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Series | Student Debt Slavery: Time to Level the Playing Field, Part 2

Historically, debt and austerity have been used as control mechanisms for subduing the people. It is time for the people to unite and take back their power. Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: This is the second in a two-part article on the debt burden America’s students face. Read Part 1 here.

Ellen Brown, Truthdig

Jan 6, 2018 | The lending business is heavily stacked against student borrowers. Bigger players can borrow for almost nothing, and if their investments don’t work out, they can put their corporate shells through bankruptcy and walk away. Not so with students. Their loan rates are high and if they cannot pay, their debts are not normally dischargeable in bankruptcy. Rather, the debts compound and can dog them for life, compromising not only their own futures but the economy itself.

“Students should not be asked to pay more on their debt than they can afford,” said Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail in October 2016. “And the debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives.” But as Matt Taibbi points out in a December 15 article, a number of proposed federal changes will make it harder, not easier, for students to escape their debts, including wiping out some existing income-based repayment plans, harsher terms for graduate student loans, ending a program to cancel the debt of students defrauded by ripoff diploma mills, and strengthening “loan rehabilitation” – the recycling of defaulted loans into new, much larger loans on which the borrower usually winds up paying only interest and never touching the principal. The agents arranging these loans can get fat commissions of up to 16 percent, an example of the perverse incentives created in the lucrative student loan market. Servicers often profit more when borrowers default than when they pay smaller amounts over a longer time, so they have an incentive to encourage delinquencies, pushing students into default rather than rescheduling their loans. It has been estimated that the government spends $38 for every $1 it recovers from defaulted debt. The other $37 goes to the debt collectors. Ellen Brown <> is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including "Web of Debt" and "The Public Bank Solution."

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Series | Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers on the Backs of the Young, Part 1, Ellen Brown, Truthdig 

The exponential rise in college costs occurred only after the government got into the student loan business in a big way.


Help expand your impact by forwarding this email to any friends looking to get involved in 2018.


Series | Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers on the Backs of the Young, Part 1

Students graduating at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2011. (Butch Dill / AP)

The exponential rise in college costs occurred only after the government got into the student loan business in a big way.

Ellen Brown, Truthdig

Dec 26, 2017 | The advantages of slavery by debt over “chattel” slavery—ownership of humans as a property right—were set out in an infamous document called the Hazard Circular, reportedly circulated by British banking interests among their American banking counterparts during the American Civil War. It read in part:

"Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery destroyed. This, I and my European friends are glad of, for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan, led by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages." Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including "Web of Debt" and "The Public Bank Solution."

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Catholic Bishops spearhead letter encouraging parents to reject their transgender kids

Members of the the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ride an escalator during a break in sessions at the USCCB's annual fall meeting. Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

  • This latest rejection of transgender people is not inconsistent with prior Catholic teaching. Last year, Pope Francis called it “ideological colonization to teach that students can “choose their gender.”
  • Religious leaders dismiss the legitimacy of transgender identities as a "false idea."
  • Related: From the Archives | Catholic Bishops End Family Synod With Little To Say To Gays

Zack Ford, Think Progress

Dec 18, 2017 | The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a new open letter, signed by many other religious leaders, rejecting the legitimacy of transgender identities. Titled “Created Male and Female,” the open letter asserts that gender and sex “cannot be separated,” calling it a “false idea” that “goes against reason” and “deeply troubling” notion “that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa.”

The letter attempts to simultaneously show compassion to transgender people while simultaneously condemning them. “A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth,” the letter states. Trans people deserve “to be heard and treated with respect,” and when they express “concerns” or discuss “wrestling with this challenge,” religious leaders should respond “with compassion, mercy, and honesty” — but not affirmation. Zack Ford is the LGBTQ Editor at, where he has covered issues related to marriage equality, transgender rights, education, and "religious freedom," in additional to daily political news. In 2014, The Advocate named Zack one of its "40 under 40" in LGBT media, describing him as "one of the most influential journalists online."

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From the Archives | Catholic Bishops End Family Synod With Little To Say To Gays, Peter Montgomery, Religion Dispatches 

World Congress of Families Has Plenty To Say, None of it Good; How Same-Sex Marriage Came to a Buddhist Temple in Japan; Global LGBT Recap


Petition: Demand Congress End Teen Homelessness

  • 40% of America’s homeless youth are LGBT.[1]
  • Abandoned and abused young LGBT kids

Fight for Equality Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.


November 2, 2017 | The facts are heartbreaking:

Hundreds of thousands of our children have no homes.

 They’ve been abandoned, rejected by their families, and left to live on the streets alone.

 They’ve done nothing wrong. It’s simply because of who they are.

 Once on the street, LGBT teens are in a fight for their lives. With nowhere to turn, they are easy targets of physical abuse and sexual exploitation. Roughly 58% of homeless gay or trans teens have been sexually victimized.[2]

 All too often, our shelters report LGBT kids appearing with stab wounds, bruises, bullets wounds, and extreme sexual trauma.

 It’s no surprise 62% of homeless LGBT youth attempt suicide.[3]
Sign our Petition: Demand Congress address teen homelessness.

Even our government has abandoned these children.

For over a year, we’ve been waiting for Congress to pass critical legislation that would stop shelters from discriminating against LGBT kids.

 And while extremists in Congress drag their feet, our children continue to be exposed and vulnerable. 

We need to step up.

 Every day Congress ignores this problem, thousands of homeless LGBT youth are put in danger.

 Sign on right now to DEMAND Congress end teen homelessness. They need you. DEMAND Congress end teen homelessness.

Please, act now. The lives of LGBT youth hang in the balance.

Equality PAC 

Equality PAC is the political arm of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Our mission is simple: Elect pro-LGBT candidates to higher office. By elevating pro-Equality leaders to every level of government, our Equality movement works to ensure that our democracy better reflects the diversity of the American people and the strength of our inclusive values.


[1] The Williams Institute. | New Study Confirms 40 Percent of Homeless Youth Are Gay | July 14, 2012
[2] Center for American Progress. | On the Streets: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth | June 2010
[3] Ibid. 2

Assessing Betsy DeVos' Rollback on Disability Rights

President Donald Trump speaks as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos listens during a parent-teacher conference at the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 14th, 2017.(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ten months in, the damage that DeVos is doing to America's most vulnerable is becoming clear. media is under attack. However, you can help us change that by becoming a member of Evergreene Digest.

For as little as a free will contribution a month, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter and special perks like Friday's Funday (a weekly collection of our favorite editorial cartoons), and the ability to recommend topics for us to cover. Please join now and help us to spread Free Thought.

Chip in, sign up and get on board with all reader supported Evergreene Digest now!. You are needed and welcome here.

In solidarity,
Dave & the Crew

David M. Perry, Pacific Standard Magazine

Oct 24, 2017 | Last January, Betsy DeVos went before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and delivered what may have been the worst performance of a potential cabinet secretary in modern history. She didn't seem to know anything about federal education policy, which wasn't surprising on its own: Her track record as a school-choice advocate in Michigan had emphasized privatization and theocracy, rather than pursuit of high-quality public education. Worse, from my perspective as the parent of a disabled child, she was specifically ignorant about special education, an arena where her prospective office has outsized influence. She got confirmed anyway, if narrowly.

Ten months into the Trump administration, the damage that DeVos and her appointees are doing to America's most vulnerable is beginning to show. A few weeks ago, she announced significant changes to the department's guidance on Title IX as it pertains to sexual assault in schools. Then, last week, the department rolled back 72 policy documents that specifically detailed the rights of disabled children in schools. M. Perry is a professor of history at Dominican University, contributing writer at Pacific Standard, and freelance journalist focused on disability, parenting, history, and education.

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