Presently, we are enduring two skyrocketing epidemics in the United States. The student loan debt crisis, and the explosive growth of sexually transmitted diseases.
President Biden recently promised to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for lower and middle-income borrowers. But that’ll only help somewhat for the typical borrower, who holds an average of $32,731.
Meanwhile, according to a 2021 report by the CDC, STD rates climbed to an all-time high for the sixth straight year back in 2019. And while reported STD rates declined during the early stages of the pandemic, they came roaring back in the latter part of 2020.
An expected but unfortunate development I refer to as “lockdown libido.”
Check out these charts below and tell me you don’t feel a burning sensation.
First, one of the growing student debt load held by Americans:
Now the rapidly climbing STD rates in the United States:
So, the average college graduate leaves their alma mater with an amount of debt about equal to the cost of a low-end BMW. That’s undischargable debt, mind you. Debt that can’t be whisked away by a judge in bankrupcy court. Debt that for most people follows them around for years, decades, maybe even their whole life, ruining their quality of living, hanging over their head like the Sword of Damocles, and maybe even ruining their relationships and sex lives.
Kind of like an incurable STD.
This got me thinking hard. What’s worse: Having an incurable sexually transmitted disease, or having an unbankruptable student loan?
This is not as easy a question to answer as it may seem.
It’s actually a complicated issue that depends on several parameters. How big of a student loan are we talking here? Six figs? And what kind of an STD? Obviously something like HIV is objectively worse, as it tends to kill you, unless you have access to primo medical care like Magic Johnson.
But what if you have six figures of debt from an undergraduate liberal arts degree? Then you’re basically fucked either way, and either option is equally terrible, I’d say. With an expensive degree in something ridiculous like, let’s say, sociology, you essentially have no real job prospects, and no free income on account of the high monthly payments even if you are working. Forget about getting a house, starting a family, or having any kind of a life. You exist solely to make a number in a government Excel spreadsheet get smaller.
At least with HIV you might have an awesome story about how you got it from that surf instructor Javier who blew out your back, or that chick Holly with the missing teeth you met behind the dumpster at Wendy’s that one drunken night.
But who wants to hear about the time you signed the FAFSA form in your bedroom at 18 years old while you were playing Fortnite? Nobody. How boring.
So, if you have high student debt from a shit degree, you might as well have HIV. Basically the same difference.
Meanwhile, for something more manageable like syphilis, you simply get a shot of antibiotics, and bam! You’re good to go for another weekend of barhopping at the Crotch Critter Pub.
So, while having a permanent STD comes out at about even if you’ve got massive debt, we’ve established that having a curable STD is infinitely way better than having a student loan. You can nuke that problem right away. However, for the majority of borrowers, who took money from the federal government, their financial STD is un-get-rid-of-able in bankruptcy court.
But wait a minute! A student loan, however onerous and burdensome, is afterall, just money. And health is more valuable more than money. By a lot. At least in theory anyway. Right?
Except for many, student loan debt is something that derails their lives in such a way that it’s almost like living with a crippling disease or a disability. A recent study revealed that 1 in 14 student loan borrowers even entertained suicide as a way of escaping their debt burdens. Some are even leaving the country. This guy Chad Haag fled to India to live in a concrete house next to a herd of elephants. And that was only over a mere $20,000 he owed. You can’t even buy a new Honda Civic for that anymore.
Then there’s this other guy also named Chad, last name Albright, with $30,000 in loans, who moved to Odessa, Ukraine to get out of the debtor’s noose.
Well, at lease he’s in a far better place now living safely in Ukraine.
:::sad slide whistle:::
I’ve never had an STD myself. But I have had $30k in student loans. And my name’s not even Chad. And let me tell you, I had to literally move heaven and earth to pay them off. I had to move across the country to take a job in the middle of nowhere in the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota so I could make enough to pay them off in a reasonably quick period of time.
Had I had a curable STD instead, all I’d likely have had to do is pop a pill or get a shot. Easy-peasy. No moving. No job-seeking. No living out of my car for three months at a rest stop in Minnesota during a heatwave in the summer time (true story) while waiting to hear back on job apps. No working my ass off in sub-zero temperatures or high heat in the dust. No working around dangerous fumes and toxins that the oilfield produces in vast quantities.
And that’s just me. God knows what else other people have had to go through to pay off their student loan debt. Virtual harlotting on OnlyFans. Shilling Cutco Knives door-to-door. Slaving for Amazon Warehouse. Writing for Medium. The list of indignities goes on.
Meanwhile, many people appear to live very normal lives with STDs, even permanent ones, judging by the commercials I see on TV all the time. They’re always running on the beach, drinking beers, wearing name brand clothing, and having a blast by a bonfire, even if they’ve got things like herpes.
I mean, just check out this Valtrex ad to see what I’m talking about. People are diving off boats, exploring canyons, and chilling by the fire. All while looking like upper-class globe-trotting vacationers. And they’ve all got genital warts.
You see anyone with heavy student loan debt doing anything cool like that? Yeah, right. They’re usually hunkered down in their mother’s basements eating Ramen, or working the late shift at Starbucks. And that’s when they’re not being interviewed in the media and talking about their debt trauma as if they were Venezeulan kidnapping victims.
Based on those TV commercials, you’d think having an STD guarantes you a spot in the Cool Kid’s Club. If anything, it is near 100% verifiable proof that you had sex. Which totally rocks. Unless you sat on a toilet seat in Tijuana, you almost certainly banged if you’re dealing with a drippy drip. And even if you did get it from a witch’s kiss in Mexico, you could still say you got your bacterial BFF at an Eyes Wide Shut orgy. I mean, who could disprove you?
Man, I should teach that last one.
Based on the sheer number of apolcalyptic-level media stories about student loan debt, you’d think all those negative net worths were the real threat to life and limb. It’s routinely referred to as a “crisis” almost universally, afterall. The president of the United States even had to step in due to years-long pressure to forgive some portion of the onerous weight crushing millions of Americans.
But to my knowledge, Biden has thus far said zip, zero, nada, about the exploding rates of STDs in the United States. Clearly he doesn’t care. So why should the rest of us?
Basically, the U.S. government considers student loan debt a far worse threat than exploding rates of incurable STDs that can actually kill you. The media, advertisement, and pharmaceutical industries practically consider student loan debt a humanitarian crisis, while all but “celebrating” the mere inconvenience of killer STDs with beachside barbecues.
Then you have the general public, who almost certainly consider sex WAY cooler than boring old school, even if the ol’ in-out results in getting creepy crawlies.
So, let’s summarize this debate with a little bulletin point list to see which side comes out more favorable.
Downsides of Having an Incurable STD
- It could potentially kill you (but probably not with today’s medicine)
- Having to tell your next partner your situation. Awkward.
- Could be pricey to manage without good insurance.
Upsides of Having an Incurable STD
- You likely have a steamy hot sex story for how you got it that you can share with friends and family.
- Get to go on cool vacations and chill by bonfires.
- Could star in a herpes commercial. And maybe you parlay that into a serious acting career. Hello, Hollywood.
- Most importantly, you can still have sex (just very carefully).
Now let’s look at the student loan debt side of things.
Downsides of Having Undischargable Student Loan Debt
- Boring origin story nobody wants to hear.
- Putin could kill you (RIP my homie, Chad Albright).
- You’re definitely not having sex (not living in your mother’s basement anyway, loser).
- Might have to move to North Dakota (something I don’t wish on anyone).
- Media trots you out for doom and gloom porn. No chance of getting a Hollywood gig out of that, sorry.
- Paid actual money to hear Taylor Swift whine about her exes. Embarrassing.
Upsides of Having Undischargable Student Loan Debt
- President Biden cares about you?
Well, that settles it. The verdict is in: You’re better off banging Susie Rottencrotch than Sallie Mae.