I may be a little late in discussing the subject of student loans. I am certainly not a direct participant in the issue. In the era in which I went to university there were abundant scholarships and jobs for students.
I do have family members for whom heavy student debt is a concern.
My blog concern is in terms of pro-commerce. There is a large population with a student loan overhang that is exacerbating our economic problems. There are nearly 40 million people who have student debt and 12 million new people are added annually.
My first concern is that this will make family formation even less desirable than it is today. The U.S. and every developed country, except Israel, faces declining population when immigration data is removed from the totals. In general, population increase or at least stability is desirable for a commercial society. In terms of family formation, the student loan overhang is a serious problem.
Third, and most important to me, is that millions of young people feel pressure to get salary jobs which are rarely as productive for society as entrepreneurial ventures. Again this is a future source of economic harm.
I have in the past supported the idea of student loans repayable by the earnings benefits from education. But that stopped being true long ago when the benefits of education were significantly less than the consequences of not going to college and staying in the marketplace. Plus I am sympathetic to many of the people who study humanities at university for whom education is not directly applicable to the job market (not gender studies, black studies or anti-American studies).
Moreover there is additional harm from diverting low skilled and educationally slower students into academic fields that do not take advantage of their skills in the marketplace. That creates an economic distortion.
Lastly, the excessive funding available for academia has created an entire class of evil zombies with no real world experience (faculty) who are promoting their anti-commercial values to the gullible teenage population. Student loan programs are funding Lefty pathology.
At this point it looks to me like nearly 40 million student debtors of which roughly 15 million are over 40 years old will be a political force and likely, in the next decade, to abrogate their trillion dollar loan agreements. In return they might agree to repay the loans with some petty do-good projects.
I support that.