Category Archives: Possible Solutions
What a great idea!-> Colbert Interview with General Stanley McChrystal.
It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Usually I have heard people say, “it’s too big a task and too many variables.” Yes, it is complex, but I am glad someone is trying.
\”Why We Banned Legos\” and other resources for teaching about markets and capitalism.”Why We Banned Legos, by Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin
Having been involved with the Lego Robotics program, the title took me by surprise. I was also shocked because I know from working with kids how precious legos can be recreationally. But then I read that they didn’t actually “ban” it and then the article really got interesting. It truly captured the mind of a child and how they view leadership, creating groups, valuable things, and the concept of inclusion and fairness.
It’s amazing how a simple game that originally for fun can not only help with building skills, geometry, creativity, and teamwork lead to such a problem solving – community conflict resolution exercise. The children became really really invested. And although for awhile they excluded others in the long run what a beautiful and fantastic lesson to see.
They were having active and engrossing passionate discussions on very important topics in a way that is relevant to their
present interests and as they get older. Many of these topics are highly contentious and discussed today in the media and throughout politics: how leaders are chosen, helping new neighbors into your community, what power looks like and they most effective ways to use it for everyone’s benefit; ownership, ethics, the distribution of wealth, charity, etc… Likely without even realizing it they were learning the beginnings of how policies are made based on the needs of a community.
This example is great because it demonstrates that no person is to young to learn how to be involved and that everyone can have a voice in a cause they wish to impact. Imagine if we can teach our children how to discuss issues close to their heart and find a solution without a gridlock and without becoming nasty. I say the possibilities are endless. I highly recommend taking the time to read this story.
I really really really, did I say really, hope S.1803 – Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights passes. College affordability has a very long journey, but helping students deal with the current system as is, can be a fantastic start. This is a need that the US cannot ignore. Every time a new bill is proposed and the issue is brought to the local and national stages are small steps in the right direction.
After all, as highlighted in the article, “…the Institute for College Access and Success’ (TICAS) Project on Student Debt found that seven in 10 of 2012 college graduates had student loan debt. Additionally, the Class of 2012 had an average debt of $29,400.” And that’s just undergrad.
The goal of this legislation is to increase loan transparency, improve the relationship and level of communication between recent grads and their lenders. Ultimately, the bill aims to help recent graduates attain total repayment so the ability to purchase homes, cars or other goods is more than a figment of a dream. At this point owning a home and not living with 2+ roommates for most (for those lucky enough to move away from their parents) is a laughing matter. It should not be.
One of the best rights this law would offer is providing options such as alternative payment plans to avoid default. In an economy where raising the minimum wage is still contentious and being able to get any job is like shaking a magic 8 ball, it is somewhat nice to know that those aspiring to educate themselves will have options. After all going to college was supposed to provide options in the first place to better compete in our capitalistic economic system. College was not designed or intended to sink graduates in quicksand before they have a chance to reach for a sturdy branch. Perhaps walking the plank will not be the only path.
However, it would it be better if higher education as a whole were cheaper or even perhaps a constitutional right relieving and/or minimizing the need for debt.
But for the sake of a short term goal acting as a foundation for a long term solution, I embrace the perceptive and targeted words of Sen. Durbin, “Borrowers are already struggling to make ends meet as they graduate with debt that surpasses their annual wages.” We want a successful self-sufficient work force. We can accomplish this by providing the support and tool necessary to pay for their education and not punishing our young Americans for trying to better their futures in the first place.