>Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sends the California legislature a memo:
Schwarzenegger’s people deny the hidden F-bomb was intentional.
Tom Farber gives a lot of tests. He’s a calculus teacher, after all.
So when administrators at Rancho Bernardo, his suburban San Diego high school, announced the district was cutting spending on supplies by nearly a third, Farber had a problem. At 3 cents a page, his tests would cost more than $500 a year. His copying budget: $316. But he wanted to give students enough practice for the big tests they’ll face in the spring, such as the Advanced Placement exam.
“Tough times call for tough actions,” he says. So he started selling ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, $30 for a semester final.
Ads on test papers because the school district cut the supplies budget? This is a Libertarian’s wet dream. Free hand of the market! Problem solved! After all, in modern society everything is a commodity and everyone is a potential buyer! Everywhere a sales pitch, even in high school math class. Got to get that consumer messaging in early.
I think I’m going to be sick.
Farber says he was overwhelmed with requests from prospective advertisers. I’m not surprised. Young people today are an exceptionally ripe market for advertisers. They have few expenses and a lot of disposable income, and they’re easily suckered into buying a lot of crap they don’t need. And you don’t get a more captive audience than a high school kid showing up to take the calculus final.
If this doesn’t ring some alarm bells, I don’t know what will. Says Robert Weissman, managing director of Commercial Alert:
“The advertisers are paying for something, and it’s access to kids,” he says.
Exactly. I railed against advertising to children and youth well over a year ago when I was nauseated by the constant barrage of sales pitches at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
Free enterprise has its place. I just wish it would remember to stay in it.
>California Governor/movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a fiscal emergency:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency on Monday and called lawmakers into a special budget session, warning that California was in danger of running out of daily operating cash within two months.
Gee. And I totally thought his $15 billion bond issue idea to balance the budget in 2004 would save the day. Because, you know
he ruled out raising taxes, saying that would be the “final nail in California’s economic coffin.”
Yeah, how’d that work out for you, Governator?
Mismanagement like this is what supposedly got Gray Davis recalled. As it happens, a story overlooked in the heat of election season was the recall petition filed by the California prison guard’s union:
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association’s petition accuses the governor of “catastrophic leadership failings” that have left the state in worse fiscal shape than when he swept into office five years ago after voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis.
Schwarzenegger has seven days to respond to the union before it can file the petition with the secretary of state. The union would need to gather 1,041,530 valid signatures to qualify the recall for a statewide ballot.
I’m sure this will go away, if it hasn’t been forgotten already. Unlike the Gray Davis recall, which was orchestrated and paid for by the California Republican Party, I doubt California Democrats or a group like MoveOn has much interest in pushing to recall Schwarzenegger.
I do hope his botched handling of the California government kills his political career once and for all, though. He needs to goes back to bad acting and his Hummer collection. Fat chance, I know, since conservatives are attached to his burly physique, thick accent, and the rugged icon he played in the “Terminator” movies.
I think we all need to face facts and admit that Republicans couldn’t run a government if it came with training wheels, handles, and a driver’s ed teacher in the next seat.