What is wrong with our country? We value sports over the institutions that provide the knowledge that we need to live. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey and golf are all fine pastimes for both players and spectators, but it is only a small portion of life. We place too much importance on sports. We should balance sports and entertainment with history, math and communications. We need a better balance of what we need to keep our country strong. What good is entertainment without the means to live? How can you enjoy a good game if you are hungry, or you can’t afford the ticket to go see one? What good is a winning sports team to people who don’t have a roof over their heads?
Business in this country is floundering because we have discouraged our young from thinking. China and India didn’t make that mistake, although their economies are not doing well, because we in the western world are the usual target consumers for their products. Too many of our jobs have moved to other countries, which is just business after all, but it is poor business. If you can’t sell your product to the people in your own country, because they can’t afford the prices, there is something wrong.
Unemployment is rampant and the politicians do nothing but wrangle on party lines. They don’t care about the people they are supposed to represent, they only care that the other party might have a good idea to help and their party won’t get credit for it. That’s whacked thinking, but they can’t see it. If all the politicians took a pay cut of twenty-five percent, they would still be comfortable, and the money could be used to bolster the economy and help the people who need it the most.
That will never happen in any case. Human nature won’t allow it. Everyone for themselves is the rule, not the exception. Altruism is a myth. If you are not out for yourself, then you will fail. The US spends millions to help the people of other countries, but we ignore the people in our own country that need help as well.
We don’t place enough emphasis on education. Sports figures and entertainers get ridiculous fees for their talents, while the people behind the scenes get disproportionately smaller fees. Some pay for such talent is only right and proper, I’m not saying that it isn’t, but our young are given a skewed view of the world by that trend. They only see the currency symbols, not the fact that there are damned few entertainers and athletes who can command that kind of money. It feeds them an unrealistic line and that is just plain wrong. Libraries are threatened with closing but golf courses stay open, even if they don’t make much money. We are told the reason is that the golf courses generate enough money in fees to support themselves. Do that many people play golf? I pass a golf course every week and I don’t see that many people playing golf there. What kind of fees are they paying? Maybe they all prefer the other golf course in town, I don’t know. I do know that every time I’ve been to the library, the parking lot has been full, except for the rare times when I was using the afterhours drop box to return books. I’ve heard people say that they would have been amenable to paying for the privilege to use the library and I probably would have as well, but that option was never discussed. I believe the argument was that the city couldn’t charge for public library services. Other cities charge a fee for non-resident privileges at their public libraries, so that argument is probably not accurate. The point is that the city has shot itself in the foot by closing the library. How can we expect our up and coming generation to compete in the world if we close the door to knowledge? Knowledge is power, I don’t remember who said that, but they were right. I’m pleased to say that I was not alone in being ashamed to live in a city with no public library. The millage passed and we still have a library – for another five years.