Episode 98

Student Loan Setbacks, Involuntary Hospitalizations, Rat Czar

Ravi and Rikki start with the fierce legal challenges halting President Biden’s student loan relief plan, before turning to New York’s controversial solution to a hard problem to solve: involuntary hospitalizations for the mentally ill. Finally, we stay here in New York – sorry – to talk about an exciting new opportunity in the city’s government: the “Rat Czar.”


Ravi evaluates the practical, political, and legal merits of Biden’s student loan relief plan and the many court battles threatening to ensure it never takes effect.

Rikki makes the case for why New York has turned to an unpalatable solution – involuntary hospitalizations – in response to the city’s dual crises of homelessness and mental health.

Finally, in-house researcher Joe G. pitches himself as the city’s new “Rat Czar” to City Council Member Chris Marte.

Student Loans [4:09]

Supreme Court to Hear Student Debt Forgiveness Case (NYT, 12/1/22)
Republican-Led States Sue to Block Biden’s Plan to Erase Student Loan Debt (NYT, 9/29/22)
Six States File Lawsuit Challenging Biden Student Debt Cancellation Program (Reason, 9/29/22)
What’s Next in the Fight Over Student Loan Forgiveness (Time, 10/25/22)
Supreme Court likely to rule that Biden student loan plan is illegal, experts say. Here’s what that means for borrowers (CNBC, 12/5/22)
Is $20K Student Debt Forgiveness Still Going to Happen? (Nerdwallet, 12/1/22)
Court will review legality of Biden’s student-debt relief, but plan remains on hold for now (Scotusblog, 12/1/22)
The Lost Debate Ep. 63 | Climate Change, Military Recruiting, U$D in €urope, AZ Teachers (Lost Debate, 7/21/22)
Supreme Court Will Hear Case on Legality of Biden Loan Forgiveness Plan (Reason, 12/1/22)

NYC Involuntary Hospitalizations [20:34]

New York City to Involuntarily Remove Mentally Ill People From Streets (NYT, 11/29/22)
Amid homeless crisis, New York to step up forced hospitalization of mentally ill (Reuters, 12/1/22)
How the forced hospitalization of ‘mentally ill’ people in need will work in NYC (ABC, 11/30/22)
A Snapshot of Homelessness Policies Around the U.S. and the World (NYT, 11/30/22)
Mental Health Involuntary Removals (NYC.gov 11/28/22)
California governor OKs mental health courts for homeless (AP, 9/14/22)
Grading the States: An Analysis of U.S. Psychiatric Treatment Laws (Treatment Advocacy Center)
New York mayor orders some homeless people involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness (PBS, 12/1/22)
Basic Facts About Homelessness: New York City (Coalition for the Homeless, 11/22)
What Adams’ mental illness push gets badly wrong (Daily News, 12/5/22)
A hard look at New York’s controversial new approach to the homeless (CNN, 12/3/22)
Too Few Psychiatric Beds: Psychiatrists’ Group Takes Aim at Ongoing Crisis (U.S. News, 8/17/22)
The Regressives Ep.6 | The Progressives Pull From Public Infrastructure (Lost Debate, 6/27/22)
What Twitter’s Suppression of Hunter Biden Laptop Story Tells Us About Media (The Reason Roundtable, 11/5/22)

Rat Czar [40:36]

New York City wants to hire a ‘rat czar’—and could pay them $170,000 per year (CNBC, 12/2/22)
Rats Have Ruled New York for 355 Years. Can a Mystery Bucket Stop Them? (NYT, 9/5/2019)
The stirring story of how Alberta became the first place in the world to banish the rat (National Post, 8/24/2018)
Five rat control solutions cities have used to be rid of the pests, though not always successfully (South China Morning Post, 7/18/2018)