Plain English with Derek Thompson - Should We Cancel Student Debt

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Today, I want to talk about the student debt crisis and the debate over whether to forgive or cancel, a huge chunk of student debt.

This issue is either a perfect subject or plain English or a terrible subject for this podcast because it’s really, really complicated.


This is a story about Finance about macroeconomics about debt, burdens progress, civet E, versus regressivity and public policy.

But in the biggest picture, this is a story about the American dream.

It’s about how we as a country treat people who want to move ahead in the world and how too often American policies, punish people that they mean to reward because this issue can be so emotional.


I thought it might be best to begin in the realm of facts.

So here are 10 facts about student debt in this country.


Number one.

How big is it?

Well in 2006, when I was smack-dab in the middle of my college education, there was about 500 billion dollars of student loan debt.


That was a lot today.

There’s one point seven trillion.

The difference is equal to the total amount of credit card debt in America to State this very plainly.

Since I went to college, u.s.

Student debt has increased by an amount equal to Total Us credit card debt.


That is insane.

Fact number two.

Why is this number growing so fast, I could do like a 30 minute segment on this.

I probably will do a whole episode on this later on, but the upshot is that more people are going to college.

And college costs are rising faster than basically any other service in America.


So more people trying to access and increasingly unaffordable product equals a shit ton of debt.

Fact, number three, how many people have student loans?

Well, among households led by someone between 25 and 38, basically Millennials about About 40% of those households have student loans that number, by the way has doubled, since the 1990s fact, number 4.


How much do they owe the median?

Typical student debt for college grads is about twenty thousand dollars.

The average that you sometimes see reported is about twice as high closer to forty thousand dollars.

You’re like, why is the average so much higher than the median?

That brings us to fact.


Number five.

It’s higher because one, third of student debt 1/3 is held by the sea.

X percent of borrowers who owe more than a hundred thousand dollars that those stories people who owe more than a hundred thousand dollars of student debt.

They often take up a lot of air space in the media.


They’re more likely to be cover stories in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times.

It’s an important part of the picture.

But remember, it’s six percent of the pie fact, number 6, what groups are most likely to have debt?

It’s black.

Students and for-profit students black borrowers on average.


Oh, 40 percent more than white borrowers and students.

At for-profit colleges also 0 40 percent more than those that attend.

Public and private schools.

Fact number 7, who defaults on their student loans, most often?

This is a really important fact, because if you default on your student loans, it makes it very difficult for you to get loans, to buy a car or a house later.


And again, we’re looking at the same population black borrowers, borrowers at for-profit schools, both default on their loans more than twice as much as other students.

Fact, number 8, This isn’t just an undergraduate phenomenon.

In fact, more than fifty percent of student debt in this country is owed by graduate school borrowers.


They also tend to account for a higher share of people who owe 60 70 120,000 dollars.

This sometimes is people that went to law school went to medical school.

Fact, number 9 student debt cannot be measured by that.

First number that I gave you exclusively.


It’s not just about the 1.7 trillion in outstanding student loans student loans.

Also shape, moving decisions, marrying decisions.

They delay, adulthood.

They make it harder for people to buy a car or a home or even launch a business.

So the spillover effects, both in life.


And in the economy of that one point, seven trillion dollar student loan amount are pretty large and finally fact number 10 student debt is a problem and some Democrats want to cancel it.

And that brings us to the meat of today’s episode, with Joe Biden’s presidential agenda, coming undone by the week.


There are some Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and AOC that are urging the president to put student loan, forgiveness front and center.

They claimed that the president has the legal ability, enshrined in The Higher Education Act of 1965 to wipe away any amount of student debt that he wants with a mere signature.


Should Joe Biden cancel the debt?

Can he cancel student debt?

And what would happen if he did?

I’m Derek Thompson.

This is plain English.


Today’s guest is Jordan Weissman.

Jordan is a senior editor at Stay calm.

He’s also a writer on politics, economics and public policy.

Jordan used to write for the Atlantic and then he left me Jordan.


Thanks for having me, man.

So Elizabeth Warren.


Other Democrats like AOC.

They’re talking about canceling student debt.

What does this plan look like?

I mean intro, it’s really simple.

It’s like Joe.

Biden should just cancel the debt just with a pen just on his own unilaterally.

That’s and from there.


We can get, you know, much more.

Up into the weeds, but that’s really the long and the short of it Warren has been arguing since her presidential campaign.

That the president essentially has the authority on their own to cancel all of the outstanding federal student loans that are currently on the books.


So, most of the time, the government is sending money to people.

And obviously, if student debt is canceled, that’s a little bit, like, sending money to people, you need Congress to do this, right?

Like Biden’s relief, bill fortunate dollar checks.

That was a bill passed through Congress.

When you expand a tax credit for kids, that’s a bill that has to go through Congress.


But this is a very, very unusual case where Biden can arguably, I want to stress, arguably, because it is an argument and not necessarily a point of legal fact that Biden can just like wave the magic wand of executive power.

As you said, take out the pen and cancel.

Hundreds of billions of dollars of student debt by himself.


How does that work?

How is this?

Something that Biden can do alone?

That’s, that’s a good question.

And there are Some brilliant legal Minds in the Biden Administration and outside of it, contemplating this right now, but so I want to say let’s kind of re-emphasize what you said, which is this is one side of the argument, but the higher education act, kind of the bill or the statute, that sets up, the federal student loan program has this provision in it, which basically gives the Department of Education, the ability, the option to settle or compromise or essentially forgive.



Some Of student debt.

And what it doesn’t say is it doesn’t put any kind of a cap on it.

It doesn’t say you can forgive up to this amount.

It doesn’t say in these circumstances.

It’s just as you have this ability and this one point, some legal Scholars, kind of noticed this this little feature of the law and said, hey, we think this gives the president, the authority is wipe out all this debt and then Elizabeth Warren went to some Scholars at Harvard Harvard and got a legal opinion from them and they said, yeah, we think this gives Gives the president the ability to unilaterally get just clear out all of this debt.


And you know, I should qualify what I said before, which is that right now, they’re Democrats in Congress, are calling for President, Biden to forgive up to 50,000 dollars per person, right?

It’s, they’re not calling for all of the dead, but there have been very different versions of this argument made where, you know, some people on the left would like all of the debt to be wiped out, the, I guess center-left version we should say now is to forgive up to 50,000 dollars.


Debtor but the core of it Remains the Same which is that this is something supposedly that Biden can just do on his own, the executive function here.

The fact that Biden can do this on his own is really important because Biden is in a moment right now where he’s had like a woke up on the wrong side of bed day.


That’s lasted nine months, other than Trump, his, net approval rating is like the lowest of any president.

I think at this point other than Harry Truman, his main piece of economic legislation, the build back better bill is on life support.

We had Jim Fallows in the pod.

Last week to talk us through the Democrats, Voting Rights bill which failed to overcome a filibuster you’ve got inflation.


The economy Omicron is doing is Omicron thing.

It’s not letting Biden off the hook entirely to say.

This is just a shitty time to be president because the universe is throwing one wrench after another and if I leave ministration, I’m looking at all this thinking what can we do?

That gets around the wrenches.


That doesn’t rely on Senator manchin, Senator sedima, Republican, Senators Chinese Supply chains Omicron.


What can we do alone by?

Ourselves that can immediately help people and be politically popular and this might be that something.


So what is the latest you are hearing from people in the administration or around the administration about the state of student debt cancellation.

I haven’t personally heard much people.

I talked to the administration haven’t brought it up lately and but, you know, I’m not plugged into the very highest levels of Biden’s, Inner Circle.


Here’s here’s where the debate is right now.

Now, publicly the Democrats in Congress including Warren and I should say Senate Majority Leader.

Chuck Schumer are calling on Biden to do some sort of student debt.

Forgiveness up to fifty thousand dollars the by Administration along while back said, it was going to produce a memo on whether or not it actually had the legal authority to do this and we’ll get into why there’s some questions about it in a bit.


But that was back in the spring and since then, there’s just been no real word of the like, what’s actually in this memo.

And so there, you’re starting here.

This rallying Cry Of release, the memo.

It’s sort of like the release the Snyder cut that Advocates are now.


It’s they want to hear they want Biden to release the memo and see what it says and has the administration concluded that it does or doesn’t have this Authority.

And so that’s where this argument that executive Authority is at this moment.

Okay, let’s build the case for, and against student debt forgiveness.


I want us to basically pretend to be like, The defense attorney for this idea and then the prosecutor against this idea, and then later, we’ll render our decisions as judges.

But let’s imagine that we are drafted.

As the lawyer, whose task to represent the best possible argument for student debt.


Forgiveness, Jordan.

Where would you begin?

Do you want me to make an emotional argument or just like a really clinical argument?

What do you make the emotional argument first?

And then you can make the clinical argument?


I mean, I think there are a lot of people who feel like student debts.

Crippled, a generation, right?


If you’ve been paying 10% of your income or more or 15 percent, whatever percent year after year, it’s just exhausting this, you know, especially given just everything else going on in the world.

That’s the emotional argument, right?

It feels that it’s Albatross.



On on a whole generation of Americans, you know, that that previous generations didn’t really have to deal with.

So the emotional side is, yay, Millennials.

You did everything right?

Here’s your reward, one point seven trillion dollars worth of student.

Loans, what is the clinical side?

The clinical part of me as tried to really think through this argument as carefully as possible, and I think there are two ways you can frame it.


There’s one which is sort of this notion that, you know, it’s fundamentally unfair to make people pay for college that, like, education should be a right.

The other argument, which I personally feel is a little bit more compelling.

Is that in a lot of ways, the federal government has acted As sort of a predatory lender over the past, 20, 30 years.


The student loan permit is essentially gives out money to kids 18 year olds.

No questions asked right.

You don’t need a credit score.

You don’t really need anything.

You just need to be going to school and it doesn’t even ask questions about the kind of school, you’re going to.

So it will essentially lend anybody money to go to sort of a fly-by-night, for-profit school and not very good, you know, private school that charges way too much for the education.


It’s offering to get all sorts of Institutions that don’t necessarily Sara Lee offer students much bang for their buck and leave them off in some cases worse off than they were before.

They went to school, you know, famously.

It’s almost impossible and impossible, might be overstating it but it’s extremely difficult to discharge your student loans in bankruptcy.



And so if you think about the federal government as sort of this, you know predatory lender in some respects then yeah, there’s it needs to make right by some people it needs to fix the situation.


It’s sort of created.


So, to summarize number one.

It’s just wrong college.

Education is a necessary ticket into the middle class and upper middle class and we shouldn’t force people to go deep in a debt to access the upper middle class.

Number two.

It’s a emotional and economic Albatross on this generation, which previous generations have not necessarily had to suffer.


And number three.

I take your point that the government is essentially acted as a predatory lender.

Saddling people with debt for programs that weren’t particularly good.

So, they were Buying Fool’s Gold.

They were going into debt for degree.

That didn’t actually help them in the labor force, and there’s a pretty good from an economic and emotional standpoint.


I would add to the case for student debt.

Forgiveness, to political arguments.

Number one.

It’s pretty good politics in an economic year when Biden is losing young voters.

Like binds that approval rating is lowest among people under 45 and it’s plunging fastest for people under 30.


Well guess what’s true about people under 45 and especially people under 30?

They have the most student debt.

They care the most about student debt.

They are most likely to, maybe support you or support your party.

If you are seen as canceling student debt.

Number two, student debt burden, is particularly High among non-white Americans, particularly among black Americans, and there is a debate within the Democratic party that I know you’re extremely familiar with between.


I guess you could say, like the woke part of the democratic party, the CRT part of the democratic party that talks a lot about racial inequity.

And it should have class-based socialism aspect to the Democratic party, which says we should focus more in class than we should own race.

Well, if you want to pass a law or achieve a policy that helps a class of Americans, but disproportionately helps black Americans.


Canceling student debt is a pretty good policy that achieves that end.

According to the Brookings institution and a think tank for years after graduation.

The average black college graduate owes fifty, three thousand dollars in debt compared to the Bridge white graduate who owes 28 thousand dollars in debt.


So those I think are two political Arguments for the cancellation of student debt that you can sort of layer on top of the economic arguments that you laid out anything you want to add before we throw off the defender three-piece suit and donned the prosecutorial suit before we try to shred the arguments that we just laid out.



I mean, I think I think it’s worth emphasize or re-emphasizing.

The point is brought up about Racial equity, and the disproportionate burden of student debt, on black families.

And I think that that’s part of what’s making this issue.


Even more emotionally charged, is that there’s a sense among black college graduates, that it’s so hard for black people to get ahead in this country period.

Right, right.

Like we we put so many weight.


We put so many weights on black people just to just to Get into the middle class, right?

It just like it’s a fight.

And then on top of it, once they go to college, and they want to kind of secure their place in the middle class.

They’re going to end up with having to, you know, take on even more loans that will be harder for them to kind of start saving and Jenner and kind of creating the sort of generational wealth that white families already have because they have to borrow so much for school.


That’s that from the Brookings Institute.

You quoted a lot of that, that increase in debt among black people after.

Patient is because they have to borrow so much to go to grad school, which white people had to pay for with combination of family support and you know other other Financial Resources, if a black person in America wants to grab, go to grad school.


They are just much, much, much more likely to go deep into debt.

And, and so, I think again that this sense of unfairness is especially acute among black voters.

So all right.

Now the other side of the argument, the best objections to a student debt Jubilee.


Let me get us started with a quick overview of what I consider the best objections.

And then maybe you can fill in some of the details.

Number one, what you’re going to hear about from Economist.

You’re going to hear from sort of the center left and center, right?

Is that it is regressive that most of the benefits from a student debt cancellation will go to the top. 50% Maybe even the top 20, 30 percent of earners.


One reason for that.

A lot of people who graduate from college, turn out to be high income.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons to go to college, is to learn more.

And so, if you forgive student debt, might be disproportionately rewarding white-collar workers, doctors lawyers, people that have taken on student debt and now earning a hundred.


Two hundred thousand dollars.

Number two.

It doesn’t do much in the long term to solve the underlying problem of rising College costs.

If you have a one-time Jubilee, a one-time Ation of student debt, how are you solving the problem for someone who starts college?


This September?

How are we solving the problem for people who start college anytime in the next decade, you’re not you just have this extremely acute solution to a chronic problem.

Number three, people will say, oh it’s unfair to people that already paid back their loans or never went to college.


You’re going to needlessly anger, those that have gone through the student loan, repayment process.

And finally, I think that Into a political argument against student debt, cancellation that a lot of outstanding debt is have already pointed out, is held by doctors lawyers, High earning white collar workers.


And that might be a political liability.

You can imagine Fox News in a world where Joe Biden wields, the power of the pen and cancel student debt saying, Republicans, are the party of small business owners Carpenters.

Miners people who never went to college salt of the earth.

Earth and Democrats.


This party of the college Elite are just handing out a trillion dollars to people with student debt from going to college.

That’s unfair.

They are specially benefiting people who aren’t you?

Tell me which of those issues strikes.


You and what you want to build on.

If we’re building the objections, the student debt Jubilee.

You’re making me pick one.

So I’ve heard, I mean is I’ve written about all these objections at some point or another and I should I will reveal where I stand on student, debt cancellation near the end of this episode.


I’m sure, but I, you know, I’ve gone back and forth in this issue over time and in part because of all the things you’ve mentioned here.

I mean, it doesn’t take a lot to imagine, like the face that Tucker Carlson would make as he does a segment on this.

Well, he only has one face.


So in fact, it is very easy to imagine the the furrowed brow and the eyebrows touching each other in the middle of the face.


It’s like Joe Biden wants to forgive.

Thousand dollars of debt for this neurosurgeon.

Meanwhile, you’re working hard down at the car, wash, put it like right like that that, you know, to it just like it doesn’t.


You don’t have to think very far to or heart.

You don’t have to think very hard to figure out how it’s going to play in certain audio with certain audiences.

And, you know, I think if you look at the polling on student debt forgiveness, and I’m going to admit it.

I haven’t I haven’t checked it to recently.

There’s probably been more bowls on this since the last time was, but it pretty consistently gets like a above 50% approval.


Right from the general public.

It pulls pretty decent, Leopold’s better than like the giant tax cut that Republicans passed back when Donald Trump was an office, you know, it’s not a bad issue.


If you take issue polling, seriously.

The problem is, it’s probably going to generate really strong feelings among certain, you know, on both sides.


Like the people are happy that are going to be thrilled, right?

Like it changes their financial lives with the people are unhappy about it.

I mean, you can imagine sort of like a, I mean, even It’s even more.

So than already exists.

You can imagine sort of like, an angry tea party asked reaction to this.



Like, you know, Maggie, you know, this could be like a central issue for, you know, Maga for Maga America.

And so it’s, you know, politically it’s it’s tough, right?

It could make young voters happy, but it could also just rusher in a backlash and it’s hard to predict exactly how that’s going to play out.


You can just kind of guess at it.

You talk a little bit about the regressive aspects because You talk to a lot of Economist and this is an issue that I would say Centrist and center-left Economist talk about a lot that what democrats should do.


Capital D, democrats should do is pass policies that are progressive.

That is to say that the policy disproportionately helps, those at the bottom of the income ladder, but canceling student.

Dead is disproportionately benefiting people, that often have graduated from college in there for hire.


Earning and so this is might be a regressive policy.

It might benefit the rich more than the poor.

Just just when you spell out a little bit more about like what that argument is and and even how much it connects to you II think I think it’s your spelling it out pretty well.


Like I mean, I can go through the numbers and I should say it’s actually we know shockingly little about how student debt is really distributed.


Like, who really holds it like our data on student debt are just terrible.

Like it’s like I there for a long time we didn’t like the Department of Education had just like Ever even published how much it collected in student loan payments every year.

Like it just, it didn’t publish that statistic.


You think, you know, see, ya ID.

I had to like, dig and fight and like bag.

This the Department of Education to tell me what that number was.

Eventually they did.

But like, you know, it just like that’s just a small example, but in general, yes, if you look at, you know, one study that I liked kind of suggested that the top 40 percent of earners probably.


Old about 60% of the student debt, right?

So cancel.

If you canceled all of the debt, right?

It would probably be a bit more aggressive.

Like you’re saying like that, you know, people at the top of benefit a little bit more than people at the bottom.

The reason why that that argument doesn’t totally connect with me anymore, is because you don’t have to cancel all of the debt.


You could.

I mean, you could mean says that you could say we’re canceling debt for people who make under x amount.

You could say we’re canceling up to x amount like up to ten thousand dollars.

Up to twenty thousand dollars are up to 50,000 dollars.

And what that would do is it would prevent you know, essentially what it would do is it would forgive the debts of a lot of people who may be spent one or two years at a for-profit school and you know, dropped out and didn’t do very well or who went to a public College because that’s what they could afford.


It would wipe out a lot of those debts, but it wouldn’t Wipe Out the entire debts of people who went to an Ivy League law school, right?

Like it would so it would sort of act as a version of means testing.

There are ways around that issue.

Ooh, to me, you know, the big, you know, their ways you can make it kind of essentially a middle-class tax cut and a lot of ways that’s what student debt is, right?


It’s a tax.

So you could turn this into a middle tax.

Middle class, tax cut essentially, but again, it is, the real problem is the politics, right?

It’s because the word debt is involved and because some people actually have pay these debts back, it just it adds this emotional element to it on the for and against side.


That’s just it.

Kind of hard to predict and it’s hard to Grapple with.

All right.

I’ve done my best to represent the case for the case against.

I think.

I know where I come down on this.

But Jordan, where do you come down on this?

I mean, I think that look, if Joe Biden is in his The second half is first term and can’t pass anything else.


I think it would be worth considering trying it.

At least I think there’s a good chance that if he went for it, the Supreme Court would knock it down.

We haven’t really talked about the legal case against it which I think is very important and I think people kind of need to maybe lower their expectations here.


But if if he’s kind of finished out his period where he can actually legislate, right?

Like if we lose if Democrats lose control of Congress, I see no reason.

And why he couldn’t give it a shot.

I think I basically agree where I come down on this having spent a few days, doing my best to familiarize myself with the cases.


For and against is this is a b or b - plan canceling say ten thousand dollars in debt.

I don’t think I think once you get to canceling fifty thousand dollars a hundred thousand dollars, I think it’s starts to become a little bit.

Wonky and preferential for the doctors and lawyers in the world.


But the Biden plan of canceling ten thousand dollars in debt for all.

All borrowers plan that would cost about 380 billion dollars, which is a lot but it’s not in the trillions.

Would it’s a B2B - plan in essentially a C+ world, right?


We don’t have the option of it seems to me passing a Big Bill that fixes higher education in one Fell Swoop.

And we don’t also have the option of at this point.

Passing the bill back, better plan or Voting Rights Act that Biden wants to pass with larger Congressional majorities.


So, If this is basically the best that he can do to be seen as trying to help the American middle class, then it’s better to help the American middle class then to not help them.

So I think that’s where I finally come down, is that I do lightly support the Biden version of this plan.


Is there any other important aspect of student debt cancellation that I haven’t asked about of the people are missing, you know, about the idea of just canceling, ten thousand dollars of debt, you know, some people here that they’re like, oh, that’s It’s nothing because they think of like these huge student debt balances.

Like they think of all these, you know, people with a hundred thousand dollars in loans.


Well, what about them?

But, you know, if you look at all 42 million Americans, who actually have student debt right now, about a third of them have balances below 10,000, right?

So if you were to wipe that, I mean you would you would and then another 20% have balances between 10,000 and 20,000.


So if you were to cancel 10,000 of it, you would He essentially wiping out all to half of the Dead for about 50 percent of borrowers.

I mean that’s or a little bit more than 50% of bars.

So that would be it would do significant amounts of good to if Biden were to actually enact, you know, his plan by executive action, but that gets us back to this question.


He said, is there anything else people need to know about student debt?

Forgiveness that we haven’t really talked about?

And that’s the legal case against it, why it might not work why the Supreme Court might just slap it down.

And I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but I occasionally talk to them.

I’m not a lawyer.


I know, I know who Perry little bit but you know the problem is that This would be a, we should say creative reading of the statutes that exist right now.

No one actually thinks that, you know, Congress wrote this part of the higher education act with the idea in mind that some president would come along and cancel all of the loans, you know, it was really meant for, you know, settling individual debts when someone had defaulted and they were trying to collect in court and if they were trying to arrive at some sort of settlement, right?


And so, the question is, could the administration that and go and creatively?

Courage this vaguely written statute to then do this massively important economic thing and the Supreme Court recently and we’ve seen a little bit of this in the recent case on workplace vaccination mandates.


The Supreme Court is really kind of souring on that idea that they actually want to stop this conservative Supreme Court.

We have wants to stop president from being able to take this kind of bold executive action, based on vaguely worded statutes.

And there’s it’s actually this is a major major issue.


If you talk to constitutional lawyers right now and in the entire legal world, how they are trying to essentially kind of kind of, they’re trying to rein in the executive.

They’re trying to prevent exactly administrative agencies, from kind of doing these sort of these sorts of things and you know that what consider the way, you know, Antonin Scalia once put it very famously.


Is that the that the Supreme Court does not allow the federal government to put elephants through Mouse holes.

That was his nose is kind of memorable phrase for it.

It and the idea is that you can’t use like a tiny little like vague part of a law to try and then enact massive economic change and that, that more and more seems to be becoming the sort of philosophy of the court.


And so it seems very likely that the court would treat this as an elephant, trying to be put like they would treat this as Biden trying to push an elephant through a mouse hole and say, no, you can’t just use this one little line in this law to try and erase one point.

Six trillion dollars worth of debt.



I think we can both agree.

That no matter where you stand on this issue, the president and his secretary of education unilaterally handing out up to a trillion dollars through the cancellation of student debt is definitely putting an elephant through a mouse hole.


You could argue.

It’s it’s necessary to shove elephants, do mouse holes because nothing is happening in Congress.

We can’t pass laws anymore because the filibuster has become an endemic virus in American politics, but this is not exactly how the original education bill was intended.


I want to close on America in the world of Education.

Like how exceptional is American student debt?

Because it seems to me that there are a lot of other countries that are as rich is us or poorer than us.


That don’t quite seem to have the same student debt crisis that we do.

Are we the only country that treats In this way, we’re not the only country where students go into debt for higher education.

Their parts of Scandinavia, their Australia be people take on loans, you know, we’re not the only country in the world that’s like this that and they’re also downsides, you know to be in country where higher education is essentially entirely state-funded and free or close to it, you know, a lot of European University Systems are sort of like Meta Meta.


They’re not great bike.

One upside to the US system.

Is that a lot of money?

He goes into higher education and we have like, great research institutions partly because of it.

It’s also part because we spend a lot of federal funding on Research at these universities, but it’s also just because, you know, they can explore and find other revenue streams and get revenue from students.


So there are, there are upsides in terms of like quality of the schools to what we do.

That said, there are, you know, other countries have found more sane ways to run student debt programs.

Like that’s, that’s something is like our student debt program is just like horribly.

It’s just like a beer.

Attic a nightmare to deal with, right.


That’s part of what makes it so charged is like trying to pay.

Your loans is hard and a lot of cases if you ever have to deal with student debt service or whereas, like in Australia famously, you know, they have this system where everyone kind of pays a percentage of their income for X number of years and then they get the get the rest forgiven, right?


And just everyone does that and and for a long time I thought it would be good for the u.s.

To go to.

You know, we have that payment programs like that.

You can choose to do something like that, but they’re complicated.

A lot of people don’t know about About them, you’re not automatically put in it.

I mean, as with everything in the United States is just involves a lot of confusion and paperwork.


And so we, I think there would be ways to simplify and make our student debt system.

A lot more fair that are also not quite so Galaxy brain to there are actually just like what other countries do.

So, yeah, we could try to follow like the, you know, Social Democratic model of just, you know, funding schools directly, so they don’t have to charge tuition, or we could just make a less insane.


That system period and it just that there isn’t really much effort to do either right now, which is what’s frustrating.

And so why I’m sort of sitting here saying yeah, if nothing comes of it then maybe Biden should just try to break out the pain and see if the Supreme Court will let him join raisin.

Thank you very much for coming on the podcast.


I’ll talk to you soon.

Thanks for having me.

Plain English with Derek Thompson.

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New episode drops on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend.