Now, advertising will save our budget woes- not.

Before anyone gets any bright ideas about selling ads on school buses as a way to solve our financial problems- just take a look at how many ads RTA has on buses now for ads on RTA buses- it’s a majority of what you see.

Dayton was once a thriving test market for products, no more. We keep popping up on lists of the “Ten most…”- which is almost never good.

But, other communities- in the throes of financial meltdown are turning to sell ads on almost anything:

Cash-hungry states and municipalities, in pursuit of even the smallest amounts of revenue, have begun to exploit one market that they have exclusive control over: their own property.

With the help of a few eager marketing consultants, many governments are peddling the rights to place advertisements in public school cafeterias, on the sides of yellow school buses, in prison holding areas and in the waiting rooms of welfare offices and the Department of Motor Vehicles….

The companies that help place the ads say that children are exposed to advertising just about everywhere they look anyway, including — for many decades — in their high school yearbooks and sports stadiums. They say that the primary audience for ads on the outside of school buses is adults, not children, and that much of the space is being purchased by dentists, banks and insurance companies.

via Governments, Hungry for Money, Try Selling Ads – NYTimes.com.

The real problem is that we’ve already sold our politicians off to special interests- as many have said before, we’d do better to dress them up in jumpsuits with logos of their sponsors- much like NASCAR drivers. Selling off the rest of our public space is just a final capitulation to the sad fact that the system has failed.

The sad reality is that America is no longer the land of the free- but the home of the eternal sale. Consumerism trumps almost everything- even religion, with churches being run like businesses.

The cry of “run government like a business” has been yelled so long and so loud, that people actually believe that there is a correlation. And even though it seems that we’ve handed the ability to print money over to the Wall Street Casino- local government can’t raise its own debt ceiling to balance a budget.

Fundamental changes need to take place in this country if our government isn’t going to end up in debtor’s prison taking all that we own with it. The fact that school boards are expected to hold bake sales to buy textbooks- while the Air Force gets another billion dollar manned aircraft at some point has to be examined.

In the meantime- sell ads while you can. The end is nearing.

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2 Responses

  1. truddick April 16, 2011 / 7:15 pm
    David, I’ll be happy to begin every one of my classes with “This class meeting is made possible by the generosity of _______.” if that’ll pay the bills.  Why should the Earnharts of the world get rich from putting corporate stickers on their quarter-panels while schools and teachers must depend entirely on the increasingly irrational, selfish, and math-challenged procrastinations of politicians?

    Maybe you’d like to pooh-pooh bake sales while you’re at it?

    Please open your eyes to our current system, in which, in order for school revenues to keep up with inflation, the schools must go to the public periodically for “new” levies (which I maintain should be called “inflation-adjustment” levies).  The current system wastes public money (the government must pay the administrative costs of every levy), diverts the energies of teachers/administrators/students away from education and into politics, consumes donations for the levy campaign that otherwise might go toward something valuable.

    Until our politicians are ready to do their jobs–which involves setting fair and consistent tax rates adequate to meet the needs of a well-governed progressive democratic society–then I’d expect creative types like you to applaud any innovation from the schools that might generate even a few sheckels without diverting energy and resources from the classrooms.

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