Thursday, December 10, 2015

Indentured Graduates in America


A bankruptcy court tells a gloomy story of student loans. Upon graduating from a school of dentistry in Wisconsin, Soler accumulated student loans in the amount of $200,000. Since then, repaying loans has been the primary predicament of Soler’s life. Soler has searched for higher paying jobs, worked with chronic back pain exasperated by her work as a dentist, and lived without many comforts cinematographed in the American dream of good life. After paying loan payments for eight years, a whopping $100,000 in total, Soler still owes $285,000. “With the accruing, compounding interest, in an effort reminiscent of Sisyphus, instead of gaining any ground with her mountain of loan debt, Soler has been going backwards.” A defeated Soler files for bankruptcy. See In re Soler, 261 BR 444 – Bankr. Court, Minnesota 2001. Soler’s story is anything but unique or unusual. It’s writ large across America. It highlights the existential consequences of massive debt with which various professionals, physicians, engineers, accountants, journalists, lawyers, and many others, graduate from occupational schools. The rising debt serfdom in epistemic occupations is similar to raw indentured labor in American colonies. Money merchants, including the federal government acting as one, entice potential borrowers by lending first and demanding indentured services later. Lending thrives and money merchants flourish when tuitions are skyrocketing and professional schools, including law and medicine, are raising the cost of studies by the year. Upon graduation, students holding professional degrees must pay their huge debts. If a student fails to complete professional studies due to illness, family tragedy, or any other misfortune Read More