The director of economic policy studies at one of Washington’s leading conservative think tanks has mocked financially troubled students, suggesting they just get credit cards.
American Enterprise Institute economic policy director Michael R. Strain was widely derided on social media on Tuesday after he launched the condescending suggestion that students should get credit cards instead of struggling in financial difficulties. Critics immediately pounced on what they described as a ‘condescending’ question after Strain pushed back at a Temple University professor who tweeted that students often drop out because they can’t afford a bill unexpected $200.
Strain, who writes opinion columns for Bloomberg, pointed to his past argument that “it’s a myth that a large portion of people can’t cover a $400 emergency expense.”
Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology at Temple University Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab tweeted tuesday“Everyday #RealCollege students drop out of college because they can’t afford an unexpected $200 bill. I am therefore delighted to announce the recipients of the FAST Fund 2019-2020 award. »
“Can’t they get a credit card?” replied Strain, who personally holds three degrees from New York University, Marquette University and Cornell University. Strain also worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Hundreds of comments and replies began pouring in to ridicule the think tank’s conservative advocate, with many accusing him of being part of the “cult of entrepreneurship”.
“How’s the view from Privilege Mountain, you monster?” responded political analyst Jon Lieber.
“‘Resident scholar?’ Is it an honorary title? snapped another reviewer, pointing to his joint AEI title.
“You know that a credit card doesn’t settle a debt; it just transfers it to another part, doesn’t it? replied another critic of the conservative director of the think tank.
“No guys, Michael totally understands, his private prep high school is $14,500 a year but I’m sure he put it on a credit card he already paid off,” another Twitter reviewer replied. to Strain. The conservative economist then defended his comment and pointed to his own column from June asking whether Americans, Democratic politicians and other economists are embellishing claims about poverty by some students and employees across the country.
Many commentators have pointed out that predatory lenders preyed on them while they were students and racked up massive debt on their already exponentially growing student loan debt.
“To be clear, I have no doubt that many hard-working students do not have sufficient financial resources. But concerns over $200 are certainly overblown,” he later tweeted. “I think dropping out of school due to financial stress is a real problem. But finding $200 isn’t. My concern with these overstated claims is that they get in the way of finding real solutions by misdiagnosing the problem and making it easier to reject.”
“[E]Although respondents accurately report their finances, these figures suggest that their situation is relatively rare. By making it seem like the problem is so widespread, politicians and journalists make it harder to identify how to help people who are truly struggling financially,” Strain explained.
However, several supporters of the conservative economist have joined in mocking student borrowers and snapping students.
“But they can afford all the booze, designer clothes, fall/spring vacations and expensive laptops… Yawn,” one pleasant commenter replied.