Monday, June 8, 2015

The Narcissist Defaults: Sockpuppeteer Lee Siegel's Bankruptcy Melodrama

Lee Siegel, noted as a sockpuppeteer while participating in comment forums in his own articles on The New Republic, has an absurdly long essay at the New York Times on "Why I Defaulted On My Student Loans". My initial thoughts were that college debt is crushing young people, and amounts to yet another credit bubble, so we have that to look forward to; bankruptcy, while unpleasant and carrying real social stigmas and legal penalties, is a better option than carrying unsustainable debt indefinitely.

But then I read Scott Greenfield's response. "It may not be entirely clear from his rant that he’s no kid," he opens, "but the same age as me.  That being so, I call bullshit.  Siegel is full of crap and playing his audience for fools." Siegel starts his university career at "a small private college" but later is forced by circumstances to switch to a presumably less prestigious public university. The horror!
It’s not that there wasn’t a college for Siegel, but that Siegel was too special for a college he could afford. “Because I thought I deserved better.” Deserved, as in he was owed, he was entitled.  It was his right to have whatever he thought he deserved.
And, wait, if he's really that old, just how expensive could his stay through college have been?
 There was no “crippling debt,” as one sees today. College tuition at the University of Pennsylvania in 1975 was $3,430. Per year. In 2014 dollars, that comes out to $15,401.89.  Still want to cry Siegel a river?
Lee Siegel is a deadbeat.  It’s not because of any faux contention of moral reprehensibility, but a perverted self-delusion of narcissism and entitlement.  What he lacks is integrity, and no college, at any price, can teach him that.

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