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Executive produced by news legend Dan Rather, Fail State investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling decades of policy decisions in Washington DC that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. Director Alexander Shebanow traces the rise, fall, and resurgence of the for-profit college industry, uncovering their Wall Street backing and incestuous relationship with the regulators and lawmakers charged with overseeing them.
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It is a heartbreaking film, because it is about schools taking advantage of their own students who trusted them. It is a tragedy that has been allowed to happen on multiple levels.
In the 1970s higher education was a debt-free experience. What happened? Only two generations ago, our grandparents never even knew what student debt was - now we have 1.4 trillion in student loan debt hanging over an entire generation. We need to understand the forces at work here, forces which conspired to get insanely wealthy while heaping the debt on the heads of students. Through extensive lobbying, the schools secured little to no regulation. The Department of education allowed it all to happen. The schools have been lying to their students for 20 years in order to get them to sign up.
We had a college system that worked without the debt. Now we are headed for the next big financial disaster as this entire generation continues to age and the default skyrockets.
Question the debt... consider those who profit from it... think about whom it hurts. Our country has a culture of defending the predators while blaming the victims. We have to be stronger and understand the problem at its source-- take steps to fix it there. Our higher education system is one of the most glaring failures of crony Capitalism thus far - it is in a Fail State.
See this movie. Share this movie. If you do not have student debt, I bet you can think of a few people that do. They need to see this and understand that they should question the debt and fight against it. Student debt cancellation is something that we should all be fighting for, as we seek to back to a debt-free system like we used to have. I challenge any naysayers to read The Macroeconomic Effects of Student Debt Cancellation by the Levy Institute (google it)