S. Paul Forrest
As American politicians search for cuts in State and Federal spending to balance the economic scales, they are aiming to cut into social programs instead of concentrating their fire on the issues that have actually led to our current, monstrous debt situation: Military Expenditures, Corporate Welfare, and Foreign Aid. As the Wars in the Middle East rage on, America is spending an astronomical amount of money in other nations while our own falls apart.
One particular target that has begun to hobble America is the insatiable attack against the public school system. Some may see it as necessary to balance the Fiscal Budget, but when a country spends more on the support of foreign countries than it does on its own future, one has to wonder whether the politicians pushing this agenda are truly serving the interests of the American people. When this question arises, We the People must begin to question the motives of the in-place system.
Our representatives in Washington have passed a defense budget which includes measures not only to defend against our “enemies,” but in the same motion aid them by supporting the building of their nations. These people continue to erode the foundation of this nation, but still persist in calling themselves Patriots. If one were to take an objective view of these actions, they would seem rather insidious, bordering on treasonous.
Some domestic programs that are apparently safe from cuts are throwing money at seemingly pointless endeavors. As an example of this fiscal policy of misguided spending from Washington, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott was recently faced with the decision of accepting $2.4 billion from the U.S. Government for the building of high-speed rail or letting it go to another state. He said no to the offer, because to accept would have obliged the state to $7 Billion additional to make it work. Unless the project was salvaged, the $2.4 billion goes to another state that wants to build high-speed rail. It would of course not make any sense for that money to go to the building of schools in Florida. High-speed rail means nothing to the future of our country when compared to education.
In contrast to this type of spending, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1. Under this resolution, “funding for programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education would be cut by $11.56 billion, or 16.5 percent, in fiscal year 2011 below the current resolution, affecting millions of students and leading to potentially significant job losses for teachers and other school employees.” It would seem here is money aplenty for high-speed rail, but not for the building and support of our nation’s schools.
There is such a demand for additional classroom space in this country to meet the demands of an expanding population that many schools have begun to site mobile trailers to create cheap classroom space. It is supposed to be a temporary fix, but they have become permanent fixtures on many school campuses nationwide. There are high schools and middle schools in this country that exist totally as mobile trailer campuses. These “schools” were created to accommodate the needs of a growing population, while the communities which they serve waited for funding for the construction of a real campus. But the funding never came; instead, money that should be spent on America goes to foreign interests and our out-of-control military initiatives.
Case in point: In 2011, the U.S. “Defense” budget hit an astounding $725 Billion. That is the recorded amount apart from any additional Executive Orders and spending requests imposed throughout the year. It has been estimated that the U.S. will spend $3 Trillion dollars in Iraq when all is said and done. This estimate does not include the money for Afghanistan, or the impending conflict with Iran, possibly North Korea, and now Libya. Meanwhile, our children lose their teachers, their school funding, and their hope of a college education.
The United States spends an insane amount of money on interests in the Middle East. The War Register’s League has recorded that in 2009 alone, the U.S. spent in total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2.65 trillion. The following amount spent on Military is reflective of percentages spent from our income taxes and is broken down as follows:
- MILITARY: 54% and $1.5 Trillion
- NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1.21 trillion In 2011, the budget is recorded to be $3.8 trillion and with the past percentages of expenditure, it would mean, based on the government breakdown of the previous ratio, $2 trillion on Defense. Just imagine what that amount could provide to the future of education in this nation.
If a portion of this money was used in the American education system, the outcome of said expenditures would benefit this nation greatly. According to Education-Portal, here’s what the money spent on Iraq in 2007 alone ($447 Billion) would have provided to the United States:
- 21,510,598 full four-year scholarships to public universities
- 7,689,734 new public school teachers
- 58,770,981 chances for children to attend head-start
The money could also have purchased health insurance policies for 265,701,285 uninsured people, or housing for 3,995,293 homeless families. Yet, we continue to export our funds to support Libya, Cairo, Iraq, etc.
Since the War on Terror began, combined with the economic recession, the funding spigot has been shut off to meet the needs of America military initiatives. Schools go without those necessary funds. NCEF, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Funding, has recorded the following disparity of funding for schools in America:
- School districts reported to the U.S. Census of Governments that they spent $58.5 billion for capital outlay on construction and land and building acquisition in 2008, excluding equipment and interest.
- Total school construction fell in 2010 for the third consecutive year, to $14.5 billion dollars of construction put in place.
NCEF further states, “There is no question that the school construction boom has quieted. During the first years of this century, school construction totaled at least $20 billion annually. Then, as the nation’s economy slowed, school construction spending slowed, too, falling to $19.5 billion in 2008, then dropping almost 16 percent in 2009 to just $16.4 billion. It was down another 12 percent last year and, if projections prove correct, could fall again in 2011”
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With all these expenditures on non-domestic spending, and the desire by many to further enhance related funding by cutting domestic programs like education, one has to wonder why it is that these people would want to deprive our children — and, by proxy, our nation — of the benefits of this money.
The answer may lie in the idea of creating a Caste system where thinkers are not wanted. Those who are trying to control the population want only production from the masses; and what better place to begin than in our schools, training our youth to accept this dark future.
Why would our American representatives, those people who are charged with the protection of We the People, so quickly defund our educational system without even a hint of guilt? Are our foreign political interests really more important than American interests? Dr. Norman D. Livergood states the following on the issue of American education’s demise:
“The plutocratic cabal wanted a working class that was merely trained to do a particular job, not think about social or political issues. They created an educational system focused on training instead of learning, which took its lead from such physiological, materialistic “psychologists” as Wilhelm Wundt, G. Stanley Hall, James McKeen Cattell, E. L. Thorndike, and others. The primary ideas and practices of this group included:
- A thing makes sense and is worth pursuing only if it can be measured, quantified, and scientifically demonstrated
- Psychology, accordingly, should concern itself exclusively with human behavior–not with non-demonstrable entities such as ‘mind,’ ‘soul,’ ‘thought,’ etc.
- Public education must limit itself to training working class students to carry out whatever task they are given to do and to accept the commands of their superiors
This ruler-imposed system, enhanced by anti-intellectual activities such as minority-group studies and multiculturalism, produces uneducated and programmed students who understand almost nothing of what occurs beyond the propaganda and mythology of the political-financial leaders.”
In the past, the America educational system has been largely based around the idea of the Liberal Arts. This approach denotes a curriculum that imparts general knowledge and develops the student’s rational thought and intellectual capabilities. In classical antiquity, the liberal arts denoted the education worthy of a free person. By limiting this educational track, the “Free” person is no longer taught how to think, but, rather, how to perform. The FCAT and other testing systems like it are at the center of the scholastic target. Schools have been asked to teach our children to perform well on these tests, or else face defunding; and the teachers have begun to be compensated based on this performance.
Tests programs such as the FCAT and the increasing cuts in spending on art and music are depriving our children of curiosity, intellect and invention. The in-place testing regimen teaches only how to conform to a rank-and-file population. Liberal Arts invites free thinking, and that is definitely not what they powers-that-be want from our future generations. They want workers, soldiers, and the mindless minions of a caste system in two parts: those who have, and those who provide them more.
In the steps toward fascism, three very familiar steps to us all are currently unfolding in America:
- Labor power is suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
- Disdain for intellectuals and the arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
- A controlled mass media – Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
Sound familiar? All one has to do to legitimize the claims of this list is to watch Madison, Wisconsin; or in New York, New York where Mayor Bloomberg is cutting $200 Million from education. The Christian Science Monitor has listed many other examples of these cuts.
Schools in the private sector, however, aren’t facing these problems. The funding comes from the community which they serve; largely the wealthier area of America. While the poorer class finds its school turned into factories, the upper class still receives the benefits. College grants are being cut, like the Pell Grant, that help the poor receive an education, leaving only the wealthy to achieve. There is a caste system developing and this is the mechanism making it happen.
We need to spend our resources to better this country, not Afghanistan. Our money needs to fund our education system, not Iraq’s. Our income and hard work needs to fuel our economic engine, not China’s. The time is now to wake up to the reality that this country is being sold piece by piece to the factions of fascism. We need to take our country back. Our children are being trained for the future, but not for individual greatness. Instead, they are taught mass performance . . . and to do so with limited money. At the very least, it is time to wake up to the reality that we have enemies within our own borders.
We need to return to a time where American invention, intellect and innovation leads the world. If we continue upon the path we are on currently, we will be a nation of debtors and mindless workers akin to the same system of our greatest competitor and now part owner, China, possesses. This drive toward the fascist states of America needs to stop, and those responsible for its initiation should be brought to justice.
Yes; this is a Liberal approach to politics and national spending. Yes; it is the same approach so vehemently attacked by some in the political realm of mass media, but it is a view that is enveloped in the Dream that once was so vibrant in America when it cared and supported the future of its people. It is the embodiment of the words etched upon the base of the Statue of Liberty; the dream that seems to be dying so very quickly along with the voice of America being drowned out by corporate interests supported by politicians whose bank accounts grow larger each time they propagate the policies of deception and degradation rotting the very heart of our once great Nation. The time has come to reclaim our Liberty; if not for ourselves, then for our children.
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