[Recently I was challenged on a list about the decline in social mobility in the U.S.  I had been noting the 50% unemployment figures in NYC for young African American men and worrying about a possible increase in crime due to same.  I did not point out that our prisons are already overcrowded with ever increasing numbers — now somewhere around 2.2 million or 1/4 of the world’s prison population!

Not only college opportunities, but solid jobs out of high school are now fading here in the U.S. and many are simply being left stranded mid career.  I imagine that the current anti immigrant fervor has something to do with job anxiety?

My family lives in Morningside Heights near Columbia University where we have seen the switch over from people earning less living comfortably with their neighbors to our culture of gentrification in which children must now inherit to find a secure place for themselves.  Our neighborhood buildings have been converted to coops from rentals and one must plunk down a million dollars or more for a family sized living space.  Columbia is making a grab for a large slice of lower West Harlem to create a new campus for itself — and to hell with those living there now!  Those not well educated are simply at risk of being rejected or dumped by our economy — with Columbia seeking to implement eminent domain as the evicting agent!

We are a society becoming increasingly divided, a plutocracy run by our wealthy ones rather than a democracy.  Our political decisions are determined by who can buy which of our pols.  And we academics who try to tell things as they are are now being subverted in the public mind by the constant right wing attack dog challenges to our findings that are all too evident when one does the research.

See the two reports following.  They remind me too much of the early days of the Nazis when they were exploiting the economic crisis in Germany and undermining the all too frail Weimar Republic there with a joint appeal to the corporate heads and the unskilled and unemployed masses (Lumpenproletariat) ready to take up their banners.  The Jews were their scapegoats.  Who will be ours?  Ed Kent]

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SKEPTICISM OF FACULTY AND TENURE
New poll finds majority of public believes bias is problem in
college classrooms and questions role of tenure.
http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/07/12/poll

The Land of Opportunity?
Recent research found that mobility in the United States is
lower than in other industrial countries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/13/opinion/13fri2.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CollegeConversation
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PeaceEfforts
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EndingPoverty
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/440neighborhood
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/StudentConcerns
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AcademicFreedom
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PrivacyRights
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Israel_Palestine
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FindingHumaneJobs
http://BlogByEdKent.blogspot.com/
http://www.bloggernews.net

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