I found myself considering the consequences of the Student Loan forgiveness plan today, in response to a Facebook post. When I finished, I thought it deserved it own post. Here it is:

“Why should we penalize those who have never taken out a loan, and who work hard, pay taxes, and never went to College? Why not penalize the colleges and banks and lenders? When my Jacquelyn died, she owed over a hundred thousand dollars for student loans. I am in favor of helping those without the means to attend college. But, it is wrong to make the rest of the taxpayers pay for it.
One solution would be to allow the loans to be discharged in bankruptcy. That retains the moral high ground of consequences for not paying debt lawfully incurred, and preserves the statutory scheme of allowing for fresh starts.
We have become a country in which many seek to avoid the consequences of bad action. Forgiveness? Great. A fresh start? Great. But, giveaways eliminate consequences, and we become a mass of entitled people who expect someone else to pay for our mistakes. Once we head down that slippery slope, the character of a free society crumbles. The negative consequences of a bankruptcy are small in relation to the benefit of a fresh start. And, the moral underpinning of a society of responsible individuals is preserved.
In addition to the other negative effects, giveaways are counter to the thesis that hard work is required to be financially successful. We are still, hopefully, a capitalist society. Capitalism is, by far, the best economic system ever invented, the negative consequences notwithstanding. A reasonable regulated Capitalism has served the U.S. well for many decades. However, there is a great risk in becoming a society in which the citizens are totally dependent upon a government and the bureaucrats in positions of power. When that happens, the benefits of a democratic republic are gone. The freedom to succeed must exist alongside the freedom to fail. A Capitalistic economic system raises the standard of living for all, including the poor. A socialist system keeps the poor that way, and provides only one path to success: government service. Soon, the government becomes corrupt, as the ambition and greed of its bureaucrats propels the need for total control over others. Any honest assessment of history proves this to be true. Freedom isn’t free. Someone will always pay the price.”
It is easy to say that giving financial aid to citizens who are struggling is a good thing. But, we must always consider the consequences of such aid; and when coming from the government, we should remember that the government gets its money from all of us.