The Council of University of California Faculty Associations purports to be "a coordinating and service agency for the several individual Faculty Associations -- associations of UC Senate faculty -- on the separate campuses of the University of California," which claims to "represents them to all state- or university-wide agencies on issues of common concern." It purports to gather and disseminate "information on issues before the legislative and executive branches of California's government, other relevant state units dealing with higher education, the University administration, and the Board of Regents."
The Council's mission statement posits that it will "concentrate our attention on employer-employee issues like faculty salaries, medical, fringe, and retirement benefits, and other conditions of work like teaching load and outside employment policies."
Yet, despite that limited remit, the Council has decided to speak out in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
The social movement known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is growing and raising issues of direct relevance to the faculty, students and staff of the University of California, including contracting opportunities and increasing debt loads for our students created by a system of privatized education and a refusal to provide high quality affordable public higher education. The Council of UC Faculty Associations, on behalf of all UC faculty, is making a petition supporting OWS available for UC faculty to sign.
Hold it right there. The Council does not speak for this member of the UCLA faculty and I deeply resent its claim to do so. In the first place, the issues raised by OWS--even assuming one can identify them with precision--are way outside the scope of the Council's mission of monitoring "employer-employee issues like faculty salaries, medical, fringe, and retirement benefits, and other conditions of work like teaching load and outside employment policies." There is no conceivable way, for example, that anything coming out of OWC could favorably affect faculty salaries. To the contrary, the OWS demands for cheaper higher education would inevitably result in lower salaries and worse benefits.
Turning to the specifics of the petition the Council has put forward, purportedly in my name and those of all other UC faculty, you claim that:
Only by identifying the complex interconnections between repressive economic, social and political regimes can social and economic justice prevail in this country and around the globe.
I haven't heard such nonsensical socialist cant since the Iron Curtain fell. As such, it's just the sort meaningless mumbo jumbo one would expect from a bunch of liberal arts faculty. (English? Sociology? Certainly not any discipline requiring a nodding acquaintance with economics.)
You further assert that:
The demonstrators are demanding substantive change that redresses the many inequitable features of our society, which have been exacerbated by the financial crisis of 2009 and the subsequent recession. Among these are: the lack of accountability on the part of the bankers and Wall Street firms that drove the economy to disaster; rising economic inequality in the United States; the intimate relationship between the corporate power and government at all levels, which has made genuine change impossible; the need for dramatic action to provide employment for the jobless and protect programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in part by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes; and the disastrous effects of the costly wars that the United States has been conducting.
- It's been well documented that the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was mainly, albeit not exclusively, the fault of excessive and deeply flawed government regulation. Read Peter Wallison's Dissent from the Majority Report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and open your minds to reality.
- The real problem with effecting change is not the relationship between corporations and the government, but rather the pervasive web of left-liberal special interest groups that seek constantly to grow the size of government, protect unsustainable entitlement programs, and strangle economic growth. Of particular relevance, given the Faculty Association's quasi-union functions, it's been well documented that public sector labor unions have become a chief obstacle to meaningful reform. As I have noted previously, "A core problem with public sector unionism is that it creates a uniquely powerful interest group. In theory, bureaucrats are supposed to work for and be accountable to the elected representatives of the people. But suppose those bureaucrats organize into large, well-funded, powerful unions that can tip election results. With very few and very unique exceptions, no workplace in which the employees elect the supervisors functions well for long. ... In effect, public sector unionism thus means that representatives of the union will often be on both sides of the collective bargaining table. On the one side, the de jure union leaders. On the other side, the bought and paid for politicians. No wonder public sector union wages and benefits are breaking the back of state budgets." Not surprisingly, public sector unions have emerged as staunch supporters of OWS.
- Define "fair share" and then we can talk. As a member of the 53%, I figure my current share's is more confiscatory than fair.
The Hill recently reported that:
[Newt] Gingrich also said that an education system that was teaching “really dumb ideas” was another cause of the current demonstrations. “We have had a strain of hostility to free enterprise – and frankly, a strain of hostility to classic America – starting in our academic institutions and spreading across this country,” said Gingrich, who is also seeking the Republican nomination.
Congratulations on so aptly proving his point.
Back during the Bush years, it was popular for various Hollywood liberals to oppose the President's policies using the phrase "not in my name." It works for me here. You do not speak in my name.
In short, the aging 60s radicals and the young wannabes in your midst need to get over their 60s nostalgia and get back to the work of educating people to do something more useful with their lives than holding protest marches.