e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


alarming numbers

Numbers usually seem like abstractions to me. I don't think I'm alone in feeling like that. But this story gave me a jolt:
The Bush administration will announce next week a series of arms deals worth at least $20 billion to Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Persian Gulf states.
These are new deals. Not conintuations of already-existing expenditures. This on top of new military packages for Egypt ($13 billion) and Israel ($30 billion). That's all military spending. None of that money's going for humanitarian work, or any other kind of work for that matter. How many more bombs will these billions and billions of dollars inject into the middle east? Where are the arguments against throwing money at problems? Why is that argument only invoked with regard to education spending, and never with regard to military spending?

Every damned dollar that the government spends to buy a computer for a school must be accounted for with ridiculous tests and assessments. I'd like to see a similar test for every dollar and every bomb we give to the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia.

But changes happens more slowly in this troubled region. We're spreading democracy and that takes time.

Okay, fine, but if you're going to make that argument so vehemently with regard to the middle east, at least consider listening to similar arguments made by educators.

No comments: