Monday, March 27, 2006

Educational Funding

Dear Indigna,

I just read in the newspaper that Toledo, OH is closing nine schools and firing 300+ teachers so that they can give DaimlerChrysler $280 million in tax breaks to build a plant there. Now, I’m no economist, but is this fair?

Concerned Taxpayer,
Miami Beach, FL

Dear Concerned,

Pop quiz: Which has the higher IQ, you or a French fry? Your letter makes it abundantly clear that not only are you not an economist now, nor will you ever will one. Where’d you get the idea that cities and corporations take “fairness” into consideration at any time?

Here’s how it works. You give the automaker massive tax breaks so they will build a plant in your town. That plant needs workers. Automotive workers don’t need a lot of education. In fact, the car companies probably prefer that they have the least amount necessary to do the job, because anyone with a developed brain would want to blow it out with a shotgun after working on an assembly line for no more than a week. So, as part of the incentive package, the city agrees to gradually shut down nearly all the public schools in the area, thus guaranteeing the company a steady stream of willing employees who don’t know how to negotiate or research how much other people in their profession are paid. The city gets to save all that money and everyone goes home happy.

Now why on earth would you object to something like that? It’s a win-win situation! I’m outraged that people like you are allowed to vote.

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