Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making the most of the furlough weekend

Milledgeville became the focus point Saturday in the hunt for the Democratic nomination in this year's goobernatorial primary when the Central Georgia Democratic Coalition invited all statewide candidates to speak at a job and career fair on the Georgia College & State University capmus.
I think there is room somewhere in this post to ponder the implications of a group of taxpayer-employed public servants--almost all of whom are undercutting their collective performance in their current positions to spend significant amounts of time applying for a better, higher-paying job--talking to residents of one of the hardest hit areas in the state economy--many of whom were recently subject to state separation letters--about how their brand of Georgia politics is going to get everyone back on their horses and riding.
Well if it worked once, and that is all you can remember, then it might be worth another try.
One notable non-candidate, Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, provided useful information by addressing extensions in federal unemployment benefits, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the HOPE grant for gaining an education at one of the state's network of technical and vocational colleges.
But Thurmond also gave what was possibly the most progressive vision of what the recession can be, relating the story of a simple family produce business that paved the road for his climb to public service. He said the recession may make you unable to buy those things that you used to supplement the love you showed family and friends during good times, but it can't prevent you from being the loving person you want to be during these hard times.
"That $120 pair of LeBron James tennis shoes may help you jump one centimeter higher, but it does nothing for your reading comprehension. We can't continue judging our families by what we can buy our children; we must return to judging them by how much we love our children.
"Just because they can lay you off, downsize you and furlough you, doesn't mean they can downsize the love you have for your child."
Master of Ceremonies Quentin T. Howell introduced Thurmond saying the Commissioner was in Milledgeville despite lingering pain from a car accident suffered several days earlier.
Because I'll undoubtedly be rewriting something of this for Tuesday's print edition, I'm going to keep it lite and hopeful this Sunday morning.

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