Former college students demand that taxpayers forgive their debts, but welder Chloë Hudson and Mike Rowe say that’s a boondoggle and is UNFAIR to responsible workers.
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"Education should be free! No cost, no fees!" chant protestors who want their debts forgiven. Some symbolically burn their student debt, refusing to pay.
President Biden agrees they shouldn’t have to pay so much. He’d forgive at least the first $10,000 of student loans.
He’d do that despite the fact that the government already offers generous repayment plans: Pay just a small percent of your income for years, and eventually all the remaining balance will be forgiven.
Seems like indebted students can pay — but they’d rather taxpayers do it for them.
That upsets Mike Rowe. The protests "struck me as kind of self-involved," he says.
"I know guys who worked hard to start a construction operation … had to take out a loan on a big old diesel truck," he adds.
Why forgive student loans, but not that loan?
"For some reason we think a tool that looks like a diploma is… somehow more important than that big piece of metal out in the driveway that allows the guy … to build homes."
Politicians do act like college students are more important. In a rap video, Michelle Obama pushed everyone to go to college, and added, "If you want to watch paint dry, don’t go to college!"
Quite the insult to blue collar work.
But in reality, too many people go to college, leaving a "skills gap" of millions of unfilled jobs — skilled trades which 4-year colleges mostly ignore.
Forgiving student debt would make that worse.
It would perpetuate a system in which colleges charge big bucks to impart little practical value.
People without college degrees do thrive in the skilled trades. Welder Chloë Hudson’s made $150k/year with her work, after she got a "Mike Rowe Works" scholarship to a trade school.
She loves the work, and how useful it is.
"It’s amazing that I can watch the Daytona 500 and know that my parts are on every Joe Gibbs race car that’s out there going around the track," she says.
She chose welding after being shocked by the cost of college. She didn’t want incur all that debt.
"There is not a single loan I have ever taken out where I didn’t have an expectation put on myself that I was going to repay it. So that’s long hours. That’s getting up at four o’clock in the morning and making sure I’m at work on time. That’s staying late. It’s working weekends, it’s working holidays."
Yet now politicians want her to bail out those who got useless liberal arts degrees. She’s not happy about that.
"I am taxed heavily. I mean, it’s $25,000 plus I was taxed … and it was not a good feeling to know that, you know, the government thinks that they can spend my dollars better than I can," she says.