Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Contemplation

Liberty decided to scrounge through our trash over the last couple of days. She made a huge mess.

Part of that is because I think the bags we're using are too thin (although they are "Hefty") and she can smell through them. The other part is because no one is doing a paper route anymore, so she's not getting a walk 6 days a week as she did before.

In order to remedy that, I'm going to try to take her on a little 20-minute walk in the mornings now, so she gets a little attention and doesn't feel the need to rummage through the trash as much.

While I'm picking up the trash all over the yard, I'm thinking about (for who knows what reason) our friend Tim noting that he feels he doesn't pay enough taxes. Maybe because our property tax is due shortly, and it kind of squeezes us in November. Tim happens to be in a tax bracket that's up there, and he doesn't think the 'rich' are sharing as much as they should.

My next thought was if I had the money to share more, would I want it taxed for the government to sort out, or would I want to 'share' it my way? I'd probably want to see a more direct result of my money being put to use, so I doubt I'd opt for higher taxes.

That lead me to dang, if we won the lottery and actually had a huge amount of money, besides paying off anything we owed, covering tuition for colleges, etc., what else would I want to do? Our standard of living would go up, but really, that's not a whole lot. Landscaping the backyard (as I'm picking up old coffee filters & grounds), putting in central heating, new roof & stuff - that's all kind of short-term, and not all that spendy, compared to just buying a house on the river, I suppose. I like my house though - I don't want to move.

I think I'd like to see something better happen for families in our area for their kids. There are plenty of kids around here who get their nutrition at school breakfast & lunch in the free program. They may or may not get dinner at home. They may or may not have anyone to help them do homework at home. They may or may not have an actual location to call home. These are the same kids that will (mostly) wind up doing drugs, dropping out, and spending time in jail.

Lee's thought was to build Elementary School dormitories for these kids. There would be a safe place (away from drugs & crime) with responsible, educated adults on site to help with homework and life skills. Parents would be encouraged to visit, and then be able to take the kids on weekends. For parents without jobs, and living in motels or campgrounds, this would be a very welcome option. For parents more interested in making meth, this would be a great option. For parents in jail - obviously. Those are all situations happening in schools. It's not the majority, of course, but enough that the free lunch program exists and we have schools in our district that 70% of the kids qualify.

The obvious benefit for the kids besides safety & health would be the comfort of a home with people that care who are invested in the kids. If their own parents are not able to be "good parents" this would be an alternative.

A recent study at the University of Michigan cited: After examining a range of other factors that could affect both educational success and substance use, the researchers report: "Among the most important are parents' level of education, parents' involvement in homework, and the presence of two parents in the home. These factors all influence how well a student does in school, and they also influence -- both directly and indirectly -- whether a student uses drugs."

How would you ever get something like this done via the government? It would never happen. But privately funded? As long as you've got your liability insurance - you're good.

Too bad I'm not personally in a position to get anything like this going. But it would be cool, huh?

And if the dog messes with the trash again, she's just gonna have to hang out in her kennel. Who knows what other things I'd contemplate if I have to pick up the whole dang yard in the cold again?

5 comments:

- Rob said...

Wow. Sounds like you had a good thinking session.

Perhaps if all of our politicians had to pickup after their dogs we could get some practical solutions to problems out of them.

keeka said...

The only thing wrong with that idea, (not that I think it is a bad idea but I am playing devil's advocate) is that the government would then have to say, well they are being cared for elsewhere then the home, so sorry parents no more additional welfare, the kids are no longer dependants of yours. What type of parent would turn down the money if they are already spending it on booze or drugs?

Lee said...

Sounds like your speaking from personal experience....

And of course that idea would entail the government removing said blocks.

Tina said...

I'm thinking if they go home over the weekend, they are still considered their kids and qualify for welfare, etc. They aren't off the hook for clothing, etc. Besides, right now many kids are in before/after school care anyway - some as early at 6:00am to as late as 9:00pm (depends on your shift at the mill, when there's work!).

And Lee was joking about the personal experience thing...

keeka said...

ok, I am not going to leave nice comments on Lee's blog anymore!
Ha!