9 people who put a human face on the student indebtednes crisis

AJ+ recently released a video is targeted at depicting the face of student indebtednes in America.

It features nine diverse tales from people with degrees ranging from fine arts to law.

$1.2 trillion. That’s how much outstanding student loan indebtednes exists in the U.S.

It’s an incredible, scaring number that can sometimes be hard to even conceptualize. I entail, it’s larger than the economy of several small countries.

And over the past 10 years, it has more than tripled .

Which is why the video is so important it helps humanize the problem.

The video consisting of a short series of interviews illustrates student indebtednes as the burden it is feasible to , not only on short-term finances, but to its implementation of career objectives, personal relationships, and overall outlook on life.

GIF via AJ +.

A college degree is still seen as valuable, but justifying the amount spent these days can be a challenge.

In a recent Gallup poll, 93% of people polled said they believe it’s necessary to have a college degree in order to land a good job. Still, in recent years, experts have clashed on the question of whether college is still worth the investment .

Whether it gale up being a good investment or not, more than 40 million Americans currently have outstanding student loans, with the average debt hovering around $30,000 per person .

GIF via AJ +.

People are protesting and pushing back on loans, but that’s not exactly a new phenomenon.

The cost of college keeps rising, and borrowers find themselves without much leveraging. As long as popular belief tells us that college is necessary to get a decent task, prospective students will more or less be strong-armed into taking out that hefty burden of credit.

So what can they do? They can try to get the government to help out. And so they protest.

These protesters in Los Angeles called for the cancellation of student debt in 2012. Photo by David McNew/ Getty Images.

While the government has gets involved from time to hour, their own problems hasn’t precisely gone away.

In 2010, President Obama pushed for Congress to pass the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which made a few tweaks to the recently-passed Affordable Care Act and helped attain things a little easier for future student borrowers in terms of Pell Grants and setting a cap on refund requirements.

“Let’s tell another one million students that when they alumnu, they will be required to pay only 10 percentage of their income on student loans, and all of their indebtednes will be forgiven after 20 years, ” Obama said in a 2010 speech. “And forgiven after 10 years if they opt a career in public service because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college . ”

Last year, the president signed a memoranda designed to help another 5 million existing borrowers.

President Obama signs a memorandum on June 9, 2014. Photo by Mandel Ngan/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Chairperson Bush and Clinton also made efforts to help solve the student loan crisis, but it hasn’t precisely had the long-term success anyone hoped for.

There may be a solution. But until we figure it out, telling our narratives is one style to make a big difference.

Like Sam, who is $81,000 in debt, at one point lived out of his car, and wasn’t even able to complete his degree. Or Derrick, who isn’t able to find a job in his field, but find himself saddled with around $180,000 in loans that he guesses won’t be paid off for decades.

GIF via AJ +.

These tales are evidence of the true burden that student loans can have on so many of us. They’re also evidence that telling your tale might be one of the best ways to create change.

Read more: www.upworthy.com

Rep. Debbie Dingell’s speech about the time her dad held a firearm on her gave me chills.

Congressional Democrats are staging an epic sit-in in support of a bill to deny guns to people on the no-fly and terror watch lists.

The protest began yesterday morning( June 22 ), led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

Photo by Michael Reynolds/ Getty Images.

Democrats have been holding the floor for almost 24 hours while their Republican colleagues gaveled the House into recess late into the night.

The protest has already created some incredible moments.

Including Lewis’ epic speech, recollecting his days as a civil rights’ leader, a congresswoman hiding her phone in her prosthetic leg so it wouldn’t be confiscated, and an anonymous California resident having pizzas delivered to the exhausted, hungry lawmakers.

But the most chilling moment from the overnight sit-in in so far might have been Rep. Debbie Dingell’s jaw-dropping personal tale of a day when she was almost a victim of gun violence at the hands of an abusive parent.

The video was taken on Periscope by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California after Republican banned cameras from the chamber.

( Transcript below, emphasis added ).

“I lived in a house with a human that should not have had access to a gun, ” the Michigan congresswoman said to cheers and amens.

“I know what it’s like to have a firearm pointed at you and wonder if you were going to live.”

“And I know what it’s like to hide in a closet and pray to God to not let anything happen to me.”

“And we have never we don’t talk about it. We don’t want to say that it happens in all kind of households.”

“And we still live in a society where we will let a convicted offender who was stalking someone of domestic abuse still own a gun.”

Dingell is far from alone and she is one of the luck ones.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/ Getty Images.

While more humen are likely to be murdered, girls are far more likely to be killed by a partner or family member. A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health review found that 40% of female homicide victims were murdered by intimate partner, and over half( 55%) of them were killed with a gun.

The researchers concluded that having handgun in the home increases the risk a murder will occur by 300%.

The bill the Democrats are holding out for with the sit-in isn’t perfect. Far from it.

Critics, including the ACLU, argue that the no-fly list itself is unconstitutional, biased against Muslim Americans, and that passing the “no-fly , no-gun” law would serve to further legitimize it.

But speeches like Dingell’s send a crucial message: America needs to face the stark reality of gun violence and to take action to protect the vulnerable people who are its primary victims.

Actor Michael Jace( centre ), who was convicted of shooting and killing his wife in 2014. Photo by David McNew/ Getty Images.

Sometimes that violence looks like what happened in Sandy Hook and Orlando. Far more of the time, however, it looks like a father with a firearm, forcing his daughter into a closet as she prays to God he’ll let her live.

As long as violent, abusive, dangerous people can own powerful pistols with little oversight , no one is safe. And if we do nothing, tales like Dingell’s will continue to be awfully, tragically common.

Read more: www.upworthy.com

Michael Moore tells only sending water to Flint won’t work. Here are 3 things to do also.

Why wouldn’t Michael Moore want us sending water to Flint, Michigan?

The documentary-maker wrote an open letter imploring people to guess deeper than merely the surface-level answer of sending bottled water when it comes to helping the city, which is in the middle of a public water crisis.

The short story of what took place in Flint in case you don’t know : An emergency director appointed by the governor chose to switch Flint’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. They didn’t treat the water correctly, which meant just about everyone was exposed to lead in their drinking water for over a year, and officials sat on the information collected until it was truly a health crisis of epic proportions.

The people of Flint used to get their water from clean, delicious Lake Huron. Then it changed to Flint River’s polluted water. Image by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/ Wikimedia Commons.

I was hysterical. I wept when they “ve given me” my first lead report, ” LeeAnne Walters, whose children all tested positive for result poisoning after the Flint River switchover, told the Detroit Free Press about the heart-wrenching moment she learned they’d been affected.

“I pushed them to drink water ‘Put down that juice, run get some water.'[ Now] result is in our blood, ” Melissa Mays, another Flint mom, also told the Free Press, carrying her sadnes at having her teen sons drink the water. She says now she will be beset with frets and doubts whenever something is wrong with you with them in the future , not knowing if it’s from the leading or not.

5-year-old Morgan Walker tears up during a thumb pricking for a lead screening provided as a free service for Flint’s young children in January 2016 following the water crisis. Photo by Brett Carlsen/ Getty Images.

Essentially, the Flint water crisis is a complex, gargantuan-level disaster that they are able to take various stages and layers of work to address . The first stage of reaction has been to establish that the poisoning has passed, ring the alarm loud and clear for the entire country, and to immediately get some clean water to the citizens. That’s a necessary short-term reaction and definitely something that was needed.

And people rushed to fill that it was necessary to.

Like when Cher get Icelandic Glacial to partner with her to donate trucks full of water :

And many other celebrities and regular citizens followed suit.

But what happened next? And does Moore actually want us to stop sending water to residents in need?

The city’s immediate need for bottled water is far from over, but the larger point he’s trying to attain is right on. We can only solve the problem if we focus on more than only fixing one symptom of it. Here’s how we can do that.

A kind of second phase of recovery requires moving on to doing things to fix Flint’s water systems for the medium- and long-terms and to rectify the faulty system that allowed this lead poisoning to occur in the first place. It’d be foolish to let the decision-makers responsible for such bad oversight simply promise they’ll have really good oversight this time, they swear, in order to fix the mess.

Here are three things all Americans should be doing right now( no matter your political affiliation) in order to help Flint move forward for the long term:

1. Call for Gov. Rick Snyder’s resignation.

Snyder speaks to the media about the Flint water crisis on Jan. 27, 2016. Photo by Brett Carlsen/ Getty Images.

This isn’t about partisan politics; it’s only a good idea for how to move on from this crisis. A neutral party is needed in Michigan to assess the situation clearly , not from the vantage point of someone who has a clear reason to minimize his role in the disaster. In his open letter, Moore explains why this is so important:

“Whether its via abdication, remember or prosecution, this must happen now because he is still refusing to take the aggressive and immediate action required. Its term of office, as recently as this past Thursday, was claiming the EPA had no legal authority to tell him what to do.”

You can sign the petition here .

2. Insist the nation of Michigan be held financially responsible for its role in Flint’s poisoning.

Snyder is trying to have Flint proclaimed a federal disaster zone, which will likely at some point be appropriate and necessary. But the significance of this is that it will take the country off the hook for having to cough up the funds it should be providing to clean the mess it pretty much willfully stimulated.

Here’s the financial breakdown from Moore :

“This year the state treasury posted almost a $600 million surplus. There is also another $600 million in the states ‘rainy day fund.’ Thats $1.2 billion just about what Flints congressman, Dan Kildee, calculates it will cost to replace the water infrastructure and care for the thousands of poisoned children throughout their growing years.”

Once the nation pays its share of the clean up, the federal funds should be a next step, but the state’s responsibility for the crisis should not be ignored or overlooked.

Remember the mommy beating herself up for having her sons drink the tap water? Chances are she and everyone like her are going to need a lot of services to help their children achieve the best cognitive abilities possible. It’s gonna require funding every penny of assistance Flint can get will be needed and that includes nation fund.

How do you insist on this? Contact your local paper and write a letter to your editor or simply send lots of tweets( to news sources and elected officials ), no matter where you live.

3. As soon as the state has earmarked their share of pay for Flint, the recovery operations need to be placed into the hands of the federal government. STAT.

Moore has pointed out that the water replacement endeavors must be bigger in scope than merely bottled water. He’s right. The federal government can send in help on a level the country just can’t. Here’s what he proposes:

“The State government cannot be trusted to get this right. So, instead of declaring a federal disaster zone, President Obama must declare the same version of martial law that Governor Snyder proclaimed over the cities of Flint and Detroit. He must step in and appoint a federal emergency administrator in the state capitol to direct the resources of both the country and federal government in saving Flint. This means immediately sending in FEMA in full force. It entails sending in the CDC to determine the true extent of not just the lead poisoning in the water, but also the most recent outbreak that has been discovered in Flint a tenfold increase in the number of Flint people whove contracted Legionnaires Disease. There have now been 87 lawsuits since the switch to the Flint River water, and ten people have died. The local hospital has also noted sharp increases in a half-dozen other toxins found in people bodies. We require the CDC. The EPA must take over the testing of the water, and the Army Corps of Engineers must be sent in to begin replacing the underground pipes. Like the levees in New Orleans, this will be a massive undertaking. If it is turned over to for-profit industries, it will take a decade and cost billions. This needs to happen right now and Obama must be in charge.”

Again, you can call for this by writing letters to the editor, signing Moore’s petition, and calling your elected official and asking them to take a stand together for Flint on your( their constituent’s) behalf .

These are the things we can all do to help the people of Flint beyond just sending bottled water.

It’s not that bottled water isn’t appreciated. It is. It’s only that it merely goes in so far for so long. And bottled water treats the symptom , not the problem. At this point, Flint requires people to roll up their sleeves and help get them back on track by holding the people who caused their own problems in the first place accountable.

Matt Hopper consolations 5-year-old Nyla Hopper after she has blood taken for a free lead testing. Photo by Brett Carlsen/ Getty Images.

The people of Flint need to know that even though their nation failed them, America has not forsaken them or the possibility for their futures. Flint can rise again, in time, with our help.

Read more: www.upworthy.com