Pushed out — How Economic Woes of 80 Percent are Blips

 

Where oh where has the economy gone? 

Just looking over this tremendous fight for a fair economy, and the battle lines  shift daily. Really, what is a fair economy? One where the so-called One Percent control over 40 percent of all wealth (sic)?  Where 19 Percent then control 53 Percent of the dinero-$$$? And, you and I have 8 out of 10 USA citizens in our ranks and we have that big whooping SEVEN % (7 percent) of the collective American pie? A fair system, yep. Now take this one — as I launched months ago coming back to DV as a regular writer and now this column (many have asked me, “Oh, you’re a columnist — wow — how much do they pay you for your work?”) — as a forewarning:

  • age 56
  • published in dozens of literary journals
  • 29 years teaching at the college level
  • prison programs, alternative high school programs, at-risk programs
  • night school, weekend school, and school on site — fire lines on an Air Force Base
  • work on several mayors’ campaigns around peak energy and one on education
  • host and producer of radio show, weekly, one hour, public affairs — Jeremy Scahill, David Suzuki, Bill McKibben, Naomi Wolf, Amy Goodman, and many many more interviewed
  • columnist and special projects writer — check out 135 plus stories here: DTENW!
  • years as a dive master, beat print journalist, traveler to Mexico, Central America, Vietnam, Europe
  • oh, heck, the list goes on — BA, MA and MURP degrees
  • fellowships for the Henry Jackson School of International Studies, Univ. of Washington
  • fellowship for University of British Columbia’s Summer Leadership Program in Sustainability
  • Hell, that’s enough — most application forms don’t even allow this much to be posted, and what you have here is not even the femur of my skeleton.

My crimes, really, for being under-employable or unemployable? Being a humanities and writing teacher, an activist, a part-time teacher, part-time journalist, part-time everything. My bigger crime . . .  oh yes, age. And, for many in those areas I am looking for work in – Male and White.

This is coming from a feminist and diversity proponent. But, alas, as I have to assess/access the situation, most of the places I am applying for jobs at are mostly non-profits, made up mostly of female staffs and boards. The hunt is on in many of those cases for people of color (they actually use that term?) and females. Even veterans of war are given points — positive points.

System Failure

I’m not here to berate an entire system which is populated by the bourgeois and in many cases the privileged. I am not going to do woe is me. I can frame all of that in another piece. I won’t go on and on about the flippancy and the utter superficiality of bloggers and employment experts (sic) on what it takes to break in or spiff up your resume. That’s a whole other diatribe and polemic ready to be spewed forth by yours truly.

For now, though, I have related to many areas of my own background and expertise — education, community organizing, events coordination, planning, land use, sustainability, communications, journalism, arts, development, photography, public policy, research. All of  that I got with those crappy days and degrees around the humanities, the arts, journalism, the soft skills set (note, the word, “crappy,” is the IT, Knowledge Worker, High-Tech parlance — none of what I did was crappy at all — read:  three or four parts here –**.  All of that which partially defines me is being not just lambasted and lampooned, but utterly attacked by the vanguard of industry, finance, and the computing-computer engineering  crowd. Suckers is what those twenty-somethings say when they hear about how much teachers get compensated.

Contingent Consumopithecus Anthropocene

So, this state of labor, state of grace, state of capitalism with a big C — culling forces that do not make the engines of money spin — takes me to my adjunct status. Contingent faculty. What do we take, what do we suck up to, what to do in a world that is rotting and not of this world — social and equitable justice?

What do we do when folk are trying to decide which disposable thousand here and ten thousand there should be expended on this kick ass ski weekend or that hyper-lite road racing triathlete’s wet dream custom-made bicycle?

No job offers, and the ones out there are, get this, $12 or $15 an hour. One I just applied to is $20 an hour. Part-time, independent contractor.  You pay your own expenses and don’t ask about benefits. Parking pass? Don’t make us laugh!

Make that $9.25 an hour with those 3 college degrees, old man!

Shoot, adjunct faculty that I am, well, I am even interviewing  in a few days to work with developmentally-challenged adults. For the whooping amount of, drum roll please —  $9.25 an hour.

Say what? America, the land of the great, of unending opportunities? Man, we are out of this recession, now (not) , aren’t we? That’s right, $9.25 an hour.

Non-profit, sure, but still.

This is the brave new world of work, the disjointed equity, the felonious financial agreement we have with the One Percent, the 19 Percent holding up their fortunes against the 80 percent.

Go to school, get good grades, go out for sports, follow your dreams, do good by your neighbors, vote, be community focused, travel, see the world, hold the world in your hands and heart when contemplating everyone.

These so-called friends have ZERO idea how tough it is out there. White, 56, beyond the progressive socialist. We are supposed to suck it in, erase, forget, kiss up, reinvent, go forth and find the new economy and make it work. Sure.

End the ‘we are the 99 Percent’ meme NOW! 

I’ve noticed that the system is rigged, for the 19 percent and cutting into the other say 20 percent — rigged by the One Percent looking for some rear guard back-up. Almost 40 percent of Americans are in this giant scandal, this intellectual and emotional lie, this fabric of constant survival of the fittest . . . making money off war, pain, bad health, poverty, broken lives, prison complex, bad food, bad design, bad government, despicable corporations.

America — a good chunk at 40 percent – feeds off this broken, abused, slipping, cracks-cracking system.

It is, as we know, the failure of the Professional Managerial Class and the Careerists to identify with fellow human beings, us, in that bottom 60 percent of American economic, geographic, cultural life.

So what do teachers do who are aging and in a new community (geographically, skills set wise) and then want to find work but who have principles and won’t work for U of Phoenix or any number of other cheaters? Witnesses to this continuing criminal enterprise system.

Chris Hedges  makes a few points here:

The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.

Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.

These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. “Positive psychologists.” Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia. They are T.S. Eliot’s “the hollow men,” “the stuffed men.” “Shape without form, shade without colour,” the poet wrote. “Paralysed force, gesture without motion.”

It was the careerists who made possible the genocides, from the extermination of Native Americans to the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians to the Nazi Holocaust to Stalin’s liquidations. They were the ones who kept the trains running. They filled out the forms and presided over the property confiscations. They rationed the food while children starved. They manufactured the guns. They ran the prisons. They enforced travel bans, confiscated passports, seized bank accounts and carried out segregation. They enforced the law. They did their jobs.

###

Gutting Public Transportation – That was the canary in the mine shaft.

And, Hedges even gets to our bus system, and trolley system, which I wrote about in the early 2000′s in several publications. Hedges:  – 

 The deterioration of the nation’s public transportation, like the deterioration of health care, education, social services, public utilities, bridges and roads, is part of the relentless seizing and harvesting of public resources and programs by corporations. These corporations are steadily stripping the American infrastructure. Public-sector unions are being broken. Wages and benefits are being slashed. Workers are forced to put in longer hours in unsafe workplaces, often jeopardizing public safety. The communities that need public services most are losing them, and where public service is continued it is reduced or substandard and costlier. Only the security and surveillance network and the military are permitted to function with efficiency in their role as the guardians of corporate power. We now resemble the developing world: We have small pockets of obscene wealth, ailing infrastructure and public service, huge swaths of grinding poverty, and militarized police and internal security.

###

Look, I was at an (Oregon) Active Transportation Summit in Salem last week. OATS for short. You know, biking and walking enthusiasts, planners, activists.  It’s an interesting world I also collide with, using my years as a land use planning writer. I will write my next post at DV, soon, on that conference – implications of the current broken funding system, cities and towns sucking wind with no money, pension funds about to come up, regressive taxes, and state legislatures fearful of putting even a penny a thousand tax on millionaires and billionaires and corporations.

Oregon, and the US, is losing 33% of our transportation funds, and very little goes to active transportation, even though it is a miracle, walking, in terms of health benefits. But much more on that later.

Our brave new world is that gas taxes have gone down, and those rich folk with the great MPG Toyotas and other hybrids/electrics, well, they pay less, and the poor pay more. But still, now we have to GPS our lives to prove how many miles we drive and then we are taxed accordingly. No talk about a PROGRESSIVE tax. You know, tax the millionaires. That was not passed in the state legislature, yesterday. In Salem, just a teeny weenie bit more, a tax on millionaires, folks making over 250 K a year. But what did pass, in that democratic chamber? The cutting into state employees’ pension funds. Yep, brave new world indeed. Work, and work hard in many cases, put your earnings in a kitty, the pot, and , well, watch the Enron types, those accounting error experts, piddle it away . . . then the budget cutters, that managerial class, those careerists in government.

Here, as Hedges writes above about our gutted public transportation, is the root of how this society allowed for the current disgusting car-centric mess we are collectively in the middle of. How we allowed politicians and General Motors to destroy sane, clean, cheap, and real transportation choices for us, the 80 percent!

The StreetCar Conspiracy

How General Motors Deliberately Destroyed Public Transit

by Bradford Snell

The electric streetcar, contrary to Van Wilkin’s incredible naïve whitewash, did not die a natural death: General Motors killed it. GM killed it by employing a host of anti-competitive devices which, like National City Lines, debased rail transit and promoted auto sales.

This is not about a “plot” hatch by wild-eyed corporate rogues, but rather about a consummate business strategy crafted by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., the MIT-trained genius behind General Motors, to expand auto sales and maximize profits by eliminating streetcars. In 1922, according to GM’s own files, Sloan established a special unit within the corporation which was charged, among other things, with the task of replacing America’s electric railways with cars, trucks and buses.

It’s a compelling example of how corporations have been riding roughshod over us way before this silly crap around Citizens United — as if the corporation was doing so much good (and better for society community-centered choices) before that 2010 Supreme Court decision.

University of Phoenix, Another Emblematic Show on the Death of Labor, You and Me

 

What will unfold below are those email exchanges between Dahn and me  on University of Phoenix, and how the story is getting more complex and complicit in the destruction of teaching.

I’ll keep you posted on that $9.25 an hour job. Until then, Dahn and Paul and U of P Circus:

Email to me —  

Paul,

Political action in higher education is getting more dramatic. Jerry Brown, Apollo Group’s most prominent political shill, is calling for more accountability in state funding in California higher education. Accountability can be good, but it’s hard to say what’s going on based on the news reports. Here at the Santa Cruz Sentinel – *.

Here at the Sacramento Bee – *.

These stories come one week after David Halperin reported that the Obama administration is again looking at accountability of for-profit schools.  If nothing is done, billions that continues to go to University of Phoenix, Devry, ITT and others will continue to drain the federal funding system.

What we are witnessing now,  I believe, is part of the slow-motion collapse of adult education available for the working class.

In solidarity and empathy, Dahn

P.S. Teachers again need to think about divestment from Apollo Group (and other like corporations), not just for moral reasons, but for the health of their retirement funds.

Apollo Group (aka University of Phoenix) has just hired a new COO amid slow motion mass layoffs and drastic reductions in enrollment.  This guy will have to keep a straight face as Apollo looks for more ways to drastically cut over the next few  years (if they survive).Since Apollo Group doesn’t pay their adjuncts much, it should be interesting to see what they’ll come up with. University of Phoenix  is already in the process of selling off physical assets.From what I know, the Apollo Group stock buyback program is still in effect. Investors Place.

Dahn

 

Me to Dahn:

Hey, Dahn

California divests in guns, but, Apollo, BoA, Wells Fargo, Walmart, McDonald’s,  etc? I don’t think so. Look at the investments!

Reuters story on California State Teachers Retirement System divesting from firearms – **

CalSTRS manages a portfolio of investments —$149 billion as of January 31, 2012 —which provides benefits for more than 850,000 members. About 603,000 are active and inactive members, and more than 253,000 are retirees and beneficiaries.

As of June 30, 2011, CalSTRS diversified investments were:

·     53.0% in global equities

·     17.6% in fixed income

·     14.8% in private equity

·     12.1% in real estate

·     1.8% in inflation sensitive

·     0.7% in cash equivalent

The largest equity holdings were:

·     Exxon Mobil ($1.2 billion)

·     Apple ($987 million)

·     Chevron ($659.7 million)

·     IBM ($656.7 million)

·     Microsoft ($597.2 million)

·     Johnson + Johnson ($594.3 million)

·     AT&T ($592.2 million)

·     General Electric ($583.2 million)

·     Proctor & Gamble ($521.5 million)

·     JP Morgan Chase ($512.5 million)

Now it is the conundrum, uh? How much does the investment, pension, have in companies that are predatory, anti-union, anti-worker, and, like Apollo, anti-educator?

Dahn, again –

Apollo Group/University of Phoenix, a company that preys upon veterans and other working class individuals, is in the process of failing.  It is now offering a stock buyback program for investors. I am asking that teachers take this lucrative  opportunity.

http://beta.fool.com/mthiessen/2013/04/16/will-a-large-share-buyback-help-this-sagging-stock/31203/?source=eogyholnk0000001

Although many teachers will not accept the moral argument that having a retirement fund that holds Apollo Group stock makes one complicit in the destruction of public higher education (and public education in general), there are now material reasons to divest from this predatory corporation.

For those of you who have interest in this predatory company, please ask your retirement fund to sell out of Apollo Group.  The following is a short list of institutional investors.  There is a good possibility that if you do have a pension or  retirement plan, that it directly or indirectly owns Apollo Group stock (e.g. through a third party).

Holdings as of 12-31-2013 (Nasdaq.com)

                                                                                                                

Shares Held/ Value (in millions)

 

STATE TREASURER STATE OF MICHIGAN                                               2,726,343             $46.184 million

 

NEW YORK STATE COMMON RETIREMENT FUND                              689,143 $11.674 million

 

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM                  427,570                 $7.243 million

 

TIAA CREF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LLC                                       385,267                 $6.526 million

 

CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD                                   301,709                 $5.111 million

 

EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF TEXAS                                       255,578                 $4.329 million

 

NEW YORK STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM                          227,064                 $3.846 million

 

STATE BOARD OF ADMIN, FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM             180,418                 $3.056 million

 

CALIFORNIA STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM                       168,463                $ 2.854 million

 

TEACHERS ADVISERS, INC                                                                             112,166                $1.900 million

 

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO                         89,872                   $1.522 million

 

STATE OF WISCONSIN INVESTMENT BOARD                                        87,534                   $1.483 million

 

TEXAS PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND                                                         55,333                   $.937 million

 

ARIZONA STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM                                                   34,576                   $.586 million

 

ME:

Well, the attack on pension funds, and the fact that 10,000 people EVERY SINGLE DAY in the USA, AKA Baby Boomer Heaven/Haven, Turn age 65. Retire or not to retire. Die or not to die. Living wage or no wage. THOSE are the questions.

Teachers Earn Their Pensions

“Teachers and public employees are being scapegoated for problems caused by Wall Street, and pensions are being used as a wedge issue to divide working class Americans,” says the California Teachers Association (CTA) website. “Why the attack on public employee pensions? Who really benefits by their elimination? The answer is Wall Street.”

“The real problem is not that teachers, firefighters, and other public servants have pensions (‘defined benefit plans’), the problem is that private sector workers do not. That’s because the private sector systemically eliminated defined benefit pension plans in favor of risky 401(k) plans—reducing costs to corporate America at the expense of the American worker. Instead of attacking teachers over the retirement benefits that they have earned, we should be having discussions about how to create better retirement options for everyone.”

“The median CalSTRS pension replaces about 60 percent of our working income,” wrote public school teacher Dana Dillon in Thoughts on Public Education. “Unlike most workers, teachers in California do not earn any Social Security benefits. . . . Moreover, most public school educators in the state retire without employer-sponsored health care after age 65.”

Dillon insisted that her pension is not a “taxpayer giveaway:” “CalSTRS members contribute 8 percent of their monthly pay to help finance their retirement.” She outlined the other contributions: 8.25 percent from the school district, of which three quarters is offset by not having to pay Social Security taxes, 2 percent from the state, and the rest from the return on CalSTRS’ investments.”

Ed Mendel at CalPensions pointed out. “Teachers and non-teaching school employees in California are in unions that do not bargain pensions. Instead, their pensions are in big statewide pools that have some of the lowest costs for employers and some of the lowest pension formulas for retirees.”

Teacher Lynne Formigli brought up another point: “What do teacher pensions have to do with student learning? They provide an incentive to retain good teachers in the classroom, which directly benefits our students. We need teachers willing to make teaching their profession, not just something to build their resumes for a year or two before they go on to make real money elsewhere.” Formigli emphasized the benefits of teacher experience, not just in the classroom but in mentoring new teachers and carrying institutional knowledge and stability.

“We will need pension reform, not because greedy teachers are gaming the system, getting cushy payouts . . .  but because the dot-com bust and more recent Wall Street economic crisis have devastated the value of all investments,” she said. “This is the real reason CalSTRS faces a $56 billion unfunded liability. . . . Teachers pay 8% of our salaries into the system, districts contribute 8.25%. It’s our money, it’s a good system. Don’t believe the lies designed to take it away from us.”

Of course, Dahn and I and millions of others are worried about the hollowing out of the economy, real jobs, good work, and what it means to be in debt. Students getting persuaded to go into debt, but for what gain?

$9.25 an hour, plus, what? School Loans?

So, Dahn sent me this –

Law School Transparency reports employment and underemployment rates of recent law school grads from particular law schools.  More needs to be done to examine unemployment and underemployment of college graduates, and this is a site worth examining as a model.

LST Score Reports »

The Score Reports help prospective students make informed law school application and enrollment decisions using job outcome data. Our collection of geographic, school, and other reports have been desi…

And then, I sent him this email –

Another one here —  look, like humanities majors, and Classics and the so-called Liberal Arts Major (SCLAM), law school grads (it’s an undergraduate degree, mind you) are good when they work in other fields not tied to banks, schemers for finance and greedy money-drenched tort law.

We have an upside down service sector society with low wage jobs as the new normal, the new “now employment is picking up . . . therefore, corporate profits should rise, rise, rise.”

That’s 1 percent of Americans holding 40 percent of USA wealth. Then  80 percent of Americans hold 7 percent of the wealth. SEVEN. So, that 19 percent is holding 53 percent, and the One Percent is looking to get some of that, too.

Ugly broken society, so these stories on predatory capital will continue until we are hollowed out. Rags, bag ladies, old men at 50! Law Schools with the Highest Unemployment Rates. 

Quoting –

As for the 2015 U.S. News rankings, most law schools already have an idea of the fates they’ll be subjected to when Bob Morse gets his hands on the jobs data for the class of 2012. The fact that only 56 percent of the most recent graduating class were employed as lawyers nine months after graduation is already set in stone, so they’ll have to aim higher when it comes to the class of 2013.

But just because U.S. News hasn’t evaluated the most recent set of employment statistics doesn’t mean that we can’t. Today, the National Law Journal released a study on the latest employment outcomes from all 202 ABA-accredited law schools, ranging from the schools that sent the highest percentages of their class into Biglaw’s gaping maw to the schools with the highest percentage of Article III groupies.

###

But, then, STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) it isn’t all rosy for those graduates. How many graduates of Physics programs get jobs after graduation, in the field? It’s low — less than 30 percent for undergrad.; 40 percent graduate; less than 55 % for PhDs.

Then, Dahn sent this about University of Phoenix preying an US military vets:  

University of Phoenix Using Job Fairs to Prey on US Military Veterans

Then, I sent Dahn this:  

Yep, that’s what a cohort  from Texas (with the SignOn.org petition on the adjunct list serve) said about  one of her mandatory job fairs as part of her unemployment duties — no businesses or companies there, just private for profit schools of every species.

And, to be honest there are veterans and then there are VETERANS. I have little stomach for the rah-rah we give to ex-military who are part of the killing machine and corporate protection racket. These fellows and gals are not my people. I had some tough times teaching at the US Sergeants Major Academy and on Fort Bliss.  I stayed true to myself and my leftist principles, but in the end, the military attracts mostly people who are my enemy. I fought every step of the way. Fought hard. I won, but I also got sacked. So, I don’t really know what to say. Some of my best friends are ex-draftees and those in the economic draft, who went over to “wherever empire sends us,” fought, and came back as militants, and anti-Americans.

I’ve been with Bezos (honcho at Amazon (dot) com) at a shareholders meeting,and I have been with some of his 20 something and thirty something tech whizzes. They are nihilistic and again, make the Art of War look like a Gandhi track in comparison. What Chris Hedges talks about here 

Amazon is big on hiring mean ass ex military to run their fulfillment centers –

Why would someone who’d been trained to protect America against incoming missiles want to work at a company whose more pedestrian mission is to relentlessly drive down retail prices on goods large and small? “I was attracted to peak season,” says Clancey, referring to the chaotic, all-hands-on-deck period at Amazon that merchandising civilians would call the pre-Christmas shopping rush. Having joined Amazon in September 2010, just before “peak” began, Clancey says he needed to “train up” in a short period of time, military-speak not quite having exited his system. “That excited me to come here,” he says. “I stayed because of the leadership and the relationships we have with associates.”

“Associates” are Amazon’s hourly workers, the workaday world’s equivalent of the military’s enlisted personnel. If Clancey’s aw-shucks fealty to his employer and his subordinates seems a little too good to be true, well, that’s just one of the many benefits a company like Amazon (No. 56 on the Fortune 500) gets for placing its talent bets on those who cut their teeth in uniform.

At Amazon (AMZN) the ex-military men and women have formed something of a clique, at least in the fulfillment-center operations. Philip Dana, the company’s talent acquisition manager for North America, served in the Navy, both as an enlisted man and an officer. (He persuaded Clancey to join Amazon.) Clancey’s boss, Dan Fay, is another West Point grad. Josh Teeter, general manager of one of Amazon’s pair of 1-million-square-foot facilities in Phoenix, was an Arabic linguist in the Army before joining Amazon.

It’s easy to see what hiring managers see in veterans, particularly the young former junior officers who literally are battle-tested in addition to being well educated. “They have a standard of leadership that is different from someone right out of college,” says Teeter, 37, who rejected a position as a contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency in favor of the Amazon assignment of boosting the intelligence of e-commerce. “They understand that it’s not about them. They have a huge running start. They’re smart. And they’ve already met a certain bar.”

Of course, my work on Amazon here - Dissident Voice.

And, Mother Jones.

Then, Dahn sends me this, a final look at how he wants to really wedge in and get teachers to divest from Apollo and the other for-profit edu-stealers!

Your articles cover so much ground … not [...] many people can follow them… [...] light years ahead of most people in terms of social consciousness

Paul,

Your articles cover so much ground that I’m not sure many people can follow them.  You are light years ahead of most people in terms of social consciousness.

For me, Apollo Group (aka University of Phoenix) is a visible target, and something symbolic about the whole corrupted system.  It is also a viable and vulnerable target despite all its lobbying power and advertising.  Apollo Group stock has declined approximately 80% since January 2009 and it doesn’t show many signs of improving.

To stem the revenue losses over the short run, University of Phoenix is shutting down campuses, doing slow motion mass layoffs, selling off their physical assets and buying back their stock.  But it faces lawsuits from stockholders and continued government scrutiny. Huffington Post:

In addition, Apollo Group faces lots of disgruntled employees and former employees.

If we get Phoenix, then we can develop a model for working class people to go up against other targets.  There is hope here, that we can resist the power of predatory corporations, through education, consumerism, and divestment.

Many consumers have caught on to this predator, and the University of Phoenix brand has become a joke.

Yet University of Phoenix still preys upon veterans and hundreds of thousands of other working class folks.  And as long as it survives, the Phoenix has the potential to rise again, in an equally dangerous way.  I know we can’t move many “middle class” teachers with a moral (“justice”) argument, but hopefully we can move them to fight for their own futures.

In solidarity and empathy, Dahn

 

Here is my added twenty-five cents an hour: Stupid and Silly — What You Tube Represents — but that’s what U of P is, now, Funny and Stupid!

Other U of P strange Video

ABC News report on for-profits — short, packaged, mainstream mush

Chomsky, droll and there, Purpose of Education

Henry Giroux, short of many on You Tube

Paulo Freire

College Inc 

Paul Kirk has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. Read other articles by Paul.

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  1. Paul Haeder said on April 29th, 2013 at 4:07pm #

    From the world of zombie economics, in my email box, which is full as I write this with offers from ITT and UOP and STP to get me enrolled into some classes on computing. I need more cogent emails like this with advice I can take to the bank, err, ATM machine (read 7-11, near the tall-boys aisle).

    To Doctor Haeder —

    …all that education and you can’t find you a job? What’s wrong with you, boy? Ain’t got no gumption? This here’s the greatest, most democritical free country the free world’s ever seen — and anyone what sez otherwise can tell it to the United States Military!

    Just plain old laziness is what it is. Too proud to woik the night-shift at McDonald’s or greet the fine folks what come into Wal-mart — and they gives you yer own name-tag and green vest and I don’t know what-all?

    In my day, we didn’t have no fancy high-fallutin’ ideas about rights and dignity and what all. We just hunkered down and woiked, and if that didn’t woik, well then, buster, we just woiked even harder.

    Why doncha just go back to Russia, like all the other complainers who think they’s too “high-brow” to woik sixteen-hour days without health-care or vacations or other luxuries and flub-dubs!

    William Gates
    Retired Software Engineer/Oligarch/Tycoon
    Full-time Philanthropist