Shortformblog:“I think aid is all worthless. It doesn’t do any good to most of the people. You end up taking money from poor people in this country and it goes to rich people in other countries, gets used for weapons of war… the biggest threat to our country is our financial situation, and this is aggravating it.” — Ron Paul, answering a question initially posed to Herman Cain: whether he felt we could afford to continue foreign aid to Africa for things like AIDS, malaria, and the like. Worth noting: foreign aid presently makes up about 1% of the U.S. federal budget.
COES:Ron Paul was talking about the US financial situation with respect to both (paraphrase) endless military spending and endless foreign aid... you are misquoting and misrepresenting what he said, so that it appears as if he was talking solely about foreign aid.
Shortformblog:Point well taken on the military spending, Paul did indeed reference rampant war spending in the same passage, and we should have noted that as it’s quite relevant to his final point on financial stability. That said, we assure you we’re not aiming to misrepresent Ron Paul’s views. Since the question he was responding to (initially asked to Herman Cain) was explicitly about the U.S. foreign aid budget, and he voiced what we’d consider a fairly extreme view on that subject, we focused on that and cropped the non-aid related section. It can be hard to keep up with posting as the debates unfold in real time, and consequently we can have oversights sometime. Thanks for reading, and for being alert!
“One officer wearing riot gear told a group of protesters that he had worked 36 hours straight, with only a three hour nap. “If I keep getting paid, I can tough it out,” he said.”—NY Times article on this morning’s police-protester clash at wall street. I quoted the above because I find it quite ironic that a paycheck is such strong incentive for a person to keep at his job to restrain a group of people protesting against the very reason they don’t have paychecks.
Nicholas Kristof’s piece in the Times is incredibly moving. Read it! He writes, “Phung yearns to attend university and become an accountant. It’s an almost impossible dream for a village girl, but across East Asia the poor often compensate for lack of money with a dazzling work ethic and gritty faith that education can change destinies. The obsession with schooling is a legacy of Confucianism — a 2,500-year-old tradition of respect for teachers, scholarship and meritocratic exams. That’s one reason Confucian countries like China, South Korea and Vietnam are among the world’s star performers in the war on poverty.”
Makes me think…perhaps American students lack that reverence for schooling because we’re simply disenchanted by the state of affairs. No matter your schooling, it seems a steady career afterwards isn’t possible anyway. So what’s the point?
This lends itself to a strong argument for rethinking the point of school in the first place. Every since I was young: high school leads to college because college leads to job. But maybe that’s not the point and this is finally our chance to reclaim what school means to us. Recreate it.