Hey, Michigan kids, your state reps. have a present for you

Michigan lawmakers propose buying an iPod or other MP3 player for every student. Not everyone is on board.

It was President Herbert Hoover who campaigned on the promise of prosperity under his administration when he vowed "a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage."

Michigan state Democrats want to do him one better: an iPod for every child. An unsigned editorial in The Detroit News is, to put it mildly, not a fan. "An iPod for every kid? Are they !#$!ing idiots?" the headline screams.

The state is apparently facing a budget crisis--to the tune of $1 billion. On Thursday, House Democrats delivered a spending bill that includes the idea of putting $38 million worth of public funds toward outfitting every student with a digital music player. The plan also included measures to tax soda and satellite TV services, among other things, to raise funds.

Seems like an interesting idea because iPods could easily be used as educational devices--to transport or store digital documents and projects, or to listen to lectures. It's also not a new idea--Duke University famously gave iPods to all incoming freshmen. But, The Detroit News' editorial makes an astute point wondering "how financially strained Michigan residents will feel about paying higher taxes to buy someone else's kid an iPod."

But what about the unfortunate side effect of lodging earbuds in one's ears starting at a very early age? Many times this can also teach kids to tune out more often than they tune in.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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