An age of demoralizing debt

As financial burdens on college students grow, the social strain is showing

THE NUMBER itself is daunting: $1 trillion in student debt. That means there is more student debt than credit card debt in the United States. And that the amount of student debt in this country is in the realm of the GDP of such nations as South Korea, Mexico, and Australia.

This issue has the potential to fray our social fabric. The Occupy Wall Street protests inspired the Occupy Student Debt campaign, which has been asking 1 million students nationwide to pledge not to repay their student loans. This is a lose-lose proposition - one with potentially harrowing long-term financial implications for anyone who might follow this course - and it’s for the better that the Occupy Student Debt pledge has not caught on.

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