Monday, July 25, 2005

Spending $ on IRAQ - an alternative

Rather than playing Monday morning quarterback on how we could have spent the Iraq war funds more wisely, let's look forward, given that we are expecting to spend at least another $136 Billion over the coming year:

  • 82 Billion approved in May
  • An additional 45 Billion being debated by the house (and dumb'ya hasn't even asked for this $ yet!)
  • Medal of Freedom winner Paul Bremer and his $9 Billion in Iraqi oil revenues courtesy of the Coalition Provisional Authoritay (shit , getting too serious about a war we were led into with false data, senators who are frigin MDs yet think that sharing a toilet seat can spread AIDS, and a clinically retarded president depresses me too much, so I am compelled to insert various movie or television references from time to time to pep things up a bit. The ‘authoritay’ misspelling is courtesy of Eric Cartman).

Ok, so let's tackle something kind of important, like, say, our dwindling engineering talent. The latest Forbes points out that only 3 percent of our college grads are obtaining engineering degrees in contrast to 30 (yes, THIRTY) percent of grads in India and China. Let's look at the basic consequences, too:

  1. Lack of engineering talent = lack of manufacturing jobs = increase in trade deficit
  2. Security = A good chunk of our military is now XBox-based. Innovation in our military branches results from good engineering practices (such as decision support tools, guidance systems, and tactical measures). Also, do you trust foreign governments with access to system source code for our defense systems?

Allright, so I won't go as far as tree hugging, but let's also look at a domestic issue that seems to get overlooked too often: homelessness. Specifically, homeless children. You know, the ones who are on the street not because they made stupid choices, or are mentally handicapped, or got laid off & missed a few rent payments, but because of other circumstances COMPLETELY beyond their control? I figure, hell, let's help some of our own innocent US CITIZENS who are in a desperate condition before we go and pour money into a government that will be torn apart by civil war in a year or two anyway (yes, I am of the opinion that the sweet smell of freedom and capitalism we keep hoping for will eventually blow away like a fart in the wind to the foul stench of tyranny and oppression).

There are approximately 1.35 Million children on our streets that are homeless. Why not give each of them a $100,000 voucher (Yes, Peter just said "voucher". You may now pick up the food you just spit out) to attend a private technical boarding school for 4 years? That covers room, board, and tuition, and even leaves a billion dollars to handle administrative costs and oversight.

But wait a second, Mr. Ghosh, a technical school (especially if it's a secondary school) does not equal an engineering degree.

Correct, but let's try this, and look at the results in two or three years. Then, if there are positive results, then we spend another 130-150 Billion for their 4-year university degree. Also, we gain from

  • Fewer soldiers killed in action (who have families which will not get nearly enough compensation when their only "mission accomplished" is arriving home in a pine box, resulting in more people on the streets)
  • Spending 136 Billion every two-three years instead of every year
  • More people employed (two $50,000/year teachers vs. one $100,000/year Halliburton contractor)
  • More engineers churned out

At the very least, we get street cred by claiming that we removed all kids off the street (albeit only until a new batch gets thrown in) .

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