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February 10, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-10

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4A - Monday, February 10, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Monday, February 10, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Jbe i*idcig an aU19
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A good first step
Snyder's budget plan increases funding, but leaves green energy behind
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently unveiled his plan for the state's
2014-2015 budget. His recommendations include a 6.1-percent
increase in higher education funding, the allocation of $120 million
to the state's Rainy Day Fund, and $120 million toward covering extra Medicaid
costs. Snyder's plan also calls for retroactive tax relief, a $322-million increase
in K-12 school funding and $97 million toward environmental protection and
the improvement of water quality. While it is good that Snyder's latest budget
focuses on health, human services and education, the recent surplus money and
Rainy Day Fund should be used to invest in renewable energy.

Cards on the table
1II1g liiiL , It'll itj
sic S \r

Snyder's budget increases higher education
funding. By tying these funds to limits on tuition
increases, Snyder provides incentives for colleges
to keep education affordable. Thirty percent of
Snyder's proposed budget focuses on education,
includingsupport for both universities and K-12
schools. Currently, the funding formula for
higher education links funding to performance,
which has proven ineffective. In the case of
Wayne State University, performance-based
funding has failed to cover the needs of all
students and has forced the university to raise
tuition in lieu of receiving the funds. In addition
to increasing funding to higher education,
Snyder should review existing institutions and
their effectiveness.
It is important that Michigan's workforce
receive the attention it needs, especially in
terms of liability and health obligations. The
budget suggests prefunding the Michigan
Public School Employees Retirement System,
reducing unfunded liability from $46 billion
down to $31 billion. Though this year's budget
will not eliminate unfunded liability entirely,
Snyder has assured the state that progress is
being made. Medicaid expansion is also being
addressed under the new budget with a call
for a $12.3-billion allocation for health care.
This money will be dispersed to 2.2 million
Michigan residents. Funding the health of
Michigan residents is crucial to ensuring the
productivity of Michigan's economy.
In light of his failing Sierra Club rating,
Snyder has proposed environmental and

energy investments; however, he could make
an even greater commitment to green energy.
Rather than maintaining a stagnant Rainy Day
Fund, Snyder could further his development
of renewable energy by weaning Michigan off
harmful fossil fuels. In Snyder's State of the
State address, he pushed for more discussion
on green energy, but only a small portion of
his budget will go toward this area. Snyder
should put more money into the development of
wind turbines, solar energy and other sources
instead ofhousing it in the Rainy Day Fund.
In respect to his budget proposal, Snyder has
worked to appease both parties of the state
government, despite it being an election year.
While his Republican colleagues argues that
this Rainy Day Fund is a result of over-taxation
and that much of the money should be returned
to taxpayers, Snyder is opposed to tax cuts. He
has instead proposed increasing motor fuel
taxes from 19 to 33 cents per gallon, enabling a
$728-million raise in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
He plans to maintain or raise tax standards in
an effort to further improve health, education
and human services, and he should be
commended for it.
For the most part, Snyder's new budget plan
emphasizes what is important to Michigan
residents. Unfortunately, Snyder still has a
reputation of cutting spending from education.
If he is reelected, Snyder's future budget plans
need to continue to allocate funding for higher
education and health, while pushing the
envelope in renewable energy.

couple of weeks ago, before
I sent in my last article, I
texted my mom and asked
if she thought
publishing what
I had written was
a good idea,
She respond-
ed: "I don't think
that you should
share personal
that can be used SOPHIA
against you. You USOW
don't want to
do something
that 10 years down the line you'll
deeply regret."
. Translation: This will come up
when people search your name
on Google.
At first, I shrugged her off. But I
found her plea coming back to me
in quiet, in-between times. Before
bed and on the frigid walk to class I
would wonder to myself: What if she
is right? What if telling my story will
make me unhireable, unlovable and
unstable in the eyes of people whose
respect and trust I'll eventually
need? I worried that instead of the
transparent future I hoped for, being
an adult meant more secret-keeping.
More feeling ashamed. More lying
and saying again and again that
everything was all right so insurance
costs stay down and my future boss
will give me a promotion instead of,
say, Jerry - my cubicle-mate, an avid
Limp Bizkit fan and father of three.
If I followed my mom's advice,
it would mean buckling to the
standards of whomever she was
afraid of. I'd publish nothing
inflammatory. I'd hold onto my cards
and show them only to those who
promised not to tell the graduate
school admissions board or the CEO
of PepsiCo what I should have been
too scared to tell all of you.
But now it's too late.
After I published the article I was
contacted by one of my friends, a bril-
liant student with high cheekbones
and cat eyes, who had also struggled

with an eating disorder. She said she
appreciated the article and that she
wished she could write about her own
experiences. When o encouraged her
to do so, however, she replied no,
never. She said thatshe had only talk-
ed about her disease with two people
other than me. One, an ex-boyfriend,
told her she was "disgusting." The
other, a coworker who she thought
was a close friend, told their boss,
who (in a Philadelphia-esque display
of bigotry) fired her for being "men-
tally unfit" to work for his company.
Mentally unfit? Disgusting? My
friend is anything but. She's the kind
of whip-smart, intimidatingly beau-
tiful woman whoIhope will someday
survey my manuscript/audit/equa-
tion and say, "This is shit. Get out of
my office." I look up to her, and to
hear her be so unequivocally humili-
ated and demonized for a disease she
has the strength to even admit to, let
alone fight, was unimaginable to me.
Perhaps the negative responses
she received mirror the fact that eat-
ing disorders are
seen as bench-
marks for shal-
low, irreversible
female weak- Should ,
nesses. Take,
for instance, content'
the case of John
Prescott, former silei
Deputy Prime
Minister of the
United King-
dom. In the
spring of 2008 he admitted publicly
to having struggled with bulimia
since the 1980s. He said he had kept
quiet about his disease "out of shame
... or embarrassment ... just because
it's such a strange thing for someone
like me to confess to. People normal-
ly associate (eating disorders) with
young women - anorexic girls, mod-
els trying to keep their weight down,
or women in stressful situations,
like Princess Diana." Prescott was
praised for the bravery of his admis-
sion. It was one thing for a woman
to be immature and vain enough

to binge and purge - but an impor-
tant politician? That was something.
Medical professionals and charity
groups heralded Prescott's confes-
sion as a step forward in terms of eat-
ing disorder awareness, despite the
fact that Prescott said he felt like a
"right twerp" while sitting in a doc-
tor's waiting room in which he was
the only man. Nobody questioned
his past leadership as Deputy Prime
Minister because of his disease.
Nobody branded him as "mentally
unfit." Nobody asked him to leave.
it's my friend and I who are the
disgusting ones. No matter how hard
we work and how smart, compas-
sionate and driven we may be, we are
the ones who must hide deep under
layers of hurt and shame, never for-
getting our failure. Take that pro-
motion, Jer, you deserve it. You're a
real adult and we're just broken toys
- wind-up monkeys who don't flip or
do tricks, but instead just stand and
shake. We're teddy bears with only
one button eye. We're Barbies made
out of lead. You
gettin' this, Jer?
every morning
e just be and think happy
thoughts. We've
with our done destructive
things. Must we
nce? always live in
fear of the omni-
present "they"
that likes steaks
blood-rare and
employees well done? Can they not
handle the Internet addictions or
ugly birthmarks that come in the
package of imperfect creation?
Should we just be content with
our silence? I, for one, am tired of
swallowingthatbig, uglypill: the one
that makes us believe that nooian
who struggles, or has ever struggled,
with depression, anxiety or any type
of eating disorder has the power to
accomplish anything meaningful.
- Sophia Usow can be reached
at sophiaus@umich.edu.

Barry Belmont, Jacob Karafa, Nivedita Karki, Jordyn Kay, Kellie Halushka,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew
Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Power of five

The truth behind the ACA

The scene is familiar, even if you haven't seen
the film. It's the first day of class and a professor
pronounces: "Look to your left. Now look to your
right.At the end of this class, only two of you will
be left." The sentiments behind such statements
(supposedly characteristic of rigorous law school
training) waft in and out of most classrooms
and they lodge deep in our minds: "Am I good
enough? is my seatmate smarter than me? What
if I don't make it?"
What lies behind that intimidating phrase
might be "rigor and challenge." But it is also
competition and anxiety. These things breed
what we also find in that half-remembered,
half-imagined film scene: people one-upping
each other and cheating on friendship in an
atmosphere of general nastiness.
I have better ambitions for my classroom
and my campus, and I suspect that you do
too. How about this phrase instead: "Look to
your left. Now look to your right. If any one
of us is not here (and not thriving) at the end
of this class, it will be our collective failure."
That's a very different attitude. It emphasizes
not competition, but responsibility. The
University, at its best, is a responsible
community of teachers and learners. Our
ideal should be that we look out for one
another, that we take collective responsibility
for every single one of our members.
That is an ideal thatalways lies in the distance.
Because we're busy. We already have our friends.
Because this kind of care takes work. Because
some of us - many of us - are shy, nervous and
fearfulofrejection.AsIwalk across campus,Itry
to make eye contact and smile. Too often, no one
looks up. I say "hello." Silence, or surprise. It's all
a little awkward, isn't it? And I'm no better. Too
often, it's easier for me to look at the ground as
well, ortto stare straight ahead into nothingness
because I'm so very lost in my music or my
thoughts. I think we can do better. We should
aspire to do so.
I've been thinking lately about "paying
it forward" in the form of "drive-through
generosity,"in which people in fast-food lines pay
for the food of the car - or the person - behind
them. There was, for example, that moment in
Manitoba when 228 consecutive cars paid it
forward at aTim Hortons drive-through.
Along with some friends and colleagues, I've
been wondering what it would look like for us

to venture something similar at the University.
Those thoughts have been echoed by a gener-
ous donor - an LSA alum - interested in driving
positive change on campus. He encouraged us to
take a chance, and he supported us in doing so.
Today, Feb. 10, marks the first day of a project
sponsored by LSA, #powerof5, which aims to
explore the possibility that a group of individuals
can build a movement to effect change in our
campus environment. The #powerof5 project
begins with 1,000 students in five large classes
in psychology, anthropology, sociology and
philosophy. Each will receive the means - one $5
bill and five cards encouraging acts of kindness.
Five smiles, five hellos, five handshakes, five
high-fives, five thank yous. It could be that
someone buys your meal or your coffee this
week. Or does something else - out of the clear
blue - that makes your day. That person might
be shy, nervous and fearful of rejection, and
so he or she will hand you a #powerof5 card,
which will ask you to pay it forward, to extend a
simple social gesture to a fellow human being. It
could be a smile, a few words, a greeting. Better,
though, will be for the two of you to talk, if only
for a moment. Nothing permanent. No lasting
obligation other than to receive kindnesses and
to continue to pay them forward to someone else.
The power of five: Five classes. Five dollars.
Five acts. Five passings of a little blue #powerof5
card. It could get exponential. It could get viral
- and not online, but in the real world where
we live with one another. We could, collectively,
take a crack - during the coldest and snowiest
seasononcampus- atcreatingathick,pervasive
atmosphere of warmth at the University. Why
not? And why not take the conversation online
too, by using the hashtag #powerof5 to share
your stories and experiences, or submit them to
our Tumbir?
The next time you are in class and look to your
left and to your right, think of yourself not in
competition, but in support.You are a responsible
member of a community that extends kindness to
all its members. So you pay it forward, five times
and then five times after that. And then let's see
what happens.
Philip J. Deloria is a Carroll Smith-
Rosenberg Collegiate Professorof History
and American Culture and the Associate
Dean for Undergraduate Education.

t seemed as if Christmas came
a little late for Republicans
last week when a report by
the nonpartisan
Budget Office
estimated that
the Affordable
Care Act would
result in a
reduction of
2.5 million PATRICK
jobs by 2024. MAILLET
Every notable
Republican made,
their way in front of a camera and
declared yet another victory against
the evils of the ACA.
Unfortunately, the report's
findings appear to be alittle different
than the GOP would have liked.
The day after the report was
released, CBO Director Douglas
Elmendorf cleared up some questions
at the House Budget Committee
hearing. While Committee
Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had
cited the report by saying the ACA
"will push 2.3 million people out of
the workforce," Elmendorf stated
that the reduction in jobs would be
a result of people choosing to work
fewer hours, and that the report
actually suggests that the ACA will
reduce unemployment.
In our current system, people are
working more hours and sometimes
multiple jobs in an effort to pay for
health insurance. Instead of having
to work multiple jobs to pay off a
health insurance plan that doesn't
cover preexisting conditions or even
certain emergency treatments, the
ACA will allow people to spend more
time focusing on excelling in their
career instead of stagnating and
working multiple, low-paying jobs
with little upward mobility. In fact,
these people are now more likely to
afford an education or even save up
to open a small business - the true
engine of the American economy.
Now, the GOP is changing its
position on the report and essen-
tially adopting the stance that the

ACA will make p
Roy Blunt (R-Mo)
ironically against
of marijuana, state
on Sunday that he f
"discourages" peop
and that this will
der the economy. I
Republicans also po
sion of Medicaido
people will abuse th
encouraged to rema
Elmendorf resp
the new health c
employment and
unemployment o
few years." With
accusation about
of Medicaid, page
report estimates th
"boost overall der
and services over th
because the people
from the expansion
from accesstothe ex
are predominantly
households and th
spend a considerabl
additional resource
for all of us
who struggled
through Econ
101: The people
who are most
likely to spend
money will be
the people who
now have more
money to spend,
thus spurring
the economy and
jobs. The report
the ACA will boost
labor within the ne
A successful e
with plentiful soci
workforce in which
jobs that are specis
personal skill se
healthcare system
stay where they a
and essentially rew
The ACA will lift

eople lazy. Sen. healthcare coverage from potential
, a man who is students, entrepreneurs and small
the legalization business owners, allowing people to
:d on Fox News align themselves with the jobs that
fears that the bill they are best fit to perform.
le from working Medical bills are the number-one
inevitably hin- cause for bankruptcy in the United
Blunt and fellow States. Employees know this and
int to the expan- refuse to leave their jobs in order
as evidence that to remain insured. Other Ameri-
:e system and feel cans work two or even three jobs to
in impoverished. ensure that their children will have
onded to these the care they need if tragedy strikes.
by stating that Lifting the financial burden from
are law "spurs these people's lives will give them
would reduce the opportunity to pursue goals
ver the next they would otherwise be unable to
regards to the work toward. Instead of working 60
the expansion hours a week at a fast food restau-
124 of the CBO rant, a single mother will be able to
at the ACA will work 40 hours a week, spend more
mand for goods time with her children and maybe
he next few years even take night classes to earn that
who will benefit degree she never could have imag-
of Medicaid and inedbefore. On a less idealistic level:
:change subsidies With more expendable income, that
in lower-income single mother will now be able to
us are likely to afford to buy acar, or perhaps a new
e fraction of their appliance for her home. Regardless
s on goods and of how she spends that money, it
will most likely
be pumped back
The ACA will allow into the econo-
my and thus cre-
people to finally ate more jobs.
Call it
Stop paying into a laziness. Call it
failing d ffic whatever you
a ndin fc will, but the
healthcare system. ACA will allow
people to finally
stop paying into
a failing and
creating more inefficient healthcare system. The
concludes that ACA inevitably has its flaws and as its
the demand for rollout continues, more obstacles will
xt few years. arise. Instead of trying to repeal the
conomy is one law another 42 times, why not work
al mobility and a together to iron out the introduction
people perform of this massive overhaul. Let's stop
alized to fit their glorifying every potential setback to
t. Our current the ACA and focus on making a more
forces people to efficient healthcare system.

are economically
cards stagnation.
t the burden of

- Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.

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