Friday, October 11, 2019

Are you kidding me? BHS New Track story……

Before we get to the “heart” of this story, take a look at this passage from a document authored by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy:

What belongs to you, you tend to take care of;
what belongs to no one or everyone tends to fall into disrepair.

This essentially illuminates the magic of private property. It explains so much about the failure of socialized economies the world over.

Read it over and over.  Recognize that “public schools” are a socialized economic entity.

It’s closely related to this passage from the same document:

Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own.

Ever wonder about those stories of $600 hammers and $800 toilet seats that the government sometimes buys? You could walk the length and breadth of this land and not find a soul who would say he’d gladly spend his own money that way. And yet this waste often occurs in government and occasionally in other walks of life, too. Why? Because invariably, the spender is spending somebody else’s money.

Economist Milton Friedman elaborated on this some time ago when he pointed out that there are only four ways to spend money. When you spend your own money on yourself, you make occasional mistakes, but they’re few and far between. The connection between the one who is earning the money, the one who is spending it and the one who is reaping the final benefit is pretty strong, direct and immediate.

When you use your money to buy someone else a gift, you have some incentive to get your money’s worth, but you might not end up getting something the intended recipient really needs or values.

When you use somebody else’s money to buy something for yourself, such as lunch on an expense account, you have some incentive to get the right thing but little reason to economize.

Finally, when you spend other people’s money to buy something for someone else, the connection between the earner, the spender and the recipient is the most remote — and the potential for mischief and waste is the greatest. Think about it — somebody spending somebody else’s money on yet somebody else. That’s what government does all the time.

Now, let’s get to “the rest of the story,” which is this recent item in The Ostrich.

Is Side the only one who reads the words of The Ostrich critically?  In the learned sense of that word?  Does its editor actually review article content before going to press?

“Fake news” is a term we hear often in today’s discourse.  We can disagree on the reality of that epithet, but it looks for all the world like the press works overtime to court the image.

Check this passage:

“…..the Brunswick High School Cross Country team hosted a home meet at the high school, starting and ending on the newly finished track, on Sept. 26 — the first home meet the team has hosted in 25 years.”

And then read this one:

“The old track, built in 1994 and resurfaced around 10 years ago, was in dire need of a replacement.”

So in other words, the track recently replaced was built new 25 years ago, and resurfaced 10 years ago, yet it was never used to host a “home meet?”

Now take a look at the photo above, which is presented, obviously to evoke public sympathy for the poor students who were expected to face the reality of such sub-standard school facilities.  Open up the checkbooks!  “I’ll gladly pay higher taxes if it will solve these problems” comes to mind for those who have watched the town play into taxpayer sympathies over the years.

The sad fact is that we HAVE BEEN paying HIGHER TAXES, yet these conditions have been allowed to fester under the watchful eyes of our very well compensated professional staffs.  In this case, obviously, the School Department is responsible.

Who, we might ask, is the individual who allowed this situation to come about?  Who is it that couldn’t tend to weed abatement before it compromised the underlying structure of the track surface?  Who is directly responsible and accountable for the maintenance and condition of this track facility?  Do they and did they have any idea what they were doing, and did they have any qualifications for being given this role?

We could presuppose the answers to these questions, but why bother?

This is the standard school establishment story.  Get the taxpayers to cough up the bucks to build something new.  Then don’t maintain it properly to keep it functional and in good repair, so you can declare it can’t be saved and throw yourself on the mercy of the taxpayers once again to pay for your mistakes and dereliciton of duty by giving you a new whatever.   One thinks of Jordan Acres, once a beloved “neighborhood elementary school.”

That’s the story of most new schools these days, and obviously, the track built for what was once the “New High School.”  How long will it be before the crocodile tears about the crumbling condition of that High School come into the annual budget kabuki theater?

How long will it be before the “New High School,” at least to some of us, becomes the “Old High School,” just like the one at McKeen and Spring became?  How long will it be before the stories about it being less expensive to build a new one instead of repairing the current one come to pass?

                     Image result for the scorpion and the frog

Here’s a prediction: it will happen a lot sooner than anyone might think.  Because just as scorpions have to sting and kill the frog trying to help them cross the river, it’s “in the nature” of the school establishment to let things decay so they can have a new one, rather than take care of the one they’ve already been given.


You see, that’s how you get lovely new things like the track pictured above.  And you don’t even have to take good care of it!  What’s not to like?

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