When Mary Green Swig and Steven Swig began working on the issue of student debt in 2014, the idea of cancelling that debt was considered unthinkable in most quarters. The organization that became Freedom to Prosper was founded on the principle that education, including higher education, is a public good that serves the national community as well as students. Driving individuals into debt for an education that serves us all violates this principle and the social contract that binds us together as a nation.
Eight years later, that ‘unthinkable’ idea has gained wide acceptance. There is widespread support for student debt cancellation. We at Freedom to Prosper still believe that universal student debt cancellation is the ultimate goal, and that it should be accompanied by a national program of debt-free higher education to ensure that future generations are not punished for seeking to improve themselves and their society.
In the meantime, President Biden’s program of student debt cancellation is a major first step toward that goal. It will free millions of people from their debt, and lighten will the burden for millions more. It will also benefit all working people, who will see increased prosperity — both in relief from their own debt (for vocational schools and other training programs), and in increased purchasing power for all.
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Student debt impacts millions of people, of all ages.
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