Editor, The Beacon:

We need to subsidize college education again. For too many, student loans are a debtors prison without bars. Many will go to the grave with student-loan debt. For they have spent all their future dollars to compete for well-paying jobs they could not get. And, cruelly, bankruptcy is not an option.

Many object and complain, “I paid my student loans!” To which I reply, “So?”

I have five college degrees: a theology degree, an associate degree, two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree. Yet, I’ve never had a student loan.

I lived in a day when veterans benefits, tuition assistance, and other forms of subsidy allowed me to work part time, study and survive with no student loans. I graduated five times, debt-free!

One of my bachelor’s degrees led me to become a CPA. During that student experience, I learned that if you want less of something, you tax it; if you want more of something, you subsidize it.

Now, we have employers who complain they can’t find qualified employees. But prudent young people are not willing to sell their future for an expensive education that will steal their quality of life.

One angrily cries out, “But that’s socialism!” To which I reply, “No, it is an investment that pays a valuable return on our investment.”

In the Republic of Panama, where I once lived and studied, citizens and foreigners alike can go to college for free.

To which someone will reply with disdain, “But that is a socialist, third-world country.”

“No,” I reply. Panama is a very capitalist country.

Beside the Panama Canal, it is an international banking center, and they have a unique free-trade zone. Panama, unlike the United States, recognizes the value of their investment in education for their young people. Compared to Panama, the United States may be the third-world country.

So, I conclude, let us shut down our virtual debtors prison, forgive student loans, and subsidize education again. Students deserve to graduate debt-free.

Michael Wright




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