fits the latest stereotype of a 20-something recent grad living in their parents’ basement. Indeed, one of the Philly protesters on Monday was 66-year-old Irving Jones of West Oak Lane, who borrowed money in their center-years to earn two master’s degrees at the University of the Arts and a Philadelphia seminary, and still owes $203,000. He said he’s never been able to find work that would bring in enough money for all the dollars he borrowed. “I couldn’t keep up,” Jones conceded. “We was not operating for enough time.”
But while there are 45 million Americans who still owe student debt, you are likely to hear almost as many arguments as to why big loan forgiveness is actually a bad tip – either morally or politically, or for some other reason. Absolving everyone who took on debt to get an education is grossly unfair, critics argue, to people who never lent money in the first place or who worked diligently to pay their loans off. And what about the 63% of American adults who never earned a four-year degree – what exactly is involved to them?
But for the debtors who took part in Monday’s protest and their allies, college-debt forgiveness on a massive scale is the first step toward a larger societal objective – treating higher education not as an individual crucible but as a public good that benefits everyone, by creating better-advised people and more productive workers.
“Markets reasoning does not have any a location in higher-education policy,” Clancy said, noting that his friends and co-workers went into social work to help their neighbors, but instead got walloped with a huge bill that’s all on them. It’s a powerful conflict, but advocates like the Debt Collective know they face an uphill battle and are already planning their next move if Biden does reinstate the payments in May: a debt struck.
“It’s nothing like ‘New Silent Age group,’” Deigh said of her younger allies in the movement. “They will do something about it. They are courageous.”
Yo, do that
I’ve been harping a lot in this space about how our boomer-era teachers never ever educated you the truth about post-Civil War Reconstruction. The same is true, I now know, about ladies’ suffrage while the nineteenth Modification, thanks to a great new season from one of my favorite podcasts, American History Tellers from Wondery. The saga of the women who finally won the vote in 1920 is a morally complex one to – mixing remarkable courage with occasional bouts of demoralizing racism against both Black people and immigrants. I didn’t know before listening to this AHT series how close (one vote, in one state, Tennessee) the 19th Amendment came to meeting an identical doomed future as the 1970s’ Equal Rights Amendment.
Meanwhile, the documentarian Ken Burns (the hardest working man in show business since James Brown left us) is here this week with their very Philadelphia jawn actually, a two-parter on another complicated slice of Americana, Philly’s own Benjamin Franklin. The series launched Monday night but you can stream it on and catch the second part live Tuesday night on WHYY 12 at 8 p.m. You should also read the super-cool op-ed that Burns co-wrote for The Inquirer, in which he called the series “a biography made jagged with brand new evident edges of facts.”
Query myself some thing
Concern: What is Putin’s endgame https://tennesseetitleloans.org/cities/union-city/ in Ukraine, and what happens if it eventually becomes clear that Russia will not gain territorial control there? – Via Andrew Benowitz () on Twitter
Respond to: Andrew, it seems clear that the next 30 days or so could be decisive – leading up to May 9, which is when reports suggest Vladimir Putin had grandiose visions of celebrating a sweeping victory in Ukraine on the anniversary of the USSR’s 1945 triumph over Nazi Germany. And the key battleground will be the regions in the east of Ukraine such as Donbas that the Russian dictator insisted was their genuine mission every together – even as his troops were getting whupped in greater Kyiv. Putin might take territorial gains in the east – which is rich in energy resources – and call it a day, leaving the rest of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Ukraine intact. But the brand new world’s expanding outrage over Russian war crimes makes it less likely other nations will let Putin be “the decider” of the conflict.