Face it, folks. We're stuck in an alternate universe!
The three headlines atop RacinePost as I write this are all the proof we need.
would give back $810 million in federal stimulus funds earmarked for a high-speed rail connection between Madison and Milwaukee.They'd rather use the money to reduce the $1.6 trillion Federal deficit. Never mind that $810 million is just a rounding error on a sum that large.
Below that, a story about Racine's Fred Young giving $11 million to help build a huge telescope in Chile.
Finally, a story about the Racine Unified School Board mulling over three plans for new schools, costing anywhere from $79 million to $100 million, one of which will be placed before the voters this Spring.
EXCUUUSE ME! Are we not still in a recession? Isn't the jobless rate in Racine still among the highest in Wisconsin? Is this a time to be giving federal money back? A time to try to pass a $100 million referendum? (The PR firm needs to get its fee up-front, not on speculation.)
Granted, Fred Young has every right to spend his money -- earned here from Young Radiator Co. -- any way he pleases. But surely his ties to the community are at least as strong as his tie to his alma mater? Or should be: RUSD could modernize a lot of 1800s-era classrooms for $11 million. Look at all that Mitchell Middle School accomplished with just $50,000 from Pepsi. Cornell, we must point out, already has received millions from another local family's alums: it's home to the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. That didn't come cheap, either.
The fact that only one of today's three headlines will lead to anything -- Young's donation is a done deal; Ryan's proposal and the school board's plan are iffy as hell -- shouldn't matter. It's the thought that counts.
But that's just my opinion. What's yours?
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