Phi Beta Cons

Student Loans and Moral Hazard

The federal Nanny State and its easy-to-get help for people leads to a lot of foolish, short-sighted behavior. They’re apt to do risky things because they believe the government is looking out for them. The combination of federal student loans just for the asking and the idea that college is a can’t miss “investment” that has been created by the higher ed establishment and its political allies has lured many young people into heavy debt loads they can’t handle.

In this Daily Caller piece, Eric Owens writes about one such student, Samuel Garner, who has penned a lengthy piece on Slate (link included) wherein he whines that he now has to pay about 40 percent of his income to cover his college loans. Nobody, you see, told Garner that he shouldn’t assume that college debt is “good debt” and think about his financial prospects. Garner complains, “I thought signing loan documents was just a routine” and blames Connecticut College officials for not making a serious effort to explain the consequences of taking on more and more debt to him.

This illustrates one of the many ways the Nanny State infantilizes us.

 

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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