Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Status Line Blinking

What's on my mind? What's on my mind is that our state is failing to fund education because it's trying to plug its budget deficit with my kids' future. Of course, what the what the well-paid club members in Springfield don't realize or don't care about is that public schools anchor neighborhoods and directly affect property values. Property values control economic stability and serve as the stream of tax revenue we need to cure our financial ails.

Further, consistently strong property values create stable neighborhoods. Stable neighorhoods translate to healthy local economies and boost consumer confidence. Consumer confidence drives consumption. Consumption equals more tax revenue. Therefore, in the short term, damaging schools is a direct hit to our revenue, something we clearly cannot afford.

In the long term, an uneducated generation of children, followed by another and yet another is not likely to create the type of local or broader economic health and stability that we need to sustain our preferred way of life. Uneducated people become dependents and subordinates, not independent thinkers and leaders. Is school the only place to become educated? No, I'm living proof of that. But is it necessary to give our children a collective kick in the shin on that lifelong race to success? No.

And if I were a kid and I were at all paying attention, I might think that all the pompous grown-ups going around telling me how to behave were a bunch of hypocrites and liars. 'School is very important,' we all tell our children. 'I'm the education fill-in-the-political-office-blank,' we hear candidates intone over and over again. When the truth is, we not only don't put our money where our big fat mouths are, we don't even get off the damn couch to complain in person when given the opportunity. If it's more than a click that's requried from us, we're just too damn lazy to care.

That's fine for us. We're as smart as we're going to get. I'm just wondering how we feel about our kids bumping into walls for the rest of their lives because we couldn't be bothered with giving them a sense of direction. I suppose we care as much about that as we care that a state in our country is racially discriminating against people in order to comply with a law or as much as we care that there is an entire industry - with it's own street in New York, no less - robbing us blind every day. The fact is we don't care. We don't care and that's why we're in the mess we're in. Maybe we're the ones that need to go back to school.

Too bad we can't afford that.

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