Then They Came For The Tenured

One of my gags is to point out that if the people flooding over the Rio Grande had law degrees, the American Bar Association would make Pat Buchanan look like an open borders fanatic. The penalties for hiring illegal lawyers would be draconian, involving torture and slow death. The border would make the DMZ look like Golden Gate Park.

In America following WW2, it was a great time to be working and middle class. If you had anything on the ball and a modest amount of self-control, you could create a fine life for yourself and your family. The twenty year period following the war was the heyday of middle-class America.

Just as the 1950’s were not a great time for the talented ten percent of blacks, it was not a great time for the cognitive elite of white America. No great fortunes were amassed in the 50’s and 60’s, like we saw in the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th. Men got rich, but not over-class rich. There was simply no way to transfer large chunks of middle-class wealth to the ruling class.

Things changed in the 70’s and by the 1980’s, the technological revolution was setting the stage for a new robber baron class to emerge. First we allowed the financial class to auction off the manufacturing base to the third world. Then all sorts of new value transference schemes were created allowing Silicon Valley to boom. Of course, government metastasized.

This great concentration of wealth over the last three decades has been spurred on by the reckless enthusiasm of the managerial class. Educated people who should have known better cheered on the financialization of the economy by Wall Street and the assault on the culture through mass immigration. After all, the “new money” was bankrolling the universities and think tanks.

This is nowhere more obvious than in our university system. Even the most pedestrian of colleges are staffed with tenured radicals and overgrown hippies preaching nonsense. Middle class children are saddled with tens of thousands in debt for an education that used to be free in pubic school. The basic training for a work life is loaded down with agit-prop of no value in a human society.

The crushing reality of mathematics, however, may finally be reaching these tenured radicals on the college campus.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin advanced a daring proposal made by Gov. Scott Walker that would eliminate state laws guaranteeing faculty tenure at state universities, a dramatic potential shift that has faculty and administrators up in arms.

The Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 Friday to approve a proposal that would eliminate tenure from state law and allow tenured faculty to be laid off even if a school isn’t in a declared financial emergency. The proposal would also weaken faculty influence in setting policy and would cut the University of Wisconsin (UW)’s budget by $250 million over the next two years, down from a $300 million cut that was proposed by Walker.

The elimination of tenure protections was first suggested by Walker back in February, but was considered a longshot proposal. The Joint Finance Committee, however, is tremendously influential, and its decision to send the rollback to the floor of the legislature is seen as making passage much more likely.

By itself, the measure wouldn’t end tenure, but it would remove the current protections it has under state law and allow universities to set their own policies on the matter. In response, current UW system president Ray Cross said the school’s board of regents will act to enshrine tenure as university policy in a meeting later this week. No statement of the university’s intent can match the power of state law, though.

All movements become a business and then a racket. Tenure was seen as a way to increase discourse on campus in an era when the dominant religion was Christianity. It allowed the educated to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. As Christianity died off, the New Religion turned tenure into a jobs racket for members of the faith. If you are not an adherent, you will never get tenure at an American university.

The result is our centers of training and learning have been transformed into monasteries of lunacy, divorced from financial reality and the market economy. If you want to have a nice life, you must pay these gatekeepers for the credential and join, to some degree, their cult. What was intended to be an asset to a thriving people has become another anchor on a sinking culture.

The math of the managerial state means the top must consume the middle in the name of the bottom. The trouble is the middle is finite, meaning the erosion of the lower middle, becomes an erosion of the middle. Then it is onto the upper middle-classes. The rot is now reaching those with advanced degrees. Maybe those alarm bells going off in the universities will wake some of these people up. Maybe it is too late.

6 thoughts on “Then They Came For The Tenured

  1. Yeah, I work for a local ISP. I used to work for Charter, but got out two weeks before they moved the call center. First it goes off to Rochester NY, then off to another country. And we were assured that none of it would happen. I hear lots of horror stories about off shore tech support but it never seems to factor into purchasing decisions.

    My favorite is about Dell tech support. Guy called in with an issue. Spent almost 8 hours on it with tech support in India. Then the support guy said “My shift is over” and hung up on him. The guy called back in, happened to get support in the US and it was resolved in 15 minutes.

  2. The Weimar government opened concentration camps, suspended freedom of the press, and jailed dissidents. Some deserved, some didn’t. Sure as shooting’ though, if “conservatives” abolish tenure, ten years from now that abolition will provide justification and excuse for purging the remnants of opposition totalitarian Leftism.

  3. I once trained a woman in software whose job, at a company about to close down its UK operations, was to find a business in Sri Lanka or the Philippines (or any place that would do it all cheaper) and arrange for them to take over. Of course, all her friends and colleagues at the UK workplace lost their jobs. So too did she: the woman went into this task knowing she would be the last one out. She would turn out the lights and lock the door behind her. The company’s ‘managers’ had already gone and taken what profit they could with them as a pay-off.

    She also knew that the people who eventually got this business were likely to be corrupt, lethargic, and when they did get the work done they were hampered by a customs and excise arrangement that left goods at the dockside for weeks instead of delivering to customers.

    I know the company in question, and while it may well be doing okay I will not buy from them.

  4. Oh! It is oh so late. Too late, too late. Somewhere in my collection of links, I have a story posted about a upper level manager in (New Jersey?) that was describing his plan to off-shore the data processing of state records to India. He was wildly enthusiastic about the cost savings in his department (which would then consist of him and his secretary) and then he told the publicly elected State Treasurer that this was no more than the inevitable advance of progress. That farm work was replaced by factory work and factory work was replaced by office work. That in an advanced society the workers progressed from physical labor to mental labor and the laid off data clerks and programmers would move on to become the labor force of the future.
    The State Treasurer leaned forward, looked at the manager and asked “What comes after mental labor for your people?”.

    My job, setting up and managing Call Centers at a bank, went to India five years ago. Some time after the swap, the new Call Center manager in India called a friend of mine who still worked at the bank and asked him to explain American Slang to him. He asked why, when the calls came in from America and were answered by the agent in India that the caller upon being answered by the Indian agent, the caller would say “AhShit!” and hang up. “What’s AhShit!” the CC manager wanted to know? Hundreds of people working in those Call Centers in America, lost a job within an industry that was doing the same all over the country. They lost a career and an income that they would not see again. The bosses in those American companies no longer cared if their customers were happy with the changes or about the lives of the people who built their businesses up in the first place.

    When my grandfather, an elevator operator, retired; he immediately bought a new Chevy, and went on a European cruise. I wish as I contemplate my future in early, forced retirement, that I could afford to spend money like that. He had a good pension and the money he had in the bank paid him enough in interest to provide for him and grandma. My company matching stocks in my 401K went bust and there is no interest or appreciable yield on any of my savings.

    Yah, the game is fixed all right. Revolution anyone?

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