Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: February 23, 2014

The article, Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal is an article casting light on the dire circumstance of the student loan market. The author, Mike Taibbi, is a notable journalist and columnist for Rolling Stone. A classic Bill Maher pundit, Taibbi wrote this article in August slamming the state of higher education and the dangerous upward spiral of tuition costs, and the government’s willingness to lend to increasingly risky borrowers.

This article is a shock and awe campaign against predatory student lending, resulting from the inflationary cost of a college degree. The data used is mostly to describe the scale of the problem, e.g. household student loan debt of $42 billion and the fact that household expense on education has nearly tripled since 1970. The data is very appropriate for the Rolling Stone audience, but it would be nice to get more clarity on some of the data. For example, Taibbi notes that the government will make $184 billion profit on student loans; it would be nice to know more about the time frame and if this is the principal or the actual income including fees. Hard to believe 184 billion as that implies a principal balance in the trillions, which is much larger than the student loan market.

The core of the article is surrounding student-loan victim interviews. No doubt the famous journalist was able to find five subjects who have been tragically victimized by student loans. The point is; there is absolutely no data in the article offering an alternative perspective. The author identifies very important issues: the loan shark-like collection practices of Sallie Mae’s collection agents, the political scandals of Barrack Obama, the naïveté of teenagers, and the exorbitant inflation of tuition costs; he does little more than fan the flames on the inferno that is the student loan controversy.

As the author says, students know that their loans will soon be a burden, but it’s easy to procrastinate concern. This...
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