Recently, the likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was quoted saying:
I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person, every single citizen of this great nation. And I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford and with their time they’re able to get and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values, they ought to be able to provide for their family and have a shot of realizing their dreams.
Uh, Mr. Romney? If I’d gotten as much education as I could afford, I would have stopped at high school, when most of us not blessed to be Romneys have to start paying for our education. I would have continued reading and educating myself, but I wouldn’t have begun to know how to challenge myself to learn more, to pull up out of the socio-economic group into which I was born, to find a job that didn’t involve me bending over hundreds of thousands of flannel shirts, or bib overalls, or any other of the jobs that awaited me in southwest Missouri.
I don’t say that to belittle those jobs. I have family who worked them, and friends who continue to work them, mostly because they did precisely what you suggested, and got all the education they could afford, and then they stopped. Who knows what lives they might have lived, had they had the opportunity of student loans or scholarships, or any other infusion of money that allowed them to continue on to college and beyond? I guess we’ll never know. All I know is I took out loans and worked multiple jobs and got some scholarships and when I graduated and the first loan payment came due, I paid it. I paid that debt off early, in fact, just as I knew I would. With that college degree I could get a job that would allow me to pay my debts, including the debt I incurred by going to college. It was debt well worth it, and I’d do it again.
I suppose this is a step up from your earlier suggestion that would-college students or entrepreneurs borrow money from their parents. Perhaps you meant borrow money from your parents, as mine didn’t have any.
I don’t see people like me in your vision for the future of education in America, Mr. Romney. Or, rather, I see people like me, and we’re all stuck at getting just the education we can afford. So: No. Thank you.
The land of affordable opportunity.
And guess who gets to decide what’s affordable?
The student loan racket is not like it was 20 years ago. It’s much worse now. Student debt is currently over $1 trillion dollars. That’s second only to housing market debt. Most graduates are facing debt in the $50,000 to $100,000 dollar range. Bankruptcy law provides no relief. Obama’s short term offer of consolidation…it ended Saturday…has reached about 1% of the outstanding loans. Administration officials say those carrying the other 99% of the debt are just really hard to find. Others say knocking one-half of one percent off the interest rate wasn’t worth the trouble.
Higher education once meant brighter futures and a stronger nation. Now all it promises is debt peonage and a wealthier elite.
Just as it does with healthcare, the ruling elite in Washington lets corporations decide what’s affordable…which means profits come first.
Conservatives seem to do everything they can to turn more and more people into the kinds of folks who happily and eagerly vote against their own interests. Many of them are well-described in Joe Bageant’s book “Deer Hunting with Jesus.” For some reason I always think of that book as good companion reading for “Dating Jesus.”
You are no longer a citizen, you are a consumer. Every public service ( healthcare, education,public welfare, etc) has been re-branded as a commodity, for sale at a steep price.
Romney just released his newest campaign commercial. That’s himself appearing as the waiter.
It’s amazing he is so ignorant after all those years at prestigious schools. Perhaps, that’s exactly why he is so ignorant.
You are so right Susan. Romney’s vision for and of real people is both warped and total nonsense. Thanks for making the point so clearly and personally
I think that Romney may inadvertently have summarized the entire Republican/Conservative platform with the idea of “You can have all the ___________ you can afford” [fill in the blank with whatever is important to you].
Here he mentioned “education” as the fill-in, but it seems that Republicans/Conservatives treat all sorts of things the same way. Yessirree, to the extent you can afford to buy them, you surely can have them! Ain’t this a wonderfully free country [if you can afford it, that is]?!!??”
Fill in “health care,” for example, and, to name a few more, “food,” “shelter,” “transportation,” “voting opportunities,” “justice,” “politicians,” “laws and regulations,” “opportunities in general,” and “safety,” not to mention those old favorites, “loopholes” and “preferential treatments.”
What I find most intriguing about all this is that Republicans/Conservatives tend to loudly, frequently and proudly broadcast how strong their religious faith is, and almost without exception the faith they claim adherence to is the so-called “Christian” faith.
I label it “so-called” because, frankly, I don’t think the people doing that broadcasting are very Christian at all. Well, unless they believe being a good “Christian” means “devoutly believing that Christ is their personal savior” but not giving a flying rat’s ass about how Christ said his followers should live and how they should treat others and particularly the less fortunate, the “least among” humans.
Yep, them’s the folks I call “Hyper-Christians.” I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes come Judgement Day. One of their supposed core beliefs is that God is omniscient. I can imagine the conversation as one of them joyfully and confidently approaches the Pearly Gates after passing on.
Hyper-Christian, looking all radiant, smug and happy, says: “Hi, God. I’m a Christian, and I believe with all my heart and soul. I worship you, constantly sang your praises, went to church all the time, and always did things in your name (or Jesus’ name, depending on the situation). Please let me into heaven.”
God, looking a little weary, a tad peeved and more than a little surprised, says: “Really??!?? You do know I’m omniscient, right? You do know I know everything you think and everything you do, right? You do know I know how you treated other people and cared for power and wealth a lot but your fellow man almost not at all, right?
To paraphrase one of your better writers, what you say is a story told by an idiot, full of piety and righteousness, signifying nothing.
You come waltzing up here lying through your teeth (to ME, no less!!!!!!) and chattering that righteous bullshit??!!??
“All I can say is: Man, oh man, you have some brass balls!”
My favorite verses for the hyper-pious hypocrite……
Matthew 25: 35-40 “‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ ”
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”
PREcisely. EXACTly. The rest? Is just us playing with it.
DickG, here’s the lyric from the song “Boss of God” on the new Neal & Leandra CD “A Hundred Years from Now:”
I found God When I was very low
God offered up to me A chance at sanity
I took God up on it, It saved me from the pit
It saved my very soul
He cleansed and made me whole
But this seemed too good to me To give away for free
I told God what I thought – God said He disagreed
An alarm went off in me
I locked Him up and I hold the key
You want to visit God, You’ll have to go through me
God’s on a hunger strike Until I see the light
But I know that He’ll give in ‘Cause He knows wrong from right
It is uncomfortable Being this in control
I’d set God free again But He’s hard to trust, you know
God, love is fine for you – Your heart is always true
But you can’t expect this world To be naive like you
So cry me a river, God – You spoil the child when you spare the rod
What do you mean, “Love’s all you need?”
Everyone needs a little prod
If I set God free again He might let everybody in
And that party’s way too big
Think how much He’d have to spend
God knows there’s got to be Accountability
Someone must draw the line – I guess that falls on me.
People want to be That free
They want someone to lead – That’s why they turn to me
There’s nothing wrong with black and white
Good and bad can’t both be right
We need to earn our lives – God only asks me why,
God only asks me why,
God only asks me why…
I am the boss of God.
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