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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Policy Institute EPI

“State Designing-in Failure”: Young Indoctrinated to Obey? How?

Chomsky wrote on April 4 (with slight editing):

“Public education is under attack around the world, and in response, student protests have recently been held in Britain, Canada, Chile, Taiwan and elsewhere.
Forty years ago there was deep concern that the population was breaking free of apathy and obedience. Since then, many measures have been taken to restore discipline.

California is a battleground. The Los Angeles Times reports on the campaign to destroy what had been the greatest public higher education system in the world: “California State University officials announced plans to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses and to wait-list all applicants the following fall pending the outcome of a proposed tax initiative on the November ballot.”

Similar defunding policies are under way nationwide. The New York Times reports: “In most States, it is now tuition payments, not State appropriations, that cover most of the budget: the era of affordable four-year public universities, heavily subsidized by the State, may be over.” Why?

There has been a shift from the belief that we as a nation benefit from higher education, to a belief that it’s the people receiving the education who primarily benefit and so they should foot the bill,” concludes Ronald G. Ehrenberg, a trustee of the State University system of New York and director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute.

Community colleges increasingly face similar prospects – and the shortfalls extend to grades K-12.

A more accurate description is “Failure by Design,” the title of a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which has long been a major source of reliable information and analysis on the state of the economy.

The EPI study reviews the consequences of the transformation of the economy a generation ago from domestic production to financialization and offshoring.  By design: there have always been alternatives.

One primary justification for the design is what Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz called the “religion” that “markets lead to efficient outcomes,” which was recently dealt yet another crushing blow by the collapse of the housing bubble that was ignored on doctrinal grounds, triggering the current financial crisis.

Claims are also made about the alleged benefits of the radical expansion of financial institutions since the 1970s. A more convincing description was provided by senior economic correspondent for The Financial Times Martin Wolf: “An out-of-control financial sector is eating out the modern market economy from inside, just as the larva of the spider wasp eats out the host in which it has been laid.”

The EPI study observes that the “Failure by Design” is class-based. For the designers, it has been a stunning success, as revealed by the astonishing concentration of wealth in the top 1%, in fact the top 0.1 percent, while the majority has been reduced to virtual stagnation or decline.

As  “the Masters of Mankind” have the opportunity, they pursue their vile maxim of “all for ourselves and nothing for other people,” as Adam Smith explained two centuries ago.

Mass public education is one of the great achievements of American society. It has had many dimensions. One purpose was to prepare independent farmers for life as wage laborers who would tolerate what they regarded as virtual slavery.

The coercive element did not pass without notice. Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that political leaders call for popular education because they fear that “This country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats.”

But educated the right way: Limit their perspectives and understanding, discourage free and independent thought, and train them for obedience.

The “vile maxim” and its implementation have regularly called forth resistance, which in turn evokes the same fears among the elite.

Forty years ago there was deep concern that the population was breaking free of apathy and obedience: The breaking free must resume and continue.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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