This article was written by Joshua Krause and first appeared on The Daily Sheeple.
Editor’s Note: Clearly, not only is there a massive bubble that could send shockwaves through the financial system, but there is such a tidal wave of debt that generations of Americans will be backwards with opportunity, as they struggle to finance their education at their expense of all our future. The average college educated head-of-household pays more monthly to student loans than groceries for a family! How and when will America ever regain a vibrant, prosperous and upwardly mobile middle class?
How Student Loan Debt Is Turning Us into Serfs
by Joshua Krause
The Medieval era is well-known for being littered with feudal societies, ruled by royalty and served by serfs who kept the system running with back-breaking labor. Contrary to popular opinion though, the serfs weren’t exactly what we would call ‘slaves.’ They definitely had more rights and opportunities than many of their ancestors from the Roman Empire, and they weren’t owned by other people.
Instead, they were merely ‘tied down.’ They often didn’t have the freedom to move about, not because there were walls and watch towers keeping them penned up, but because they were beholden to the land. They had to pay part of their income if they wanted to stay on that land, and if they wanted any kind of protection.
And because their world was far more dangerous than ours, they desperately needed the protection of the lords and their soldiers, which meant that they couldn’t risk leaving their land for better opportunities. In most feudal societies, it wasn’t politics that kept the people down, it was their financial situation.
In much the same way that feudalism kept its people tied to the land for multiple generations, our current financial system is also producing a perpetual serf class; mainly through the issuance of student loans. Unlike most debts (of which we have plenty) there is no escaping these loans. In most cases, you don’t have the option to declare bankruptcy and start anew with a clean slate. As a result, many of our citizens are not only carrying heavy debts, they’re laying the groundwork for having indebted children as well.
Data analyzed exclusively by the AP, along with surveys about families and rising student-debt loads, show that:
• School loans increasingly belong to Americans over 40. This group accounts for 35% of education debt, up from 25% in 2004, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Contributing to this surge are longer repayment schedules, more midcareer workers returning to school, and additional borrowing for children’s education.
• Generation X adults — those 35 to 50 — owe about as much as people fresh out of college do. Student-loan balances average $20,000 for Generation X. Millennials, 34 and younger, have roughly the same average debt, according to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts.
• Gen X parents who carry student debt and have teenage children have struggled to save for their children’s educations. The average they have in college savings plans is just $4,000, compared with a $20,000 average for teenagers’ parents who aren’t still repaying their own school loans, Pew found. A result is that many of their children will need to borrow heavily for college or pursue cheaper alternatives, thereby perpetuating a cycle of family debt.
• Student debt is surpassing groceries as a primary expense for many borrowers, with the gap widening most for younger families. The average college-educated head of the household under 40 owes $404 a month in student debt payments, according to an AP analysis of Fed data. That’s slightly more than what the government says the average college-educated family spends at the supermarket.
There are now two separate debt cycles at work here. Ever since the government started issuing these loans and made them nearly impossible to default on, it has given the colleges an incentive to raise prices. And since these loans allowed more people to go to college, the marketplace is saturated with college grads, and their education quality is often watered down. This means that the average person now needs a higher education to set themselves apart from their peers, which of course costs more money. And on and on it goes.
And these massive debts have spawned another horrible cycle between parents and their children. It’s already incredibly difficult to start a family when you owe tens of thousands of dollars, but for those who do, they now have less money to save for their children’s education. Surely, their progeny will also be burdened with debt if they decide to follow their parent’s footsteps. Considering that around half of America’s college graduates are stuck in jobs that don’t require a college degree, that would probably be an awful mistake to make.
Our society is already populated by millions of people working menial jobs while burdened with absurd debts that will keep them ‘tied down’ for the rest of their lives. So there really isn’t much distance left between us and our medieval ancestors. The only thing that was missing from this situation, was the passing of these debts to our children. However, we’re no longer robbing our future progeny with these debts. Now it’s happening to our children in the present. Feudal America has officially arrived for those who are trying to improve their lot in life with a college education.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .
This article was written by Joshua Krause and first appeared on The Daily Sheeple.
Hey there student of multiple degrees and no job, guess what, you did that to yourself. What the heck did you think was going to happen? of course, after 12 years of propaganda camp, what can you expect? You have been raised to be a debt slave.
I’m sick and tired of not having a cush job when I went to all that work to graduate with a degree in liberal arts. I mean, why can’t people see the value I bring to the marketplace and reward me handsomely for that? If no one wants to pay for my artistic creativity, then I’ll just lap up the graces of the tax payer and sit on my ass until I’m paid what I’m worth!
Shame on you and your white privilege.
Damn right. When my wife decided to change careers she hadn’t been in a classroom in over 25 years, and then only high school, it took us nine years and $100,000.00 to get her Masters in Nursing Education and Masters in Nursing Administration. Nine years of nose to the grindstone and when it was over we owed nobody anything. NADA! And then these pukes can’t even educate themselves at taxpayer’s expense without whining and complaining. Stallone made a movie a few years back: Bullet to the Head.
A college education was a cure all for upward advancement but its about science and math. You’ll get a good job if you do well in that area. Kids to to college today with the attitude, “I want to do something I like”. Interior decorating, art, movie editing and that standby sociology.
Engineering and technology, medicine or a skilled trade is what will make you a living.
It’s always been about science and math. Even in the 1950s and 60s the English and social science majors knew they were good for a teaching job somewhere, and not much else.
Physics was the big thing in the 1960s because of the space race.
My uncle worked on contract to NASA for the first moon landing. He had to calculate the orbit and plot it on a visual map with time stamps.
Big work in the 1960s.
Nowadays people expect to make big money with shit degrees. Our local zoo was hiring zoo keepers starting at 8.50 an hour. Zoology degree require. for 8.50 and hour!!!!! And that was just so they could shovel shit!
I know a wildlife biologist who did building maintenance work beginning the week after getting his degree. He’s retired now.
A guy who helped me take off a roof some years back, glad to get the labor, had a degree in international relations. We joked about diploma and a dollar getting a cup of coffee.
Let’s not kid ourselves…
Everyone reading this is a serf and has been since 1913.
It’s called taxes.
Why does everybody have to get student loans to attend college?
I didn’t. Of course, I worked hard for what I achieved.
Nobody works hard anymore. And articles like this are only setting the stage for a massive student loan debt haircut.
Both my son and his wife graduated from college with no student loans. Is that possible?!?!?
I actually just did a review on this amazing prep book that teaches you how to survive an impending EMP attack, it was such a good read and i can honestly say I’m prepared for anything now. you can check it out here if you’d like!
When will they ever learn.
You don’t need a college degree to get ahead.
Our state university this fall had the largest freshmen class ever. And for what?
And parents need to stop feeling sorry for their kids. I watched a buddy of mine put his daughter through 6 years of college so she could get a Masters degree in Music. He thought she was nuts, but he paid for it anyways. Now he’s has to wait an extra 4 – 5 years to retire.
When my kids where college age I told them if they wanted to go to college that I would pay 1/2 and that they would pay the other 1/2. Matching funds.
None of them went. My oldest daughter now has a Teaching degree, and a nursing degree. What does she do for a living. Housewife. Did on her own.
My second daughter now is Gemologist, and a housewife, did it on her own.
My third daughter has a GED. She is a housewife and works at a gas station as a manager. Might be the happiest of the three. She did it on her own.
My son had two restaurants, In Vegas, in 2005 and when they economy failed in 2008 they went out of business in 2010. Before that he was a Forman at concrete company. He left there in 2005. They went out of business in 2009 after the crash .
There life isn’t much different that anyone else. You have ups and downs. A college education isn’t going to change that. If you are like me and look around the happiest people are the simple people. Us simple people with high school and just a little higher education.
From what I see today with the people I deal with the DUMBEST people I have to deal with are the college educated.
You did it right Sarge.
My boy wasn’t really college material but he went to Vo-Teck and became a journeyman electrician. Our daughter after fighting us tooth and nail in her teens and 20s finally got a GED then when to community college and graduated with an associate of science degree. She is extremely bright but stubborn like a mule. Took till her late 20s to wise up (was a bum magnet). She is now a surgical assistant to an oral surgeon and got every certification possible and makes $60k / yr.
In my day you went to Mobil Oil, DuPont, BP, Texaco, Hercules, Monsanto, Sunoco and got a job at one of them. I caught the tail end if it starting in the mid 1970s. Ended up with the “Poor Mans Engineering Degree” a Gold Seal in Stationary Engineering.
The only thing dumber than a teenager is a college kid.
Teenagers think they are smarter than you.
College kids KNOW they are smarter than you.
That’s exactly what makes them so dumb.
If you’re not smart enough to get scholarships or grants to go to college, maybe you don’t need to go.
I tell young people all the time not to go to college unless they can get scholarships or can work their way through without the huge debt burden. I also tell them to get a degree in something that will actually help them in the job market, such as medicine or engineering. If they can’t go to college, then go to community college and learn a trade.
One person I advised is now a welder and happy as can be.
If I could quote Aristotle and any number of great thinkers, they all espouse the necessity of a person to be knowledgable. Calling ignorance the only evil and knowledge the only good.
Knowledge can come from many places. When one reads a book by someone who has profoundly influenced the world around us, you are spending time with that person. What a delight to the spirit to spend a few of the precious few moments we have on earth with someone great or even someone diabolical who’s thoughts led man into the abyss.
If one decides to pursue higher education, from my perspective, I would begin long before college age to maximize my bag of tricks. First Read and read more. Take the hardest classes in high school, math and science, regardless of ability or interest. These subjects force you to think. They are not clouded by opinion, especially math. Your brain actually grows larger and synapses are formed when you agonize over a math problem through to its solution. The same part of the brain is used to do both math and music. Einstein played the violin. Many great thinkers, scientists, and mathematicians play musical instruments. Give a child a flute and teach them to read music. Half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes; one and two and three and four and: Are you following me. I’m with the band.
Before putting in your time and energy into getting a degree, I was taught by my parents to research the need in the workplace and the pay/reward, also the competition. A degree in theater, broadcasting, etc. will pit you against thousands of wanna be who would kill for an opportunity to enter these “glamorous” professions. They are a fools errand to be sure.
My late husband raised a family of four and more ( always had a relative of his living with us at one point or another ) as a Master Plumber, very well, thank you.
None of us went without and I still don’t.
Because he made sure I wouldn’t, when he was gone.
He wasn’t the most educated man in town, but he was smarter than a lot of others when it came to practicality.
Both of our children are college educated, one has a masters and works for the Gov, the other is a junior in engineering.
They worked their butts off for scholarships for the first four years. Merit based scholarships, the kind you have to work for.
The oldest had to pay for her masters on her own, but chose a career that will forgive her loan after ten years. Smart cookie.
We told both the kids ;”If you don’t do well in school and don’t go to college , you can always fix toilets with Daddy”.
hehe worked like a charm.
I feel sorry for all those kids that spent so much time, money and effort studying engineering, computer technology and the sciences and such and can’t find a job.
Someone should have warned them there was no future in those fields.
Not so. There are jobs in science (I have direct knowledge of this.). Do you think that nurses, Doctors, those in bio-tech, are in the food stamp brigade. Of course they aren’t. Are you willfully misleading the masses in order to eliminate the competition? Or are you just uninformed.
I would stay anonymous if I made such a remark as yours. It is simply not true.
I’m sarcastically pointing out that some degrees are worth something while other things like,say, 18th century French Literature are not.
As someone who worked their way through school and got out without owing a dime to anyone, except maybe thirty bucks on a gas station card, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for folks with $50,000 of debt and nothing to show for it.
A doctor will earn the money to pay off their tuition. So will most attorneys, engineers, chemists, accountants, MBAs, etc., but not very many English, journalism, or poly sci majors are going to have the income to pay it off.
If you want to be the best-educated guy at the sandwich shop, that’s fine, but quit whining about it.
Actually, law degrees aren’t worth a whole lot now. Seems there’s a glut of them in recent years.
I agree: I remember my peers who would laugh at me for joining the military. Yet, I used the cash I made (much more than flipping burgers) to pay for two years’ of tuition at the top ivy league university. I then received a scholarship which paid for the rest of it. I left owing about $1,500 which I paid off in a couple months after getting a good job working in healthcare (something all my left-liberal friends laughed at too: “that’s so uncool, dude”).
Since then, I have always worked and worked amazing jobs (and that is with a liberal arts degree). The key was being debt-free: if I didn’t like my situation, it was easy to move jobs or cities and take-up good offers. To be able to tell your boss to go f themselves is the best thing you can do for your mental health. The only way a boss has an axe over you is if you have masses of debt to pay and can’t afford to walk away.
Now, as I get older, but still have lots of drive and energy, I am looking for a young woman who can keep me company. I want a smart woman who can talk about Sartre, Camus, neutrinos etc. But also is very healthy and has a great body. I suspect she will be one of these heavily indebted students: I help her out, she helps me out.
The GI bill that paid for college for millions of US Vets after WW2 was perfect, it gave many the time they needed in a vertical endeavor that they needed to process the PTSD from war. By the time they graduated, they had a vision and a purpose beyond war. It really was great therapy.
This was the generation that took America to the Moon. I mean really, out of the ashes of war America went to the moon, and these wounded vets many just emotionally wounded that grew up in the Great Depression yeah there was PTSD from that too. They healed and built the greatest technological revolution the world has ever seen.
So scary was this technological revolution, that Obama and the likes of Al Gore have dedicated them selves to destroy it at all costs.
We are heading into another Great Depression, God Bless America!
I am the right age to have either known or worked with that generation. They were amazing for what they went through. From the worst economic crash to fighting – and winning – the biggest war the world had known. Then, rather than slack off, they built the post-war boom in everything. They never apologized for being white, they never worried what women thought. They were called ‘cold’, ‘aloof’, ‘hard-ass’, or criticized for drinking too much. But they got way more done than what came afterwards.
And today’s politicians can’t defeat and occupy a country full of backward Muslims, let alone put men on Mars or any other planet. The WWII generation rolled right over those piss holes and took no guff from the Mecca worshipers.
Very very sad to see all these kids that will slave away at that colossal debt most of their adult lives.
I always wanted a degree in black studies……. That course called “Rioting and Looting 101 is soooo important.
Don’t fall for the mind control trying to convince you that college is a good idea. Work for yourself when you can.