It was gratifying to hear a talking head the other night ask of the ‘Occupiers’ “Why are you sitting there on Wall Street bemoaning that you are graduating from college a hundred thousand dollars in debt? Wall Street had nothing to do with that. Why are you not ‘occupying’ various and sundry Universities across the land who charged you outlandish tuitions and fees for your worthless little degrees?” The venue where I heard that gem escapes me, but thanks to the fellow, whoever he was.
Some of us of the common sense persuasion have known for some time that University was the root of many of our modern evils, and not Wall Street. Evil Money, yes, but not the earned kind, whether by sweat or by genius, but the graft-driven, grant-driven kind derived from pitting people against one another, whether by class, race, culture, creed or certificate. And no entity is better at that than University. (Which is why the fact that every major one in the US has an Office of ‘Diversity”, or a Multicultural -centric field of study, or anti-discrimination mission statements in their handbooks, and usually all three, is a matter of some comedy). We won’t even get into the whole ‘affirmative action’ thing.
What we have not yet heard a talking head point out is the strange disconnect between the redistributive justice supposedly sought by the Left, and the Idiot Sons of the Left, and the domination and hegemony that University has over who is really the favorite son in this country. The poor chap on TV the other night just didn’t have enough minutes to flesh out the argument, but here all we have is time. To wit: conventional wisdom is that to get an apprenticeship, you must have the minimum Bachelor’s degree; to make any money (and be able to repay those malodorous student loans that the banks only wanted the interest on, but now Obama wants your indentured servitude for), you must have the requisite Master’s Degree; and finally, to have any influence, to have any say, to have license to teach or to expound, to be respected, you must have The Doctorate.
Who says that? Well, along with University, mostly it’s Main Street saying that, and not so much Wall Street. (Oh, did I touch any nerves out there? Not you, Mom and Pop) Wall Street doesn’t demand that you have a degree, and a lot of times not even any money. You can borrow, and pennystock,and margin, and risk and dare and short-sell, and gamble, and even create your own system without even knowing anybody. You can do your own thing on Wall Street. You kids ought to lust for Wall Street. You can’t operate like that on Main Street. You’ve got to either have that one-in-a-million surefire next thing, or you’ve got to pay your dues and sweat and scrounge and work your way up and over. Far too often, unfortunately, Main Street says some kind of a degree proves you have a work ethic. (Heh, heh, heh. Once upon a time, maybe. ). So the only way to go, unless you know somebody, is to get that degree. And you’re not the first generation that has been
brainwa advised this way.
Now there is, of course, Big Main Street, and Middling Main Street and Small Mainstreet. Hows you gonna rant and rave and prevail against Main Street, kiddos? You don’t even know their home addresses where you can go and terrorize their families. You wouldn’t have a clue how to ‘occupy’ Main Street. But who is it that swoons Main Street, in fact who was it that told Main Street “You want your business to succeed beyond your wildest dreams? (Oh, God, yes! Pant! How do I do it, O glorious University?) Partner with University and demand the sheepskin! Only we are authorized to deliver the documents.” Strange bedfellows, Main Street and University. University keeps putting out a more inferior product all the time (see “Wall Street Occupiers”) and charging more and more to the occupiers for what they get, or were once upon a time thought to be getting, and thus supplying Main Street with increasingly inferior and over-priced labor. A marriage not made in Heaven, for sure.
What should happen, if there was any justice, is for #OWS and Main Street to have an epiphany and go down and together ‘Occupy University’. In the unlikely event that would happen, a word of caution. University, like the late Mayor Daley the Elder of Chicago, realizing the stakes, might issue shoot-to-maim, shoot-to-kill orders. On second thought, maybe Main Street ought to just stay home and tend to business and let #OWS get all the press.