The Social Sciences Department at Marywood University was pleased to announce a free public lecture by Dr. Joel Best, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. Dr. Best is widely regarded as a leading scholar in the sociological study of social problems. He has published more than twenty books, including Threatened Children, Everyone's a Winner: Life in a Congratulatory Culture, Damned Lies and Statistics, and The Stupidity Epidemic.
On Monday, September 16, 2013, in the Latour Room on the Marywood campus, Dr. Best presented "The Student Loan Messes: How Good Intentions Produced a $1 Trillion Problem".
It took 54 years (1958-2012) for total student loan debt to reach $1 trillion--more than the total amount Americans owe on their credit cards. The total will reach $2 trillion around 2020. How did we create this problem? Over the years, the public, press, and policymakers focused on particular aspects of student loans, while ignoring the larger problem. And what was ignored tended to become the next mess. Only by understanding the larger problem can we figure out how to stop making things worse.