Beware the Academic Zika Virus
By now just about everyone has heard of the zika virus, transmitted by mosquitos, which is said to cause brain damage in children.Â As worrisome as this is, an even bigger brain damage threat to young people is what I call the academic zika virus, transmitted by left-wing, politically-correct â€œeducators.â€Â There are exceptions, but undergraduate education in America has become one big socialist indoctrination academy that fills studentsâ€™ heads with cultural Marxist myths, superstitions, and falsehoods while inculcating an infantile culture that teaches students to run crying to â€œsafe roomsâ€ if a dissenting voice should somehow appear on campus.Â All of this can be yours for a mere 50 grand a year at many universities.
Send your son or daughter off to a college or university this fall and they will discover that there is no greater cause than supporting the ideas of Comrade Bernie Sanders, the proud socialist who tried to become president by offering lots of free stuff, Santa Clause style, to Americaâ€™s youth, who voted for him by the millions.
Your child is not likely to be taught the eternal economic truth that there is no such thing as a free lunch; thatÂ neither university professors nor doctors and nurses are slaves who are forced to work for free so that there can be no such thing as â€œfreeâ€ higher education or healthcare.Â Someone has to pay for it, and that someone will be them. Â
They will likely graduate without ever hearing that socialism has destroyed the economy of every country where it has been adopted, including most recently oil-rich Venezuela, where middle-class people are literally rooting through garbage in the streets looking for food, barely fifteen years after its socialist â€œrevolutionâ€ under the late communist Hugo Chavez.Â They will not learn that socialist governments in the twentieth century murdered more than 100 million of their own people for dissenting or being suspected of dissenting to the imposition of socialism and the confiscation of their property, farms, and businesses by government thugs.
The Black Book of Communism and Death by Government, two scholarly, university press books that horrifyingly document all of this, will not be on any reading list.Â Yet their socialist professors with Che Guevara or Mao posters hanging on their office walls will always take the moral high road while advocating in their classrooms the ideology that was the cause of the worst crimes in human history.Â (When Yours Truly adopted The Communist Manifesto in a class on â€œCapitalism and its Criticsâ€ one student complained that it was the fourth time he was required to read the book, but the other three professors treated it as a roadmap for a future America, not a poisonous historical relic).
Your student will not learn that Sweden was a very prosperous country in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries because it was a limited government, low-tax society that spawned many great inventors and entrepreneurs (Alfred Nobel, Volvo, and Saab, Swiss watches), but that that prosperity was stopped in its tracks when Sweden adopted â€œdemocratic socialismâ€ in mid-century.Â As a result, Sweden ate up (with taxes) the wealth created by previous generations, so much so that not a single net new job was created there from 1950 to 2005 according to the Swedish Economic Association.Â And when the Swedish central bank tried to bail out the floundering Swedish welfare state, it created 500% interest rates. (The same bank that pretentiously awards the Nobel Prize in Economic Science!).
Your college student will be subjected to the old socialist propaganda tactic of accusing critics of socialism or socialistic policies of basing their opposition on hate, not logic or facts.Â A conservative or libertarian professor who discusses how welfare harms the work ethic and causes family break-ups will be accused of hating the poor.Â An economist who explains that a $15/hour minimum wage would cause massive unemployment among teenagers who are not yet capable of producing $15/hour for a business will be branded a capitalist tool and a paid propagandist. The same goes for the economist who criticizes price controls.Â Who could be against lower prices but a paid corporate propagandist?
An economist may well be fired or denied tenure for pointing out the well-known fact that if one controls for marriage and choice of occupation, then there is no male/female â€œwage gapâ€ caused by â€œdiscriminationâ€ at all; in fact, many studies show that after such controls are made American women are paid slightly more than men.
Good luck to any professor who, following the pioneering research of Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, explains how competition in a capitalistic marketplace tends to diminish or eliminate wage discrimination based on race.Â The simple theory is that if an employer pays two equally productive employees differently, say paying the black employee half of what the white employee is paid, he creates a profit opportunity for his competitors, who will certainly take advantage of it.Â A man who can produce say $100,000/year for a business but who is paid only $30,000 because of discrimination could be offered double the salary by a competing employer who would then pocket the difference between $100,000 and $60,000.Â And another employer would offer him even more, and perhaps another.Â If thereâ€™s enough labor market competition the wage gap between black and white employees will eventually disappear.
This very mainstream (in the economics profession, anyway) line of reasoning typically causes heads to explode in the PC world of academe, for one of its most cherished superstitions is that â€œthe legacy of slaveryâ€ has forever left black people at an economic disadvantage, no matter how educated, skilled, talented, etc. they become.Â They still need to be â€œadoptedâ€ for life by the government and cared for like feeble little children.
Very few students will learn that more capitalistic (and therefore more prosperous) countries are overwhelmingly cleaner, environmentally speaking, than socialist countries.Â They will not learn that the worst ecological disasters of the past century were in the socialist countries of the Soviet empire, China, and elsewhere, and that event today, socialist governments in countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, have been responsible for turning large parts of their countries into environmental cesspools.
Peaceful, voluntary exchange in the marketplace, including an international trade that promotes mutual understanding, enriches traders from both countries and deters war, will be relentlessly demonized and condemned.Â All business people will be placed in the same moral category as Bernie Madoff, and your student will be taught that since the profits of capitalism are rooted in such immoral behavior, it is imperative that business owners be taxed as heavily as possible in order to â€œredistributeâ€ their ill-gotten gains.Â Their own parents, who might have started a successful business of their own and saved the profits to pay astronomical tuition at â€œthe bestâ€ schools, may well be described as crooks and con artists â€“ along with all other business people.
These are just a few examples of the avalanche of lies that todayâ€™s college students are routinely exposed to at Americaâ€™s socialist indoctrination academies.Â When dissenting views are expressed on campuses, they are usually the result of the efforts of a small group of conservative or libertarian students who have secured private funding for an â€œoutside lecturerâ€ after being quickly and rudely turned down by university administrators after naively asking them for say, $500, for a speaker after their university paid six-figure speaking fees paid to leftists like Hillary Clinton (who reportedly cut UCLA a break by cutting her normal fee to a mere $300,000).
Whenever such funding is acquired by conservative or libertarian students, it is often the case that the speaker will be met with screaming protesters who will attempt to censor his views with their bad behavior while administrators look the other way.Â The administration may imply that the speaker is some kind of Nazi by informing the campus community that a â€œsafe roomâ€ will be set aside where students can isolate themselves from such â€œhate speech.â€Â Or, after the speech the speaker will be condemned as â€œinsensitiveâ€ to minorities, which is the academic Leftâ€™s way of calling someone a racist without incurring the legal liability of a defamation lawsuit.Â In any event, college students are treated like scared little babies whose delicate ears need to be shielded from the horrors of free speech.
This totalitarian attack on academic freedom and free speech has now become routine in Americaâ€™s socialist indoctrination academies, who have adopted the advice of the old Marxist Herbert Marcuse, who began arguing in the 1960s that only â€œthe oppressedâ€ in society deserve free speech.Â Allowing â€œthe oppressorsâ€ to speak freely only exacerbates the amount of â€œoppressionâ€ in society.Â A devoted communist, Marcuse wanted to ban all criticisms of communism on college campuses, and he has succeeded to a very large extent.
There are islands of sanity in the sea of insanity that is the American academic world.Â Economic departments tend to be not quite as crazy as some other disciplines, and if your son or daughter is a serious engineering or pre-med student, he or she will spend less time being brainwashed by leftists who dominate the social sciences and the humanities.Â Even so, they will most likely be treated like skunks at a picnic if they voice â€œpolitically incorrectâ€ opinions to their classmates.
Now sit down and write that $50,000 tuition check; school starts right after Labor [Union] Day.