Respecting Great Journalism & The Best Analysis of the Student Loan Crisis Yet

Michael Lux Best of The Web, Blog, News, Student Loans 10 Comments

As somebody who has both a ton of personal experience and writes extensively on the subject of student loans, I’ve taken great pride in the help and support that I have been able to provide many of you.  In fact, if I take a hard look in the mirror, I’d probably have to admit to developing a bit of an ego when it comes to my expertise on the subject of student loans.

As part of my daily reading, I get a Google alert on student loans.  Most days this consists of reading about leaders in Washington without a clue, banks with no concern other than money, and borrowers who are in over their head.  Most stories are reported by members of the media who at times do a decent job of covering one aspect of the student loan crisis, but who all seem to miss the big picture.  (I told you I had an ego about this stuff)

Today, I am happy to announce that a gifted writer has provided the most in-depth and comprehensive explanation of the student loan crisis to date.  While, I’m disappointed that it wasn’t me, I applaud Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for taking the time to get the facts right.

The full article can be found here:

Not only does Mr. Taibbi get the facts right, but he does a fantastic job of explaining how the different issues all come together to create the giant mess that we have today.

If you or anyone you know has or is considering getting student loans, this is absolutely essential reading.  If every high school student were to read this article, an entire generation could be spared the pain and heartache of being saddled with debt they never really understood.

Why do we need to educate the youth of our country on this problem?

In the eloquent words of Mr. Taibbi:

“We’re doing the worst thing people can do: lying to our young. Nobody, not even this president, who was swept to victory in large part by the raw enthusiasm of college kids, has the stones to tell the truth: that a lot of them will end up being pawns in a predatory con game designed to extract the equivalent of home-mortgage commitment from 17-year-olds dreaming of impossible careers as nautical archaeologists or orchestra conductors.”


Readers: What did you think of Mr. Taibbi’s article?  How do we convey this complicated, but essential, information to the generation that created tl;dr?

(For those of you who don’t know, tl;dr means too long; didn’t read)

  • That WAS an amazing article, well worth the read.

    But as you suggested, far too in depth and convoluted to be relayed to the concerned parties in a meaningful way.

    The Twitter generation.

    • It is too bad that the entire student loan problem couldn’t be reduced to 140 characters.

  • Nothing gets me more mad then thinking of the money hungry loan industry and supposedly “non-profit” colleges eager for more financially illiterate college freshman to take advantage of.

    I can’t wait until all those for-profit colleges and many of those “non-profit” pop-up diploma mills start feeling the pain they inflicted on themselves when college attendance rates start dropping.

    Thanks for the link to the great article post!

    • I hope you are right Tara. The sooner these for-profit schools start feeling some fiscal pain, the better.

  • I guess I’m getting old because I had no idea what tl;dr means. I thought you just had a type in your post lol.

    • Me too…I’m old because I thought the same thing. I had to google it! It was pretty long but a very interesting article. I like how Taibbi was able to weave all the student loan issues into one article. My co-workers who have massive student loan debt mainly complain about Sallie Mae and the interest rate, but sometimes forget that the institution they went too was overpriced to begin with. However, it seems that the private loans with the much higher interest rates are the biggest burden to them.

    • That is a great point. Taibbi does a brilliant job of taking many individual nuggets of information and connects all the dots. It is impressive.

    • haha, it took me a while to figure out what that one was. It is crazy how often it appears across the web.

  • The notion that well-meaning yet naiive high school grads are signing away their finances for an education that may or may not pay off is unfortunate. I like to see people taking a stone cold, realistic view of what’s really going on. Making such massive decisions without much thought or an understanding of basic financial concepts is a path to financial problems, yet so many people do it as if its a rite of passage.

    • I think part of the problem is that college used to be a good investment, regardless of where you went or what you studied. Now that is no longer true. I hope people figure this out soon.