To the College Student Drowning in Debt and the Single Mother Who Can’t Afford Insurance


You’re in a bad situation; you’re depressed, frightened, and need a solution. I’ll do my best to give you one. But first, please believe me that I know what it’s like to be in desperate circumstances.

I’m offering you advice, earned the hard way. What you do with it will be your choice, but unlike politicians, I’m not trying to get anything from you and my plan actually works.

Step #1

You’re in a hard place. Job number one is to solve your immediate problems… to survive into another day.

So, if you’re so deep in debt that you can’t afford a safe place to live, just stop paying the debt. The government will chase you and punish you, but while that’s unpleasant, it’s survivable. Living where you could be shot may not be.

Being unable to afford medical care for your child is a harder problem. In that situation, you’ll have to come up with something. Finding a decent free hospital is probably your best bet. The free hospital is far better than no hospital at all and probably better than any hospital was a generation or two ago. Move to a different area if you must, but get your kids access to basic care.

You must also work to keep those kids healthy. If you’re living a corrupt lifestyle, your kids will suffer, and it will be your fault. No one can save you from that except you. Live like a fool and you’ll get the results of a fool… and all your complaints will mean nothing.

If you feel you must go to a government program, okay, but don’t ever let yourself think of them as your saviors. That’s the crew that put you into this situation.

Step #2

Your next step is to figure out how you got into such a bad situation and fix it.

With student debt, this is easy: You were told all your life that not going to college would brand you as a loser, with a capital L. Skipping college, you were made to believe, meant a second-rate spouse, a second-rate life, and second-rate children.

So, when they put insane loan papers in front of you, you caved in and signed… just as you were conditioned to do. You probably did a few other stupid things along the way, but they wouldn’t have been horrific on their own. The loan scam amplified them.

And who set you up for this? The school systems, the universities, the governments that control them, and the bankers who gave you those abusive loans. They all worked together to create your mess, so don’t ever pretend they didn’t realize what they were doing. They knew all too well.

As a single mom you got into trouble in more complex ways. Either you made a baby with an unfit guy, an accident happened, or something. In any case it sucks, but you have to face it.

Get clear on this: You have a child depending upon you. You owe it to this child to face what went wrong and fix it so it won’t go wrong again. It doesn’t matter how that makes you feel, you have to do it.

Step #3

Now, you must decide what you want your life to be like. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been avoiding that decision for a decade or more, afraid that you’ll fail. You have to pick something, and now. Pick something good.

Step #4

Define a path to that goal. Again, you have to do this whether you like it or not. Grow up and get to it.

And yes, you will fail along the way, probably several times. It doesn’t matter; you’ll have to pick yourself up, revise your plan, and get moving again.

This is hard for everyone, but we still have to do it.

Step #5

Get busy on your plan. Let people criticize you for it. Let them call you a traitor. Just move toward your destination.

Nothing can ever replace action. And you’ll never really feel good about yourself until you do this.

Mission Accomplished?

No, not accomplished; mission started.

More importantly, it’s your mission, not one that was thrust upon you.

What Not to Do

First, don’t look for someone to save you. That keeps you powerless. Understand this: The politicians who play savior are using you as a tool. They want you to accept the role of the victim. Do you really want that? Is that how you want your children to live?

You see, “saving the 99%” sounds good, but it requires you to join a victim class, so politicians can pretend to save you. And this is crucial:

Look hard at the people whose families have been on welfare for decades. Those are “the saved.” They’re the past generation’s “99%.”

Second, understand this: It’s the system that screwed you over. With school loans this is obvious, especially when you consider that the entire political establishment wrote laws so you can never escape those loans.

And it’s true for the single mom too. Have you noticed that insurance isn’t sold nationwide? They can sell only in certain areas. And why? Because the insurance companies (who fund the law-makers) don’t like competition; they get rid of as much of it as they can.

And why can’t you and your friends create your own insurance fund? Because it’s outlawed of course… for your safety.

Third, if you jump into battle against rich people (“we’re going to make you pay”), you’ll lose every time. They can bribe the politicians much better than you can, and no one gets elected without those… um… donations.

Finally, get clear on this: The system is designed to screw you over. It screws everyone over, except for the people who feed on it.

In the End…

In the end, you have to decide what you want your life to look like. And you’ll have to build it yourself.

Is that hard? Yeah, it is. Is it scary? Yes. But it remains the only thing that works.

So start doing it.


Paul Rosenberg