Monday, June 6, 2022
HomeMacroeconomicsIs Student Debt Forgiveness Fair? — Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal

Is Student Debt Forgiveness Fair? — Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal

Here is what I wrote to Khaleda in full (he used all but the last paragraph and the links):

Most Americans would view blanket student loan forgiveness as unfair to those who sacrificed to pay off their loans. And the vast majority of college students come from the upper half of the income distribution. We already have a system for loan forgiveness for those who are in dire financial trouble: it is called bankruptcy court. We should make student loans eligible to be discharged or modified in bankruptcy on the same basis as other loans. As it is now, they can’t be discharged in bankruptcy.

Part of the problem students have in paying off loans is not the loans themselves, or even the high cost of college more generally, but that often students aren’t getting a good education, or aren’t given a true picture of their financial prospects after different majors. Colleges and universities need to have their feet held to the fire to do collect data and do honest reporting about the quality of their education and the financial prospects of students who follow different tracks. I write about this in my Bloomberg piece “False Advertising for College is Pretty Much the Norm.”

On the high cost of college, disruptive innovation that can dramatically reduce the cost of a college education already has a foot in the door. We just need to welcome it in. I write about that in my Quartz column “The Coming Transformation of Education: Degrees Won’t Matter Anymore, Skills Will.”



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