Behold America’s Massive Student Loan Bubble In Chart Form

“You think the housing bubble was enormous?” asks David Indiviglio. “Meet the education bubble.”

The problem is that we’ve made higher education an entitlement. We have decided that because there is a higher instance of college degrees among the prosperous middle class, if we subsidize the existence of those degrees we’ll have more prosperity.

This is the same thinking that went into subsidizing housing. The government saw a higher instance of home ownership among the prosperous, and so decided to push more Americans into home ownership using all manner of policies. We saw how that ended in the housing markets, and we’re heading in the same direction with the student loans.

The truth is that a college degree, and a home, are things you should earn for yourself. The prosperous have these things because they applied traits like hard work, perseverance, postponed gratificaton and responsible fiscal management to their lives.

By turning housing and higher education into entitlements, we’re simply giving people the symptoms of success rather than the causes of it. And a long the way, in order to provide “college for all” as some seem to want, we’re devaluing college degrees while simultaneously inflating their cost.

That’s a recipe for another economic disaster not unlike the housing market collapse.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Dakotacyr

    What a bunch of hooey!

  • borborygmi

    “The truth is that a college degree, and a home, are things you should earn for yourself.”    And when you do if you take a loan out  you are responsible for paying it back.  
       You don’t have a mortgage Rob?  Good for you if that is true.

  • robert108

    And yet, one of the far left extremists says this:


    “No matter who was elected president after Bush, things would
    be the same today. ”


    True, or not true?

  • Bat One

    This is exactly what happened with the housing market, as you’ve noted, and those whose lack of understanding and lack of vision prompt them to dismiss what you’ve said would probably have been first in line to label you a racist for criticisizing the Left’s “affordable housing for underserved communities” initiatives that led to the housing/mortgage crash. 

  • Gern Blanston

    When the housing bubble burst, we saw a tanking in the markets and a financial mess due to upsidedown mortages, etc.

    What will be the result of a burst education bubble?

    • NDSuperman

      Great question.  Maybe tanking wages for professional careers (heard this is already happening), but I’m guessing a lot of defaulting on student loans.  But why would they care, right?  I mean a degree can not be foreclosed.  Student loans are as federally backed as mortgages are right?

  • DopeyDem

    And why was it that BHO and the government grabbed control of all the student loans? They own all of the youth at this moment in time. 

    • I H8 GOPers

      This looks like a bipartisan problem.

  • headward

    I’ve been looking at this for months.  I still don’t know how I’m going to play the market to make some money.

    • robert108

      Who are you, Soros Jr.?

    • Andre Coltrin

      Have you found out how yet ?

  • Kevin Flanagan

    The education cabal laughs all the way to the bank knowing that the state legislators will always protect their access to the income and assets of those of us in the productive private sector. 

  • WOOF

    What could have happened in 2003 to cause the spike in loans?
    Oh yeah, Republicans.
    how the Bush administration repeatedly resisted calls to improve
    oversight of the $85 billion student loan industry. The department
    failed to halt the payments to lenders who had exploited loopholes to
    inflate their eligibility for subsidies on the student loans they
    issued. Recent investigations by state attorneys general and
    Congress have highlighted how the department failed to clamp down on
    gifts and incentives that lenders offered to universities and their
    financial aid officers to get more student loans.

    • robert108

      No, the qualifying standards were lowered, in the name of “investing in education”, a Dem scheme.

      • WOOF

        How’d those rascally D’s trick the republican house, the republican senate and the republican president?

        This was a payoff to banksters and questionable schools.

        • suitepotato

          No, it was Bush playing his ill-advised game of acting like a liberal to co-opt the middle of the road voters who are gullible and given to falling for liberal giveaways and emotional claptrap. OBAMA HAS STEADILY CONTINUED IT. I notice you totally ignore that as usual.

  • Hal654

    How are these graduates going to pay back the loans when there are very few jobs to be had?  Welcome to the Obama economy!

  • suitepotato

    I’ve told you all before. When the Baby Boomers, who went to college at a rate many times that of their WWII parents, finally got into the HR and management segment, they did what humans always do: they hired those like themselves. This meant a greater and growing preference for college graduates in practically every segment of business. Previously, a college degree was only needed for some professional areas, and of course, the executive segment. Now, they expect college degrees for burger flipping.

    As the college degree cult expanded and dominated, the pressure was taken off of the public schools. Now, no one expected high school to finish you off as ready for the basic minimum adult world. You instead ran up thousands of bucks to get finished and made mature by the collegiate world. We stopped wondering why high school seniors graduating with honors still couldn’t spell or construct proper sentences because we didn’t expect them to.

    Now, BA/BS degrees are so common, they are the new high school diploma, and one that we each pay for ourselves when we already paid taxes for the high schools to teach our kids correctly. As usual, liberals insisted that everyone get to go, and they made that publicly financed too. Now, the new differentiation is the MA/MA degree. The MA/MS is the new BA/BS just as the BA/BS is the new high school diploma.

    Good luck on reversing this. Everyone is firmly locked into the cult of education mindset, assuming that people are mentally retarded unless educated and indoctrinated correctly, whatever that actually is. Once, we assumed that if you could sign your name and tie your shoelaces, you could learn the job as you went. Now, we don’t trust people to answer phones without a degree in sociology. Since the public school collapse (and yes, they have utterly failed and fallen down) increasing numbers are dropping out. Those folks, combined with those who only have high school diplomas which are now devalued, are SOL as the bad economy has legions of these pseudo-educated morons taking every possible job. Those folks are most likely to be poor and lower middle class.

    A new French Revolution is coming to the USA that will make the first one look like a slap fight if they don’t dig their collective heads out of their behinds and start addressing it. Doing everything they can to increase incentives for hiring people as-is and educating them to the job on the job would be a good first start. Another would be to combine that with incentives to hire locally. It is criminal that many of America’s cities are largely wealth redistribution centers for the suburban upper middle class. Money moves through the cities and not to the people who have to live there. You can point out the number of inner city poor being given grants to go to college, but their degrees are from local schools, not the Ivy League and the immediate following second tier. There is discrimination there as well. Locally college educated poor are more likely to be permanent subclass in those businesses, never having a hope at the upper levels.

    This phenomenon has ALSO accompanied the USA’s multi-decadal dalliance with increasing socialist economic philosophies, which as we’ve covered many times increase the incidence of crony capitalism and subversive non-cooperation with anti-discrimination policies. This is because it is all stick and no carrot and when you use that, people will rebel. It is sad to think that we may need to use the tax system to bribe business into treating everyone equally, treating them like assets, and going by pure merit instead of their tiers of who went to what college and had what grades, but that is where we are. I know a lot of high school dropouts who are smarter and more mature than many of the MA/MS holders I know. We are in a sorry state where competence doesn’t matter as much, and that is precisely because liberalism, which assumes from the start that merit is bunk, has crept in. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you spread the idea that merit is just a lie of a discriminatory system, then no one will bother using merit any more, and they will only have discrimination left, whether PC or not, and usually, both. If you’re going to damn people for something, they will usually find a way to be guilty of it after the fact.

    • WOOF

      Try brevity,

       “pseudo-educated morons”.

  • sbark

    it will end up being another scream for “shared sacrifice” from the left for something that once again in based and caused by their stupidity……….

    Remember the Dept of Educ now has swat team to break down doors in the middle of the night over missed student loan pymts……………Univ of Waco anyone?

  • borborygmi

    Damn, what did I do wrong.   Two children graduated and paid back school loans.  Parents teaching responsibility…..imagine that.   
        You can argue that college isn’t for everyone  (it isn’t)  and a 4 yr degree mean less then it did when I or my parents grew up (it does).   How many  people have gone to school on subsidized school loans and bettered themselves,  their family and their community.  I can count a solid two with my children.  How about yourselves or your children or grand children?    Toughen the standards for getting into college and you will lower the amount of loans quickly.  
        There was a thread which showed North Dakota Students scoring less on there ACT.  Set the standard higher.   You need a 21 on the ACT to get in. How about 25 to 28 instead.  Brains should be more of an impediment then $. 

    • JustRuss

      and you will be screaming racist when suddenly there are a lot less minorities gaining entrance. 

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The housing bubble was the work of Democrats Dodd and Frank with Pelosi’s help over congress. Don’t ever forget their responsibility on this issue. They created the crisis that cascaded around the globe.