It is impossible to deny how far left all of America’s institutions have shifted in the past few years. Corporate board rooms, the media, sports teams and even the military all chant the same dogma and insist that you comply.
How did that happen? As Ernest Hemingway wrote on how one goes bankrupt, “gradually, then suddenly.” Indeed, our leading institutions face a moral bankruptcy unprecedented in American history.
This could not have happened without the left’s successful “long march through the institutions.” This term, made famous by radical academics in the 1960s, refers to the strategy used by “New Left” students of that era. They aimed to achieve long-term social and and political change by infiltrating and subverting key institutions, particularly the elite universities they often attended.
These radicals were the progenitors of the critical theories that plague our offices and our children’s schools today. They knew these ideas could never be sold democratically to the American public, so they instead sought to disrupt disciplines — sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and cultural studies — that were more amenable to their critical perspectives.
Through their research, teaching, and activism, they eventually came to dominate entire departments or even university leadership. This power was then used to launder their ideology to a new generation of students who would unquestioningly carry it with them into the “real world.”
A new Harvard survey on faculty political leanings reveals that the left’s long march was more successful than they likely ever dreamed. A whopping 75% of Harvard faculty identifies as “liberal” or “very liberal,” while only 2.5% identifies as conservative. A minuscule 0.4 percent identifies as “very conservative.”
Nationally, less than a third of American identify as “liberal” but Harvard and other schools show over 75% professors identify as liberal. That does not happen randomly. It takes a consistent culture of intolerance for opposing viewpoints… https://t.co/6bwWivEFKG
As law professor Jonathon Turley points out, these figures massively overrepresent liberals compared to society overall. Roughly equal portions of Americans identify as conservative or moderate, while only 26% identify as liberal. More Harvard faculty identify as “very liberal” (32%) than Americans overall identify as “liberal.”
The figure is representative across large swathes of American academia. In 1969, one in four college professors was at least moderately conservative. Now, liberals outweigh conservatives on campus by roughly 12 to one.
Yet Harvard’s stark disparity stands out more than the rest because it is the best that American education has to offer — or at least it used to be.
Nevertheless, its name is still intrinsically associated with excellence and prestige that few other universities are accorded. If you are a Harvard graduate, you are likely to impact the highest levels of American power in whichever field you choose to pursue.
That is precisely the point. By capturing the Harvard banner, radical activists then got to decide what constituted excellence and prestige. Their radical ideologies gained the legitimacy associated with the Harvard name and serve as an example for lesser universities to follow. Molded by these new definitions, Harvard graduates carry them out to the world where they shape the halls of power in business, government, and media.
Harvard boasts the most alumni who later became CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. With 41 alumni CEOs, Harvard dwarfs the nearest runner up, the University of Pennsylvania, by almost double.
Harvard also has the largest number of Nobel Prize winners at 161. It boasts the largest number of Supreme Court justices in history, with four Harvard graduates currently on the bench.
Harvard also has the largest number of U.S. military Medal of Honor recipients (18) for any non-military school. This included 8 generals throughout history.
Given this legacy, Harvard will continue to recruit America’s brightest and most ambitious young minds. Many of them are likely pre-existing liberals, but many of them will not be. Blinded by the allure of the Harvard name, they will make themselves vulnerable to the ubiquitous leftism of their professors.
Even those who see what’s happening will likely go along to get along. If they do not bend the knee, all their hard work will be for naught, and their aspirations will crumble beneath them.
Conservatives must accept that the purpose of academia — to foster intellectual curiosity and challenge rigid ways of thinking — no longer exists as we all once imagined. The long march, which occurred gradually over decades, hit suddenly in the Trump era. There is no sign the radicals will allow dissent within Harvard or any other university any time soon.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Daily Callerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Caller2023-06-03 12:31:202023-06-04 07:22:54The Source Of The Marxist Takeover Of American Institutions Is So Obvious It Hurts
Republican governors are leading the charge to reform higher education as part of the ongoing culture war on college campuses.
Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas are both focused on countering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs on college campuses, while Gov. Glenn Youngkin prioritized fostering free speech.
“I think increasingly we see state lawmakers saying what we’ve known for some time, that the research on DEI offices … do not produce improved levels of tolerance,” Jonathan Butcher, Will Skillman fellow in education at The Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Republican governors are pushing several higher education reform efforts to counter culture wars on college campuses.
Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Greg Abbott of Texas and Glenn Youngkin of Virginia have made education policy a staple of their governing platforms. Higher education reform efforts include calls to defund diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, crack down on Critical Race Theory (CRT) mandated in classrooms, reverse the surge of gender ideology and walk back tenure — a controversial stance from professors on both sides of the political aisle.
DeSantis made higher education reform a focal point of his 2023 legislative agenda, announcing on Jan. 31 that his proposed legislation would “bring more accountability to the higher education system” by prioritizing “education not indoctrination” and strengthening civics curriculum. His agenda includes a call to defund DEI initiatives and favor education “rooted in the values of liberty and western tradition,” tighten tenure policies by requiring post-tenure review at any time and pouring $15 million into New College of Florida — where he recently appointed six conservative board members who have already begun stripping the school of its DEI programs.
The administration also requested public colleges and universities submit reports detailing how much money was spent to fund DEI programs and the number of transgender patients treated at university-affiliated health centers.
Like DeSantis, Youngkin also appointed conservative trustees to several university boards including the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia, according to Inside Higher Ed. He is also focused on protecting free speech on college campuses and keeping tuition rates low for students, Macaulay Porter, Youngkin’s spokeswoman, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The governor called on all colleges and universities to adopt free speech measures and keep tuition flat for Virginia’s students; all Virginia colleges and universities have complied with his requests,” she said. “The governor has continually led on education and has developed an education roadmap by removing divisive concepts from our schools, restoring excellence in education, and fostering free speech and diversity of thought on our campuses.”
Jonathan Butcher, a Will Skillman fellow in education at the Heritage Foundation, told the DCNF that freezing tuition costs and making “more effective use of resources so that students are not having to pay sky-high tuition costs that increase every year” should be an important focus for state governors across the country.
Currently here in Bradenton, FL at the State College of Florida where Gov. DeSantis is about to have a presser on higher education reform.
Abbott’s Chief of Staff Gardner Pate sent a letter to Texas university leaders on Feb. 6 warning that using taxpayer money to support DEI programs is illegal and that they cannot require applicants to submit a statement detailing commitments to advancing DEI during the hiring or admission process. Several university systems, including the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and University of Houston systems, have since stopped mandating diversity statements to comply with the order.
“As Texans, we celebrate the diversity of our State and the presence of a workforce that represents our rich culture,” Pate wrote. “In recent years, however, the innocuous-sounding notion of [DEI] has been manipulated to push policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others.”
Other Republican states have responded to the heightened attention being cast on the prevalence of DEI on campus. West Virginia and Utah filed bills that would ban using diversity statements as an application factor for university hiring while South Carolina and Oklahoma followed Florida’s lead in requesting the total amount dedicated to funding DEI programs.
“I think increasingly we see state lawmakers saying what we’ve known for some time, that the research on DEI offices … do not produce improved levels of tolerance,” Butcher said. “They don’t change behaviors of people who go through DEI training programs.”
The Abbott administration has also targeted tenure policies. Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick responded in February 2022 to a University of Texas at Austin Faculty Council vote supporting CRT by promising to eliminate tenure from all public universities, and reinforced this idea ahead of the 2023 legislative session by marking tenure elimination as a top priority.
“Tenured professors must not be able to hide behind the phrase ‘academic freedom,’ and then proceed to poison the minds of our next generation,” he said in 2022.
But while calls for tenure reform are popular among Republican lawmakers, professors previously warned the DCNF that restricting tenure could backfire for conservative faculty.
Rob Jenkins, an associate professor of English at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College and author of “The Conservative Case for Tenure,” told the DCNF that he may have been fired “a long time ago” if he did not have tenure protection and explained that tenured professors can still be fired if they aren’t adequately doing their job.
Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told Inside Higher Ed that 2024 candidates won’t focus on higher education issues such as student debt, but will gravitate toward the culture wars.
“That doesn’t sell, or it doesn’t sell to very many people,” he explained. “But you start talking about cultural issues—‘they’re destroying our culture, they don’t believe in God,’ blah, blah, blah—and pretty soon you’ve got a lot of people showing up at your rallies, screaming bloody murder.”
DeSantis and Abbott’s offices did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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Neo-Marxism is a cultural cancer spreading through America and beyond.
“It’s an important part of society whether you like it or not,” lexicologist Tony Thorne, referring to “wokeness,” toldThe New Yorker’s David Remnick in January. That’s an understatement.
Wokeness is poisoning the Western workplace and constraining small and family businesses, midsized banks, and entrepreneurs while enriching powerful corporations and billionaires. It’s eating away at the capitalist ethos and killing the bottom-up modes of economic ordering and exchange that propelled the United States of America to prosperity during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It’s infecting Gen Z and millennials, who, suffering high depression rates and prone to “quiet quitting,” are not as well off as their parents and grandparents, and who feel isolated and alone even as they enjoy a technological connectivity that’s unprecedented in human history.
What, exactly, is wokeness, and how does it impact business and the wider society?
The term as it’s widely used today differs from earlier significations. “Woke”, which plays on African American vernacular, once meant “awake to” or “aware of” social and racial injustices. The term expanded to encompass a wider array of causes from climate change, gun control, and LGTBQ rights to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and abortion.
Now, wielded by its opponents, it’s chiefly a pejorative dismissing the person or party it modifies. It’s the successor to “political correctness,” a catchall idiom that ridicules a broad range of leftist hobbyhorses. Carl Rhodes submits, in Woke Capitalism, that “woke transmuted from being a political call for self-awareness through solidarity in the face of massive racial injustice, to being an identity marker for self-righteousness.”
John McWhorter’s Woke Racism argues that wokeness is religious in character, unintentionally and intrinsically racist, and deleterious to black people. McWhorter, a black linguist, asserts that “white people calling themselves our saviors make black people look like the dumbest, weakest, most self-indulgent human beings in the history of our species.”
Books like Stephen R. Soukup’s The Dictatorship of Woke Capital and Vivek Ramaswamy’s Woke, Inc. highlight the nefarious side of the wokeism adopted by large companies, in particular in the field of asset management, investment, and financial services.
Wokeism, in both the affirming and derogatory sense, is predicated on a belief in systemic or structural forces that condition culture and behavior. The phrases “structural racism” or “systemic racism” suggest that rational agents are nevertheless embedded in a network of interacting and interconnected rules, norms, and values that perpetuate white supremacy or marginalise people of color and groups without privilege.
Breaking entirely free from these inherited constraints is not possible, according to the woke, because we cannot operate outside the discursive frames established by long use and entrenched power. Nevertheless, the argument runs, we can decentre the power relations bolstering this system and subvert the techniques employed, wittingly or unwittingly, to preserve extant hierarchies. That requires, however, new structures and power relations.
Corporate executives and boards of directors are unsuspectingly and inadvertently — though sometimes deliberately — caught up in these ideas. They’re immersed in an ideological paradigm arising principally from Western universities. It’s difficult to identify the causative origin of this complex, disparate movement to undo the self-extending power structures that supposedly enable hegemony. Yet businesses, which, of course, are made up of people, including disaffected Gen Zs and millennials, develop alongside this sustained effort to dismantle structures and introduce novel organising principles for society.
The problem is, rather than neutralising power, the “woke” pursue and claim power for their own ends. Criticising systems and structures, they erect systems and structures in which they occupy the center, seeking to dominate and subjugate the people or groups they allege to have subjugated or dominated throughout history. They replace one hegemony with another.
The old systems had problems, of course. They were imperfect. But they retained elements of classical liberalism that protected hard-won principles like private property, due process of law, rule of law, free speech, and equality under the law. Wokeism dispenses with these. It’s about strength and control. And it has produced a corporate-government nexus that rigidifies power in the hands of an elite few.
Consider the extravagant spectacle in Davos, the beautiful resort town that combined luxury and activism at the recent meeting of the World Economic Forum, perhaps the largest gathering of self-selected, influential lobbyists and “c suiters” across countries and cultures. This annual event occasions cartoonish portrayals of evil, conspiratorial overlords — the soi-disant saviours paternalistically preaching about planetary improvement, glorifying their chosen burden to shape global affairs. The World Economic Forum has become a symbol of sanctimony and lavish inauthenticity, silly in its ostentation.
The near-ubiquitous celebration of lofty Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies at the World Economic Forum reveals a seemingly uniform commitment among prominent leaders to harness government to pull companies — and, alas, everyone else — to the left.
ESG is, of course, an acronym for the non-financial standards and metrics that asset managers, bankers, and investors factor while allocating capital or assessing risk. A growing consortium of governments, central banks, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), asset management firms, finance ministries, financial institutions, and institutional investors advocates ESG as the top-down, long-term solution to purported social and climate risks. Even if these risks are real, is ESG the proper remedy?
Attendees of the World Economic Forum would not champion ESG if they did not benefit from doing so. That plain fact doesn’t alone discredit ESG, but it raises questions about ulterior motives: What’s really going on? How will these titans of finance and government benefit from ESG?
Follow the money
One obvious answer involves the institutional investors that prioritise activism over purely financial objectives or returns on investment (for legal reasons, activist investors would not characterise their priorities as such). It has only been a century since buying and selling shares in publicly traded companies became commonplace among workers and households. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), created in response to the Great Depression, isn’t even 100 years old.
Until recently, most investors divested if they owned stock in a company that behaved contrary to their beliefs. They rarely voted their shares or voted only on major issues like mergers and acquisitions. In 2023, however, institutional investors such as hedge funds and asset management firms engage boards of directors, exercise proxy voting, and issue shareholder reports with the primary goal of politicising companies. As intermediaries, they invest pension funds, mutual funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, 401(k)s and more on behalf of beneficiaries who may or may not know what political causes their invested assets support.
If a publicly traded company “goes woke,” consider which entities hold how much of its shares and whether unwanted shareholder pressure is to blame. Consider, too, the role of third-party proxy advisors in the company’s policies and practices.
Big companies go woke to eliminate competition. After all, they can afford the costs to comply with woke regulations whereas small companies cannot. Institutional investors warn of prospective risks of government regulation while lobbying for such regulation. In the United States, under the Biden Administration, woke federal regulations are, unsurprisingly, emerging. Perhaps publicly traded companies will privatise to avoid proposed SEC mandates regarding ESG disclosures, but regulation in other forms and through other agencies will come for private companies too.
The woke should question why they’re collaborating with their erstwhile corporate enemies. Have they abandoned concerns about poverty for the more lucrative industry of identity politics and environmentalism? Have they sold out, happily exploiting the uncouth masses, oppressing the already oppressed, and trading socioeconomic class struggle for the proliferating dogma of race, sexuality, and climate change? As wokeness becomes inextricably tied to ESG, we can no longer say, “Go woke, go broke.” Presently, wokeness is a vehicle to affluence, a status marker, the ticket to the center of the superstructure.
ESG helps the wealthiest to feel better about themselves while widening the gap between the rich and poor and disproportionately burdening economies in developing countries. It’s supplanting the classical liberal rules and institutions that leveled playing fields, engendered equality of opportunity, expanded the franchise, reduced undue discrimination, eliminated barriers to entry, facilitated entrepreneurship and innovation, and empowered individuals to realise their dreams and rise above their station at birth.
When politics is ubiquitous, wokeness breeds antiwokeness. The right caught on to institutional investing; counteroffensives are underway. The totalising politicisation of corporations is a zero-sum arms race in which the right captures some companies while the left captures others.
Soon there’ll be no escaping politics, no tranquil zones, and little space for emotional detachment, contemplative privacy, or principled neutrality; parallel economies will emerge for different political affiliations; noise, fighting, anger, distraction, and division will multiply; every quotidian act will signal a grand ideology. For the woke, “silence is violence”; there’s no middle ground; you must speak up; and increasingly for their opponents as well, you must choose sides.
Which will you choose in this corporatised dystopia? If the factions continue to concentrate and centralise power, classical liberals will have no good options. Coercion and compulsion will prevail over freedom and cooperation. And commerce and command will go hand in hand.
This article has been republished with permission from Mises Wire.
Allen Mendenhall is an associate dean at Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, executive director of the Blackstone & Burke Center for Law & Liberty, and Managing Editor of Southern… More by Allen Mendenhall
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The University of Utah School of Medicine implemented a series of programs to recruit and retain diverse students and faculty after its accrediting organization said its diversity efforts were unsatisfactory, according to emails obtained by a medical watchdog group and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The school, in response, filed a status report outlining its progress in increasing its diversity on campus.
“This further promotes ideology ahead of quality medical education and race/ethnicity or sex over hiring the most qualified faculty and staff,” Laura Morgan, Do No Harm’s program manager, told the DCNF.
The University of Utah School of Medicine (SOM) adopted a series of programs to recruit more diverse students and faculty after its accrediting organization said its diversity efforts were unsatisfactory, according to emails obtained by a medical watchdog group and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) told the school that it found certain elements of its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts unsatisfactory, and requested a detailed report from the medical school about how it improved recruitment and retainment for students and faculty from underrepresented communities, according to a 2021 accreditation report shared with the DCNF. In response, the school complied with the request, instituting several DEI programs and sending a status update about how it sought to connect with people from “each of the school’s identified diversity groups,” earning the LCME’s approval.
“The LCME and AAMC hold the power over medical schools regarding their accreditation, and the University of Utah School of Medicine’s responses to the LCME’s findings reflect the desire to live up to those organizations’ woke agendas,” Laura Morgan, Do No Harm’s program manager, told the DCNF. “This further promotes ideology ahead of quality medical education and race/ethnicity or sex over hiring the most qualified faculty and staff.”
The initial LCME report found that the school’s “diversity/pipeline programs and partnerships” element was “unsatisfactory” based on data that showed a low number of women at the institution. The LCME said that this was an “improvement for the 2020 entering class,” but that staff diversity remained low.
“DCI data show that 38.5% of full-time faculty and 22.2% of senior administrative staff are women,” the report reads. “No offers for faculty and senior administrative staff positions were made in several of the school’s diversity categories (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) for the 2018-29 academic year.”
In response, the Utah school outlined several initiatives it took to recruit a more diverse student body. The efforts ranged from hosting an “Indigenous STEM Youth Outreach Program” to holding a “Day of the Dead Premedical Conference” and offering workshops to help undergraduate and pre-med students from “underrepresented” backgrounds prepare for the admissions process.
“Two significant areas for improvement are related to student and faculty diversity. SOM Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OHEDI) recognizes recruitment is important with compositional diversity and the need for intentional retention efforts for the success of all,” the school wrote in its report. “SOM OHEDI and health science center University of Utah Health, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HSC UHEDI) are continuously working to identify needs for action to achieve desired results in terms of recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, students, and staff.”
The school held “diversity recruitment days” and offered scholarships specifically to students from “underrepresented populations” that covered the near total cost of tuition for four years, the report wrote. The school required its admissions staff to undergo “Anti-Bias Training” and to use a “holistic” admission process which required a cultural awareness essay for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Faculty search committees received anti-bias training, and most departments also require applicants to submit a diversity statement, according to the report.
The LCME responded in June 2022 that while the school had improved its diversity efforts, additional action is required. The accreditor labeled the school’s progress as “satisfactory with a need for mentoring,” but requested the school send a second status report by August 15, 2023.
“Medical education must not be undermined in favor of medical wokeness, and Utah taxpayers need to ask why this is being done at UUSOM,” Morgan told the DCNF.
The University of Utah School of Medicine and the LCME did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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Time to turn away from materialism and imperialism.
One thing demographers have known all along is something you cannot deny: “Demography is destiny.” The phrase was coined by 19th century Frenchman Auguste Comte. Agree or not with his positivist philosophy, he nailed it about demography.
While clickbait comes at us with news of wars, markets and celebrity gossip, the bigger story, the backstory behind so much of everything, is demography.
Demography didn’t get much attention in legacy media until 2020 when the British medical journal The Lancet released the most comprehensive world fertility study to date. The study documented a mysterious, unprecedented earth-shattering trend: a 50% decline in world fertility over 50 years, with no end in sight. Even the study’s scholarly authors described their findings as “jaw-dropping.”
We are only beginning to realise the social, economic and political impact. Look no further than the United States. Trends in America are followed worldwide and tell quite a tale.
Rising cost of living
For decades, well into the 1960s, US pensions and retirement benefits proliferated. Why not? Back then, relatively few people lived beyond 80, and it was a given that there would be four or more workers to support every retiree.
But things have changed mightily since Social Security and elderly healthcare schemes came of age. The heady days of easy money are gone.
First, people live much longer and have fewer children. The US fertility rate is 1.7 children per female, 20% below replacement level.
Also, the dominant world reserve currency — the US dollar — has diminished in value. Back in the 1960s you could buy a Coke for a dime. Now it’s at least ten times that. Is the soda worth more, or your money worth less?
Today two incomes are necessary to support the average family. That wasn’t the case back when a Coke cost a dime. Women, mostly out of necessity, entered the workforce. That meant less family time. In such a system, children become a financial liability.
Then there is the uniquely American higher education industry, a colossal con commanding exorbitant subsidies and insanely inflated fees for a ticket to upward mobility. For the average American family, the costs of college are their largest expenditure apart from the family home.
Covid, the economy and lower fertility are testing the diploma mills as never before. Also, a growing number of Americans are beginning to push back against a pious professoriate that subordinates authentic education to woke indoctrination.
Today there are over 65 million Social Security beneficiaries and 132 million people who work full-time, just two workers kicking in for each beneficiary. And a lot of those full-time folks don’t make much. On top of that we have Medicare, Medicaid and a vast global imperial footprint, all financed by a fiat currency that is losing value. Without at least replacement fertility, these systems will see a slow-motion collapse.
Thus two troublesome trends confront American families: A diminishing currency (chronic inflation) and declining fertility. Each exacerbates the other.
Also in the mix is an American popular culture promoting consumerism and instant gratification, prioritising creature comforts over children. Hedonism is not family-friendly.
Over time the powers-that-be have tried to fix things with:
Immigration: For years, cheap labour flacks told us that importing vast numbers of unskilled low-wage workers would save Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Not true. Mass immigration does not generate sufficient revenue to offset social welfare costs. (Funny thing about immigration: moneyed interests privatise the profit [cheap labour] and socialise — via taxpayers — the costs). Mass immigration instead suppresses wages, making it harder to rear children. Not only that, recent immigrants and their descendants feel the squeeze like everyone else, and their fertility is now below replacement-level.
Printing money: In order to finance the welfare/warfare state, the government just continues to spend. We’ve become accustomed to debt financing and printing money to prop up a broken system. This works for a time if your money is the dominant world reserve currency. Imagine if you maxxed out your credit and could print your own money to finance it. Works fine until creditors say your money is no good or worth much less than you think. Inflation hurts families.
The above short-term fixes have not worked. And let’s face it: the days of global dollar dominance are numbered. There is a disastrous disconnect between public policy and demographic reality. Try as we might, there is no substitute for children.
America has a large middle class that binds the social fabric and includes most intact families. What is good for the American middle class is good for the family. But the middle class — the establishment’s cash cow — is shrinking.
At the very least, supporting families and children should take priority over subsidies for the elderly. But the elderly vote, and politicians care more about the next election than the next generation. However, supporting parents and children is the solution to preserving retirement programs and the society at large.
Superpower status at the expense of family is a Faustian bargain. We need to hunker down and focus on the family instead of propping up the wastrel welfare/warfare state. Yes, it can be done, though it will require changing our ways, establishing new priorities and investing in the future of families.
If not, look no further than ancient Rome. They also dumped their Republic, became an Empire, spent like crazy and came to neglect the welfare of families.
Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family… More by Louis T. March
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The signaling function of college degrees may have been distorted by the phenomenon known as credential inflation.
The concept of inflation (the depreciation of purchasing power of a specific currency) applies to other goods besides money. Inflation is related to the Law of Supply and Demand. As the supply of a commodity increases, the value decreases. Conversely, as the good becomes more scarce, the value of the commodity increases. This same concept is also applicable to tangible items such as vintage baseball cards and rare art. These are rare commodities that cannot be authentically replicated and therefore command a high value on the market. On the other hand, mass-produced rookie cards and replications of Monet’s work are plentiful. As a result, they yield little value on the market.
Inflation and the opposite principle of deflation can also apply to intangible goods. When looking at the job market, this becomes quite evident. Jobs that require skills that are rare or exceptional tend to pay higher wages. However, there are also compensating differentials that arise because of the risky or unattractive nature of undesirable jobs. The higher wages are due to a lack of workers willing to accept the position rather than the possession of skills that are in demand.
The Signaling Function of College Degrees
Over the past couple of decades, credentialing of intangible employment value has become more prevalent. Credentials can range from college degrees to professional certifications. One of the most common forms of credentialing has become a 4-year college degree. This category of human capital documentation has evolved to take on an alternate function.
Outside of a few notable exceptions, a bachelor’s degree serves a signaling function. As George Mason economics professor Bryan Caplan argues, the function of a college degree is primarily to signal to potential employers that a job applicant has desirable characteristics. Earning a college degree is more of a validation process than a skill-building process. Employers desire workers that are not only intelligent but also compliant and punctual. The premise of the signaling model seems to be validated by the fact that many graduates are not using their degrees. In fact, in 2013; only 27 percent of graduates had a job related to their major.
Since bachelor’s degrees carry a significant signaling function, there have been substantial increases in the number of job seekers possessing a 4-year degree. Retention rates for 4-year institutions reached an all-time high of 81 percent in 2017. In 1900 only 27,410 students earned a bachelor’s degree. This number ballooned to 4.2 million by 1940, and has now increased to 99.5 million. These numbers demonstrate the sharp increase in the number of Americans earning college degrees.
Today, nearly 40 percent of all Americans hold a 4-year degree. Considering the vast increase in college attendance and completion, it’s fair to question if a college degree has retained its “purchasing power” on the job market. Much of the evidence seems to suggest that it has not.
Many jobs that previously required no more than a high school diploma are now only accepting applicants with bachelor’s degrees. This shift in credential preferences among employers has now made the 4-year degree the unofficial minimum standard for educational requirements. This fact is embodied in the high rates of underemployment among college graduates. Approximately 41 percent of all recent graduates are working jobs that do not require a college degree. It is shocking when you consider that 17 percent of hotel clerks and 23.5 percent of amusement park attendants hold 4-year degrees. None of these jobs have traditionally required a college degree. But due to a competitive job market where most applicants have degrees, many recent graduates have no means of distinguishing themselves from other potential employees. Thus, many recent graduates have no other option but to accept low-paying jobs.
The value of a college degree has gone down due to the vast increase in the number of workers who possess degrees. This form of debasement mimics the effect of printing more money. Following the Law of Supply and Demand, the greater the quantity of a commodity, the lower the value. The hordes of guidance counselors and parents urging kids to attend college have certainly contributed to the problem. However, public policy has served to amplify this issue.
Various kinds of loan programs, government scholarships, and other programs have incentivized more students to pursue college degrees. Policies that make college more accessible—proposals for “free college,” for example—also devalue degrees. More people attending college makes degrees even more common and further depreciated.
Of course, this not to say brilliant students with aspirations of a career in STEM fields should avoid college. But for the average student, a college degree may very well be a malinvestment and hinder their future.
Incurring large amounts of debt to work for minimum wage is not a wise decision. When faced with policies and social pressure that have made college the norm, students should recognize that a college degree isn’t everything. If students focused more on obtaining marketable skills than on credentials, they might find a way to stand out in a job market flooded with degrees.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2021-12-19 12:00:432021-12-19 12:20:12Why College Degrees Are Losing Their Value
Institutional racism and systemic racism are terms bandied about these days without much clarity. Being 84 years of age, I have seen and lived through what might be called institutional racism or systemic racism. Both operate under the assumption that one race is superior to another. It involves the practice of treating a person or group of people differently based on their race.
“Negros,” as we proudly called ourselves back then, were denied entry to hotels, restaurants, and other establishments all over the nation, including the North. Certain jobs were entirely off-limits to Negros. What school a child attended was determined by his race.
In motion pictures, Negros were portrayed as being unintelligent, such as the roles played by Stepin Fetchit and Mantan Moreland in the Charlie Chan movies. Fortunately, those aspects of racism are a part of our history.
By the way, Fetchit, whose real name was Lincoln Perry, was the first black actor to become a millionaire, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in 1976, the Hollywood chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded Perry a Special NAACP Image Award.
Despite the nation’s great achievements in race relations, there remains institutional racism, namely the widespread practice of treating a person or group of people differently based on their race. Most institutional racism is practiced by the nation’s institutions of higher learning.
Eric Dreiband, an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, recently wrote that Yale University “grants substantial, and often determinative, preferences based on race.”
The four-page letter said, “Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants.”
Yale University is by no means alone in the practice of institutional racism. Last year, Asian students brought a discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University and lost. The judge held that the plaintiffs could not prove that the lower personal ratings assigned to Asian applicants are the result of “animus” or ill-motivated racial hostility toward Asian Americans by Harvard admissions officials.
However, no one offered an explanation as to why Asian American applicants were deemed to have, on average, poorer personal qualities than white applicants. An explanation may be that Asian students party less, study more, and get higher test scores than white students.
In court filings, Students for Fair Admissions argued that the University of North Carolina’s admissions practices are unconstitutional. Its brief stated: “UNC’s use of race is the opposite of individualized; UNC uses race mechanically to ensure the admission of the vast majority of underrepresented minorities.”
Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, said in a news release that the court filing “exposes the startling magnitude of the University of North Carolina’s racial preferences.”
Blum said that their filing contains statistical evidence that shows that an Asian American male applicant from North Carolina with a 25% chance of getting into UNC would see his acceptance probability increase to about 67% if he were Latino and to more than 90% if he were African American.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209 (also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative) that read: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
California legislators voted earlier this summer to put the question to voters to repeal the state’s ban on the use of race as a criterion in the hiring, awarding public contracts and admissions to public universities and restore the practice of institutional racism under the euphemistic title “affirmative action.”
When social justice warriors use the terms “institutional racism” or “systemic racism,” I suspect it means that they cannot identify the actual person or entities engaged in the practice.
However, most of what might be called institutional or systemic racism is practiced by the nation’s institutions of higher learning. And it is seen by many, particularly the intellectual elite, as a desirable form of determining who gets what.
Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…
For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.
How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.
Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.
Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.
Republicans including Marco Rubio parrot leftist lines about how education’s ultimate goal is money. It needs to be a great deal more than that if our republic is to survive.
Once again, presidential candidate Marco Rubio, when asked a question about education, disparaged liberal learning by repeating his well-rehearsed lines about preparing students for careers in a “global” and “twenty-first-century” economy.
During the CNN town hall last week, he said that rather than teaching philosophy (“Roman philosophy,” no less), colleges should teach practical things—like welding. Sadly, Rubio is not alone. Many Republicans, forgetting their conservative roots, have joined Democrats in advancing a utilitarian view of education.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being a welder. My father, an immigrant, was one. And there is nothing wrong with philosophy—for the student in a technical school. In fact, it was our Founders’ belief that only a literate, well-educated citizenry could govern themselves. Even the tradesman should be versed in the basics of literature, history, and ancient philosophy, they thought. “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people,” said James Madison.
Modern Philosophy Is Merely Cynicism
Rubio, however, does not distinguish between legitimate philosophy and what philosophy, like the rest of the humanities, has become under the regime of tenured radicals. The problem is that philosophy professors no longer teach their subjects or, if they do, it is to cast suspicion upon the very enterprise, as I learned in graduate school in the 1990s.
Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience.
My seminar on ancient rhetoric consisted of the professor elevating the sophists, the teachers who for fees taught the art of persuasion by making the worse case seem better. The ends were practical: so citizens could defend themselves in court. To my amazement, my professor ridiculed the traditional philosophical goals of searching for the truth.
In the intervening decades, the situation has become worse. Consider Emory University philosophy professor George Yancy. This full professor, according to the university’s website, specializes in “Critical Philosophy of Race (phenomenology of racial embodiment, social ontology of race),” “Critical Whiteness Studies (white subject formation, white racist ambush, white opacity and embeddedness. . .),” and “African-American Philosophy and Philosophy of the Black Experience (resistance, Black identity formation . . .).”
Yancy received national attention in December for penning the screed “Dear White America” in The New York Times. He began, “I have a weighty request. As you read this letter, I want you to listen with love, a sort of love that demands that you look at parts of yourself that might cause pain and terror, as James Baldwin would say. Did you hear that? You may have missed it. I repeat: I want you to listen with love. Well, at least try.”
Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience (“Did you hear that?” “Well, at least try.”). Behind such appeals like Yancy’s is an implied threat. Invoking the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and other allegedly innocent victims of police violence, he accused “White America” of being racist through and through. Such rhetoric presages and justifies the angry mobs on our campuses and in our streets.
Philosophy Doesn’t Mean Grievance-Mongering
College campuses, once the places where the civilized arts of debate and the pursuit of truth were taught, have become places where the PhDs, doctors of philosophy, lead mobs of students in pursuit of retribution against some “systemic” wrong, usually in reference to race, ethnicity, or gender. Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, supporter of the Black Lives Matter mob movement, is promising to make such education free.
Our presidential candidates should consider what philosophy, rightly understood, could do. Indeed, by studying Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” students would be able to distinguish between different rhetorical appeals and learn the legitimate arts of persuasion—those that allow us to live in a civilized manner, where we resolve our differences through debate, not violence.
Were students to study Plato’s “Republic,” they might understand the dangers of a popular democracy and why the American Founders rejected one. They would consider Thrasymachus’s contention that justice is synonymous with strength, with being a “winner,” regardless of the methods. They might decide to evaluate such rhetoric carefully when it comes from a political candidate, like Donald Trump.
They would consider whether it is good for the government to put people in certain classes, as craftsmen or “guardians,” instead of allowing them to choose for themselves, or whether government should raise children rather than parents. What has been the historical outcome of such societies with centralized government, five-year economic plans, government-assigned jobs, and child-rearing from infancy? Are there any similarities to what Sanders is proposing?
Education Is Ultimately about Self-Governance
This is not to say that a class discussion should center on current political candidates. Indeed, the truly philosophical professor will keep the discussion largely away from the immediate. If the lesson is taught well, the student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education, not regimented job training and political molding.
The student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education.
The responses to Rubio’s statements in November, by such leftist outlets as ThinkProgress, CNN, and Huffington Post, were quite telling. They replied in kind to his materialist arguments. “Philosophers make more money than welders!” they said. In this they betrayed their utilitarian view of education, one that dominates the Obama administration, specifically through Common Core, a federally coerced program designed to produce compliant workers in the global economy.
The job training part has lured some short-sighted or corrupt Republicans. In higher education, too, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker advanced short-sighted “careerism,” as if he had forgotten, as Peter Lawler pointed out, Alexis de Tocqueville’s argument for studying the Greek and Roman classics. Earlier this year, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin suggested that electrical engineering was worthy of support, while French literature was not.
The other part of the progressive vision for education is to produce graduates who adhere to the state’s status quo. Students are trained to work collectively, focus on emotions, refrain from making independent judgments, and read in a way that does not go beyond ferreting out snippets of information. They are not asked to read an entire Platonic dialogue or novel. They do not get the big picture, from the dawn of civilization.
Our current educational methods are a far cry from the Founders’ robust views, of preparing citizens who are literate, logical, and knowledgeable; citizens capable of voting intelligently.
We Need Cultural Renewal, Not Materialism
We should embrace this conservative view of education. Although it is extremely rare in today’s college classrooms, it is being advanced in more than 150 privately funded academic centers on and off campuses. According to the John William Pope Center for Education Renewal, these centers “preserve and promote the knowledge and perspectives that are disappearing from the academy.”
One of these is the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, where I am a resident fellow. It was founded by three Hamilton College professors in 2007, and is located in the village of Clinton.
AHI offers students the option to read the classics in a manner that is increasingly difficult to find in the typically highly politicized open curriculum. AHI-sponsored reading groups have focused on the works of such important figures as Leo Strauss, St. Augustine, and Josef Pieper. This semester Dr. Elizabeth D’Arrivee is leading a discussion group on Plato’s “Republic.”
Political candidates would do well to explain how they will support such efforts for educational renewal, instead of disparaging philosophy and literature.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/rubio-shutterstock-e1456490746574.jpg380640Dr. Mary Grabarhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Mary Grabar2016-02-26 07:46:092016-02-29 07:09:40School Is About Freedom, Marco Rubio, Not Just Money
To an extent, we agree with Schuman, but we think she vastly oversimplifies. In one way, it is hard to deny that students are customers. They (or someone acting on their behalf) pay for a service and, like customers in any other market, students can take their tuition money elsewhere if they aren’t satisfied.
Whether the educational experience was to the student’s “liking” may not be a good measure of the quality of the university’s educational services.
On the other hand, as Schuman points out, college education looks quite different from many other businesses. Unlike restaurant patrons, for example, students are buying a service (education) that isn’t geared toward customer enjoyment. A good college education may even push students in ways they don’t enjoy.
Whether the tilapia was prepared to the patron’s liking is a good measure of the restaurant’s food. Whether the educational experience was to the student’s “liking” may not be a good measure of the quality of the university’s educational services.
Rather than this distinction being evidence for Schuman’s claim, however, it actually points out one of its flaws. She overlooks the fact that not all customers have the same sort of relationship with a business as we see in the restaurant industry, which serves as the only basis of her customer analogy.
Yes, colleges certainly have a different relationship with students than restaurants have with patrons. Patrons are there to get what tastes good and satisfies them for that specific visit. Students are (presumably) there to receive a good education, which may not instantly please them and may sometimes have to “taste bad” to be effective. (Most people who go to the dentist don’t find it immediately pleasurable, either, but, in the long run, they are certainly glad they went.)
No Pain, No Gain
We can think of three alternative business analogies for the university-student relationship.
First is personal training or physical therapy. Like university education, they involve services that aren’t geared toward immediate consumer happiness. To help a client achieve good results, a trainer often has to make the workout difficult when the client might have wanted to go easier. And good physical therapy often involves putting the client through painful motions the client would rather not undergo.
Yet, these businesses see their clients as customers and probably take customer feedback quite seriously. Trainers need to push customers past where they want to go, but this doesn’t mean trainers dismiss negative feedback.
Second are certification services, firms that provide quality assurance for other firms. Such providers may find themselves at odds with their customers when they withhold certification, but if the firm asking for certification really wants an assurance of quality for its customers, that firm will understand why its unhappiness at being denied isn’t a reason for the certifying organization to just cave to whatever its customers want.
Schuman suggests that if students are customers, the university must be a profit-grubbing business.
Any certifying bodies that give in to pressure to certify all paying customers will end up being punished by the market when someone (a competitor? a journalist?) reveals that the company’s certification doesn’t really certify anything. Protecting the quality of the certification process is in everyone’s interest, even if it makes some of a certifier’s customers unhappy with particular outcomes.
College students may well be like the firms seeking a certification of quality, with employers and graduate schools being the analogue of their customers, who will only hire or admit “certified” students.
The Cheapest Product at the Highest Price?
A third analogy is the nonprofit organization. Schuman suggests that if students are customers, the university must be a profit-grubbing business, and since a “business’s only goal is to succeed,” a customer-focused university will “purvey… the cheapest product it can at the highest price customers will pay.”
But does viewing the people one serves as customers necessarily turn one into a business whose concern is to sell poor products at a high price rather than to provide a good service? Credit unions, art museums, area transportation services, and, yes, private K–12 schools are often organizations that don’t operate for profit and yet provide services directly to paying customers.
Nonprofit museums charge admissions and nonprofit ride services charge for rides; therefore, they serve paying customers. But this does not mean they aim to make the maximum profit possible, or in fact any sort of profit, by providing the lowest quality at the highest price. (Of course, we would take issue with Schuman’s characterization of even more traditional profit-seeking firms as aiming to sell junk at high prices, but we can leave that to the side for our purposes here.)
Schuman is wrong to think that if universities see students as customers, this must turn them into profit-driven businesses in this narrow sense.
Is the Customer Always Right?
For all that, we sympathize with some of the basics of Schuman’s argument. As college professors, we understand her concern over putting too much stock in student evaluations of teacher performance. Even if students are customers, they surely aren’t customers in the same way the restaurant patron is a customer. And a restaurant will not automatically treat every customer comment card as equally influential in changing how it does business. Some restaurant customers have unrealistic expectations or don’t understand the food service business, and restaurants often have to decipher what feedback to take seriously and what to disregard.
We suspect that Schuman’s confusion may result from universities and professors thinking that they are selling something different from what students may think they are buying. Students generally want the degrees that come from education, with education being the process to get the degree. Universities (and professors) sell knowledge and skills, and the degree is simply the acknowledgement that students have obtained that knowledge.
Professors may think that they are selling something different from what students think they are buying.
Good learning may be difficult and, in the short run, unpleasant. But for students aiming for a degree, it would be better to go through classes that are agreeable and aren’t too difficult. If this is right, you can see why there’d be a mismatch between how students think their education is going and how it may actually be going, and why the former may not be the best gauge of the latter.
With a restaurant, the customer and the seller both agree on what the product is: a good meal (and good restaurateurs will generally defer to what the customer wants). With personal training, it may be that the trainer’s job involves pushing customers past where they’d go on their own, but the trainer and customer do still generally agree on the service: the trainer helps customers achieve their goal of fitness.
We appreciate and share Schuman’s concern that universities not over-rely on student evaluations and the degree to which students find their educations pleasurable in a narrow sense. But the issue isn’t as simple as saying that, because professors’ job security shouldn’t come down entirely to student evaluations, students aren’t customers.
Yes, there is a danger in treating students the way restaurateurs treat patrons. But there is also danger in the other extreme: if we stop viewing students as customers in some sense of the term, then instead of treating them with the respect we generally see in the personal training and certification industries and among nonprofits, we risk turning universities into something more like the DMV.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/College-diploma-dollars-hat-e1455569534418.jpg392640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2016-02-15 15:52:242016-02-24 07:13:32Yes, Students Are Customers, but the Customer Isn’t Always Right by Kevin Currie-Knight & Steven Horwitz
Russ Vought, Political Director for Heritage Action for America, notes, “During the State of the Union address, President Obama called for 2014 to be a year of action. We agree, but Americans deserve action that will take the nation in the right direction. That’s why, with no clear goals or mandate from the Washington Establishment, we hosted the first Conservative Policy Summit.
On February 10th, Heritage Action brought together leaders to highlight conservative bills that would improve the lives of hardworking Americans. 10 speakers. 10 solutions.
Conservatives must lead through action. And we are. Heritage Action brought these leaders together on February 10th. The Conservative Policy Summit highlights the bills they have introduced, showing Americans a winning conservative reform agenda. Watch important discussion about our nation’s most pressing issues and learn about the conservative answers.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/768px-Number_ten-e1393410128534.jpg438640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2014-02-26 05:22:222014-02-26 05:36:44Ten Bills, Ten Solutions to save America