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Why the student debt suspension has become a political trap


The argument that habituation plays a role in attitudes toward debt was made in September 2021 by Richard Cordray, the chief operating officer of the Department of Education’s federal office of student aid. Education. He has strong credentials as a consumer advocate, having served as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He’s leading the Biden administration’s effort to “put the needs of students and borrowers ahead of special interests,” as Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said last week.

But he is also aware that the break has changed the way debtors think. As The Times recounted in a recent report, Cordray said getting borrowers to resume payments after such a long delay would be a “psychological hurdle.” More than 17 months have passed since he said that, and borrowers have become even more accustomed to not paying.

Your Tech Skills newsletter got me thinking about math, in which I have a PhD. A technology-driven society needs a workforce that has math skills. But if you look closely, these skills fall into two categories. The first includes people who, given a problem already formulated in mathematical terms, can find its solution. The second includes people who can take a new problem, mathematically describe its main features, and use them to analyze the problem accurately. They don’t have to be stellar. They need to work well in a team, to see things differently and to quickly become familiar with the techniques that seem necessary. Unfortunately, our math education is based on memorizing procedures, despite decades of effort to improve.

Burt Furuta
Honolulu Hawaii

Thank you for your enlightening article on natural hydrogen. In 1989 I co-founded the Hydrogen Association in Hamburg, Germany, and since then I have promoted the use of H₂ in every conceivable area of ​​our daily lives: cars, fuel production steel and cement, ships and planes. I drive Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai. The long-term goal of our company, F. Laeisz, is to convert our ships from heavy fuel oil to ammonia. Producing clean hydrogen from rocks is a game-changer.

Nikolaus W. Schues
Hamburg, Germany

“So who are we? The answer is the American workforce, the American people, but not particularly American society.

– Robert Reich, “Who are we?” The Harvard Business Review (January-February 1990)

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