Today is your graduation day: it’s June, the seagulls are squawking, and the sun is shining. Beautiful British Columbia has blessed you with good weather, great people, and a $50k debt for your Bachelor’s Degree, fitted with the highest interest rate in Canada. And now? A new law proposed by your provincial government that promises to whip your lazy ass into shape by revoking your driving privileges should you fail to pay back your student debt in a timely manner.
First off, let’s not forget that driving is, of course, a privilege. And if you’re a woman, you should really be grateful you live in a country that lends you a license at all.
Also, regardless of how many job postings list “Must have a valid driver’s license,” ensuring your potential employer that you have a valid bus pass certainly should do the trick. Have you ever taken a bus in Nanaimo? If you’re lucky, you can arrive at your destination hours earlier than you need to, with plenty of time to catch up on your readings. You’re definitely as literate as you claim to be on your resume.
So what are you so scared of, $50k under, BA graduate? Don’t be worried about that limited job market or steady unemployment rate; with your education, you’ve gained enough personal skills to blow your 18-year-old competition out of the water during that barista interview. And if you don’t have an extra $300 left after your $10.25 an hour, 40 hour work week, try cutting grocery costs by only eating canned beans. The best thing to remember when you’re struggling to make ends meet is that you made a commitment to your government, and that your yearning for a higher education is purely a selfish pursuit, not one that is at all essential to become a contributing member of society.
So really, if you’re struggling to make student loan payments, you should be punished and treated like a criminal. You’re basically in the same category as the other law-breakers who are eligible to have their driver’s licenses revoked: dead-beat dads who aren’t paying their child support, poachers, and dumpers.
Our esteemed Finance Minister, Mike de Jong, claims the proposed law will simply prosecute all those wealthy graduates who are maliciously ignoring their debt (from the Vancouver Sun): “For folks that graduate and get a job and are working and decide they just don’t want to take their obligation to repay their student loan seriously, this would be a mechanism to remind them, on a fairly regular basis, they need to honour that obligation,” said de Jong.
Hear that, all you 20-somethings, riding around in your BMWs, neglecting to pay back your debt? Mr. de Jong is on to you!
In BC, you can commit almost any traffic violation and buy your way out of it if you have enough money, yet the government is proposing a law to take away licenses from struggling graduates, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with their ability to drive, and everything to do with how much income they’re bringing in. Seems logical, though. If people don’t have enough sense to be well-done by, how can we trust them on our roads?
Regarding the proposal, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students BC, Zachary Crispin, argued that if ICBC takes away people’s driver’s licenses because they’re having a hard time paying back their student loan, they’re going to lose their job and default even more. But, you know, I disagree with that—instead of looking at the exorbitant cost of tuition as the root problem, we should just accept the reality: most kids graduating these days are lazy, entitled, and they deserve the consequences that come along with the right, er, privilege of education.
- Proposed law could give ICBC “right to refuse” licenses due to unpaid debt
- Recap of VIU’s “student debt wedding”