Editor’s note: CTN received the following letter in response to this editor’s tongue-in-cheek remark that if President Joe Biden were forgiving student loans, that this editor would like a $5,000 refund for the loan she paid off.)
The reader wrote: I can’t believe what I am reading – when people who live in the Palisades (or anywhere on the Westside) are complaining, “Where’s MY student loan forgiveness for a loan I took out 20+ years ago.”
I wonder if they even have a clue about what working class people must go through to rise out of poverty. Students at public four-year institutions paid an average of $3,190 in tuition for the 1987-1988 school year, with prices adjusted to reflect 2017 dollars.
Thirty years later, that average has risen to $9,970 for the 2017-2018 school year. That’s a 213 percent increase.(from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/how-much-college-tuition-has-increased-from-1988-to-2018.html) and those are the prices from 5 years ago!
Stop complaining and saying “Where’s my piece of the pie?” and instead be grateful that you went to school at a time when college was actually affordable. Allow some young person a chance to succeed too instead of just grousing about how you worked SO hard to pay off your loans.
I went to school in the 1980s and I paid off my loan and I’m happy for others to get the break that I had back when school was something that a middle-class family could pay for. Check your privilege. Instead of complaining about student loan forgiveness, why not direct that ire at corporate bailouts for millionaires. THAT is something I could get behind.
CTN’s Response – Checking My Privilege:
It would have been lovely growing up in a middle-class family, but I didn’t. I grew up on a Reservation in South Dakota–we didn’t have running water until I was three. We didn’t have shoes in the summer because barefoot was good enough (and shoes, too expensive.).
I started working when I was 12 by babysitting and carhopping for a local drive-in. I saved my money. I paid for college with scholarships, grants and work study. My family was unable to pay for my education.
I was fine growing up in poverty because it now has given me a different perspective, especially since I now live in Pacific Palisades, where there are “trust fund” babies.
But what I find insufferable are people such as yourself, who make the assumption that just because some people who live on the Westside have managed to make our way out of poverty without government assistance – using grit, determination, hard work and in my case a bit of luck, that we’re privileged.
Join a service organization on the Westside, such as the Rotary or Optimist Club, which are now made up predominately of seniors. Most have worked hard to be able to have a house in Pacific Palisades — these are not privileged people – but they do believe in hard work and paying off debts.
I’m sorry that college has become so expensive – and rather than paying loans, maybe the government needs to look into college costs instead of taxing seniors – or other “rich” people.
My challenge to you–go live and work on a reservation for a year – and then report back on the success of government programs.