they had relatives who worked hard (or wealthy relatives who didn't work hard) and sometimes there will be some kind of lucky break. Likewise, some people who aren't able to pay their debt could have tried hard, but had bad luck (entered the job market at the wrong time, needed to take care of other expenses a prudent man would consider worthwhile, etc.) You're responding to an argument I haven't made.

    I do think that on average, the average person who has paid off their debts is more responsible than the average person who has not. We should generally encourage people to pay off their debts as quickly as is prudent. There may be a place for government intervention for people who are unable to pay college loans, but this works better if that number is as low as possible.

    Conservatives do tend to argue that life isn't fair, and you should put yourself in a position to do something about that. Typically, doing something is working harder, or working smarter (selecting professions with upward mobility, moving to locations jobs are available) rather than taking money from people who are lower on the income level, or who have taken care of their responsibilities..

    Biden's comments on student loans were softer than the promises made by Sanders and Warren.

    He can do whatever he's legally entitled to do. We'll see how the voters who don't have student loans respond to policies that are going to favor those with above-average income.

    Some of the procedures require getting congress on-board. Even the argument that the Secretary of Education can cancel student debt requires the action of someone who needs Senate approval, so that's probably going to come up in confirmation fights.
    Your entire argument is that forgiving student debt would be unfair to those who have paid theirs off already, which falls into that usual conservative trap of attributing every success or failure in life to one's moral character, whereas the reality is that outside circumstances probably played a much greater role in how well you manage to pay off your debt than how hard you worked. And I'm not sure what the logic is in painting indebted students as the above average income earners mooching off of the hard working taxpayers who never went to college presumably? Obviously the most privileged folks never had to take out any student loans to begin with, and if people are struggling with debt then it's unlikely that they'd have accumulated much wealth. But yeah, I'm sure those salt of the earth folks in rural red counties who didn't need no fancy book learning but have somehow managed to a earn a steady, but not too high, income without taking on any debt are really getting screwed over here.

    Besides, this idea that debts always need to be repaid in full and that failing to do so is somehow a character flaw is absurd - the possibility that some percentage of borrowers will default is always anticipated and reflected in the interest charged. Sometimes, fewer borrowers default than predicted and lenders earn a healthy profit, but other times, far more borrowers are unable to make payments than anticipated and the government has to step in and provide relief rather than leaving everyone to fend for themselves. And indeed, debt cancellation has been a relatively common practice historically, particularly when asking borrowers to meet a crushing debt burden saps economic productivity. This applies to student loans particularly, as it is not so much the harder working students that pay back their loans more quickly, but rather those that go for the safer jobs that offer steady paychecks, rather than shooting for the moon and trying to make a big splash, even though it is exactly this type of risk taking that we supposedly celebrate.
    Last edited by PwrdOn; 11-29-2020 at 10:54 PM.

  13. #18298
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    One guy's take...

    It really doesn't jibe when the "Saddling Today's Children With Debt..." national debt types are seem like they are opposed to reliving debt in the here and now.

  14. #18299
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Screenshot_2020-11-29 Rep Paul Mitchell on Twitter.jpg

    Twitter Link


    It appears that even some Republicans are getting tired of Trump's antics.
    Let him keep talking, force all Republicans to pick a side. If they stick with him, they're deranged lunatics and if they abandon him, they're disloyal opportunists, don't give them any way out or let them save face.

  15. #18300
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    ...

    For some on the left, there is an understanding that a four-year degree is the only valid career path. Getting apprenticeships paid for is an alternative to that, so it's problematic by that logic. Providing alternate pathways to stable careers would reduce the number of people competing for spots in colleges, which should help lower costs.

    ...
    What's in blue...

    I'm really going to need to see that problem actually exist before I'd want to seriously discuss putting taxpayer money into it in an attempt to try to create potential competition.

    What is in green...

    If it is even "Highly Likely..." that it is administration that is adding no value that is driving up the price of a college education? Attempting to create competition that may or may not ever actually exist is seriously "Let's Take The Long Way Around..." attempt at a solution. It's hard to entertain that sort of an approach when a far more straightforward one is right there, and Republicans are making no serious attempts at addressing it.

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