Friday, May 21, 2010

I wish I had better news

I feel like Chicken Little, shrieking about the falling sky, but dudes the Empire is falling. I've said it before, sadly I need to say it again. The American Empire is ending and this lovely country is going to be sucked down with it.

Beautiful Charlotte, NC, the second largest financial centre in the USA next to New York city, headquarters of Bank of America and a little something called NASCAR, an economic leader in the American south, and now a shining example of the decline. The county has announced $81.1 million in cuts. They are closing three libraries in June with the potential to close a dozen more in July. Charlotte was in better shape financially than many areas of the US and this is what they have become. It makes me wonder what hope there is for the rest of America.

Libraries are great equalizers offering all people access to information - something that is vital for a thriving democracy. I could go on, but this article does it better. It all makes me wonder where is Bill Gates? Hey, Bill I appreciate you putting computers in so many libraries across America and the world (we won't mention that these institutions would later be required to purchase your software, which does rather make your philanthropy look a lot like self-interest). Will you step up and save these vital institutions? Do you actually care about increasing access to information?

It isn't just libraries that are being hurt by this economic crisis, some estimate as many as 300,000 teachers will be laid off across the US. No libraries, no teachers - even if America can pull itself out of this financial mire, how will they be able to compete in a global economy without an educated workforce?

Before we in Canada sit back, feeling smug that we aren't in their shoes. Dudes, we're getting there...Vancouver's school board is planning to close schools and Ontario continues to close schools.

Confused liberty with greed.

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