Complacency and wasteful spending blight US higher education

| Dec 23, 2020

The push by American progressives to have Joe Biden’s incoming administration forgive $50,000 of student debt per borrower is deeply stupid, but at least clarifyingly so.

More polite language fails to capture the absurdity of singling out college attendees for an unprecedented $1tn transfer of wealth — equivalent to the total spent on cash welfare in the last 40 years. The top sources of US student debt are professional business and law degrees.

All the rationales offered — addressing “systemic inequities” and the “racial wealth gap”, providing “much-needed economic stimulus”, reducing “negative health outcomes” associated with debt — make a better case, assuming one is giving away money, for simple cash transfers to lower-income households. If “debt forgiveness” is the goal, why not car loans or credit card balances?

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Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.