Do you remember the letter that a South Carolina eighth-grader sent to Congress about the dilapidated state of her school (government school, of course) a couple of months ago? President Obama read it to Congress when he first addressed them back in February. It seems that someone heard the student's plea, but it wasn't Congress or anyone else in our government. Darryl Rosser, CEO of a firm that supplies schools with classroom furniture, caught word of the school's condition and decided to have the firm he leads, Sagus International, donate $250,000 worth of new classroom furniture to the school. It's an incredible act of generosity that I read about here.
Quite a few thoughts run through my mind while reading it, the first of which relates to the title. While the title is accurate in a sense, it will undoubtedly cause most people to give sole credit to Obama and the government, even though they did very little to help in this situation. The headline should read something like this: CEO Leads Firm to Repair Dilapidated South Carolina School. The difference between the two headlines is vastly different as one credits the CEO and his private firm and the other gives credit to the government, which did next to nothing to assist the school. In fact, the government is most likely to be blamed for the demise of the school. This situation is all too typical, government screws it up, private corporations fix it and government comes back and takes the credit.
Another issue that I have with the situation is the quotes that now adorn the walls of the school, namely the kids' "favorite" quote by the President: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." These students are falsely being led to believe that Obama fixed their school. The truth is that Darryl Rousser, his company and local volunteers, not the government or any government employees (except teachers), fixed the school. Sure, Obama may have read this student's letter in front of Congress, which made Mr. Rousser aware of the situation, but President Obama was doing it for political show. Don't even try to tell me that it wasn't, because that argument is painfully easy to squash! Obama has the power to transform government education across the country, so if he really cared about the students then he wouldn't be eliminating initiatives such as the voucher program in Washington D.C. (which has been quite successful and the statistics show it!). Instead, he would be working to implement it nationwide. However, if he does then the kids will be less dependent on the government. The message that they are currently being sent is that the government will come to their aid and fix everything. It's scary.
Lastly, in an age where private corporations and CEOs are being vilified by the government and the media, it would be incredibly counter-productive to give credit to Darryl Rousser. This would make CEOs and private enterprise look good in the eyes of the public, and the powers that be just can't have that right now. Consistency is the one thing that the government actually sticks to...... they are consistent with screwing things up, consistent in their incessant search for more power and consistent in wasting our tax dollars. It's only natural that the demagogue that is our government would maintain consistency in it's agenda to vilify private enterprise.