Student Loan Forgiveness: Machiavellian or Magical Thinking?

by on March 8, 2023 · 1 comment

in Education, Ocean Beach


By Colleen O’Connor

The attempt to forgive student loans for over 20 million applicants (thus far) is either a brilliant Machiavellian twist or just another Year of Magical Thinking as Joan Didion would understand in hindsight.

Why?  Won’t it ever happen?  What is so Machiavellian (meaning diabolically clever, devious and deceitful) about the suggestion?

A Florentine philosopher and author of The Prince, Machiavelli argued:

“…that his experience and reading of history showed him that politics have always been played with deception, treachery, and crime. He also notably said that a ruler who is establishing a kingdom or a republic, and is criticized for his deeds, including violence, should be excused when the intention and the result are beneficial to him.”

Joan Didion

So, Machiavellian.  Sound familiar?  Stuff it up in court proceedings and kill it.

So many legal challenges have already been mounted that even President Biden is now admitting he is uncertain of the Court’s ruling.  Clever.  Let the Courts take the blame.

“Federal courts blocked the initiative last fall following multiple legal challenges. The administration appealed two of those challenges to the Supreme Court, which held an oral argument hearing last week. The Court is expected to issue a decision in June.”

June primary time.  And there is “no back up plan.”

Let’s do the endgame.  The current 6-3 conservative U.S. Supreme court will never rule in favor of allowing nearly 40 million borrowers to wipe out up to $20,000 each in federal student loans.

Think about it.  Smart enough to go to college, perhaps earn a degree, and can’t fathom that borrowing means debt that needs to be repaid by the borrower?  How about all those millions of former students that worked years and, as good citizens, paid back their loans?

Hardly fair.  Where is the Justice in that?

And then, there is the obvious “win if you lose” position of the Democrats.  Cheer on the debtors.  Make lots of noise and promises before the election.  Drum up massive support from the youth vote and their parents who would love to see that $20,000 debt erased “magically.”

Wonderful incentive to turn out those usual youthful laggards to the polls.

Very Machiavellian.  And still a winner for the Democrats. Blame the conservative Supreme Court.

Then there is the “magical thinking” option.  Another Yikes!

What if the Court does rule in Biden and the students’ favor?  Will there be class action suits for reparations from those not currently included in the case?  Will there be any chance of avoiding and the current potential debt ceiling collapse?

Such are the looming economic conundrums that even poll-tested, pablum responses cannot repair.

How about Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking?

“The title of the book refers to magical thinking in the anthropological sense, thinking that if a person hopes for something enough or performs the right actions then an unavoidable event can be averted.”

Take your pick. Machiavellian?  Or “The Year of Magical Thinking?





{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gravitas March 8, 2023 at 10:59 am

Can the Feds forgive all debt?


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: