business, global issues

Passion, Present Times, and 2017’s 1.4

Last time on Jarbled… *cue video sequence of strange snippets from parts of the show you never remember seeing*

I’d like to talk about passion. I think I figured out why there hasn’t been much humor on my blog lately… uh… well, one reason at least.

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an important news bulletin: The United States is headed to its downfall.

*cue crowd of individuals scratching their heads*

Brace yourselves for what was intended to be a short post and dragged on into a long one because this author can’t tell the difference between a run-on sentence and a mouthful.

… Moving on.

I have a passion for number of things, and I’m sure you do too. Humans are like that: we enjoy many things and have many dreams and pursue many ventures. At some point, you might as yourself what your purpose in life is. Perhaps purpose is not important to you, nor fame or fortune or anything “big” or extravagant, but you do have some goal. What if you knew it wasn’t possible. That would be depressing. Some people gladly give up their dreams for others and in so doing they enjoy watching another person flourish. What if, however, you find that this isn’t possible for anyone? What if there’s nothing you can do but watch as everything falls apart?

Currently, the student loan debt in the US is over 1.4 trillion dollars [1]. That’s the second largest debt category in the US. Home ownership is first, but it’ll be eclipsed soon. But never mind the other debt, which pails in comparison. The reality is, this will never be paid back in full. It’s impossible even if everyone in the United States donated over a grand from every man woman and child. Lawmakers are too “scared” to do anything about the freaking megalodon in the room (actually, they are being bribed, er, I mean “lobbied” (same diff)). It’s an infinite growing money pot that will eventually kill the U.S. economy, lead to homelessness, riots, anarchy, and perhaps the establishment of some renamed form of communism that many people think is a good idea but which really just puts into power some crafty schnook who’s good at people-pleasing. But he’ll be a typical dictator who crushes liberties and satisfies his own lusts and belly as history always shows. Whether he or she rises from a revolution or from within the system is irrelevant – the outcome is the same. And all this results from financial slavery.

I could rant on about this, but I think you get the idea. I’ve spent some time in thought on this matter, and for me it’s a very personal one – not because of my own debts – but because of my compassion towards the other people in my generation stuck in this financial sinking ship. (I should technically say that the ship has already sunk, and now people on the only boat are ignoring the cries for help to bring them aboard.) I’d like to help people out of debt. It’s a problem I see all over the world, not just America, but the systems are similar and it’s trying to kill all of us.

If all this goes on, the outcomes are all seriously depressing, regardless of whether or not you personally are in a “financially sound” situation. One day, you will be fired with no post-employments, not because you were incompetent, but because your company can’t afford to keep you. They can’t keep you because they are going out of business. They are going out of business because there are fewer and fewer customers. There are fewer customers because fewer and fewer people can afford the services. Fewer people will have the money because it’s all being sucked out. Why?

Some people feel a moral obligation to pay loans, but for most people, it’s about just keeping open that door of opportunity (which may never be there anyways). How so? If you don’t pay your loan, the long-term effects ultimately result in you losing your rights as a citizen, which means that the state becomes your enemy rather than your guardian, and your country becomes a trap rather than a haven. Seems like a drastic conclusion to come to, but let’s examine the path.

(By the way, from what I’ve read, it’s similar in countries such as Britain and Japan, so this isn’t only based on the American system.)

If you want to pay your loans, you need a job. Good luck in this economy. Some thoughtless individual will say “get a job at McD’s”, but such jobs barely pay the bill. Assuming you are studious, you will eventually get kicked out of your parent’s basement and need to live on your own or in due time you may be paying for your parent’s house after they move onto the next world. The outcome is the same: you will have to live on your own at some point. When that happens, McD’s (if it’s still around) isn’t going to pay the bills, much less your loan bill, so it’ll end up being as if you didn’t pay it. So much for being a dutiful citizen, right?

Assuming you land a good job and can keep it long enough, you are in the clear, but that’s obviously not happening for many people or the debt wouldn’t be going up as much as it is, and we might have some prayer with loan refinancing companies.

A number of people have had job injuries, disability, or had their co-signer die, which leaves them with the debt and no way to pay for it.

If you don’t pay your loans, the loan company may demand that your school not send any transcripts that you request (making it harder for you when some places want them), effectively trying to nullify your schooling that, mind you, they still demand you pay for.

If you don’t pay your loans, your wages are garnished, on top of you not being able to pay taxes. Good luck paying the grocery bill. The gov won’t give you food stamps if you’re in debt and it won’t classify you as being in “financial hardship” until you’re so old that any economic benefit of paying off the debt will be long, long gone.

Suppose you need a car for a job? Can’t afford one? Too bad! That money is earmarked for loans. You can sign for a car, only to see it towed away in a couple months when you miss a bill or pay late.

If you don’t pay your loan(s), the loan company can demand you show up in court and give account of your finances. Assuming you have a means to get there (which you may not if you can’t afford a vehicle), doing so takes time away from you working to pay off your loan, keeping you in the hole. Not doing so puts a warrant on your head and could land you in jail. Debtors prison is supposedly illegal in the U.S. but that does prevent legal loopholes from catching anyone trying to escape debt.

Jail steals your freedom, even if you consider yourself innocent for trying to pay (and just couldn’t). Jail time is a black mark on your record no matter what it happens to be for, making you a less ideal candidate or a much more exploitable one (depending on who’s hiring). This makes it harder to get a job and pay off your loan(s), which keeps you in the financial hole.

Jail time is a deterrent for anyone looking to start a family, but to make matters more sticky, these days, younger people consider debt size one of the most important factors in considering marriage. Why? The current legal system drags both spouses into the mess. It’s more likely that desperate people are likely to raise families in secret to avoid the debt ties, which means fewer marriage licenses and more separated families – if they even bother with having kids and not just using contraceptives. In any case, the family unit will evaporate from financial strain more than amoral mentality (infidelity, etc.), and that is depressing since it really says something about the health of the nation.

A nation without children has no future. I think that should be fairly obvious for biological reasons. Families can be kooky, quaky, silly, absurd, weird, different, and any other biased adjective you can think of, but they are the basic fundamental unit of society, and when that goes… well, maybe a stork will give you a random basket of kids since he had no home to put them in. Families buy homes. Individuals buy apartments.

To make matters worse, a number of people, in their inability to find any financial freedom, have realized the consequences and have resorted to committing suicide. This hurts their co-signer, but it’s only passing the buck *er* debt. One could call such an escape selfish, but I would not. The selfishness is from the guy demanding the bill be paid and the guy enforcing it.

As someone who values human life, suicide is saddening. It’s not even suicide from mysterious medical reasons or isolated causes for which no preventative measures can be taken. It’s as stupid as financial debt.

It all boils down very simply: Some selfish people have found the infinite money sink by setting a trap in which tons of people try to pass through (to become useful to society) and are, literally, killing people to get more money back than they put into it. There is no forgiveness, and the authorities have decided to build the cage and keep the bars solid under the guise of “justice” (because for some reason “people should pay back what they borrow”, as if people aren’t being forced to pay more than that). Being a loan shark is an honorable business in the eyes of the U.S. gov.

The student debt crisis destroys human life, families, and the economy. The destruction of the family and economy will lead to the destruction of society. I value these things, as does any good American, so it’s depressing to see this stuff flushed down the drain so easily.

What we have in this country (and others) is a system that rewards the manipulative and those who benefit from destroying other people. Any system – society, government, and so forth – that rewards its constituents for tearing other constituents down will eventually self-destruct. The loan companies are being rewarded for destroying people. They have no incentive to see anyone benefit and it just so happens they make more money after you default on your loan(s).

I’ve read one guy say he’d rather be indebted to a loan shark. I guess it depends on the breed of shark in your area, but I don’t think most sharks will loan you enough money to get you out of college debt or more people might take advantage of that. But let’s be frank, Vinny the Shark and his hood of bonafide leeches don’t have enough to pay off all the student debt.

There’s so much more to say on the matter than this. I briefly went over the logic, but it deserves a more thorough examination to show why we can come to these conclusions no matter route what we take and why the solutions such as complete loan forgiveness and loan laws are the ones many people arrive at, so perhaps I’ll devote a longer article on the topic.

I would extend the problem to pretty much every loan in existence, but that also needs to be saved for another article.

Final Thoughts

All this boils down to me being a very passionate person about wanting to see the end of the debt crisis. The debt can’t possibly be paid off, but it ticks me off when people say that the people (of any age or race or nationality) caught up in this debt are a “lost cause”. People who say that are either (a) under the delusion that America, Britain, or any nation with this problem has a future just by looking for some generation that is supposed to magically appear next (b) don’t think anything can be done about it or (c) are extremely selfish and foolishly believe that it won’t effect them.

I want people to be able to pursue what they enjoy, to help society, to inspire, create, laugh, and experience the freedom and opportunity this country should have to offer. I want people to be able to pursue their morally- and ethically-sound passions (obviously, I don’t want people to pursue passions like killing each other). And I want them to be able to do so without the burden of debt. I certainly don’t want to be passive and watch as the debt crisis ruins the modern world. It is a bit of an uphill battle though, and it’s hard to figure out what to do about it.

I’d love to talk about a variety of fun and amusing topics, but it’s hard to laugh and joke when your dreams are about the very real day when your future friend, and neighbors won’t be able to do that with you anymore.

That said, I trust God… well, for helping me get through all this at least. It’d take yet another long article to talk about His role in all this and what I think He’s doing about it (and why He’s been letting this happen). Oh, and I need to talk about the role of the church, the role of lending organizations, the consequences of automating jobs, and all sorts of other stuff related to this topic. The world is complicated. Sheesh.

Don’t worry: This blog won’t be centered on the debt crisis. There are plenty of other things to talk about (such as that mildly amusing television show we watched that one rainy Saturday… in the basement… at our friends’ house… with Boomer the Boxer on our lap). But don’t think this will be the last post about this topic either.

Oops. Looks like I ranted anyways. Silly me. Might as well end with /rant.



2 thoughts on “Passion, Present Times, and 2017’s 1.4

  1. This article is about passion however for what I’ve read it’s more on issues centering on finance and the consequences of not getting a high paying job. Sometimes, it makes me feel very afraid of living in the real world and prefer to be on the confines of my room but I still need to face reality. But not everything that you have passion with will be profitable which is the bitter truth.

    1. Yeah, it’s a lousy title. I was alluding also to my passion of ending the student loan debt crisis. Not that one guy alone could do it, but it’s interesting to me that my own passions have shifted from the things I enjoyed as a kid to things that have more practical consequence. For a growing number of people, the things they are passionate about will very soon (if not already) be out of reach, all because of their financial state and the state of this country. It’s true that many passions don’t pay – just ask any artist – but I’d like to see people be able to enjoy life and still be able to look into the things that interest them, even if they can’t make a job out of it. As it is, it’s becoming harder for some people just to keep the car they need to get to work.

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