I seriously considered using “The Dumbing Down of American Children” as the title for this post, sense one of the issues at stake in Wisconsin, and elsewhere, is the quality of the public education system. However, that is only the “superficial” issue that I want to address. What is more important is in the final analysis is the level of hypocrisy expressed by the fundamentalist politicians and their allies in the media. Jon Stewart in The Daily Show episode of March 3rd offers in the first segment some interesting contrasts in the rhetoric the Fundamentalists use in discussing the proposed legislation in Wisconsin that is attempting to destroy the collective bargaining rights of teachers as opposed to the rhetoric they use when talking about the attempts by the Obama administration to allow the Bush tax cuts for people earning more then $250,000 per year, as well as proposed attempts to recoup the extravagant bonuses paid to executives of the large banks that received Federal bailout money. Please view the entire episode before continuing.
Here’s a link to a video that my 14-year-old son just showed me, it says in brutally honest terms, what I was going to say. The language does get a little crude in places BUT, I think it is completely apropos. Make sure you watch and pay close attention to Jon Stewart’s conversation Diane Ravitch about the state of education in the U.S. We tend to delude ourselves and think that the American way of doing things, including educating our children, is the best in the world. What Ms. Ravitch has to say should open your eyes to the truth. American children are being deprived of a quality education thanks to the misguided efforts of politicians who know nothing about how to educate. The long-term result of the American educational system as it exists now is that out children and grandchildren will be dumber and dumber vis-a-vis the children in Europe and Asia. In a couple generations we will be a Third World Country.
One final thought: if the Fundamentalist politicians like the governor of Wisconsin, all of whom constantly invoke our Founding Fathers, want to follow in the footsteps of those Fathers as well as help alleviate government budget deficits, then they should do like George Washington, THE Father of our country, did and refuse to accept ANY salary or benefits provided by taxpayer money. The idea that a retired U.S. president gets paid a pension of over $200,000 per year is obscene when, in fact, they are all multi-millionaires. Most people have to stay at their jobs for at least TEN years before they qualify for a pension and they, unlike retired politicians, have to pay for their own healthcare. We the taxpayers are footing the bill for these pensions and healthcare benefits, even though a lot of us are dependent on social security alone and Medicare, for which we have to pay premiums.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic.