I can handle economic news in two-minute increments. Can you? Thank you Robert Reich for making it so.
He is absolutely right about schools and roads. My kid's third-grade class has 32 kids in it. The teacher depends on a teacher's aid to keep all those kids in line and learning, but aid-budgeting has been cut for the last two years. We parents are begged to contribute to a seemingly insurmountable fund to pay aids' salaries. This, after multiple fundraisers throughout the year to pay for music, physical education, art and other "extras."
It takes the "public" out of the public school system when you're constantly being asked to pay for education on top of all the taxes paid each year. And what happens to schools that are not located in solidly middle-class neighborhoods? You can understand the problem but can you offer a solution? Neither can I.
And roads. There is a stretch along Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, CA that is so utterly wretched and destroyed that I almost thought of four-wheelin' it the other day. Like one of those 1990s' SUV TV ads where the vehicle ultimately plows through a creek-bed among the redwoods by commercial's end. Always with the SUV through a creek, destroying nature and wildlife endlessly in those thoughtless, nitwitted commercials. And America bought it, but that's another tale to tell.
Anyway, Telegraph is a major travel artery in Oakland and no one in the city sees fit to fix it. I can't imagine what it costs city dwellers each year in auto repairs, simply trying to get from point A to B. And yes, there are bicycles, but there are also a lot of bicycle accidents in Oakland, and not everyone can afford decent health insurance (or even a decent bike--they're hella expensive now).
I will end this rant by saying the economy does drastically affect all our lives, even if it's in the future when kids graduate from schools that can barely hold it together from year to year. And no one can afford to rent or buy a home because there are few jobs and even fewer well-paying jobs. And this is something that's been going on for decades now, dot-com and housing booms and busts aside. Take it from me, a long-time struggling slacker/low-wage earner. And while you're pondering quality-of-life issues, try not to plow through any delicate creek-beds with your aging SUV, please.