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Letter to the editor: Charity begins at home

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 12:01 am

It is hard not to be touched by the stories in the news of good people involved in selfless charitable acts. They walk, run, wear women’s shoes, float plastic ducks, sell cookies, ride all manner of bikes and hold auctions.

Sadly this money shrinks by comparison to the money spent by the royalty we elect to “serve” us. We finance their luxury trips abroad, complete with the family pet. They go to sister cities, move statues and promote redundant studies of feasibility for pet projects. And as they are the masters of misdirection, we are never even aware that we continue to donate to the “king-for-a-day fund.” Our ability to raise money will never match the government’s ability to take money.

At the same time, our money builds giant monuments to education that are more in tune with athletic achievements than educational achievements. Just observe what makes the news headlines. It would seem that 60 percent on exams is less important than 6 out of 10 at the charity stripe. And by the way, as a side note, that charity stripe is being financed by $1.2 trillion in student loan debt owed by 40 million fellow Americans. It might not seem quite so bad if it weren’t for the fact that our country trails most of the world in educational achievement. That is the same rest of the world we send charity to. This is why this author winces when he hears of the billions sent to countries and peoples who either hate or worse yet don’t even know us.

It is said that charity begins at home. I have a new fundraiser for our politicians: It is called “walking in our shoes.”

David Johnson