Staff Editorial, Week 7: Ignorance has a price, we are broke

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During times of crisis when nothing can go right, its easier to ignore problems and to pretend that reality is merely a figment of our imagination.

But there is no hiding from the fact our country is in an economic crisis. Companies we never thought would go out of business have and there are more on the cusp of failure.
The American Dream has become a nightmare with tumbling stock prices and growing economic troubles affecting more people each day.

California high school students ready to attend college may have to make other plans. The latest developments in the state’s budget will force universities to turn-away many qualified applicants.

Failure to acknowledge the scope of this problem will make things worse. One person understood this concept and made it the basis of their political campaign.

Then presidential hopeful,’ Barack Obama assured Americans that their country could overcome its troubles if it could recognize and accept the problems ahead by creating the necessary changes.

Recently, President Obama has been more candid (some would call this negative or pessimistic) about the state of our country and the realities we must face in order to see results.

Last Tuesday, during his speech to Congress, Obama addressed the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saying, ‘it is just the first step because even if we manage this plan flawlessly there will be no real recovery unless we clean up the credit crisis that has severely weakened our financial system.’

In front of both chambers of Congress and millions of Americans, Obama said it like it is. Passing a law means nothing if we don’t abide by it. The same can be said about making changes in other areas of our lives.

In addition to national financial troubles, California is experiencing its own financial hardship.

According to the California state budget passed on Feb. 20, the California State University system will receive a $97.6 million cut for the current academic year, and will receive a $66.3 million cut for the 2009-10 academic year.

In addition to the funding for the CSU system decreasing by 10 percent, all 23 CSU campuses will be impacted in the coming academic year, with enrollment being cut by 10,000 students.

With both our national and state economies in shambles, it’s time for all Americans to open their eyes to the reality we are currently facing. Long gone are the Clintonian years of budget surpluses and financial security. This time is worrisome, uncertain and difficult.

It is vital to our country, state and local communities to address the problems ahead with honesty and to stop insisting that everything will just work itself out.

‘We will rebuild, we will recover and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,’ Obama said in his Congressional address.

For these words to be true, we are going to have to face some very frightening realities.
The America of yesterday is gone and the America of tomorrow must be a country willing to embrace change and sacrifice. We cannot afford, under any circumstances, to burry our heads in the sand.