Right now GoFundMe is crowdfunding more things than we ever imagined it would. Someone started one to pay for a border wall, a Canadian border privacy hedge, and even ladders to get over the border wall. The most unsurprising thing is people are shelling out millions of dollars to pay for such things. Sitting back thinking about all things we could instead crowdfund my mind began to wander. What else could we crowdfund instead of walls, ladders, and, hedges? It’s good to note that the Canadians are trolling us with the hedge one.
A wall costs billions of dollars. Imagine smoother safer roads, bridges, and other pieces of day to day infrastructure. The United States is behind when it comes to building sufficient infrastructure. Our roads are literally crumbling and some places in The United States feel like Jeep Terrain. Instead of building walls we should literally build safer, better bridges…or anything else for that matter.
2. Clean water for Flint
The city of Flint came out and said that after two years of water distribution, the water coming out of the pipes in Michigan was all good. Residents said, “not so” and scientists are all, mhmm it might be. Might isn’t good enough for residents and the city isn’t willing to go any further with fixing the issue. After two years of replacing the corroded lead pipes in Michigan, the people don’t trust the water or the city. Flint isn’t alone when it comes to access to safe water. If we want to crowdfund something we could crowdfund education about safe drinking water and check on the people of Flint who are still dealing with the aftermath of their city’s disaster.
3. Universal Healthcare
There’s an urgent care center two blocks away from my house but I can’t go there because technically it’s not in-network. My insurance company owns it but it’s a sister company and therefore if I need to go to an urgent care center I should get in the car and drive fifteen minutes away. If I need to go to a hospital I should Google it before going because I have no idea where my closest hospital is. I’ve given up all hope on the territorial turf war that the healthcare industry has created here in Pittsburgh.
My mom fainted this summer because she was dehydrated and I panicked when she handed me her Aetna insurance card. I didn’t know what hospital to take her to because it wasn’t one of the two major players in Pittsburgh. I don’t know if this is anyone else’s struggle elsewhere but healthcare shouldn’t be like this. Somehow the healthcare industry found a way to make the people feel like products instead of the services rendered. Crowdfunding is like a mini version of socialism (I said the “s” word). What if everybody chipped in so everyone could have healthcare? It’s not this extraordinary thought! This works in some countries. Instead, we have doctor’s offices referring their patients to GoFundMe to help them pay for lifesaving surgery. Want to know life changing medicine? It’s affordable.
4. Affordable Education
When I got my car loan, the dealer sat me down and told me how much my bill would be each month, how much my interest was, and who exactly I was paying. This is not the case with college. The tuition can change every year, interest is unrealistic, and, not going to college for some is the best way to avoid going deeper into poverty. Not everyone can afford a college education. I worked at universities for years and when I recently looked at the tuition rates in other countries, I was in awe!
Strapping an eighteen-year-old with massive amounts of debt is irresponsible for everyone involved. If any other industry offered loans with fluctuating interest rates and costs it would be considered a bit of a scam. When I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree as an optimist my balance sounded feasible. Twenty-one-year-old me thought I would graduate and get a job that could pay my student loans straight out of college.
Boy. was. I. wrong.
It took a while to get a well-paying job that made paying my student loans not feel like I’m being robbed every month by the American Education System. I didn’t learn about student loans until after graduation. Everything I thought I knew then became null when the Trump Administration stepped in and made up their own rules.
Student loan debt is the only debt that can’t be discharged by bankruptcy. You can’t legally drink when you enroll in college but your brain is developed enough to take out massive amounts of debt with no proof that you can afford to pay it back.
We could crowdfund border walls but the question is why do people want to? If the GoFundMe was started as a joke (which I doubt), please remember we thought Agent Orange was running as a joke and people actually voted him in. If we’re going to utilize GoFundMe as a collective body of the United States let’s crowdfund awesomeness in 2019 and not pay one cent to foolishness.