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When I was a boy, I lived in a closed farming society that probably consisted of about 100 square miles. We went to church and school together, Mt Zion Evangelical United Brethren, and Mt Zion school grades 1-12. Our presidents usually had a high approval rating by most people I knew, even if they voted for the other party because they wanted our country to succeeded. Generals, such as Ike and MacArthur were highly revered by all; I remember sitting in a study hall in the spring of 1951 listening to MacArthur give his “Old soldiers never die” speech to congress along with the high praise of all of my teachers. In just a short time after this, Truman had justifiably fired MacArthur with his feet of clay. There was no support of Truman's position by my teachers or a Truman study hall speech. Truman caught some major flack over this in my enclave, even after MacArthur’s cowardice, avarice and bad judgment was available for all to read.
At the time, I had wondered why MacArthur’s speech had gotten top-drawer study hall treatment, and Truman's hadn't, but it was very clear my teachers didn't like Truman's decision and it was mentioned in classes. I wondered at the time, with the facts, why was there still problems with this issue?

At the Mt. Zion rural school that was closed in 1992 and consolidated into a bigger school, Wynford, my mother taught 5th grade, and I was one of her students much to my chagrin! There  were 20 students in my graduating class, and I was the only one in that class that went to college.   Others from Mt. Zion did go to college; in our farming family where education was strongly emphasized most of my aunts and cousins were teachers.  The push into a college direction  came mainly from our mothers who wanted us all to have the college experience, and to have some options in our lives outside of the closed farming life which was the main option of our classmates. In our high school yearbook three of my friends and I could see ourselves finding gold in Alaska in 20 years and being very rich. This didn't happen. In perspective, it probably wasn't that great an idea. Just finding gold wouldn't necessarily make one rich! Rich is a relative term; I have everything I want, home and cars are paid for, we travel when we want to. At least relative to my childhood aspirations, I must be rich without finding gold!
While the farming enclave I grew up was a closed society and most in the community remained near their homes after graduation,  all of the community children I knew dreamed about leaving and doing something big outside our little enclave! This was mirrored across the United States which was a collection of many small groups in the late 40's and 50's, and the later strength of  our country came from the people that left these smaller societies to forge fundamental breakthroughs in science, technology, biology and medicine. For example, space exploration, computers and communication, genome research and advances in surgery and medication. It is clear that our country's main strength came from the diverse manpower we could pull together to attack diverse problems from our collective small groups who had always had people that dreamed of doing something big! This is clearly documented in the autobiographies of our contemporary heroes, for example, Neil Armstrong, Steve Jobs, Jonas Salk, Condoleezza Rice, Bill and Hilary Clinton to name a few.        
I am questioning whether this is still the case? When I was a child, we had our fictitious heroes who were larger that life cowboys like Tom Mix or Johnny Weissmuller who really was Tarzan and taught us how to do a Tarzan yell! Maybe Ike and FDR because we hoped they could win the war (There was always news about the war when we escaped to the weekly Saturday movies)! Now this generations heroes are wannabes that appear on American Idol for example, or the plethora of reality TV programs. The younger generation  believe there is an easy way to make a living hanging out like they do on  reality TV, or being a celebrity of some kind.  We had hoped to do the same thing in 1953 in our high school yearbook with the idea of discovering gold in Alaska, but we wrote it down as a joke, this younger generation still thinks there is gold at the end of some reality TV rainbow.
What does this have to do with the small groups dynamics in our culture?  OK, the elders in these closed societies see that that our society is idolizing the wrong people and the wrong ideals and is telling their young people everything outside their little enclave is bad and evil there are drugs and gangs so we will home school you so you don't have to be exposed to all that evil and we will control what information you read  and see on TV. We will tell you what is right, and by the way, the best thing for you to do is stay forever in our community to avoid all the evil that is out there in the rest of the world! We know what is best for you. So It didn't matter whether Truman was right and MacArthur was wrong, if you liked MacArthur, you forget about inconvenient facts that make him look bad!
If the young are not leaving their enclaves, this is an indication our society is contracting in it's ability to generate new ideas and cannot grow intellectually as it did when I was young. There are  very few options for young people to escape their comfortable small groups. They are held back by the increasing cost of an education, and there a fewer and fewer ways to scrape money and scholarships together. Data bears this out, low income students have less than a 9% chance of completing college in 2007 and I am sure it is a lot less now. I am very discouraged about our future prospects and the fact that most certainly the superstars mentioned earlier would not have as easy an opportunity to get a college education as they had in the past. After graduation, the job opportunities are still pretty bleak, especially in jobs that are not science and engineering related. Of all those who have graduated college since 2006, only 51 percent have a full-time job, according to recent Rutgers study. The average college graduate has a debt of around $25,000 (of course, the better schools would go a lot higher).
Another argument for the contracting society is the massive attacks on public education by education bureaucrats such as Pearson and it's ilk through charter schools, testing, and attacks on teacher unions with the result that people are not going into teaching like they used to. All the available data shows the charter schools do no better and sometimes a lot worse than the public schools. By reducing teaching to a few hoops that everyone jumps through (even the teachers) college students that were going into teaching are moving into other majors. The Ed-Business people have tried to turn teaching into a glorified technical program like welding or auto repair. This is completely the wrong direction, and has turned education into a quagmire.  
Is there some hope at the end of the tunnel?
       1) All of the charter schools and the teach to the Pearson-type test ideas are not helping and are causing a drag on our education system. We are rated 31st in the world in a recent education K-12 study! We learned a lot in the 40's and 50's, we need to put more energy and funding into the public system, let the teachers decide the pass-fail-graduation, use the tests for as a tool the teacher can use, but give the responsibilities of grading and passing back to the teacher! Get these large private corporations out of the education business!    
2) It is clear we need some way to educate people cheaply and efficiently. We must not restrict
education to only those that can afford these massive costs.
I hope we can wake up and do something if not in my life time at least in the next generation!

Originally posted to jhgeorge1935 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:57 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We can learn from this election, I hope (10+ / 0-)

    We found that all the money in the world couldn't swing a presidential/congressional election. If we learn that lesson we can resist all the money that's flooding education with things like charter schools and testing-testing-testing to get back to our basic understanding of how education actually works.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:11:27 AM PST

  •  Best diary I've read this month. Very astute. (9+ / 0-)

    Thank You!

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:32:00 AM PST

  •  The time you talk of (13+ / 0-)

    was right after the country survived not one but two existential threats.   (economic crash that might have ushered in a socialist or even communist happened elsewhere....then WWII)

    To survive such crises, people had to work together.  It didn't hurt that a whole bunch of people from all classes (if they were white males) mingled as soldiers.  Eg, Bush the Elder was a combat pilot, where Bush the Younger spent those years as a frat boy in college.   They governed quite differently.

    Obama's life experience taught him the lesson of community, but most of our politicians, on both sides of the aisle, have lived in a privilege bubble their entire life.

    And the country hasn't faced an existential threat since the Soviet  Union collapsed, and probably really not since the Cuban Missile crisis.

    If you date it by the Cuban missile crisis, that's about the time Obama was born before Ryan was born.

  •  I Think... (8+ / 0-)

    ...the underlying reason is economic.  John Stossel, of all people, betrayed some actual thought this summer in the middle of a rant about current economic policy.  He dropped this nugget: "The era of shared prosperity ended in the 70's!"

    There's something to that.  In the 70's the world woke up to the reality of limited oil supplies.  Jimmy Carter made energy conservation the centerpiece of his economic agenda and was drummed out of office by Mr. Sunny Obliviousness, Ronald Reagan.  But ignoring the problem simply made it worse.

    We live in the era of peak oil.  We aren't running out--not by a long shot.  But the supply, the daily rate of production, has stagnated and will likely start shrinking.  I think the leaders of industry--this includes the likes of the Kochs--see this very clearly and it's exactly why they're fighting so desperately to own as much of the economy and government as they can--to insulate their positions as the global economy shifts into reverse.

    Because peak oil means peak economic activity and peak wealth--not all at exactly the same time, most likely, but no less inevitable.

    An economy starting to shrink means less opportunity for just about everybody, and less surplus time and wealth to support creative activity.  This is our new world.

    •  I Think.. (4+ / 0-)

      The contraction I was speaking off definitely extends to energy and peak oil. The big problem is are we are training young people to solve these problems; or only make money?

      •  Reverse the problem. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pengiep, Pilgrim X

        Diminishing oil supply and contracting economy are driving all other forms of contraction, including education.  The pie is not getting higher.  It's getting thinner.  For educational contraction to stop, those with superabundant wealth would need to start letting it trickle down in much greater amounts.  That's not likely to happen.

    •  Patience (4+ / 0-)

      We're living through the end of the coal/oil age, which like Charles II is taking an unconscionably long time a-dying. But once we kick these corpses out of our way, there is virtually unlimited potential in renewable energy. Too many people on the left are treating the upcoming shift to renewables as a chance to force their own slender lifestyles on other people. Now, one has a certain sympathy with this. But it pisses ordinary people off no end. And to no purpose, since renewables will provide us with not less but considerably more power than we have today. Since that power will be almost entirely electrical, adaptations will have to be made in some areas (an electrical passenger plane is a long way off). But I still think that the age of wind and sun power would be more enthusiastically welcomed by Joe Public if he were reassured that he wouldn't be forced into a monastic mode of existence. Such modes are probably healthier and more "reasonable," but we live in a democracy, and most people find them remarkably unattractive.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:22:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Wish... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...I could agree with you, but solar, wind and any other (geothermal?) renewables are a long, long way away from assuming any meaningful share of world energy consumption, particularly in the area of transportation, where oil is especially important (and farthest away from being replaced--electric cars are still not practical, to say nothing of air travel).  The age of fossil fuels is far from over--they still provide over 80% of our energy.

        We'll need to keep looking for other sources of energy, but the main focus of our efforts should be to create a robust, much less energy (and wealth)-intensive culture.  And I suspect that, as in most other things, education will become far less centralized.

      •  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but....... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bmcphail, qofdisks, shaharazade

        humankind, from what I can see, is on it's way to a quite miserable future.  As a single species we have overwhelmed the planet, overpopulated its environments, polluted its waters, ravaged it's native rainforests, reduced its wild habitats, polluted its atmosphere with greenhouse gasses and greatly diminished its biodiversity.  And this assault is continues.  This simply cannot be sustained without meeting dire consequences, yet I see nothing in the way of ability, power or even will of the worlds leaders to head off an inevitable slide into oblivion.  It's a shame.  We were given such a beautiful planet but the exceptional abilities and intellect that evolved in our species will be the cause of it's destruction.

        You mention that  "a monastic mode of existence", (a sort of simple restrained  life with an elevation of purpose) is "probably healthier and more reasonable" ... "but most people find them (such modes of living) remarkably unattractive."  That may be very true but it may also be the only way to survive and live a reasonably satisfying and sustainable mode of existence.

      •  What you consider "monastic" most people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        would consider peaceful and fulfilling.  Society needs to slow down and take better care of each other.  People need to get back in touch with the earth and it's cycles of provision.  
        There needs to be far fewer people on the planet by human will rather than waiting for nature to impose correction upon us.  That imposition of a correction will be far worse than any sustainable lifestyle that we could impose.
        You propose that we live like there is no tomorrow in an exponentially run away state that is about more, more, more.

      •  An electrical airplane may not be needed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        (an electrical passenger plane is a long way off)
        The Navy may have found a way to use electrical power (from atomic powered aircraft carriers' reactors) to synthesize jet fuel from carbon dioxide and hydrogen extracted from water.  It would cost about $6 per gallon, but for the Navy it could be cheaper than shipping jet fuel from the US to wherever the carrier is operating.  As oil supplies dwindle, it may be cheaper for civilian use also.  The electricity to do this could come from renewable sources.  
        But I still think that the age of wind and sun power would be more enthusiastically welcomed by Joe Public if he were reassured that he wouldn't be forced into a monastic mode of existence.
        Seventy-five percent of Americans want clean renewable energy now.  How much more enthusiasm do we need?  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:47:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  economic, yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, Calamity Jean

      The diarist is obviously advocating education as a way out of this, which always reminds of Keillor's "... and all the children are above normal." The college system, and underlying assumption that livable income is only due to the well-papered, may very well be more disease than symptom.

      But that's not the point I wanted to make, which is more that simple greed is behind this. Or perhaps, lack of self-discipline. "Let them eat cake" is where we are at, and speaking of other centuries, this is how Hobson put it in The Industrial System, in 1910:

      ... This argument of of the effects of transferring private income by means of taxation into expenditure on public relief cannot be dismissed as a vague hypothesis. Every financier and business man is aware that, during a prolonged depression, quantities of loanable capital stand out of all new industrial uses awaiting an opportunity to operate productively. It is hardly disputable that a process of taxation which should arrest some of these stagnant savings, and apply them to production through public expenditure, would secure an earlier demand for labour than would otherwise have occurred. Workers would have in their hands wages which they would apply in consumption at an earlier date than if they had to wait until some bank felt justified in making an investment in a loan which depression there is no motive to apply savings in demand for labour because such application implies the further congestion of a market already congested. ...
      "... Every financier and business man is aware ..."

      Yet they cannot help themselves. The ownership class in America have become the silly, snuffling, pompous asses who promenaded through Louis XIV's garden.  

      and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

      by le sequoit on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:58:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  more of a shared sacrifice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, shaharazade

    It was not only a different time, but we all sacrificed; the draft had few exclusions. Remember food stamps? Our wars now are more like a star trek episode where a volunteer army fights wars few of our citizens can understand or explain?

  •  I've decided that all ills in the United States (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida, qofdisks

    can be exposed by reflecting upon the fact that our greatest worship, as a society, is artificially enlarged boobs.

    Not education.
    Not scientific brilliance.
    Not artistic accomplishment.
    Not generosity of spirit or action.
    Not sharing and openness.

    We are all about giant boobs.


    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:05:37 PM PST

  •  Dare I suggest that if Bill Clinton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is one of your contemporary heroes, right there we may have isolated the crux of the problem in a nutshell?

  •  Excellent diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, lotlizard

    I'm younger than you so my parents and my experiences bracket yours. We often talked about these diminished expectations. My dad blamed television, though he admitted that during the 1930s, which were also hard times, even the poorest lost themselves in celebrity fantasies. He worked along Route 66 and claimed that when a car full of hard up Dust Bowl refugees pulled up, first purchase was gas and second was a fan magazine, then finally food. He felt that nothing had really changed.
    My own personal feeling is, when the wonder of the natural world is bounded by fences and polluted irrigation canals, it becomes a limited and irrelevant thing. When the Milky Way is no longer visible because the sodium lights that protect the property from vandals are too bright, and something fundamental has been lost. There is no sense of wonder about nature now. Even Richard Attenborough's series on the natural world have been enhanced and glamourised out of recognition with real life. No wonder kids are jaded.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:17:11 PM PST

    •  agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The view of the world has definitely been blurred as we age. My dad's main celebrity hero was Ted Williams who made $5k in 1939 and got a whopping $10k raise in 1940. My dad was probably making ~$1k on the farm. Instead of 1:10 as a ratio from worker to celeb, these numbers now are 1:1000-6000, which causes a lot of inequity! It seems like we are only educating well the rich kids and they as you say are to jaded to learn.  

  •  I think this is a very good diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, shaharazade, lotlizard

    People do not want to step up and interact in real life.
    They play war games on video and think that is war.
    The whole war video games which are addicting..seen it with my grown son, sells a person on war (average person)..He has seen the effect of real war from my husband and others.   I think lack of role models, and being lied to constantly now has taken a toll on the American psyche.  

    Community is the key.   Bubble bursts and most of America lives in one.   It is like the whole world is suffering from ptsd or ADHD.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:23:39 PM PST

    •  Um.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59, Pilgrim X, FG, fuzzyguy

      I know a fair number of gamers, and not a single one of them thinks that a video game has anything to do with the real experience of combat. You'd have to be breathtakingly stupid to believe something like that. War games are as realistic and true to life as zombie apocalypse games.

      If it's video games selling a person on war, what was selling them before video games were invented? We don't seem to have become more belligerent since 1994, which was the year Doom was published. As a matter of straight fact, the number of violent crimes among youth has dropped considerably since that time. There is no evidence that video games encourage real-world violence of any kind.

      You can become psychologically addicted to gaming, as you can to any other fascinating activity. But that's a separate problem.

      Quite a few years ago now, my son was playing Doom and one of his dimmer aunts asked him, "Would it be more fun if it were real?" He looked at her in astonishment and finally said, very carefully and deliberately, "If it were real, it would be No.Fun.At.All." Indeed.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:11:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the generation of the 17 or 18 year olds (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        today play some and then talk about recruiters.   the recruiter and propoganda was selling them before but  you are right..there is no real evidence ..I just got really angry about Ollie North putting himself in a video game and to me in many ways it sounds like he glorfies it all the time.  I have 0 use for Oliver North or anything he is associated with.  He ain't no Sgt. York.  He thinks he is but I detest the man.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:32:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is a de-sensitaion going on with gamers. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, Vetwife

        We disrespect this aspect of modern mentality at our peril.

  •  It's because (0+ / 0-)

    Through the media etc. kids are hearing more often that they don't have to make anything of themselves individually... That everyone else is to blame for their own shortcomings... That you can do whatever you like without adapting or applying yourself and someone else will take care of you and give you everything you need forever...

    The reality is that the newer generations have no incentive to create or to work hard because they're told that someone who has more than they have should be responsible for them.  

    This also creates a strong sense of wanting everything immediately without wanting to put in the time and effort necessary to get the good things in life which is a recipe for disaster...

    •  Zzzzzzz..... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud, Bronx59, davewill, Panurge, fuzzyguy

      I swear God has this complaint on a macro that's set to trigger every ten years or so. I've heard it go round four or five times now, and damn, is it getting old. But it seems to be some consolation for complainers that are themselves getting old.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:13:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong. Kids do not have enough adult interaction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      doing actual tasks with them to learn how to live.  Some kids spend minutes with parents and otherwise their adult contact is a teacher.  That teacher's attention is divided at best.  The tasks expected of kids to perform are contrived for a sensory deprived environment.  With parents scrambling to make a living and media distractions that occupy the tired adults, the kids are on their own with their media.

  •  On the bright side (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, fuzzyguy

    If you spend enough money on the wee tykes from age three on through high-school - You can probably get them into Harvard and their future and wealth will be assured.

    The can "manage" a hedge-fund or something equally necessary to to decent society.

    Maybe one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:51:35 PM PST

  •  JH, well witten post! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would add however that that You might be taking the "Windows broke" approach. Education matters, but the list is a lot longer then that

    I am sure You know them.

    "Anything We got, We Got The Hard Way" Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    by vzfk3s on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:57:37 PM PST

  •  I'm a little more than a decade behind you... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bmcphail, Pilgrim X, qofdisks, lotlizard

    and I can relate to the story that you told, having grown up in a small textile mill town, being the son of parents who moved off the farm to do other things.

    There is the cost of transportation.  In the 1920s, my mom as a kid rode in a buggy as transportation.  She traveled widely compared to her peers because one set of her grandparents lived 15 miles away in the next county.  In the early 1930s, her dad got a 1925 Chevy as their first car.  By the 1950s, because of World War II, she had traveled and worked in California and came back to South Carolina.  My experience growing up was the ease and inexpensiveness of transportation.  And that pretty much continued up until the 1990s.  And then incomes and transportation costs diverged.  It was not as easy to explore other places during vacations; indeed, vacations became less of an option because of work demands.  Today all of those trends have become worse--and we have a Congress unwilling to fund transportation infrastructure to restore that mobility.

    There is the increase in latchkey children and children with pre-defined routines.  When I grew up, we were free range kids over several blocks, even as pre-schoolers.  And that range widened as we grew older.  We trespassed on other people's property routinely and few objected unless we were causing damage.  We could take the city bus downtown and back by junior high, mainly because there was only one in town an it was downtown.  Those pictures on milk cartons during the child kidnapping hysteria of the early 1980s did a job on a generation of parents.  And people have become more frightened of liability suit for anyone hurt on their property and have locked down a lot of the range that we used to roam.

    As mobility decreases, the tensions between urban areas and rural areas grew and suburban areas, formerly on the side of the progress of their cities, as a result of white flight and other reasons, became more isolated and withdrawn--and more aligned with the rural areas that would become the new suburb that their next move would take them to.  The traditional hicks vs. sinning shysters stereotypes of rural areas and cities reasserted themselve in the culture wars with seriousness and intensity.  So why would one want to move there? became a more prevalent attitude.

    Finally the nature of the job market changed so that it was not as easy to pick up and move to find a job in a more prosperous area as it was in the 1950s and 1960s.  Jobs became narrower and narrower specialties by industry and even location.  It was harder to break into a career with just a newly received degree.  So people stopped dreaming and "got realistic".

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:08:22 PM PST

  •  What a great diary! Right on! (0+ / 0-)
  •  My two cents (for what it is worth): (0+ / 0-)

    1)  Too many people think they are going to be rich, so they just don't give a damn.  Call it joe-the-plumber's-disease.

    2)  "Community" has turned into a dirty word.  Remember when the republicans were deriding Obama as a community organizer?  They did that because they think that: if you are involved in your community (and not just trying to make money off it), you are an idiot.

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:39:04 AM PST

    •  agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      wealth cannot be measured by dollars, it has to be something you give back freely; time, experience and love.
      I still miss parts of the Mt Zion community I grew up in. I meet with cousins annually to reminisce about those times gone by. Part of the moving away from the small communities is the losing of the Sunday and holiday family get-togethers  which were a lot of fun!

      •  Our view of "the economy" is nuts. People taking (0+ / 0-)

        care of their public places does not show up as part of "the economy", but privatize and profitize it and a parasitic loss on a community is showcased as "economic growth".

        and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

        by ban48 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:54:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing (0+ / 0-)

    I grew up just up the road from you on a farm in Mt. Pulaski in the 60's.   I went to a two room country school until 8th grade when it closed and consolidated with the town school.  Our class had five students.  My younger brother was the only one in his grade so he didn't get much attention from the teacher.  I think that hurt him through out life.

    During the 68 election most of the kids parents were supporters of George Wallace.  Mainly because of their racial prejudices.  My parents were strong Democrats so we were in the minority.  Judging from friends Facebook posts during this election not much has changed in that small town.

    "The work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on." Ted Kennedy 2008

    by rscopes on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:43:49 AM PST

  •  Don't be discouraged. The problem and the (0+ / 0-)

    solution are both rather simple. A couple of historical events (universal suffrage, civil rights, consumer rights, FOIA) have combined to challenge the rule of our traditional elites, the people we elect to manage our natural resources, the currency and commercial relations. Because, although the Constitution refers to the people governing, government by the people wasn't really possible prior to the developments that cumulated in the nineteen sixties.
    From the perspective of legislators, at the local and national level, the death knell to their traditional power was the termination of "sovereign immunity." That actually happened with the passage of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which made it possible for U.S. residents to hold public officials accountable for negiligent behavior. But, it took a while for the change to become evident.
    At first, it was actually the families of people who were killed in plane crashes who were lied to and eventually got satisfaction from the government.
    After that, it was mostly developers deprived of their rights who were able to argue that the decision-makers had shown preferential treatment.
    I can still remember when a city attorney advised council members that if a decision seemed arbitrary and capricious, they could be held individually liable. It put a real damper on the proceedings.
    We are making progress. Government by the people was long an aspiration. Now it is becoming a reality.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:46:03 AM PST

  •  our society is contracting because (0+ / 0-)

    it's hard for a society to be taken on permanently these days

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