This is a Perspective piece. Mine – Cynthia Eagleton’s.
Too often, the conditions out of which bad things happen, never get examined.
Poor health, economic collapse, the devastation of Adult Education, or any other bad thing – you can always trace them back to conditions.
In a diabetic coma? Did you check your blood sugar levels this morning? Take your meds? Exercise? Over exercise? Fail to exercise? How did you get diabetes in the first place? Were you overweight and inactive for decades? At risk due to a family history? Look hard and ask the right questions, and you’ll understand why you have diabetes and why you’re in a coma.
The cuts and closures of Adult Schools in 2009 and the years following came as a result of an economic collapse that was felt worldwide.
How did that collapse happen?
You can read the book, “The Big Short” to understand – which would be good. You would understand a lot.
Or you can go see, “The Big Short” while it’s in movie theaters or watch it on cable or Netflix when available – which would be faster. Also funnier.
In a couple of hours, you understand what happened, feel it deeply, see what could or couldn’t have stopped it, who did and didn’t care, who did and didn’t profit by it, who did and didn’t pay the price for it, and have the information you need to vote or act toward better conditions in the future.
We worked hard to save Adult Education and to a significant degree, we succeeded.
We can work hard now to rebuild Adult Education within the new Regional Consortia system.
We can push for an extension of Prop 30 so that funding for education continues to be sufficient to sustain public education.
But if we don’t keep an eye on the economy, it will all be for nought.
Another meltdown could happen again. Even if a meltdown of the same type or intensity doesn’t happen, the damage that Climate Change is going to wreak on our state infrastructure is play havoc on the funds the state needs to fund Public Education.
Not to mention the fact that damage Climate Change will do in other states and on the federal level – very important since California contributes more to federal funding than it receives. We are a donor not a recipient state in our union.
In any case, the one thing we can be sure of is that hard times will come again. I am not alone in this feeling – our Governor talks about it all the time. Brown and I may not agree on exactly what to do about it but we are certainly both sure that life is uncertain and you should pack two bags – one for the best possible outcome and one for the worst.
Speaking of which, Governor Brown, something to consider: Severance tax on fossil fuels. We are the only oil-producing state that doesn’t have one! Why do Alaska and Texas tax oil corporations for removing oil from our soil but we don’t?
Back to the point at hand…
If you wonder how the heck all this happened – why there wasn’t enough money for schools – this movie is for you.
If you think banking is complicated and boring and overwhelming and confusing, this movie is for you – because it manages to make it clear, interesting, and yes, even funny.
If you sometimes see the truth in a situation and call bull**** while everyone tells you you’re crazy, this movie is for you.
If you worry about the future, about our economy, our schools, our future, our planet, this movie is for you.
If you like Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Christian Bale, this movie is for you.
If you want to make a zillion dollars, this movie is for you.
If you sometimes feel like Dr. Burry, like you just don’t relate well with others and think outside the box and see things clearly and others call you crazy, this movie is for you.
If you love our planet and our people, our nation and our world, and don’t want to see it suffer any more than necessary, this movie is for you.
If you or a loved one was hurt in the housing collapse or is being hurt in the housing crisis now, this movie is for you.
And if you love a good yarn that is based on the truth, then yes, run, don’t walk, to see “The Big Short,” now at a theater near you.
And when you get to the part about Lehman Brothers, remember this.