I’m not dismissing the need for reform — and that would involve considerations for the business community. But where reform is really needed is in the hearts and minds of all Americans — especially those who have benefited the most in our capitalistic system. That reform really begins with taking into account that our poorest, those who work for $20,000 to $30,000 per year, need our attention first. Then, let’s look at how companies like Medtronic, who already enjoy a healthy “bottom line,” can do even better.
JIM STROMBERG, White Bear Lake Twp.
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We can’t rely upon the market alone
I believe we must make it possible for more students to attend college, acquiring the skills and critical-thinking ability to join the middle class and sustain our democracy. I was once a low-income student, and because I graduated in 1963 with only $1,200 in loans, I was able to join the middle class and become a professional educator, teaching students from eighth grade through graduate school. That’s why I support Mike Obermueller for U.S. House in Minnesota’s Second District in 2014.
Furthermore, I believe that the federal government — not the market alone — should help to solve the current crisis in student loan debt. When the banks were in crisis, the government — that is, taxpayers — bailed them out. But now that student debt has reached $1 trillion, Laura Brod, a former state representative and current University of Minnesota regent who supports incumbent U.S. Rep. John Kline — believes that “the market” should solve the problem (Readers Write, July 13). I disagree.
As Obermueller points out (Readers Write, July 7), under Kline’s proposal, student loans would become more expensive, making it impossible for low-income students to attend college. Kline’s plan also creates greater uncertainty for borrowers about the total cost of their loans and fails to include additional help for students struggling to repay their loans.
I also find it disturbing that Kline’s major campaign contributions come from for-profit schools, because, as U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa has shown, many of these schools are exploiting their students.
BRENDA DALY, Burnsville
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I wish that Brod or Kline or someone would explain why it would be advantageous to base student loan interest rates on the market when that raises the very real possibility that students might be faced with rates even higher than the dreaded 6.8 percent. Of course, they may get lower rates — it all depends on whether the market goes up or down. Do we really want to tie educational opportunity to something as volatile and capricious as a market?
LAUREN SOTH, Northfield, Minn.
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Cartoon was wrong: It’s of great value
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.