Monday, February 05, 2007

Dumbing down of America, Part II

I have refrained from "Bush Bashing" over the years of his presidency and don't intend to do start now. What follows is more an analysis of his thinking then a criticism of him as a person.

I also need to add the caveat that it is pretty evident that the article I am about to reference has a, er shall we say bias against the president as seen in how the author has presented the budget announcement.

A while back I posted on the difficulty young people today have in obtaining a university education in the United States. This article in today's Chicago Tribune outlines the president's plan to increase military spending by 11% or $100B this year and $145B in 2008 for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while calling for a reduction in federal education spending from $68B in 2007 to $58B in 2008. Increased spending in defense and reductions in education is another example of this administration's predilection for brawn over brain. It is what has led the US to where they are today (in economic terms never mind political) and why China will take over and the combined power of the east (India, China, etc.) will soon overwhelm the US. The nails in the 'leadership by might' coffin were hammered in by both Perestroika and Globalization. The Cold War's termination ended the justification for Pax Americana. Globalization of auto manufacture ended the Big 3's dominance in automotive manufacture to the point where the US industry is on the brink of collapse. After manufacturing comes knowledge creation. This is what drives the industry 5-10 years, or more, in the future where technology patents and scientific discovery result in new products. It takes time, however, so we don't really know what shift is currently in the works. Although the next 20 years will tell I don't think we should wait for the fait accomplit. Now's the time to invest in the education of our youth.

While I am clearly against the president's plans for the US, the article I've referenced really ticks me off! The budget figures have been presented to manipulate the public to respond negatively to the administration. The author claims military increases of 62%. Once you read on you discover this is compared to the 2001 budget. Then he claims the budget has been increased by $245B only to discover later that $100B is for this year while $145B is for 2008. If you're going to lambaste someone do it honestly and without prejudice or manipulation. Whatever happened to journalistic ethics? Or maybe I'm giving the author too much credit for having real convictions. Maybe it's all about sensationalism and selling newspapers.

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