Quit trying to impose your belief about what is wrong with the rest of America and you will find the "peace and love" you yearned for in the '60s.

Rebecca Foust
Perrysburg, Ohio

Lone ranger

Amy Guthrie's "Your Misery Is Their Profit" [Generation Debt, November 3–9] is right to disclose the handsome profits that financial firms make on student loans. But the focus of that article may be the symptoms rather than the disease. The disease is annual increases in higher-education costs of more than 8 percent, or twice the rate of inflation, over the past 25 years. Schools have funded these tuition increases by taking undue advantage of student access to almost unlimited taxpayer-backed loans. As tuition goes up, schools "give" their students "financial aid" in the form of federal loans. Congress must create incentives for the schools to keep tuition increases at the level of inflation so that students are not saddled with high five-figure or six-figure loan debts.

Steve Sale
Washington, D.C.

Cheat the parents

Thank you for the Generation Debt articles. I hope that you continue the theme with a story about the expectation for some of us to help our parents in their retirement. (What a farce that expectation seems, when we can barely make ends meet!)

Lara Brown
Chicago, Illinois

No degree—and lovin' it

Amy Guthrie writes, "Over a dozen other lenders, private and public, are also sharing the profits of your misery with bankers."

Her tone is telling. "Your misery"? As though it's not their own fault somehow? This is how capital markets work. If there's debt lying around, some smart person is going to figure out how to make money on it. Everyone who has student loan debt made a choice to go to college. For most of them, it was probably the wrong choice, but they made a choice nonetheless, and for you to pity the poor, downtrodden, aimless college grads is an insult to those of us clever enough to opt out of the Big College Scam.

Scott Wickett
Fort Myers, Florida

Shanks for nothing

Re Sharon Lerner's "The President vs. the Pill" [October 13–19]:

Lerner really strikes a chord. As a 20-year-old NYU student, I am regretfully (but consistently) exposed to the hypersexuality of my peers. And unfortunately, the perpetual companion to this hookup culture is a lack of responsibility: not only for one's own body and choices, but for the partner in crime as well. After having heard from a friend with both herpes and a clear conscience about her unprotected sex last weekend, there is no doubt in my mind that our adolescents need not be taught about chastity, but safety instead.

Whitney Shanks

Quiet, please—we want our noir

I appreciate Michael Feingold's review of Spatter Pattern [October 13–19] and wouldn't have gone had I not read it. The play was very moving occasionally, but only because of Peter Frechette's performance.

The characteristics of noir I anticipated were not in this play; I wouldn't have even called it noir had I not read the review. For me, noir has a sinister romanticism to it; there is always something hypnotic and quietly menacing and attractive at the same time. This had none of that. Except for peeling paint in the fleabag rooms, it didn't even look noir. All that moving around of sets ruined the atmosphere—it was loud, and the actors were all loud.

Patrick Mullins
West Village

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