I saw this on a bumper sticker the other day, and had to appreciate the truth for it.

Of course, it's not just that simple, after all, without money for defense, this country wouldn't be around to educate. But we don't seem to allocate as much for education as we do for defense. The military seems to have no problem getting funding to build new, expensive aircraft or missle systems, and they're giving out money hand over foot to get people to join.

Meanwhile, schools are finding themselves unable to update textbooks, pay enough money to keep the truly good teachers from doing something else where they can make a living, music, art, and other "unnecessary" programs are being cut.

Maybe they don't realize that if we don't invest better in our future, maybe there won't be anything left to defend?

Actually, the explanation is simple:

War is a federal matter.

Education is a state/local matter.

And, constitutionally, the federal government has very little control over how states spend money on education. In fact, the federal government has no direct power to legislate educational systems. The federal government's contribution to education is dwarfed by the states. (Perhaps in part because federal taxes are so high, that the state can't squeeze much more out of you.) So the next time you want to complain about funding for education, talk to your state and local legislators. Your congressman and senator can't help you much (except by agreeing to cut your taxes--tangential and unlikely support).

It always cracks me up to hear politicians running for federal office talking about education reforms. This is mainly posturing. There's really very little they can do about it.

In my country (New Zealand) there is no interest in defence forces. So much so, that our aging three forces are purchasing outdated goods, being disposed of by overseas forces.

I worked for the Army for a couple of years and often heard discussions about the lack of funding they received, mainly due to a lack of public "interest" in defence, and with it, the lack of recruits as the pay was miniscule, and the work hard.

In a country where very little is spent on defence, the education and health systems still struggle for funding.

I suppose if ever we were sent into war, the country might fund a couple more Tiger Moths, but until then our country still relies on sharp sticks and throwing rocks, whilst our children write on broken slates and rarely get visits from the local witch doctor.

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