[lbo-talk] Amid tougher times, spending on payroll soars at Michigan universities

c b cb31450 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 12 10:53:23 PDT 2011

Alan Rudy

Apologies for the top post, it was going to get too ugly to intersperse this...

^^^^^ CB: giggles


Charles, what you said, you could have checked for youself, but I'll do it for you...

At first, accepting the argument and implying administrator pay was an actual problem:

CB: Must be that "they" are part of the creative Randian elite.

^^^^^^^ CB: R u saying administrative pay is not a problem ?


In your first response, defending the Freep’s/MC’s not half truths”

CB: We should consider whether there is any motive for the Freep to tell half-truths on this…It's just that sometimes the bourgeois information services just confess.

^^^^^^^ CB: No, that's says we should consider whether there is any motive for the Freep to tell half-truths on this. It is not a defense of "not hafl-truths" . Get it ?


Followed very soon thereafter by an embrace of “the facts” as you do at the bottom of this last note: CB: Hasn't tuition been going up steadily for decades, at Michigan's state schools, pushing them further and further from the reach of the lower incomed?

^^^^^ CB: Embrace this: Hasn't tuition been going up steadily for decades ... pushing them further and further from the reach of the lower incomed ? Yes or no ?


Then you further defend, rather than unpack the “facts”:

CB: I think the bourgeois press may be making an accurate claim that profs and administrators' pay is going up when so many others , including teachers in secondary and elementary school, face cuts.

^^^^^ CB: Before u unpack it, answer this question: has their pay been going up ?


So here's the question, what does the accurate claim mean to you?

^^^^^^^ CB: That's a question, not the question. An accurate claim means to me one that is true ?


That profs shouldn't be paid more - public university profs in MI, beyond UofM and those in select departments at MSU and the compass schools - are generally underpaid relative to those in peer institutions?

^^^^^ CB: Took u a long time to say that.


You do know that many campuses have faculty unions, should we make them collapse just because MEA's having trouble?

^^^^^ CB: No


You're making the common conservative public argument, "Hey, I'm suffering, it is not fair that those other people like me aren't!"

^^^^ CB; No I'm not.


If your concern is administrators - which is what the article actually focused on - rather than profs then don't bring up the profs. But, again, not only does the Freep/MC article not prove that administrative numbers and pay are what is driving up tuition - something you implicitly accept in every argument you've made, specifically questioning me on whether reduced monies from the state could be a legitimate concern, or that health benefits costs, or building, or energy, or maintenance costs, or even increasing enrollments, could also be important - but, until now, you've never noted that this stuff isn't some kind of conservative administrator-led Randian conspiracy, but a structural feature of the neoliberal destruction of public institutions.

^^^^^^^ CB': So, u r saying upon unpacking this article from the rightwing Detroit Free Press, turns out that it makes accurate claims.


What I actually said about the Freep was that I couldn’t believe you were posting that particular article from that particular paper with that particular source…

^^^^^ CB: You couldn't believe it ? :>)


YOU threw in the idea that such a post, with the snide comment above, was OK because you’ve also posted things from other pretty conservative papers, not me. And you’ll note, perhaps, that I’ve not responded negatively to most of those posts from those other rags, indicating that I don’t have the aversion you attribute to me.

^^^^^ CB: It _was_ ok for me to post it.


If you didn’t have anything to say to the contrary w/r/t my arguments, why continue to post as if you disagreed with my positions?

^^^^^ CB: Because, I disagreed with your assertion that we shouldn't post articles from rightwing sources.


This is the first time you’ve said anything about the roots and it is not true that your metapolicy position from earlier in the day acknowledges the neoliberal roots of administrative growth in numbers and salaries.

^^^ CB; No my metapolicy position from earlier in the day attributes the roots of pretty much all today's attacks on the working class, including this one, to Reaganism ( neo-liberalism is not a good term for this because it is not a good way to communicate to masses of people what the root of the problem is historically)



It is easy to imagine liberals wanting to reinscribe higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations w/o wanting to do a single thing about the restructuring of higher education… many think that university-industry collaborations, increasing emphases on external grants and cost recovery and shifting the mission of public universities towards becoming centers of regional growth is a great idea. What would your policy be towards the many kinds of staff, pedagogy, administration and university/public-university-private agreements? Would you simply slash administrators? their pay? faculty? their pay? everyone's benefits? How would you deal with rising energy and food costs? Buy local food? Retrofit old buildings? Nationalize health care?

^^^^^ CB: Certainly nationalize health care. Overall, how about much higher taxes on the wealthy and Wall street. How about forgiving all federal student loans , as a bailout , like Wallstreet got ?


Finally, in your last paragraph again you 1) ignore the fact that long ago in this exchange I said that tuition had gone up and 2) that the fact that it has gone up is not significantly driven by increasing numbers of administrators and means absolutely nothing unless you want to explain why and the fact that you keep appealing to the "fact" rather than the "why" is where your position continues to run parallel to the Mackinaw Center and Freep… the “fact” is true, therefore policy must react...

^^^^^^^ CB: This is not an accurate description of what I have said. I'm not "appealing" to a fact, or appealing to a "fact" as an explanation. That is ur repeated misrepresentation of what I've done. Asking what the facts are is not appealing to the facts as explanation. Ur reading more into what I said than what I said.


I completely disagree, appeals to objective “facts” are usually an indication that someone doesn't understand where the facts come from or that they are engaged in deceptive politics.

^^^^^ CB: However, I'm not appealing to objective "facts", so....


I don't think you're engaged in deception, and I accept that you understand that the number and pay of administrators is a neoliberal product, but it'd be nice if you thought of such things before repeatedly engaging in posts that don't show it and, in fact, point in other directions.

I'm done, you can have the last word on this.

^^^^^^^^ CB: In a sort of roundabout and verbose way, I think u have given an analysis and explanation of the "facts" of the article.

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