Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rant On

I was all set to write a witty and sarcastic post about drivers in the metro Detroit area when I got into work this morning. Then I opened my email. And I read the news. And suddenly writing jokes about aggressive drivers seemed really petty compared to all the woes facing my community and nation.

If you haven't heard, our dear Governor Granholm vetoed state funding of 39 school districts in Michigan. My children's district is among them. I have no idea how the district is going to deal with this loss, which amounts to around $100,000 per school. As a letter from the superintendent puts it this amount equals the entire transportation budget or nearly 100 teachers. Clearly, you can't cut teachers in the middle of the school year... but you can drop the art, music and sports programs. You can fire the few librarians and library aids left in the district. Our school is down to 2 custodians from about 7 two years ago, so I don't know how we can cut them but I'm sure someone will be going. It's just so frustrating! When will elected officials wake up to the fact that the ONLY way this country will ever be able to compete globally is to have better educated workers? Michigan in particular has never been strong on education, since for generations people could get high paying jobs in auto manufacturing without even a high school diploma. Those days are gone though. Our kids will not be competing against their uneducated neighbors for jobs, they'll be competing against men and women from India, China and Europe who have excellent higher educations. Jeez, my step-daughter is better educated as a senior in a German high school than most American's with a Bachelor's degree!

Of course, Jenny says that it's all the Republican's fault, since they won't raise taxes. She's right that taxes in Michigan must be raised as the deficit is staggering. Less gas and sales tax revenue means the budget is woefully underfunded. But she's mistaken in thinking her strong-arm tactic will have any effect on the Republican Senators she is trying to bully. They don't care if public schools are underfunded, all their kids go to private schools anyway! Education is for those who can afford it, all the rest can go work at Walmart when they're adults.

And then there's the nation. Health care. Deficit. Child abuse. Drunk driving. War. All these problems, so many seem insurmountable. Is it any wonder that the most viewed articles on Yahoo News are about "Dancing with the Stars" and "Balloon Boy"? Who wants to read all the depressing crap about things that never get any better? I really wonder if there is any hope for this country at all, or are we doomed to go down in flames.

Sorry for being so depressing and antagonistic this morning. Rant off.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

Ugh. You need to move. Not that things are all rosey here, but man, that crap is ridiculous.