A new article on the Mises Daily puts the student loan industry — and the moral hazard government intervention promotes — in perspective. Here’s an excerpt:
It is difficult to come to a reasonable assessment on how to address an impending student-loan crisis. Candidates running on a platform of limiting financial aid or reducing the Department of Education will be writing a political death sentence for themselves. The recent Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 will end subsidies for student aid to private lenders. This will make it easier for students to shop for a loan by going directly to the source but will only address who controls the market and has no effect on the economics of tuition cost.
Payments will have a threshold of 10% of a graduate’s disposable income and will be forgiven after 20 years while a public servant will be forgiven after ten. The risk associated with loan obligations are shifted to the taxpayer. Consequently, the act removes obligation and creates a moral hazard with the creation of a virtual backstop. With the combination of this backstop and decreasing wages because of an oversupply of workers, the result can only perpetuate default. This bursting bubble will be massive and will affect other major industries such as housing, auto, and credit.