Tuesday, May 1, 2012

highered defunding, the future of work




Don't skip over the NYT links in Chris Newfield's recent posts on taxation and higher ed financing in California. They are more than just props. The Squeezed Middle and its tale of workplace changes are our story. 


In case you may be foolish enough to think that's not where you are: remember and respect the saying about the state as bellwether. Consider both posts and NYT articles as background reading for talking about higher ed policies and how to change trends. 


For the moment, drop complaining about lack of classroom teaching experience (you can always come back to it), ask the policy wonks how they plan to deal with the double kidney punch: loss of funding base (shrinking corporate taxes) combined with appeasement (biz again) goal of training for jobs that have already left the building.  

In Apple's Attack on the Knowledge Economy, Chris describes the effect, 

"This system underwrites a Bizarro capitalism whose leaders decline to maintain the conditions required for the reproduction of their own labor force."

What can I say? Start a garden. He writes, 

I have a post on my other blog (link below) under the above title, which takes off from Charles Duhigg''s recent piece on Apple Computer's global effort at maximum tax avoidance. Mine argues that Apple isn't actually supporting an innovation economy anymore, but something closer to a Bizarro innovation economy that undermines its own basic preconditions...

Thus federal policy forces a state like California [and others], where generations of citizens  paid taxes to build a high-quality public support structure for creating its "human capital," to compete with a state like Nevada, which has no knowledge economy and no corporate income tax.

The federal government is in effect running an anti-innovation policy

The following NYT links below are on his other post (same name, different blog) one. If you have reservations about the Lumina / Gates Foundation model for higher ed, consider what teaching the Apple iPod manufacturing model might be like (hint a lot like working in a Chinese sweat shop). Apple America and a Squeezed Middle Class (from January) does not specifically address academic knowledge workers but the similarities are clear. The most recent in the series comes back to tax bases and effect of variation among states, putting spending on education at a disadvantage for attracting business and federal support. 

Bizarro World indeed....  why am I reminded of the Arabic proverb about education being an adornment to the rich and a comfort to the poor?

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