Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Put On Our Thinking Caps!

Federal funding for National Public Radio was cut last week.  Our federal government is sustaining itself on temporary budgets because we spend more than we make.  On the whole, I've been unimpressed with federal programs.  They don't seem to impact me (besides the free medical care while a dependent of the military, free university tuition, and housing allowance.  Thank you America!).  It seems to me the federal government is in the business of impacting BIG things, and I am a small thing.  A small thing I partake of is NPR.  I know it has a liberal bias, but so do I, so I listen.

When I heard that the funding had been cut, I assumed that it was because our government is financially stretched beyond our means.  I am still assuming while writing this post.  I have only ever made a budget for my small family, and can only relate the scenario to my personal finances (which I can judge the government, because they are in order).

If we were living extravagantly on our credit cards because we were spending more than we earn, it would be moronic to cut toilet paper out of the monthly expenditures.  Would we expect that to impact our finance enough to help?  Would we expect that our kids wouldn't get angry, after using toilet paper their whole lives?  My eight cars are too expensive, my house is too expensive, my insurance is too expensive, my trip to Antarctica was too expensive, my Whole Foods groceries are too expensive.......

People don't really NEED toilet paper, but isn't it super nice?  It is a modern luxury, just like NPR.  We might even think, 'how did we ever live without this white, soft paper product?'

I'm hoping that there is a silver lining.  It is my observation that when funding gets cut, and it is something people care about, people get creative.  Loads of money oftentimes make us turn down our creativity.  I'm hoping, that institutions are like people, or actually made of people.

*all the facts in this post I learned from NPR, National Public Radio, are assumptions, exclusively my opinion, or I made them up.


  1. It's my favorite financial myth..."cutting 10% of your budget by 50% makes a big difference"

    (that only adds up to cutting 5% as far as I can tell)

  2. I must have learned that idea from someone?

  3. From my dad who is smarter than me!
    Here are my thoughts on your blog. First, toilet paper is more than a luxury. It assists in cleanliness in a way that actually helps prevent diseases. That is a good thing.
    Second, I listen to NPR (and KVMR) almost exclusively, except for when I listen to KNCO's Swap Shop, which is everyday (that's a joke).

    What I notice about the NPR issue is the lack of sincerity by the players involved. NPR says they aren’t bias in their broadcasts. Not so. There is a clear liberal bias. I should know – I am mostly liberal and most often agree with their positions. The Republicans probably say they wanted the funding cut as a way to balance the budget. Not so. Just one little old bomb we dropped on Libya today would pay for NPR for a year. They simply don’t like NPR’s point of view. They’ll vote to spend more on the military, but be gutless when it comes to budgets cuts that will be most effective (Social Security and Medicare) because they want to get re-elected.

    So what will happen to NPR and its local affiliates? Probably not much. It may even make them better. When the Democrats take back Congress, they’ll get fed funding.