End Student Debt & Make Higher Education Free

Forcing young people who want an education to become indentured servants to Wall Street is inexcusable.

Stand with Jill Stein: it's time to cancel student debt and make higher education free!

The student debt crisis is real. 43 million Americans and counting are now shackled to over $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. And the average class of 2015 graduate with student loans has over $35,000 of debt.

This is inexcusable. Why does our country force young people who want an education to become indentured servants to Wall Street?

I’m supporting the Million Student March Against Racism and Student Debt, taking place at campuses across the country, because burdening young people with crushing debt holds back not only their personal potential, but the potential of our entire society.

We’ve all heard the argument that higher education is a ticket to good jobs, so students should have to pay for it. But that’s not true in today’s low-wage, part-time, insecure economy.

The truth is that even before tuition rates and student loans started skyrocketing in recent years, the cost of higher education was a major barrier to economic and social mobility in the US.

The socioeconomic and racial disparities in higher education today are simply intolerable. Forget the myth of “meritocracy” - our higher education system reinforces inequality.

Too many young people are unable to afford education at all, and too many of those who do take loans are unable to find good jobs after they graduate.

These students know that without higher education they will have no economic security, but all too often the reward for getting a college degree is in reality a punishment - from which there is no escape.

I have heard countless heartbreaking stories of people - some who graduated decades ago - who are saddled with crushing student debt, no matter how hard they work.

These people did nothing wrong but try to improve their lives through education. Instead they find themselves pinned down by debt for years, decades, even lifetimes.

This is quite simply a predatory system that needs to be abolished.

We bailed out bankers who crashed our economy with $4 trillion worth of quantitative easing. Why not bail out our students?

Using quantitative easing to repay $1.3 trillion in student debt would unleash enormous productivity and creative power, providing a major boost to the real economy.

Abolishing this illegitimate debt would free young people to use their ingenuity and creativity to re-imagine our economy and society, as each generation must.

And after we free one generation from Wall Street, we can do the same for future generations by making higher education free, as many other countries have already done.

We know that free higher education pays for itself: when the GI Bill offered free college education to soldiers returning from World War II, every taxpayer dollar invested in free higher education was returned 7 times over in increased tax revenue and other public benefits.

Making higher education free is not only the right thing to do, it just makes good economic sense.

The only thing standing in the way is the profit-hungry Wall Street bankers who fund both the Democratic and Republican parties.

But we can beat them.

All we have to do is get the word out to 43 million Americans that they can check the Green box to cancel their student debt this November.

43 million people in debt - plus supportive family members - is a winning plurality of the vote. So we can actually win the election on the power of this issue alone.

You can help by signing and sharing my call to cancel student debt and make higher education free today.

A future free of student debt really is in our hands!

-Jill Stein, April 13th 2016

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