Thrift, hard work and honesty

To the Editor,

Thank you, Steve Kopa for the additional push to get this administration to address the garbage collectors’ employment issue. Hopefully your carrot will be more effective than my stick! I tend to be critical of people I have supported and thought would be great leaders but turn out to be typical politicians who don’t live up to their campaign promises and work the system for photo ops.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book, “The Cost of Discipleship,” coined the phrase “cheap grace.” In political terms, it is analogous to getting press on the cheap, handing out certificates and making proclamations every other week while ignoring a glaring inequality right under your nose.

Delegate McGeehan is introducing a bill to force the state to live within its means by capping taxes. Early in the term, teacher compensation was brought up, claiming we are not salary competitive and therefore cannot attract better qualified educators. It was claimed half the state budget already goes toward education in some way or another, while the county spends two-thirds of our property taxes on our schools. That is a lot of financial support, folks, when you consider the outcomes through time have diminished. Where does it end? How much of the pie do they want?

Educators are supposed to be smarter than the average bear, yet they can’t muster the discipline to hold the line financially, to wisely prioritize, innovate, create and rid themselves of bloated administrative bureaucracies. What this entrenched bureaucracy needs is not more money but less so they are foced to hone their management skills much like Delegate McGeehan has in mind for the state!

Power should be returned to local school boards, and, like charter schools, be free to develop their own methods and strategies to improve the quality of their services. Diversity is a mantra conceived by the educational establishment. With local autonomy, you would have diversity and the best would percolate to the top for all to see and emulate.

Gov. Justice convinced voters to approve a billion-dollar, 20-year bond issues to address the disintegration of our highway infrastructure. There are two problems. Our highways today are lucky to last 10 years with all the tractor-trailer wear and tear. So, after the new improvements need improved again, we will still have 10 years of payments on the bond. Also, whatever new that is added has to be maintained in perpetuity. If one can’t afford to maintain what they already have, adding more only compounds the problem in the future!

But, that is the way of the microwave, credit card world. Buy now, pay later. Don’t wait and work unil you have the resources.

It is cheap credit and it’s cheap grace. And it is destroying our culture that once valued thrift, hard work and honesty.

Blaise Hogan