A basic problem many Americans exhibit is the “I want it all, I want it now and I don’t want to pay for it” mentality.

This has led to problems with credit card debt, foreclosures of homes, importation of poorly made goods from overseas and under-resourced public institutions.

It seems we want our infrastructure safe and well-maintained, our schools educating productive citizens, our food supply safe, our public safety guaranteed, our social assistance programs working effectively and our military protecting us from every threat.

Sadly, we approach the funding of these programs with the American mindset: I want it now, I want it cheap and I want high-quality.

The latest example of this shortsightedness is the outcry about inadequate oversight of day care centers.

To keep taxes low, funding is cut year after year, leaving public workers shouldering an inordinate workload. Then come the outraged howls of “incompetence.”

This pattern is predictable: As long as we are unwilling to adequately fund our public services, we will not get high-quality products.

As a public school teacher, I feel it acutely: My responsibilities have increased considerably as support personnel and programs have been cut regularly for many years. With the coming Common Core State Assessments imminent, cries of outrage will again be voiced when students do not achieve these lofty goals.

The overburdened public school teachers will be targeted as ineffective, but most sadly, the students whose needs cannot be met will enter the adult world unprepared.

Our current method of fitting the programs to the available funds lacks common sense. We should identify what is needed for success, and funding should then be provided for this plan.

Claire Crocker

Windham