On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 1:16 PM, Robert M Vidaver <rmvidaver> wrote:
Thanks for pointing out the Republican onslaught against higher education via their new tax on university endowments under the cover of tax “reform”. In terms of the $1.4 trillion increase in our ten-year deficit the endowment tax is small change—pennies. But that’s not its purpose. Rather the endowment tax is designed to tax higher education in general, reducing the flow of new knowledge from university to public, while simultaneously punishing the purveyors of this new knowledge—the “elite” universities and their liberal faculties. Some facts: $35 million paid by Yale means that $35 million in student aid won’t happen, or concretely, 3500 students won’t receive $15,000 in scholarship money this year. For most there’s no way to replace it; most are already deeply in debt. Many will simply drop out. Conversely, were the $35 million to come from faculty salaries that’s the equivalent of reducing faculty numbers by 200-300. Fewer classes, reduced number of courses, less students enrolled.
That’s the new future for Yale. Multiply that by many, many fine universities similarly attacked across the country; the best of the best punished for their success—contributions from successful alumni dams them. Result? Reductions in financial aid for disadvantaged children and the children of the lower middle classes. The Republican message: Poor kids and the children of the lower middle classes don’t belong in an elite university. They usurp seats that rightfully “belong” to the rich who, since they pay full freight, wouldn’t be affected by the Endowment Tax. (eg Jared Kushner’s dad’s gift of $2.5million to Harvard).
What happens were the tax burden to impact faculty numbers? Fewer hired, some retired, graduate assistants used in lieu of seasoned faculty, less research. To underline, decreased research. That may well be the larger intent of the education tax. Over the last half-century the US has maintained its competitive edge in the world economy through the production of new knowledge which, in turn, empowered our high tech, advanced financial and health care/pharmacy industries to the top. The final end products of these industries didn’t just happen. They emanated from the creative vision and bench-research of university faculty and then published or carried forward from their academic inception by corporate researchers and university-corporate-pharmaceutical teams.
From that perspective the Republican Education Tax is in reality a blow against American industry (Even as the rest of the world is escalating their investment in public higher education. China, for instance is intent on opening 125 MIT equivalents, that’s right 125 MIT look-alikes. Singapore’s “bought” a Yale satellite). Our US industrial future hangs on the new knowledge that won’t by produced consequent to the Education Tax. But why? Maybe it’s controlling what new knowledge will be permitted. Maybe it’s just a shot across higher education’s bow. Reign in your liberal faculty, control student protest, cease the emphasis of social justice and, above all restrict research to what the “establishment” wants to see “discovered”. Help corporate interests, of course. But let’s have no more of that climate change, fossil fuel, environment devastation, human suffering, and obesity-junk food research. There’s no telling where free and independent academic research may lead the country in opposition to what Big-advertising expects us to think. (Example: 20 years ago Congress under pressure from the NRA forbid the National Institutes of Health to fund any research regarding the 33,000 gun related fatalities in the US per year; hospitals and emergency rooms, psychiatry are forbidden to study ways to reduce the carnage using Federal monies).
Bottom line: Higher education ‘be warned’, fail to curb your liberal faculty dogs and allow unfettered research where ever science tales it and “we’ll” just keep increasing the Education Tax” ‘till you get the message. Remember Ivy Leagues, a century ago only the very richest could attend; maybe it should be that way again?
Sent from Mail for Windows 10