Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Debate on Perspective

There is an interesting vote taking place on Beacon Hill in Boston today. The debate is over whether the donation of a law school should be accepted, and a public state law school established.

I personally am not so much interested in the debate as the logic that one lawmaker used in opposing the measure. The overarching point made is that in such dire economic times there are many other places that state funds are needed, and that has merit. The example he used to articulate the dire circumstances of the areas of greater need, however, gave me pause.

The example? Nursing homes. Specifically, that things were so dire in some that patients were drinking powdered milk.

Okay, so I get that most people don't prefer powdered milk. And there is something sad about the elderly, so often isolated and sidelined, rather than respected and included in our society not even getting a glass of real milk.

But really. Dire circumstances is 'We can't feed the people in our care', not 'We had to make powdered milk'. We Americans are rich by world standards. We need some real perspective on what dire means. Dire is what is going on in Port-au-Prince. Dire is dying old and alone without a visit from anyone that cares. Not being able to obtain the medical care you desperately need.

Powdered milk isn't my favorite thing, but as an example of how broke the state is, it fails miserably.

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