And for only $10 Billion….

When I was running for Congress, I wanted to supply every student K-12 with a laptop. Besides saving tons of money on obsolete dead tree based textbooks, dead tree testing and dead tree term papers- we would also be raising a generation of technologically prepared workers.

But, I was worried about the price tag: about $10 billion- or 2/5 of what the Big 3 automakers will be asking for later today as a “bridge loan.” (Maybe it should be a bridge to nowhere loan?).

From the Dayton Business Journal- the new estimates of all that cash to bail out the fallout from an unregulated financial system is now coming in at a mere $8.5 TRILLION.

Federal bailouts, equity buys into banks and investment houses, liquidity infusions by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, loan guarantees and economic stimulus checks now total $8.5 trillion, according to various estimates.

That equates to about 60 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, which will come in around $14 trillion, according to economists.

The $8.5 trillion total in bailouts is nearly twice the size of annual GDP in Japan and accounts for more than the annual GDP of every national economy except the U.S., European Union and China, according to federal data.

The $8.5 trillion includes the $700 billion bank and Wall Street bailout; federal takeovers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; individualized bailouts for Citigroup and American International Group; and various cash infusions into financial and lending markets by the Fed. The $700 billion includes federal equity buys into Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other financial institutions.

Recovery efforts in U.S. economy total $8.5 trillion – Dayton Business Journal:.

Just remember, this was the country that couldn’t afford national health care either.

At some point, someone needs to reel in the out-of-control disaster control spending and look at what real long term investing strategy should be.

Laptops for students should be at the top of the list.

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58 Responses

  1. David Esrati December 7, 2008 / 11:40 pm

    You should all ignore Gene- I do (for the most part).
    He needs to read about the XO laptop http://www.laptop.org
    and learn about open source software.
    These computers are built to last with kids – and can even create their own networks. You can run them with a handcrank charger if need be.
    Just in cutting down the truckload of paper each school uses each year- will save us a lot of money.
    Having up to date materials will also help.
    Plus- kids won’t have books to use when they grow up- they’ll be doing it all on their PDA/Laptop/Cellphone/Charge card

  2. greg hunter December 8, 2008 / 10:47 am
    Sorry David – The Singularity is a “receding horizon”. Kids will not be able to burn the energy required to power your fantasyland. The way humans (yeast) are acting, kids will be lucky if I read one of my books to them.
  3. David Esrati December 8, 2008 / 11:36 am

    Greg- remember, it also takes a lot more energy to make paper, ship it to the printer- print- place those books on trucks to move them around the country. Eliminate all that- and voila- computers make more sense.
    In addition- we can always power the laptops with a hand crank- helping our sedentary kids get a workout.
    And- note to all: I was talking about laptops for all students- across the nation- not just Dayton or Oakwood. There is a world outside of our little hamlet.

  4. Gene December 8, 2008 / 5:19 pm
    Jane – the number one RESOURSE should be the parents, and computers are not issued at any schools in our area (that I know of) therefore it is a level playing field right now (minus the better parents.) The teachers went to the same schools and earned the same accreditations and degree, the books are identical, the only difference is that the parents in the suburbs care enough to properly feed and disipline their kids.

    David, ignore me – but you still can not come up with a COST, there is an initial cost across this nation that would be HUGE. You don’t consider it bc you are not smart enough to realize all costs, just your little pipe dream BSJ world that you live in.

    Student have computers now. They use them all of the time. I say put the money towards tutors bc parents are doing a poor job.

    Don’t believe David when he says it will be cheaper – we need a real cost analysis, not just some number he pulls from thin air. You wonder why this guy acts just like a GD politician – he does not do his homework and he spends our money like he is a four legged man in a whore house.

    There are easier and better solutions to our problems – and it starts with being a better parent. Fix that and you have fixed a lot.

  5. Bruce Kettelle December 8, 2008 / 6:22 pm
    Gene, smarter people than me have been trying different parental involvement programs. I would love to see you suggest one that can actually work.

    Here is one you will probably not like. It provides a financial incentive for parents to get more involved with their kids schooling. It seems to be working in two South American cities and now it is in the middle of a two year demonstration in NYC. Parents can “earn” up to $4,000 a year.
    http://www.opportunitynyc.info/

  6. Gene December 8, 2008 / 6:42 pm
    It is sad, very sad, that we need to pay a parent to help raise his or her kid(s) – but if it works I would do it. We already pay most loser parents for multiplying and sitting on their asses – if they could actual parent their kids this would be a huge success. A lot of people in certain areas of Dayton (you know where theses areas are) just rather collect a check from the government rather than work, and having kids gets them a bigger check. Sad. Very sad. This needs to end, parenting needs to begin.

    But computers will solve these kids eating habits, criminal disposition and teach then to read before 1st grade – NOT!

    Again, we need an actual cost per student David. Math was not his favorite subject!

  7. J.R. Locke December 10, 2008 / 7:14 pm
    I think we need to get rid of this notion that every person wants to be educated. Frankly the continued acceptance of irrational religions shows that education is not a priority in America and people would rather cling to the supernatural than the rational.

    Why can’t we just accept that we are going to “leave behind” a lot of kids, disproportionately non-white and continue to worship heros like we have always done.

    Laptops for everyone! Then we can tell them how great George Washington was with animation….

    The only thing we need to do is feed people. All this other crap is stupid, pointless debate. As Gene has noted over and over again. No matter how religious, or how sympathetic people believe they own things in this world and they will fight and kill to keep them (or take them). If you know that you learned your lesson in life….isn’t that what we should teach in schools, truth?

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