I’m still twenty-something, still running the starter motor on a career – any career. I can’t already be in the “what is this world coming to” mode yet. Not for another thirty years more at least.
In times of boon more government subsidies are given to the middle class: Highway construction and maintenance, tax breaks for homeowners, etc. But whenever we’re in the red, the poor must pay – mass transit gets cut. State unions get double pressure from the state and from public opinion, as low-paid private sector workers inevitably fall upon their public sector brethren in a lamentable divide-and-conquer scenario.
But what strikes me as truly unconscionable is that public schools and libraries are almost always the first to go. The NYCDoE is running for another round of thousands of layoffs (I was laid off last October), and now Queens Library stands to lose 14 branch libraries. Where can society go without education? Even during the Great Depression, these things remained sacrosanct. It reminds me of that term floating about the blogosphere: “Epistemic Closure.”
We’re Rome circa 400AD. All the great thinkers are dead and new ones are not replacing them.* The societal zeitgeist is more in tune with marketing rather than message. One political party is more interested in winning elections than governing, the other is stuck in an endless loop of second-guessing if any one necessary, life-saving act is even politically feasible, and they’re both bought, paid for and essentially wholly-owned subsidiaries of corporations who bleed society at large and whose only products of note are rich ex-CEOs.
Yeah, yeah, “we all have to tighten our belts.” Why, however, are the belts wrapped around our heads?
I know Obama’s plate is more than full, but he seriously needs to consider bailing out the states. The feds can run a debt. The states can’t, and apparently Paterson (and others) are too stupid to understand what it means to cut education.
*Consequently, I hate Augustine of Hippo, hypocritical charlatan that he was.