Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let's Ask the Kids about Mortgaging Their Future

The state of Illinois is embroiled in a dispute about how to pay for "capitol improvements", basically, more roads and new schools. The goal is NEVER questioned - only the means.

But we should ask the kids what they think about it. They're the ones affected, and they will be paying for it for years to come.

More roads, kids? Why, in this rural area, do we need 6 lane highways? Why, cause that's how the pork has always been allocated, and the construction companies have the equipment to build them. Thousands in campaign donations ensure millions in public funds for more roads.

Does it matter that fewer and fewer people can afford to drive the cars that roads serve? The trolleys that were ripped out (to make way for the roads) served many more people, because there are always those too young, too old, too poor or not able to drive.

Hey, kids. If we had trolleys, you wouldn't be dependent on Mommy to drive you around. Kids in cities roam freely as young as 7 or 8, but with car based transportation, up to 16, you're stuck with Mom and Dad. And then, you have to get a job and spend 2 or 3 weeks of a month working to pay for your car transportation.

And new schools? These are the same yuppies mortgaged to the hilt in McMansions who look at a leaky roof, or moldy ceiling tiles and announce that the entire school must be torn down and replaced! Why not just fix the roof! If you need more classrooms, put up a trailer in the parking lot. That's what we did in the old days.

Look at Carbondale if you want to see what this school replacement does. Moving a school from the middle of town to the outskirts and turning it into a lockdown facility, to train the students for future careers in the prison industry, whether as guards or inmates. It doesn't really matter to the ruling class.

Now we spend property tax money on diesel for the buses to transport the kids, instead of teacher salaries, or more for perks like art and music, or field trips. Hey kids, you'll be expected to pay off the bonds with your future wages. Already a third of the US budget goes to pay off the interest on old loans.

See how much we love you, kids? We're willing to doom you to perpetual servitude so that you can be shipped in a bus to a school in a fancy building, searched by armed guards, and trained to take tests. We're willing to spend money to doom you to perpetual oil based transportation, while we burn every last drop of oil, leaving you with none for other essentials. And, of course, the climate dislocation that oil burning causes will mostly affect you, although we are already bearing more storms and floods here, with drought and fires in the West.

Best of luck, kids.

No comments: