Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The future of the world lies with the children, si?

SACRAMENTO - A few minutes ago a colleague at the university (and soon to be chair of our department) sent around a ranting email because the president of the U.S. apparently has declared that U.S. Treasury notes and the whole basis of the Social Security system is unsound.

It's the latest argument in the president's scheme for dismantling Social Security so we can invest money privately. (As if private accounts don't rely on the same trust factor.)

That the president is a nutjob is pretty obvious and has been since the day he took office. Next he might suggest that we go off paper money entirely and return to the gold standard. (Actually, he would be more likely to suggest that we use the coin of HIS realm, little plastic baggies of oil, gasoline or diesel as tokens of trade.)

But as I was pondering this (and getting depressed before I downed even my first cup of tea), I recalled my neighbor, Reed, who will be one year old on Friday and who is shown sitting unceremoniously in the driveway by my condo in the photo with today's blog. He doesn't get out much yet, being less than a year old, but he loves the outdoors, though he's not too hot on the hat his mom makes him wear.

Reed and his buddies in the one-year-old set will inherit the world in about 20 years, whether George W. has sabotaged Social Security or not, whether the polar ice caps melt so much that we have beachfront property here in Sacramento (We are not much above sea level now!), and whether the guvenator of California manages to destroy the most successful public employee pension system in the world.

Reed gets it all. And the best thing I can think of this morning is to make sure that Reed gets the best education he can and understands what all these white guys in ties have done to the world he and his buddies will take over.

He is the future, and represents hope, I suppose. George W. represents, well, I don't want to dwell on that anymore today.

Instead, I'll fast forward to Reed's 21st birthday and the better world he and his buddies (I hope!) are going to make.

And the way it's going, he'll probably have a beachhouse here next door to me.

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