"So...I've received over a thousand emails in the past two weeks. I've answered them all personally. Its been pretty overwhelming, but I've been awestruck to read about all of your situations. Suicides, wrecked families, destroyed lives, being forced to leave the country, living "underground"--I've heard about all of these in the past two weeks. All because of Student Loans. STUDENT LOANS. How in God's name did this country get so badly off track?
They pointed me to this essay by Ralph Nader on Counterpunch about Sallie Mae, which hits all the highlights:
Originally a government-sponsored enterprise like Fannie Mae, Sallie Mae was privatized in 1997 and is now the largest private lender to students. But not entirely private. The federal government is its guarantor. Michael Dannenberg of the New America Foundation told Leslie Stahl:
"It may be called 'private'but it's not private at all. Frankly it's a socialist-like system. It's not as if this private entity is assuming any risks. No, no, no. The law makes sure that this so-called private entity has virtually no risk."