Description/Abstract of your Event:
This panel is intended to change the conversation about student debt in this country. As Martin Luther King Jr. advised striking sanitation workers in his final speech, student debtors must “anchor our external direction with the power of economic withdrawal”.
Activists from four generations will discuss the possibility that an organized movement of student debtors could use its collective burden as leverage to demand transformational change before the 2020 presidential election, particularly the cancellation of all outstanding student debt and fully funding public higher education as a right for all Americans. We must decide whether the United States will continue to invest so much in producing indebtedness, or whether we will empower 44 million Americans to use the full extent of their education to transform society.
In order to change the focus of the national dialogue on this issue, the American public must be made aware of what has been hidden in plain sight- all of the major student loan servicing companies (Navient, Nelnet, PHEAA) are gambling with hundreds of billions of dollars in federal student loan debt, and the failure of the market for SLABS (Student Loan Asset Backed Securities) may result in a systemic liquidity crisis to rival the financial crisis that caused the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
The struggle for human survival past this century depends upon the ability of global movements to coordinate a strategic confrontation with the ruling class, whose malicious greed and indifferent negligence has produced the existential crises we are facing. Every day we continue to perform the status quo, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and student loan interest accumulate. Throughout history, there have been countless movements of working class people demanding the cancellation of unpayable debts to the ruling class, and as history repeats it is a tactic we must consider.
This panel will consider the notion that if the student debt bubble is doomed regardless, the most advantageous position for student debtors to take is to refuse to pay their debts and force the moment to its crisis. Given the emergencies we are in, could this tactic be effective, and is it morally righteous?