As the economy continues to flounder after the various economic sector crashes of the past couple of years or so, new ideas are popping all over the place to try and keep things in America "steady as she goes".
One of those solutions being seriously discussed to ease the burden of the American economy is by encouraging young people to volunteer for civil service as a way to eliminate a large portion of the debt accumulated while in school earning their degree.
“This is really about helping those people out, getting them ready as far as the choice for best course of study for the financial future,” CNN business correspondent (and apparent Obama Administration mouth piece) Stephanie Elam stated of an episode of Newsroom last week.
“So you may consider the possibility of enlisting in public service. Demand is really high right now for government jobs …and any remaining debt on federal student loans will be forgiven after you work full-time in public service for ten years. But to get this benefit, you need to take out your loan from a federal lender as opposed to a private one like Sallie Mae...”
Wow... how about that for a hard sell for federal service...
Elam continued the full court press for the idea, “They’re not going to forgive your loan, but if you do have service that you provide to AmeriCorps, you will enjoy loan forbearance, and what that really means is you won’t be have to make any payments while you’re serving, and AmeriCorps volunteers are also eligible for an education reward for $5,350,”
That's nice of them...
Free labor just for the privilege of not having to pay your loan back right away topped off with an oh so generous gift of $5400 to pay back the loan you took out to pay for the overpriced education (with prices driven up primarily due to programs ,such as federal student loans, which allowed schools to become unaffordable...).
This is hardly a new concept folks. Chinese and Russian mafias have used similar tactics before in their sex dungeons. Thing is when they do it, we do not call it "Loan forgiveness", we call it "indentured servitude", a form of slavery where a person is disproportionally compensated for labor under the auspice of paying off a debt (usually illegal immigration into America).
Locking yourself in shackles...
As terrifying an idea of federal indentured servitude might be to some people, sadly this is not an idea the Obama administration would shy too far away from. A few weeks ago, Obama signed a bill putting the Federal Government in charge of student loans, as a way to ease pressure on may private lending institutions.
Combine that with the Administration’s stated commitment for the development of a comprehensive system for public service last year (including signing on to The Action Act, aimed at reestablishing connections between federal agencies and AmeriCorps, as well as upping the federal dollars flowing into it) and you could see where it could all lead to a federal scheme to employ twentysomethings on the cheap to pay off student loans.
The move to let students trade federal labor for student loan forgiveness would make perfect sense for the Obama administration. It would lock down the youth vote for him, allowing for him to be seen as helping a group of Americans hit very hard by the recent economic malaise by giving them break from the mountain of debt (all the while ultimately shackling them to the Alter of the federal government). And in the short term, it would be seen as a move to assist the American economy, desperate for anything positive to grow upon.
But would it help the American economy in the long term, as CNN's Obama mouthpiece claimed it would?
Certainly Elam has a point in that the idea of students leaving four years of university of burdened with tens of thousands in loan debts would benefit the economy. The freed capital alone would be a boon for all sectors of the economy. and employing this many people on the federal dole would increase employment figures (by employing a group of people in need of work), though many economists would argue that the raised employment figures would count at most as an artificial inflation, as government work, by its very nature, contributes nothing to grow the economy.
But will this mass of federal employment (all be it temporary) benefit the economy's long term interests. Would there be a negative effect in putting the young minds of the future putting off the world changing innovation this nation so desperately needs them to be doing because before they go forth to change the world they have to spend four years serving the government in order to pay off their student loan debts?
Of course, the choice (as of now) in turning to federal service in order to pay down student loans will be for the graduating students to make. But it does not take an idiot to see where many of these great young minds (especially those with the highest loan debts, such as doctors and lawyers) may end up. There is no benefit in entering a cruel and turbulent work force, which greatly rewards innovation while ruthlessly punishing inexperience. No federal "gift" for turning the engines which drive the one time biggest economy the world has ever seen. For the fed, to employ an army of voters guarantees that our current system, however corrupt and toxic to the American way of life, becomes "too big to fail"... an ace in the hole, if you will, for a bloated federal beurocracy frightened by America's beginning to fade in global influence as all mighty empires do.
To me this seems less like a move to stabilize a turbulent economy and more like another step in the plan towards total federal control in the lives of American citizens as well as a way for these corrupt members of both parties to insure dependence on them y the traditionally rebellious American youth...
But then again...I am getting a bit paranoid...