In the May 17 Portland Press Herald is a brief article about the closing of Sweet Briar College in Virginia for financial reasons (“Nation Dispatches: College’s closing criticized by commencement speaker”). Thinking about this prompted me to consider agency and governmental financial problems.

Given what we’ve seen regarding the finances of the University of Southern Maine …

Given the actions of our governor to cut back funds to cities (and reduce waste and “fraud”) and the cities’ scrambling to sustain funding for their programs …

Given the recent Amtrak accident and claims that money wasn’t available to install necessary safety equipment (and what about general infrastructure needs?) …

The question is: If businesses and schools and local, state and federal governments are out of money, then where is all the money that these institutions don’t have?

An easy answer is to look at Wall Street and the stock market and note that many top businesses and CEOs have it. But that’s almost too easy an answer.

How about the entertainment business? How about big sports – NFL, NBA, baseball? Where is all the money coming from to give million-dollar salaries to top athletes? I don’t believe it’s from ticket sales.

So, I have to ask again – where’s the money? If the middle class doesn’t have jobs and therefore doesn’t have money and the minimum-wage workers are also receiving welfare just to survive – where’s the money? Somebody has it somewhere. Is all the money going to the multitude of cheap labor overseas?

Donations to agencies are down – the Red Cross, Preble Street, Feed the Children and a host of social agencies are desperate for your contributions. They’re also out of money.

For the last time, where’s the money?

Mark Schwartz

South Portland


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