Either we break our pandemic debts or our pandemic debts break us
Some lenders are doing all they can to try to raise: Cea Weaver, a New York-based Housing Justice for All organizer, told me that a tenant on a rent strike said her landlord tried to charge him a whole year’s rent. Bank account.
“If you don’t have the support for these people – suspension of debt service, suspension of rent – you are going to see the whole character of the company change,” Michael Hudson, an economist at the University of Missouri, told Kansas City. me, citing mass evictions as an example of the upheaval. Without wiping out people’s debt and putting them back on their own, Hudson argues that the economic recovery will be slow because people, like those in the pandemic who used their stimulus to pay off their creditors, will spend more and more of their income to pay off the debt. debt. In this way, abolishing the debt is good economic policy. And the impacts are quite immediate: One 2018 report of the Levy Institute estimates that canceling student debt could increase real gross domestic product by an average of $ 86 billion to $ 108 billion per year.
The national household debt figures alone are so large that they are almost meaningless; the massive numbers also obscure the fact that this country’s debt is unevenly distributed. The character of debt in the United States is shaped by a history of discriminatory lending practices and generational wealth disparities. Four years after graduation, black borrowers almost twice as much debt like their white counterparts; Black women hold a in particular a non-standard part of student debt. In 2016, the net worth of a black family was 10 times less than that of a white household.
But all of this is acutely reflected in the daily life of people. Richelle Brooks, a 33-year-old black single mother and mother of two high school students, told me she had $ 236,000 in student debt. The pandemic put her deeper in the hole, but Brooks was already in an untenable situation. A first-generation student, she initially took out loans to help pay for her living expenses while she was in school. She was confident in the idea, as we are taught to believe so many of us, that a good education would unlock economic security: Brooks went through an associate, bachelor’s, educational, master’s and a doctorate – every time trying to find a job it paid off enough to support her and her two children. She mostly found dead ends. “Every time I’ve graduated, even though I’ve been able to find a job, it’s not a satisfactory salary,” Brooks said. She told me about once juggling five jobs trying to make ends meet as a single parent. “A teacher making $ 60,000 in Los Angeles, you can’t do nothing about it.