A Nation of Debt

Our nation is drowning in debt. Photo credits to Bricks and Mortgages.

Our nation is drowning in debt. Photo credits to Bricks and Mortgages.

Grace Kim, Section Editor

Recently, the Youtube Channel, Cut, uploaded a video that asked 100 people of various ages from the U.S how much and why they were in debt. Of the interviewees, several individuals were in thousands of debt due to college tuitions and medical bills. Although a hundred people doesn’t represent the entire nation, many families are struggling on a daily basis to finance basic necessities. Education and healthcare shouldn’t be a topic of affordability. Parents shouldn’t be weary of seeking medical attention for their child due to the lack of health insurance; and, neither should students be deprived of being able to learn.


Why are College Tuitions so Expensive


In essence, colleges are expensive because they are a service by workers with college degrees. In America, for the most part, individuals with a college degree are expected to be paid more then a staff without a diploma. As a result, as the wages for workers at universities increase, the tuition of students also rises. Specifically for public facilities, ever since the 2008 recession, the government has been putting less emphasis into maintaining higher forms of education (information by the Atlantic). As the federal support decreases, much of the financial burden is placed onto student tuitions. On another note, according to Business Insider, “college is expensive for many reasons, including a surge in demand, an increase in financial aid, a lack of state funding, a need for more faculty members, and ballooning student services.” It is a common fact that more students are attending college then in previous years. For an example, the renowned University of California Los Angeles had a 12.5 percent in applications from in state students.  A larger student body leads to more faculty members and services in which to pay. Consequently, this results in higher tuitions.


Why are Medical Bills so Expensive


In a video by CNBC, the reporter concluded that the rise in medical bills are a result of hospitals going from “philanthropy to corporation.” Due to the introduction of insurance, investors began to realize that money can be made from people’s lives. Hospitals were established out of pocket money rather then necessity. Yes, doctors need to be paid, research must be done, and machinery must be maintained, yet many don’t realize that a large portion of medical bills don’t go into improving hospitals. Surprisingly, supplies such as prescription pills are sold by one or a few companies. With that in mind, these companies have complete control over prices. In that sense, these monopolies are able to demand a higher cost for each medicine.

Our nation is heading down a path that values money over life. Education and Healthcare shouldn’t be a business, but a service available to everyone. Mabel Ra (12) argues that “education and healthcare are essential to human beings, but the fact that the prices continue to rise deters people from receiving the services they need.” Thus, despite the need for change, are people expected to just watch the rising prices of healthcare and college tuitions?