Letters: What Do You Think?
Student Loans: The Casualties
I have over $60K in student loans from my bachelor’s degree [“Trashing a Generation,” October 18, 2012]. I received a Graduate Plus loan for the first year of the MBA program, but I was denied the loan for my second and final MBA year. Now I am not able to complete the MBA degree and I am not able to pay back the student loans. With my present BA degree and current job, I will never be able to afford to pay the loans back.
Student loans are bad news for college students. They would be better off working at McDonald’s after high school. They can work their way into a management position with benefits and forego the student loan business.
Americans need to pay attention and so does Congress. Congress made sure the banks were protected and now we innocent people who have become disabled through no fault of our own are indebted for life to the student loan lenders/our government. The [term] “usury” is true because they trick you into a refinance and then your balance soars beyond belief, and the degree means nothing except [that] they can’t repo your brain unless they kill you.
Those of us who have become too ill to work from diabetes, MS and other chronic illnesses are the fuel for the industry. These lenders are predatory and people trick you into believing that you will earn more with a college degree. I know people who never went to college and they are earning lots more than those of us who trod the path of higher education and were duped into predatory loans. This is a crime and we are the victims and we need more voices to speak out about this issue.
There is a play on the boards at Smith College that I highly recommend all parents, grandparents and teachers make every effort to go see. It was a stunning accomplishment, and brave as it gets. This is the powerful kind of theater I hope to see more of in our community.
The play is Habitat, by a much-acclaimed Canadian playwright, Judith Thompson. It is a relentless look into what we do with the “throwaway” kids in this society.
Habitat takes place in a group home recently opened in a well-to-do suburban neighborhood. It’s run by a long-term social worker, played brilliantly by Northampton’s own Sam Rush, artistic director of the New Century Theater.
The play faces what the group home’s presence, and its kids, do to the privileged neighbors’ sense of what a neighborhood is. There are no easy answers given to the audience by the playwright. As a theater goer you are faced with your own values. And that is what I go to theater for.
Sidney B. Simon
Better Off Because of Obama
It has often been said that a person’s vote for an incumbent should be based on what he or she believes that candidate has done to benefit them personally.
Well, for the first time in my 49 years on this planet, I can honestly state that I personally benefited from the actions of [an incumbent,] President Barack Obama. Because of him I am an official HAMP [Home Affordable Modification Program]-ster.
It may have taken two and one-half years along with a lot of blood, sweat and tears—maybe not blood unless you include paper cuts—but the effort required to jump through every financial hoop possible proved to be more than worth it in the end. The interest rate on my mortgage is now the same as or similar to what is being offered on the refinance market today.
Full disclosure: I supported Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination back in 2008 and became somewhat disillusioned and embittered by her defeat. Still, in all President Obama has done very well in [stabilizing] the course of our economy, all the while being gridlocked by a party that offers no alternative ideas of its own.
As for [Mitt] Romney, he appears to be the Dagwood Bumstead of American politics. One pratfall after another leads me to believe that this is the last person we need in the White House. As the old adage instructs, “Think before you speak.”
Mr. Romney’s overreactive quips demonstrate the pattern of someone who clearly has not thought the issues through but rather views public service as a business, something to be tinkered with until the right outcome is achieved, and then on to the next issue at hand.
I can recall Nixon describing Reagan’s “war on the poor” as too severe even for his standards. Mr. Romney’s policies will be far worse and drive this country deeper into division than even the rich are willing to risk.
This election is about a definite choice between someone who represents the few who have never had it so good and someone who represents the many who know we can and will do better. His name is Barack Obama and he deserves another four years.