Thursday, April 14, 2005
( 12:33 PM )
Let the Kids Pay for the Gas!
The whole gas issue seems both overdone and ignored at the same time. Mostly because people don't seem to have a problem continuing to pay higher gas prices, so the government isn't motivated to make any changes or introduce new ideas for energy. As long as the teeming masses are willing to fork over the cash, why should the government have to do anything to change the status quo?
Here in Oregon, the gas prices are predicted to affect a lot more than people at the gas pump. Because of the way budgets are written, it could be that soon, kids will have to pay to ride their school busses, or travel to sports games or on field trips.
Well before gas and diesel got so spendy, the district canceled afternoon kindergarten classes to make fewer bus runs. It also reduced field trips. Classes now must raise the money themselves -- or send parents the bill -- if they expect to take a bus on a field trip, says Robin Biden, director of transportation for the district.
Jay Rowell, superintendent of the La Grande School District, says his district spends about $200,000 busing children. The amount will increase about $20,000 this year because of the higher gas prices and other factors, Rowell said.
My students don't understand why the government doesn't invest in research and production of alternate fuel sources like hydrogen fuel cells. They are growing up into the future, and they don't get it why the people in charge of the country aren't looking at the future either. It makes sense to invest in new fuel sources - it creates jobs, it motivates higher education avenues, and it makes us independent in terms of fuel.
I tend to agree with my students, of course. But while it's the oilmen who run the country and fill the pockets of those who maintain the government's status quo (Democrats included), then we'll never take that step into the future. The door is open for us. So much of the research has already been done. We know how to do it, we know what we can do. So why don't we do it?
America thinks of itself as so progressive and advanced and ahead of the world. Yet it seems we prefer to sit back in the middle ages and argue over who can and can't get married and who can and can't decide how to end their own lives instead of making forward-seeking choices that truly would make us progressive and advanced. And the world leader we seem to think we are.