Tuesday, June 24, 2008

'For the children' - your tax dollars hard at work

I got the following press release from the City of Toledo:

Mayor Finkbeiner and City leaders will be discussing the Youth Commission's Summer Jobs and Internship Programs for Summer 2008, in a press conference Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. in the Mayor's Office of One Government Center.

The City of Toledo is partnering with the University of Toledo to provide 12 interns the opportunity to work with City of Toledo staff in 12 different departments. In addition to internships, The City of Toledo is also employing 40 youth for five-weeks this summer, with some donations making this program possible. These experiences will allow young Toledoans gain work experience, as well as mentorship.

You don't need those dollars for yourself or your family. You don't need those dollars so you can hire someone to do work around your house or for any home expense. You don't need those dollars to help cover the increased costs of gasoline, food or utilities - or even the trash tax. And you certainly don't need those tax dollars spent on roads or other essential city services.

Nope - the government needs those tax dollars so they can hire kids to work in city departments, even if some of the costs are covered by donations. And it's absolutely the role of local municipal government to provide children with work experiences. But let's not forget about the mentorships - after all, it's not like there are any other programs that provide mentors to kids...

But despite all these logical issues, don't you just feel sooo good about our elected officials for doing this magnanimous act on behalf of our children?


Tim Higgins said...


I am surprised that you do not recognize these for what they really are, local indoctrination camps. Fifty-two children in these two programs will learn this summer that "all things come from government". This lesson will serve them well as they journey down the "Road of the Victim" that seems to be the only one that the city is capable of keeping in good repair.

Jay Ott said...

At first, I was amused by the increase of these kinds of press conferences, but now they have become so absurd that they're no longer laughable. Obviously, they are intended to evoke nothing more than "good feelings".

Anyone who has the least capability of discernment at all, should be able to distinguish between that what is real and meaningful, from that which is phony and trivial. Due to unanticipated consequences this recuitment might even be harmful.

My question is this: what would happen if the media and its viewers had the guts to ignore these "non-events"? Would these things stop?

Being a mentor or having a mentor is not a problem in and of itself--it depends on the character of both the mentor and the mentoree.

Mentorship becomes a problem when people don't have and use some kind of objective method in order to test the information that's being handed down from mentor to mentoree.

So, I think Tim's right. This is a form of manipulation designed to not only manipulate people by announcing the program, but also to manipulate the youths to think like them, act like them, and to talk like them.

Besides, isn't one Carty Finkbeiner enough? Do we really need 40 youths created in Carty's image running around Toledo?

Finally, one last question concerning those who are going to be the mentors: Who were their mentors and how much of the things they are doing right or wrong came from the mentors they had?

The A-Hole Lawyer said...

What ages are these "youth?" Will the be paid the mandatory "living wage" the city foists on private sector employers in the city? How much tax revenue will be used for their unemployment insurnace?

What if one gets hurt? How many will be walking Scout and picking up his droppings?


toledo1 said...

Do they get lawn mowers to start their own businesses when their internships are finished? :)

Robin said...

Don't most cities have programs like this? (I know a person who did a city government paid internship down in Texas).

I'm sure that the city would find another way to spend this money, if the internship/mentor program didn't exisit.

Maggie Thurber said...

I don't have a problem with the internships in government offices. I had several interns who got credit for the work, but not a paycheck. I did provide them with a parking pass so they didn't have to pay for parking, and I thought that was very fair.

No, these kids aren't making a living wage ... where's the outrage?

And Toledo1, with the good memory about the lawn mowers ... wonder whatever happened to all those kids and mowers???

Of course, Robin hits the nail on the head ... if they don't spend the money on these kids, they'd just spend it somewhere else. Sad, very sad ... The city money for this comes from the Youth Commission budget. It's about $2 million total for the year and was one of the budget line items that I suggested could be eliminated in order to balance the budget and go without the 3/4% payroll tax.

Whatever was I thinking???

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