Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hey, At Least Ammo Is Affordable

Referring to a recent study by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the Seattle P-I makes important points here about the lack of access to higher education in Washington state and nationally. The money quote: "[Washington state] received an F in affordability, along with every state but California." (emphasis mine).

Think of that: A college education is out of reach for all but the most well-off in 49 of the 5o states. When I went to graduate school at the University of Texas in 1981, tuition costs weren't even a budget item, they were so low. Texas had four year schools in the most remote reaches of the state, and it was a given that anyone who could get into college could go to a state institution because the price was so low. And this had to have held down the cost of Texas private schools as well.

The P-I editorial points out that "...the United States, formerly the leader, ranks behind a half-dozen countries in college participation. Just more than a third of young adults enroll here, far behind the 53 percent who attend college in Korea." Which means that at the same time that blue collar jobs are disappearing, the entry cost -- a college education -- to the white collar world is prohibitive for most American young people. 

This is yet another example of the bias against the working class in this country: In the interests of union busting, conservatives begrudge a bailout to the auto industry that is less than 2% of the money used on the Wall Street bailout even though auto making is one of the few industries that pays blue collar workers reasonably well. I yield to no one in holding contempt for top management of the American automotive industry, but arguably millions of jobs -- in the middle of a recession yet -- are at stake here.

Anyway, here's the sum total of the deal offered by conservatives to working people: You can't send your kids to college and you can't make a decent living, but you do get to own as many guns as you want...

Republican National Committee chair Mike Duncan talks about the future of his party here. Listen as he dances around the issue of the religious right's influence and at one point squirms in silence. It's his problem, but just what do you do when your party is identified with a lunatic fringe group?...

The Nation has an informative and positive review of Ned Sublette's terrific book The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver To Congo Square...

Media Matters has compiled a depressingly long list of MSM outlets eager to hitch Barack Obama's wagon to Rod Blagojevich's fallen star, despite a dearth of evidence connecting the two. It's not even as meager as guilt-by-association, as Obama has assiduously kept Blagojevich at arm's length. Personally, I think this whole mess will redound to Obama's favor. The MSM comes across as playing the Same Old Game, except that today there is a blogosphere to call them on it. And they're playing the SOG against someone whom the public wants to succeed...

Chutzpah Dept: You have to see this to believe it...

5 comments:

Kathy said...

Bush the next MLK? Someone might want to remind him of his response following Hurricane Katrina.

Chutzpah, indeed.

Renegade Eye said...

I'm glad the Nation finally noticed Ned's book. It's an odd review. You can't tell if the reviewer liked it. The magazine when it was founded, was soft on racism.

MLK and any Bush, can't even be in the same sentence.

Foxessa said...

The writer liked the book -- he worked hard to get this piece published. He wrote it for the LA Times, but the editor nixed it because of all the slavery material; the London Review of Books also decided finally not to run it because they felt New Orleans was so, well 2005.

The Nation likes Ned and his work.

But most leftists, as much as the rightwing, do not like Thomas Jefferson, that Great democrat, criticized as a money-grubbing, bad-tempered, hugely egotistical, selfish man, who lived, literally off the bodies of his slaves, who all had to be sold off when he died to pay his enormous debts.

I always contrast this outcome of Jefferson's great agricultural democracy -- his slave plantation -- with John Adams, who through the brilliant management of his wife Abigail, had a farm that paid well enough that they could furnish a White House, educate their children, provide doweries for their daughter, and leave a surplus when they died -- all from their non-slave farm in the stony ground of New England.

Love, c.

K. said...

When the Confederate Army invaded Pennsylvania in 1863, the rank-and-file soldiers were flabbergasted by a prosperity they had been told was impossible in a free state. Ever since slavery, the South has boasted of its non-Union cheap labor, but to what end? It's still the poorest section of the country with the lowest living and education standards. And who wants their state to be like Alabama?

Foxessa said...

Well, as Rachel Maddow characterizes the rethugs in the Senate that are killing the auto industry in order to kill unions -- she calls them the Plantation Cronies. Like the Confederates, they'd rather take down the nation than have labor be paid for working.

Love, C.