Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alarming Cost cutting measures-- UGH-- make a fuss

UGH!  Now what will they feed us?

Linda Hanson (Photographer San Francisco) who shared a link to a NYT article ( "Governments go to extremes as downturns wears on") and a follow up editorial in Calitics by Robert Cruickshank that
describe bone-chilling measures to cut costs in various states -- reducing school days, turning off street lights, cutting community policing-- just to name a few. After I shout at the computer and stomp around the house I wear a look on my face much like the turtle above. UGH....

The buildings, institutions, and infrastructure that we inherited from our grandparents and their grandparents rose from the urge to create the future and demonstrated their belief in a national society.  But, we have re-framed their investments and  accomplishments -- making them admirable and relevant for those days but not these.  The view of joint action and shared costs as efficient, as a sign of wealth and civilization, as a gift to our children, the same force that created firehouses, libraries, and laboratories, is now spoken of with distrust and cast as oppression -- Big Government, socialism and taxation as over-burdensome.

The long run of good fortune and global economic dominance that was the the hope then the reality for the US during most of the 20th century was a byproduct not a birthright.  The optimism that characterized Americans, and for which we were belittled and beloved, has been replaced by magical thinking and denial. I am puzzled and alarmed by our willingness to abdicate the strategies and products of our national optimism and power.  Have we really decided that well proven solutions and critical investments are not important anymore or will not benefit us or those we care about? 

It seems we no longer consider our society or community as a valuable commodity that can be created and inherited.  I want to be proud of what we have contributed.  We cannot afford to do less or to back away.  Our national security is tightly bound to much much more than military spending and selling arms.  We must not be fooled, by these "cost cutting" steps and the situation that made it necessary was constructed, partly designed, and it is not simply to be accepted.  Make a fuss.
Or, at least make a face.

No comments: