The Slashing and Burning

Posted: May 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

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  1. Nick Coleman says:

    It is mind-boggling to comprehend that president Trump isn’t cutting funding for just the humanities–a recent trend supported by S.T.E.M. proponents. Rather, he is going to slash the enitre education budget, aiming at both the sciences and liberal arts. Rebuilding roads and freeways with $1 trillion might create a few positions, but the detrimental long-term effects are pretty obvious. Reducing funding for education equates to fewer people able to afford and/or enjoy the new amenities that president Trump is building (especially when he gets out of office, and uses his presidency to increase his personal wealth). Even more, these cuts will hurt those who are first generation students. Currently, only 10% of low-income, first-generation students attain a BA in six years. Imagine telling these kids that unfortunately, to pave some more roads, all federal support is being withheld.

    As Trump supporters say, “SAD!”

    • The fact that potential students will lose the opportunity to get an education is not a mere side effect of these cuts. It’s rather the primary goal of these cuts. Whatever money becomes available will then be channeled, as per usual, to the top 1%. This is all part of a very deliberate strategy to turn America into an ignorant theocracy governed by a very small and closed group of oligarchs. I’m simultaneously alarmed and fascinated to see how much farther the country actually proceeds in that direction.

    • As for the painful responsibility of telling an entire generation that its hopes and dreams are dashed, I would imagine those in charge feel positive glee, not remorse.

  2. Valeria says:

    I agree with the both of you. It reminded me of a class discussion we had about this country being an “anti-intellectual” nation. This budget cut truly reinforces that idea and only hinders the potential and possibility for scientific findings and research. So frustrating!

  3. Anurag Tripathy says:

    I think part of what makes this concept of deducting funds for STEM and liberal arts education so permissible in the current state is that much of the information and “misinformation” have been coopted to different sides of the political spectrum. STEM and liberal arts education are being represented as pursuits of more progressive, democrat voting population, rather the more accurate notion that these people who are getting STEM and liberal arts degrees are contributing to societies in ways that transcends petty and pathetic politics. By coopting or politicizing these fields, budgeting policies that “otherize” and devalue the merit of these fields will succeed more because the political atmosphere has been developed to dislike these kinds of pursuits.

    • I don’t imagine that science can even be entirely politically neutral. Any number of studies would support this claim of mine. Still, to be political, and even progressive, is hardly the same as to be a radical. I doubt most scientists are the fanatical iconoclasts the right has made them out to be. Typical science tends to work slowly and methodically, chipping away at indefensible prejudices and meticulously constructing a comprehensive picture of the physical world about us. Unfortunately, even this slow pace has proved far too rapid for the current administration, which would in fact like to take us back into the past, into a world of unquestionable dogmas and vast social inequalities. And though these retrograde politicians and their donors would scarcely admit it, they are the ones who have most aggressively politicized science. Of this I am sure you are already sufficiently aware.

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