Teen Vogue: Forgive student loans so people can take vacations

February 23, 2022

By Tim Worstall

A new piece from Teen Vogue says that student loans really must be forgiven because going traveling on vacation is so good for mental health. 

No, really, that is what the piece says: “[T]he repayment pause went into effect soon after, and she was grateful. Without needing to make that monthly payment, she’s been able to put money into other things that are important to her, such as travel, which she says has helped her mental health.”

Sure, we like to travel, a vacation, as much as the next person. We do differ with the conclusion reached though:You know, that’s not only eliminating student loan debt.”

But the economy must add up. Going to college is an actual cost. Teachers and buildings and books just aren’t free. So, someone, somewhere, has to pay for them. The current system is that those who gain higher income from going to college pay those costs. It’s even set up so they can borrow while they’re young to do so and pay it back when older and getting the higher incomes a college degree gives them. 

Any other system runs into a significant problem. If it’s not those going to college who is it who carries the costs? We could pay for it all through taxation but that would mean those not getting the higher incomes from having a degree get to pay to those richer than them who do have the degree. Or we could just print the money at the Treasury and spend it but then everyone again pays through the inflation – a tax which rests more heavily on the shoulders of the poor again.

Teen Vogue says that its mission is to educate the influencers of tomorrow. The site gets some 5 million visits a month. It might do better if it actually did some of that educating.

Education has a real cost that must be paid by someone. If it’s not going to be the students who benefit from it by gaining higher incomes then who should it be? After all, those who do end up paying might also find travel would be good for their mental health – but they’d not be able to do that because they’d be paying the college costs of someone else, someone possibly gaining a higher income than they are precisely because of that college.


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