How Do We Screen the Oxymoron — Socially Responsible Investing — from Our Portfolios?

Okay, okay, you’ve heard about the BDS movement — boycott, divest, sanction Israel. Just me writing “BDS” might get the Zuckerbergs (Facebook) and Bezos (Amazon) and all the other Zionists mad.

The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007. BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.

Hmm, sounds like a Group of 20 could fit that description. Certainly the members of the UN Security Council, no?

We had to say farewell to Margaret the Milk Snatcher to the tune of $16 million in pomp and public rip-off circumstance (charged to Brits for that funeral ) to remind us of the racism of that woman, all the way down to Churchill.

Who showed up? Kissinger? Cheney? Fun white meat show there.

Then we had the wimp Kerry working for his ad man, Obama, declare how the US — that’s me, you and another 301 million other putzes — does not recognize the democratically elected new Venezuelan president. Whew. What a country, US of A-holes.

So the beat goes on — Bureau of Labor Stats comes up with shaky jobs figures, and states like Oregon and Washington say applications for unemployment insurance are down, without saying more are ineligible to collect that safety net, and many more have stopped looking for jobs.

I look every single hour of a working and evening-based day for jobs. I apply four times a day. Yes, it is discouraging, and the numbers of unemployed, misemployed, underemployed, neveremployed, deployed to be underemployed, what have you, all of that, it sets in on us in the job market.

There are plenty of health sites and experts talking about the physiological and psychological and community collective weight unemployment creates. Maybe it’s also those who give a shit, who turn the other cheek, who think we are damaged goods, who think our life-trajectory, sorry, was just not guided by the right angels and right balance sheet.

Scabs are milk snatchers

So, to scab or not to scab? Which company or organization do we pledge allegiance to? Honor, obey, cover for, protect, shield, and sacrifice freedoms galore, agency, mind and body for a pay check?

I guess the longer on the dole and on the fiddle, to use Margaret Thatcher’s UK parlance, then I guess more open we are to becoming scabs . . . part of the economic charlatan network. Abide by corporate rules, suck up, drain self, bleed ethics, shovel-over compassion and humanism, and, damn, get that job.

Again, the U of Phoenix break away news among all the other news fluttering like shaggy moths from the mouths and fingertips of mainline media.

Should we divest from predatory companies like U of Phoenix, AKA Apollo Group, if our retirement funds (we have those?) are invested in such organizations who prey on us, US taxpayer? This is a question Quakers asked when they had the first screen for putting their money places — no bombs, bullets, booze screening for social justice. The War Screen.

Oh the simpler days, before Transnational Money, Corporations, Allegiance, and Allure took over the world. We are the Brave New World of Amazon-Google-Nanoparticle-Genetically Altered-Digital Surveillance-on-Steroids. Nothing is private, nothing is ours, and our own thoughtless world of consumption is the new normal. Boston bombed, but who is calculating the lost revenue?

SRI — Whose Social Responsibility?

So, while I understand Paul Hawken, and have read his stuff, even HIS screen for social-environmental responsibility is flawed. Note he worked for WalMart, Ford and, he puts Amazon Sweatshop and Technological Unemployment Leader Com on his list.

Hawken is a thinker and influential writer whose books include The Ecology of Commere (1993), Natural Capitalism (1999, with Amory and Hunter Lovins) and Blessed Unrest (2007). He’s an entrepreneur who founded Erewhon and Smith & Hawken, and an advisor who has worked with to Wal-Mart and Ford. These days, he’s focused on a startup in stealth mode called OneSun, a a solar energy company based on green chemistry and biomimcry.

Many of these [SRI] funds employ the term sustainability. This is a catchall term that…has come to mean less than it could and more than it should. At Highwater, we also use the word, but we believe that sustainability is a scientific concept, not a feel-good term. It is rooted in biology and physics, and describes the limits within which society can grow and prosper over time.

For example, the values statement at Kellogg’s has lofty goals. However, at no point does it mention children or health. There is a children’s health crisis in the US due to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Advertising and promoting Cookie Crunch, Frosted Flakes and Star Trek cereals, all of which contain more than one-third simple sugars, during Saturday morning cartoons, belies Kellogg’s value statement.

So who passes the screens? Google, whose purpose is to make all of the world’s information available to everyone. “That’s a reason to go to work in the morning,” Hawken says. The Danish wind company Vestas qualifies, as does First Solar, which makes photovoltaic panels. (Some Chinese solar firms do not because of their workplace and environmental practices.) Ford and Honda pass as well. “I was driving 100 miles per gallon cars in Dearborn two years ago,” says Hawken, an adviser to Ford. He drives a Ford Escape hybrid.

Other firms that qualify include eBay, which enables thousands of small business owners to flourish, and Amazon, which has begun to deliver digital books, magazines and newspapers. “Trees are being saved because of the Kindle,” Hawken says.

“Socially Responsible Investing: How the SRI industry has failed to respond to people who want to invest with conscience, and what can be done to change it.”

Naively or intentionally, phrases such as ‘corporate social responsibility,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘green business’ and ‘socially responsible investing’ are being employed by corporations in ways that confuse consumers and diminish the work of businesses that are dedicated to responsible practices. SRI mutual funds, which purport to invest responsibly, are in fact buying shares in many companies that have co-opted these terms. In response to this blurring of meaning, NCI published a report in 2004, and developed the first database of socially responsible mutual fund portfolios in North America, accessible free of charge to the public.

Socially responsible investing is a contradiction in terms.

It will not work for a number of reasons.

First of all, socially responsible investing where a so-called triple bottom line, by the nature of the two out of three that are traditionally left out will not be able to compete with socially irresponsible investment.

Secondly, the notion of socially responsible investment runs contrary to the notion of equity. It reinforces the elite position of a Capitalist class.

For an alternative to the Capitalist system which is based on reform rather than revolution, go to:

Working for peace and cooperation,


Then, a response on this list serve —

Well Mike, you are right that Socially Responsible Investing is a contradiction in terms, yet perhaps for a different reason. It doesn’t really matter that Socially Responsible Investing doesn’t appeal to those who find the capitalist system irresponsible, as those folks are presumably not sending their savings anywhere other than under a mattress, but it might lure a few of them out into the market. SRI is trying to bring more people in, so let’s call it a ‘big tent policy’ for the investor class. However, I don’t think that individual SRI funds have near the growth potential of environmentally-sensitive funds, because there is a much wider-ranging debate about what constitutes social responsibility (versus what is good for the natural environment). The “Paper vs Plastic” or PLA polymers debate is nothing compared to disagreements among socially-inclined investors over abortion, gay rights, non-spousal benefit provisions, affirmative action, outsourcing, offshoring, immigration, or even a ‘living wage’.

SRI funds face not only a fragmented market, but one in which the market niches are mutually exclusive. (Even related issues can be fractious- one could reasonably make a ‘socially responsible’ case for all four combinations for/against immigration/ offshoring of jobs.) Except with the most milquetoast of SRI fund charters, an investment company can’t expect to serve oppositional camps very successfully, so by nature, the niche markets will be served by niche companies.

Unless, of course, you view your dollars simply as economic votes, and don’t mind that your broker, like most politicians, is also in bed with the enemy.                                                             – Jay Donnaway

How much money do greens and social activists and environmentalists and educationalists and the rest of the human rights folk TAKE from bad seeds, bad companies, collectives and such stealing our communities’ wealth, killing the “it takes a village-public sector-public agencies to raise a child and care for adults and save the old and infirm” adage?

Back to Phoenix — Predatory, Tax Gobbling, The Gainfully Unemployed, Investing 2.0!

Dahn from NJ, PhD, and adjunct, is back on the story of University of Phoenix and Apollo Group. Of course, it speaks to what sort of investing we as social justice revolutionaries should be engaged in, and, then, what sort of investing should non-revolutionaries but the socially and culturally disposed, AKA PRECARIOUS and adjunct faculty, be involved in?



John Liu (NY City Comptroller) is looking at the purse strings here, between institutional investments and predatory for-profit education. Students, teachers, and retirees need to put pressure on more comptrollers to do this due diligence.

“The U.S. Department of Education announced this morning that it will conduct new hearings and rulemaking proceedings on a range of higher education issues, including the contested “gainful employment” rule, which is aimed at curbing the abuses of predatory for-profit colleges.”

Today a broad coalition of organizations representing students, educators, consumers, veterans, and civil rights interests, will send a letter to President Obama asking him to promptly issue a strengthened gainful employment rule.  I participated in creating and organizing the letter, and I hope the administration will respond positively and promptly.

When the Obama administration entered office, among the numerous challenges it faced was the for-profit college industry, which was growing extremely wealthy off taxpayer dollars, yet appeared to be providing exceptionally poor value for students. The sector is dominated by big companies — University of Phoenix, EDMC, Kaplan, etc. — that receive about 86 percent of their revenue from taxpayers. These schools have taken as much as $32 billion in federal financial aid in a single year, about 25 percent of all such aid.  That means all of us are paying for their ubiquitous advertisements, which promise students a better future, for their big CEO salaries, and for their high-priced lawyers and lobbyists.

Instead of implementing federal rules to ensure that taxpayer education dollars were spent wisely, the administration of George W. Bush had actually loosened restrictions, thereby unleashing a torrent of waste, fraud, and abuse. While there are some responsible companies providing quality programs, many for-profit colleges have been engaged in deceptive recruiting of veterans, single parents, immigrants, and others struggling to train for a decent-paying career. These deceptions, and phony reporting to government authorities, have masked that many for-profit colleges offer high-priced, low quality programs that leave students with worthless credits, without good jobs, and buried in student loan debt.

The results of this reckless joyride are clear: More than half of the students who enrolled in for-profit colleges in a recent year dropped out within about four months, without a degree or certificate. For-profit colleges have 13 percent of the students, but 47 percent of student loan defaults. Twenty-three percent of their borrowers default on their loans within three years of graduating or dropping out.

“The concepts in the gainful employment rule are catching on in efforts to hold for-profit colleges accountable. For example, New York City Comptroller John Liu and the his city’s pension funds recentlysubmitted shareholder proposals to big for-profits DeVry and Career Education Corp. requiring those companies to disclose student debt-to-income ratios and loan repayment rates. (The SEC rejected Career Education’s effort to block the proposal.)”

Okay, another email, just a day before the above posting:

Paul,  Our main question is straightforward: Are the company’s products or services helpful? The reasoning here is simple: If a company is heading down a path that does not serve society into the future, it matters little how it gets there.

Besides downsizing its workforce and selling off lots of its physical assets, Apollo Group – University of Phoenix — now has a stock buyback program.  We need to get institutional shareholders (teachers retirement funds, especially) to take the deal.

“After announcing its second quarter financial results, higher education firm Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL) revealed that it had authorized a share buyback program that will allow it to repurchase more than 14 million of its own shares at market prices. With no fixed termination date, the $250 million buyback program will continue indefinitely. It comes on the heels of a rough two years for Apollo’s stock.”

“During the breakneck growth phase that the company enjoyed in the mid-2000s, Apollo used repurchases to reward its shareholders in lieu of regular dividend payments. Today, the company’s poor financial performance has led many observers to conclude that the buybacks are intended to prop up a fundamentally unhealthy stock. In any event, investors may be able to leverage Apollo’s capital moves to turn a sizable profit.”

An interesting moral question for you:  Would it be wrong to supply information to for-profit schools to take down their competitors?  For example, giving bad press and discouraging information about Apollo Group to Devry?

In solidarity and empathy, Dahn

Then, another posting this week, before the immediate one just above:

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.

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 (


                                                                                                                       Shares Held       Value (in millions)


STATE TREASURER STATE OF MICHIGAN                                               2,726,343             46.184


NEW YORK STATE COMMON RETIREMENT FUND                              689,143             11.674


CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM         427,570                 7.243


TIAA CREF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LLC                                       385,267                 6.526


CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD                                   301,709                 5.111


EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF TEXAS                                       255,578                 4.329


NEW YORK STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM                     227,064                 3.846


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


CALIFORNIA STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM            168,463                 2.854


TEACHERS ADVISORS INC                                                                             112,166                1.900


PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO                89,872                   1.522


STATE OF WISCONSIN INVESTMENT BOARD                                   87,534                   1.483


TEXAS PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND                                                       55,333                   .937


ARIZONA STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM                                                   34,576                   .586


And, then, below, Dahn’s email to the NY honcho for the State Teacher’s Retirement Fund:

From: Dahn
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:34 PM
To: Communications Unit
Subject: NY State Teachers Retirement Fund and Apollo Group

I am doing research on Apollo Group’s predatory business practices and found that your organization holds shares in Apollo Group.

Were you aware that your organization had institutional shares in Apollo Group, and that Apollo Group is the parent company of

University of Phoenix?

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Dahn Shaulis, Ph.D.

Then, from the main honcho:  

John Cardillo <gro.srtsynnull@ollidrac.nhoj> wrote:

Thank you for your email. More than three-quarters of NYSTRS’ equity assets are tied to highly diversified, passively managed index funds. All or some of our Apollo holdings may fall within this category.

If that is the case, in lieu of withholding its investment dollars, NYSTRS’ influences change in a company through responsible corporate governance. The NYSTRS Board maintains a formal proxy voting policy which, among other objectives, attempts to promote responsible corporate policies and activities. The System uses its proxy voting rights to its fullest potential.

We also routinely join forces with other large public pension funds in an attempt to influence the actions of corporations. Given that these pension funds hold a large percentage of an individual company’s stock, it is generally in the best interest of the corporation to listen and take action—or risk losing substantial investment income of its own. NYSTRS is a member of several influential organizations, such as the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the National Council on Teachers’ Retirement. By presenting a united front through these groups, positive change is often instituted.

I hope you find this information helpful.

John L. Cardillo

New York State Teachers’ Retirement System

10 Corporate Woods Dr

Albany, NY 12211

P: (518) 447-4743    F: (518) 447-2875    E: gro.srtsynnull@ollidrac.nhoj


Then, Dahn’s gracious but too weak response:

Dear Mr. Cardillo,
Thank you for the information.  According to, the NY State Teachers Retirement Fund owns 227,064 shares or approximately $3.846 million in Apollo Group stock. Apollo Group currently has a stock buyback program,and I’m wondering what it will take for the fund to divest from this predatory company (a company that also undermines the mission of public school teachers).  I suppose the fund actually owns even more through third parties.

Dahn Shaulis, Ph.D.

Report shows for-profit institutions to be abusive, exploitative

TO BE honest, these union guys, these investors, on either side of the black and blue purple dividing line of American one-party-squared politics, is the problem, not the solution. Here I was working with SEIU, Service Employees International Union, and I even did a few campaigns under their umbrella — Working Washington — against Bezos and Amazon & Company dot com and against Bank of America. Lo and behold, my first check there at SEIU when I worked in Seattle blue-blah town was cut from Bank of America. I went round and round with the president, another $120 K a year wonder, why this was so. The BoA has the mortgage on the building SEIU 925 owns in Fremont. No changes with the union’s love of BoA.

Oh well, contradiction in terms and oxymorons are not the concern of union bosses. Divest? TO be honest, I see nothing specific in that email back to Dahn from the NY investor guy referring to anything specific about any specific company/holding at any specific date tied to any specific corporate responsibility issue that certainly all the holdings in the NY retirement system have. What sort of power do these investors have to change bad corporate policy, behavior, leadership?


Another story on For-Profits, University of Mass — the Collegian, Independently serving the UMass community since 1890

By: HANNAH SPARKS | April 11, 2013 | 

The phoenix, a mythological bird that bursts into flames only to be reborn from the ashes, is a symbol of regeneration. Perhaps this inspirational image is something the flailing University of Phoenix should focus on in order to regain its reputation following its October decision to close 115 of its locationsnationwide after a drop in enrollment and profits. The jig may be up for the University of Phoenix and other for-profit institutions of higher education, however, as the various abusive and exploitative practices of these companies are held up to the light and scrutinized.

For-profit colleges were but a blip on the higher education radar until the 1970s, whenUniversity of Phoenix founder John Sperling started the first class, later expanding to include online courses as early as 1989. At the time, these schools were revolutionary in their ability to suit the flexible schedules of working adults, and reaching other “non-traditional” students. Though proponents of for-profit education argue that this flexibility is still an important benefit of for-profit institutions, critics argue that those institutions are inherently exploitative.

Over the summer, the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (HELP), released a report titled “For Profit Higher Education: The Failure to Safeguard the Federal Investment and Ensure Student Success.” The report, spearheaded by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, the chairman of the committee, contains statistics that expose some of the unethical practices of for-profit universities.

Across the board, degrees from for-profit colleges or universities cost more than they do anywhere else. Most shockingly, the cost of a two-year associate’s degree from a for-profit institution costs about four times more than one from a comparable community college ($35,000 versus $8,300, respectively). Students at for-profit institutions also graduate with more debt and account for almost half of all student loan defaults. While 96 percent of students at for-profit colleges take out loans, only 48 percent of public college and 13 percent of community college students do.

Additionally, the retention rates at these institutions are generally low, with only 20 percent of attendees graduating in four years. This may have something to do with the fact that the average amount spent on instruction per student at a for-profit was just over $2,000 in 2009, less than a third of that spent on students at public universities. Despite these figures, between 1998 and 2008, enrollment at for-profit institutions grew by 225 percent, whereas in the same period, enrollment at other institutions grew by only 31 percent.

This is probably because in 2009, the for-profit higher education industry spent over $4 billion on marketing, recruiting and admissions staff, about a billion more than that spent on instruction. In 2010, over 35,000 recruiters were hired by 30 for-profit companies, while the industry as a whole employed only about 3,500 career services staff. To make matters worse, the average pay for the CEO of one of these companies is over $7 million.

Well, at least we know where their priorities are.

The continued growth of the industry, despite its more expensive costs and low returns in regards to graduations rates, suggests some deceptive marketing and recruitment practices. According to an article by Michael Stratford for the Chronicle of Higher Education, the companies “created a ‘boiler-room sales atmosphere’ for their recruiters, who were trained to capitalize on prospective students’ fear and emotions.”

Running a school as a business can only mean bad news for potential students. Tuition hikes at for-profit colleges are primarily motivated by the desire for higher profits, not for higher quality instruction. Stratford says “the educational interests of students rarely, if at all, figured into that decision making.” Not only are these schools mostly unconcerned with their student’s success (or lack thereof), they actively prey upon and make huge profits off of the anxieties students face in the economic downturn.

It isn’t just the for-profit companies themselves that are to blame: The report also targets, as the article states, “regulatory problems at the federal and state level,” as well as inefficiencies and cronyism in the accreditation process which allow faulty for-profits to stay afloat. Shoddy business practices affect everyone, not just the students who are being ripped off. Huge amounts of debt hurt the economy, as does the misuse of $30 billion of taxpayer money as well as the federal aid being funneled into these institutions every year.

Finger-pointing abounds, but the report ends by identifying three areas for improvement. The first is greater transparency, including requiring schools to provide more complete data about student enrollment and retention, as well as earnings and employment after graduation. The next suggestion is improved oversight of finances, especially in regards to where federal money is going. The final suggestion calls for greater legal and financial protection for students at these institutions, including an improved complaint process, improved student services and ending the practice of compensating recruiters based upon how many students they can enroll.

Though the ads in which a diverse array of people proudly declare, “I am a Phoenix” may (or may not) be inspiring, they put a shiny, false veneer on the cynical and predatory for-profit education industry. The for-profit system is just one of a number of questionable bricks in the higher education wall. Harkin’s report helps to bring some of its abuses to light, but what is really needed is a systemic reevaluation of the whole wall. Whether or not it needs to be torn down is a different story altogether.

Hannah Sparks is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at ude.ssamu.tnedutsnull@skrapsh.

Then, my posting (whew, it takes a lot of work to juggle all of this!)

Paul Haeder says:

April 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

It’s the old neoliberal card game — get hundreds of billions from taxes, from the US citizen, to run their businesses. You know, social the COSTS of doing business and privatize the PROFITS. With these for-profit schools, they have bilked the US taxpayer, students, families and their own hubris. They rely on federal and state loans. They are scammers. Any talk about the market will take care is absurd. The market needs regulation. Thieves of Wall Street, High Finance, and Lobby Hell need to be prosecuted. So, that argument is out the window.

These schools exploit students and faculty. They are not community-rich schools. In fact, U of P wants to do more and more on-line, denuding the human aspect of human relations. To say that the state schools or K-12 are bad is absurd. Faculty at those places, state schools, K12 public schools, even non-profits, they are, hands down, looking out for their students. They are in the teaching profession because it’s not a game or a business. And, thank goodness.

Does higher education need fixing? Yep, but U of P and privatizing the education system isn’t the way. These people who are higher management do not deserve my tax dollars fronting a college career by a returning war vet. I want that vet’s work to be at a school where he or she is face-to-face with challenging faculty, students and where there is measured success with communities — in the round, not virtual communities.

U of Phoenix forces curriculum down faculty members’ throats. They pay faculty $5 an hour, if you break down $1015 a course plus mandatory and unpaid orientation hours. If you teach students how to read, write, think, perform, produce, and do it time and time again, that TAKES time, our time, teachers’ time. Now compensate us!

Read the words of a U of Phoenix employee —

Write me with your stories — gro.eciovtnedissid.wennull@luap

Gosh, even middle of the road Frontline of PBS fame has a piece up on for-profits — College, Inc. Ugly people running those for-profits. They don’t even have the heart or language of teachers and holistic education.

Finally, do these people, David Hunt, still exist? Leftist indoctrination? Really? I have taught in Texas, NM, Arizona, Seattle, Spokane and for the military, in prisons, in alternative high schools, in academies, for the community education programs. I’d have to say the USA needs some countervailing ideas other than red, white and blue, apple pie, and we are number one. I have seen THAT in all the schools I’ve taught at, and not just from students, but staff and administrators and many faculty. So, there ain’t no Fox News indoctrination going on. Just more of the old lies and shamed folk who never get educated!

Me responding to a responder.

Paul Haeder says:

April 12, 2013 at 11:25 am

A Francis — We need to hold accountable corporations for off-shoring, outsourcing, and technologically hollowing out good middle income jobs. We need to force corporations to pay destruction taxes — fines, if you will. Like if you and I dumped used motor oil on the UMass president’s lawn, or burned a barrel of shredded student loan forms out on the quad. These corporations have gotten tax dollars for R & D, gotten free labor from universities, have gotten tax breaks, tax give-aways, and plenty of protection money and legislation. So, we have this now — young people who need to be educated. Not teach to the test, not paltry schools that are fighting privatizers and their charter school madness. Really community engaged and directed education with liberal arts, technical arts, and STEM, integrated.

And, yes, learning how to read the lies of corporations and governments. Critical thinking skills. History on why we have even now paltry protections from corporations shredding safety, shredding human rights, shredding constitutional rights while CEOs and financiers and Wall Street investors skim from the top and the bottom.

So, it’s integrated re-upping education. Pre-K, decent childcare, single payer health care, real public transportation, old faculty and older workers giving up some of their hours to allow for youth to work, real libraries, public, offering plethora of services. It’s got to be a revolution in our education thinking and doing.

Community Colleges are OF COURSE one answer. What do you do with remedial students? Toss them out? Have them wash the rich’s SUVs? Right. Maybe. Since it seems the laborers even on campuses like UMass are coming together to fight for dignity, better wages and workplace safety and rights. Maybe we all should be day laborers for a day. Cooks. Maids.

Seems that the bottom of the 70 percent are the most abused yet they are certainly more gutsy than the vanguard and the middle middling.

Teach young people to question government, question corporations, and to stand down this unsustainable system that puts more power, money and control in fewer and fewer hands, many of them Ivy League Mal-trained.

Adjunct Project

It’s crowd-sourced, a spreadsheet with more and more people pining in on what lousy wages we make as adjuncts at some of the most prestigious and non-so-well-known institutions. Check out your state, your town, and see what PhDs and MAs and MSs and such get paid to teach Johnny and Mary and Juan and Abdul and Liam and Song Chin and on and on and on.

Here — 

My next posting will be about schools, yards, and fights — my own to try and get a job in a market that is mad, crazy, out of whack and geared for corporate allegiance, skills made for the Internet, marketing, messaging and media mushing.

For instance —

A community college —

Under the direction of Communications management, the Marketing Specialist – Writer provides content creation, project management and strategic communication planning for Advancement initiatives and college clients, ensuring that all communications enhance and build the image of the college, particularly through writing. This is a key position for our team, responsible for a wide range of writing activities that support marketing priorities — including identifying specific communication goals and objectives, providing recommendations to establish creative direction, developing strategic and imaginative communication plans, managing and overseeing the details of projects from start to finish, and contributing to the overall successful creation of marketing campaigns in concert with other creative staff. The position interfaces regularly with Advancement leadership, and various departments and clients throughout the college.

– Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, English, Journalism, Communications or other liberal arts-related field (relevant experience may substitute for the degree requirement on a year for year basis).
– Three years of experience performing professional-level writing for marketing and promotional campaigns.
– Demonstrated competency in a wide range of communication material such as brochures, advertisements, editorial feature writing, web pages, emails, speeches, etc.
– Demonstrated experience contributing to creative writing direction at the concept stage of new promotional projects.
– Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with staff, internal clients and external media buying agencies.
– Ability to work under pressure, manage more than one project at a time and meet deadlines.

Application Guidelines/Contact:
For complete position details, and to apply, visit our website:

Application Guidelines/Contact: Apply by April 15, 2013 for best consideration. For assistance call 971-722-5857.

As an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution, PCC is actively seeking qualified minorities, women, veterans, disabled veterans, and individuals with disabilities to enhance its work force and to reflect the diversity of its student body.

$42,572/yr to $71,324/yr.

Yep, up to 71 thousand dollars for a bachelor’s, when the same college asks for PhDs, MAs and MSs and years of experience and so much more, to teach, even at FT on the tenure track at, hmm, $40 thousand.

And what does Portland Community College pay the precarious class there? Check it out, and then see what the UNIVERSITY pays per course!

Headings —


Portland Community collegeORPhysics






Portland Community CollgeORArt







Portland State UniversityOREnglish

$2238 (usually it’s a 4 credit course at $2984)






AFT Local 3571

Ahh, heck, I applied for the BA required job as marketing writer, with my years as a journalist, working in non-profits running campaigns, and working for colleges as a teacher and adviser and running campus programs and campaigns, and, gosh, just minutes ago — no-go:

Quote —

Thank you for applying to the Marketing Specialist – Writing ( 07885) position at Portland Community College. We very much appreciate the time and effort you put into the application process and your interest in employment at PCC.A further review of your application materials indicates that you do not currently meet the minimum requirements posted for this position.

Although this particular position is no longer an option, other positions that meet your career interests may become available in the future. Please continue to monitor all of our advertised job openings on the PCC Online Employment Opportunities web site.

Good luck as you continue your job search.

Okay, back to the Prozac —

Unemployment and mental health

Researchers have been looking at how unemployment affects mental health since the Great Depression of the 1930s, if not earlier. This body of research has shown that becoming unemployed has a negative impact on mental health. Also, people with mental health problems are more likely than others to become unemployed.

This Issue Briefing summarizes the key research behind these findings and explores the implications for policy-makers in governments, and health and safety service providers.

The Chicken or the Egg?

negative impact on mental health

  • There is also clear evidence that people with mental health problems are more likely than others to become unemployed.
  • These findings add to the importance of helping laid-off workers find new jobs quickly.
  • They also point to benefits, in terms of future employment, of helping workers to manage mental distress, and to the importance of adequate access to and levels of employment insurance benefits.

Even mainlining media mush CBS?   And CNN?

It’s common for people who have been unemployed for six months or longer to show signs of depression, says Diane Lang, psychotherapist based in Livingston, New Jersey. Eating habits focus on comfort foods, leading to binging. Stress, anxiety and negative thoughts make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, resulting in fatigue and lethargy.

“Being unemployed is actually one of the most difficult, most devastating experiences that people go through,” said Robert L. Leahy, director of the American Insitiute for Cognitive Therapy and author of “The Worry Cure.”

Okay, I Will Take a Shot of Patron with that Reality PILL!

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.