Building Back Better w/ Student Debt Cancellation too
Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team
As We Build the Infrastructure We Need,
Let’s Lift the Burden of Unfair Debt
Yesterday, Joe Biden announced the most ambitious federal infrastructure project in decades. His speech emphasized the need to think big, to lift the country through collective investment that would enrich us all. Green technology, safe water systems, broadband, public transportation—all of it adding up to millions of jobs for workers with greater rights.
We, at PDA, are pleased that President Biden is stepping up in this way to lift the country. It is an excellent sign and a strong start!
In the coming days and weeks, we will organize on Capitol Hill and across the country to further strengthen the infrastructure package. When it passes through Congress and arrives back on the President’s desk, we want it to be absent any subsidies for fossil fuel production—while expanding the programs that develop green technology and manufacturing. Our goal remains an infrastructure package on a scale large enough to address the climate emergency adequately, one that will generate so much societal wealth that it will inspire a new era of shared prosperity.
However, to achieve such a goal we also need to alleviate the burden of debt accrued by generations of students over the past four decades. Just as we are tacitly acknowledging, via the infrastructure bill, that the free market is incapable of providing much that is socially necessary in the 21st century—we must acknowledge that allowing higher education costs to be set by the market and paid for via student tuition has been a failed social experiment. Tens of millions of Americans were told by politicians from both parties that if they took out loans to pay for school, they would make that money many times over. It didn’t turn out that way. Instead it’s became a life-suffocating debt trap—on the order of $1.7 trillion.
We, at PDA, call for universal student debt cancellation. Because over 90 percent of that debt is currently held by the Federal Government, it’s something we can impact through political action.
This week our allies at The Debt Collective are organizing demonstrations across the country for universal student debt relief. Find out more here—and support PDA as we continue to fight for the inclusive, prosperous, democratic society with zero carbon emissions that we all deserve.