Vox dumbfounded that people who have debt will be hurt more by return of debt repayments

December 21, 2021

By Tim Worstall

A blindingly unusual observation from Vox here – those who have debts will be hit by the restart of debt repayments. That insight alone is undoubtedly worth the price of a subscription.

The complaint is that student loan repayments will start again soon after the pandemic-induced suspension of them. Well, that’s OK, in times of real distress maybe we shouldn’t be insisting upon those repayments. But now that we’re close to back to full employment, GDP is ahead of pre-pandemic levels, maybe now’s the time to pay up?

But no, apparently not: “Restarting student loan payments could be a chaotic disaster. The fallout will hit the borrowers who can least afford it.” Well, yes, debt always does bear the hardest on those with the least money.

It’s also true that the restart is going to be difficult. Folks have moved, changed jobs, altered bank accounts and so on. But that’s more a commentary on how difficult any planning or bureaucratic system is in a nation of 330 million people all doing their own thing. Not something Vox tends to discuss when there’s another plan or three for a planned and bureaucratic system.

Vox is, remarkably, a major news outlet these days. It gains some 20 million views a month and lies just outside the top 100 news sites by one reckoning. We might think it should do better than this. That it doesn’t in this particular instance is really a matter of politics. The push is on for student loan forgiveness so anything that makes a return to normal repayment look more difficult is to be used.

A more appealing view might be that those young borrowers all have the vote, don’t they? So can be taken to be responsible for their actions?  Repaying student loans might be good training for the repayment of the national debt that’s going to have to happen at some point.


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