Occupy Wall Street and Student Loans

According to Prof. Chris Coyne, one of the main concerns of the Occupy Wall Street movement is the rising cost of college and student loans. If student loans were forgiven, however, it wouldn’t solve the fundamental problem of costly education.

A government program that forgave student loans would improve the finances of people holding student loans, but it would do so at the expense of taxpayers in America. Many of these taxpayers would fall within the 99%.
Furthermore, by seeking bailouts for student loans, the Occupy Wall Street movement is fundamentally no different than the banks and corporations that they’re criticizing.


  1. Alex Moscoso

    awesome ending.

    Why cancel just student debt? Why not cancel all debt! Wouldn’t that help peoples finances even more? Better yet, lets just make debt illegal!
  2. Brian Phillips

    Exactly.  What they were asking for would just help the cycle continue.

  3. Anonymous

    The government taking over as the primary lender of all student loans is a good way to buy votes and control people in the future. It gives a corrupt administration the power to gain millions of votes by offering to wipe their student loans clean… what power! Then they will immediately raise another group with the same devastating chain around their neck waiting for it to be tugged at the right moment.

  4. Patrick Russo

    "The Occupy Wall Street group is fundamentally no different than the banks and corporations that they’re angry with." Yep.

  5. taschrant

    At the end of the day, students and/or their parents signed the papers for the loans.

  6. Anonymous

    Sorry, but the maths and logic of this argument are clearly off. Some basic points: 1. Nearly 40% of Americans have student loans. The people whose loans would be forgiven -are- the taxpayers. 2. The Occupy Wall Street movement is very different from the banks and corporations they are criticising. They are seeking absolution of student debt because they regard it as illegitimate; they did not ‘get themselves into it’, rather the structure of rising costs and increasing debt financing in the US higher education sector made their debt an inevitability (if this were not so, student debt would not be systemic – but it is, with two-thirds of new students taking out loans). In contrast, the Wall Street banks actually did get themselves into their own mess. The comparison breaks down further when you consider that student loan borrowers are indebted because they have pursued an education, compared to the banks’ pursuit of private profits. 

  7. Anonymous

    Sorry, I meant to say 40 million Americans, not 40 percent.

  8. Autumn Reed

    Somebody has to pay for all of this debt. Or, perhaps people could not go to universities and go to vocational schools.

  9. juliansfree

    We should offer tax credits for education. Ayn Rand proposed such a policy in a newspaper article for the Los Angeles Times, which you can now read in "The Ayn Rand Column."

  10. Anonymous

    The people who took out student loans did so voluntarily. They got themselves into that mess, why should we bail them out? Because they had good intentions? There are many options than attending universities. Community college is one of them. Students racked with debt should have done their research and made better choices.

  11. Matt Wavle

    The only REAL way to Occupy Wall St…  Start a competing business…  What?  The cost for starting up is way too high due to taxes and burdensome regulations?  Oh, NOW you’re starting to focus your frustration in the right place…  see it’s NOT companies, it’s the marriage between BIG business and BIG Government that’s the real problem.  Wake up and get a clue!

  12. Grady Flanagan

    Great idea (sarcasm). Forgive debt because we were too stupid to realize that we were being taken for a ride. Eliminate responsibility. Hey, how about this? At some point in your life, someone tried to educate you on finances. How about you go back to them and let the Rochambeau you for not listening to them on financial responsibility and choosing a good school to get a good job. I volunteer to be the one doing the kicking for all PF teachers out there.

  13. libertyiowa

    There is a lot frustration in the country focused on Big Government and Big Business. Somehow Big Education gets ignored. The price of education over the last several decades has far exceeded the cost of living growth. Part of this is brought upon the availability of government backed student loans and grants. This artificially increases the demand for college, thus increasing the price of the education for everyone. 

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