[FoRK] The Decline of Empires..

Mark Day mark_s_day at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 3 15:56:30 PST 2005


> The US already spends more per student, often very substantially more,
> than essentially the entire modern world, and with famously mediocre
> results.  There is nothing "poorly-funded" about the schools and civic
> infrastructure.  Poorly managed maybe, but not poorly funded.

Nice phrasing.  Let me try it in a somewhat different mode:

"The US already spends more on the military, VERY substantially more, than
anyone else in the entire world, and with famously mediocre results. There
is nothing "poorly-funded" about the military and defense infrastructure.
Poorly managed maybe, but not poorly funded."

(I'm not disputing occasional excellent results by the armed forces, just as
Mr. Rogers is probably not ruling out occasional excellent educational
attainment.  But it's hard to see the value for the money.)

BTW, to be clear about the relative scale here: the FY 2005 budget request
for Defense is slightly more than $400B, not including special reserves for
Iraq budgeted at $19B for 2005.

In contrast, the entire FY 2005 budget request for Education is $57B.  Also,
the Defense budget request is increasing at more than twice the rate of the
Education budget request.

See for yourself in http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/05msr.pdf.
My numbers above are mostly from Table 9.

Now, let's apply the following fine reasoning to this larger and better
example of wasted money:

> Given this, is it any surprise that so many people are no longer
> interested in dumping any more of their money into these issues?  You
> could funnel the entire GDP of the US into these issues and I doubt it
> would improve the situation.  After many decades of ratcheting up the
> public spending with no return on that increased spending, people are
> going to lose interest in putting their money there.

--Mark




More information about the FoRK mailing list