The NYTimes carries an ope-ed from a man who has defaulted on his student loans, and explains why. Because this is much in the news, I leaped immediately to the assumption that this was a young man (or perhaps woman - Lee is sometimes feminine), in his 20's or perhaps 30's. Lee Siegel is almost 60, and a successful writer. The loans he defaulted on are old, and now that he is better off it does not seem to him that he should make good the sins of his youth.
Because it wasn't his fault, you see. He is actually doing the morally superior thing by not repaying the loans. If everyone did likewise it would expose the corrupt higher educational system, you see. Their money-grabbing, insensitive ways would be out for everyone to see, and the world would scream out that such madness be fixed. We should thank Siegel, really. A hero. It takes great courage not to pay money back, I imagine.
I would not agree, but I could understand the excuse of the young person who got in too deep, then his parents divorced and the money went away, and the jobs weren't there despite his best efforts when he graduated, who just felt there would never be respite or relief and apologetically turned his back. But Siegel's argument is quite different (though it includes those elements when it serves him). He has writes with disdain for the banker who approved his first education loan. He had to leave an expensive private college and go to a cheaper, less fashionable school. This still wounds him, as he has to mention, sneering back at those he imagines are sneering, that perhaps they think he didn't deserve being at such a school.
Of course it was impossible to take a job where he might make more money and pay it back, because his usefulness to society is as a writer, not mere trade.