Solidarity with OWS at Temple


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The faculty members continue:

More broadly, we share the outrage of Occupy Wall Street at a system that provides increasingly few opportunities for the majority–the 99%–while generating vast profits for a tiny minority. Along with the demonstrators, we are demanding an end to the extreme inequalities that structure our society. We share with many Americans acute anger at the government’s unconditional bailout of bankers and Wall Street firms that drove the economy to disaster. Our country urgently needs to address not the problems of Wall Street but the problems of the 99%: massive unemployment, the erosion of our social safety networks, our decaying infrastructures, social and education programs, and workers’ wages, rights, and benefits. We join Occupy Wall Street in calling for urgent action to increase employment and to protect programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in part by requiring the wealthy, the investment bankers, and the large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

Who’s to blame for increasingly few opportunities for the majority? How about colleges that churn out thousands of graduates with majors completely unsuited for employment? The Daily Beast, hardly a bastion of right-wing journalism, has compiled a list of the 20 Most Useless College Majors. Potential students might want to peruse it before deciding whether college is worth it. Temple faculty members who signed the petition with their names and what they teach, much of which makes that Top 20 list, might also want to look at the list–and perhaps in a mirror as well.

As for the social safety net, massive unemployment, decaying infrastructure, etc., it should be noted that the Obama administration has spent more than a trillion dollars in Keynesian economic stimulus and added almost $5 trillion to the national debt, immediately following eight years of a “compassionate conservative” Bush administration which also added $5 trillion to the debt. That’s some fairly “urgent action” in the space of  eleven years. Unfortunately, none of it has stopped or even mitigated the runaway freight train that is entitlement spending. As for large corporations paying their fair share, thankfully none of the professors who signed the petition teach economics. Here’s a reality check for those that did sign the petition: corporations invariably pass taxes on to consumers.

The faculty members wind it up:

We also join the protesters in decrying the disastrous effects of the costly wars that the United States has been conducting overseas since 2001. Only by identifying the complex interconnections between repressive economic, social, and political regimes can social and economic justice prevail in this country and around the globe. We applaud the efforts to keep the protests peaceful and democratic. As teachers we express our conviction that without social justice, education is a shell game. And as scholars we celebrate the creative and intellectual work of Occupy Wall Street as an essential partner to our own efforts to facilitate the emergence of a better social order and a smarter commitment to its lively perpetuation. As individuals proud to be members of the Temple Association of University Professionals, we join our colleagues in the labor movement, especially teachers unions, and at other universities and colleges, in supporting this peaceful and potentially transformative movement, and we call on all members of the Temple community to lend their support.

Perhaps it never occurs to such people that maybe the reason there’s been no reprise of 9/11 in any other American city–like in Temple University’s home city of Philadelphia for example–is because we’ve managed to keep Islamic jihadism off balance since 2001. As for the next bit, one can identify all the complex and repressive interconnections one desires–without an iota of so-called economic justice prevailing. Or, to put it in terms a non-academic can understand, talk is cheap.

With respect to education being a “shell game” without social justice, I point the professors to the differential between their own compensation and that of the average Pennsylvanian and ask the following question: how much of a pay cut would they be willing to take to simultaneously achieve a modicum of that social justice and make college “accessible and affordable to all”?

As for the OWS movement being “peaceful and transformative,” numerous instances of stealing, reports of rapeviolent clashes with police,  exhibitions of anti-Semitism, and professed support for the OWS movement by the American Communist and Nazi parties indicate otherwise.

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  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    Veterans
    911truth
    OWS

    • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

      all colors
      all creeds

    • tagalog

      Wow! That answers EVERYTHING! Thanks so much!

  • davarino

    Its funny how these kids get a degree like communications and think they should be able to find lots of jobs for lots of money. Try getting a real education, then your worth something. Here is a clue, if the degree is easy to obtain then it probably will not command a high wage.

    • tagalog

      For my own part, I think that after all, they're only 22 or so years old, and the world is still new to them. But it's puzzling that they now think it's somebody else's fault.

  • StephenD

    There are some simple measures these altruistic professors can take. They can, for starters, voluntarily take a reduction in salary with every bit of that reduction shared among those with a "right" to higher education. How about it Teach? What with such a strong belief in "Social Justice," opening their wallets may "stimulate" student relief.
    These, not so subtle, Socialist ploys only serve to expose them for what they are. Do they think it isn't understood that the very thing they supposedly abhor; the few elites in collusion with the Government, isn't EXACTLY what a Socialist System is? All we need do is look at recent history of Eastern Europe. Better still, look at Cuba. Everyone is equally poor except…the few elites and government officials.

  • Rifleman

    Government involvement is what has driven up the cost of higher education. The more the government becomes involved in something, the more expensive it becomes. The quality always goes down as government involvement becomes dominant. We’re spending more money on education than ever, and more than any other country, with a negative effect on quality.

    You won't ever see these professors calling for cuts in their own salaries and perks to make higher education more affordable. You won't ever see them call for the elimination of tenure to make their profession more competitive and effective.

  • truckwork

    Peacefull movement my a$&. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/52836222-75/oa… "windows at two bank branches and a Whole Foods store were broken and graffiti was painted inside one of the banks"

    You may wish to believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us a large sum of money but the total defense budget is only 20% of the US Budget. Approx. 20% of our budget is Social Security, another 20% is for Medicare and Medicaid and another 20% for other social programs. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=… Now with all that spending, more than twice that of our military spending each year, and our "War on Poverty" begun during the Johnson administration more than 40 years ago, and we still have poor people? Now that's worked out great hasn't it! "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" Albert Einstein

    Now please find for me the article in the Constitution that allow Congress to expend tax dollars on the benevolence of others.

  • BS77

    OWS are a motley mob of losers!!! These roving crowds of obnoxious people are not the 99%, do not represent the 99% and never will, as if there is a 99%. In Oakland mobs of the OWS anarchists broke windows in stores and banks, created chaos in the streets and generally offer nothing in the way of solutions to the economic problems. I am sick of OWS…

  • Asher

    Please Understand that these Revolutionaries are going to try and collapse our system before the next elections…If they are not stopped this will go into the 2012 elections and intimidate the voters in precincts near the chaos, riots, and fires. This will subvert the Will of the People, look at what the Black Panthers did to intimidate people in Philadelphia from voting! Congress should pass a bill (Now) that says if the Mayors cannot protect their citizens from harm, then their districts will be defunded!

  • scum

    Why would they take any pay cut at all, when CEO's earn $50 million a year? And furthermore, note that in your own post you speak to the amount the professors earn in 'salaries and benefits.' It's precisely those benefits that you apparently champion that are at risk. Furthermore, the entry-level salary at many colleges (some in New York, where the cost of living is even more expensive), is around $60,000. Many professors, who spent ten years in graduate school (therefore, out of the workforce), also paid to do their own research, make less than standard school teachers.

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