Erasing student debt is a bad idea

With student debt now $1.6 trillion – up from $250 billion in 2002 – forgiveness is being considered by politicians (“Erasing Student Debt Makes Economic Sense. So Why Is It So Hard to Do?” Time, Apr. 1).  They argue that it would be good for the economy in the long run.

I say it’s a bad idea because it sends a clear message about individual fiscal responsibility. What about those students who have successfully paid off their loans?  Don’t they deserve compensation?  One of the most important lessons young people need to learn is how to handle their finances.  If they know that the government will always be there to bail them out, it will encourage even more poor decisions.

The truth is that young people have been wildly oversold on the importance of a four-year degree.  Rather than spend thousands of dollars on degrees that are not worth the paper they are printed on, they need to rethink their career plans. Community colleges, which offer a wide variety of courses in virtually every field, are a far better option.

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