Really, I’m not, but perhaps I should be.
California used to have the best education system in the country and, probably, the world. Now it ranks among the worst. We have so many “special” programs that distract from teaching a well-balanced education that teaching has become of relative lessor importance in school. Don’t get me wrong, I really believe that the best teachers in the world are probably teaching in California public schools, but our hands are tied by bureaucracy. Powers that be have decided that the answer is found in testing the kids into comas. This takes even more time away from actual teaching and learning. In our district it has been suggested for several years that we change our calendar to start earlier and finish our first term before Christmas break (this would put midterms in the second term before Spring break and finish the school year before Memorial Day), it finally made it to a ballot, but never got around to being decided on. It just seems that so little about the bureaucracy of education has anything to do with what is best for students and their education. Meanwhile, The California Teachers Association has spent so much time lobbying for costly special interest and their own liberal agenda that they forgot to fight for education and now we have to cut $4 billion from education and still raise test scores. I’ll stop short of blaming the CTA for the whole problem, but I will say they didn’t do their job and now we are in a mess.
I’ve always said that a house is not worth twice as much just because it is in California. It turns out I was right. The falsely inflated housing market has been falling flat on its face for two years now. People can’t afford the homes they live in, but the mortgage industry convinced many of us several years ago that, since home values are going up so fast, financing more than a house is worth now is a safe bet… guess they were wrong. Now people are losing their homes because interest rates on adjustable loans are going up and many expect the government to save them.
The problem is that people don’t seem to realize that the government gets its money from the people. Government can’t pay the damages (and there are damages) without raising taxes and the people can’t afford the tax increases. Consequently, the state is left with the only other option of cutting expenses. Government employees, including teachers lose their jobs. Classes are going to be packed with more students than teachers can teach and test scores, as well as other indicators of learning, will plummet. Teachers will be blamed.
Fuel prices have exaggerated the price of everything else, from travel to clothing to food. Liberals want to blame President Bush, but that’s just what they do. The problem is OPEC, and it always has been. Alternative fuel sources is the answer, but the cost of those is still prohibitive because anything “new” is expensive. Gas is cheaper in Brazil and they have been using ethanol for years. They also don’t import any foreign oil. It’s ridiculous that we still do.
Truth be told, our economy is a mess and it has been before. It cannot be blamed on any one person or group, but it will not get better if we expect the government to fix it. The government has never been able to fix the economy. Historically, everytime they try to force an economic fix on the nation it has backfired and made things worse. Socialism doesn’t work. We don’t need new programs or government mandated economic policies. The folks usually do a pretty good job of getting out of the messes the government buries us in and we’ll do it again this time… if we can just keep the government out of they way.