Proposition 92 Divides Teaching Community and Sets Stage for Bloody Battle in February

A measure that would cut fees for Community College students and guarantee funding levels for community colleges would seem to be an issue everyone in the teaching community could get behind.

The cost of Community Colleges has risen sharply in recent decades and Proposition 92 would lower the fees from the current $20 per unit to $15 per unit. It would also set aside a percentage of the state’s budget for community colleges.

However, the measure has divided the state’s two largest teachers’ unions. The California Federation of Teachers is the biggest financial backer of Proposition 92. Meanwhile, the largest teachers’ association in the state, CTA, is a strong opponent.

Why? Because the measure would tinker with the basic funding formula for Proposition 98. Proposition 98 was passed by the voters in 1988 to lock in K-12 money at 40 percent of the states general fund. The CTA and other opponents fear that by locking in money for community college funding, money would be taken away from the K-12 schools. The CTA claims to support more money for community colleges, however they oppose the manner in which Proposition 92 would accomplish this.

Scott Lay, a Davis resident and president of the Community College League of California is a strong backer of the measure. In a November interview with the Sacramento Bee he said:

“Everybody loves community colleges right now. I’ve never heard so many people say community colleges need more money. We’ve tried for 20 years to play the game in Sacramento, and what it has meant is fewer Californians being able to go to college.”

“There’s a sincere debate about the future of higher education. We are trying to have a system that will be accessible and affordable and the other universities have a different agenda, talking about their fee increases and executive pay this week. … We believe we are going the direction the people want.”

Meanwhile the ruling bodies of California’s two-tiered four year college system have also opposed the measure–the CSU Board of Trustee and the University of California Regents.

Each of them apparent are fearful that more money for community colleges translates into less money for them.

Spokesman Paul Browning from CSU told the Sacramento Bee:

“The CSU is worried that the passage of the proposition could mean leaner times by shrinking the pool of discretionary money available for higher education from Sacramento, which of course would impact CSU.”

The sad part of this fight is that there seems a real need for more consistent and reliable support for community colleges. Community Colleges represent a crucial avenue by which students are prepared for four-year colleges in addition to provisions of workplace skills and other key skills that can be applied directly to vocations.

On the Yes on Proposition 92 website, they quote Marco Realmonte, President of the Cabrillo Student Senate:

“Lowering the fees will allow thousands of California students who have a difficult time paying for college in the face of unpredictable fee increases and high housing costs. In 2003, more than 300,000 students were forced to drop out when fees increased to $26. This initiative means stability for students like me. It’s important for every student to have the ability to go to college.”

Unfortunately, the budget realities in this state are such that anytime you feed Peter, you do so at the expense of Paul.

The reality though is that education is a necessity not a luxury.

Matt Mahood, President & CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber is quoted saying:

“In order to keep California’s competitive edge over the next 20 years, almost 40 percent of the workforce will need to be college educated. Unfortunately, today we are well below that percentage. Our community college system is this region’s lynchpin to ensuring we produce the highly skilled workers required to meet the demands of the next technological era. Passing the Community College Initiative will offer more affordable and accessible academic and vocational education for both recent high school graduates and those returning to school. And the initiative does this without raising taxes.”

It is of course that last sentence that sparks the controversy here because in order to provide money to Community Colleges without raising taxes, it has to take money from somewhere else.

What would be nice is if the educational community could come together and figure out some sort of solution here. As it stands, we are looking at a bloody battle that no one will really win as it pits one part of our educational system against another.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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108 Comments

  1. davis republican

    The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process. Prop. 98 ties up an enormous amount of resources, and yet California schools still perform poorly. $26 per course is a bargain. And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.

    The LAO predicts the state will have a $10 billion deficit this year. Can the State really afford this measure?

  2. davis republican

    The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process. Prop. 98 ties up an enormous amount of resources, and yet California schools still perform poorly. $26 per course is a bargain. And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.

    The LAO predicts the state will have a $10 billion deficit this year. Can the State really afford this measure?

  3. davis republican

    The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process. Prop. 98 ties up an enormous amount of resources, and yet California schools still perform poorly. $26 per course is a bargain. And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.

    The LAO predicts the state will have a $10 billion deficit this year. Can the State really afford this measure?

  4. davis republican

    The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process. Prop. 98 ties up an enormous amount of resources, and yet California schools still perform poorly. $26 per course is a bargain. And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.

    The LAO predicts the state will have a $10 billion deficit this year. Can the State really afford this measure?

  5. Anonymous

    Matt Mahood, President & CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber is quoted saying:

    “In order to keep California’s competitive edge over the next 20 years, almost 40 percent of the workforce will need to be college educated.

    SOLUTION: Some corporate CEOs are already involved in voluntary NGO programs to support higher education training for their future workers. Government regulation to block outsourcing and incentives for corporate moves out of the USA would “nudge” the rest of the business special interests to accept taxation directed to educate their future workers here in the USA.

  6. Anonymous

    Matt Mahood, President & CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber is quoted saying:

    “In order to keep California’s competitive edge over the next 20 years, almost 40 percent of the workforce will need to be college educated.

    SOLUTION: Some corporate CEOs are already involved in voluntary NGO programs to support higher education training for their future workers. Government regulation to block outsourcing and incentives for corporate moves out of the USA would “nudge” the rest of the business special interests to accept taxation directed to educate their future workers here in the USA.

  7. Anonymous

    Matt Mahood, President & CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber is quoted saying:

    “In order to keep California’s competitive edge over the next 20 years, almost 40 percent of the workforce will need to be college educated.

    SOLUTION: Some corporate CEOs are already involved in voluntary NGO programs to support higher education training for their future workers. Government regulation to block outsourcing and incentives for corporate moves out of the USA would “nudge” the rest of the business special interests to accept taxation directed to educate their future workers here in the USA.

  8. Anonymous

    Matt Mahood, President & CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber is quoted saying:

    “In order to keep California’s competitive edge over the next 20 years, almost 40 percent of the workforce will need to be college educated.

    SOLUTION: Some corporate CEOs are already involved in voluntary NGO programs to support higher education training for their future workers. Government regulation to block outsourcing and incentives for corporate moves out of the USA would “nudge” the rest of the business special interests to accept taxation directed to educate their future workers here in the USA.

  9. Yes on Prop 92 Supporter

    I am a Davis Democrat and yes, we do support education and training.

    Community colleges provide a wealth of training and education for those who can either not afford a four-year college, or for those who want to pay less for their first two years of college. Many also attend junior college to get training needed to advance in their career. I plan on supporting this important Proposition.

    YES on prop 92!

  10. Yes on Prop 92 Supporter

    I am a Davis Democrat and yes, we do support education and training.

    Community colleges provide a wealth of training and education for those who can either not afford a four-year college, or for those who want to pay less for their first two years of college. Many also attend junior college to get training needed to advance in their career. I plan on supporting this important Proposition.

    YES on prop 92!

  11. Yes on Prop 92 Supporter

    I am a Davis Democrat and yes, we do support education and training.

    Community colleges provide a wealth of training and education for those who can either not afford a four-year college, or for those who want to pay less for their first two years of college. Many also attend junior college to get training needed to advance in their career. I plan on supporting this important Proposition.

    YES on prop 92!

  12. Yes on Prop 92 Supporter

    I am a Davis Democrat and yes, we do support education and training.

    Community colleges provide a wealth of training and education for those who can either not afford a four-year college, or for those who want to pay less for their first two years of college. Many also attend junior college to get training needed to advance in their career. I plan on supporting this important Proposition.

    YES on prop 92!

  13. Anonymous

    I don’t understand the comment about 300,000 dropping out when the fees went to $26. According to Rand the trend in enrollment in CA community colleges was:

    2000: 1.52 million
    2001: 1.69 million
    2002: 1.75 million
    2003: 1.89 million
    2004: 1.72 million
    2005: 1.59 million

    The number appears to have been fluctuating and was lower in 2001 than in 2004, so it doesn’t seem clear that the fee increase of $6 made such a difference.

    You can run your own data queries on enrollment at:
    http://www.ca.rand.org/
    stats/education/ccenroll.html

  14. Anonymous

    I don’t understand the comment about 300,000 dropping out when the fees went to $26. According to Rand the trend in enrollment in CA community colleges was:

    2000: 1.52 million
    2001: 1.69 million
    2002: 1.75 million
    2003: 1.89 million
    2004: 1.72 million
    2005: 1.59 million

    The number appears to have been fluctuating and was lower in 2001 than in 2004, so it doesn’t seem clear that the fee increase of $6 made such a difference.

    You can run your own data queries on enrollment at:
    http://www.ca.rand.org/
    stats/education/ccenroll.html

  15. Anonymous

    I don’t understand the comment about 300,000 dropping out when the fees went to $26. According to Rand the trend in enrollment in CA community colleges was:

    2000: 1.52 million
    2001: 1.69 million
    2002: 1.75 million
    2003: 1.89 million
    2004: 1.72 million
    2005: 1.59 million

    The number appears to have been fluctuating and was lower in 2001 than in 2004, so it doesn’t seem clear that the fee increase of $6 made such a difference.

    You can run your own data queries on enrollment at:
    http://www.ca.rand.org/
    stats/education/ccenroll.html

  16. Anonymous

    I don’t understand the comment about 300,000 dropping out when the fees went to $26. According to Rand the trend in enrollment in CA community colleges was:

    2000: 1.52 million
    2001: 1.69 million
    2002: 1.75 million
    2003: 1.89 million
    2004: 1.72 million
    2005: 1.59 million

    The number appears to have been fluctuating and was lower in 2001 than in 2004, so it doesn’t seem clear that the fee increase of $6 made such a difference.

    You can run your own data queries on enrollment at:
    http://www.ca.rand.org/
    stats/education/ccenroll.html

  17. Richard

    Community colleges are a threat to the traditional form of education provided by 4 year undergraduate programs like the UC and CSU systems. Like it or not, technological and social changes are rendering the need for a 4 year undergraduate degree unnecessary in a lot of contexts, and community colleges, if adequately funded, are well situated to educate these people, while the UC and CSU systems are too inflexible to do so.

    –Richard Estes

  18. Richard

    Community colleges are a threat to the traditional form of education provided by 4 year undergraduate programs like the UC and CSU systems. Like it or not, technological and social changes are rendering the need for a 4 year undergraduate degree unnecessary in a lot of contexts, and community colleges, if adequately funded, are well situated to educate these people, while the UC and CSU systems are too inflexible to do so.

    –Richard Estes

  19. Richard

    Community colleges are a threat to the traditional form of education provided by 4 year undergraduate programs like the UC and CSU systems. Like it or not, technological and social changes are rendering the need for a 4 year undergraduate degree unnecessary in a lot of contexts, and community colleges, if adequately funded, are well situated to educate these people, while the UC and CSU systems are too inflexible to do so.

    –Richard Estes

  20. Richard

    Community colleges are a threat to the traditional form of education provided by 4 year undergraduate programs like the UC and CSU systems. Like it or not, technological and social changes are rendering the need for a 4 year undergraduate degree unnecessary in a lot of contexts, and community colleges, if adequately funded, are well situated to educate these people, while the UC and CSU systems are too inflexible to do so.

    –Richard Estes

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.”

    While I completely agree that a bachelor’s degree is not for everyone, this misses the point of what many JC students are looking for. Junior colleges offer a large number of practical, two-year diplomas, for people who study subjects ranging from cooking, to graphic arts, to automotive repair, to computer repair, to cosmetology, to photography, and so on. Community colleges play a vital role in training a large percentage of our workforce which goes into all of these trades.

    For those who will transfer into a four-year university, JC’s are a practical way for people who cannot afford the higher costs of higher education. A lot of these 19 and 20 year olds live with their parents and hold down a full-time job in order to survive. I think we, as a society, would be wise to keep public JC’s affordable to this segment of our population. With their higher earnings down the road, they will repay the costs.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.”

    While I completely agree that a bachelor’s degree is not for everyone, this misses the point of what many JC students are looking for. Junior colleges offer a large number of practical, two-year diplomas, for people who study subjects ranging from cooking, to graphic arts, to automotive repair, to computer repair, to cosmetology, to photography, and so on. Community colleges play a vital role in training a large percentage of our workforce which goes into all of these trades.

    For those who will transfer into a four-year university, JC’s are a practical way for people who cannot afford the higher costs of higher education. A lot of these 19 and 20 year olds live with their parents and hold down a full-time job in order to survive. I think we, as a society, would be wise to keep public JC’s affordable to this segment of our population. With their higher earnings down the road, they will repay the costs.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.”

    While I completely agree that a bachelor’s degree is not for everyone, this misses the point of what many JC students are looking for. Junior colleges offer a large number of practical, two-year diplomas, for people who study subjects ranging from cooking, to graphic arts, to automotive repair, to computer repair, to cosmetology, to photography, and so on. Community colleges play a vital role in training a large percentage of our workforce which goes into all of these trades.

    For those who will transfer into a four-year university, JC’s are a practical way for people who cannot afford the higher costs of higher education. A lot of these 19 and 20 year olds live with their parents and hold down a full-time job in order to survive. I think we, as a society, would be wise to keep public JC’s affordable to this segment of our population. With their higher earnings down the road, they will repay the costs.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “And, higher education is not a necessity – liberals have to face the reality that college is not for everyone.”

    While I completely agree that a bachelor’s degree is not for everyone, this misses the point of what many JC students are looking for. Junior colleges offer a large number of practical, two-year diplomas, for people who study subjects ranging from cooking, to graphic arts, to automotive repair, to computer repair, to cosmetology, to photography, and so on. Community colleges play a vital role in training a large percentage of our workforce which goes into all of these trades.

    For those who will transfer into a four-year university, JC’s are a practical way for people who cannot afford the higher costs of higher education. A lot of these 19 and 20 year olds live with their parents and hold down a full-time job in order to survive. I think we, as a society, would be wise to keep public JC’s affordable to this segment of our population. With their higher earnings down the road, they will repay the costs.

  25. Parent of Sac City student

    My son attended Sac City. His grades/SAT scores were not high enough to get into either UCD or CSU. Why? Because he has dyslexia, which was never addressed in the public school system. Fortunately he got the assistance he needed at Sac City, which has an excellent Learning Disabilty Center.

    The head of that center took my son under her wing, and gave him the courage to try again after he flunked his first semester at Sac City. My son then was able to later transfer to UCD, (transferring is very difficult – an issue that was being looked at when my son was at Sac City). My son just graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics – with a bit of help for his dyslexia from UCD as well.

    The point I am trying to make here is how critical our junior colleges are. There has also been talk that the UCD/CSU systems are becoming so overcrowded, that every student may be forced to have to attend two years of junior college first. Don’t know if there is any validity to that rumor or not.

    Nevertheless, junior colleges are a very necessary part of our higher educational system. Even if a student does not go beyond junior college, they will still get very critical training necessary to obtain decent employment. With our technological age upon us – junior college is a necessary component in our education system. We must support it financially.

  26. Parent of Sac City student

    My son attended Sac City. His grades/SAT scores were not high enough to get into either UCD or CSU. Why? Because he has dyslexia, which was never addressed in the public school system. Fortunately he got the assistance he needed at Sac City, which has an excellent Learning Disabilty Center.

    The head of that center took my son under her wing, and gave him the courage to try again after he flunked his first semester at Sac City. My son then was able to later transfer to UCD, (transferring is very difficult – an issue that was being looked at when my son was at Sac City). My son just graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics – with a bit of help for his dyslexia from UCD as well.

    The point I am trying to make here is how critical our junior colleges are. There has also been talk that the UCD/CSU systems are becoming so overcrowded, that every student may be forced to have to attend two years of junior college first. Don’t know if there is any validity to that rumor or not.

    Nevertheless, junior colleges are a very necessary part of our higher educational system. Even if a student does not go beyond junior college, they will still get very critical training necessary to obtain decent employment. With our technological age upon us – junior college is a necessary component in our education system. We must support it financially.

  27. Parent of Sac City student

    My son attended Sac City. His grades/SAT scores were not high enough to get into either UCD or CSU. Why? Because he has dyslexia, which was never addressed in the public school system. Fortunately he got the assistance he needed at Sac City, which has an excellent Learning Disabilty Center.

    The head of that center took my son under her wing, and gave him the courage to try again after he flunked his first semester at Sac City. My son then was able to later transfer to UCD, (transferring is very difficult – an issue that was being looked at when my son was at Sac City). My son just graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics – with a bit of help for his dyslexia from UCD as well.

    The point I am trying to make here is how critical our junior colleges are. There has also been talk that the UCD/CSU systems are becoming so overcrowded, that every student may be forced to have to attend two years of junior college first. Don’t know if there is any validity to that rumor or not.

    Nevertheless, junior colleges are a very necessary part of our higher educational system. Even if a student does not go beyond junior college, they will still get very critical training necessary to obtain decent employment. With our technological age upon us – junior college is a necessary component in our education system. We must support it financially.

  28. Parent of Sac City student

    My son attended Sac City. His grades/SAT scores were not high enough to get into either UCD or CSU. Why? Because he has dyslexia, which was never addressed in the public school system. Fortunately he got the assistance he needed at Sac City, which has an excellent Learning Disabilty Center.

    The head of that center took my son under her wing, and gave him the courage to try again after he flunked his first semester at Sac City. My son then was able to later transfer to UCD, (transferring is very difficult – an issue that was being looked at when my son was at Sac City). My son just graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics – with a bit of help for his dyslexia from UCD as well.

    The point I am trying to make here is how critical our junior colleges are. There has also been talk that the UCD/CSU systems are becoming so overcrowded, that every student may be forced to have to attend two years of junior college first. Don’t know if there is any validity to that rumor or not.

    Nevertheless, junior colleges are a very necessary part of our higher educational system. Even if a student does not go beyond junior college, they will still get very critical training necessary to obtain decent employment. With our technological age upon us – junior college is a necessary component in our education system. We must support it financially.

  29. from the Darkside

    Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget? Now really. Yet we rank at the bottom. Maybe if we pour 60 or 70 percent of the budget into education things will improve.

  30. from the Darkside

    Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget? Now really. Yet we rank at the bottom. Maybe if we pour 60 or 70 percent of the budget into education things will improve.

  31. from the Darkside

    Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget? Now really. Yet we rank at the bottom. Maybe if we pour 60 or 70 percent of the budget into education things will improve.

  32. from the Darkside

    Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget? Now really. Yet we rank at the bottom. Maybe if we pour 60 or 70 percent of the budget into education things will improve.

  33. struggling student

    The fees are not what makes community college expensive. $80 for a 3 unit class that lasts 12 weeks seems OK. (It comes out to about a dollar an hour of class) It is the cost of the books. I had to drop out of two classes because the texts required (a 150 page paperback) cost $125 each. I just couldn’t afford it.

  34. struggling student

    The fees are not what makes community college expensive. $80 for a 3 unit class that lasts 12 weeks seems OK. (It comes out to about a dollar an hour of class) It is the cost of the books. I had to drop out of two classes because the texts required (a 150 page paperback) cost $125 each. I just couldn’t afford it.

  35. struggling student

    The fees are not what makes community college expensive. $80 for a 3 unit class that lasts 12 weeks seems OK. (It comes out to about a dollar an hour of class) It is the cost of the books. I had to drop out of two classes because the texts required (a 150 page paperback) cost $125 each. I just couldn’t afford it.

  36. struggling student

    The fees are not what makes community college expensive. $80 for a 3 unit class that lasts 12 weeks seems OK. (It comes out to about a dollar an hour of class) It is the cost of the books. I had to drop out of two classes because the texts required (a 150 page paperback) cost $125 each. I just couldn’t afford it.

  37. davis republican

    I support community colleges in theory – I just don’t support ADDITIONAL taxpayer subsidies. I think struggling student raises an excellent point – it’s not the cost of the classes (which pay for teachers and facilities), it’s the cost of the books, which don’t go back into the schools. Teachers could do a far better job at reducing the number of books that students must purchase.

  38. davis republican

    I support community colleges in theory – I just don’t support ADDITIONAL taxpayer subsidies. I think struggling student raises an excellent point – it’s not the cost of the classes (which pay for teachers and facilities), it’s the cost of the books, which don’t go back into the schools. Teachers could do a far better job at reducing the number of books that students must purchase.

  39. davis republican

    I support community colleges in theory – I just don’t support ADDITIONAL taxpayer subsidies. I think struggling student raises an excellent point – it’s not the cost of the classes (which pay for teachers and facilities), it’s the cost of the books, which don’t go back into the schools. Teachers could do a far better job at reducing the number of books that students must purchase.

  40. davis republican

    I support community colleges in theory – I just don’t support ADDITIONAL taxpayer subsidies. I think struggling student raises an excellent point – it’s not the cost of the classes (which pay for teachers and facilities), it’s the cost of the books, which don’t go back into the schools. Teachers could do a far better job at reducing the number of books that students must purchase.

  41. Legion

    Or, instead of reducing the number of texts and therefore the amount of outside learning for the student, we can reduce the Prices of the texts.

    Because the textbook industry has a monopoly; Because they release new editions every year containing little to none content-oriented changes; Because textbooks often come bundled with software and study guides the student will never use, but further jack up the price; Because teachers don’t know the costs of the textbooks, or that the older version is often just as effective as the newer one.

  42. Legion

    Or, instead of reducing the number of texts and therefore the amount of outside learning for the student, we can reduce the Prices of the texts.

    Because the textbook industry has a monopoly; Because they release new editions every year containing little to none content-oriented changes; Because textbooks often come bundled with software and study guides the student will never use, but further jack up the price; Because teachers don’t know the costs of the textbooks, or that the older version is often just as effective as the newer one.

  43. Legion

    Or, instead of reducing the number of texts and therefore the amount of outside learning for the student, we can reduce the Prices of the texts.

    Because the textbook industry has a monopoly; Because they release new editions every year containing little to none content-oriented changes; Because textbooks often come bundled with software and study guides the student will never use, but further jack up the price; Because teachers don’t know the costs of the textbooks, or that the older version is often just as effective as the newer one.

  44. Legion

    Or, instead of reducing the number of texts and therefore the amount of outside learning for the student, we can reduce the Prices of the texts.

    Because the textbook industry has a monopoly; Because they release new editions every year containing little to none content-oriented changes; Because textbooks often come bundled with software and study guides the student will never use, but further jack up the price; Because teachers don’t know the costs of the textbooks, or that the older version is often just as effective as the newer one.

  45. Anonymous

    California’s community college fees are already the lowest in the nation, by far. Low-income students routinely have their fees waived by the campuses (about 29% of CCC students pay no fees, accounting for over 40% of units taken), so locking in a low-fee policy won’t help low-income kids because they don’t pay fees now, anyway.

    Further, to the extent young adults have financial issues paying their way through CCC, it is due to living expenses. The fees are a negligible cost, and policymakers’s fetish with low fees may actually hurt the system by starving it of funds that could be used to help guide students that enter the system into completion and/or transfer to a 4-year institution.

    Indeed, there have been a raft of reports about the CCCs in the past year or so that conclude that the current CCC policy is overly tilted toward open access at the expense of degree/certificate completion. LOTS of kids enter the system, but FEW come out with their goals met, and this initiative isn’t intended to change that. Indeed, by putting the system’s budget on autopilot, the CCCs will evade any accountability for the performance of students that enter the system.

    What the CCCs need is a funding system that rewards campuses for helping kids meet their intended goals, whether that’s a certificate, and AA, or a succesful transfer to a 4-year institution. That will help address the skills shortage that faces California.

    Prop 92 locks in a counterproductive low-fee policy, removes any hope of getting accountability from the system, and adds another robo-budget layer to a state that already has way too much of that. Vote no.

  46. Anonymous

    California’s community college fees are already the lowest in the nation, by far. Low-income students routinely have their fees waived by the campuses (about 29% of CCC students pay no fees, accounting for over 40% of units taken), so locking in a low-fee policy won’t help low-income kids because they don’t pay fees now, anyway.

    Further, to the extent young adults have financial issues paying their way through CCC, it is due to living expenses. The fees are a negligible cost, and policymakers’s fetish with low fees may actually hurt the system by starving it of funds that could be used to help guide students that enter the system into completion and/or transfer to a 4-year institution.

    Indeed, there have been a raft of reports about the CCCs in the past year or so that conclude that the current CCC policy is overly tilted toward open access at the expense of degree/certificate completion. LOTS of kids enter the system, but FEW come out with their goals met, and this initiative isn’t intended to change that. Indeed, by putting the system’s budget on autopilot, the CCCs will evade any accountability for the performance of students that enter the system.

    What the CCCs need is a funding system that rewards campuses for helping kids meet their intended goals, whether that’s a certificate, and AA, or a succesful transfer to a 4-year institution. That will help address the skills shortage that faces California.

    Prop 92 locks in a counterproductive low-fee policy, removes any hope of getting accountability from the system, and adds another robo-budget layer to a state that already has way too much of that. Vote no.

  47. Anonymous

    California’s community college fees are already the lowest in the nation, by far. Low-income students routinely have their fees waived by the campuses (about 29% of CCC students pay no fees, accounting for over 40% of units taken), so locking in a low-fee policy won’t help low-income kids because they don’t pay fees now, anyway.

    Further, to the extent young adults have financial issues paying their way through CCC, it is due to living expenses. The fees are a negligible cost, and policymakers’s fetish with low fees may actually hurt the system by starving it of funds that could be used to help guide students that enter the system into completion and/or transfer to a 4-year institution.

    Indeed, there have been a raft of reports about the CCCs in the past year or so that conclude that the current CCC policy is overly tilted toward open access at the expense of degree/certificate completion. LOTS of kids enter the system, but FEW come out with their goals met, and this initiative isn’t intended to change that. Indeed, by putting the system’s budget on autopilot, the CCCs will evade any accountability for the performance of students that enter the system.

    What the CCCs need is a funding system that rewards campuses for helping kids meet their intended goals, whether that’s a certificate, and AA, or a succesful transfer to a 4-year institution. That will help address the skills shortage that faces California.

    Prop 92 locks in a counterproductive low-fee policy, removes any hope of getting accountability from the system, and adds another robo-budget layer to a state that already has way too much of that. Vote no.

  48. Anonymous

    California’s community college fees are already the lowest in the nation, by far. Low-income students routinely have their fees waived by the campuses (about 29% of CCC students pay no fees, accounting for over 40% of units taken), so locking in a low-fee policy won’t help low-income kids because they don’t pay fees now, anyway.

    Further, to the extent young adults have financial issues paying their way through CCC, it is due to living expenses. The fees are a negligible cost, and policymakers’s fetish with low fees may actually hurt the system by starving it of funds that could be used to help guide students that enter the system into completion and/or transfer to a 4-year institution.

    Indeed, there have been a raft of reports about the CCCs in the past year or so that conclude that the current CCC policy is overly tilted toward open access at the expense of degree/certificate completion. LOTS of kids enter the system, but FEW come out with their goals met, and this initiative isn’t intended to change that. Indeed, by putting the system’s budget on autopilot, the CCCs will evade any accountability for the performance of students that enter the system.

    What the CCCs need is a funding system that rewards campuses for helping kids meet their intended goals, whether that’s a certificate, and AA, or a succesful transfer to a 4-year institution. That will help address the skills shortage that faces California.

    Prop 92 locks in a counterproductive low-fee policy, removes any hope of getting accountability from the system, and adds another robo-budget layer to a state that already has way too much of that. Vote no.

  49. Erik

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the teachers for the cost of the books.

    I attended a Junior College, then UCD, and am now attending law school. My JC experience did a great job as a place for me to grow up a bit, to figure out that yes, I really did want to be here and really did want to continue with my education.

    I think this role, served best by a JC, is very important. By no means was I the only 18/19-year-old student who hadn’t really done the soul searching yet to realize just how important education was to me when I started college.

    I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.

    Whether those prices are justified is another discussion(and I’m guessing Davis Republican isn’t complaining about the right of the booksellers to charge whatever they can get the market to pay).

    Either way, I don’t think the reality that textbooks are prohibitively expensive should fall on the professor’s head.

  50. Erik

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the teachers for the cost of the books.

    I attended a Junior College, then UCD, and am now attending law school. My JC experience did a great job as a place for me to grow up a bit, to figure out that yes, I really did want to be here and really did want to continue with my education.

    I think this role, served best by a JC, is very important. By no means was I the only 18/19-year-old student who hadn’t really done the soul searching yet to realize just how important education was to me when I started college.

    I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.

    Whether those prices are justified is another discussion(and I’m guessing Davis Republican isn’t complaining about the right of the booksellers to charge whatever they can get the market to pay).

    Either way, I don’t think the reality that textbooks are prohibitively expensive should fall on the professor’s head.

  51. Erik

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the teachers for the cost of the books.

    I attended a Junior College, then UCD, and am now attending law school. My JC experience did a great job as a place for me to grow up a bit, to figure out that yes, I really did want to be here and really did want to continue with my education.

    I think this role, served best by a JC, is very important. By no means was I the only 18/19-year-old student who hadn’t really done the soul searching yet to realize just how important education was to me when I started college.

    I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.

    Whether those prices are justified is another discussion(and I’m guessing Davis Republican isn’t complaining about the right of the booksellers to charge whatever they can get the market to pay).

    Either way, I don’t think the reality that textbooks are prohibitively expensive should fall on the professor’s head.

  52. Erik

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the teachers for the cost of the books.

    I attended a Junior College, then UCD, and am now attending law school. My JC experience did a great job as a place for me to grow up a bit, to figure out that yes, I really did want to be here and really did want to continue with my education.

    I think this role, served best by a JC, is very important. By no means was I the only 18/19-year-old student who hadn’t really done the soul searching yet to realize just how important education was to me when I started college.

    I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.

    Whether those prices are justified is another discussion(and I’m guessing Davis Republican isn’t complaining about the right of the booksellers to charge whatever they can get the market to pay).

    Either way, I don’t think the reality that textbooks are prohibitively expensive should fall on the professor’s head.

  53. Anonymous

    “Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget?”

    I don’t know firsthand about other parts of the state, but I really like the public K-12 program here in Davis, in spite of all the grousing that goes on about the DJUSD.

    In general, I am discouraged that our government finds it so easy to spend billions on a questionable war and military, but we can’t take the initiative to fund education adequately. If we are to send our troops out to “defend our way of life”, I would like to feel better about our way of life.

    A well educated society is the fertilizer for creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship. You can’t seriously follow a pro-business, pro-economy conservative agenda without funding accessible, quality education for society.

  54. Anonymous

    “Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget?”

    I don’t know firsthand about other parts of the state, but I really like the public K-12 program here in Davis, in spite of all the grousing that goes on about the DJUSD.

    In general, I am discouraged that our government finds it so easy to spend billions on a questionable war and military, but we can’t take the initiative to fund education adequately. If we are to send our troops out to “defend our way of life”, I would like to feel better about our way of life.

    A well educated society is the fertilizer for creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship. You can’t seriously follow a pro-business, pro-economy conservative agenda without funding accessible, quality education for society.

  55. Anonymous

    “Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget?”

    I don’t know firsthand about other parts of the state, but I really like the public K-12 program here in Davis, in spite of all the grousing that goes on about the DJUSD.

    In general, I am discouraged that our government finds it so easy to spend billions on a questionable war and military, but we can’t take the initiative to fund education adequately. If we are to send our troops out to “defend our way of life”, I would like to feel better about our way of life.

    A well educated society is the fertilizer for creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship. You can’t seriously follow a pro-business, pro-economy conservative agenda without funding accessible, quality education for society.

  56. Anonymous

    “Quite frankly, K-12 education is this state stinks and is OVERFUNDED.. 40% of the state budget?”

    I don’t know firsthand about other parts of the state, but I really like the public K-12 program here in Davis, in spite of all the grousing that goes on about the DJUSD.

    In general, I am discouraged that our government finds it so easy to spend billions on a questionable war and military, but we can’t take the initiative to fund education adequately. If we are to send our troops out to “defend our way of life”, I would like to feel better about our way of life.

    A well educated society is the fertilizer for creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship. You can’t seriously follow a pro-business, pro-economy conservative agenda without funding accessible, quality education for society.

  57. Rich Rifkin

    ERIK: “I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.”

    I never attended a junior college, so I can’t speak from experience, there. But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.) And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.

    While I don’t normally believe in price controls for anything, the university book market is unique. There is something rather strange going on when a 200 page book sells for $75-$100. If you go into a Border’s or comparable bookstore, a similar work of non-fiction will sell for $15-$25.

    The ultimate problem is at the wholesale level. (I don’t believe there is any evidence that the retail mark-up for college texts is extraordinary.) Because the buyers are third parties who don’t have the market choice of selecting a text from a different publisher, the price charged is monopolistic, rather than competitive.

    It seems to me that it would be reasonable for government to survey the wholesale prices of books sold at commercial bookstores and consider those prices as “fair comps.” Then, if any university-assigned book came with a wholesale price which was appreciably higher than its fair comp, the publisher could be charged with gouging. With that kind of law, the publishers would make reasonable profits on college textbooks — no more, no less.

    The possible downside of this kind of an arrangement would be that fewer college textbooks would be published, or that they would be updated less often. While true, the benefit of fewer and older textbooks for many courses would be (besides a massive savings of money for students) profs would have to assign a wider variety of materials from different authors.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    ERIK: “I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.”

    I never attended a junior college, so I can’t speak from experience, there. But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.) And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.

    While I don’t normally believe in price controls for anything, the university book market is unique. There is something rather strange going on when a 200 page book sells for $75-$100. If you go into a Border’s or comparable bookstore, a similar work of non-fiction will sell for $15-$25.

    The ultimate problem is at the wholesale level. (I don’t believe there is any evidence that the retail mark-up for college texts is extraordinary.) Because the buyers are third parties who don’t have the market choice of selecting a text from a different publisher, the price charged is monopolistic, rather than competitive.

    It seems to me that it would be reasonable for government to survey the wholesale prices of books sold at commercial bookstores and consider those prices as “fair comps.” Then, if any university-assigned book came with a wholesale price which was appreciably higher than its fair comp, the publisher could be charged with gouging. With that kind of law, the publishers would make reasonable profits on college textbooks — no more, no less.

    The possible downside of this kind of an arrangement would be that fewer college textbooks would be published, or that they would be updated less often. While true, the benefit of fewer and older textbooks for many courses would be (besides a massive savings of money for students) profs would have to assign a wider variety of materials from different authors.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    ERIK: “I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.”

    I never attended a junior college, so I can’t speak from experience, there. But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.) And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.

    While I don’t normally believe in price controls for anything, the university book market is unique. There is something rather strange going on when a 200 page book sells for $75-$100. If you go into a Border’s or comparable bookstore, a similar work of non-fiction will sell for $15-$25.

    The ultimate problem is at the wholesale level. (I don’t believe there is any evidence that the retail mark-up for college texts is extraordinary.) Because the buyers are third parties who don’t have the market choice of selecting a text from a different publisher, the price charged is monopolistic, rather than competitive.

    It seems to me that it would be reasonable for government to survey the wholesale prices of books sold at commercial bookstores and consider those prices as “fair comps.” Then, if any university-assigned book came with a wholesale price which was appreciably higher than its fair comp, the publisher could be charged with gouging. With that kind of law, the publishers would make reasonable profits on college textbooks — no more, no less.

    The possible downside of this kind of an arrangement would be that fewer college textbooks would be published, or that they would be updated less often. While true, the benefit of fewer and older textbooks for many courses would be (besides a massive savings of money for students) profs would have to assign a wider variety of materials from different authors.

  60. Rich Rifkin

    ERIK: “I’ve never thought professors did a bad job of picking books; they’re picking books that fit the subject they teach, and those books happen to be expensive.”

    I never attended a junior college, so I can’t speak from experience, there. But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.) And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.

    While I don’t normally believe in price controls for anything, the university book market is unique. There is something rather strange going on when a 200 page book sells for $75-$100. If you go into a Border’s or comparable bookstore, a similar work of non-fiction will sell for $15-$25.

    The ultimate problem is at the wholesale level. (I don’t believe there is any evidence that the retail mark-up for college texts is extraordinary.) Because the buyers are third parties who don’t have the market choice of selecting a text from a different publisher, the price charged is monopolistic, rather than competitive.

    It seems to me that it would be reasonable for government to survey the wholesale prices of books sold at commercial bookstores and consider those prices as “fair comps.” Then, if any university-assigned book came with a wholesale price which was appreciably higher than its fair comp, the publisher could be charged with gouging. With that kind of law, the publishers would make reasonable profits on college textbooks — no more, no less.

    The possible downside of this kind of an arrangement would be that fewer college textbooks would be published, or that they would be updated less often. While true, the benefit of fewer and older textbooks for many courses would be (besides a massive savings of money for students) profs would have to assign a wider variety of materials from different authors.

  61. from the Darkside

    Anonymous makes a few claims I’d like to respond to.

    people can make up their own minds about which wars are worth it and which are not.

    Supposedly, spending lots on the military is a waste.

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Let’s get back to education. How are people going to learn anything in school if terrorists succeed in blowing it up? Every munition that kills al-Qaeda protects our schools and education system as well. Imagine if Al-Qaeda sneeks a nuke (or worse) into CA and sets it off.. Now how is our education system going to be well off after that? Our schools will not be underfunded, they’ll be underground.

    you might say that some of our investments into defeating Al-Qaeda are indirectly investments in education, our economy, etc. because our military protects them.

  62. from the Darkside

    Anonymous makes a few claims I’d like to respond to.

    people can make up their own minds about which wars are worth it and which are not.

    Supposedly, spending lots on the military is a waste.

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Let’s get back to education. How are people going to learn anything in school if terrorists succeed in blowing it up? Every munition that kills al-Qaeda protects our schools and education system as well. Imagine if Al-Qaeda sneeks a nuke (or worse) into CA and sets it off.. Now how is our education system going to be well off after that? Our schools will not be underfunded, they’ll be underground.

    you might say that some of our investments into defeating Al-Qaeda are indirectly investments in education, our economy, etc. because our military protects them.

  63. from the Darkside

    Anonymous makes a few claims I’d like to respond to.

    people can make up their own minds about which wars are worth it and which are not.

    Supposedly, spending lots on the military is a waste.

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Let’s get back to education. How are people going to learn anything in school if terrorists succeed in blowing it up? Every munition that kills al-Qaeda protects our schools and education system as well. Imagine if Al-Qaeda sneeks a nuke (or worse) into CA and sets it off.. Now how is our education system going to be well off after that? Our schools will not be underfunded, they’ll be underground.

    you might say that some of our investments into defeating Al-Qaeda are indirectly investments in education, our economy, etc. because our military protects them.

  64. from the Darkside

    Anonymous makes a few claims I’d like to respond to.

    people can make up their own minds about which wars are worth it and which are not.

    Supposedly, spending lots on the military is a waste.

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Let’s get back to education. How are people going to learn anything in school if terrorists succeed in blowing it up? Every munition that kills al-Qaeda protects our schools and education system as well. Imagine if Al-Qaeda sneeks a nuke (or worse) into CA and sets it off.. Now how is our education system going to be well off after that? Our schools will not be underfunded, they’ll be underground.

    you might say that some of our investments into defeating Al-Qaeda are indirectly investments in education, our economy, etc. because our military protects them.

  65. Richard

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.

    Meanwhile, no one knows Bin Laden’s location. It was more useful to use him as one of the justifications to invade Iraq and stay there than it was to capture and kill him.

    –Richard Estes

  66. Richard

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.

    Meanwhile, no one knows Bin Laden’s location. It was more useful to use him as one of the justifications to invade Iraq and stay there than it was to capture and kill him.

    –Richard Estes

  67. Richard

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.

    Meanwhile, no one knows Bin Laden’s location. It was more useful to use him as one of the justifications to invade Iraq and stay there than it was to capture and kill him.

    –Richard Estes

  68. Richard

    I have heard this before. It is true, not every weapon system is valuable or needed. However, Every munition that kills an al Qaeda operative is money well spent. Imagine how much cheaper it would have been to have bombed Bin Laden to hell in the first place than to have to pay for the aftermath of 9-11.

    Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.

    Meanwhile, no one knows Bin Laden’s location. It was more useful to use him as one of the justifications to invade Iraq and stay there than it was to capture and kill him.

    –Richard Estes

  69. Rich Rifkin

    “Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.”

    Except that, unless we confiscated Iraq’s oil, having “control over the country’s oil supply” is of no benefit to the United States whatsoever.

    We have plenty of oil. We don’t have gas lines. We don’t have hum-vees which cannot be run because the oil supply has run out. We don’t have planes which cannot fly do to a lack of fuel.

    The Iraq War may have given us some measure of “control” over Iraq’s oil — I don’t think it has, but I’ll concede it for argument’s sake — but it has not lowered the price of oil. It has done just the opposite.

    The high price of oil is bad for the U.S. economy. It’s not just bad for the 220 million Americans who drive cars. It’s bad for virtually every industry and sector in our country.

    That has been the major factor in weakening the value of the dollar, as we import so much oil from abroad and have to pay for it with our ever-weakening currency.

    Further, the great increase in the price of oil has hurt most of our friendliest allies and helped a some countries which either are antagonistic to us (esp. Venezuela and Iran) or are dangerously unstable (esp. Saudi Arabia).

    As such, the Iraq War cannot be seen as a fight on behalf of our economic interests as a nation. I don’t think there is any substantive evidence to support the notion that we would ever benefit by “controlling Iraq’s oil supply.”

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

  70. Rich Rifkin

    “Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.”

    Except that, unless we confiscated Iraq’s oil, having “control over the country’s oil supply” is of no benefit to the United States whatsoever.

    We have plenty of oil. We don’t have gas lines. We don’t have hum-vees which cannot be run because the oil supply has run out. We don’t have planes which cannot fly do to a lack of fuel.

    The Iraq War may have given us some measure of “control” over Iraq’s oil — I don’t think it has, but I’ll concede it for argument’s sake — but it has not lowered the price of oil. It has done just the opposite.

    The high price of oil is bad for the U.S. economy. It’s not just bad for the 220 million Americans who drive cars. It’s bad for virtually every industry and sector in our country.

    That has been the major factor in weakening the value of the dollar, as we import so much oil from abroad and have to pay for it with our ever-weakening currency.

    Further, the great increase in the price of oil has hurt most of our friendliest allies and helped a some countries which either are antagonistic to us (esp. Venezuela and Iran) or are dangerously unstable (esp. Saudi Arabia).

    As such, the Iraq War cannot be seen as a fight on behalf of our economic interests as a nation. I don’t think there is any substantive evidence to support the notion that we would ever benefit by “controlling Iraq’s oil supply.”

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

  71. Rich Rifkin

    “Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.”

    Except that, unless we confiscated Iraq’s oil, having “control over the country’s oil supply” is of no benefit to the United States whatsoever.

    We have plenty of oil. We don’t have gas lines. We don’t have hum-vees which cannot be run because the oil supply has run out. We don’t have planes which cannot fly do to a lack of fuel.

    The Iraq War may have given us some measure of “control” over Iraq’s oil — I don’t think it has, but I’ll concede it for argument’s sake — but it has not lowered the price of oil. It has done just the opposite.

    The high price of oil is bad for the U.S. economy. It’s not just bad for the 220 million Americans who drive cars. It’s bad for virtually every industry and sector in our country.

    That has been the major factor in weakening the value of the dollar, as we import so much oil from abroad and have to pay for it with our ever-weakening currency.

    Further, the great increase in the price of oil has hurt most of our friendliest allies and helped a some countries which either are antagonistic to us (esp. Venezuela and Iran) or are dangerously unstable (esp. Saudi Arabia).

    As such, the Iraq War cannot be seen as a fight on behalf of our economic interests as a nation. I don’t think there is any substantive evidence to support the notion that we would ever benefit by “controlling Iraq’s oil supply.”

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

  72. Rich Rifkin

    “Except that they killed a lot more Iraqis than they did al-Qaeda in a war for the purpose of gaining control over the country’s oil supply.”

    Except that, unless we confiscated Iraq’s oil, having “control over the country’s oil supply” is of no benefit to the United States whatsoever.

    We have plenty of oil. We don’t have gas lines. We don’t have hum-vees which cannot be run because the oil supply has run out. We don’t have planes which cannot fly do to a lack of fuel.

    The Iraq War may have given us some measure of “control” over Iraq’s oil — I don’t think it has, but I’ll concede it for argument’s sake — but it has not lowered the price of oil. It has done just the opposite.

    The high price of oil is bad for the U.S. economy. It’s not just bad for the 220 million Americans who drive cars. It’s bad for virtually every industry and sector in our country.

    That has been the major factor in weakening the value of the dollar, as we import so much oil from abroad and have to pay for it with our ever-weakening currency.

    Further, the great increase in the price of oil has hurt most of our friendliest allies and helped a some countries which either are antagonistic to us (esp. Venezuela and Iran) or are dangerously unstable (esp. Saudi Arabia).

    As such, the Iraq War cannot be seen as a fight on behalf of our economic interests as a nation. I don’t think there is any substantive evidence to support the notion that we would ever benefit by “controlling Iraq’s oil supply.”

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

  73. Richard

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

    Do a little Internet research, and you will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms. Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment. Indeed, this approach is actually considered one of the benchmarks as to whether the US military presence should be drawn down, one with bipartisan US support.

    But, don’t take my word for it. You can find the sources pretty easily. In fact, some of them came out in the last couple of weeks. You are well known on this site for your thoroughness in regard to research, and it will serve you well in this instance.

    –Richard Estes

  74. Richard

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

    Do a little Internet research, and you will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms. Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment. Indeed, this approach is actually considered one of the benchmarks as to whether the US military presence should be drawn down, one with bipartisan US support.

    But, don’t take my word for it. You can find the sources pretty easily. In fact, some of them came out in the last couple of weeks. You are well known on this site for your thoroughness in regard to research, and it will serve you well in this instance.

    –Richard Estes

  75. Richard

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

    Do a little Internet research, and you will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms. Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment. Indeed, this approach is actually considered one of the benchmarks as to whether the US military presence should be drawn down, one with bipartisan US support.

    But, don’t take my word for it. You can find the sources pretty easily. In fact, some of them came out in the last couple of weeks. You are well known on this site for your thoroughness in regard to research, and it will serve you well in this instance.

    –Richard Estes

  76. Richard

    Quite simply, if we had that in mind, we would have confiscated the oil. And we haven’t taken any of it. Not one barrel.

    Do a little Internet research, and you will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms. Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment. Indeed, this approach is actually considered one of the benchmarks as to whether the US military presence should be drawn down, one with bipartisan US support.

    But, don’t take my word for it. You can find the sources pretty easily. In fact, some of them came out in the last couple of weeks. You are well known on this site for your thoroughness in regard to research, and it will serve you well in this instance.

    –Richard Estes

  77. view from the Darkside..

    My apologies to DPD for swinging this discussion in another direction… I’ll shut up about it here..

    anywho, I’m not sure about prop 92. My feeling is that they are going to rob from Peter to pay Paul somehow as DPD put it. Fixing the tuition may be a good thing, I’m not sure. One thing they might do is raise book fees. They can also raise the cost of cafeteria food. Raise parking fees. Maybe even lay off workers. Probably a combination of those items. What they will never do though is cut the salaries of Administrators. That I’m sure of.

  78. view from the Darkside..

    My apologies to DPD for swinging this discussion in another direction… I’ll shut up about it here..

    anywho, I’m not sure about prop 92. My feeling is that they are going to rob from Peter to pay Paul somehow as DPD put it. Fixing the tuition may be a good thing, I’m not sure. One thing they might do is raise book fees. They can also raise the cost of cafeteria food. Raise parking fees. Maybe even lay off workers. Probably a combination of those items. What they will never do though is cut the salaries of Administrators. That I’m sure of.

  79. view from the Darkside..

    My apologies to DPD for swinging this discussion in another direction… I’ll shut up about it here..

    anywho, I’m not sure about prop 92. My feeling is that they are going to rob from Peter to pay Paul somehow as DPD put it. Fixing the tuition may be a good thing, I’m not sure. One thing they might do is raise book fees. They can also raise the cost of cafeteria food. Raise parking fees. Maybe even lay off workers. Probably a combination of those items. What they will never do though is cut the salaries of Administrators. That I’m sure of.

  80. view from the Darkside..

    My apologies to DPD for swinging this discussion in another direction… I’ll shut up about it here..

    anywho, I’m not sure about prop 92. My feeling is that they are going to rob from Peter to pay Paul somehow as DPD put it. Fixing the tuition may be a good thing, I’m not sure. One thing they might do is raise book fees. They can also raise the cost of cafeteria food. Raise parking fees. Maybe even lay off workers. Probably a combination of those items. What they will never do though is cut the salaries of Administrators. That I’m sure of.

  81. Junior College Supporter

    Professors get upset about the price of books too. The text book industry has a monopoly on text books and I think that UCs, state colleges, and junior colleges need to begin doing something about this.

    I support JCs and think they are a side investment in the future of kids, adults, and workforce in general. Vote Yes on Prop 92.

  82. Junior College Supporter

    Professors get upset about the price of books too. The text book industry has a monopoly on text books and I think that UCs, state colleges, and junior colleges need to begin doing something about this.

    I support JCs and think they are a side investment in the future of kids, adults, and workforce in general. Vote Yes on Prop 92.

  83. Junior College Supporter

    Professors get upset about the price of books too. The text book industry has a monopoly on text books and I think that UCs, state colleges, and junior colleges need to begin doing something about this.

    I support JCs and think they are a side investment in the future of kids, adults, and workforce in general. Vote Yes on Prop 92.

  84. Junior College Supporter

    Professors get upset about the price of books too. The text book industry has a monopoly on text books and I think that UCs, state colleges, and junior colleges need to begin doing something about this.

    I support JCs and think they are a side investment in the future of kids, adults, and workforce in general. Vote Yes on Prop 92.

  85. 無名 - wu ming

    professors make very very little on book royalties unless they write one of those huge textbooks that everyone in the field uses. the profiteers here are the publishers, who have since moved into journals and driven those prices up as well by monopolizing that market.

    junior colleges are one of the most laudable aspects of the american educational system. the second chance (and third chance, etc) that they offer to students who may not have been ready for college at 18, or people for whom life intervened, or who don’t have the cash to go to a state college, or who are just interested in a skill or a given subject makes the american educational system far more democratic in terms of openness and serving the whole population than the far more tracked systems of asia or europe. it is, in a greater educational context that leaves a lot to be ashamed of, a real point of pride IMO.

    but it is a mistake to get sucked into fighting over scraps of the pie, when we should be asking why the pie is insufficient for public education at all levels in this state. the JCs work synergistically with the UCs, CSU and the primary educational system. if they’re all hurting for funds, let’s look at where waste can be rededicated toward more productive ends (namely moving funds from the administrative area to the staff and faculty or physical plant area). and it would probably cut costs significantly were we to have public health insurance, to contain that exponentially rising cost. but after you cut the obvious waste, we really need to get serious and start acting like adults about raising taxes to pay for this public good. raising fees is a terrible (and illegal, if you look at the old pat brown higher education bill’s requirement that fees never go to pay for educational costs, long since breached in practice from gov. reagan on down) way to make up the shortfall.

    tuition has risen at a rate far exceeding inflation or state costs since 2003. this is not by accident, this is the result of a deliberate plan to gradually privatise the whole educational system by the governor’s finance director, Donna Arduin. From an LA times article two months ago:

    To reorganize the state’s finances, Schwarzenegger recruited Donna Arduin, an advocate of privatizing government services who had been Florida budget director under Gov. Jeb Bush. As California finance director, she soon became known as Schwarzenegger’s “bad cop.”

    Her budget plan for UC and CSU called for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts for the third consecutive year, major student fee hikes, a reduction in enrollment and a plan to steer thousands of students to community colleges instead of the universities.

    These “crises” are not accidental, they’re used to set different parts of the educational community against each other to distract from the privatization of what was once a world class public institution with free tuition and low fees, open to anyone with the grades.

    The solution here is not to fight over the scraps from the table, but rather to demand that funding matches the needs of a world class, accessible educational system. you cannot have quality on the cheap, and there is a vast public interest in having the social mobility and economic dynamism that comes from such an educational system, from the JCs on up.

    when you look at what benefit accrues to the state of california, it is well worth the money. as these fees continue to rise, that engine of social mobility will slow down and stop, and those benefits will not accrue in the same way. cutting a segment of the population out makes it harder to justify paying for the system collectively, and robs society of the works of what an educated working class might bring.

    if one believes in an educational meritocracy, education ought to be completely free, to let the cream rise to the top.

    i’m going to have to read up on prop 92 to decide whether it’s worth pursuing, but in the big picture, it’s a symptom of a greater problem that we’re not addressing as a state.

  86. 無名 - wu ming

    professors make very very little on book royalties unless they write one of those huge textbooks that everyone in the field uses. the profiteers here are the publishers, who have since moved into journals and driven those prices up as well by monopolizing that market.

    junior colleges are one of the most laudable aspects of the american educational system. the second chance (and third chance, etc) that they offer to students who may not have been ready for college at 18, or people for whom life intervened, or who don’t have the cash to go to a state college, or who are just interested in a skill or a given subject makes the american educational system far more democratic in terms of openness and serving the whole population than the far more tracked systems of asia or europe. it is, in a greater educational context that leaves a lot to be ashamed of, a real point of pride IMO.

    but it is a mistake to get sucked into fighting over scraps of the pie, when we should be asking why the pie is insufficient for public education at all levels in this state. the JCs work synergistically with the UCs, CSU and the primary educational system. if they’re all hurting for funds, let’s look at where waste can be rededicated toward more productive ends (namely moving funds from the administrative area to the staff and faculty or physical plant area). and it would probably cut costs significantly were we to have public health insurance, to contain that exponentially rising cost. but after you cut the obvious waste, we really need to get serious and start acting like adults about raising taxes to pay for this public good. raising fees is a terrible (and illegal, if you look at the old pat brown higher education bill’s requirement that fees never go to pay for educational costs, long since breached in practice from gov. reagan on down) way to make up the shortfall.

    tuition has risen at a rate far exceeding inflation or state costs since 2003. this is not by accident, this is the result of a deliberate plan to gradually privatise the whole educational system by the governor’s finance director, Donna Arduin. From an LA times article two months ago:

    To reorganize the state’s finances, Schwarzenegger recruited Donna Arduin, an advocate of privatizing government services who had been Florida budget director under Gov. Jeb Bush. As California finance director, she soon became known as Schwarzenegger’s “bad cop.”

    Her budget plan for UC and CSU called for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts for the third consecutive year, major student fee hikes, a reduction in enrollment and a plan to steer thousands of students to community colleges instead of the universities.

    These “crises” are not accidental, they’re used to set different parts of the educational community against each other to distract from the privatization of what was once a world class public institution with free tuition and low fees, open to anyone with the grades.

    The solution here is not to fight over the scraps from the table, but rather to demand that funding matches the needs of a world class, accessible educational system. you cannot have quality on the cheap, and there is a vast public interest in having the social mobility and economic dynamism that comes from such an educational system, from the JCs on up.

    when you look at what benefit accrues to the state of california, it is well worth the money. as these fees continue to rise, that engine of social mobility will slow down and stop, and those benefits will not accrue in the same way. cutting a segment of the population out makes it harder to justify paying for the system collectively, and robs society of the works of what an educated working class might bring.

    if one believes in an educational meritocracy, education ought to be completely free, to let the cream rise to the top.

    i’m going to have to read up on prop 92 to decide whether it’s worth pursuing, but in the big picture, it’s a symptom of a greater problem that we’re not addressing as a state.

  87. 無名 - wu ming

    professors make very very little on book royalties unless they write one of those huge textbooks that everyone in the field uses. the profiteers here are the publishers, who have since moved into journals and driven those prices up as well by monopolizing that market.

    junior colleges are one of the most laudable aspects of the american educational system. the second chance (and third chance, etc) that they offer to students who may not have been ready for college at 18, or people for whom life intervened, or who don’t have the cash to go to a state college, or who are just interested in a skill or a given subject makes the american educational system far more democratic in terms of openness and serving the whole population than the far more tracked systems of asia or europe. it is, in a greater educational context that leaves a lot to be ashamed of, a real point of pride IMO.

    but it is a mistake to get sucked into fighting over scraps of the pie, when we should be asking why the pie is insufficient for public education at all levels in this state. the JCs work synergistically with the UCs, CSU and the primary educational system. if they’re all hurting for funds, let’s look at where waste can be rededicated toward more productive ends (namely moving funds from the administrative area to the staff and faculty or physical plant area). and it would probably cut costs significantly were we to have public health insurance, to contain that exponentially rising cost. but after you cut the obvious waste, we really need to get serious and start acting like adults about raising taxes to pay for this public good. raising fees is a terrible (and illegal, if you look at the old pat brown higher education bill’s requirement that fees never go to pay for educational costs, long since breached in practice from gov. reagan on down) way to make up the shortfall.

    tuition has risen at a rate far exceeding inflation or state costs since 2003. this is not by accident, this is the result of a deliberate plan to gradually privatise the whole educational system by the governor’s finance director, Donna Arduin. From an LA times article two months ago:

    To reorganize the state’s finances, Schwarzenegger recruited Donna Arduin, an advocate of privatizing government services who had been Florida budget director under Gov. Jeb Bush. As California finance director, she soon became known as Schwarzenegger’s “bad cop.”

    Her budget plan for UC and CSU called for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts for the third consecutive year, major student fee hikes, a reduction in enrollment and a plan to steer thousands of students to community colleges instead of the universities.

    These “crises” are not accidental, they’re used to set different parts of the educational community against each other to distract from the privatization of what was once a world class public institution with free tuition and low fees, open to anyone with the grades.

    The solution here is not to fight over the scraps from the table, but rather to demand that funding matches the needs of a world class, accessible educational system. you cannot have quality on the cheap, and there is a vast public interest in having the social mobility and economic dynamism that comes from such an educational system, from the JCs on up.

    when you look at what benefit accrues to the state of california, it is well worth the money. as these fees continue to rise, that engine of social mobility will slow down and stop, and those benefits will not accrue in the same way. cutting a segment of the population out makes it harder to justify paying for the system collectively, and robs society of the works of what an educated working class might bring.

    if one believes in an educational meritocracy, education ought to be completely free, to let the cream rise to the top.

    i’m going to have to read up on prop 92 to decide whether it’s worth pursuing, but in the big picture, it’s a symptom of a greater problem that we’re not addressing as a state.

  88. 無名 - wu ming

    professors make very very little on book royalties unless they write one of those huge textbooks that everyone in the field uses. the profiteers here are the publishers, who have since moved into journals and driven those prices up as well by monopolizing that market.

    junior colleges are one of the most laudable aspects of the american educational system. the second chance (and third chance, etc) that they offer to students who may not have been ready for college at 18, or people for whom life intervened, or who don’t have the cash to go to a state college, or who are just interested in a skill or a given subject makes the american educational system far more democratic in terms of openness and serving the whole population than the far more tracked systems of asia or europe. it is, in a greater educational context that leaves a lot to be ashamed of, a real point of pride IMO.

    but it is a mistake to get sucked into fighting over scraps of the pie, when we should be asking why the pie is insufficient for public education at all levels in this state. the JCs work synergistically with the UCs, CSU and the primary educational system. if they’re all hurting for funds, let’s look at where waste can be rededicated toward more productive ends (namely moving funds from the administrative area to the staff and faculty or physical plant area). and it would probably cut costs significantly were we to have public health insurance, to contain that exponentially rising cost. but after you cut the obvious waste, we really need to get serious and start acting like adults about raising taxes to pay for this public good. raising fees is a terrible (and illegal, if you look at the old pat brown higher education bill’s requirement that fees never go to pay for educational costs, long since breached in practice from gov. reagan on down) way to make up the shortfall.

    tuition has risen at a rate far exceeding inflation or state costs since 2003. this is not by accident, this is the result of a deliberate plan to gradually privatise the whole educational system by the governor’s finance director, Donna Arduin. From an LA times article two months ago:

    To reorganize the state’s finances, Schwarzenegger recruited Donna Arduin, an advocate of privatizing government services who had been Florida budget director under Gov. Jeb Bush. As California finance director, she soon became known as Schwarzenegger’s “bad cop.”

    Her budget plan for UC and CSU called for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts for the third consecutive year, major student fee hikes, a reduction in enrollment and a plan to steer thousands of students to community colleges instead of the universities.

    These “crises” are not accidental, they’re used to set different parts of the educational community against each other to distract from the privatization of what was once a world class public institution with free tuition and low fees, open to anyone with the grades.

    The solution here is not to fight over the scraps from the table, but rather to demand that funding matches the needs of a world class, accessible educational system. you cannot have quality on the cheap, and there is a vast public interest in having the social mobility and economic dynamism that comes from such an educational system, from the JCs on up.

    when you look at what benefit accrues to the state of california, it is well worth the money. as these fees continue to rise, that engine of social mobility will slow down and stop, and those benefits will not accrue in the same way. cutting a segment of the population out makes it harder to justify paying for the system collectively, and robs society of the works of what an educated working class might bring.

    if one believes in an educational meritocracy, education ought to be completely free, to let the cream rise to the top.

    i’m going to have to read up on prop 92 to decide whether it’s worth pursuing, but in the big picture, it’s a symptom of a greater problem that we’re not addressing as a state.

  89. don shor

    If control of Iraq’s oil was the primary goal of our occupation, we would be using our military resources very differently. Our focus on El Anbar and Baghdad puts our forces in the most oil-poor parts of the country.

    But that is neither here nor there. Federal policy is not very relevant to education funding, and not relevant at all to this issue.

    davis republican said…
    “The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process.”

    I agree. I am reluctant to put any more constraints on California’s budget process. We have a major structural budget problem, and past initiatives have made it worse. If more funds are desired for community colleges, the governor and legislature can propose them.

    I doubt if California voters would vote for any general tax increase. The only ones I can recall voters approving in the last couple of decades were specific, narrowly-targeted increases (gas tax, cigarettes) for very specific funding purposes.

  90. don shor

    If control of Iraq’s oil was the primary goal of our occupation, we would be using our military resources very differently. Our focus on El Anbar and Baghdad puts our forces in the most oil-poor parts of the country.

    But that is neither here nor there. Federal policy is not very relevant to education funding, and not relevant at all to this issue.

    davis republican said…
    “The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process.”

    I agree. I am reluctant to put any more constraints on California’s budget process. We have a major structural budget problem, and past initiatives have made it worse. If more funds are desired for community colleges, the governor and legislature can propose them.

    I doubt if California voters would vote for any general tax increase. The only ones I can recall voters approving in the last couple of decades were specific, narrowly-targeted increases (gas tax, cigarettes) for very specific funding purposes.

  91. don shor

    If control of Iraq’s oil was the primary goal of our occupation, we would be using our military resources very differently. Our focus on El Anbar and Baghdad puts our forces in the most oil-poor parts of the country.

    But that is neither here nor there. Federal policy is not very relevant to education funding, and not relevant at all to this issue.

    davis republican said…
    “The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process.”

    I agree. I am reluctant to put any more constraints on California’s budget process. We have a major structural budget problem, and past initiatives have made it worse. If more funds are desired for community colleges, the governor and legislature can propose them.

    I doubt if California voters would vote for any general tax increase. The only ones I can recall voters approving in the last couple of decades were specific, narrowly-targeted increases (gas tax, cigarettes) for very specific funding purposes.

  92. don shor

    If control of Iraq’s oil was the primary goal of our occupation, we would be using our military resources very differently. Our focus on El Anbar and Baghdad puts our forces in the most oil-poor parts of the country.

    But that is neither here nor there. Federal policy is not very relevant to education funding, and not relevant at all to this issue.

    davis republican said…
    “The last thing this state needs is another spending formula approved through the initiative process.”

    I agree. I am reluctant to put any more constraints on California’s budget process. We have a major structural budget problem, and past initiatives have made it worse. If more funds are desired for community colleges, the governor and legislature can propose them.

    I doubt if California voters would vote for any general tax increase. The only ones I can recall voters approving in the last couple of decades were specific, narrowly-targeted increases (gas tax, cigarettes) for very specific funding purposes.

  93. Rich Rifkin

    “Do a little Internet research.”

    I’m not unfamiliar with your arguments, regarding “privatization”. I don’t believe they are new. I read this LA Times op/ed a year ago by Antonia Juhasz (“a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of ‘The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.’), which made your same contentions.

    This is what she said: “WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

    “Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq’s importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: ‘It has the world’s second-largest known oil reserves.’ The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq’s national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

    “The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met.”

    My response to Ms. Juhasz: Yes, Iraq has lots of oil. Yes, oil is important to our economy and the world economy. Yes, if Saddam Hussein did not have oil, he could not have afforded his military might and he would have mattered far less, and as such, we never would have invaded. And yes, if Iraq had no oil now, it would be far simpler and easier for us to leave, as we (rightly) fear all that oil (and hence money) getting into the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    But none of that means that the United States as a country stands to benefit if a few private oil companies invest in Iraq. They will pursue their own best interests, not the American interest. The vast majority of American industry stands to lose and has lost by our Iraq War policy.

    Second is the question whether Iraq would be best off if it privatized its main industry, oil. I don’t know the answer to that question. Generally, it depends on how efficient one type of investment will be and how inefficient the other type will be. History suggests that private enterprise is more efficient than socialist enterprise.

    Alaska, which makes much of its money from oil extraction, has exclusively private investment in its oil fields. ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum, primarily, extract the oil from Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay. The oil is then taxed by the state government and deposited in the APF, and all of the citizens of Alaska benefit from that money. (Each person receives a large annual check.)

    However, there are other considerations with Iraq. If the private investment is monopolistic, then the efficiency gains may be lost. Also, if the private investment leads to private gains flowing largely to a very small number of people, and fails to benefit most Iraqis, then it would be hard to justify on equity terms. Further, if private investment leads to a concentration of political power (by the investors), it may be unwise to allow it.

    Privatization is not clearly the right or wrong answer. But certainly the Iraqi oil industry will need some capital from some source. Time will tell what that source is.

    As the Mexican experience shows, socializing an oil industry comes with some terrible problems of its own. Beyond the endemic corruption of PeMex, it has always been undercapitalized. Amazingly, in a world of very high crude oil prices, no one wants to invest in that socialist money vacuum.

    “You will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms.”

    That is essentially what Ms. Juhasz said in her piece. The problem with it is two-fold:

    One, it confuses “U.S. interests” with “the interests of a small number of companies, many of which are not American-based.”

    So even if these companies got “very favorable terms,” that would be of no particular benefit to the US economy. It would simply enrich a handful of investors.

    And two, as I stated above, the Iraq War has been terrible for the US economy. It has not only hurt average Americans and taxpayers generally, it has been bad for our wealthiest, most powerful citizens who own stock in every industry which consumes oil and petroleum products.

    “Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment.”

    Again, this would not benefit the United States. This, if true, would benefit a small number of investors in these particular companies.

    The American interest, writ large, is in a low and stable price for crude oil. You can argue that we ought to then be steeply taxing that cheap crude to subsidize alternative and cleaner forms of energy. But taxed or not, our economy (and especially our currency) is hurt by high crude oil prices.

    “So if not to annex Iraq’s oil fields, why did we invade that country?”

    Five principle reasons:

    1. Saddam was a very bad guy, with a history of invading his neighbors and harming his people, who we incorrectly believed had WMDs;

    2. We (meaning the Bush Administration) stupidly believed that the Iraqi people wanted liberal democracy, and that if we would overthrow the hated dictator, we could install a democratic regime and all would be hunky-dory;

    3. Because Saddam had been funding a few terrorist groups — largely by rewarding them for suicide bombings in Israel — we (stupidly) believed that the threat of Iraq was greater in a post 9/11 world, where we were engaged in “a war on terror.”

    This last point, while hard to believe, is much discussed, because the Bush Administration (particularly VP Cheney) kept trying to associate Saddam with Al-Qaeda. Of course, Saddam was as much an enemy of al-Qaeda as we were/are. Saddam’s role in funding Islamic Jihad (in Israel) was not only small, but it was done for his own personal interests in portraying himself (as most Muslim demagogues do) as a strong anti-Zionist. It had nothing to do with his shared belief in Islamic Jihad’s crazy dogma.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that people in the Bush Administration convinced themselves (perhaps deluded themselves) that this last point was true. And as such, I believe it was one of their motivators.

    4. The belief in some circles that Bush Sr. made a mistake in not finishing the Gulf War, so that we had to take out Saddam to end that conflict; and

    5. The increasiing instability of the anti-Iraq coalition, which was centered around containing Iraq with the no-fly zones and the trade embargo. Clearly, this policy was cracking. At the time, it looked very expensive. (In light of the Iraq War, it looks cheap, now.) The thought was, that if we don’t fight Saddam, he’ll defeat us by waiting us out and continuing to cheat on the oil for food program. Bush wrongly calculated that war with Saddam would solidify our alliance, the way war with him over Kuwait did. Bush understood that standing still was cracking our alliance, especially as we saw so many of our “friends” doing backdoor deals with Mr. Hussein.

  94. Rich Rifkin

    “Do a little Internet research.”

    I’m not unfamiliar with your arguments, regarding “privatization”. I don’t believe they are new. I read this LA Times op/ed a year ago by Antonia Juhasz (“a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of ‘The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.’), which made your same contentions.

    This is what she said: “WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

    “Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq’s importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: ‘It has the world’s second-largest known oil reserves.’ The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq’s national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

    “The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met.”

    My response to Ms. Juhasz: Yes, Iraq has lots of oil. Yes, oil is important to our economy and the world economy. Yes, if Saddam Hussein did not have oil, he could not have afforded his military might and he would have mattered far less, and as such, we never would have invaded. And yes, if Iraq had no oil now, it would be far simpler and easier for us to leave, as we (rightly) fear all that oil (and hence money) getting into the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    But none of that means that the United States as a country stands to benefit if a few private oil companies invest in Iraq. They will pursue their own best interests, not the American interest. The vast majority of American industry stands to lose and has lost by our Iraq War policy.

    Second is the question whether Iraq would be best off if it privatized its main industry, oil. I don’t know the answer to that question. Generally, it depends on how efficient one type of investment will be and how inefficient the other type will be. History suggests that private enterprise is more efficient than socialist enterprise.

    Alaska, which makes much of its money from oil extraction, has exclusively private investment in its oil fields. ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum, primarily, extract the oil from Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay. The oil is then taxed by the state government and deposited in the APF, and all of the citizens of Alaska benefit from that money. (Each person receives a large annual check.)

    However, there are other considerations with Iraq. If the private investment is monopolistic, then the efficiency gains may be lost. Also, if the private investment leads to private gains flowing largely to a very small number of people, and fails to benefit most Iraqis, then it would be hard to justify on equity terms. Further, if private investment leads to a concentration of political power (by the investors), it may be unwise to allow it.

    Privatization is not clearly the right or wrong answer. But certainly the Iraqi oil industry will need some capital from some source. Time will tell what that source is.

    As the Mexican experience shows, socializing an oil industry comes with some terrible problems of its own. Beyond the endemic corruption of PeMex, it has always been undercapitalized. Amazingly, in a world of very high crude oil prices, no one wants to invest in that socialist money vacuum.

    “You will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms.”

    That is essentially what Ms. Juhasz said in her piece. The problem with it is two-fold:

    One, it confuses “U.S. interests” with “the interests of a small number of companies, many of which are not American-based.”

    So even if these companies got “very favorable terms,” that would be of no particular benefit to the US economy. It would simply enrich a handful of investors.

    And two, as I stated above, the Iraq War has been terrible for the US economy. It has not only hurt average Americans and taxpayers generally, it has been bad for our wealthiest, most powerful citizens who own stock in every industry which consumes oil and petroleum products.

    “Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment.”

    Again, this would not benefit the United States. This, if true, would benefit a small number of investors in these particular companies.

    The American interest, writ large, is in a low and stable price for crude oil. You can argue that we ought to then be steeply taxing that cheap crude to subsidize alternative and cleaner forms of energy. But taxed or not, our economy (and especially our currency) is hurt by high crude oil prices.

    “So if not to annex Iraq’s oil fields, why did we invade that country?”

    Five principle reasons:

    1. Saddam was a very bad guy, with a history of invading his neighbors and harming his people, who we incorrectly believed had WMDs;

    2. We (meaning the Bush Administration) stupidly believed that the Iraqi people wanted liberal democracy, and that if we would overthrow the hated dictator, we could install a democratic regime and all would be hunky-dory;

    3. Because Saddam had been funding a few terrorist groups — largely by rewarding them for suicide bombings in Israel — we (stupidly) believed that the threat of Iraq was greater in a post 9/11 world, where we were engaged in “a war on terror.”

    This last point, while hard to believe, is much discussed, because the Bush Administration (particularly VP Cheney) kept trying to associate Saddam with Al-Qaeda. Of course, Saddam was as much an enemy of al-Qaeda as we were/are. Saddam’s role in funding Islamic Jihad (in Israel) was not only small, but it was done for his own personal interests in portraying himself (as most Muslim demagogues do) as a strong anti-Zionist. It had nothing to do with his shared belief in Islamic Jihad’s crazy dogma.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that people in the Bush Administration convinced themselves (perhaps deluded themselves) that this last point was true. And as such, I believe it was one of their motivators.

    4. The belief in some circles that Bush Sr. made a mistake in not finishing the Gulf War, so that we had to take out Saddam to end that conflict; and

    5. The increasiing instability of the anti-Iraq coalition, which was centered around containing Iraq with the no-fly zones and the trade embargo. Clearly, this policy was cracking. At the time, it looked very expensive. (In light of the Iraq War, it looks cheap, now.) The thought was, that if we don’t fight Saddam, he’ll defeat us by waiting us out and continuing to cheat on the oil for food program. Bush wrongly calculated that war with Saddam would solidify our alliance, the way war with him over Kuwait did. Bush understood that standing still was cracking our alliance, especially as we saw so many of our “friends” doing backdoor deals with Mr. Hussein.

  95. Rich Rifkin

    “Do a little Internet research.”

    I’m not unfamiliar with your arguments, regarding “privatization”. I don’t believe they are new. I read this LA Times op/ed a year ago by Antonia Juhasz (“a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of ‘The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.’), which made your same contentions.

    This is what she said: “WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

    “Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq’s importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: ‘It has the world’s second-largest known oil reserves.’ The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq’s national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

    “The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met.”

    My response to Ms. Juhasz: Yes, Iraq has lots of oil. Yes, oil is important to our economy and the world economy. Yes, if Saddam Hussein did not have oil, he could not have afforded his military might and he would have mattered far less, and as such, we never would have invaded. And yes, if Iraq had no oil now, it would be far simpler and easier for us to leave, as we (rightly) fear all that oil (and hence money) getting into the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    But none of that means that the United States as a country stands to benefit if a few private oil companies invest in Iraq. They will pursue their own best interests, not the American interest. The vast majority of American industry stands to lose and has lost by our Iraq War policy.

    Second is the question whether Iraq would be best off if it privatized its main industry, oil. I don’t know the answer to that question. Generally, it depends on how efficient one type of investment will be and how inefficient the other type will be. History suggests that private enterprise is more efficient than socialist enterprise.

    Alaska, which makes much of its money from oil extraction, has exclusively private investment in its oil fields. ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum, primarily, extract the oil from Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay. The oil is then taxed by the state government and deposited in the APF, and all of the citizens of Alaska benefit from that money. (Each person receives a large annual check.)

    However, there are other considerations with Iraq. If the private investment is monopolistic, then the efficiency gains may be lost. Also, if the private investment leads to private gains flowing largely to a very small number of people, and fails to benefit most Iraqis, then it would be hard to justify on equity terms. Further, if private investment leads to a concentration of political power (by the investors), it may be unwise to allow it.

    Privatization is not clearly the right or wrong answer. But certainly the Iraqi oil industry will need some capital from some source. Time will tell what that source is.

    As the Mexican experience shows, socializing an oil industry comes with some terrible problems of its own. Beyond the endemic corruption of PeMex, it has always been undercapitalized. Amazingly, in a world of very high crude oil prices, no one wants to invest in that socialist money vacuum.

    “You will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms.”

    That is essentially what Ms. Juhasz said in her piece. The problem with it is two-fold:

    One, it confuses “U.S. interests” with “the interests of a small number of companies, many of which are not American-based.”

    So even if these companies got “very favorable terms,” that would be of no particular benefit to the US economy. It would simply enrich a handful of investors.

    And two, as I stated above, the Iraq War has been terrible for the US economy. It has not only hurt average Americans and taxpayers generally, it has been bad for our wealthiest, most powerful citizens who own stock in every industry which consumes oil and petroleum products.

    “Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment.”

    Again, this would not benefit the United States. This, if true, would benefit a small number of investors in these particular companies.

    The American interest, writ large, is in a low and stable price for crude oil. You can argue that we ought to then be steeply taxing that cheap crude to subsidize alternative and cleaner forms of energy. But taxed or not, our economy (and especially our currency) is hurt by high crude oil prices.

    “So if not to annex Iraq’s oil fields, why did we invade that country?”

    Five principle reasons:

    1. Saddam was a very bad guy, with a history of invading his neighbors and harming his people, who we incorrectly believed had WMDs;

    2. We (meaning the Bush Administration) stupidly believed that the Iraqi people wanted liberal democracy, and that if we would overthrow the hated dictator, we could install a democratic regime and all would be hunky-dory;

    3. Because Saddam had been funding a few terrorist groups — largely by rewarding them for suicide bombings in Israel — we (stupidly) believed that the threat of Iraq was greater in a post 9/11 world, where we were engaged in “a war on terror.”

    This last point, while hard to believe, is much discussed, because the Bush Administration (particularly VP Cheney) kept trying to associate Saddam with Al-Qaeda. Of course, Saddam was as much an enemy of al-Qaeda as we were/are. Saddam’s role in funding Islamic Jihad (in Israel) was not only small, but it was done for his own personal interests in portraying himself (as most Muslim demagogues do) as a strong anti-Zionist. It had nothing to do with his shared belief in Islamic Jihad’s crazy dogma.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that people in the Bush Administration convinced themselves (perhaps deluded themselves) that this last point was true. And as such, I believe it was one of their motivators.

    4. The belief in some circles that Bush Sr. made a mistake in not finishing the Gulf War, so that we had to take out Saddam to end that conflict; and

    5. The increasiing instability of the anti-Iraq coalition, which was centered around containing Iraq with the no-fly zones and the trade embargo. Clearly, this policy was cracking. At the time, it looked very expensive. (In light of the Iraq War, it looks cheap, now.) The thought was, that if we don’t fight Saddam, he’ll defeat us by waiting us out and continuing to cheat on the oil for food program. Bush wrongly calculated that war with Saddam would solidify our alliance, the way war with him over Kuwait did. Bush understood that standing still was cracking our alliance, especially as we saw so many of our “friends” doing backdoor deals with Mr. Hussein.

  96. Rich Rifkin

    “Do a little Internet research.”

    I’m not unfamiliar with your arguments, regarding “privatization”. I don’t believe they are new. I read this LA Times op/ed a year ago by Antonia Juhasz (“a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of ‘The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.’), which made your same contentions.

    This is what she said: “WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

    “Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq’s importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: ‘It has the world’s second-largest known oil reserves.’ The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq’s national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

    “The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met.”

    My response to Ms. Juhasz: Yes, Iraq has lots of oil. Yes, oil is important to our economy and the world economy. Yes, if Saddam Hussein did not have oil, he could not have afforded his military might and he would have mattered far less, and as such, we never would have invaded. And yes, if Iraq had no oil now, it would be far simpler and easier for us to leave, as we (rightly) fear all that oil (and hence money) getting into the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    But none of that means that the United States as a country stands to benefit if a few private oil companies invest in Iraq. They will pursue their own best interests, not the American interest. The vast majority of American industry stands to lose and has lost by our Iraq War policy.

    Second is the question whether Iraq would be best off if it privatized its main industry, oil. I don’t know the answer to that question. Generally, it depends on how efficient one type of investment will be and how inefficient the other type will be. History suggests that private enterprise is more efficient than socialist enterprise.

    Alaska, which makes much of its money from oil extraction, has exclusively private investment in its oil fields. ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum, primarily, extract the oil from Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay. The oil is then taxed by the state government and deposited in the APF, and all of the citizens of Alaska benefit from that money. (Each person receives a large annual check.)

    However, there are other considerations with Iraq. If the private investment is monopolistic, then the efficiency gains may be lost. Also, if the private investment leads to private gains flowing largely to a very small number of people, and fails to benefit most Iraqis, then it would be hard to justify on equity terms. Further, if private investment leads to a concentration of political power (by the investors), it may be unwise to allow it.

    Privatization is not clearly the right or wrong answer. But certainly the Iraqi oil industry will need some capital from some source. Time will tell what that source is.

    As the Mexican experience shows, socializing an oil industry comes with some terrible problems of its own. Beyond the endemic corruption of PeMex, it has always been undercapitalized. Amazingly, in a world of very high crude oil prices, no one wants to invest in that socialist money vacuum.

    “You will soon discover how the US intends to benefit from the war by privatizing the Iraqi oil industry and entering into agreements on very favorable terms.”

    That is essentially what Ms. Juhasz said in her piece. The problem with it is two-fold:

    One, it confuses “U.S. interests” with “the interests of a small number of companies, many of which are not American-based.”

    So even if these companies got “very favorable terms,” that would be of no particular benefit to the US economy. It would simply enrich a handful of investors.

    And two, as I stated above, the Iraq War has been terrible for the US economy. It has not only hurt average Americans and taxpayers generally, it has been bad for our wealthiest, most powerful citizens who own stock in every industry which consumes oil and petroleum products.

    “Naturally, US investment is to be treated more favorably by the Iraqi government than other possible foreign sources of investment.”

    Again, this would not benefit the United States. This, if true, would benefit a small number of investors in these particular companies.

    The American interest, writ large, is in a low and stable price for crude oil. You can argue that we ought to then be steeply taxing that cheap crude to subsidize alternative and cleaner forms of energy. But taxed or not, our economy (and especially our currency) is hurt by high crude oil prices.

    “So if not to annex Iraq’s oil fields, why did we invade that country?”

    Five principle reasons:

    1. Saddam was a very bad guy, with a history of invading his neighbors and harming his people, who we incorrectly believed had WMDs;

    2. We (meaning the Bush Administration) stupidly believed that the Iraqi people wanted liberal democracy, and that if we would overthrow the hated dictator, we could install a democratic regime and all would be hunky-dory;

    3. Because Saddam had been funding a few terrorist groups — largely by rewarding them for suicide bombings in Israel — we (stupidly) believed that the threat of Iraq was greater in a post 9/11 world, where we were engaged in “a war on terror.”

    This last point, while hard to believe, is much discussed, because the Bush Administration (particularly VP Cheney) kept trying to associate Saddam with Al-Qaeda. Of course, Saddam was as much an enemy of al-Qaeda as we were/are. Saddam’s role in funding Islamic Jihad (in Israel) was not only small, but it was done for his own personal interests in portraying himself (as most Muslim demagogues do) as a strong anti-Zionist. It had nothing to do with his shared belief in Islamic Jihad’s crazy dogma.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that people in the Bush Administration convinced themselves (perhaps deluded themselves) that this last point was true. And as such, I believe it was one of their motivators.

    4. The belief in some circles that Bush Sr. made a mistake in not finishing the Gulf War, so that we had to take out Saddam to end that conflict; and

    5. The increasiing instability of the anti-Iraq coalition, which was centered around containing Iraq with the no-fly zones and the trade embargo. Clearly, this policy was cracking. At the time, it looked very expensive. (In light of the Iraq War, it looks cheap, now.) The thought was, that if we don’t fight Saddam, he’ll defeat us by waiting us out and continuing to cheat on the oil for food program. Bush wrongly calculated that war with Saddam would solidify our alliance, the way war with him over Kuwait did. Bush understood that standing still was cracking our alliance, especially as we saw so many of our “friends” doing backdoor deals with Mr. Hussein.

  97. don shor

    70% of Iraq’s oil is in the south-central provinces, which we entirely allowed the British to occupy. They completely failed to control the region and are now withdrawing, leaving that area in the hands of Shi’ite militias that are not even remotely our allies. Those militias have disconnected from the central grid, removing power from Baghdad. We are not moving in to replace them, and never made any effort to help them. Why? Because our objective has been to eliminate the insurgency and destroy the nascent terrorist groups (10 – 12 or so) that have sprung up since occupation.

    The second largest amount of oil is in Kurdistan. The Kurds have signed exploration and development agreements with 20 international companies (and are courting some American firms), effectively privatizing their oil reserves. The government, which we protect and support, is objecting strenuously. We have done nothing about this, leaving it to the ineffectual al-Maliki government to try to stop it.

    If our objective is control of Iraq’s oil supply, we are not going about it very effectively. Privatization of Iraq’s oil supply would not be harmful to the Iraqi people, if it resulted in better infrastructure and more reliable energy to the residents. We had, and have, other strategic objectives in the region than simply ‘controlling’ their oil.

  98. don shor

    70% of Iraq’s oil is in the south-central provinces, which we entirely allowed the British to occupy. They completely failed to control the region and are now withdrawing, leaving that area in the hands of Shi’ite militias that are not even remotely our allies. Those militias have disconnected from the central grid, removing power from Baghdad. We are not moving in to replace them, and never made any effort to help them. Why? Because our objective has been to eliminate the insurgency and destroy the nascent terrorist groups (10 – 12 or so) that have sprung up since occupation.

    The second largest amount of oil is in Kurdistan. The Kurds have signed exploration and development agreements with 20 international companies (and are courting some American firms), effectively privatizing their oil reserves. The government, which we protect and support, is objecting strenuously. We have done nothing about this, leaving it to the ineffectual al-Maliki government to try to stop it.

    If our objective is control of Iraq’s oil supply, we are not going about it very effectively. Privatization of Iraq’s oil supply would not be harmful to the Iraqi people, if it resulted in better infrastructure and more reliable energy to the residents. We had, and have, other strategic objectives in the region than simply ‘controlling’ their oil.

  99. don shor

    70% of Iraq’s oil is in the south-central provinces, which we entirely allowed the British to occupy. They completely failed to control the region and are now withdrawing, leaving that area in the hands of Shi’ite militias that are not even remotely our allies. Those militias have disconnected from the central grid, removing power from Baghdad. We are not moving in to replace them, and never made any effort to help them. Why? Because our objective has been to eliminate the insurgency and destroy the nascent terrorist groups (10 – 12 or so) that have sprung up since occupation.

    The second largest amount of oil is in Kurdistan. The Kurds have signed exploration and development agreements with 20 international companies (and are courting some American firms), effectively privatizing their oil reserves. The government, which we protect and support, is objecting strenuously. We have done nothing about this, leaving it to the ineffectual al-Maliki government to try to stop it.

    If our objective is control of Iraq’s oil supply, we are not going about it very effectively. Privatization of Iraq’s oil supply would not be harmful to the Iraqi people, if it resulted in better infrastructure and more reliable energy to the residents. We had, and have, other strategic objectives in the region than simply ‘controlling’ their oil.

  100. don shor

    70% of Iraq’s oil is in the south-central provinces, which we entirely allowed the British to occupy. They completely failed to control the region and are now withdrawing, leaving that area in the hands of Shi’ite militias that are not even remotely our allies. Those militias have disconnected from the central grid, removing power from Baghdad. We are not moving in to replace them, and never made any effort to help them. Why? Because our objective has been to eliminate the insurgency and destroy the nascent terrorist groups (10 – 12 or so) that have sprung up since occupation.

    The second largest amount of oil is in Kurdistan. The Kurds have signed exploration and development agreements with 20 international companies (and are courting some American firms), effectively privatizing their oil reserves. The government, which we protect and support, is objecting strenuously. We have done nothing about this, leaving it to the ineffectual al-Maliki government to try to stop it.

    If our objective is control of Iraq’s oil supply, we are not going about it very effectively. Privatization of Iraq’s oil supply would not be harmful to the Iraqi people, if it resulted in better infrastructure and more reliable energy to the residents. We had, and have, other strategic objectives in the region than simply ‘controlling’ their oil.

  101. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.)”

    Regarding this topic, there was an article on Law.com last year, I believe, that discussed several prominent law professors who assigned their casebooks for their classes, and then wrote each student a check for the $10.00 they made off the book specifically to prevent this perceived conflict.

    I understand it may seem like a conflict of interest to make one’s students buy your book for the class, but professors who publish prominent books probably should assign them, shouldn’t they? I mean, their publications are their contribution to the field. If you’re taking a class from a prominent professor, don’t you want to hear his perspective? I don’t think professors are always in touch with how expensive books are, and I think the fact they are so expensive is bad, but I really think generally that professors assign books because they think the books is the best for the class. That goes too for those books the professor himself wrote

    I agree that it is possible a professor could abuse this system by simply forcing students to buy their books to make a profit. It may even happen in a few unfortunate cases, who knows; but I suspect the vast majority of professors assign their own books because they are obsessed with their own research and their own subject, and they teach their classes from a perspective of bringing undergrads into their subject through their own perspective.

    I think it’s quite possible your professor Johnson assigned those 4 books because he(1)loved his subject and thinks his reasearch on the topic was the best source for teaching his class; and (2) thought his students should love his subject as much as he did, and thus would be well served by being asked to purchase his books, which, he believed were quite good sources on the subject.

    Anyways, my two cents. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

  102. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.)”

    Regarding this topic, there was an article on Law.com last year, I believe, that discussed several prominent law professors who assigned their casebooks for their classes, and then wrote each student a check for the $10.00 they made off the book specifically to prevent this perceived conflict.

    I understand it may seem like a conflict of interest to make one’s students buy your book for the class, but professors who publish prominent books probably should assign them, shouldn’t they? I mean, their publications are their contribution to the field. If you’re taking a class from a prominent professor, don’t you want to hear his perspective? I don’t think professors are always in touch with how expensive books are, and I think the fact they are so expensive is bad, but I really think generally that professors assign books because they think the books is the best for the class. That goes too for those books the professor himself wrote

    I agree that it is possible a professor could abuse this system by simply forcing students to buy their books to make a profit. It may even happen in a few unfortunate cases, who knows; but I suspect the vast majority of professors assign their own books because they are obsessed with their own research and their own subject, and they teach their classes from a perspective of bringing undergrads into their subject through their own perspective.

    I think it’s quite possible your professor Johnson assigned those 4 books because he(1)loved his subject and thinks his reasearch on the topic was the best source for teaching his class; and (2) thought his students should love his subject as much as he did, and thus would be well served by being asked to purchase his books, which, he believed were quite good sources on the subject.

    Anyways, my two cents. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

  103. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.)”

    Regarding this topic, there was an article on Law.com last year, I believe, that discussed several prominent law professors who assigned their casebooks for their classes, and then wrote each student a check for the $10.00 they made off the book specifically to prevent this perceived conflict.

    I understand it may seem like a conflict of interest to make one’s students buy your book for the class, but professors who publish prominent books probably should assign them, shouldn’t they? I mean, their publications are their contribution to the field. If you’re taking a class from a prominent professor, don’t you want to hear his perspective? I don’t think professors are always in touch with how expensive books are, and I think the fact they are so expensive is bad, but I really think generally that professors assign books because they think the books is the best for the class. That goes too for those books the professor himself wrote

    I agree that it is possible a professor could abuse this system by simply forcing students to buy their books to make a profit. It may even happen in a few unfortunate cases, who knows; but I suspect the vast majority of professors assign their own books because they are obsessed with their own research and their own subject, and they teach their classes from a perspective of bringing undergrads into their subject through their own perspective.

    I think it’s quite possible your professor Johnson assigned those 4 books because he(1)loved his subject and thinks his reasearch on the topic was the best source for teaching his class; and (2) thought his students should love his subject as much as he did, and thus would be well served by being asked to purchase his books, which, he believed were quite good sources on the subject.

    Anyways, my two cents. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

  104. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “But at the University of California, where I was an undergraduate and grad student, there have been problems with conflicts of interests between the profs and the books they select. Some instructors have assigned the latest copies of books which they wrote and will make money from the sales. (I had a prof named Chalmers Johnson — he’s a famous dude and a prolific author — who assigned us to read 4 of his books for one class.)”

    Regarding this topic, there was an article on Law.com last year, I believe, that discussed several prominent law professors who assigned their casebooks for their classes, and then wrote each student a check for the $10.00 they made off the book specifically to prevent this perceived conflict.

    I understand it may seem like a conflict of interest to make one’s students buy your book for the class, but professors who publish prominent books probably should assign them, shouldn’t they? I mean, their publications are their contribution to the field. If you’re taking a class from a prominent professor, don’t you want to hear his perspective? I don’t think professors are always in touch with how expensive books are, and I think the fact they are so expensive is bad, but I really think generally that professors assign books because they think the books is the best for the class. That goes too for those books the professor himself wrote

    I agree that it is possible a professor could abuse this system by simply forcing students to buy their books to make a profit. It may even happen in a few unfortunate cases, who knows; but I suspect the vast majority of professors assign their own books because they are obsessed with their own research and their own subject, and they teach their classes from a perspective of bringing undergrads into their subject through their own perspective.

    I think it’s quite possible your professor Johnson assigned those 4 books because he(1)loved his subject and thinks his reasearch on the topic was the best source for teaching his class; and (2) thought his students should love his subject as much as he did, and thus would be well served by being asked to purchase his books, which, he believed were quite good sources on the subject.

    Anyways, my two cents. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

  105. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.”

    If you’re a hard-core academic and your entire life revolves around your particular field of research doesn’t it seem reasonable that you’re going to be friends with other researchers you respect?

    It seems to me that people who respect each other often tend to like each other. I don’t really think it’s that unlikely that a researcher who meets someone else in his field would probably be more likely to befriend people he thought were credible and articulate.

    It follows, then, that they would also be more likely to recommend the books of this person, who they respect and think has a credible perspective on the topic.

    Maybe I have too much faith in the good faith of professors, but I really don’t think so. Although I realize there are plenty of exceptions to this, as there are plenty of academic adversaries who respect each other, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine someone becoming friendly with a peer whose work they respect.

  106. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.”

    If you’re a hard-core academic and your entire life revolves around your particular field of research doesn’t it seem reasonable that you’re going to be friends with other researchers you respect?

    It seems to me that people who respect each other often tend to like each other. I don’t really think it’s that unlikely that a researcher who meets someone else in his field would probably be more likely to befriend people he thought were credible and articulate.

    It follows, then, that they would also be more likely to recommend the books of this person, who they respect and think has a credible perspective on the topic.

    Maybe I have too much faith in the good faith of professors, but I really don’t think so. Although I realize there are plenty of exceptions to this, as there are plenty of academic adversaries who respect each other, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine someone becoming friendly with a peer whose work they respect.

  107. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.”

    If you’re a hard-core academic and your entire life revolves around your particular field of research doesn’t it seem reasonable that you’re going to be friends with other researchers you respect?

    It seems to me that people who respect each other often tend to like each other. I don’t really think it’s that unlikely that a researcher who meets someone else in his field would probably be more likely to befriend people he thought were credible and articulate.

    It follows, then, that they would also be more likely to recommend the books of this person, who they respect and think has a credible perspective on the topic.

    Maybe I have too much faith in the good faith of professors, but I really don’t think so. Although I realize there are plenty of exceptions to this, as there are plenty of academic adversaries who respect each other, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine someone becoming friendly with a peer whose work they respect.

  108. Erik

    RICH RIFKIN: “And in other cases, profs will assign their students to read books written by friends of theirs; and then in return those authors will assign their students to read the first prof’s books.”

    If you’re a hard-core academic and your entire life revolves around your particular field of research doesn’t it seem reasonable that you’re going to be friends with other researchers you respect?

    It seems to me that people who respect each other often tend to like each other. I don’t really think it’s that unlikely that a researcher who meets someone else in his field would probably be more likely to befriend people he thought were credible and articulate.

    It follows, then, that they would also be more likely to recommend the books of this person, who they respect and think has a credible perspective on the topic.

    Maybe I have too much faith in the good faith of professors, but I really don’t think so. Although I realize there are plenty of exceptions to this, as there are plenty of academic adversaries who respect each other, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine someone becoming friendly with a peer whose work they respect.

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