Elkhorn Creek Lodge

A Historical Perspective on ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Posted in economics, uncategorized by Eugene Podrazik on October 17, 2011

Occupy this and occupy that.  All a tantrum from a bunch of pampered brats who ran up untold educational debt to find that majoring in gay anger management and Marxist feminist deconstruction has exactly zero demand on the job market.  So we now have yet another group people who’ve racked up untold debt on the government credit card with an expectation that we, the taxpayers, will get stiffed on yet another bailout by forgiving these government guaranteed loans.

But, what are we buying and what, exactly have we built into our government subsidized edifice called higher education?  Let’s look at this from a historical perspective.  That perspective would be the Morrill Act of 1862; the act that established our land-grant colleges.  The Morrill Act established college funding for the following:

without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.

ht: Wikipedia

Note the specific mandates:  military tactic, agriculture and mechanic arts.  And, scientific and classical studies aren’t just weasel words to justify anything.  These too, in the context of the times, had very specific mandates.

Classical studies means the understanding the underpinnings of Western Civilization.  The understanding of the Judeo-Christian morality and the Greco-Roman traditions that undergird the concepts of individual liberty and the basis for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  And, it meant that this understanding was to include an understanding as to why this is the best hope for mankind.  If there is a role for ‘multiculturalism’ it is only to compare the superiority of Western Civilization to the harsh backwardness of totalitarian and tribal ideologies of socialism, communism and, for that matter, Islam.

We were building an educational system to build a country.  To find and use the resources of our country to build a better place to live and to build a better and more hopeful life for our citizens.  We have railroads and highways to build, mineral to mine and refine, factories to build and machines to design and construct.  There is no room for Marxist deconstruction.

We need to build our agricultural resources.  We have land to irrigate so we can turn deserts into rich breadbaskets.  We need new technology to come up with drought and pest resistant crops.  We need new techniques to increase the yield from each acre planted. We have a country to feed.  We have no time for the stupidity of protesting ‘frankenfood.’  We have no time turning California’s Central Valley into a dust bowl for the sake of the delta smelt.

Military Tactic.   Not peace studies.  Not anger management.  Seriously, this means ROTC.  This means a huge portion of our officer class needs to be coming out of our colleges.  It literally means, the Morrill Act providing the statutory basis, to have every college student be required to show firearm proficiency.

What a college wants to teach and what a student wants to study is the private business of of those persons or institutions.  But, if the public dime is on the line–in the form of outright grants of public money to a given institution or a government backed loans or grants to a given student–then we need to ask what we are really buying.

In short, what our public dollars should be buying is education in the engineering disciplines, in the hard sciences, mathematics, and in business administration.   Classical studies, in addition to the above civics lessons, needs to teach communication (written and spoken) for the specific purposes of furthering our mechanic and agricultural arts.  We need teachers to teach specifically these things.  And military “tactic.”

And, if you really want to major in women’s studies, social work, queer studies and the like, have at it.  On your own dime.  Without the expectation that anyone, especially the taxpayer, is in anyway on the hook for paying for those ‘majors.’  If you want to protest, do it in a manner that doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s use of public streets, sidewalks and parks.  No, you don’t sleep on the streets, my taxes paid for those streets to allow for the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and commerce.

Better yet, get a job.  You can start with flipping hamburgers and maybe use that time contemplating how to use your skills to really benefit society by offering goods and services that others really want to pay for.

Or, join  the military.  Its called the GI Bill.  That’s how we used to pay for college before our current system became what is essentially a GI Bill without military service.

How about going to trade school, I know we can use skilled machinists.  All the parts and accessories for my AR build are on perpetual backorder.

5 Responses

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