I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another CEO Know-It-All

Bloomberg makes sure to give valuable media space to another billionaire CEO, Rupert Murdoch, who weighs in on a subject he knows nothing about:
News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch called for an overhaul of the U.S. education system to preserve the middle class and prevent the country from slipping further behind the rest of the world.
“The failure rates of our public schools represent a tragic waste of human capital that is making America less competitive,” Murdoch said yesterday at a Media Institute awards dinner in Washington, according to the prepared text of his remarks. “Upward mobility in America is in jeopardy unless we fix our public schools.”.... 
The days of America as the unrivaled world leader in public education seem to be gone, Murdoch said. He called the existing system a “near-monopoly” and said teachers aren’t being hired and fired based on performance. “We have tougher standards on ‘American Idol,’” the singing-competition TV show on his Fox network, he said.
Where do I start with this chowderhead?

- Let's just stop this crap about failings in the education system suppressing upward mobility. There are many, many well-educated people out there who can't get decent jobs. The idea that if they only had gone to better public schools they would be living the sweet life is patently ridiculous.

Income inequity, fostered by a government bought and paid for by the obscenely wealthy (like Murdoch) is what is suppressing demand and keeping people from getting good jobs. An insanely regressive tax system has been withholding the funds necessary to provide for basic needs in infrastructure and services and instead has allowed Murdoch and his ilk to pocket money that could otherwise be put to productive use.

Public education has nothing to do with any of this; it's merely the latest scapegoat used to keep Americans from pointing a finger of blame at the aristocrats like Murdoch.

- If Rupert Murdoch really cares about "performance," why does he continue to fund a losing proposition like the Fox Business Network? Why does he continue to support Glenn Beck, who can't get a mainstream sponsor to save his life?

Because Murdoch doesn't care about "performance" - he cares about promoting an ideology that masks his insatiable greed. Bashing teachers is part of that agenda.

- I don't want to hear anything even remotely implying a closing of the American mind from a guy who foisted Fox News upon the world. Or the pablum that passes for "entertainment" that Fox Studios has churned out over the years. Or newspapers for the functionally illiterate like The Sun and The NY Post.

The dumbing-down of America is far more a product of the swill Murdoch churns out every day than it is a failure of the public education system.

- Finally: American Idol sucks. It has for a long, long time. If it was a decent evaluator of singing ability, Chris Daughtry would have won in a landslide and we'd never even know the name Taylor Hicks.

But that's the standard Murdoch sets for evaluating teachers: conventional garbage wins, true talent loses.


thinker said...

Comments like Murdoch's really make my blood boil. I talk to apathetic high school kids EVERY DAY who tell me they can't be bothered with schoolwork because "what's the point? It won't do anything." There was a time when kids coming out of school could either get a job or go on to college depending on their ambitions. Now, even educated people can't find jobs (myself included), while the nation's wealth continues to funnel into fewer and fewer hands; and yet teachers are supposed to convince kids that education is important and something to be valued while POLITICIANS DEMEAN THIS EDUCATION AT EVERY TURN. Kids are not stupid, they see far more than many adults give them credit for.

Duke said...

See the new post, thinker.