Think of the Children

August 26, 2009 at 4:52 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This past summer, my daughter, Pippilotta, age 25 determined to get herself back to college as part of an effort to make a better life for herself. Needless to say, I was thrilled and supportive. And much to my surprise, she was able to secure college financial aid much more easily than I anticipated. I have high hopes that this road will eventually lead to above-minimum-wage jobs for her and a brighter future for my four-year-old granddaughter.

Speaking of my granddaughter, daycare would need to be secured for her. Presently, Myrtle and I babysit as much as our own schedule allows but more help is needed to allow Celia to work and get her schooling done. Of course, being able to pay outright for daycare is not an option, since Pippilotta doesn’t make any more than the daycare workers do. So she had no choice but to turn to the government for help.

I remember when Pippilotta was a baby back during the Gipper’s reign. What a pain it was to find good daycare and afford paying for it. In fact, after a short time, maybe about three months, of daily leaving Pippilotta in the hands of strangers, Myrtle and I decided that we could live a simple life off one good paycheck (mine, if I worked plenty of overtime) and Myrtle could stay home and take care of our child. Well, that arrangement allowed her to stay home as we eventually had three children and she didn’t resume her career until all of them were in school. But fear not, gentle reader, Myrtle is not deprived and is certainly no shrinking violet; today she has a PhD and is founder/administrator of her own non-profit charitable organization.

Well, I won’t go into much detail about the frustrations, humiliations, countless hours spent at the Department of Job & Family Services office, the unresponsive beaurocracy, or the fear that it wouldn’t all come together. I will only mention, in passing, that the lady in charge of my granddaughter’s new pre-school gave a speech during orientation telling us how program funds had been cut by about a fourth and that they could no longer provide breakfast to the children, etc, etc. We ordinary Americans are getting used to hearing all that kind of stuff, so it’s all old news.

After all was done, I gave Myrtle a few of my usual loopy takes on the experience. To wit:

  • The government, at all levels- city, county, state, federal- has apparently squandered most of the taxes I paid for the last 37 years.
  • For the cost of one (take your pick: tank, bomber, missile) built for our bulging arsenal, the pre-school program could probably be fully funded for at least a year.
  • For all America’s bloviating about the importance of children, family values, children being our future, yak, yak, yak… the truth is that no developed nation seems to care less about its children or their future.
  • America’s young people suffer from tremendous depression, angst, and resentment because deep down they see that the bloviating about the importance of children does not match the reality of how they’re treated. Instead, they know that they are actually valued only for the same reason everyone is now valued in America- as a demographic consumer group.
  • If things continue this way, within a few years America will collapse much like the Soviet Union did. Maybe that won’t be such a bad thing.

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