The late science fiction writer and founder of the Scientology-belief system, L. Ron Hubbard, has been loosely quoted or paraphrased as having said “If you want to gain control over people and get rich, give them a religion.” Decade’s later public debate still rages over the “religiousness” of Scientology, but no one can argue that it hasn’t successfully gained control over a large number of people and generated incredible amounts of dollars along the way.
If votes are a democracy’s “cigarette currency” it would appear that “progressive” politicians from FDR to Barack Obama have found a way to tap into Hubbard’s paradigm and gain extraordinary control over citizens and fill their vote war chests. These politicians commonly referred to by their street name “Democrats” have given millions of Americans a religion; a denomination best labeled as “dependency.” While many criticized Obama for being in the congregation of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the President’s “true” church is Dependency where he is both the High Priest and hyper orthodox.
For the last six years news cycles have covered Obama’s efforts to make varying sets and subsets of people more dependent upon government. There were union workers beholden for an auto bailout; unemployed people receiving ever-extending unemployment benefits; citizens being forced to turn to government exchanges to get healthcare; able-bodied people finding ways to be called disabled and receive monthly government payments. The list goes on. But now on the near horizon we see the arrival of Comrade Obama’s most pernicious foray into introducing susceptible souls to the religion of dependency:
The unmeasured pour of student loans and the promise to restore the student’s financial sobriety through debt forgiveness.
The Growth of student loan debt has been given more attention in the U.S. in recent years. Writing for the Dallas Fed, Ericka Davis points out that student debt in the United States now totals more than $1.1 trillion and has expanded by $855 billion in the past 10 years. The delinquency rate has averaged more than 11.25 percent over the past two years. Davis continues by pointing out that since 2003 student loan debt has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of almost 15 percent! As a category, the dollar amount of outstanding student loans now exceeds that of both credit card loans and car loans.
Sadly, while more people are aware of the growing student loan debt burden, most are completely backwards in their understanding as to why it’s happening. A typical answer to the question of “Why are college students going so deep in debt?” would be “Because college tuition has become so expensive.” Unfortunately, that answer is 180 degrees away from the truth. College tuition has become expensive because of the ease of borrowing money to pay tuition! Just like government-directed lending policies inflated the value of housing and led to an economic collapse, and just like third-party paying led to exorbitant increases in health care costs paving the way for the death-grip of Obamacare, easy student loan money has led to skyrocketing tuition and a complimentary debt crisis.
And collectivists never let a crisis go to waste.
Democratic politicians have taken to floating promises to young people that if given enough control over the legislative process they will do anything from debt reduction, to debt forgiveness, to debt restructuring & forgiveness if a graduating student takes a job in the public sector. They have even suggested they would reinstate the provision in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to let student loan debt be discharged through bankruptcy (an interesting option when you consider that upon graduation most students have nothing to their name but debt and could easily file a simple, speedy bankruptcy, wipe their slate clean, and move on with their lives).
The dangling of this promise in front of Elizabeth Warren’s damaged, victimized, Millennials creates in them a sense of dependency upon big government and a potential forthcoming personal bailout. How does a rational young person with $40,000 in loans staring them in the face vote against their own self-interest and a candidate who says “Maybe, just maybe, I can make all that debt go away?” Instead of making a plan to generate the income to pay back their debt, or better still planning ahead of time to not get into so much debt in the first place, a young person’s best bet may very well seem to be voting for big government and big promises and let the consequences be damned.
It is like saving for your retirement by spending all of your money on lottery tickets.
The Republicans stand flat-footed as the Democrats’ muses harmonize students with the rhythms of dependency. When your opponent is promising to give something to a voter it is reflexive to want to promise them you will give them even more than your opponent! In this case that isn’t possible and it isn’t the solution. The problem is that applying reason to argue a group or a person out of dependency and into self-reliance isn’t easy. If it were, there would be no more heroin addicts or meth heads.
Jamie DeWolf, the great grandson of Hubbard and an outspoken critic says “Scientology is the most brilliantly engineered pyramid scam I’ve ever seen… to meet people who’ve been out of the cult… these are smart people. They’ve just been completely destroyed.” As Barack and his Argonauts proselytize young people and bring them to dependency’s alter at such a young age, you can’t help but wonder if their new-found worship won’t leave them completely destroyed?