This past week, UFAA members distributed nearly 500 flyers around various Manhattan and Queens college campuses, laying the groundwork for future campus agitation on Elizabeth Warren’s “Bank on Students Loan Fairness” Act. We have plans for further political organizing at New York University, Hunter College, Queens College, Borough of Manhattan College and LaGuardia Community College, and we need YOU to help.
The importance of this bill cannot be understated as it represents as much as $5,000 in interest rate savings a year for many student debtors, as well as the means for a partial nationalization of the Federal Reserve on an "installment plan”. If we can force the Fed to issue tranches of low-interest loans to the Department of Education, for something with such undeniable social utility as higher education, think of the innumerable other things we can get The Fed to do (other than provide for Wall Street Banks as wards of the state under Ben Bernanke's "Quantitative Easing Program" - which is now in its third round!). The Fed could be forced to buy up distressed mortgages in an effort to stem the foreclosure tide, and issue trillion dollar tranches for a massive infrastructure and recovery program along the lines of the Great Depression-era WPA, etc. With the credit creating power of the Federal Reserve on our side, the possibilities are endless. And now that the proverbial "cat is out of the bag”, let’s not pass up such an opportunity as this to force the Federal Reserve to serve the general Welfare and not just a bunch of financier parasites.
The prerequisite for a modern Republic, since its first founding in the midst of the 1300's "Little Dark Age”, demanded an educated population to gird itself against the attacks of a Venetian centered oligarchic elite, determined to destroy any conception of a modern Nation State. It is therefore somewhat of an irony that the attire worn today by those fortunate enough to attain a college degree harkens back to that same late Medieval, early Renaissance period. Long flowing robes and flat caps we're worn, not only to establish rank within their scholarly hierarchy, but also to protect them from the cold and often damp environs they found themselves in during long hours of study. Such were the conditions of European civilization during this period, when many of the modern conveniences we take for granted, such as electricity, air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and basic sanitary standards were being invented, discovered and/or established; this being mainly as a result of this modern University system.
The Puritans that bore the hardships of travel to the "New World" and established the early Massachusetts Bay Colony under Governor John Winthrop, made education free to all, and compulsory, regardless of color, race or creed. Needless to say, this group of individuals, ancestors to the later "Latin Farmers" who waged a war of Independence from the British, knew well the many advantages of an educated population. Those values are presently in severe jeopardy, when in the midst of the “Great Recession”, interest rates on Stafford Loans are scheduled to double to nearly 7 percent on July 1st. (Almost 20% of all loans distributed by the Department of Education are Stafford loans.)
Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a bill in the Senate to lower the interest on Student Debt to 0.75%, the same rate at which the “too big to fail” Wall Street Banks get when they avail themselves on the primary “Discount Window” at the Federal Reserve. For those of you that don't know, the Federal Reserve has been kind enough to save us from the ravages of a collapsed financial system by continuing a process of “bailout” to our good and gracious Wall Street denizens to the chirping tune of approximately $85 billion dollars a month under Quantitative Easing (QE3). By this standard, the People, and their paltry concerns about education should realize that education is a privilege reserved exclusively for the rich - so “let the People eat cake”…
Suffice it to say, we all know how Miss Antoinette ended up. Hopefully our dear bearded, semi-comatose friend at the Fed, Chairman Bernanke, won't make the same stupid mistakes - but we won't be holding our breath.
Along with Senator Warren’s bill to amend the interest rate to 0.75% for Stafford Loans, there was also an adjunct to this bill in the House. Democratic Congressman John Tierney mustered the guts to introduce exactly the same bill, with exactly the same language just this past week, and with that, put out a distinct whiff of a fractious Democratic Party - attempting to put as much a distance between them and the Wall Street puppet President Obama. Better late than never we say.
To make things clear, Senator Warren’s Bill is S-879 “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act”. All people of good-will, like-minded in the defense of higher education, should be calling their Congressmen and Senators post haste to get this bill up for a vote and passed in the Senate. We repeat, on July 1st the rate on Stafford Loans is set to double, from 3.4% to 6.8%. The current one-trillion dollar college "debt bubble" is set to support new heights in usury, and "commission" fees (read as ‘theft’) in several new rounds of "securitization". So, if you've had enough of idiotic Wall Street terms like these just used, euphemisms meant to obfuscate and legitimize a looting process meant to fatten up an already bloated "One Percent", then you need to do the following:
1) Get in touch with the UFAA and talk with your local members via e-mail, Twitter or any other social media on how you can engage in some serious organizational activities. The UFAA is here to help you achieve results rather than give you another excuse to whine and cry about how bad things are. (Remember, "There is no crying in baseball", nor political activism for that matter.)
As the current rate is set to double on July 1st, we won't have much time to mobilize these campuses. Our young (and some old) college students are about to finish the semester and begin Commencement. We won't have until the Fall semester to restart the political momentum that we could have now.
2) Call colleges and Universities in your area to find out how to get in touch with the Student Government body and speak with their President and/or Vice President. They'll be very amenable to this, as they are soon to be pounded with huge student debts once they graduate. Also, contact the Financial Aid Departments and the President of the School to organize them and demand that they support Warren’s bill: S-879 “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act”. If they don't, tell them they need to seriously reconsider their career in higher education.
3) Find out who's doing the Commencement speech at your local college or University and ask them if they support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s "Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act", and make sure that they should mention this bill early and often in their address. If they refuse, then students should demand that the faculty and President choose another speaker.
We look forward to hearing from you soon. Please contact us via our Meetup page, Facebook page, and/or Twitter handles to help support our cause.