I read in the paper about a bunch of families in a school district that was strapped for cash. The district decided they wouldn’t provide bus service to anyone within 1.5 miles of the school. Imagine a child walking 1.5 miles to school! Anyway, this group of families pooled their resources and bought a bus and hired a part-time bus driver and now they’re happy as clams. For a moment I shared the journalist’s admiration for American initiative. Then I put my thinking cap on (as my mother used to say) and began to wonder about families who don’t have resources to pool. And I wondered about their kids walking to school in winter – or their parents scrambling to drive their kids to school and being late to work – or the car breaking down and nobody getting anywhere while the kids on the bus roll merrily along.
Inequality grows. The gap widens. The haves roll along on their American ingenuity and the have nots drop out or disappear until they get in trouble and we put them in prison and nobody wonders whether maybe the taxpayers should have invested in bus service to begin with.
(Bus service was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune, with some interesting (and alarming) comments.)