October 18, 2023

Stu Bloom: Keep Your Nose On

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Stu Bloom considers the mixed priorities of the economy and education.

We’ve been told that to keep society running smoothly, people should work to earn money…to fuel the economy. That’s why they are always so quick to fund (or advocate for) job providers (aka the business community) through tax breaks, tax rebates, tax refunds, and lower taxes (which are, btw, mostly unavailable to the average worker).

What happens, however, when people can’t work? They have to go on welfare, which is apparently bad. We shouldn’t have to pay for someone who won’t work — and there are too many people who are “gaming the system” by collecting welfare without working.

Our education system should teach students to be “contributing members of society.” We need to raise our children so they can take their place in the workforce and not be a burden on the rest of us by going on the aforementioned welfare. Furthermore, we need to hire competent people to teach and care for our children.

What happens then, when schools and childcare facilities haven’t got enough funding to function and can’t find qualified people who will do the hard work of teaching or caring for children? The pay is too low. The hours are too long. The social cost is too great. Do we “let the market decide” about keeping schools and childcare facilities open? If we do that, what happens when those privately run churches and companies need more money to operate? Do they charge more? Or do they just close?

Is the profit motive sufficient to keep us teaching and caring for our children?

Why are states having trouble getting child care and education supports in place so that people can thrive?

Do we want to have a society that functions well or do we like having citizens living in economic crisis mode? Do we want a robust economy where everyone is well cared for and happy or do we like economic stagnation and desperate citizens? Do we want to prepare our children for the future or are we going to continue to shortchange them and then let them try to repair the damage as they get older?

Are we ever going to find the will to support our children through fully funded childcare and “a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all“?

Or are we going to continue to “cut off our nose to spite our face?”

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