How Americans Can Escape Student Loans
The thing they don’t want you to know is that the student loan system is primed for exploitation.
All you’ve got to do is be willing to leave America forever.
As for me, looking ahead to America’s ever more bleak future, I can’t understand why Americans young and old aren’t looking for ways to get around or beat the system.
Part of the problem is that Millennials were raised to believe hard in the stale American mythos. They, by and large, believed their college professors who said that the future belongs to progressives, who pushed a linear narrative of history on them.
They are too afraid to accept that much of their civic education amounted to statist propaganda little different than what Russia and China push on their people. The old Boomer belief in America eternal is too strong for most to reject — at least in public, where the Boomer-dominated media’s profit motive keeps it invested in the fading mythos.
Truth is the federal student loan system in the United States is a cruel debt trap designed to make young people debt slaves for life. Education in working countries is a public good that secures long term economic growth through innovation.
That most American students basically have to get a four year college degree simply to survive while these degrees are getting more expensive every year creates a wicked exploitative trap. Both colleges and the government are in on the game — you think general education curricula at the average university isn’t controlled by profit-seeking departments within each institution, you’re buying their lies.
In *real* democratic countries, not fake democracies like America’s oligarchic Roman-imitating Republic, school is like roads — if you don’t have good ones, your country’s government is forced to respond or get voted out of power. This doesn’t happen in America’s two-party sham of democracy, which is why America has taken most of my lifetime simply to fund basic infrastructure maintenance — with the idiot politicians calling what they belatedly achieve a once-in-a-generation win.
America’s Boomer dominated system doesn’t care about young people. It wasn’t designed to.
If it was, the gaping holes in the country’s education system — a massive vulnerability — wouldn’t be worse than they were twenty years ago.
What’s kind of hilarious is that if you are willing to game the system, the rules are written so badly that a smart American student could make serious bank by acting like so many American corporations do: take on massive amounts of debt, then ghost the country. The only thing stopping you from exploiting this nation of exploitation is the false moral consciousness its leaders impose on us.
The secret of student loans is that if you stop being an American, there’s no way for the American government to make you pay them back. If you are careful, frugal, and can survive in graduate school — which isn’t that hard, so long as you don’t do anything too interesting — you can put away tens of thousands, maybe even a couple hundred thousand dollars, earn degrees that look good on any resume, then get a job in one of the many rich, developed countries around the world that is desperate for skilled immigrants.
Once you have a secure job, legal residency, and a path to citizenship, simply give up your American citizenship and kiss those student loan payments goodbye!
Other governments have no interest in enforcing dumb US laws — they would much rather whatever money you make in their jurisdiction remain local.
To older Americans, this idea is anathema — but to younger Americans of the digital generations, it will become more plausible with each passing year. Quality research shows that younger Americans by and large don’t believe America is the best country in the world, or even one of the better ones.
If enough young Americans are willing to leave, to go on permanent strike against America’s unequal, undemocratic, predatory system, it will fall — the government will have to fix the higher education system.
Here’s the dirty secret about how federal student loans work. The federal government will give Stafford and Plus Loans to graduate students so long as they are working towards a degree. For Stafford loans there is a lifetime limit of around $140,000, but there’s none at all for Plus Loans.
You can take out as much money as is needed for you to complete whatever program you’re in. This includes living expenses. So if you are someone who likes and is good at school, getting multiple degrees is a way to essentially pull in an untaxed income stream.
If you’d like to and can hack it, you could go to law school for a JD, medical school for an MD, then blow six years of your life earning a PhD — all on the federal government’s dime.
The student loan system is completely broken because every education program is different, so it is impossible to set hard national standards. Universities don’t want the system to change because loans let them raise tuition year after year without students being priced out. The government likes the system because the way federal loans work you pay about 10% of your discretionary income for 20 years — a tax you can’t escape and which goes higher the more you earn.
Progressives like Elizabeth Warren are pushing for $50,000 in loan forgiveness, which is a neat idea except for the fact it won’t change the underlying issues with the system. Forgiving loans now without fixing anything in the education system means in 5 years the situation won’t have changed — a new generation of victims will have aged into the national scam.
Which is what leading progressives want — that keeps young people upset, afraid, and donating to politicians who don’t get anything done. Sanders, AoC, and all the rest of the so-called Democratic Socialists are just brand ambassadors for the Democratic Party, not willing to upset the apple cart that has made them both famous by calling for national mass action.
They didn’t even call a general strike to oppose Trump — so much for their “Resistance!”
Small wonder he’s set to return in 2024, aided by a Democratic Party that misses him dearly because he made their job so damned easy. Check out Lili Loofbourow’s recent piece on Slate — without Trump, the Democrats lose because they aren’t eble to play lesser of two evils.
The same game Trump plays — and better than they do, because the majority of Americans don’t have a college degree and are alienated by people with them. Many haven’t been able to get jobs because good ones require a degree they can’t afford without falling into the student loan trap.
The same kind of circular feedback loop that is dooming America to divide and fall.
As far as I’m concerned, it can’t happen fast enough.
America is a fundamentally exploitative nation, a land for cowards built by slaves. Young people not from wealthy families are born into debt peonage, forced to start their careers paying a higher tax rate than their parents did to prop up a system that is basically designed to fail.
And nothing will change until people force it to change. Me, I say the time has come to shed any moral claims anyone in America places on you.
Some — Slate again, representing the ideals of banal American suburbanite culture — will insist that it is immoral or unethical to find a way to not pay their student loans — but this is slave-master’s logic. America has spent as much over the past 20 years on a combat jet that has never worked as designed as students collectively owe on student loans — the military-industrial complex is a direct theft from their future.
It’s pretty difficult to defend a country when the educated people you need to design high tech kit all move to Sweden. Trust me, I’ve worked with graduate students from China and Russia and the rest of the world for years — Americans aren’t particularly smart or innovative and have no chance competing in the real world once great American scam finally dies.
And here’s another dirty little secret — while it is hard for people from developing countries to get into Europe or America, rich countries love migrants from other rich countries. Americans are even more privileged in that English is the default international trade language, so if you go to Scandinavia or Germany or even Singapore you’ll find plenty of English-speakers.
If you’re super smart, you simply avoid going to college in America and head overseas anyway, as the quality of teaching abroad is much higher than it is stateside. I spent over six years at Oregon State University, a local public four-year college that did a great job of showing me how much students are little more than commodities in this country.
College education in America is about the equivalent of high school level education anywhere else. Americans learn a set of rote lessons designed to make it easy to evaluate and judge them, not measure their knowledge or ability. Critical thinking is reduced to picking which ideological side you choose to join.
That’s why American politicians and pundits sound like such idiots. They know full well the education system is a mess that doesn’t do its job, and with all truths being subject to politics you can get away with asserting whatever you like about anything so long as people agree with you.
In America, morality is deployed by the powerful to shame the rest of us into behaving the way they prefer. They want us to feel obligated to repay predatory debts, to support one of the diseased political parties, to do anything but call bullshit on this fake, diseased nation.
America is a scammer nation — the smart scammers just figure out a way to screw people over while staying on the right side of the law. No one gets rich in this country without extreme luck or by screwing someone over.
I say if you can screw over the American government, that’s a form of noble resistance. America will never change unless forced to, and that means pushing it to the brink until the power players who dominate our lives are left penniless and scorned.
Now, taking on a few hundred thousand dollars in student loans is not the ideal option for anyone. But if you plan your operation and escape well, it is actually possible to save enough money to buy a small house in a place like Mexico or Nepal or Thailand and live free after flipping your loans the bird.
You do have to sacrifice your American citizenship — but so what? Is being on the American team so important you are willing to prop up a wicked system that long ago debased the Constitution and the American Dream?
If it is, that’s fine — just don’t come whining to me when the politicians don’t fix a problem that keeps you dependent on their false promises of bringing you relief. For those with the guts and ability — or who are in too deep to get out now, the student loan system is absolutely ripe for counter-exploitation.
The best thing? So long as you only take out federal student loans, they’ll all be eligible for income-sensitive repayment terms.
So it is entirely possible to take out half a million dollars over a decade in loans that you’ll never be able to pay back or have to so long as you make the minimum payments for twenty years. Working abroad makes it very, very hard for any cash income you might receive to be detected by the IRS, meaning you might well be able to get by with a monthly payment close to zero depending on your situation — what’s legal in your jurisdiction.
A wise student might keep their options open — accumulate degrees, save money by working, then go abroad to a place where it’s cheap to live, making low minimum payments while sipping margaritas on the beach.
If the American government gets it together and finally forgives these disgusting predatory loans, you’ll benefit. If it doesn’t, once you’re a foreign resident with a path to citizenship maybe it’ll be time to cut ties.
Regardless, there is one thing with student loans you must never do, and that’s feel guilty about them.
All America boils down to is a moral trap laid by powerful people that tries to convince us to oppress ourselves.
It will never change unless power is applied to make it change.
America will never get better until those of us who pay to keep it running take the whole damn thing hostage. Until we stop listening to the lying progressives and crazy hard right and pathetic centrists and push back.
Participation in American society only enables its abuse. I say it’s time to starve the beast until it behaves.