Your Podsite trial is ending soon. Put the final touches on it with our tips on how to make a great podcast website.

Claim your custom domain name todayClaim your domain

What student debt says about democratic institutions

42 minutes

Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in student debt and some members of the Millennial and Gen Z wonder whether they'll ever pay off their loans. Student loans began as a well-intended government program to help increase America's brainpower in the Cold War era, but as our guest this week describes, grew into a political and financial morass that's swept up millions of people over the past 50 years. 

The Department of Education announced on April 19 that at least 40,000 borrowers will be eligible for debt forgiveness through a loan forgiveness program for public servants, but as we discuss in this episode, the program is complicated and places an administrative burden on borrowers to comply with its rules.

Our guest this week is Josh Mitchell, a reporter who covers the economy and higher education for The Wall Street Journal, and author ofThe Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe. In the book, Mitchell  draws alarming parallels to the housing crisis in the late 2000s, showing the catastrophic consequences student debt has had on families and the nation’s future. 

Additional Information

The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe

April 2022 loan forgiveness announcement from the Department of Education

More episodes from Democracy Works

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
33:55
Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
33:55