Michigan's poor communities get around $7,000 US dollars each year to educate a child - about $400 less next year than last - but as the video above notes, it costs way more than that to educate a rich kid. The school in the video is where billionaire Michigan governor Rick ("I sold Gateway computers to a foreign country and wiped out thousands of American jobs") Snyder sends his daughter. So committed is he to this school that he has refused to move anywhere near Michigan's capital city - where schools blowing $20-$25,000 per student per year are hard to find.
Rick Snyder isn't just a pig - that's not news - he's the classic rich American leader, from Bill Gates to Barack Obama, who is absolutely sure that their children are incapable of surviving unless they receive far more support and resources than poor kids or even middle class kids get.
And maybe they're right, because few of the poor can manage to grow up as dumb or as anti-social as rich kids. I mean, I was a cop in Brooklyn and The Bronx in the 1980s but I never met anyone as immoral - as willing to hurt people for their own profit - than the rich who lead the United States and United Kingdom. People who steal? Who on the mean streets of The Bronx could compare with the folks at Goldman-Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, AIG, or Bank of America? Hurt people and lie about it? What street thug could possibly match up with George W. Bush? Kick a homeless person and steal from them at the same time? Can't match what David Cameron or Paul Ryan do.
Scott Fitzgerald, the ultimate chronicler of America's myth of opportunity, knew this absolutely. There are criminals in The Great Gatsby, but all are more moral, more educated, and better societal actors than Tom and Daisy Buchanan.
"The Green Light turns into our greatest illusion, covering our difficulties, permitting us to take evil steps with no guilt, hiding our daimonic capcities and our problems by its profligate promises, and destroying our values en route. The Green Light is the Promised Land myth siring Horatio Alger... Gatsby's tragic flaw was that he took his dream -- the American Dream -- for reality..." - Rollo May quoted by Joseph CampbellBut as I say this I must recall that, "that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that [I’ve] had." That I had the advantages of growing up pretty poor, with six people living in about 600 square feet, so, unlike Rick Snyder's daughter, or Bill Gates, I needed to learn how to get along with people. That I had the advantage of growing up needing to learn to get the things I needed myself, and how to take care of the people around me. That I had the advantage of needing to learn how to entertain myself. That I had the advantage of being quickly forced to learn how to collaborate, solve problems, and communicate.
Poor kids grow up with those skills, which are the real skills of life. Rich kids too often don't. So it, perhaps, is no surprise that it costs three to five times as much per year to educate rich kids. I just wish Greenhills School, and Sidwell-Friends, et al, would do a better job. Hell, give 'em the money if they can limit some of the damage their graduates wreak upon the world. Because, as we continuously learn, the costs of the misbehavior of the rich and powerful are far, far greater than anything the poor can manage.
“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”- Ira Socol