Our Sputnik Moment: Still Pending

It's All Pending

The budget for the nation is pending, and everything is on the table…. except for defense.  There are coming cuts to all kinds of programs that should be providing our Sputnik Moment.  The Corporate Placeholder in the White House has been reasonable with the Party Of No using the same restraint as he allowed Clinton to apply when she said that Egypt would remain under dictatorship and then when popular rebellion (unless we see the vice president of Egypt back in 6 months) seemed to win, turned around and said, “yes, all along I was there for you.”  There is political brinkmanship, the sort that Bismark used to unify Germany and Disraeli did in… whatever he did…. and then there is the lazy kid-who-didn’t-do-the-book-report politics of making sure you follow-up the kid who did in class and go… “Well, he basically said what I was going to say.  Unless what he said was wrong.” 

So, the new budget for our Nation is out, and expect the same wait and see approach to leadership as the Demobuplicans on the side of the Party of No take down cuts “to the bone” – perhaps introducing a bill with a clever name, such as The Fuck You, You Don’t Pay To Re-elect Me Bill.   Meanwhile, in super-bizzaro land the MSM plays up education and the environment as winners since funds appear to be increased – the same way they have been playing up 3.3% “growth” in the face of constantly dripping employment and what seems on the ground to be a loss of industry and lower standards in the country – but, the stock market and this “growth” seems to be benefiting someone’s wallet….. 

Then, the same newspapers document cuts to those same programs.  Did I really see “defence” as a looser in USA Today and the Times and education as a winner, yet also in the Times a graphic looking at the cuts to those same education programs – or backdoor cuts by limiting state funding that funds education.  While the MSM stands about with their old media fingers up their old media butts, bloggers are asking why defence only got so few cuts while it represents such a large part of our total budget.  One cut of 75b USD over ten years is part of total spending that in 2009 was somewhere between 1.01 and 1.35 trillion USD (since those real numbers are top-secret).  Meanwhile, all this education we are told we need to turn out a nation entirely comprised of un-outsource-able scientists and innovators has never represented the investment we make in war.  The cuts to education are at the state level, and at the Federal level proportionally larger than the cuts we make to the War Economy.   This is simple math, however, too much for MSM to burden our numerically illiterate (this blogger included in that pile of mathmatically stooped). The results of this misdirection are still pending.

Much of the talk is about defence.  I mean, we’re all going to die, because while we are getting rid of the colour alert system, we are at the highest level of alert/fear since prior to September 11, 2001 making me think there must be another PDB titled something hard to understand like “Bin Ladin Determined to have Sex with Ms. O in the Oval Office” with perhaps a photocopied image of his schlong and billions are being spent on unpacking just what that means.  So, cutting defence now… that’s…. well, that’s supposed to be about 75 billion over ten years.   Let me see…. 75/10 = 7.5 Billion USD out of $1,350,000,000,000.00 annual budget(high estimate 2009) or take that and make a ten-year projection of 1.35X10 or $13,500,000,000,000.00 – which with the cost of fuel and let us say an inflation rate of 1.4% would add another 18,900,000,000 to the cost of doing buisn… I mean war every year, and over 10 years compound to a number I am too lazy to write and you do not want to see added to all the other bills that are due in out there in the mail box.  So to this, we save a few billions.  To needed programs, we add a few millions and call this a bonus to a system that even when funded seems only to turn out dunderheads.

Maybe we need not worry about the system of education.  Our system pushes out youth who while wild at heart, yet are much like the Young Pioneers in their allegiance to their corporate masters even to the detriment of their parents, the Youth of Today turn their friends and family at the first sign of anti-corporate personhoodism as modern-day Citizens United Boy/Girl Hero.   And the funding of the lower educational quarters only seems to feed the university-industrial complex so that millions of kiddies can be pushed out of government schools, thinking in terms of government curriculum and outcomes and ready to take government guaranteed loans from private banks and pay those private banks the interest, ensuring that only risk is passed through to the government.  Little Jonny is now ready to get a Real Job, yet, even after 12 years of investment by Der Stat, at a cost estimated at  $8745 – $10,000 per student as a national average, he is not qualified to get a job in this country since we’ve unsourced to Mexicans (et. al.) what we can’t outsource to the Chinese.  Little Jonny has been told all his life as he reaches for the stars that only immigrants reach for toilet brushes, cleaning supplies, and lawnmowers and these jobs are too dirty for Americans to do.  Even if Little Jonny wanted to do the jobs that are Too Dirty for Americans to Do (TDAD) like 18 year olds used to do back in the bad old days, he can’t compete with the “innovation” created by the competition of labour alternatives in as lawn care contractors have innovated picking up a truckload of undocumented at Home Depot and paying them a dollar an hour… or, as is the case very often since these people are treated as “non persons” in this country, not pay them at all.   
Maybe investment in Government education needs the axe.  Perhaps this is the old Brick and Mortar past (not sure if the analogy is right, but I haven’t used “Brick and Mortar” since 1999 and wanted to dust it off).   We current have the 12 years of public investment contributing $120,000.00 of tax money into preparing Little Jonny for the private system that serves as the gateway to adulthood – or kidulthood, as the case may be.  Now that he has really reached for the stars, the top, achieved, was not left behind, etc…  then the little shit gets into college… but which one?  While all children have potential, those over 18 are adults and adulthood means you can suck a dick if you think you are still “reaching for the stars” because you need to now pay to play. 
As they say in Marketwatch, let’s do the numbers:   Private college the average is $9000 – $35,000 a year ($36,000 – $140,000), about $3000 for a shitty two-year degree you can show your boss at Wendy’s, and about $7000 a year at the party schools… ahem, State Colleges ($28,000).  In all this muck, there are more for-profit options sucking up all the kiddies who apparently were left behind or were too busy reaching for a paycheck to reach for the stars.  This leaves the average student with let us say about $24,000 in debt according to 2009 numbers, but we know that this is college and we need more than that to get a job, as well as most of us don’t live in statical average land and know or have higher loan loads because of graduate school so we add about $48,000 for the majority of us and for the higher orders (doctors, lawyers, strippers) carry more coming in at $150,000 – $200,000 (but, fuck those people). 
In average-land, where most of us foolios live, let us use the average of college and graduate school and say $72,000.00 (a little higher than average number used as an example) is the load and say at 5.5% (again, an example) over 30 years we pay out $153,000.00 to repay our loan and if we are home owners pay school taxes to ready another sucker for the puppy mill of education and higher learning.  So that $120,000.00 investment the government made seems to have paid off, and this isn’t even including all the extras parents shower their kiddies with, such as hours of college prep by the private Kaplan group, the SAT test costs from the “non-profit” Educational Testing Systems people who pay their executives millions and millions since… you need to pay to get talent… unless it is a teacher… or a college professor… or anyone else in the system because they must wove dere jwobs and not the money so they can be paid crap and then held to Standards and Objectives, and Outcomes and unfunded mandates. 
So, Ms. Teach For America, next time you are eating Ramon Noodles, sleeping on a mattress on the floor and getting up at 4Am so you can spend the entire day trying to make Damon and Van Lan Bo read boring State Curriculum to achieve Outcomes on a test and reach Benchmarks so you can get your little Skoobie Snack of a bonus at the end of the year or a piece of paper saying “Teacker of the Year” spelled in pasta and yarn, when half your 30 or so children would rather be playing video games and masturbating to Lady Gaga, than reaching for the fucking stars… Citi Group, Educational Testing Systems, Kaplan, Simon and Schuster, Laidlaw Transportation, International Buses, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, as well the trustees of Yale, the President of New York University, stock holders of The University of Phoenix, Sodexo (hint.. the slop in the school lunch), Goodyear (tyres for buses don’t grow on trees), and sundry other industries making sure little Johnny gets his ass out of bed every day and goes to school and then college… well…. they’re not going to thank you. Think of that Ms. Teach For America.  As a matter of fact.
If the budget passes, despite all the new money, reimbursements to states, the majority of funding for education, is reduced, and more than likely your school practices “FIFO “and you are 26 years old with about $75,000 in loans and now with a pink slip and a few lines on your face because during the school year you never sleep.  And you make the system happen.  The kids have a word for you.  It’s “tool.”  
Between your loans, and our tottering national budget… well, your grade is still pending.

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