After “Angels and Assholes,” there was “What If…” So, with the last blog: “Are you a (damn) liberal or an (f’in) conservative?” I’ll start the education is the answer blogs with “Learn…to live well.”
CUTS THAT HURT: 84% of the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) budget goes to helping low income people pay rent. Ben Carson (remember him? A black former brain surgeon that ran against Trump in the Republican party nomination?), as the newly appointed head of HUD is facing a 13% ($6 billion) cut, by our notoriously ‘humane’ administration. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, as many as 250,000 people will have to face a dehumanizing choice: “pay for groceries, medicine or clothes for their families, or risk lose the roofs over their heads.” [Time, 11/6/17] “About 5 million households received rental assistance in 2016, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “…but at least three times as many more qualify and don’t receive the help.” [Ditto]
Although Mr. Carson had no experience in gov’t or housing, thus fairly questioning his ability to run HUD, he made, I thought, an impressive statement: he “…wants to reconcile the competing challenges of need vs dependency by devising programs that teach sufficiency.” To give people “…the life skills that will allow them to be independent.” [Ditto]
In plain speak: educate and train them, rather than keep them poor and dependent. I’m sure you’ve heard a ‘Confucius Say:’ “Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him to grow his own rice and you will save his life.” So, similarly, rather than dole out $47+ billion year after year, keeping people on the dole, doesn’t it make sense to educate and train people to do the jobs that are available today that pay a living wage? With the way technology is changing the workforce needs, people of every color and economic status need education and (re)training. It’s a no-brainer and statistics verify that it’s less expensive to educate than to doll out unemployment and a myriad of subsidies and suffer the consequences of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, anger, and thus violence and loss of self-esteem… and thus loss of life. (The human cost the most tragic.)
Of course, since it’s so obvious, naturally the government is increasing its funding of education…NOT! The current proposed federal budget is cutting $10.6 billion from the Federal Education Initiative, and $9.2 billion (a 13% cut from 2016) from the Department of Education.
We need change. Not drastic revolution, just common sense changes. You young folk have common sense? Again, please make sure the Gen X’ers and Millennials are aware. They’re the ones that are changing things. They’re becoming mayors now, then senators, then a “leader” of our country.