Accuracy in Media

Vox published a piece this week that says folks who don’t have to pay back their borrowings will have more money to spend on other things. That this might come as a surprise to some might tell us more about those being informed than the information itself.

Vox thinks that student loan forgiveness and the moratorium on payments are very good things indeed. The logic from this then extends to stories about folks who haven’t had to pay their loans then having better lives. See, this works!  

We can imagine this to be true but the examples used are so weak as to call the idea itself into question. For example “With the pause, I was able to save some money, and I went on a vacation by myself,” the correct reaction to which is good for you. But should it really be government policy that taxpayers pick up the costs for college so that someone can go on vacation? 

Or “My credit score has increased by more than 40 points, and my previously nonexistent net worth has increased to above $150,000. “ Again, that’s very nice, but is it really true that all of us should be carrying the costs of her accounting MBA so that her credit score goes up? It’s not as if we expect an MBA to be on a low income after all.

Or: “I decided I was going to tackle that $25,000 that was sitting in my private loans as long as the federal loans were still paused. “Which is what she did. But again, this is a Doctor of pharmacy here, who also took 10 weeks of unpaid maternity, and she still paid off $25k in loans. This is someone who requires further subsidy from the rest of us, either further pauses or even total write-offs? 

What is happening here is that Vox believes that student loan alleviation – and the pause – is a good thing. Therefore, articles show how good a thing it is. The problem is all these folk who use the pause to just go on vacation. Why should other people have to pay higher taxes – those loans are going to have to be paid by someone, at some point, for the money’s already spent – in order to allow vacations? Or better credit ratings? 

Vox is still a major media outlet, ranking around 100 in the new sector. It gains some 20 million page views a month just on the site with further interaction through its videos. Vox is part of the shaping of public views.


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