Feb 12, 2015

The University, Jobs, and Darwin Day v. Scott Walker

Update: Spring 2015 Evolution Seminar Series schedule at UW-Madison

Updated - An item in buried in the Wisconsin State Journal (p. 12) today shows Dane County leads the state in creating jobs between 2003 and 2013, accounting for a full 76 percent in the increase in average monthly employment, directly related to an educated populace.

Most of this increase was in the private sector (Pinkovitz, UW Extension via WORK.net (bill.pinkovitz@uwex.edu)).

That this information is buried in the Wisconsin State Journal [cannot locate online] and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development data site [cannot locate online] is a consequence of ideology.

This quantity of jobs coming out of one Wisconsin county is pretty big news, but Republicans try to halt the dissemination of good news out of progressive Dane County.

Scott Walker has taken his war against high-tech, highly educated Dane County to absurd lengths since he began his first term, infamously rejecting $800 million dollars in federal aid for a labor-intensive rail project, (Cieslewicz, Isthmus) and slashing state aid to local school districts.

And now Scott Walker targets the University of Wisconsin System and its flagship University of Wisconsin-Madison world-class complex with another proposed $300 million dollar cut in a destructive, immolating policy move that Walker refused to campaign on because of popular opposition.

These moves by Walker come while Wisconsin still lags behind the rest of the nation in the recovery from the Bush-Cheney economic global crisis. "Over the course of the recovery, Wisconsin lagged behind the national job growth rate (4.0 v. 6.1 percent). That means every time national growth should have given Wisconsin three jobs, the state added just two. Wisconsin would have 58,000 more jobs today if state jobs had grown at the national rate" (Center for Wisconsin Strategy, COWS).


Walker began his second term as governor, embarrassing himself and Wisconsin overseas by refusing to acknowledge the reality of biological evolution in London in response to a direct question. [See Walker goes for bland, ends up moronic, (Daily Beast) and Scott Walker dodges questions on evolution, foreign policy (Bauer, AP).]

Walker's bizarre and disingenuous response that evolution is a "a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other" is another demonstration of Scott Walker's anti-intellectualism.

Walker should be availing himself today of the work of the seminar J. F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to understand not just the reality of evolution but also evolution's relevancy to myriad realms of human society and life. Today is Darwin Day.

More than a thriving Dane County, an educated citizenry is a political threat to Scott Walker.

Walker's move against the Wisconsin Idea is not just deplorable politics.

The statutory foundation of the Wisconsin Idea is a threat to the anti-intellectual, statist, religionist world that Walker wishes to engineer, a world bordering on outright fascism led by plutocrats and their corrupt sock puppets, should Walker achieve his societal vision that he claims to have been communicated from god.

The more knowledgeable the citizens and the more the citizenry thinks, the less chance that politicians of Walker's limited abilities can win the one-fourth of the electorate necessary to obtain office.

In London, playing a coy presidential candidate, Scott Walker may wish to consider the words of the great British thinker, Bertrand Russell on the objectives of a liberal education: "... to give a sense of the value of things other than domination, to help create wise citizens of a free community, and through the combination of citizenship with liberty in individual creativeness to enable men [and all genders] to give to human life that splendor which some few have shown that it can achieve" (Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1938) p.305. Cited in Chomsky, Problems of Knowledge and Freedom, The Russell Lectures (New York: Pantheon Books, Random House) Introduction).

Scott Walker is a corrupt lightweight who has no business anywhere near public office.

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