socialized debt

The goal of capitalism isn’t to set people free. The goal is to profit, as steadily as possible, off their continued neediness.
I struggle when I hear certain people decrying the poor for being ‘needy’ and appearing helpless. For what has capitalism created over the centuries, if not a system that provokes need, binds people to corporate offerings, and does its best to ensure they can never really get out from under the crushing burden of debt we saddle them with in exchange for 'allowing’ them to work for the capitalist system? 
The absolute 'worst’ outcome in a capitalistic enterprise is to create something that enables people to become more self-sufficient. By fostering self-sufficiency, the business undermines its ability to continue to harvest money off its dependents.
—  Eileen Workman
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The government is yanking Americans’ retirement checks because of unpaid student debt

  • Student loan debt is not just a problem for the young; it’s increasingly following Americans into their retirement years.
  • In fact, the federal government withheld more than $170 million in 2015 payments to retirees because of defaulted student loan debt.
  • Lower-income older Americans were hit especially hard.
  • The reduction of Social Security benefits because of unpaid student loans left many of the people affected with incomes below the poverty line. Read more
Some thoughts on education

Some statistics were released earlier this week with regards to literacy in Scottish education.

They are not good. 49%, less than half, of S2 pupils (second year at high school for you international folks) are performing satisfactorily in literacy.

This needs to improve but is a completely down to education funding and is it entirely the Scottish government’s fault.

Personally, I’m not enjoying my education and that’s mainly due to the way the system works. Education does not inspire people to learn, it inspires people to memorise. There’s little emphasis on inventing and innovating, while there’s a shitload of emphasis on who can remember quotes from Hamlet.

Why should you not be allowed notes in an exam? In a workplace, you have infinite resources, colleagues, research notes and internet access. I say this very generally but there are few occupations where people do not have access to any resources to help them with their job.

One of the problems I believe is that teaching as a job doesn’t pay well enough to attract the best teachers. That’s not to attack current teachers just now, some are outstanding. But some are also not outstanding. Because the teaching role is not respected then the standard is lower. If teachers don’t have basic literacy skills then it’s unlikely they won’t pass on good skills to their students.

Another problem is related to economic status of the students. The less a student needs to worry about financially, chances are they are going to perform better.

While the Scottish Tories lambast the SNP for ‘failing’ our students, they fail to notice that education equally falls in line with the Conservatives being in power and imposing austerity. The bedroom tax, slashing social security, increasing national debt, preventing wages keeping in line with inflation…the list goes on.

You’ve got kids coming in to school and their school lunch is the main meal they get. They come in malnourished and their school lunch is their fullest meal. That has an impact on a child’s learning.

If any Tories hijack this post I imagine I’ll get replies along the line of “They put themselves in that situation,” or “Stop trying to push the blame from the SNP.” But I’m telling you, it’s a very serious matter. Remember that the Scottish government have tried to mitigate as many cuts as they could.

That money could have been spent on education if the cuts never existed in the first place.

I’m in a really bummed, not-great-at-all mood, if y'all could link me some cool urban legends, or cryptids, or pretty bugs or something (if you so desire) to help cheer me up, I would be forever in your debt

The social obligations of life are not treating this haggard creative well

I was thinking about this the other day and realized that there is a better way to think about it than “I will literally be in debt for the rest of my life,” and that is “I live in a society in which I must pay a lifelong tax so that I can do the work that I love.”

Because that’s what it is. Every month I will pay this affordable but not insignificant cost because the alternative would’ve been to do something I hate or merely tolerate. I could’ve been a mediocre programmer or a mediocre scientist who dreads going to work every day and constantly fears getting fired for their mediocrity, but instead I will become a fantastic therapist. People will seek ME out for my expertise. I will be not only in demand, but also fulfilled and engaged and actually helpful to others in some way.

And yeah, it’s still totally bullshit that we’ve set things up that way–that we’ve decided it’s reasonable to saddle a person with a debt nearly five times their starting salary–but at least this isn’t *my* shame or failure. That’s why I don’t mind posting this at all. Anyone who thinks my debt reflects my worth or even my financial savvy can pretty much fuck off. Anyone who thinks I ought to be miserable or extremely stressed or at least a little ashamed because of this now knows better.

Meanwhile, the U.S. debt remains, as it has been since 1790, a war debt; the United States continues to spend more on its military than do all other nations on earth put together, and military expenditures are not only the basis of the government’s industrial policy; they also take up such a huge proportion of the budget that by many estimations, were it not for them, the United States would not run a deficit at all.
—  David Graeber, Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011), p. 365.

People complain about debt slavery and “the system” regularly on tumblr.  I do the same thing quite often but I realize that what I’m criticizing and what the majority perceive they’re criticizing are completely different constructs.

Often these people confuse “the system” with capitalism through little fault of their own, they’ve been conditioned to.

Occasionally a post about the utopian socialist nations of Scandinavia will cross my dash loaded with commentary preaching the lessons that the U.S. needs to learn from these righteous bastions of equality.

These critics refuse to examine the nature of the Scandinavian countries; what constitutes the population, the role of culture or the fact that each is struggling with reforms to their respective social welfare systems to one degree or another.

They also refuse to acknowledge Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and other socialist states that are either on the cusp of insolvency or are in extreme crisis.  

State spending and social welfare policy has allowed various European populations to live for several generations beyond their means with the illusion of stability in perpetuity.    

Fabian socialists are global socialists who coined their approach to the socialist authoritarian state the “third way”.  The Third Way sought to harness the economic efficiency displayed by Hitler’s “National Socialism” and blend it with the goals of the global socialists/Marxists.  Fabians are the mainline socialists throughout Europe.  The Labour Party in the UK was founded by the Fabian Society.

The Eurozone/EU is a fabian socialist construct.

Fabians do not believe in an open or free society.  They seek manipulation, control and implementation of their policies through stealth.  Rather than through violent revolution they seek to destroy and replace through economic action, cultural subversion and long term government policy.  

It is a system of social control through the authoritarian state and a heavily regulated corporatist economy.  As previously mentioned it is an economic system that closely resembles the fascist economies of 1930s Italy and Germany.  

What we’re seeing is that populations who have become accustomed to the all encompassing welfare state do not seem to comprehend that public debt is also their debt.  

It is a distant and abstract concept that you elected a promising cult of personality to deal with and now that the payments are dwindling what recourse do you have?  The government that once was your benevolent partner is now your adversary?  How can you continue to live beyond your means? What if the reality is that you cannot.  What if an entity from beyond your borders tells you that it doesn’t have to hurt so much if you accept terms offered to you?

All Greeks are now debt slaves regardless of how they chose to live their lives.  

They will pay higher taxes, they will face external regulation and imposed terms of austerity.  Their election of the socialist saviors was meaningless.  It is a great fabian bait and switch.  The mouse got the cheese and the trap got the mouse.

The eurozone is discovering that their nations collectively gave up their sovereignty to Brussels when they signed on the dotted line.  They are learning, perhaps too late, that their leadership are no more than representatives before a Pan-European socialist bureaucracy.