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Another tassel is moved — but to where

By Staff | May 14, 2011

Two graduations were held Friday – one at Guardian Angel Preschool and the other at Iowa Lakes Community College. More grads will walk across the stage this weekend at Estherville Lincoln Central and Graettinger-Terril and next Sunday at Armstrong-Ringsted

There were tears of joy at Guardian Angel. A number of proud moms gathered their young graduates into their arms with pride.

At Iowa Lakes, students – along with their parents – prepared for careers or to transfer to four-year universities.

One can’t help but wonder though what sort of world we’re sending these young people into.

The federal government announced Friday morning that the trust fund for Medicare -one of the cornerstones of President Johnson’s Great Society – will be bankrupt in 2029. And the trust fund for Social Security, a program founded in the depths of the Great Depression by President Franklin Roosevelt, will be bankrupt by 2036.

Meanwhile, the national debt is $14.3 billion.

Average U.S. gas prices hit $4 a gallon Friday morning, a dime down from their all-time high.

We’re still embroiled in two wars (no, despite the rumors, Iraq’s not over yet).

As college graduates scramble to find jobs, many settling for flipping burgers, people who should be cruising the country in their RVs are staying with their jobs because they can’t afford that $4 gas and they’re having a hard time keeping up with growing utility and food costs and mushrooming taxes.

The economists say the recession is over, but businesses still aren’t hiring. Theoretical numbers on theoretical charts don’t mean much when real people aren’t spending real dollars.

President Johnson’s Great Society, of course, didn’t have a chance to grow as he would have wished due to a little thing called the Vietnam Conflict. The dream was commendable – a society in which there would be no want and everyone would live in harmony.

It appears, though, that we will have to work for that dream – work tirelessly into the night and starting again in the dawn and into the night again.

Some wags say those who don’t learn the lessons are condemned to repeat them. Many of those who lived through the Great Depression are no longer with us. Perhaps it’s true that we will have to live through similar experiences to develop similar values of hard work and thrift, perseverance and vision.

Let’s hope our recent graduates can come up with the answers, because we certainly haven’t.