Labor Day 2010

by John Tischer on September 7, 2010 · 0 comments

I was home this weekend cleaning up my mom’s place. Mom passed away June 6th of this year, and so we go up periodically to help clean and get the house ready to be occupied by my brother Richard. We have had a terrible summer with all of the rains, and we have had alot of water in the basement and additional expense to clean and replace damage to the furnace, sump pump, and dehumidifier.

While coming thru Fonda on Saturday morning September 4th, Fonda was getting ready for its annual Labor Day Celebration. As we pulled into town they were getting ready for the parade to start—not very many cars on main street, yet not too bad. There were the horses, the flags, the fire engine, all that makes small town Americana special, yet something was missing. Things are just not the same as 40 years ago and I think that is part of the problem we are having today in this country. We have lost small town America and all of its goodness and virtues. We have lost the small schools who now are consolidated to make it more efficient (our politicians and experts tell us) yet that is not so. We are so over regulated, so manipulated by our government and our leaders and we have been dumbed down so much, who do you believe anymore? The beautiful school buildings in Fonda that we have spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to maintain are now sitting empty. Kids now get bussed to school and spend hours on the bus. If you want to attend the games or the functions you have to go to Newell to watch. This is efficient? Not to me.

Our school administrators are hamstrung by the federal and state governments on what they can teach and how they can teach it. “No Child Left Behind” is a joke. Why do we allow the Iowa High School Athletic Association to set up the districts for football and who you are going to play? Shenandoah High School will travel 176 miles one way to play Prairie City/Monroe in a game this year…why? They say it is all in the name of fairness and making sure all schools have the opportunity to get into the state playoff system. Hooey! I think the Athletic Directors of these schools didn’t think this through when they gave the IHSAA the authority to set up the schedules. I think that instead of individual schools being placed in a class, you should class the conference instead and let the chips fall where they may.

If I was king for awhile, I would insist that we try to rebuild small town America. Give tax credits to companies who come to the small towns and build infrastructure, plants, and manufacturing facilities. This would lead people to move to the smaller communities, as that is where the jobs are. Good idea, however we would have to bring a lot of jobs back from India, China, Mexico, etc. so that people could have a good job. How stupid we have become! I think those jobs should come back. God forbid that we would have to pay a little more at Walmart to purchase a product made in the USA by Americans, not by the Chinese. The enemy is us, we have lost our minds.

If things changed in this way, I think there would be a reason for people to want out of the cities. People are tired of the higher taxes, the gangs, and the poorly run school systems.

I would also explore a way to bring back the family farm.  Today we have farmers who are farming up to 30,000 acres.  In our day there was no way one farmer could handle that much acreage.  If you could proportion it out so you had farmers handling 1,000 acres you would have in this case another 30 farmers.  They would have children to go to our schools, buy equipment, cars, groceries and possibly repopulate our smaller communities who are suffering.

In 1950 there was 1414 school districts in Iowa.  As of the end of the school year in 2015 there are now 337 school districts.  I believe within the next ten years that will be cut by at least one third as our population will continue it’s migration to the cities. Our leaders have been suggesting county schools for a long time now.  We will have school buses running all the time and kids will spend a good part of their day on the bus.  I’m sure our  leaders will point out to us the economy of scale that this will bring to our schools.  However, they will not point out to you all the new schools that will need to be built to support this idea and how that might affect your taxes.

We have a Catch 22.  I don’t have the answer to this.  Impossible to ask someone to farm less and impossible to get our bigger companies to put satellite operations in smaller c9mmunities in the hopes that people will move back.

Time will tell how this will all play out.

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