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Post Green Party's Jill Stein
Created by John Eipper on 07/09/16 4:31 AM

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Green Party's Jill Stein (Massoud Malek, USA, 07/09/16 4:31 am)

Imagine a paradise called America, where:

An anti-poverty programs is provided in order to ensure everyone a life of dignity. A land where people enjoy quality health care.

To free the present and future generations from debt servitude, student loan is demolished. Public education from pre-school through university is provided tuition-free.

The rights of future generations are protected by halting destructive energy extraction--no more fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, and uranium mines. Public lands, water supplies, and biological diversity are protected by law.

There is no unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying. Secret "kill lists" and detention without charge or trial are a thing of the past.

The rich pay their fair share of taxes and the federal minimum wage is set at $15/hour.

This is not a Utopian land, because the foreign policy is based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights, not on wars and drone attacks.

If you like this paradise, then ignore a pathological liar woman and a man with a narcissistic personality disorder. Give a chance to the Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein.


JE comments:  Stein received nearly half a million votes as the Green candidate in 2012.  She is once again her party's presumptive nominee in this cycle.

One of Stein's bolder policy proposals:  to wipe out accumulated student debt through "quantitative easing."  Sounds wonderful, but wouldn't this incentivize financial recklessness in our youth?  (Yikes--I sound like a cranky old man.)

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  • Student Debt: Frivolities and Necessities (Henry Levin, USA 07/10/16 7:07 AM)
    Massoud Malek (9 July) mentioned Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's proposal to erase student debt in the US.

    A certain portion of what is called student debt is exactly "frivolousness." I have been around universities for six decades. I have never seen as much free spending on, arguably, non-educational allocations as I have seen both casually among students and in informal (non-threatening) discussions with them.

    Check your local students in Ann Arbor, either systematically or in individual conversations, and ask about all kinds of electronic devices, games, software, "labels" on apparel and other items, spring break and summer vacations in exotic places, ubiquitous alcohol and restaurant meals, and so. Check to see what kind of car they have. Some of this comes from parents, but in my understanding, much of this gets on credit cards which are funded from "educational" loans. How much? We don't know, but even 10 or 20 percent can be a substantial sum.

    I won't go into what the standard of living was for me and my college classmates in 1956-60, but it was basically a lifestyle in which most of us worked at least part-time and we watched every penny. We did not consider ourselves to be poor, but certainly abstemious in most respects. Even against dormitory regulations, many of us cooked in our rooms to save money. And, I had a scholarship which covered tuition and a stipend for living expenses, but still worked over the summer to cover overall expenses. Of course, we drank on some weekends, but it was not cocktails, but a cheap and large bottle of chianti (less than $2 in those days) that was shared among buddies.

    The big question for JE is whether a large portion of middle-class students are frivolous or just insensitive to fiscal constraints that often wind up as "educational" debt.

    JE comments: Yes, where to draw the line?  Some educational "necessities" today didn't even exist in the Good Old Days, but does that mean they are frivolous?  I just ordered for our introductory Spanish courses a textbook "bundle," which means one book plus a code to enter the accompanying website.  The price?  $252 retail.  Introductory language books when I started my career 30 years ago were in the $35 range (about $78 today, adjusted).  We made do without "SuperSites," and that was just fine.

    I see a lot of my students at Adrian living very frugally.  But do they have the latest cellphone?  Yes.

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    • Student Debt: Frivolities and Necessities (Tor Guimaraes, USA 07/10/16 1:00 PM)
      Henry Levin's post of 11 July resonated with me for personal reasons. On one hand my three now grown-up offspring were expressing their gratitude for the assistance my wife and I provided them when going through college. On the other hand, I remember going through my Bachelor and MBA programs working as much as possible to pay out-of-state tuition for my classes, eating dog and cat food not to owe anyone any money.

      On the third hand, something bad must have happened to today's student population with so many people owing so much money at exorbitant rates of interest with many to graduate with useless degrees and unable to find significant employment. What happened since the 1970s?

      JE comments: The trope of the unemployed PhD was widespread in the 1970s, too. Remember Michael Stivic ("Meathead") on All in the Family?

      Tor--you're kidding about the pet food, right?

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      • The Ultimate Way to Economize: Dog Food (Tor Guimaraes, USA 07/12/16 4:29 AM)
        John Eipper got curious about my consumption of dog and cat food in the early 1970s when I was a student at California State University, Los Angeles. It was not a joke, particularly when I was eating that stuff.

        I had a full-time job at a pet hospital and a part-time job working for my psychology teacher with a contract to "work" with poor neighborhood kids in LA. He took the money, bought a motorcycle for me to commute to work, and went to play tennis. Meanwhile, both jobs were not enough to pay tuition and have a decent living. The pet hospital had a trailer for me to live in and informally (no pay) play night watchman. They also had a wide variety of canned pet foods. To save a little money I got educated about the available menu, and once in a while would try some healthy-sounding product. The strange tastes were both amusing and most times rather unpleasant.

        After some months of this nonsense, it was a pleasure to move on to an exciting new job which became one of the most rewarding in my career: troubleshooter for the California Statewide Timesharing System housed at CalState, LA. Any user of the system (graduate students, professors, administrators, etc.) in any area or discipline with a computer problem of any type would come in for help. It was the pleasure of our team to understand the problem and help solve it to the best of our ability. It was a fantastic job in terms of learning about various uses of computer technology programmed in a wide variety of programming languages and software packages. Most important to me, that job launched my career as a consultant and university professor, where you get paid more than twice: a decent salary, unlimited knowledge growth, and great benefits from the many synergies between research projects, teaching, and consulting jobs with industry.

        Thank God the Universe, everything worked out well.

        JE comments: I just served Assistant Editor Zoska (see http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=76273&objectTypeId=67162&topicId=182 ) her morning Friskies "Ocean Whitefish and Tuna Dinner," and trust me:  it sounds more appealing than it smells.  Zoska loves it, though.  Glad you moved on to human cuisine, Tor!

        I was going to title this post "Breakfast of (Canine) Champions," but I don't want to be too cheeky.  Woof...


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        • Eating on the Cheap; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA 07/13/16 4:46 AM)

          Ric Mauricio writes:

          Once, when I was feeding my dog, I wondered "what does this stuff really taste like?" Oh, yuck.

          If I had to eat cheap, I would probably eat Cheerios (all other cereal has too much sugar; I call processed white sugar "white death"). Then I would throw a few bits of chopped-up fruits (blueberries, strawberries, etc.) For protein, I would opt for tuna. I have no way to go back in time to compare prices, but I am thinking that prices for processed dog and cat food would be comparable to Cheerios and tuna (no, I would not mix the tuna and Cheerios).

          It's pizza time! Please, no Cheerios and tuna on my slice of trickle-down pizza.

          JE comments:  If you can find a good sale, canned tuna is about the same price as comparable pet food.  (For all I know, it's made in the same cannery.)  Our youngest kitty, Robert, is a confirmed locavore, especially in the summer.  He likes to supplement his diet with birds and rodents--freshly harvested, and no preservatives or GMOs.  As Ric Mauricio would say, yuck!

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        • Eating Dog Food, and a Word on Licking (Paul Preston, -UK 07/13/16 4:54 AM)
          Tor Guimaraes's post of 12 July reminds me of the guy who, after being forced to resort to eating dog food, commented "Now I know why dogs lick their balls. It's to take away the taste of the pet food."

          JE comments: Isn't this why we love WAIS? One of the pre-eminent historians of the Spanish Civil War (WAISers Ángel Viñas and Stanley Payne being the others) writes us about dogs licking themselves! Thanks, Paul!

          The age-old riddle proffers a different answer to the perennial Q: Why do dogs lick their balls? A: Because they can. 

          This only applies to male dogs, but I'd bet every culture has a version of the joke.

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    • More on Student Debt (Henry Levin, USA 07/11/16 3:41 PM)
      To follow up on my post of 10 July, students today have not only the latest cell phones, but accounts that run $80-100 month to service all of those streaming "needs."

      One further point you might want to consider as an unobtrusive measure of oblivious consumption is the liberal use of credit cards for everything including fancy coffees at Starbucks. It is this credit card debt which is sustained by the US taxpayer when defaults take place as well as genuine educational debt. Actually, so-called "free education" would reduce these costs if it were limited to strictly educational expenses.

      I also agree with John E that faculty ought to be reluctant to feed the maws of the greedy textbook companies whose return at capital would make Starbucks jealous. They are the Big Pharma of academia, and their electronic offerings have not brought down their costs as predicted by technophiles.

      JE comments: The electronic "ancillaries" seem to have taken over the lion's share of textbook prices. This is the only way the academic publishers can combat their greatest fear--used and recycled books, or two students sharing a single book.

      But what about Tor Guimaraes eating dog food in his student days?  Stay tuned.

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