2020/01/31

The Mammon Mob

Mammon

This blog has covered the Death Cult and its attendant Pop Cult in some detail. Recent interactions on social media surrounding the renewed public interest in student debt forgiveness have made me aware of a third heretical offshoot vying against Christianity for the West's soul: the cult of Mammon.

And unlike the openly Leftist Death Cult and the implicitly Leftist Pop Cult, the Mammon Mob claim allegiance with the other side of the aisle.

It's no secret that members of the younger generations, especially Gen Y and the Millennials, lag far behind their parents' financial attainment at the same age. This brewing economic crisis threatens Baby Boomers housing, pensions, and entitlements. Aging Boomers are having trouble finding buyers for their large, single-family homes because younger folks aren't earning enough to have families, much less buy houses.

That's just in the short to mid-term. In the long run, the economic drain of having multiple generations whose standards of living fall far below their parents' invites a disaster to make the 2008 crash look like a picnic.

Understanding the problem gives you the solution. Why are Millennials, Ys, and even Xers economically underperforming?

Is everybody younger than the Boomers possessed of weak character and a shiftless work ethic?

That's not what the data show. Ys and Millennials forfeit more vacation days and work more overtime than Boomers. Most of the differences in generational work habits arise from members of those generations being at different stages in their lives with correspondingly different goals.

Is the earnings discrepancy caused by Millennials choosing majors like interpretive dance and underwater basket weaving instead of tried and true STEM fields?

Again, no. Only 26% of STEM graduates actually work in their field of study, STEM jobs only account for 6% of the US work force to begin with, and the influx of H1 visa workers further increase competition and depress wages. Telling Millennials to get STEM degrees is like telling everyone on the Titanic to cram into a single leaky lifeboat.

A major cause of younger generations' impoverishment, besides the aforementioned insane immigration policies, is the student loan racket.

US student loan debt currently stands at $1.5 trillion. Much of that debt is unrepayable. We're not just talking Starbucks baristas with studies degrees. There are doctors and lawyers pulling down six figure salaries barred from buying homes because their minimum monthly payments exceed mortgage payments for even modest houses. These kids would have to become millionaires to pay down the principal.

Massive fiscals disasters like the student loan crisis don't happen for no reason. Those who chalk the entirety of the problem up to Millennial students being too lazy and stupid to research lucrative majors or the perils of usury are blithely ignoring another problem. The people they glibly assume are too dumb to stave off personal financial ruin will soon be in charge of the nation's finances.

The truth that certain quarters don't want to admit is that these kids were conned. A functioning society relies upon the young trusting their parents, educators, authorities, and elders in general. When absolutely all of those authorities give their charges wrong information and urge them to take actions that later prove ruinous, the correct conclusion is that the students were defrauded.

Based on many of my interactions with self-professed Christian Conservatives, a shocking number of them just don't get this. When you confront them with the reality that these aren't lazy punks deferring their job searches to play Fortnite, but young professionals busting their humps just to tread water, it just doesn't penetrate. The usual excuses they give for ignoring their fellow Americans' suffering are bromides about harming the free market, paeans to individual responsibility, and even snide, "I got mine!" vitriol.

It's that thinly veiled contempt for the young and the poor that outs this cult as thralls of Mammon. Christ exhorted his followers to sell half their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. He endorsed fraudsters repaying those they defrauded fourfold. Christians are to exercise a fundamental preference for the poor--especially the poor among their own countrymen.

You cannot sneer at someone who is impoverished--even by his own bad choices--and at the same time say that Jesus is Lord with any shred of integrity.

Indeed, defrauding workers is one of three sins, along with murder and mistreating widows and orphans, that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

That's right, Libertarians and BowtieCons, we have a new Witch Test parameter here.

What sets the Mammon Mob apart from political ideology and into the cult category is its adherents' elevation of practical political matters to articles of faith. Student debt relief is a practical economic measure necessary to stave off catastrophe. It's also so popular with the electorate as to be inevitable. You'd think Republicans would embrace student loan forgiveness out of sheer self-interest.

Warren Loan Forgiveness

Millennials are suffering the most under the student debt burden, and they're about to become the largest voting bloc in the country. Whichever party convincingly offers to break their debt shackles is guaranteed to dominate at the polls. Yet when I've pointed out that the GOP is foolish for ignoring this issue, Conservatives have recoiled like vampires splashed with holy water because they say student debt forgiveness violates their beliefs.

It's the exact same aversion to winning and wielding political power you see from Republicans on the immigration issue. And once again, they invent a false principle out of inaction instead of acting on the genuine moral principles of justice, prudence, and compassion.

Politics is the art of the possible. It is about winning elections and then using that political power to help your friends and crush your enemies. The Death Cult gets this. The Mammon Mob unwittingly helps them by refusing to use their last scraps of power even to help themselves.

Student debt forgiveness is going to happen. The only choices afforded Conservatives is whether to jump in front of the parade to implement debt forgiveness on their terms, or to keep doing nothing, hand this winning issue to the Death Cult, and let them continue leading Millennials into socialism. And as go the Millennials, so goes America.

Republicans have to wake up and propose their own serious student loan forgiveness plan. It's a rare case in which the politically savvy move is also the moral course. We'll see what happens, but based on the BoomerCons' screeching, I'm not holding my breath.

UPDATE: For those who've asked for solutions, see this new post.

61 comments:

  1. Brian

    Outstanding article. I sorta fall in this category. As a Canaduan I did take out a student loan and it took me 11 years to pay it off.
    The student issue is not as serious as in the U.S because it's a hidden problem.
    In any case I had to leave the country and lived in another one where housing affordability is also an issue but for different reasons

    I conclude all this is a well thought policy to deny future generations any rootedness. Makes it easier to replace the natives

    Here's another clue of the Mammon cult: the obsession to build office buildings even in the face of high vacancy rate rather than affordable housing

    xavier

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    1. Promoting rootlessness is one of the Death Cult strategies most enabled by the Mammon Mob. One guy I saw arguing with a lawyer who'll be paying his loans until he dies told him to pack up his family and move out of the city. When the lawyer said they didn't live in the city, he was told to me *to* the city.

      No one asks why we should be expected to forsake the graves of our grandfathers to make a living.

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    2. One of my gripes with Economics ├╝ber alles. The field/science/animal-spirits does not calculate the value of community, faith and cultural transmission, multi-generational investment in a locality, the weakness of long supply trains, the value of stability of local economies over economies of size, labor as a good, today's credit as money, societal trust vs diversity (aka redistribution of labor efficiency) and how such polices may be impacted by human behavior outside of the economic domain, such as tribalism, war, and moral structure.

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    3. Wal-Mart and Amazon don't sponsor your local little league team the way that defunct mom & pop store used to.

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  2. Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. It builds character and allows you to be a true individual cog in the secular death spiral system.

    What do you mean younger people don't care about my boomer views and will destroy usury regardless? I'll just keep screaming "bootstraps" and "non-Christian" into the uncaring void as it is dismantled regardless.

    I'm sure that's worth it.

    I know people who have and don't have college educations and they are all fighting for the same jobs regardless. And none of them were in "underwater basket weaving". They were told they NEEDED diplomas to get any job. And guess what? They did. Because Boomers wouldn't look at your application twice if you didn't have one. And with less options to actually make money, because we don't all live in neighborhoods where jobs are easily available or have a functional community, some of us are sinking with no way out.

    "Should have known better" is the phrase of someone who lives in a bubble and lives off theories instead of experience.

    I don't have any student debt, but if I did I would be fucked beyond all measure.

    Reminds me of the post I saw on Twitter about how wearing shorts to Mass is a non-negotiable in any situation. This is someone who has never had to walk across town to Church in sweltering heat because they have no car, or have to stop by between shifts where changing isn't a possibility.

    This is the same crowd that thinks anyone caught in debt must be some kind of inbred idiot who deserves to drown. If you didn't atomize yourself from the lesser people, you wouldn't think that way.

    And these are the people who call themselves experts in Christianity.

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    1. About ten percent of Americans have student loan debt. The Mammon Mob warn that a debt jubilee could lead to communism, which killed tens of millions. At the same time, they will condemn forty-four million of their own countrymen to a living hell of penury with dry eyes and cold hearts--indeed, with a savage smirk.

      They would actually decimate these United States.

      Decimation is not a Christian practice. It is pagan. These people are no less witches than the Moloch worshipers. The only difference is that they sacrifice their children to the Market with excruciating slowness compared to the snip of the abortionist's scissors.

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    2. A debt jubilee can only lead to communism if we let the communists organize it. It's a pity that the folks proposing this most vocally are folks like Comrade Sanders, the Marshal General of the Free Stuff Army. I would imagine some folks who might consider the notion otherwise simply won't because the wrong people - people they wouldn't trust with a bottle or water- are championing the idea. I'm a bit in this camp myself. If Bernie's campaigning on an idea, I assume it's so stupid it's dangerous.

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    3. Be careful on what you assume though. Enemies are capable of having good ideas. Indeed, Satan and his useful idiots have done an end run on us supposed smarter Conservatives for the last 100 years.

      The repayment should be placed upon the universities and the banks, and the politicians who were payed off by both. Treat it as a tort case with a final result. From there, institute Debt jubilees to reign in the predation of banks and credit companies.

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    4. If we make the politicians pay, we must be sure they can't find a way to pass the debt back to the taxpayer.

      Thank you for that correction. I'll try not to let skepticism become cynicism, or eat my brain.

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  3. Just a correction. There are 4 sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance not 3:
    Murder
    Sodomy
    Oppressing the poor
    Defrauding workers of their wages

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  4. How can people who were able to go to college on summer jobs NOT see that this is a usury trap for generations of young adults, and that colleges and banks, with the help of government, have built it to become an abattoir? I thought the Mammon Gang was supposed to be smart.

    As a Generation Jones, I fully endorse repeal of laws forbidden bankruptcy for student loans, a tear back of college and university endowments up to and including forcing these institutions into bankruptcy, re-instituting Glass-Steagall to cripple predatory lenders by severing commercial and investment incentives in a single bank, and instituting the 7-year and 50-year debt forgiveness celebrations.

    Let the battle begin!

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    1. The Mammon Mob are quite smrt. They're so smrt they trip over themselves to help the Death Cult slit their throats.

      Let's see. We have the Death Cult and the Pop Cult. I think you've helped us figure out which cult the Mammon worshipers belong to.

      They are the Suicide Cult.

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    2. Second the motion.

      About the endowments ... require colleges to spend 70% of the annual proceeds to underwrite student tuition and room and board, 10% plus any overage above student costs to perform maintenance and repair of academic buildings and labs. Period.

      Land-Grant instititions shall offer first priority for student spaces to their own state's students. No more than 5% out-of-state students. Period.

      No more than 5% of student body can be foreign.

      The ensuing crash of staffing levels will require much popcorn to watch. Watching budget cuts to match reality will be even better.

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    3. Silent Draco

      Endowments are an American issue. I fully support real divestment. The university must be compelled to liquidate their

      In Canada or in my province, the govt has a stranglehold on education. Universities are quite dependent on the govt even for renovations. So where I live true reform is compel the govt to get outed funding and to restore subsidarity

      xavier

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    4. I'm a Y, married to an X. We paid most of our loans off, but I can definitely see the value in removing the exemption from student loan debt. It should be like all other debt. Lenders who loan students money to earn degrees that can't ever be used to pay those loans back shouldn't get a free ride. If it's irresponsible for students to borrow to pay tuition for worthless degrees, it's irresponsible to lend for the same purpose. That should have consequences.

      It would put a few folks' noses out of joint, because they might feel they've been played for chumps, but I'm not sure I sympathize. Keeping one's promises is the right thing to do, even if it's costly, and even if no one else is doing it. Someone else's debt jubilee doesn't make one's own past decision to keep one's own promises foolish or short-sighted. It was the right thing to do. If one later resents having done the right thing because other folks didn't have to, that's a personal attitude problem, not a moral hazard.

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    5. What I don't get is the reflexive need to defend the banks and the universities. When was the last time either of these institutions did anything good for the People?

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  6. In general, economic policy in the US exists to protect the wealth of the Boomers. TARP, low interest rates, lack of entitlement reform, etc. All that is impersonal grabbling.
    The vitriol from Boomers at the suggestion of student loan debt forgiveness means there is something personal about this for them.
    Does anybody know why this is?

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    1. They hate their own children.

      If there's any doubt, consider that they murdered half of them.

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    2. Which is why Medicare and Social Security should be ended cold turkey. They murdered 50% of us because it was inconvenient to their lifestyles. No reason we can’t end their welfare trough for the same reason.

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  7. There are many examples throughout history of how economic hardship can lead to political/cultural upheaval. The Roman Republic fell into civil wars, dictatorship and ultimately dissolved over issues of land and citizenship, or issues exacerbated by land and citizenship. The French Revolution happened not only because of tax pressures on the Third Estate, but also the optics of the First and Second Estates being indifferent to the suffering of people (though a good argument could be made that many in those estates weren't actually indifferent, but it didn't matter because that was the overwhelming perception they were).

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    1. The decisive factor that led to the French Revolution was the newly ascendant middle class. The sons of wealthy merchants and lesser nobles were the ones publishing revolutionary tracts out of coffee houses.

      It's the middle class that's being threatened now. The American middle class has shrunk from 50% of the population in 1970 to just 40% today.

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  8. I noticed an aspect of this the other day, when a friend and schoolmate of mine posted on social media about how little compassion Christians taking the "debt forgiveness isn't fair to those who paid their debts" position is to those who, for whatever reason, can't pay their own. Her tone was caustic, to say the least. She grew up, I think, in a household about as conservatively Christian as my own, so the world would probably call us fundamentalists, but she used the word fundamentalist in a decidedly unflattering fashion. I don't want to make a hard and fast rule here, but I think wherever we see Christians on opposite sides of a political issue behaving in ways that harm their fellowship or damage fraternal charity, we ought to examine the issue more deeply. We should not be treating each other so. Perhaps one side or the other of the wedge issue has been sold a bill of goods, and perhaps both have bought different lies.

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  9. There's really no case that forgiving student debt will have any major repercussions for the economy. Aside from that:

    1. The loans violate choice and personal responsibility. These loans were based on deception and coercion. Kids were told they MUST study in order to get a job, and that was enforced. The loans are not voluntary and must therefore be scrapped.

    2. The loans coercively acquire capital from one, to give to another. The logic behind the lies and coercion was that educated workers are more productive, but wages did not increase to cover the loan, so either the entire basis was a lie, or a mistake, or it was an organized scam. The loans are a deception or a mistake by those in power and must therefore be scrapped.

    3. These loans are not part of a free market. Lenders are given several extraordinary privileges in making the loans, marketing the loans, and enforcing the loans. The loans do not conform to the ideals of American economic freedom nor are they a market (distinct from open borders freemarket absolutism), and must therefore be scrapped.

    The loans are the most intrusive and pervasive example yet of financialization serving to socialize and nationalize by stealth the capital of America's largest cohort: the working class. By principle of responsibility, by principle of honest trading, and by principle of popular and free marketplaces, they are counter to freedom and capitalism and must be scrapped.

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    1. All good dialectical arguments--and there's a certain type of Conservative we should be trying to reach who can be persuaded by reason.

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    2. The rhetoric is in the repetition!

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    3. It's also not a free market because there is really only one lender: Uncle Sam. If Wells Fargo and other banks aren't competing with each other, and can't lose, the market pressure to lend wisely vanishes.

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    4. @Wreckage - excellent points!

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  10. I am so thankful that between working while in college, parents helping me with books, and the US Navy, I had no college debt within 2 years of graduation. Then again, even at my alma mater, what cost me 4 years go go in 2007 to 2010, is what it costs to go for 1 year now. IN state costs that is.

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    1. *facepalm* I got my navy years and college years mixed up. This is what happens when I am multi-tasking. 2004-07 for the college stuff, so the pricing wasn't nearly as out there as it is now. Then the Navy after, til 2010/11. This is me at 3am after writing more book and blog stuff. XD The 2020 prices for my college nowadays is scary level inflated.

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  11. PS: Still cant afford to own a home though. And after the Navy I moved back in to help my parents with bills and taking care of nearly 90 year old grandma. I dont even have any credit cards. I don't want to tempt myself into any kind of debts.

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    1. I had a good time while it lasted. Made good friends. At least Facebook was good in that aspect. To stay in touch that is. Dislocated my knee pretty bad but the Navy took care of it. Biggest thing, it taught me some discipline. Not with my book budget though. :P

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  12. "You cannot sneer at someone who is impoverished--even by his own bad choices--and at the same time say that Jesus is Lord with any shred of integrity."
    Unfortunately we see this happening all time.

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    1. Which is why I'm glad my readers helped me refine our detection methods. Lots of witches in denial out there.

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  13. The most galling thing about this new Debtors Prison that the universities, banks, guidance counselors (and schools), businesses, and government have created is that it is without walls or shelter for the debtor.

    The British system of debtors prison built physical walls and workhouses to deal with its poor. But even at their worst, there was shelter and a path to closure on debt (arguments about practical paths notwithstanding).

    The modern US model is to thrust debt upon a young adult, then force them to hunt for enough work to service their debt forever, with no place to call home. But at least the Boomer has saved the expense of building those awful Debtors Prisons.

    I'm moving up the purchase of Michael Hudson's book on my wishlist.

    "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

    That's something else we as Christians need to change back to the original form: the Lord's Prayer.

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    1. A self-styled Christian on Twitter has been slinging Biblical proof texts at me since yesterday in a desperate attempt to prove that God's love is restricted only to His family, which consists only of people in a state of grace. Since debtors have gotten involved in usury, he argues, they are reprobates undeserving of mercy.

      These people are no less witches than the Hollywood slatterns who sacrifice their children. But because they've confused their brand of witchcraft with Christianity, they can generate a false negative on the original Test.

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    2. God’s family are the baptized, no? Reprobate or not, how does one twist Scripture to avoid trying to call the baptized away from their sin, and the unbaptized to repent and convert?

      Witch indeed.

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    3. I think there is a school of Calvinist thought so fixated on the notion of predestination that they've decided evangelism is unnecessary, as if grace is wasted on everyone but the Elect. I am not sure I have ever met such a hyper-calvinist, but perhaps our gracious host has.

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    4. @ A Reader
      As the resident Calvinist, I can assure you these people exist, but it is really just their own selfishness, generally, that leads to these rationalizations. There is always someone who wishes to hide their light, if they can't tie it to predestination then they will find some other doctrine to justify their behavior. Because of our sin nature, our total depravity, we all are tempted to ask, 'am I my brother's keeper', thinking the answer is 'no'.

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  14. My favorite part about student loan forgiveness is it would put the whole inflation complex out of business. And then we can take notes for either health care or lower education, depending on how extensive the wreckage is.

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    1. ("Demolition of mouldering edifices" perhaps a better phrase there.)

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    2. "Edifice" is a strong and sadly underused word.

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  15. The student loan system needs overhauled from the front end before the back end can be fixed. If the inflow of debtors isn't cut off it will be a never ending problem.
    On the back end forgiving all the debt in one fell swoop is a very bad idea. Better ways of doing this is to first nix the interest on the debt. Second, require loan processors to follow the truth in lending rules and every other law that applies to lenders. Loan processors are notorious for doing shady stuff. Third, create a govt work program that allows people to work part-time in govt positions to work off their debt if they don't have a job sufficient to pay anything substantial on their debt. Let people pay off their loans, but make it easier for them to do so.

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    1. Right, with all that extra time they have after their first job working 40-50+ hours a week, plus commute, while trying to raise a family, or meet a spouse.

      The whole problem with the debt is it severely crippling and delaying the young from moving forward: marrying, raising a brood and finding a permanent home. So what if we can get them to pay it off by the time they are 40, their family formation years are behind them at that point. 40 year olds marrying is merely to have sterile sex while raising 1.2 dogs...you can’t build a civilization on that.

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    2. Dawn,

      It's like you don't understand that the victims of these practices were deceived by the people they trusted the most.

      And you still want to put the burden on them to fix it.

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    3. Durandel raises a very important point: fertility and genetic viability both fall off a cliff in a person's late 30's. Menopause can kick in early, births and pregnancies become more complication-prone, and male genetic transfer starts to rapidly accumulate errors - lots of them. The current notion of specialist education until 20 followed by 15 years of paying it off is outright biologically non-viable.

      Fundamentally changing the system cannot be delayed by the threat of a minor market disruption, given that price disruption is being balanced against what will, in hindsight, be the biggest and broadest population and health issue in history.

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  16. "The truth that certain quarters don't want to admit is that these kids were conned. A functioning society relies upon the young trusting their parents, educators, authorities, and elders in general. When absolutely all of those authorities give their charges wrong information and urge them to take actions that later prove ruinous, the correct conclusion is that the students were defrauded."


    This is the crux for me: Fraud.

    Its one thing to knowingly sell yourself into slavery. Its quite another to be deceived by people you trust. And deceived before you are old enough and wise enough to discern the fraud.

    BoomerCons didn't just fail to protect younger generations: they actively assisted in the screwing of them. Has there ever been a generation to do this before the Boomers?

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    1. Perhaps the Canaanites who made their children walk through the fire in the valley of Gehinnom.

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  17. It is so annoying to hear people go,
    >I worked my way through college, what about me?
    As someone who worked my way through college myself, so what?
    It was long and hard with hard sacrifices, and with wages remaining stagnant, and tuition sky rocketing times have clearly changed. Working your ways through school not a viable strategy anymore, except for a few cases.

    >Why do I have to pay for other people's college?
    Usually said by boomers having other people pay for their retirement.

    I'm with you on this one, the precedent was set when we bailed out the banks, why should we not bail out the future?

    Another thing that Conservative Inc shills like charlie Kirk can't seem to get through their heads, the rising young right wing, is far different from normie cons. Not only have they rejected the 'socially liberal, fiscally conservative' route preached by the death cult and the mammon mob, they tend to be socially conservative, and fiscally liberal. They want to spend money. They want to spend money on border walls and better border security, paying off student debt, government programs that would make marriage and having kids easier, etc. They see big government, and big spending, and how the left side uses it while the 'right' side refuses to, and see it as a tool that could be used to address societal issues. If they want to gain any momentum, they have to address this.

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    1. You're right, of course. At the same time, politics is about compromise, and I'm willing to negotiate to get amenable Boomers on our side.

      >Boomers who went back to school for additional/new job training hold a significant amount of student debt. I'd forgive that, too.
      >The Dept. of Education could just write down all federally subsidized student loans. Have them do so, then make universities pay for the rest out of their endowments. Taxpayers don't pay a cent for any "studies" degrees.
      >Every borrower who did manage to pay off his loans gets a tax break.

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    2. > At the same time, politics is about compromise, and I'm willing to negotiate to get amenable Boomers on our side.
      This is true, and taking the endowments will put pressure on the universities. This scam has a lot of participants.

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    3. Is there anyone who exists who is "fiscally liberal and socially conservative"?

      You would think by now such a position would arise, but it only ever goes one way.

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    4. That's basically the Groyper position.

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  18. Here's another point: People who say "Nobody lied to you, you knew what you were getting into" is kidding themselves. My parents, who cosigned almost every loan, were absolutely flabbergasted when the clock struck nidnight and they saw whst my brother owed. Blown away. They had no idea.

    So don't even try eith thst crap. Nobody had a clue what we were getting into. Is it because we were dumb?

    Well, when you're told by your computer programmer father that it's either a degree or hard labor, and loans can help you get the degree, what would you do?

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    1. (If your answer is "hard labor", nice try living with that choice when your parents went to college specifically to avoid that life.)

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    2. In my experience, the, "You knew what you were getting into," crowd are just rationalizing their selfishness and contempt for the poor.

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  19. Now that I think on my own college loans some more, even at the price it was at the time, the bank always gave me more then I needed. So I usually kept 100 bucks for a rainy day then returned the extra 1000 or so per semester back to the bank via the college payment office.

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