Why does the federal government resist education?

Intelligent Americans long have recognized that our future national success rests on the shoulders of our educated populace. They are the ones who will lead us.

That is why today, every municipality offers free education for grades K-12.

On April 23, 1635, the first public school in what would become the United States was established in Boston, Massachusetts. Known as the Boston Latin School..

After the U.S. Revolution, northern states especially emphasized education and rapidly established public schools.

By the year 1870, all states had tax-subsidized elementary schools. The US population had one of the highest literacy rates in the world at the time.

Private academies also flourished in the towns across the country, but rural areas (where most people lived) had few schools before the 1880s.

By the close of the 19th century, public secondary schools began to outnumber private ones.

We live in the 21st century, when a widespread college education is as important to America’s success as a high school education was in the 19th century. Yet still, we cling to the archaic notion that while elementary school and high school are paid for by governments, college and beyond must be paid for by individuals.

The time has come to realize that American leadership always has required universal education, the only difference being that in the 1800’s an elementary school, and then later a high school education were sufficient, while here in the 2000’s, advanced education has becomes necessary.

Sadly, we have not yet learned that lesson. We insist on making it difficult for American students to receive the best possible education:

Bloomberg: U.S. Student Loan Debt Sets Record, Doubling Since Recession
By Alexandre Tanzi, December 17, 2018, 4:00 AM CST
Student debt outstanding reaches a record $1.465 trillion
Borrowers over age 50 debt rises by $28.8 billion in one year

U.S. student loan debt outstanding reached a record $1.465 trillion last month.

Image result for student debt 2019
American college students are drowning in debt.

“Over 90% of student loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education, meaning that if a recession causes a rise in youth unemployment and triggers mass defaults, this contingent liability could prove burdensome for the U.S. government budget,” said Paul Della Guardia, economist at the Institute of International Finance in emailed comments.

Get it? Mr. Della Guardia is more concerned about a non-existent burden on the U.S. government than on the real problems of youth unemployment and mass defaults.

The so-called “burden” on the U.S. government is non-existent because the U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. It never can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. It can pay any size debt denominated in dollars. Federal debt, no matter how large, never can be a burden on the federal government.

Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

By contrast, indebted students are monetarily non-sovereign. They can and often do, run short of dollars and become insolvent.Related image

A Bloomberg analysis found that students who took a loan in 2012 have had a much more difficult time making their monthly payments compared to students who received loans shortly before and after — students who have had a similar amount of time to pay them down.

A large percentage of those who took out loans in 2012 are currently 24-33 years old, an age where many are generally establishing themselves in their careers.

Borrowers in this group entered the labor force when the unemployment rate was twice as high as today and may have found it difficult to find a career track in their desired field.

Further adding to the difficulties faced by this group was that finding a position in 2012 took almost three times longer than today, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The interest rate for a direct student loan disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2019, is more than 100 basis point higher than those issued in 2012 adding to the concern about the size of student loan debt outstanding.

Many student loan borrowers face significant debt burdens. Over 2.7 million borrowers owe in excess of $100,000, of which, about 700,000 owe $200,000 or more, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. One year earlier, 2.5 million owed in excess of $100,000.

The single largest asset on the Federal government’s balance sheet is Student Loans— the amount students owe to the federal government, which neither needs nor uses the money.

By not recognizing the national importance of advanced education, we have doomed an entire generation to failure — a failure that significantly will reduce America’s competitive and strategic successes.

This is more than shortsighted. It is part of the same plan that attempted to eliminate ACA (“Obamacare”), cut Medicare, cut food stamps, cut Social Security, and cut consumers’ protections against business fraud.

It is a reflection of the Gap Psychology of the rich who run America.

Gap Psychology is the desire to distance oneself from lower-income/wealth/power people, while coming closer to the higher income/wealth/power people.

There were times in America, when Gap Psychology ruled:

When it was a crime to teach slaves how to read and write.

When women were not allowed to vote.

When immigration from Ireland was blocked: “The refugees seeking haven in America were poor and disease-ridden. They threatened to take jobs away from Americans and strain welfare budgets. They practiced an alien religion and pledged allegiance to a foreign leader. They were bringing with them crime. They were accused of being rapists. And, worst of all, these undesirables were Irish.” (Does this sound familiar?)

As is usual with the very rich, Gap Psychology is far more important than compassion for the less fortunate or concern for America’s future. Thus anything that would benefit the middle- and lower-income groups, i.e. narrow the Gap, is strenuously resisted.

Even some in the middle-classes are complicit, when they adopt the shortsighted, “If I had to pay, they should pay” position.

It’s the old question,  “Why can’t crabs escape a bucket? Answer: When some try to climb out, the others pull them back down.” That is a version of Gap Psychology in which a man doesn’t want former peers to succeed, opening a new Gap between him and them (aka, “envy.”)

And that is why today, we do not have a national system of free advanced education. It’s urgently needed, but the rich don’t want it.

Most parents can’t afford to place their children in exclusive, private or preparatory schools.

For the majority of U.S. families, public education is the only option. Public elementary and secondary education money usually flows from three sources: the federal, state and local governments. According to the U.S. Department of Education, states contribute nearly as much as local governments, while the federal government supplies the smallest share.

Yet, it is the federal government that is best able financially to pay for education.

We’ll close with excerpts from the following article:

The former student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) believes that agency has been a “complete failure” over the last year and has “completely walked away from its mission” regarding student loan borrowers.

Seth Frotman, who resigned in protest in August 2018, expressing outrage at the then-leadership’s treatment of the nearly $1.5 trillion student loan industry, asserted that things have gotten even worse since his departure.

“I honestly don’t say this lightly, but I don’t know how you could look at the things that have happened over the last year … [and] under the new leadership of the bureau and not say that it is a complete failure in doing its job on behalf of student loan borrowers,” Frotman said. “The current political leadership at the CFPB has prioritized the interests of the student loan industry over the very real plight of the 44 million Americans who have student loan debt.”

We have suggested as part of the Ten Steps to Prosperity, Steps #:

See: 4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone (Tuition, supplies, transportation, meals, etc. all should be funded by the federal government.)
See: 5. Salary for attending school (Many students drop out of high school to enter the employment world early because they and their families need the money. Even with scholarships, many families cannot afford to send their children to high school, let alone to college and beyond.)

In summary
Millions of our best and brightest young people are hamstrung by lack of money. Not only do finances force children to leave high school or college early, but those who are able to attend college face onerous loan repayments to a government that has unlimited money and does not need to collect money from students.

These loan repayments prevent many young people, who are in the usually most productive growth years of their lives, from investing time, money, and talent into businesses and scientific pursuits that would have benefitted America. Lack of finances turns productive years into lost years.

America is forgoing the national benefits that these young brains could provide.

As a result, America no longer is a world educational leader.


–30 years ago, America was the leader in quantity and quality of high school diplomas. Today, our nation is ranked 36th in the world.
–1.3 million high school students don’t graduate on time yearly. States with highest rates (80-89%) are Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. States with lowest (less than 60%) are Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia and S. Carolina.
–A student living in poverty is 13 times less likely to graduate high school on time.
–In the workplace, 85% of current jobs and 90% of new jobs require some or more college or post-secondary education.
–Only half of the students who enter a 4-year school will receive a bachelor’s degree within 6 years.

Advanced education is as important a protector of America’s future as is the military. The government should be doing everything possible to fulfill this need.

The federal government should stop resisting education, and pay off all student loans, then eliminate the need for student borrowing and student indebtedness. America needs an educated populace.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.


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