MP3 players for every student!
April 7, 2007
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Last night, we went to a Good Friday service which included a meal, and I sat down next to my very Republican friend, Butch, who never has anything good to say about government (despite, or perhaps because of, having been a government social services employee for years). We don’t usually talk politics–the gap between us is too large and our friendship too fragile for this–but he started complaining about recent proposals to raise taxes to fix Michigan roads. Our roads are a bit of a mess, a special shame in the state that started and for many years hosted the automobile industry. I asked him whether he thought we should just leave the roads unfixed; his point was that fixing the roads is always given as the reason to raise taxes, but the money goes for other reasons altogether. At this point, I needed to be quiet. I didn’t have any facts at hand, and I wasn’t going to win any arguments in any case.
But Michigan is in a pretty bad way, and it will take innovative government and private partnerships to work our way out. So it was depressing to read that the House Democrats are proposing spending $38 million to provide MP3 players (using, I think ‘ipod’ as a generic term for an MP3 player) to every Michigan student for individualized education, according to the best write-up I can find, from Michigan Technology News.
It is very hard for me to believe the Dems would suggest such a chuckle-headed proposal, which has no chance to pass, and, if passed, would make absolutely no positive contribution to the education of Michigan children. This is definitely a ‘Worse Than Failure’ moment; it makes one think that sneaky Republican pirates have p0wnd the budget proposal. But alas: ‘never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity’ seems to apply here.
I don’t think this will help convince Butch that raising taxes might be needful.