Sarah Jaffe has been all over the issue of debt lately, chronicling who is profiting from the massive debt young people have to take on in order to graduate from college and how people are fighting back. Great stuff. See here and here.
This debt is one of the most important issues Occupy Wall Street has brought attention to. The current level of debt is completely unsustainable. It’s still better for a young person to take on that debt than to not go to college at level (at least in terms of future earnings), but it causes massive social and economic problems. The debt forces people into long-term debt that is either impossible to repay or makes them take corporate jobs rather than follow their dreams in order to pay it back. It flat cannot continue at this pace.