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News Briefs: Mississippi River Flooding + Road Home and Student Loan Rip-Off

May 11th, 2011

Historic river flooding all along the Mississippi this spring. The entire delta area is preparing for the worst. Opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway doesn’t get the New Orleans metro area completely out of the woods – if the Morganza Spillway isn’t opened, the levees could fail from Morganza to Plaquemines Parish, leaving with us with floodwater as high as 25 ft!
In other news, this article made me growl. The Road Home was such a terribly run program – the old organization that I used to work with looked over the paperwork of a woman who was rejected from the program and discovered that a simple math error (and by simple, I mean the type of stuff they teach in grade school without calculators) on the part of whomever processed her paperwork made it appear as though she made around $20 more in income than she could for the type of assistance that she needed. And so many of the people who call my current organization for help are people who were forced to pay off their mortgages, or loans, or were ripped off…this article mentions those people, but it doesn’t give any numbers. These are the people who need help the most, the ones who hopeless. How many of these people are elderly and alone and can’t figure out how to do this on their own? There are people who can’t wait to judge those who haven’t rebuilt their houses yet. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. I suspect that the number of people who just took the money and ran is very small, compared to the people who weren’t left with enough money to fix their houses (or simply didn’t receive the compliance form).
And I found this on a tumblr that I follow, from consumerist.com. It’s horrifying.

I wish that people would get off of the idea that everyone should go to college. It can be a waste of money, and more and more often there are people going into debt that study things that they would be better off learning about in a library or online, especially if they aren’t going for an advanced degree. No one can afford to go to college for the “experience” anymore. I include myself in this. I do not want an advanced degree, and I’ve learned more about sociology and psychology on these here internets than I did in 4 years at Cornell. I had a scholarship though, so I will pay off my loans before I hit 50 years old (I’ve already paid off 1/3 through AmeriCorps). But $100,000 in debt to study theatre? English? No sir/mam. Take your butt to an in-state school, or figure out if you might be better off learning something the technology field, where you might not need an expensive degree to make a lot of money.

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