Student Loans Are Killing Entrepreneurship

If you know me you know I’m a huge fan of entrepreneurship - instead of renting yourself out to someone else, start a business that scales. Be your own pimp.

I gave a guest lecture at UCSD recently espousing this viewpoint. You are cheap right now, I told them, so take advantage. If you wait 10 years to start a company you’ll have much higher earning power and much higher personal costs (spouse, mortgage, …) and therefore a much higher opportunity cost when starting a company.

What about our student loans? asked one of the students.

Good question. I don’t have a good answer.

When I went to school I was able to pay my way from the third year onward. I left school with savings instead of debt. I was able to start a company immediately.

Today students graduate with an average debt of about $27,000 dollars.

That’s just awful. That means they are bound to a job for at least the first part of their career. We’re removing the option of starting a company, of producing explosive value, of growing the economy to the benefit of the whole country, for more than 60% of our graduates.

Think of all of the companies with billions in value created by college students. Think Facebook, Dropbox. We need these. We want these created in the US.

We have to get education costs under control. We can screw the young generation over to put a few extra bucks in our pockets now, but we’ll all end up paying for it when we fall behind other countries who encourage their creative young to be entrepreneurs.