Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Here in Sweden, the talk about America is pretty much only about foreign policy fuck-ups, and the disaster taking place in Iraq. But when I talk to my sainted sister, who works for a foundation in Minneapolis and doles out money for childcare projects for low-income parents, invariably the conversation turns to how awful things are in the States, domestically. Then today I read that the governor of Texas has decided to give rich property owners a tax break, and fund schools with taxes on strip clubs instead of with property taxes. Poetic, isn't it: Sad horny bastards paying five extra bucks every time they go for a gander at some tits and ass, five bucks that then goes to fund the schooling of 10-year-olds. Unfortunately, the upshot of it is that poor and middle class kids are going to be getting less money for their schools, and decades of attempts at trying to distribute education dollars fairly is basically being trashed.

Of course, behind it all is the whole idea that rich people need more tax breaks not just on the federal level, but on the state level as well. And that the federal government shouldn't be subsidizing luxuries like, well, education. Not that education spending on the federal level has ever amounted to much - the budget for education has only ever been a tiny fraction of the military budget, for example - but at least federal monies tended to be aimed at evening the odds for poorer kids. But not anymore. The buck has been passed to the states, and if Texas is any indication, the states aren't ponying up to pay for education either.

So who's going to pay for it? The children of America, that's who.

Poor, divided America.

The Swedish phrase for the day is halva priset. It means half price.

- by Francis S.

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