Monday, April 05, 2010

The $550 Chair

That's what NY State demanded in its Race to the Top application.  It turns out that these chairs are made by prisoners.  It's kind of ironic.  You read about how Walmart buys all this cheap stuff made by slave labor in Chinese prisons.  How else can you get that Hannah Montana beach towel for 99 cents?  Someone's gotta handle all those dangerous poisons and dyes, and cover everything with toxic lead paint.

Yet here in NY, we have class.  Our slave labor is made by only the cream of the crop, the most elite and carefully selected prisoners.  They must be vetted, re-vetted, their applications must be checked carefully by outside vendors with important no-bid contracts, and their family history must be examined by a consulting firm that goes back five generations.

In NY, it costs 550 bucks for a prison-constructed chair.  It almost makes you want to send the geniuses who make the grant applications go to Walmart, where they could doubtless pick up something to house their important posteriors for something in the $3.99 range.  Or at least we could send them to Staples, where they could find something with the look of real leather for less than 99 bucks.  But these people need "executive" chairs.  Otherwise, how could they do all the Very Important Stuff we pay them for?

And these are the people who make the big decisions that must be kept out of the hands of teachers.  What the hell do teachers know?  If they had any brains they'd be sitting in $550 chairs.
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