Studentpwns linked to this interview of old-school New Dealer Alan Nasser and his new book, The Student Loan Debt Bubble.
[CounterPunch’s Mike Whitney]–Why haven’t the victims of these toxic loans used social networking and campus organizing to fight back against this ripoff? Are there grounds for a class action suit? What about organizing a collective action to withhold loan payment for one month to send a message to the banks?
Alan Nasser–There have been isolated instances of efforts to educate and mobilize. My and Kelly Norman’s original article has been made into a booklet by an Indiana University faculty member, for distribution to the student body. And many readers have forwarded the article to their circle. But the key to effective resistance is organization, and the most likely initiators of organization, the left-of-liberal Left, remains dormant. We can’t even get it together to mobilize an antiwar movement in this age of official permanent war.
During the period of widespread student opposition to the Vietnam war there were intercampus communications networks that helped to bring about nationally coordinated demonstrations and draft resistance. A comparable network, organized around the student debt crisis, could be formed if a few campuses got the ball rolling by developing student and faculty organizations dedicated to informing and mobilizing students and those in solidarity with them to resist debt predation. Your suggestion of a payment moratorium is a good one. One of its chief benefits in my opinion would be to draw attention to the issue as a catalyst for the ultimate development of a broader resistance to the entire regime of austerity and debt peonage that the vested interests are imposing on working people.
Alan Nasser is a badass.