11 Comments
Aug 30, 2022Liked by TracingWoodgrains

I’m with you Trace. I did a lot of pretty grueling jobs to pay for school (roofer, millwright, and deck hand on a drilling rig) and toward the end I kind of became grossed out by the institution itself. I felt like a cow everyone wanted to milk, no one really cared about anything practical, and dropped out my last year because at that time in my life I felt like I could just work low demand jobs and read books from the library until I died and that was all I wanted.

But I have had a more cynical change of mind after I paid off my wife’s student loans (I’m not rich but I know how to fix stuff so I flipped a house in my mid twenties which was enough to make me middle middle class). I admire your virtue but it’s annoying to get treated like a chump. I did all the stuff I needed to do to pay off stuff with my own money by doing things that were actually valuable for people, but with this as soon as I heard the announcement I read all the rules and asked them to refund all the payments on my wife’s loan that we made during the Covid relief period until it totaled just under $10,000. That’s a thing they allow. I don’t know if that will make me ineligible for relief but my guess is they won’t notice that kind of gaming and I’m expecting to get my free $10,000 to pay for a new furnace instead of having to finance it.

I want them to fix the whole architecture for how this mess works so people stop getting degrees that don’t help them in fields that are barely even real but barring that I feel like I have an obligation to not voluntarily let them hurt me if I can avoid it.

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Sep 4, 2022Liked by TracingWoodgrains

I felt the same way about the mortgage bailouts of the 2000’s. I lost 30,000$ on my house when we sold it in part because many “neighbors” just stopped paying their mortgages when they realized they were underwater on the value of their homes. It was very frustrating to keep paying and paying and paying while the arseholes next door lived rent free for two years until the bank was finally able to throw them out. Then we had to sell our house with foreclosures on both sides. Fast forward to THIS new slap in the face, our “neighbors” are just thrilled about this newest don’t live with your bad decisions handout because BOTH of them will benefit. They spend money like water, have about 150,000$ worth of cars for two people, let us take care of their ill cat because they are too cheap to take her to the vet, and hinted to borrow money from us during covid. These are not people who’ve experienced some tragic accident or illness, they’re just spendy and like to buy the newest phones/cars/houses etc. My husband and I live very frugally, paid as we went through college, have two over ten year old cars, and bought a cheap enough house that we could pay half up front and pay the rest off in ten years. We’re really starting to feel like f***ing suckers. But hey, we get to look forward to being millionaires in retirement because we’ve been so responsible and then getting “means tested” out of social security and medicare so we and our various horrible irresponsible friends and neighbors over the years can all wind up in exactly the same place. Yay.

I can’t even discuss it without blowing a discount gasket ;) I’d love to vote for anybody but the Trumpies who I find frankly appalling and equally thrilled to give away money during Covid- but I’m sure as he** not voting for this sh**! Thank you for writing about it so calmly and articulately. All I can do at this point is cuss and spit.

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Exactly.

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Excellent Write Up

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Sep 4, 2022Liked by TracingWoodgrains

Thank you for such a concise write up. I have been struggling with guilt over my anger about this. I am to your left and have been repeating the mantra "a rising tide lifts all ships" to myself for a week, but the fact remains that I didn't attend college until my mid twenties because I made a different cost-benefit analysis than my peers, and have spent years hearing how lucky I am from old high school friends to have no debt; I'm lucky because I've been working full time since I was 17, caring for family members, and missing out on educational years most people consider formative? Just three months ago, I declined a transfer from community college to an Ivy and ended up at my state school, over a potential loan that would have amounted to about 120% of what was just forgiven. I am not as principled as you- if I could have been sure what was coming, I would have taken it and enjoyed my largely unfettered escalator up the economic ladder.

This is not enough to swing my vote, luckily for the democrats (I'm a single issue voter on abortion if anything) but you have to wonder how many it can possibly gain them since I doubt most of the beneficiaries were undecided voters. All it seems likely to do is stoke urban-rural tensions and drive opposition turnout.

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Do not feel guilty. I'm trying to find a way to sue some of my 130k back.

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Aug 31, 2022Liked by TracingWoodgrains

"Options like responsibly structured income-based repayment"

That's how English student loans work. They're basically a 9% de facto tax over a certain income threshold.

That many graduates never or barely pay.

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Aug 30, 2022Liked by TracingWoodgrains

Slow clap

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Sep 4, 2022·edited Sep 4, 2022Liked by TracingWoodgrains

Full support. I'm like Katie, though, and would have a very hard time voting for most Republicans around now. Still, I traded military service for my undergraduate education, and only did my humanities Ph.D. because I got a full ride (don't go otherwise, IMO). Faculty salaries, certainly not in the humanities, have NOT been a major factor in the huge increase in tuition. Our nation is better off with more investment in public education, not in the federal government helping out lenders. And this decision for debt forgiveness is not only really weak legally, it is pure political pandering and does nothing to solve the problem of the cost of higher ed.

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author

Thanks for the thoughts!

Yeah, I'm not keen about most elected Republicans. As it happens, there's a lot I respect about Rep. Bacon, the Republican Congressman in the district I just transferred my vote to, though. He served as wing commander for an Air Force wing I later served in, he holds a range of pretty moderate positions and has a history of crossing the aisle, and he voted in support of both the Respect For Marriage Act and the January 6th Commission, so I have no qualms about voting for him in particular.

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Im so annoyed because I sacrificed and paid cash every quarter to avoid the loans. My husband and I are beyond incensed that its now like too bad the only ones suffering are loan recipients. Thats bs. We could have kept our money and invested it or paid off other debts instead of struggling paying our last dime to a school!! If we had known that it would just be forgiven!. Can't tell you how very upset we are.

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