The Pandora Papers reminds college students of financial instability

Chloe Baxter

As a college student, one of my primary concerns is financial stability. With the average student loan debt reaching a record high of $38,792 per student in 2020 and continuing to rise, the state of the United States’ economy and its history of instability is growing increasingly relevant to students. This makes issues such as the release of the Pandora papers and tax evasion relevant as well.

Beginning on Oct. 3 2021, a series of papers concerning the offshore accounts of wealthy government officials, celebrities and other elites, were released. These offshore accounts were utilized to evade taxes, launder money and hide wealth ─ earning those involved in the scandal negative publicity and public outcry.

However, this raises the question: What does this mean for us?

Entering into the world after college is difficult as it is, with the need to find a career and the overarching weight of student loans. While this may not seem like a prominent concern, the dodging of taxes by those in the top 2 percent of the world economy only shifts the cost to someone else.

Maine-based news source, the Bangor Daily News, writes of this issue in relation to the shift of tax-paying costs:

“When billionaires and global companies dodge and evade their tax responsibilities, they shift the costs of public services onto everyone else.”

Following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, America has only just begun to rebuild. We’re back in public schools, back on the roads and in need of dependable healthcare.

What do these three have in common?

They run off of taxpayer dollars. The taxes that those involved in the Pandora Papers are neglecting to pay, despite experiencing the benefits that they provide.

Americans don’t even have a say in where their money goes, with the will of the American people being beaten within the political arena by those who fund campaigns and finance agendas.

“Politicians need to raise a lot of money to get elected and to stay in office. A lot of that money comes from corporations. They’re also supposed to be regulating corporations and, you know, dealing with all kinds of legislation that will have a direct effect one way or another on corporations,” Terry Gross said in NPR’s Fresh Air segment.

This acknowledges the significant role that funding plays in these campaigns and how this can impact a politician’s agenda in regards to maintaining funding versus representing voters and supporters.

This means that despite your vote, the issues that you are concerned about may not be addressed outside of a politician’s campaign trail, hampering your ability to control where your money goes.

In line with the Pandora Papers, the funneling of taxpayer dollars and neglecting of citizen-supported issues contributes to the instability of the United States’ economy.

Seen recently in the years 2020-2021, there have been significant shifts in unemployment rates and inflation during and post-pandemic that have only been compounded by negligence on part of the government in addressing citizen concerns, according to the Balance.

This makes me question how I can be certain that I will be able to find employment or pay off my student loans in an economy which fluctuates constantly.

It is issues such as these which promote the importance of student awareness of the economy. Knowledge is power, and with this power, we can work towards bettering our economy and creating a more economically certain and stable future.