1T Day: As U.S. Student Debt Hits $1 Trillion, Occupy Protests Planned for Campuses Nationwide
Today marks what activists are calling 1T Day, the day U.S. student debt reaches $1 trillion. A coalition of groups from Occupy Wall Street plan to gather on college campuses and communities around the country to protest record-high college costs and call for an extension of low-interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans. In a bid to court the youth vote, President Obama weighed in on student debt on Tuesday with a speech at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "The vast majority of the $1 trillion worth of student debt is actually held by Wall Street banks," says Pamela Brown, a Ph.D. student who helped launch the Occupy Student Debt Campaign "Pledge of Refusal." "Those banks actually securitize these loans, and they sell them off, and they make enormous profits from them," Brown says. We also speak with David Harvey, a professor and author whose most recent book is "Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution." "There’s been this immense attempt by corporations and the wealthy and so on to pass the costs of education on to the people who are being educated," says Harvey. "They don’t want to pay for training their own labor force. They want their labor force to train itself, and then they’ll use it."
Pamela Brown, Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School who’s helped launch the Occupy Student Debt Campaign "Pledge of Refusal."
David Harvey, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital for nearly 40 years and is the author of several books, including
The Limits to Capital and A Brief History of Neoliberalism. His most recent book is Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution.
To Watch the Episode