American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation




Solving New York State’s Fiscal Crisis

Posted by Joel Friedlander | 4 Comments

The Governor is going to propose once again reducing the expenses of education and cutting medicaid spending. It seems that the engine that ran the State, Wall Street, is no longer paying what it once did. Since we long ago got rid of manufacturing in New York, we now have nothing to replace the gambling casino named Wall Street.

This is truly tragic. If you lower medicaid costs a number of people will suffer and die, but since we pay so much more than other states to that program and education all a reduction would do would be to place NY on parity with other states. Please note:

“New York spends $2,283 per capita on Medicaid, far more than any other state, and twice the national average, according to statistics compiled by the state budget division. Second is Rhode Island, which spends $1,659. The state also spends $14,884 per pupil on school aid, more than any other state and well above the national average of $9,138.” (Stats from NYTimes.)

I personally don’t think that it is a good idea to reduce educational spending because that would cripple our future, both as a state and as a country. If we are going to reduce educational spending we should eliminate NCAA sports entirely and go over to intra murals only. That would eliminate a great deal of expense, and it would still allow students a means of letting off steam.

We might also subcontract out the food services at all our university and college centers. As it is, the food generally stinks at college, and at the schools that contract out the food services. Brandeis comes to mind, for one. The quality of the food is better and it probably costs the students the same amount. That would save quite a lot of money and the food services would also pay the system to set up their services.

We might also eliminate all remedial educational programs completely. There is no reason for the state to pay for remedial programs for students on the college level. It would be more productive to require that students meet certain standards before they leave high school. While I had thought that this was the case, based upon the remedial programs at state colleges and junior colleges, it seems as though that is not the case. We simply cannot afford to teach the basics to our college students at the prices we now charge.

What will we do with the students who cannot do academic work? Well, we can reopen trade schools and teach our students to do something besides academics. Then we could reopen some of the factories that we shipped overseas to India, the Philippines and other Asian countries. If the stockholders of the companies complain that they aren’t making enough profits, that will be just too bad. We can help by eliminating tax deductions for any money spent by a corporation overseas. Once we can manufacture here in New York and in the other states we can create our own tax base that doesn’t rely upon Wall Street gambling.

If the corporate leaders object too vociferously, we can return to the ancient method of dealing with traitors: we can reinstate drawing and quartering or burning at the stake. Look at the potential entertainment value.

Meanwhile the legislature is looking to extend the hours of the casinos. Where are their brains?

Comments

4 Responses to “Solving New York State’s Fiscal Crisis”

  1. Mike in NJ
    November 10th, 2009 @

    Erm, I believe that the money brought in by the NCAA sports you deride may actually subsidize a lot of the academic activities on those campuses. I could be wrong, but I believe this is a much more complex relationship than you give it credit.

    By the way, full disclosure: I’m a geek, not a jock, as it were. My biggest sports were high school badminton (lol) and intramurals in college. Just wanted to make sure you knew who was talkin’.

  2. Joel Friedlander
    November 10th, 2009 @

    The problem with NCAA level sports is that the cost to the school of participating in them, stadiums, uniforms, extravagantly expensive coaches and staff, transportation, scholarships, and other expenses I can’t even think of, make it a net loss to a school. Also, it eliminates the possibility of any student actually making a team. I would rather have lesser teams, you know, like Army and Navy, where no student gets a scholarship and they field a darn good team.

    The purpose of college isn’t to provide a training ground for professional sports, it is to advance the goals and aspirations of the country where the school is located and, unfortunately, the goals and aspirations of other countries that send their students to our schools. Students would be just as excited about a real football game between ordinary students from their school against ordinary students from another school in their league, even if their players weren’t 7′ tall and 300 lbs. The excitement is in the game, not in the brilliant talent of the players.

    Also, it is possible that if there were no scholarships, some students would still end up going to the schools that they wanted to go to AND end up graduating from those schools, instead of playing like slaves for four years of eligibility and then being dumped back into the streets. We have had enough of athletes who can’t graduate from college playing for the entertainment of the students of the college and their financial supporters.

    Full disclosure: I was on the college track team for one season and went from one kind of deans list to another one in one semesters time. I also considered wrestling in college but after a few days I felt that the guys involved were WAY to involved. I wasn’t going to the Olympics.

    Anyway, who can afford to go to college currently if their father and mother aren’t very rich.

  3. Jason Ihle
    November 11th, 2009 @

    Not to take issue with your entire point about college sports, because I neither know enough nor have much of an opinion either way, but I think you’re wrong about why people watch sports.

    Sure, there is some level of allure for people to watch their classmates participate, but as a student in the high school band (which was a marching band the first 2 months of the school year) I was required to be at all home football games. It’s a miserable experience sitting through 3 hours of inept football skills and piss-poor athleticism.

    To quote Rip Torn as Patches O’Houlihan in the hilarious “Dodgeball”: It’s like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob.

    People go to Yankees games to watch Derek Jeter, A-Rod and Mo Rivera (three of the best players in the history of the game). You know why no one goes to Nationals games? Because they don’t have any future hall-of-famers and the team is shit.

  4. Joel Friedlander
    November 12th, 2009 @

    There is no causal relationship between athleticism and reasonable intellect. It is very likely that there are many fine athletes at many colleges who would go out for sports if they were allowed to. The concept of a walk on getting a place on a college athletic team is a foreign one at almost all colleges. Also, there is no necessity to be 7 feet tall to play basketball well, but because of athletic scholarships that is now the norm, not the exception.

    What I would like to see is the end of bring in make believe students to play basketball for their colleges and then leave after their eligibility is gone. Many years ago Heisman winner Ernie Davis went to college at Syracuse (full disclosure: I went to graduate school there) and was a stupendous athlete and a genuine scholar as well, and he was African American. There is no reason to give scholarships to morons just because they can play basketball. If you are going to give a player a scholarship give it to them only if they can also do the work that the school requires. Anything else is guaranteeing that they will never graduate from the college.

    I am sure that there are enough good athletes to interest the student bodies of almost all colleges and universities. I just can’t see spending a fortune on sports when the schools are insanely expensive.

    Oh yeah, GO YANKEES!!!

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