Forget Student Debt Relief, Fund Nonprofits Better | Chris Powell

Count on the Connecticut state government to misdiagnose a problem if it can make it easier to reward an influential interest group.

This is what is still happening with the student debt problem, as illustrated the other day a Connecticut Mirror report.

The report focused on a single woman with two young children who is employed by a nonprofit and is pursuing a master’s degree in social work at the University of Connecticut. She predicts she will have $100,000 in student loan debt after graduation in May and isn’t sure how she’ll ever be able to pay it off if she sticks to social work at a nonprofit as she wishes.

Rather than questioning the woman’s life choices and those of others in her situation, state lawmakers have introduced several bills dealing with student loan debt. One would ask the state government to repay $5,000 each year in debt to employees of nonprofit organizations that deal with health care or social services. The debt should have been incurred while attending a college in the state.

A more direct solution might come from recognizing why employees of Connecticut’s nonprofit social service groups are so stressed even without student loan debt. It’s because the state government funds nonprofits so poorly even though they do most of the state government’s social work for half the cost of the state government’s own employees. ‘State.

But why pay nonprofit employees more if the money can be diverted to educators, a special interest comprising much of Connecticut’s majority political party military? Because that’s what student loans are: a grant not to students but to educators.

Student loan debt is only a burden if the studies for which the debt was incurred do not allow the borrower to repay. Student loan debt can be a great investment for people pursuing high-paying careers, such as medicine, engineering, science, and technology. But otherwise, student loan debt is often a disaster, as millions of young people have discovered.

Many retail workers, taxi drivers, telemarketers, waiters and child care workers carry student debt which, while unnecessary for their jobs, prevents them from starting a family and acquiring a home.

This is not to say that higher education is useless and hasn’t given these people a better appreciation for life. That means the cost is too high, even though Connecticut educators themselves tend to be very well paid, much better paid than working-class people struggling with student debt. It is not fair.

Nor is student loan debt relief fair to the many people who have worked and saved to pay for college without incurring debt. Debt relief sucks them, and President Biden is still considering nationwide debt relief.

The demand for student debt relief is doubly wrong, because the country’s major problem in education is not higher education but lower education, where social advancement allows most students in the secondary school to complete their studies without forcing them to master secondary school work. This policy is also a great subsidy for educators, as their job is much easier when student performance doesn’t matter.

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DUMPING CASSANO? : For three decades, Democrat Stephen T. Cassano was Manchester’s most prominent political figure, serving on the city’s board of directors for many years, including 14 as mayor, before joining the Manchester Senate. state, where he served for 12 years.

Even so, his party could deny him a re-nomination this year, although he says he is running again and will hold a primary if necessary. Some party leaders lament that he wrong-footed them two or three times, saying he would retire, then changed his mind after others came forward to succeed him, forcing them to step down. That been erratic on his part. Cassano also reportedly lost contact with his party’s municipal committees. A businessman with no political background challenges him for the Democratic nomination.

Has Cassano lost contact with his district? He’s never been beaten, but in his most recent campaigns he hasn’t finished strong even as his district leans toward the Democrat. Will he remain a Democrat after a personality-based primary?


Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.


Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer.

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