The Power of Money

The New York Times , showing a photograph of a very happy new Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, points out the risks that accompany the power of disbursing a $54 billion stabilization fund that is “intended to prevent public sector layoffs, mostly in schools.”

Mr. Duncan has said: “I want all of us to work hard enough and smart enough to take full advantage of this, because it’ll never happen again.” Those are very nice words. I wonder, however, what he really means by “take full advantage.” He has the option to use the money to accomplish short-term goals or long-term sustainable goals, and the two often are not compatible. I hope he knows that the difference between these goals often parallels the difference between “me” and “us.” Pres. Obama seems to know the difference; I hope Mr. Duncan knows; I’m pretty sure most of the congress does not.

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