Hillary Clinton has a bold plan to ensure the bright future of every hardworking American who has the considerable resources required to start his or her own company: three years of student debt deferrals, for every single startup founder. Wonderful news for our striving technocrat class—they need all the help they can get.
What do we need? More startups. I thought about it this morning, as I do every morning, taking a pull from my brand new weed Keurig and considering such Silicon Valley mainstays as Washboard, the laundry quarter-delivery app, and SketchFactor, the one that helped rich white people avoid poor black neighborhoods.
Hillary is committed to breaking down barriers and leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and innovators who are launching their own start-ups. Hillary will allow entrepreneurs to put their federal student loans into a special status while they get their new ventures off the ground. For millions of young Americans, this would mean deferment from having to make any payments on their student loans for up to three years—zero interest and zero principal—as they work through the critical start-up phase of new enterprises. Hillary will explore a similar deferment incentive not just to founders of enterprises, but to early joiners – such as the first 10 or 20 employees.
What’s more, the economic benefits will trickle down to those of us who don’t have the courage or inheritance (“more than 80% of funding for new businesses comes from personal savings and friends and family”) to start our own hovercraft-sharing services and toothpaste disruption ventures. Startups, with their famously long lifespans and reliable revenue models, will eventually provide jobs (well, independent contractor agreements) for all of us down the road, as long as they don’t shutter due to lack of users, like Washboard did, or succumb to an overwhelming tide of warranted criticism, like SketchFactor.
Student debt forgiveness is an essential piece of the puzzle for getting Americans who dropped out after watching The Social Network sophomore year back on their feet, and Clinton should be applauded for embracing it.