Last week, the total amount of debt emanating from student loans in the U.S. reached $1 trillion. With the Great Recession still present in the daily lives of the middle class, salaried jobs for college graduates are tough to come by. Many have had to settle for low-wage positions stocking shelves in retail stores or serving coffee at the local Starbucks. According to the Associate Press, three out of five new graduates are unemployed. The dissatisfaction these bachelor’s degree-holders have with the lack of jobs manifested into last fall’s Occupy movement. Many “occupiers” naively directed their anger at capitalism and corporate greed as the bills came due for loan payments.
All the while, the institution from which they sought salvation is plotting to tighten the shackles of dependency.
This July, the temporary freeze on interest rates for college loans is set to expire. The rate, currently capped at 3.4%, is expected to jump and cost grads at least an extra $1,000 a year. President Obama, in a desperate attempt to reaffirm his “cool” credentials among college students, campaigned on university campuses in a few swing states to rile up the bully pulpit to push Congress toward passing an extension of the rate cap.
How the president’s base of student supporters don’t realize that their tax dollars finance Obama’s trip to their campuses for political photo-ops says a great deal about their critical thinking skills.