Humorist Lee Siegel wrote in The New York Times that he unashamedly and without remorse defaulted on his student loans.
Am I a deadbeat? In the eyes of the law I am. Indifferent to the claim that repaying student loans is the road to character? Yes. Blind to the reality of countless numbers of people struggling to repay their debts, no matter their circumstances, many worse than mine? My heart goes out to them. To my mind, they have learned to live with a social arrangement that is legal, but not moral.
Congratulations, Mr. Siegel. You have figured out liberty.
Live amorally, without remorse, condemn the system as corrupt, and stick it to The Man. That’s the ticket.
Nobody has to pay for your default, right? When Sallie Mae pays credit hounds to come after you, you just change your phone number.
When they try to poach your credit rating, you live with it, raise that big middle finger, and go on with life. Maybe you’ll earn enough to rebuild that credit score. But who cares? It’s a free country, you you exercised your freedom to be a deadbeat pig eating at the trough of American opportunity.
So, Mr. Siegel, let me write this on behalf of every employer who’s every written you a paycheck. For every publisher, newspaper, media company, or 7-Eleven where you may have put in a half-assed effort to earn a buck, here’s their reply.
Thank you for your hard work and laborious efforts on our behalf. We are so glad you were able to make money for us, because that’s the point of being in business: to make money.
We’re aware of the heavy burden placed upon our businesses by society’s expectation that we actually have to pay you for your work. We know this, and with due respect to society, we have chosen life without paying you.
Of course, you will have to struggle to pay your bills, feed yourself and your family, and buy needed items like shelter and dog food, but we think you’ll muddle through. You’ll make it just fine.
It just suits our lifestyle better not to submit to the crushing weight of paying you. We know, in the world’s eyes, this makes us deadbeats and horrible bosses, but we’re willing to live with this.
In fact, we are sharply aware of the strongest objection to our lapse into slave-ownership. If every employer acted as we did, chaos would result. The entire structure of American commerce would change.
The lazy, good-for-nothing workers who come in late and leave early, with no evidence of their labor would be exposed as the greedy vultures that they are. The government would get out of the minimum-wage and labor regulating business. Congress might even explore a special, universal sales tax which would make things like newspapers and magazines more affordable since we’re no longer paying you.
Again, thank you for all your efforts. We are really thankful that you have chosen to reject your obligation to pay for your education, because now we can move forward with a clear conscience.
Since America owes you a free education, we believe that we are more than justified in claiming that you, Mr. Seigel, owe America the fruits of that education, at the same price you paid for it.
Author note: I realize Erick Erickson approached this from a sane point of view. My attempt at humor is dead serious, and based on the level of cultural nihilism that Siegel exhibits.
(crossposted from sgberman.com)