What’s your Student Debt Story?
Student Debt Story:
I earned my natural science Ph.D. in 1984. I held a full-time job in the automated clinical chemistry and cytometry instrumentation field during my last year of study, working for one of the leading firms in the field. However, less than a year later, my position was eliminated during a mass termination that halved the staff in this firm's advanced research department in February, 1985. The firm was preparing for a leveraged buyout orchestrated by (felon) Michael Milken. In the intervening 3 decades, I have been unemployed or underemployed for at least 20 years. My modest amount of student debt necessary to complete my graduate degree has ballooned to over $60,000.00 I recognize that greedy economic elites manipulated the supply of STEM Ph.D.s via the obscure 1976 "Eilberg Amendment," which was then cited as legislative precedent for the Immigration Act of 1990, which created the controversial H-1B Visa program. My story was profiled by a number of media outlets in the 1990s. I testified twice in the U.S. House of Representatives and twice to the National Academy of Sciences regarding the harms of the H-1B Visa program. I have researched and written extensively about how these policies target the American middle class. At age 63, I hold a subsistence-level part-time position without benefits. Stacey Patton, Ph.D. wrote an article, "I fully expect to die with this debt" in the April 15, 2013 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Unless these harmful policies are reversed, sadly, this article title will apply to me.