Cross posted at Working Man Radio. Please recommend this diary.
Every stretch of coast in Florida has a name. The Emerald Coast is around Pensacola. The Sun Coast is around St. Petersburg. The Treasure Coast is Palm Beach. I grew up in Brevard County. Brevard County is the Space Coast.
Where I went to school, you had a choice. You could watch Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo spacecraft lift off on television. Or you could go outside and watch them directly. They were 35 miles away, but you could still see them. My father was pumping gas in 1986, and watched the Challenger explode.
My father was an engineer who worked for a government contractor. He worked with a government engineer, a civilian with the Department of Defense, and together they built a string of telemetry antenna's that stretched from Merritt Island, into the Bahamas, the lesser Antilles, the South Atlantic and South Africa.
This civilian DOD engineer had a son who I grew up with. From the moment he drew his first breath, until he left home, every single calorie that crossed his lips was paid for by the United States government -- just like me.
As a son of the space program, he was fascinated with flying. He wanted to become a pilot with the Air Force, but his eyesight was bad. He had to settle for being a navigator, but settle he did. Being a highly intelligent young man, he was able to gain admission to a prestigious engineering school, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering -- and extraordinary difficult course of study, in case you're wondering.
His education was paid for by an ROTC scholarship. In payment for his education,,the government then paid him to serve as a navigator on air force jets like the B-52. He wound up spending 20 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Which means that from the day he was born until he almost 45 years old, he never spent a single dollar he didn't get from the United States government. He can literally claim to a be a creation of the United States government, which government spent literally millions of dollars on his education and training. Indeed, the government started spending on his prosperity years before he was born, when it sent his father to engineering school on the GI bill.
This friend of mine, who grew up with me watching rocket ships leave the earth from Cape Canaveral, occasionally complains about having to pay taxes.
Meanwhile, on the other side of tracks, the government has spent much less of his tax money mostly just keeping poor, uneducated, kids alive. Where he and his parents enjoyed things like FHA and VA mortgages to help them become home owners, poor folks get Section 8 rent subsidies . . . subsidies that help other middle class slum lord wannabe's pay the mortgages on their rental properties. He and his parents were given very expensive educations, and put to work in good paying government jobs.
What investment have we made on the poorest among us.
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