From Hank

Dear Readers,

My name is Hank Sanders. I am a Senior at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon. I started Hey Hank because I wanted to teach people about our community through interviews. Every Saturday I post one interview with an important person in our community.

If you know someone who would be worth interviewing, please email me at

Comment your thoughts, follow to get weekly updates.

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “From Hank

  1. Hello Hank,

    First, congratulations on the success of your news blog! It is great to see positive news about teens who are interested in and actively contributing to the community at all levels. (The news is so over weighted with the opposite these days.) My son, currently a Junior at Notre Dame has also been a credit to a new generation that will be the leaders of America in the future.

    On that note, I am sure you have read, seen, and listened to various reports about the impact debt is having on our economy and life. This topic is a passion of mine. I heard you discussing the mayoral candidates on KXL this morning and was impressed with your intellect and maturity. So I thought I would run something past you I have been discussing/communicating at higher levels since it is your generation more than any other that will have to deal with a mountain of debt unlike anything ever seen in human civilization. It is my generation, the Baby Boomers that is mostly responsible for creating this mess. And we will likely die off long before it gets cleaned up.

    What follows is a communication I have sent to people such as the U.S. Secretary of Education. Perhaps it will interest you, or provide material for some interesting questions for future interviews. You are welcome to pass along the attached PDF for others to read if you wish. (Tried to send to your email, but it bounced. Will be happy to send to you if there is a way.) It is intended to be for people without formal economic or financial education. I hope it is interesting, and educational.

    Let me be clear on one point; this topic is controversial, especially on the aspect of how much danger it presents. PhD economists can be found on all sides of it. I encourage you to seek out other information, opinions, etc.

    Student Debt is not a stand-a-lone issue. It is a part of a much larger, more serious national and world issue of debt dependence as a tool to grow economies that is becoming a threat to civilization as a whole.

    Debt is not a political problem, a government problem, or a corporate problem. It is an attitude that has become embedded in every aspect of American society overt the last 55 years. And it has been no accident. It is the cultural acceptance that debt is a legitimate shortcut to a better life, faster growth, more profit, better government. It is not something the government can change through legislation, or companies can change through ethics policies, or people will change by having debts forgiven. The people will only change it when they are educated on how it happened, the pain it is causing, and the danger it imposes on everyone.

    It is not unlike the cultural acceptance of smoking. When no one knew it was dangerous, it was promoted socially, commercially and supported by the government in various ways. (Such as giving every soldier free cigarettes in WWII.) Once the dangers were recognized, educational programs began, especially targeting young people, and gradually the cultural attitudes have changed.

    I believe every high school student in America should be mandated to take a class, or at least read a book on the history of debt growth in the United State since 1960. The 1960s are when the seeds of our current debt crisis were planted. The people who planted them are long since gone, but most were around long enough to see the monster they conceived grow to maturity.

    I have attached a PDF proof of a booklet I researched and wrote on debt history in the United States. (It is available on Amazon and through major distributors but I am not suggesting you recommend it or buy it. I would offer other recommended readings but can find nothing this concise or focused. They are many recommended readings listed in the appendix of this book on specific debt segments or issues though.)

    As far as my credentials go. I have a Master’s of Science in International and Corporate Finance. I am not an expert. I follow experts like Steve Keen, economist at Kensington in London who is perhaps the world’s leading advocate of tracking total debt as a ticking time-bomb

    Experts like Steve Keen have strong academic and professional followings as the evidence they have compiled on the dangers of exponential debt growth is every bit as damning as the evidence collected on cigarettes in the 1960s and 1970s. But their messages and communications are generally far too complex and dry to appeal to the masses, especially high school students. That is why I wrote my booklet, to bring the language down to a level most people, including students can grasp.

    I have experimented with going one step further and putting the message in a medium they identify with, an educational video on USA debt history and crisis aimed at students. It is not professional, but surprisingly good reaction to it so far from some college kids who have viewed it.

    I live with the absolute belief the debt load our economy is carrying, now $64 trillion dollars, will soon crush us and millions will lose everything they have, most with no clue what happened or why. I want to do what I can to convince young people today the debt shortcut is not worth it. They are the only ones who can save the future economy.

    James L. Butler
    Cum Deus in cor meum, ego sum dilexit semper


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