Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Local sources, and a very broad trend

The Dollar Tree store near our old house in the undesirable urban school district, where only 60% of the elementary-age kids attend public school, usually has a decent selection of educational workbooks for the lower grades. The one near our current house, in a suburb with a lingering reputation for good schools (despite changing demographics as the low-end housing is increasingly occupied by immigrants*), where homeschooling has barely been heard of and is only done by weirdoes, does not. But I found a few.

I have been avoiding Goodwill for the past several years, as my thrift store browsing time is very limited, and Goodwill is relatively expensive compared to other thrift stores in the area. But I found that they are now selling VHS tapes ten for $2, and also regularly run 50% off coupons in the local coupon supplement.


*There are over forty million first-generation immigrants in the U.S. now. That is more than ten percent of the population!  It first struck me when I saw two versions of the U.S. demographic pyramid, twenty or thirty years apart; the "baby bust" of Generation X that followed the Baby Boom was visibly filled in over time. I imagine that about forty years ago, some high-level leaders looked at the demographics of the baby bust, and the continuing effects of widespread access to contraception and abortion, said "Oh ****, Social Security is *******!!!", and created a tacit bipartisan initiative to encourage immigration by whatever means necessary.

Thus immigration has become the unmentionable elephant in the room for nearly every social issue:  education, health, housing, employment, income, poverty, voting, religion. Comparisons of past and present measurements in those areas need to be accompanied with many grains of salt, because the population itself has significantly changed. Reading the newspaper becomes an exercise in spotting what is not being said.

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