Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • July 15, 2009 people who will not be able to find jobs once they graduate. This would cut down on the plundering from people who are still self-sufficient and would also cut down on the heartbreak kids experience when they find out that nobody wants the soft skills they acquired in college and that they should have studied dance or Egyptology because they are going into sales or customer service if they can find any job -- or the government invents one for them. Instead of admitting that education is over-priced and producing an endless number of redundant graduates in soft majors that do not require advanced math or language skills the government continues to produce more jobs in education that, in some cases, do not relate to classroom teaching and direct contact with the kids. We also have the fantasy that every teacher needs a teacher’s aide to run a classroom full of docile suburban kids with supportive parents and a positive attitude toward school. Will every teacher’s aide soon require an aide? More to the point, who is going to pay for it? Some students benefit from having one-on-one attention from an aide. However, the idea that bright and normal eight-year-olds are lions who will eat the teacher if he or she does not have a whip, a chair, a pistol loaded with blanks and at least one teacher’s aide is no longer economically viable. Municipal governments are also sometimes top-heavy. In two local towns, the position of administrator was consolidated with another job, saving most of a paycheck and a second insurance policy. Some administration jobs are vital. Others are make-work. I would have to have a heart of flint to suggest that people who show up for work and are not caught stealing be fired in today’s troubled economy, and I would never suggest such a thing. But we need to have serious closed-session and open-session meetings before we refill some of the positions that were promulgated when the economy was flush and some good-hearted soul needed a job. The Obama administration had a super idea earlier this year: Force the insurance companies of those veterans who have private insurance to pay for their service-related disabilities instead of having the government that sent them overseas pick up the tab. They proposed this outrageous insult in the middle of a special-interest war that most thinking Americans now realize was none of our business. Obama deserves a lot of credit for trying to wind down the War on Islam that was engineered by special-interest “experts” of the Bush administrations, but he deserves a lot of blame for not backing up the men and women who had the courage to defend America in what most of them sincerely believed was a time of danger and need. These kids do not deserve a stab in the back from their own government. American Legion Commander David Rehbein pointed out to the Obama administration that people with serious injuries could quickly use up all the money in their private policies, leaving their families without coverage and that, morally, it was the government’s responsibility to pay for battle damage inflicted on servicemen and servicewomen. Rehbein and others added that employers might be reluctant to hire partially disabled veterans if faced with the concept that they had to be insured without VA backup. The Obama administration could have saved $540 million – a pittance compared to what gets wasted educating people for non-existent jobs – but, surprisingly, the administration had the sense to drop the plan after every veterans’ group in the nation objected and some uniformed amputees on crutches staged a protest. They did the right thing because it was a dumb idea. Adopting it would have been a disgrace to the United States. The message is that we cannot rely on the Republicans or the Democrats to save America. We have to do it ourselves. Here are some ideas about how to start at home. Use whatever surplus cash you have to pay down the mortgage, or put it into federally insured CDs and bank accounts. You do not have to be the least bit paranoid to wonder if the banking collapse that triggered the present depression was manipulated -- of course it was, and at the highest level. These people cannot take away our Constitutional rights as long as we are willing to defend them in court or elsewhere, but they can definitely mess up the stock market when nobody’s watching the store. When the federal regulators are former high rollers in banking it is, as the pre-communist Russians used to say, like asking the goat to watch the cabbages. Buy American products whenever possible, and shop at your local stores. Every local business that closes reduces the municipal tax base, removes the chance of part-time jobs for local kids, and cuts the convenience for people who no longer have cars or do not wish to use them for short trips. Hold off on buying that foreign-made car and see if one of the troubled U.S. auto makers can produce a fuel-efficient hybrid that works. You will be saving gasoline prices, the air we breathe, and some fellow American’s job. Yes, Virginia, I drive an American-made car, and I’m also a veteran. America can be saved, but not by the government. The good and bad news is that it is up to all of us. Independence Day is a time for celebration, but it’s also a time for reflection. We get out there and wave the flag and cheer and then the magic three-day or four-day weekend is over and we come back to reality and drive past the empty storefronts and hear people talking about the best places to go for unemployment counseling and which public-sector jobs will have to be cut. All of a sudden, the party’s really over. Even if you have a job, or no longer need one, you have to reflect that we are all in this lifeboat together, and it’s leaking badly. Once upon a time, most Americans could fall back on the family farm. If you lost your job in the city, you could always go back to the farm and somebody would give you some work so you didn’t feel like a beggar, and you rode things out until times got better. There was no “rent” if the farm wasn’t mortgaged. In the old days, they were often purchased for gold coins passed from hand to hand, and while the food may have been monotonous, it was usually adequate. Nowadays, the replacement for the family farm is the federal government. If you cannot find useful work and you are not an entrepreneur, you take you hat in your hands, or find somebody who knows somebody, and you’re in. State, county, and local governments do this, too. Meanwhile, the textbook publishers churn out nonsense about how Americans by nature are independent, self-reliant people. Most people who are not human dynamos will take any job with a federal, state, county, or local government where they are not routinely insulted or endangered rather than face a cold, cruel world where they have to do enough useful labor to cover their own paycheck. Four out of five new businesses fail in the first year, and the ones that survive generally involve working 60 to 80 hours a week. The people at the top in government jobs often work far more than 40 hours a week, but most government employees have it pretty good and they know it. Government has compounded this problem by fostering programs to send every possible kid to college, and, compounded by the families who see college as a status symbol and the lack of college as a total disgrace, we are now producing two or three times as many college graduates as we need to run the country. Worse still, those college and college-plus educations that really are necessary – medicine and engineering – are so arduous that most Americans shun them as they would the plague, and major in business. What business do these kids think they are going to be managing when the technological manufacturing is done in China and the garment manufacturing takes place in Central America and India? A recent report from one of the Asian countries that is not run by the military and still has some semblance of political integrity states that America is finished, and Japan is just about finished. Guess who’s left. A government that cared about the future of the country it claims to protect might look down the road, look at the Money Bin, and limit federal scholarships to people who take courses in math, science, agriculture, or “strategic” languages instead of tapping the taxpayers to educate It’s time to rescue ourselves Mahwah Finocchio wins scholarship Mahwah High School Senior Salvatore Finocchio has received a full tuition scholarship to Lincoln Technical Institute’s Mahwah, campus for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning program. Finocchio received the scholarship during the Senior Awards Ceremony held recently at the high school. Finocchio was chosen out of 164 finalists after receiving one of the highest scores on a mechanical reasoning skills test and a personal employment interview. He will begin his studies at Lincoln Tech in August. Pictured from left to right are Lincoln Tech. High School Representative Denise Friedland, Sal Finnochio, and Lincoln Tech. High School Admissions Representative Arlene Nelson.