“There are 43 million young people and not-so-young people who are locked into predatory student loan debt,” Stein said. “The birth rate is plummeting in this country because we have a generation that’s basically become indentured servants. They don’t have a place to live, they don’t have relationships, they don’t have a future, they don’t have families, they don’t have a job. We really have a generational crisis right now that we’re in the midst of. And there’s one way that crisis can be solved with the stroke of a pen. That debt can be canceled, and I’m the only candidate who will do that. Those 43 million votes have only one place to go.”
Republican voters like the idea of "affordable family formation" (Sailer), but their politicians never discuss falling birth rates, delayed marriage, etc. -- unless to argue for why we need ramped up immigration, so they can make the babies that Americans just don't want to make.
At most, Republican politicians will pay lip service to the "culture of life" to appeal to the natalist voters and donors. But that is a values topic in the broader culture war, not a material matter of how young people are supposed to be able to afford starting a family, owning a home, and so on.
The Democrat base is increasingly veering off into sheer hedonism territory, where the voters actually desire to never get married, have any kids, or raise them personally if they ever did. Transplanting yourself to some careerist urban jungle where you can diddle yourself in total anonymity, and occasionally indulge in a random drunken hook-up from Tinder, is what the Democrat mainstream must appeal to.
Bernie brought up affordable family formation, which shows how his supporters are craving normality in their lives, but can't find it in our fucked up world. It's the opposite of the Democrat base, who seek to further destabilize society and encourage and celebrate abnormality -- or at the very least, who turn a blind non-judgmental eye toward falling birth rates, delayed marriage, and so on.
These people don't view family formation in ideological terms like the natalist Republicans. It's just something normal that you're supposed to get around to, and if you are not, it's because something is lacking in your material situation -- not your priorities, your morality, or whatever else, that the values-voter would blame for the Bernouts' minimal family formation.
Ivanka Trump, through her childcare plan, has started to lead the Republicans away from framing family formation in moralistic terms, and back to the material question of making it affordable.
Adding the debt angle as Stein does is a necessary further step, since it's not just expensive childcare that prevents family formation -- it's also starting off your 20s with $50-100K in debt.
This debt stems from a great big scam (higher ed bubble), where the loans are made in bad faith: they know the borrower won't be able to pay back in most cases -- crappy college, crappy major -- and if anything goes wrong, the bubble will be too big for the taxpayers not to bail it out. And the loans are made to people whose brains aren't mature enough to make decisions about borrowing tens of thousands of dollars. That alone is reason to cancel the debt, with the understanding that it be one-time-only and after that, there will be no more higher ed for all.
I favor raiding the universities to re-coup the losses from federal student loans that will never be paid back. They fattened themselves up with that free money, they ought to give all of that ill-gotten wealth right back. Seize their liquid assets, then take control (militarily if need be) of their high-value property and structures and start liquidating them. How many world-class stadiums and the like have been built during the higher ed boom with that ill-gotten wealth? Time to sell it off and pay the piper.
Apart from administering justice to a system that's gone completely outta whack, canceling student debt would also allow young people -- and now, not so young people -- to go through the normal milestones of social, kinship, and community integration. All that costs money, not just willpower.
By blindly defending the massive transfer of wealth from the taxpayer trough (student loans) to privately managed university endowments, salaries, building booms, and so on, so-called conservatives are not only encouraging the highest degree of rent-seeking, they are also preventing family formation from being achieved by average Americans.
I wonder how conservatively these people will vote, behave, and influence society, who have abandoned hope of starting a family and have resorted to rootless urban hedonism?
Conservative "intellectuals" are proving useless as usual. Greater common sense on these inter-related matters is coming from Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, and Ivanka and Donald Trump.