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The Progressive Review
Young America

TOPICS

Activism on campus

College costs & student debt

Education statistics

Faculty and staff

For profit colleges

Generation gap

Politics

Stats

ARTICLES

Skull & Bones

An apology to younger Americans

INFO

APPLYING FOR SCHOOL GRANTS

GUIDE TO FREE CAMPUS SPEECH
PRINCETON REVIEW RANKINGS

SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

GROUPS

CENTER FOR CAMPUS ORGANIZING
EDUCATORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBLITY
STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
STUDENT ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION
COALITION

ACADEMIC FREEDOM
AD HOC COMMITTEE TO DEFEND THE UNIVERSITY

FNDTN FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION

STUDENT DEBT
Student Debt Crisis

FACULTY
Precarious Faculty

STUDENT LOANS
FORGIVE STUDENT LOANS

YOUTH RIGHTS
COLLEGE FREEDOM
STUDENTS FOR SENSIBLE DRUG POLICY

YOUTH RIGHTS ORGANIZATION

How to write like an academic. We tried it and came up with this: "The reification of post-capitalist hegemony opens a space for the historicization of the gendered body."

FILMS

Default: The Student Loan Documentary is a 27 minute film chronicling the stories of borrowers from different backgrounds affected by the student lending industry and their struggles to change the system. No matter when their loans were taken, many borrowers now find themselves in a paralyzing predicament of repaying two, three or multiple times the original amount borrowed, with no bankruptcy protection, no cap on fees and penalties and no recourse under the law. The consequences are dire, with stories of borrowers in financial and emotional ruin.

QUOTES

Provocative thinking and the American university seem never to have got on well together -- V. L. Parrington

A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students. - John Ciardi

 

 

 

Race to the Bottom: Harvard Business School

Naked Capitalism - Three years ago, Harvard Business School asked thousands of its graduates, many of whom are leaders of America’s top companies, where their firms had decided to locate jobs in the previous year. The responses led the researchers to declare a “competitiveness problem” at home: HBS Alumni reported 56 separate instances where they moved 1,000 or more U.S. jobs to foreign countries, zero cases of moving that many jobs in one block to America from abroad, and just four cases of creating that many new jobs in the United States. Three in four respondents said American competitiveness was falling.

Harvard released a similar survey this week, which suggested executives aren’t as glum about American competitiveness as they once were…

Companies don’t appear any more keen on American workers today, though. The Harvard grads are down on American education and on workers’ skill sets, but they admit they’re just not really engaged in improving either area. Three-quarters said their firms would rather invest in new technology than hire new employees. More than two-thirds said they’d rather rely on vendors for work that can be outsourced, as opposed to adding their own staff. A plurality said they expected to be less able to pay high wages and benefits to American workers.

Robert Reich, Alternet - For thirty years after World War II, as American corporations prospered, so did the American middle class. Wages rose and benefits increased. American companies and American citizens achieved a virtuous cycle of higher profits accompanied by more and better jobs.

But starting in the late 1970s, a new vision of the corporation and the role of CEOs emerged – prodded by corporate “raiders,” hostile takeovers, junk bonds, and leveraged buyouts. Shareholders began to predominate over other stakeholders. And CEOs began to view their primary role as driving up share prices. To do this, they had to cut costs – especially payrolls, which constituted their largest expense.

Corporate statesmen were replaced by something more like corporate butchers, with their nearly exclusive focus being to “cut out the fat” and “cut to the bone.”

In consequence, the compensation packages of CEOs and other top executives soared, as did share prices. But ordinary workers lost jobs and wages, and many communities were abandoned. Almost all the gains from growth went to the top.

The results were touted as being “efficient,” because resources were theoretically shifted to “higher and better uses,” to use the dry language of economics.

But the human costs of this transformation have been substantial, and the efficiency benefits have not been widely shared. Most workers today are no better off than they were thirty years ago, adjusted for inflation. Most are less economically secure.

....For years, some of the nation’s most talented young people have flocked to Harvard Business School and other elite graduate schools of business in order to take up positions at the top rungs of American corporations, or on Wall Street, or management consulting.

Their educations represent a substantial social investment; and their intellectual and creative capacities, a precious national and global resource.

But given that so few in our society – or even in other advanced nations – have shared in the benefits of what our largest corporations and Wall Street entities have achieved, it must be asked whether the social return on such an investment has been worth it, and whether these graduates are making the most of their capacities in terms of their potential for improving human well-being.

Tennessee will have free community college

Yes Magazine - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam promised his state something unprecedented: free community college tuition.

The “Tennessee Promise” is now more than a promise: It’s a law Haslam signed in May. The bill provides two years of tuition at a community college or college of applied technology for any high school graduate who agrees to work with a mentor, complete eight hours of community service, and maintain at least a C average. High school graduates will start to reap these benefits in fall 2015.

Oregon Sen. Mark Hass is selling the idea to his state, too. He sponsored a bill that passed earlier this year to study whether a similar system in Oregon would work. The results should be out later this year.

Hass feels passionate about this bill because his generation didn’t have to deal with the same hardships as today’s young people. When he graduated from Tigard High School in 1975, his friends could score a job at a timber mill and make a decent living for the rest of their lives.

In 2013, by contrast, high school grads without a college degree faced an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than their associate-degree holding peers; their annual income was lower by more than $6,500.

Humanities scholars not very diverse

College education costs 12 times more than it did 35 years ago

Mother Jones - In the 2012-13 school year, first-year, on-campus tuition averaged $43,000 at four-year, private schools and $21,700 at in-state public schools.

It wasn't always like this: The cost of undergraduate education is 12 times higher than it was 35 years ago, far outpacing inflation. While the indexed price of college tuition and fees skyrocketed by more than 1,122 percent since 1978, the cost of medical care rose less than 600 percent, and the cost of housing and food went up less than 300.

Adjunct professors pick jup the campus crumbs

Coleman McCarthy, Washington Post - We are the stoop laborers of higher education: adjunct professors.

As colleges and universities rev for the fall semester, the stony exploitation of the adjunct faculty continues, providing cheap labor for America’s campuses, from small community colleges to knowledge factories with 40,000 students. The median salary for adjuncts, according to the American Association of University Professors, is $2,700 per three-credit course. Some schools raise this slightly to $3,000 to $5,000; a tiny few go higher. Others sink to $1,000. Pay scales vary from school to school, course to course. Adjuncts teaching upper-level biophysics are likely to earn more than those teaching freshman grammar.

There is no uniformity, but similarities abound. Benefits, retirement packages, health insurance? Hardly. Job security? Silly question. An office? Good luck. A mailbox? Maybe. Free parking? Pray. Extra money for mentoring and counseling students? Dream on. Chances for advancement? Get serious. Teaching assistants? Don’t ask.

AAUP reports that part-timers now make up 50 percent of total faculty. As adjuncts proliferate, the number of tenured jobs falls. Why pay full salaries when you can get workers on the cheap?

Hordes of adjuncts slog like migrant workers from campus to campus. Teaching four fall and four spring courses at $2,700 each generates an annual salary of $21,600, below the national poverty line for a family of four. In a classroom across the hall, a tenured professor could make $100,000 for teaching half as many courses to half as many students. The tenured commonly speak of their teaching “loads,” as if they were hauling burlap sacks of weighty tomes up to the heights of Mount Academia.

Campus police also use military weapons to defend colleges from the students they chose

Are courses the record albums of academia?

50 Virginia campus presidents attack Obama's planned college rating system

America's underuse of apprenticeships

Bipartisan deal sends college loan interest rates up 20%

Documentary on the high cost of higher education

Having screwed up public schools, Obama now wants to ruin universities

Colleges consider "trigger warnings" on controversial literature

Students and faculty getting rid of commencement speakers they don't like

Book publisher seeks to rip off law students

Youth sue over climate change

Colleges and universities in serious financial trouble

Higher education, lower supply of food

Feds say Northwestern University athletes are employees, can unionize

Law schools boosting recent grads' salaries to improve their rankings

The death of American universities

What not to say in your job application

Tennessee governor urges two free years of community college and technical school

College admissions staff checking social media

College football players seek union representation

Grad students unionize at NYU

2013

Obamadmin backs off unconstitutional campus speech restrictrions

Having seen what a mess it makes of public schools, Obama wants to apply Race to the Top to universities

Some reasons being under 30 isn't is pretty lousy these days

Law schools producing far more graduates than neededd


Ohio State buys armored truck to defend itself agains its students

College bars student from passing out Constitution on Constitution Day

Yale University police jail Brazilian reporter for doing her job (and Yale thinks that's just fine)

A professor offers some clear advice to new college students

How the young are changing the voting booth

Textbook publishing a textbook for ripping people off

Some ways colleges rip off their students

Great allegations in New York suit against Trump University

The war on education moves to the college campus

Signs of the times: Bulletproof whiteboards

University of California favors corporations over facts

Great moments in biology (and teaching generally)

California's new campus cop

Now Gates Foundation is out to wreck higher education

Body scans before exams?
Top police state official placed in charge of California's academic freedom

Harpers Index: Percentage of college professors teaching online courses who do not believe students should receive credit for them : 72

Public university privatizes its scientific research

Young men will pay much more under Obamacare

The lush life of public university presidents

Senator Warren offers bill to slash student loan interest

Department of Good Stuff: The student who tackled the austerians

76 percent of American university faculty are adjunct professors - an all-time high. Unlike tenured faculty, whose annual salaries can top $160,000, adjunct professors make an average of $2,700 per course and receive no health care or other benefits.

Harvard spied on 16 of its deans

Many community college grads do better than those with BAs

Yale to train military interrogators

As recently as 2004 law school applications numbered nearly 100,000, and three years ago the figure stood around the mid-80s. Now it’s plunged to a projected 53,000-54,000, with an especially sharp recent dropoff among the most sought-after students with the highest scores. - Overlawyered

New documentary on student debt

Faculty and staff
BACK TO TOP

The adjunct rip off

An adjunct teaching a full-time load makes roughly $20,000. Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, makes $3.4 millio

The adjunct rip off

An adjunct teaching a full-time load makes roughly $20,000. Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, makes $3.4 millio

The number of non-academic administrative and professional employees at U.S. colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, vastly outpacing the growth in the number of students or faculty

Most college profs are now adjuncts

Non-tenured faculty organizing

The number of non-academic administrative and professional employees at U.S. colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, vastly outpacing the growth in the number of students or faculty

Most college profs are now adjuncts

Non-tenured faculty organizing

Politics
BACK TO TOP

Are the young drifting right?

How generational change is altering our politics

The crucial politics of age

North Carolina college students reject both major parties

Stats
BACK TO TOP

2014

Americans still overwhelmingly negative on a lower drinking age


HIT & RUN

Millennials turned off by politics

One Third of 18-34 Year Olds Live With Parents

Facts about college graduates

College tuition increase has kept up with 1%'s growth

New latino students out number whites at University of California

Public universities giving less to poorest students

Activist Post - Student loans are up by an astounding 61 percent over the past three years.

College costs up 500% since 1985

NY Times - Ninety-four percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree borrow to pay for higher education — up from 45 percent in 1993, according to an analysis by The New York Times of the latest data from the Department of Education.

29% of adults under the age of 35 are living with their parents

Stats: college students and sex

2013

Student debt hits new high

Federal spending on programs serving the country’s children fell by $35 billion, or 16 percent adjusted for inflation, since 2010.


WASHINGTON POST

Birthrate for teenagers lowest on record

College grads not doing all that well either

Today, just 20% of adults ages 18 to 29 are married, compared with 59% in 1960. Over the course of the past 50 years, the median age at first marriage has risen by about six years for both men and women.

Half aged 18-29 never watch TV news

Millennial stats

Pew Research: One third of Millennials are black or latino as opposed to only 15% in the Silent Generation

7%% have a profile on social media as opposed to 50% for Gen X, 30% for Boomers and 6% for Silent Generation.

Millennials are a little more Democratic than other age groups.

80% of Millennials have turned on their cell phone or placed it next to their bed while sleeping. Only 50% of Boomers have.

22% of Mills say living together without marriage is a bad thing for society as opposed to 55% of Silents.

41% of Mills are satisfied with the way things are going in our society as opposed to 26% of those over 30.

By the time they reached 28, 75% of Mills were still single while only 43% of Silents

41% of Mills have only a cellphone as opposed to 5% of Silents.

64% of Mills have sent or received a text message while driving as opposed to 1% of Silents.

All age groups rely first on television for news. 59% of Mills use the Internet second as opposed to Boomers and Silents who prefer newspapers as their second choice.

While 82% of Silents had watched TV in the past 24 hours, only 57% of Mills had.

Those under 30 working full time has dropped from 50% in 2006 to 41% in 2010.

36% of Mills rely on family financial assistance

38% of Mills have a tattoo while only 15% of Boomers do.

23% of Mills have body piercing while only 1% of Boomers do

Environmentally sound practices like buying organic food and recycling is fairly steady across generations.

91% of Silents say that always, or almost always, vote but only 69% of Mills do.

About a third of Mills, Gen X and Boomers have boycotted something in the past 12 months.

33% of those under 30 attend church weekly, 53% of those over 65 do.

USA Today's annual singles survey

• 20% of singles say having sex on a first date is either "somewhat appropriate" or "very appropriate" but 80% disagreed. Of that 80%, 54% said sex on a first date is "not at all appropriate."

• 54% of singles think a good first date should last from two to four hours; 43% say one to two hours; just 3% say five or more hours.

• 40% of women and 48% of men say they have sent a sexually explicit text message; 36% of women and 35% of men have sent a sexy photo of themselves in a text message.

• 31% of singles say they have had a one-night stand turn into a committed relationship; 28% of singles have had a "friends with benefits" relationship turn into commitment.

• 15% of men and 12% of women say they'd ideally want to have sex every day; all ages agree that two to three times a week is ideal.

According to a White House report, 7 percent of college men admit they have attempted rape, 63 percent of those have been involved in multiple assaults, averaging 6 each. 1 in every 5 female students are said to be sexually assaulted, while only 1 in 8 report the attacks. Nearly 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped.

Half aged 18-29 never watch TV news

Younger Americans' library habits

Beer drinking plummets among the young

2012

17 million Americans who really didn't need to go to college,including 80,000 bartenders and 5,000 janitors with PhDs.

Sexual behavior of young people

Mother Jones - Membership in religious organizations had gone steadily up over the past century, from roughly 40% of the population in 1900 to 70% today. Lack of belief was more common and more public in 1900 than it is today, even if it was called "freethinking" or "skepticism" or some related term.Conservative Protestant denominations have also been growing very steadily over the past century. It wasn't a sudden boom that burst onto the public scene when Jerry Falwell became famous. The Pentecostal movement started up in 1906 and it's been growing ever since. Ditto for evangelical sects, which have grown steadily from perhaps a third of all Protestant denominations in 1900 to something like 60% of them today. If you put these two things together, here's what pops out: A century ago, something like 10% of the country belonged to a conservative Protestant denomination. That's grown steadily ever since, and today it's around 30%

Only about 30% of Americans over the age of 25 have bachelor’s degrees. . .The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2010 only 20% of jobs required a bachelor’s degree, whereas 26% of jobs did not even require a high school diploma - Working-Class Perspectives

Young Americans deserting religion

Why Millennials are screwed

Why young Americans don't fight back

20-somethings tune into trad jazz

Seventy percent of young adults support gay marriage

Beer drinking plummets among the young

Over a third of young living with parents

60% of 18-28 year olds think the snooping has gone too far, while only 44% of those 50-64 and 33% of those over 65%.

Fewer Americans aged 18 to 29 hold full-time jobs now than did so a year ago, according to Gallup. This decline holds true for young adults regardless of whether they have a college degree.

Graduating from college: a generation out of luck

Only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major

Young Americans still slammed by recession

What the young are thinking

Young people do care about their privacy

2011

LA Times - People with a bachelor's degree make 84% more over a lifetime than high school graduates. In 1999, the premium was 75. . . On average, a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime, compared to $2.3 million for a college graduate and $1.3 million for those with a high school diploma. People with less education in high-paying occupations can out-earn their counterparts with advanced degrees. But within the same industry, workers with more schooling usually land better paychecks.

BUSINESS INSIDER

Over a quarter million school jobs lost since 2008

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Number of US children living with parent who's been out of work for at least 6 months has tripled since 2007.

The average tuition at public four-year colleges has risen 73% over the past 10 years

Generation gap

Student loan relief only temporary

90% of those 65 and older have a religious affiliation while only 67% of those under 30 do.

While 51 percent of all Americans have favorable views of unions, 61 percent of Americans under 30 hold that view....Union approval ratings grows weaker with older respondents—from 50 percent among Americans aged 30 to 49; to 49 percent among those 50 to 64; and to just 42 percent among Americans 65 or over.

The non religious young

College costs & student debt

2014

You can refinance a car, but not a student loan

University presidents taking it to the bank while some staff are on food stamps

Harvard's administrators take hedge fund like salaries

College inflation

2013

Student debt hits new high

College costs up 500% since 1985

Why is Detroit covered by bankruptcy law but not student loans?

Senate pulls loan con on college students

Oregon's unique approach to student loans

83% want to keep student loan rates from increasing, an opinion that holds constant across party lines. Almost two-thirds support lowering interest rates to 0.75 percent, the rate at which banks can borrow from the U.S. Treasury.

Problems of income affirmative action in colleges

Class of 2013 paying three times as much in real dollars as they would have 30 years ago

Banks wrote off $3 billion student debt

Funding slash causing surge in public university tuition costs

Student debt triples in three years

Student-Loan Delinquency Skyrocketing

The huge size of student loan debt

Nearly 40% of young Americans see themselves as poor

One in six student borrowers have defaulted

Student debt crisis hurting housing market

The horrors of student loans

No more grace period on student loans

Student loan strike?

33,000 PhDs on food stamps

One in two new grads is either jobless or underemployed

94% of college students in debt for school

27% of student loans past due

College costs

62% of 19-22 year olds get financial aid from parents

Grad students face added debt

How America moved from subsidizing college education to ripping it off

The war on public higher education

College no longer fulfills American dream

What's a master's degree worth, rated by major and subject area?

College degree growth outpaces jobs for them

Why college tuition should be regulated

University of California students could face annual tuition increases of 8% to 16% over the next four years, possibly bringing the fee as high as $22,068 for the 2015-16 school year, according to a long-term budget plan the university . .

Obama jacks up suits against student defaults

The cost of student debt

The student loan debt bubble

Oops, Obama's Student-Loan Order Saves the Average Grad Less Than $10 a Month

Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 30 college presidents earn more than a million dollars a year

Workers with college degrees have indeed, on average, done better than workers without, and the gap has generally widened over time. But highly educated Americans have by no means been immune to income stagnation and growing economic insecurity. Wage gains for most college-educated workers have been unimpressive (and nonexistent since 2000), while even the well-educated can no longer count on getting jobs with good benefits. In particular, these days workers with a college degree but no further degrees are less likely to get workplace health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979. - Paul Krugman

Young people in the U.S. now recognize that the university has become part of a ponzi scheme designed to place on students an unconscionable amount of debt while subjecting them under the power of commanding financial institutions for years after they graduate. Under this economic model of subservience, there is no future for young people. - Henry Giroux

2012...

Study finds IQ to be a mythical gauge of intelligence

Study: Alcohol worse on young brains than pot

The end of unpaid internships?

The collapse of higher education

Fantasy also kills

@Harpers: % increase since 2000 in the compensation of full professors at the 50 wealthiest private US universities: 14 . .. . . In the compensation of the presidents of those universities: 75

Average SAT score (out of 2400) of students from households with an income below $20,000: 1322 . . . From households with an income above $200,000: 1722 - @Harpers

Study finds links between sports head injuries and brain deterioration

Did head injuries play role in Belcher murder-suicide?

Parents as well as students in deep debt over school loans

Young still using libraries

The rise of credentialism

Getting rid of tattoos

The best and worst paying college degrees

Sales of cars to under 30s dropping

Harvard goes all out against a lying school boy; leaves major embarassments untouched

Best student excuses

Sexual behavior of young people

Where do 1% kids go to college?

Letter from Ted Turner's father on learning that his son planned to major in classics

UC pays up for abuse of protesting students


UC Berkeley gets ready for new class of freshmen

Messages indicate top Penn State officials knew about Sandusky a decade ago

Stupid college professor ideas

The Ivy League video that's gotten over 300,000 views

Building student unions

The commencement address that won't be given

College newspapers in trouble

1800 University of Oregon profs win union status

University of Florida slashes computer science funding, increases sports budget

Young driving less

Health expert Jim Yong Kim presides over a sick culture at Dartmouth

Why Obama's higher ed plan won't work

Another Yale cover up

Survey finds incoming college students more liberal

Arts and architecture degrees least useful in getting a job

Why college isn't what it used to be

How post 80s economic policy screwed younger people

Universities dumping campus radio stations for cash

Four of every five dissertations examined contained examples of word-for-word plagiarism. the researcher found no difference between religious and secular schools. When she used a more stringent criterion — five or more copied words — the incidence of unacknowledged borrowing hit 100 percent.

Stats: The young & social media

Why young people don’t fight back

A is biggest college grade these days

University of Denver plans to dump 80% of its books in storage

Study finds many students don't learn much in college

Scientists fault universities as favoring research over teaching

On campus: spotting your faculty enemies

Universities talking up humanities

Activism

A jolt of student activism

Reviving student organizing

Top colleges for marijuana activism

For profit collges

2014

For profit colleges on the ropes

Senate report: For profit schools about profits not students

For profit colleges ripping off military students

Washington Post campus cash cow under attack by former students

Are universities corporate sellouts?

FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES ENGAGING IN FRAUD

AMERICAN COLLEGE PAPERS BEING GRADED IN MALAYSIA

2010

SO YOU WANT TO BE A PHD IN THE HUMANITIES?

THE POLICE STATE FINALLY COMES TO YALE

FINAL EXAMS DISAPPEARING FROM COLLEGES

TEACHING ABOUT VIRTUE IN THE INTERNET AGE

NOW ARIZONA IS GOING AFTER OVERSLEEPING STUDENTS

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN BANS ANTIWAR FORUM, CLAIMING 'SECURITY CONCERNS'

FORMER COLLEGE PRESIDENT PUSHES FOR 18 YEAR OLD DRINKING LIMIT

COLLEGE ENROLLMENT HITS ALL TIME HIGH

MORE EVIDENCE THAT THE 21 YEAR OLD DRINKING LIMIT DOESN'T WORK

CIA WANTS TO TURN COLLEGES INTO SPY FACTORIES

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL HOLDS SEMINARS TO TEACH GREEDSTERS HOW TO DEAL WITH ANGRY PUBLIC

STUDIES FIND STUDENTS AREN'T BRAIN WASHED BY PROF'S POLITICAL VIEWS

HOW THE IVY LEAGUE BROUGHT US DOWN

Chris Hedges, Truthdig - The multiple failures that beset the country, from our mismanaged economy to our shredded constitutional rights to our lack of universal health care to our imperial debacles in the Middle East, can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead, through the filter of standardized tests, enrichment activities, advanced-placement classes, high-priced tutors, swanky private schools and blind deference to all authority, on creating hordes of competent systems managers. The collapse of the country runs in a direct line from the manicured quadrangles and halls in places like Cambridge, Mass., Princeton, N.J., and New Haven, Conn., to the financial and political centers of power.

The nation's elite universities disdain honest intellectual inquiry, which is by its nature distrustful of authority, fiercely independent and often subversive. They organize learning around minutely specialized disciplines, narrow answers and rigid structures that are designed to produce certain answers. The established corporate hierarchies these institutions service -- economic, political and social -- come with clear parameters, such as the primacy of an unfettered free market, and with a highly specialized vocabulary. This vocabulary, a sign of the "specialist" and of course the elitist, thwarts universal understanding. It keeps the uninitiated from asking unpleasant questions. It destroys the search for the common good. It dices disciplines, faculty, students and, finally, experts into tiny, specialized fragments. It allows students and faculty to retreat into these self-imposed fiefdoms and neglect the most-pressing moral, political and cultural questions. Those who defy the system -- people like Ralph Nader -- are branded as irrational and irrelevant. These elite universities have banished self-criticism. They refuse to question a self-justifying system. Organization, technology, self-advancement and information systems are the only things that matter. . .

I sat a few months ago with a former classmate from Harvard Divinity School who is now a theology professor. When I asked her what she was teaching, she unleashed a torrent of obscure academic code words. I did not understand, even with three years of seminary, what she was talking about. You can see this absurd retreat into specialized, impenetrable verbal enclaves in every graduate department across the country. The more these universities churn out these stunted men and women, the more we are flooded with a peculiar breed of specialist. This specialist blindly services tiny parts of a corporate power structure he or she has never been taught to question and looks down on the rest of us with thinly veiled contempt. . .

Barack Obama is a product of this elitist system. So are his degree-laden cabinet members. They come out of Harvard, Yale, Wellesley and Princeton. Their friends and classmates made huge fortunes on Wall Street and in powerful law firms. They go to the same class reunions. They belong to the same clubs. They speak the same easy language of privilege and comfort and entitlement. They are endowed with an unbridled self-confidence and blind belief in a decaying political and financial system that has nurtured and empowered them.

These elites, and the corporate system they serve, have ruined the country. These elite cannot solve our problems. They have been trained to find "solutions," such as the trillion-dollar bailout of banks and financial firms, that sustain the system. They will feed the beast until it dies. Don't expect them to save us. They don't know how. And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implodes, and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, they will be exposed as being as helpless, and as stupid, as the rest of us.

NEARLY HALF OF APPLICANTS CAUGHT LYING ON RESUMES

STUDIES FIND STUDENTS AREN'T BRAIN WASHED BY PROFS'POLITICAL VIEWS

Patricia Cohen, NY Times - Three sets of researchers recently concluded that professors have virtually no impact on the political views and ideology of their students. If there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, "they've done a pretty bad job," said A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an author of the new book "Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities."

A study of nearly 7,000 students at 38 institutions published in the current PS: Political Science and Politics, the journal of the American Political Science Association, as well as a second study that has been accepted by the journal to run in April 2009, both reach similar conclusions. "There is no evidence that an instructor's views instigate political change among students," Matthew Woessner and April Kelly-Woessner, a husband-and-wife team of political scientists who have frequently conducted research on politics in higher education, write in that second study. Their work is often cited by people on both sides of the debate, not least because Mr. Woessner describes himself as politically conservative.