Editor, Daily Press:
I read with great interest the editorial above in the 27 June 2019 paper, and as is often the case, I disagree sharply with the opinion stated in the piece. It is clear from the text that the author understands little about education, and even less about the economy. The reasons for the “staggering student loan debt” are multiple and varied, but forgiving or eliminating that debt as a society would be a disaster in the making.
As with the housing collapse during the Obama administration, the student loan problem is of the government’s making, and is directly related to government interference and intervention in higher education. Because of the infusion of billions of dollars in financial aid into the higher education system by the government (in the form of grants and loans to students), colleges and universities feel free to charge whatever the bottomless pockets of the government will allow. Who is it that is left standing when the music stops? The student with a worthless degree and $60,000 in loans that cannot be dismissed, not even by bankruptcy or death.
Next, high-paying jobs are as plentiful, and maybe even more plentiful now, than in the past, but a degree in Comparative Basket-Weaving does not qualify the recipient for a real job, either in or outside of the high-tech industry. And a degree in Situational Silliness will not prepare the degree-earner to repay the $60,000 debt, much less make a decent living after graduation. That is the fault of parents not acting like adults, and students who don’t want to exert themselves, or let their studies interfere with their social life. This, rather than considering employability when enrolling and taking coursework, as any responsible person would do. Plus, is it not the responsibility of the government to bail out those who make stupid choices.
Dr. Jonathan C. Jobe
Editor's note: The editorial in question actually only supported State Rep. Melissa Provenzano's request for interim studies on public education policy; it did not sanction student loan forgiveness, though it did explain some presidential candidates are pushing for it.