U.S. NEWS: Scared of Student Debt
A college education is not for everyone and the opportunities out there in the skilled trades are just as important to improving the American economy and most importantly your bank account.
Debt loads are preventing young entrepreneurs from starting businesses, which is terrifying for the economy.
By Jean Card
Former Gov. Mitch Daniels’ commentary in the Wall Street Journal this week about how student loan debt hurts the American economy made points that not only bear repeating, but beg to be added to the talking points of every American leader who cares about the future of entrepreneurship in our country. As Daniels explained, student loan debt can be directly tied to the alarming decline of economic dynamism — a topic I’ve blogged about before on this page, and one that sadly lacks a vocal, high-profile champion.
A young person buried in five figures of student loan debt is more likely to postpone buying a home and less likely to start a business — two facts that are actually connected, as financing the startup of a business tends to require collateral. The best source of collateral for the typical entrepreneur is his or her home.
So here’s how the unraveling goes: High debt, no home. No home, no collateral. No collateral, no business. No business, less upward mobility. Less upward mobility, less prosperity.
Now extrapolate that depressing chain of events to a generation. Scared yet? I am.
Daniels stopped short of questioning whether a college education is actually worth its price — understandably, as he is currently a university president. That would have been pretty bad marketing.
But others should be brave enough to add that bigger question to the conversation about student loan debt. Mike Rowe, the former host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” does just that. “We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts,” said Rowe, who has a foundation that helps train young people for well-paying jobs in skilled labor.
Read the complete article and more at U.S. NEWS.