Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
20210329davarianlbaldwin

We're talking about the real estate department, the technology transfer division, the development office, the police force, the data mining contracts - those are never in the conversation about austerity budgets, because those are the for-profit entities that have nothing to do with teaching classes. We have this false narrative that institutions of higher education are primarily about the business of teaching, when they haven't been that for at least four decades.

Urbanist and historian Davarian L. Baldwin on the dynamics between urban universities and the communities outside their walls - but increasingly under their control, and his book In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities Are Plundering Our Cities from Bold Type Books.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

You probably heard that Texas’s power grid seceded from the union in order to let the necessity- of-life-utility sector legally enslave the people to their price gouging and negligence, and that there were consequences.

The following is meant to tar our entire dumb austerity culture, though it will smell like it’s just for Tim Boyd, the recently-resigned mayor of Colorado City, Texas, in the zone of desolation where the electricity mongers pulled an Enron with an extra twist of the knife in the back.

Tim Boyd wrote his constituents a polite letter explaining the nature of the neoliberal social contract between the state and its subjects in the new millennium. Well, okay, he wasn’t actually polite. He was quite rude, to tell the truth. But his Facebook screed was explanatory. It laid out in simple, straightforward prose the ideal relationship between the general public and the for-profit authorities. It was as clear an explanation as the one Senator Ted Cruz acted out in his interpretive dance to Cancun, away from the state in question, abandoning his post. A fitting performance to illustrate his uselessness, and, although he returned to the failed state he fails to represent, once so ensconced he persevered on his useless course.

Tim Boyd’s missive begins with his thesis: “No one owes you or your family anything,” followed by a semi-colon where a comma would have sufficed. Proper punctuation is the least we are owed by our elected officials, but Boyd makes clear that even such a modest gesture is too much to expect. Clearly, neither the people of Texas nor their families are worthy of a thoroughly proofread document.

He then specifies from whom the abandoned and shafted people of Texas ought not be so whiny as to expect any type of aid or support: “The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!” I could here mention the subject/verb agreement error – I could easily proofread the whole damn thing and fix the numerous mistakes – but I don’t owe Tim Boyd anything. He’s never given me anything but a mild headache.

The City and County, to whom the people presumably pay taxes, to the best of their ability, or avoid paying taxes to the best of their ability, apparently owe nothing in return for those monies. It’s enough for them to collect... read more