Today, The New York Times published another good article by Joseph Stiglitz about student debt. It seems that the Times is starting to tackle this topic with the urgency it deserves. The Stiglitz article avoids the rosy picture tacked onto last week’s reporting. Instead, the article describes how our impossible-to-escape student debt could easily collapse the nation—and soon!
My favorite part of the article summarized the Obama administration’s modest attempt to regulate the federal loan money diverted to for-profit colleges by making it a requirement that at least 35% of graduates are paying back current loans (among other optional requirements that a school can try to meet). Yes – 35% only! – and a pig judge still struck the requirement down, for now.
The Stiglitz article also provides a reasonable solution for our student debt problem, something missing in most media stories. While Stiglitz focuses on the problems with the rigged bankruptcy laws, he also describes the Australian system for motivating loan repayment and efficient higher education programs with positive employment outcomes. I liked the idea of this system, as it could be implemented here without too much screeching about interfering with the holy Free Market.