Why a 62-year old defaulter on student loans is delusional at best

On Sunday, The New York Times published a real doozy of an op-ed.  Here's the premise:

A somewhat well-known writer defaulted on his sizable student loans from an expensive university 30 years ago because he didn't want to get a job that would pay enough for him to pay back the loans because that would have meant he wouldn' be "fulfilled". So he's angry at the system and encouraging others to default.  Here is just a piece of this drivel.

Years later, I found myself confronted with a choice that too many people have had to and will have to face. I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school. Or I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.

It's hard to even know where to begin with this. First of all, this is not some young millennial who graduated in the middle of a recession, in debt up to her eyeballs thanks to rampant tuition inflation, and with no job because "everyone" said student debt is good, or at least okay. This man took out his first loan 40 years ago. He has had 40 years to get his act together enough to pay back his loans that cost nowhere near as much as what many 20-somethings (and some 30-somethings) are faced with even when adjusting for inflation

 Data from Collegeboard.org

Data from Collegeboard.org

Let me just say this.

If you choose take out student loans, you are just like many, many young Americans and you may not know any better. But please start to know better!

If you choose to take out student loans and to go to an expensive school for both bachelor's and master's degrees, then you might be unwise, but hey, lots of doctors and lawyers do that and they seem pretty smart.

If you choose to take out student loans, go to an expensive school for both bachelor's and master's degrees, and choose to pursue a major that has little financial upside, then you are an outright fool.

And if you choose to take out student loans, go to an expensive school for both bachelor's and master's degrees, choose to pursue a major that has little financial upside, AND THEN choose to default for over 30 years and publish an op-ed about how the system is rigged, then you are delusional and perhaps even a narcissist. And that's being polite.

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