For Charles Hugh Smith, what is so compelling about the trend of skyrocketing student loan debt is that it not only reduces young people to indentured servitude, but it decouples the risk from gain in our economic system between generations.
Think of it: the parents of a young university graduate paid 80% less to get access to well-paying jobs back in the 60s and 70s. College tuition has skyrocketed and credentialism has continued to demand masters degrees, requiring young people to pay more tuition, and pay more of it. And yet, the probability of getting a good job has actually decreased, what with unemployment and malemployment “McJobs.” What this does is stabilize the positions of those working for the university system, paying their salaries and retirements, and shifting that risk onto the future labor of young graduates. The potential gain from a college degree is decreasing, and yet the cost is increasing, while the only beneficiaries are the colleges themselves or the banks doing the financing.
Risk and gain can only become detached for so long – just look at the housing market.