Now that The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has managed to prevail, the White House is returning to its plan to "Make America Great Again" by reviving American manufacturing and coal mining. So let's take a few minutes to review
MYTHS OF "THE MARKET"
For decades most economists have agreed that "the market," i.e. Capitalism, is natural, inevitable, and wise. So its relentless drive for cheap resources, cheap labor, maximum profit, and minimum cost is justified.
Not everyone falls in line, of course. To find out where you fit on the spectrum, click the title below to take our 2 question quiz:
How'd you do? I'll admit it was slightly rigged in that the answer to both was the last. But however you answered, we think you'll be interested to see the stand current Radical Progressive Educators are taking on this subject.
Why not begin with an excerpt from Noam Chomsky's new delightfully humorous (for real!) film Requiem For The American Dream, where he scathingly scorches Obama's 2008 Dream Team for dealing with the Big Recession.
As educator Bill Ayers points out in his fearless new manifesto, Demand The Impossible, "We can decide we want a system of production and distribution that is transparent, participatory, and in the service of the general welfare - it's not rocket science."
He's not the first, but few students know any of his predecessors. We believe all students, especially those with low reading scores, deserve to hear the other side of this debate, and from the most brilliant of thinkers.
Beginning with E.B.Dubois who asked in a 1953 little known speech why African Americans ". . . conceive that their fight is simply to have the same rights and privileges as other American citizens. They do not for a moment stop to question how far the organization of work and distribution of wealth in America is perfect, nor do they for a moment conceive that the economic organization of America may have fundamental injustices and short comings which seriously affect not only Negroes, but the whole world.
17:53 What has gone wrong? It is clear that the workers do not understand the meaning of work. . . . Work is service – not gain. The object of work is life – not income. The reward of production is plenty – not private property. We should measure the prosperity of a nation not by the number of millionaires, but by the absence of poverty, the prevalence of health, the efficiency of the public schools, and the number of people who can, do read worthwhile books."
or bell hooks, undoubtedly one of the top intellectuals of the country. She's created her own Institute at Berea College (the only top American college where no student pays for tuition.) I particularly love the section in Visual Politics: Art on My Mind where she describes how frustrated her relatives became when she funded her nieces and nephews' college educations instead of buying large houses and cars. And how she redefines luxury as the ability to live simply but with beautiful, carefully selected personal possessions.
But my top picks for the 2 professors who surpass any reasonable expectation in creating user-friendly short provocative video messages are Rick Wolff, and Robert Reich.
Hopefully you saw some of the 3 minutes cartoon videos that Professor Reich created for Move On a couple of years ago.
If you did and you are a fan, click on the (very long) link below to access a much longer, but equally rousing and thought provoking address, "Truth as a Common Good," that Reich delivered to the Board of Regents of the University of California system this past March.
In our next newsletter we'll spend more time on the equally engaging and equally generous American Marxist economist professor, Richard Wolff.