Friday, April 8, 2022

Student Debt Issue

 Voxday is on fire again:

We Made It Happen

Debt cancellation also called a jubilee is a Biblical concept, unfortunately forgotten by modern "conservatives" (who conserved exactly nothing).


At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.

And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release.

Here is the same text in a more modern translation:


At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.

And the commentary by Matthew Henry:

 Here is, I. A law for the relief of poor debtors, such (we may suppose) as were insolvent. Every seventh year was a year of release, in which the ground rested from being tilled and servants were discharged from their services; and, among other acts of grace, this was one, that those who had borrowed money, and had not been able to pay it before, should this year be released from it; and though, if they were able, they were afterwards bound in conscience to repay it, yet thenceforth the creditor should never recover it by law. Many good expositors think it only forbids the exacting of the debt in the year of release, because, no harvest being gathered in that year, it could not be expected that men should pay their debts then, but that afterwards it might be sued for and recovered: so that the release did not extinguish the debt, but only stayed the process for a time. But others think it was a release of the debt for ever, and this seems more probable, yet under certain limitations expressed or implied.

 Notice also that M.Henry adds to the text saying if they were able, they were afterwards bound in conscience to repay it. I guess we loved our predatory money-lending practices already back then. 

This attitude of "f*** you, I got mine!" so many on the Right exhibit isn't exactly Biblical, either. Here is the continuation of the passage from KJV:

 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

 How very liberal of Moses...


  1. While I understand and appreciate the sentiment here, my feelings are mixed. I'll try to explain why. Vox is wrong here. Not everyone who is against this is operating from a selfish mindset of "I got mine, you get yours". Plenty of these people are people who did NOT get college degrees!

    Three of our kids, mid-20s- earned college degrees. One of them accrued a small amount of debt (less than 5K) and paid it off within 9 months of graduating. We are not wealthy people. We did not come from wealth. We do okay, but we live on a budget.

    The idea that we should have to pay for the student loan debt of entitled, elitist people who literally hate us and would throw us in the gulag first chance they get? It rubs me the wrong way. It really does. And make NO mistake. In America, the folks clamoring the loudest for absolution of their student loan debts are far leftists.

    Why should some kid who went to trade school to be a plumber or an electrician pay for the degree of a feminist women's studies major? My dad was a garbage man for nearly 30 years. The idea that he has a patriotic duty to pay for the debt of a broke psychology major doesn't sit well with me.

    Here's the thing. If our governments were willing to start (START) with ending payments to foreign nations, to Planned Parenthood, etc. then I might be okay with paying off the loans of folks who are chomping at the bit to take away my rights because I am an bigoted, patriarchal Christian.

    But comparing THIS to the law as outlined in Scripture is, to me, very wrong headed. It makes far more sense to absolve families of mortgage debt than it does to absolve single, young, healthy people of their debt simply because life is harder now.

    Home buying is also out of the reach of millennials who did not go to college. This economy isn't easier on those without the debt.

    The postmodern west is not theocratic Israel. Not a good comparison in my view.

    I fear that, at least when it comes to America, the view that people who oppose this are a bunch of white, GenX bootstrappers who have no idea how the world works in 2022 is too broad of a brush. I am none of those things and relieveing AOC of her loans does not appeal to me, LOL.

  2. I'd like to add a thought as well:

    Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

    How very liberal of Moses...

    It is well known and highly documented from several sources that the average Christian conservative gives far more of their treasure as well as time to the poor and needy than the average liberal who virtue signals about taking care of the poor.

    Now it could be that God meant for us to set up structures where the powers that be take the money from individuals and distribute to the poor that they choose. I'm not sure I buy that interpretation, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Keep in mind that in America right now, whites are being specifically excluded from almost every newfangled program to help the "needy".

    This is so much more complex than, "Jubilee".

    1. The problem is that not every conservative is a Christian. Many who identify as Right-wingers are nowadays of a secular libertarian bent and it's them who exhibit this "I got mine" attitude, quite often.

      When my husband was young, you didn't need a degree for many professions and it was possible to work and learn. Also, the tuition fees were low, but still many people couldn't afford it.

      Nowadays, we have this loan system as well and young people are practically unemployable without at least an MBO degree (I think it's lower than your college, it's secondary professional education). This system was set up by the government and it's predatory, imo, because it saddles young people with debt, if their parents can't pay. In fact, you are encourage to take loans. Most pf these young people are still minors (under 18).

      As for taxes, well the point is you already paid them. And they won't get any lower whether the debt is cancelled or not. Obviously, if that happens, the whole system should be reformed.

  3. Shabbat is approaching but I can't help but add that this does not apply everywhere; ''in thy land'', which is different than state of Israel. But, in general, there are some ''liberal'' things in the Torah indeed like daughters inheriting, or having a child for your brother (with his widow) if he died childless, unless you were sarcastic? ;-)

  4. On the other hand

  5. The biblical concept of "Jubilee" referred to individuals NOT governments, banks and corporations. There is a huge difference. Of the three, only corporations produce and sell something (generally). Governments and banks use other people's money to distribute or loan out at interest. When loans are forgiven it is not the bank's money, it is the savers and investors money that is being lost. And governments simply raise taxes to squeeze more out of those who are actually working and contributing to the nations growth. I agree with elspeth that this is a horrible slap in the face to those who pay their debts honestly and regularly give of their time and means to helping the poor and needy without any incentive from the government. The leftists are evil and use biblical examples ONLY when it is to their advantage, never when it shows how evil they are.

  6. The government bails out the banks and big corps every time. Also, most money doesn't come from taxpayers, but from the printing press. I see nothing in the passage which qualifies which loans are to be forgiven, it's a general principle. If the government is in the business of usury, then it's only fair they take losses now and then. Will have less money to sponsor the promotion of sin somewhere in Africa...

    1. Come on Sanne. You are a very intelligent woman. You know that the printing press drives inflation, which is a tax even if it isn't an official tax. So, we average income folks pay not only our regular taxes, but the additional costs that come as a result of the printing press.

      There really is no reasonable way to claim that this money isn't coming from the savers, investors, and tax payers.

      I just cannot see a parallel here to Biblical jubilee. I see the loose connection of convenience, but it cannot stand up under the weight of reality.

  7. Well, the way I see things work in my country (not necessarily in other countries), is this: the government uses the money they collect from taxes etc for various "projects", like e.g. promising free daycare or promoting liberalism in far-away-stan, whether I personally agree or not. However, if they are forced to spend this money on something else, like subsidies for energy (which I see coming, considering our situation here in Europe), they'll have less for those other things.

    Inflation is also driven by many factors, including that in the corona times people were saving and now have more to give out, which the corps and businesses are profiting from.

  8. Another factor is this: people of the Right often have this dichotomy: business/free market (a force for good) vs the government (the cause of all evils), but it's not necessarily always so. Because the government could be used for the good of the people, and the businesses, especially the big corporations aren't necessarily benevolent agents, as they are driven by profit only.

    A just society, imo, would hold the common good as an ideal. And from this point of view, a system which is built on usury and and enslaving minors with debt is immoral. How to reform it is up to debate, of course...

    1. As a Ron Paul Republican, I here what you are saying here. In the end, it's the people who make these institutions whether public or private, and incompetency abounds across many of them. However, I would prefer a more private sector oriented institutions with people who held limited government beliefs and took pride though in their country and doing what is right for the country's citizens instead of a $ sign in a spreadsheet.

  9. P.S. it is probably more complicated for the folks in the USA since you have this constant conflict between the FedGov and state rights, a bit like over here we have our national governments vs the bureaucracy in Brussels. It would be probably better if many of these issues were left up to the states, don't you think so?

    1. Yes, that was the intent when these land grant institutions were created in the 1800s and early last century, but they are now dependent on the federal teat. The irony is that despite tuition, state subsidies, and federal subsidies, they can't seem to make it.

      I would not recommend a four year degree to anyone these days. There are too many Phds even in STEM fields and then the USA federal government insists on more immigration so the corporate scum can either lower pay or work them to death or both at the expense of an American citizen.

    2. At least you still can vote in Federal elections! We vote for our national governments and then a Brussels directive comes (written by unelected bureaucrats, mind you!) telling us that's the way we should do things. I agree in principle with the limited government, but in reality, you have to deal with what you have. You see, many years ago the laws over here required families to support their own. For instance, adult sons (because men were breadwinners) were required to provide for their parents, before they could apply for some sort of welfare. A brother was responsible for his widowed sister etc. So while we as taxpayers all pay into the system, we also all broadly profit from it to some degree. I'm not even sure it can be reformed at the moment, so sometimes I think, the more bread and circuses the sooner it goes bankrupt and then we can start again.

    3. But the USA has the same problem the EU has with unelected bureaucrats. There are several US agencies or claim to be agencies like the ATF, EPA, CDC, NIH, IRS, OSHA, etc. that no Congresscum bothers to abolish, defund, or reign in, so there is unelected people using the inertia of bureaucracy to make things difficult and there is no way to vote them out. I guess in America there is 'state's rights' if a strong governor and legislature would choose to assert them.

  10. I understand Vox's points on the student debt issue here in the USA, but a lot of these degrees are not worth the paper they are printed on even with a STEM.

    The federal government needs to end all student loan programs to public universities so the market can shake out what level of expertise is really needed. I've seen a number of well paying two year degree jobs posted and not all of them require that you get dirty.

    I've worked at public university as a staff person and it's obscene what administrators make (I'd puke in my mouth to say earn) for the amount of value provided. I'd say few I would hire to mow my lawn. It's amazing how top heavy in bureaucracy most of the places are in terms of administrators to students. Even at a low tier public university few of those in the central building make less than $175k plus benefits. In the meantime, some universities have outsourced the custodial and maintenance and would probably do the same to some staff if they could as well. Ah, but those precious administrators, what would be done without them?

    A search will find that scores of private liberal arts colleges have closed over the last ten years. Now if only some public universities could be downsized.

  11. I agree completely, see my post above. My husband is a bit older and in his youth, there were lots of entry level jobs which didn't even always require a high school diploma, with the possibility of studying and making a good career, but nowadays you can't even work at a daycare without some sort of a certificate.

    It's all done on purpose, since the EU and the Western countries in general have some sorts of agreements on pushing as many young people into college and advanced learning programs as possible. It even happens in countries like Pakistan. Probably has something to do with further reducing fertility. At least over here there is no interest on student loans.

    P.S. I worked at the uni myself, before my marriage.

    1. I had a fun job working with students until I was done in by pooplib department chair and a mangina dean. I was not going to get rich, but I had things running to where I did not really work that hard and I liked my time off. I could take sick leave to help my parents if needed for a day here and there.

  12. Yes, it was fun, but the female students stayed young and I was growing older so being a vain person I chose to quit and promptly got married:)

    About your other point, someone said that the bureaucracies are like organisms, they just keep on growing. I read somewhere that the Chinese have less bureaucrats than the US, the EU is probably even worse:)