Lawrence has no shortcomings when it comes to coffeeshops. And I've been to 3 today. I'm working on my paper for my ridiculous grad class. (But that's a whole other topic!)
I had to pick a current issue in higher education and write about the topic generally and how it applies to the school I profiled for my midterm (University of Iowa - Go Hawks!) The topic I picked was state funding of public higher education institutions. This, if you haven't been paying attention, has declined drastically in the past 10-15 years and is clearly an important issue surrounding state budgets currently (see: UC system, University of Kansas). I've had some good, current information to use, not that I've enjoyed writing any more, but the discovery of information part is nice.
The biggest problem with funding (and I'm generalizing here), even after a 12% cut for fiscal year 2010, is that revenues for the state are not at what were projected when the budget was created. So, more cuts necessary. But my thoughts about revenue, made me think about taxes (hopefully, increasing taxes, or cutting previously implemented tax breaks will be the next route, not cutting more spending) and how much more of the money I pay in taxes (from my pay check) goes towards the federal taxes and not state taxes. Which made me think: "if only we could distribute more money towards the state budget, rather than federal budget. Which, inevitably made me think "why can't we CHOOSE where our tax money goes?" (I guess that's what our elected officials do, but clearly THAT isn't working out great!) Not a completely brand new idea, I'm sure, but WHAT IF?! Unless there was a great threat that called for an act of war (imagine post-Septemeber 11), who would CHOOSE for their tax dollars to go towards a war? There are clearly MANY problems with this idea, but it's kind of nice to think about. Because if my state and federal governments are going to take the hundreds of dollars they do every month, I'd like it to go towards funding education at ALL levels- that should NEVER be cut. But that's just me.
Now, if only I could pump out words for my paper as quickly as I did for this blog entry.