28 Comments

Yes. It is. Our government becomes less humane by the day. Student debt is evil. Our healthcare system is evil. Our housing crisis is evil. Our employment standards are evil. Evil is the opposite of Live. It’s even spelled backwards. We have the ability to rebuild our society to serve us and not the oligarchs. We must stay engaged. KNOW who you are voting for. Let your voice be heard!!

Expand full comment

I and several million other Boomers got college degrees for little to no cost, due to the fact states considered supporting higher education a public good that would (did!) benefit the state in future earnings and making the state more attractive for business investment due to the educated work force.

Here in California, where education at public junior collegs, state colleges and state universities were free, I got three degrees and had no debt. I think looking back over my life after graduation, that California got a good investment when she invested in me.

And then, all those Boomers who had benefited from these state policies, decided when it came their time to "pay it forward" and give the next generation what they had received, decided to listen to the whining of a third-rate barely-talented actor for whom James Garner - who knew him very well gave an accurate two word description: "amiable dunce" - was parroting the right wing horseshit he had learned as GE's public face, and the Boomers pulled up the drawbridge out of their own selfishness. They did it to their own kids! "I don't wanna pay taxes! I want what's mine!"

And now the Boomers - most of whom grew up to be bigger morons than I thought they were back in school - the beneficiaries of enlightened government policies, get all upset when they hear that somebody somewhere might get a benefit they didn't get (only they did - they got the benefit of not having to deal with student debt).

All the generations that have come after the Boomers have been right to look at them as they do. This "war baby" has always agreed.

Expand full comment
founding
Jul 3Liked by Thom Hartmann

In 1970 I attended a community college, all I had to pay for was books, two years later I attended a University under a Bootstrap Commissioning program. My tuition and books were paid for, after I retired in 1982, I obtained an MBA also paid for this time by the G.I.Bill Not bad for someone who only had a H.S. and A.A. GED.

Nothing like this is available anymore, because the plutocrats can't be elite, unless there is a permanent underclass.

Fascism is feudalism and there are at least 35% of Americans and over 50% of Brits, who are nostalgic about the days of serfdom or the medieval when countries were ruled by an authoritarian who they considered ruled by the grace of god.

Expand full comment

"Any modern society that does not educate its people to their fullest extent is committing suicide."

--Arthur C. Clarke

Expand full comment
Jul 3Liked by Thom Hartmann

Clearly Thom, you are the best at explaining how people in this country are being "Screwed". Your book by that title is available at book sellers everywhere, not to mention all the shows you've done and Reports you've written.

Money for education is probably the one subject in this country that almost everyone has some experience with, and it's a rich subject (pun intended).

Once again conservative Justices rule in favor of the predators that changed the system. Then the Republicans get out there to lie about who will benefit, while lining their own pockets with covid debt forgiveness. I'd like to also mention the political fund-raising results they'll get from a SCOTUS decision to screw the students. It's a crime in "my book".

Expand full comment

Yes, it is a crime against humanity here in America who used to be the envy of the world. It is treasonous that these criminals have been allowed to gut education, drive the prices upward so it is unaffordable for the masses. Treasonous that our healthcare system is gutted as we don't have the manpower (doctors, nurses, scientists) to run a well regulated system. Who wants to get them selves $200,000 in debt to become doctors et al. Shameful!! If only we did not allow it to continue after Reagan.

Expand full comment

From a public global education perspective, a long-term, generational support of all phases of education is smart politics, and the current US education policies are fiscally and morally counter-productive - but from an investor perspective it has been a SPECTACULAR SHORT-TERM SUCCESS since the 1980s https://www.forbes.com/advisor/student-loans/average-student-loan-debt-statistics/

None of the other Western countries have adopted the lack of support for public education we have seen in America since the 1980s. This short-term profit centered political system has bankrupted America's lead in almost all fields: 1. The decrease of the number of foreign students wanting to study in America https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/annual-study-international-student-numbers-in-us-drop , 2. The Decrease in the number of Math and Science fields https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/ , 3. The inability of our 3rd graders and 8th graders to show subject matter mastery https://hechingerreport.org/los-angeles-sends-failing-students-next-grade/ , 4. The decrease in the number of adults willing to commit to teaching at any levels due to to low level of compensationhttps://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/03/03/389282733/where-have-all-the-teachers-gone and 5. The increase in the number of working visas issued to foreign students needed by US High Tech Industry https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/migrate/us-issues-more-h-1b-visas-as-tech-talent-demand-climbs/articleshow/85606754.cms.

On the 'Whining Barometer' it is troubling to note that year after year native born Americans are showing a decreasing lack of energy, passion, skills and education to become modern day innovators; increasingly more than 50% of all America's patents issued go to foreign born people https://www.inc.com/jeremy-quittner/foreign-patents-and-united-states-innovation.html.

Student loans, and how they are financed, may be but a symptom of many things that ails America and its younger people. It is, perhaps, timely, politically and morally, to look at what President Kennedy used as a mantra: Ask not what your country can do for you, but....https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/education/teachers/curricular-resources/ask-not-what-your-country-can-do-for-you. In Tennessee conservative politicians have established financed pathways for students to get a practical education via Technical institutions https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/tcat. Young people who have not shown an effort or ability to pass mastery in 3rd or 8th grade, and who barely pass US High School proficiency because they were 'socially promoted' each year should, perhaps not receive student loans towards a 4-year college degree - but certainly would be a better investment towards a technical certification. The US practice of sending over 50% of its high school graduates to college does not appear to be successful, or a smart social investment https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/61-8-percent-of-recent-high-school-graduates-enrolled-in-college-in-october-2021.htm.

The issue of political hypocrisy by certain politicians and the banker sponsors is an issue that properly should be addressed politically. Maybe enough young people will vote in 2024 to help resolve this issue, and continue to vote each year in coming years to ensure that they will have a reliable retirement funding stream for America's Social Security. Railing against the old men on our Supreme Court may not be very effective.

Mr. Hartman's citations:

As mentioned earlier, thousands of American students are currently studying in Germany at the moment for free. Hundreds of thousands of American students are also getting free college educations right now in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, among others.

Republican policies of starving education and cranking up student debt have made US banks a lot of money, but they’ve cut America’s scientific leadership in the world and, since the institution of trickle-down Reaganomics, stopped three generations of young people from starting businesses, having families, and buying homes.

As the Center for American Progress noted on Twitter in response to a GOP tweet whining that, “If you take out a loan, you pay it back”:

Member —— Amount in PPP Loans Forgiven

Matt Gaetz (R-FL) - $476,000

Greg Pence (R-IN) - $79,441

Vern Buchanan (R-FL) - $2,800,000

Kevin Hern (R-OK) - $1,070,000

Roger Williams (R-TX) - $1,430,000

Brett Guthrie (R-KY) - $4,300,000

Ralph Norman (R-SC) $306,250

Ralph Abraham (R-AL) - $38,000

Mike Kelly (R-PA) - $974,100

Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) - $451,200

Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) - $988,700

Carol Miller (R-WV) - $3,100,000

Every single one of these Republican members of Congress has echoed Greene’s criticism of student debt relief or supported efforts to block it. Every one eagerly welcomed forgiveness of their Covid-era debts.

Expand full comment

Why can't the government roll back the cost of a college education to Eisenhower's time or JFK's? The Republican's seem to roll back everything they are against to before the time those things were law, why can't the Democrats? Take the laws back to FDR's time economically!

Expand full comment

“Which raises the question: how gullible do these Republicans think their voters are?”

Apparently for the members of the Republican Fascist Party the answer to the question is “quite gullible”, which said voters have proved over and over again.

It is a vicious cycle. Lack of education begets less sophistication about political shenanigans, which begets robbing poor Peter to pay rich Paul, which begets further deterioration of the educational system.

The loss of the intellectual capital and potential achievements of 2 generations brings me to my knees. Amongst the greatness that will never be were those who quite possibly would have made substantial contributions to our current serious problems and challenges in education, medicine, infrastructure, climate change, economics, world hunger, etc.

It is quite possible that we are doomed.

Expand full comment

Messaging on the student loan relief has left a bit to be desired.

The program was esstentially a payment of the obligation by the Federal government for the benefit of the student. It would have been better to phrase it from the beginning as "student loan relief".

No contracts were to be impaired and the lenders would be paid in full. It is, to a certain extent, moving money within the government for the benefit of students. The process actually takes place all the time under another program of the DEd when students have had issues with failed institutions such as Corinthian.

No so different from the PPP so a comparison is valid.

Expand full comment

It is indeed a crime, almost as much as Biden implementing a means-tested, overly complex, bureaucracy laden nightmare of a student debt relief policy and then taking 6 weeks to get the application process up and running giving plenty of time for the legal challenges his administration knew would be coming. Any president, Obama included, could easily sign an executive order to eliminate all student debt under the Higher Education Act, get the checks out immediately, and even if there were legal challenges forthcoming much of the reimbursement would already be disbursed. This is political expediency of the highest order, a dangerous game played by Democrats so that they can blame Republicans (or the Supreme Court) and then shows like yours can tell us how wonderful Biden is for throwing means-tested scraps to student borrowers. There are consequences to putting the blinders on in order to promote a political party over the reality of the harm that they have done, even if it is less overt than that of Republicans it is still one of the major reasons lunatics like Trump can gain power.

Expand full comment

The GQPTPers has been shown to be only interested in bettering/strengthening themselves, and to hell with anyone who disagrees with them. The obviousness of their hypocrisy should be easily seen to anyone, including themselves. Every time they’re called out for their hypocrisy, they twist themselves into knots trying to deflect away from their being caught in their bed of lies.

That they have so many credulous followers only shows how much they have degenerated as a political party. Trumpet said he loves ignorant people. Now the GQPTP and the Federalist Society have loaded the SCOTUS in order to make sure the electorate is as willfully ignorant and credulous as possible. I have to wonder how long it’ll be before the GQPTP rings in the noses for their followers become infected to the point the rings need removal.

Expand full comment

The Republicans you mentioned who had loan forgiveness need to repay those loans or we can put their names on billboards in their states. Expose them as the hypocrites they are!!

Also there needs to be a mass exodus of crappy Twitter. But, leave a good, intense statement behind.

Expand full comment

I have to wonder why Justice Thomas has always voted against almost any assistance for his fellow blacks; is it because he never had been able to take advantage of any of those programs when he went to Yale, where he was not really given much cooperation or any help? Maybe he feels that because he succeeded on his own, other blacks owe it to him to do the same. If Jackie Robinson had felt that way, where would today's black athletes be?

Expand full comment

In many ways, the family unit concept also discriminates against the poor. The billionaires pull the ladder up and the middle class family unit keeps the poor, poor, so their brat can make the team that they never could. By doing this, much potential is destroyed, by lack of financial stability and lack of affording lessons for piano, swimming, tennis, golf... And also a lack of funds to purchase the needed equipment to play all of those sports. The right wing motto should be, "I got mine and screw you". Then you have the right wingers who have nothing, making those they don't like, have nothing, makes them happier. It gives them something to live for. I don't know what they are teaching in church nowadays and quite frankly I don't want to know!

Expand full comment