Repost: Austerity

Another Blast on Austerity, April 29, 2013

Here is an analysis by the Bloomberg people on the current dust up about the austerity study reconsideration.  This one takes time to read, but it just may be time for us all to find our way through to understand the conclusions authors such as these wish for us to reach without our understanding just why we should.  I am going to give it a second read.  Now, considering that lafered is about education, I ask anyone who may read off of this site to help me understand what it is that one should be able to do who receives a proper and adequate education.  The study under question is getting the attention it is getting because of the influence it has had on public policy around the world, on policy that has affected BILLIONS of people.  And, if people were to know about the way in which economic policy is developed, would policy look different, particularly in democratic nations such as our own?  Or is Robert Reich right to say that democracy has been trumped by capitalism and this is so because the public exerts little control of either?  Say that it is true that the rich are getting richer and the reason this is so is that the monied are better at and better able than ever before to manipulate public opinion and that things have gotten to the point where people have given up trying to understand the forces that are determining their destinies and, therefore, foregoing participation (real participation) in the democratic discourse by which policy in a democracy is supposed to be developed.  Have our schools helped people develop the capacity and the will to participate?  Or have people been sold on the idea that their happiness is to be found in avoiding or ignoring what goes on in the governance of a nation that is supposed to be governed by the very people who are doing the ignoring and avoiding?  Just think what a truly well educated nation could do if found such things as the economy to be more interesting than Judge Judy and football!  But, of course, it is the will of the people to remain uninformed and uninvolved, right?  Or is that just something they learned in school?


Austerity and Capitalism. April 29, 2013


People around the world are suffering as governments implement austerity programs to solve fiscal problems created by the very people advocating austerity as a solution!  The Reinhart-Rogoff study mentioned in the previous note is being scrutinized as are its writers, and for good reason.  Here is another story in what I expect will be a long chain.  The NY Times recently published the Reinhart-Rogoff response to the criticism and it is good that the many take a look at it as well as the articles to which they are responding.


Economic ignorance fostered, April 24, 2013



This article just posted by the NY Times tells us something that we should already have known.  Just listen to the Allen Thicke ad played on the radio that has Thicke telling people that, once having advised his sitcom kids on finances, people should trust that his endorsement of a financial company is a viable one!  Someone believes that the people (enough of them) will buy this asinine pitch!


Response to discussion of death of literature, April 24, 2013


Good for Chanella!  What has happened with literature is that we have allowed people who do not get from literature what literature has to give to teach the courses in which literature is a part of the course content.  We teach literature safely when it is dangerously potent and often the work of those too many would like to call the devils.  If one really wants those he or she teaches to discover literature for what it is worth, he or she simply needs to place before students the truly good stuff and allow the conversation to emerge in a setting without limits, yes, without limitation on what can be said because the better the book, the better the conversation because the book, readers will find, is good, at least in part, because it explores areas of our existence excluded from polite conversation.  Literature suffers from the fears of those who have been brainwashed to believe that the good things in life are those that should not be a part of polite conversation.  To hell with polite conversation and let’s talk to each other as though we were as free to say what we think as are our best writers.  Push aside the puritans and let them live their half lived lives paying homage to whatever forces they wish to bow.  But afford students their human right to participate in the human discussion that is the humanities where gods may be discussed but never to limit what is thought or what gets said.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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