Fox Guest Claims College Professors And Teachers 'Live On The Excesses Of Capitalists'

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This morning on Fox News, radio bloviator Tony Katz said this:

There's no such thing as income inequality. A stockbroker makes more than a schoolteacher and a schoolteacher exists off the excesses of the stockbroker and the capitalist and people who pay into the system to allow the educator to exist.

I am trying to imagine a world where stockbrokers and capitalists exist without teachers. I can't. A capitalist system exists because ideas become some kind of product or service and those products and/or services are capitalized in order to make a wider market. At the heart of any enterprise, there is education, whether it be an education of the idea-maker or those who actually execute the idea.

But for Tony Katz, education exists only because the capitalist and others have "excess," which he implies is taken from them to fund a system which teachers and professors then benefit from without any work. What kind of logic is that? One immediate retort that formed in my mind while listening to this clip was that Katz would not be sitting there spewing that nonsense if he actually had a decent education. And if he did have a decent education, then he, too, is the beneficiary of hard-working professors and teachers who were not leeches on the capitalist system, but the builders of it through the education process.

Here's something else for Tony Katz to chew over. California used to have the finest public university system in the country. Our state universities did not charge tuition. Because they didn't, admission was open to anyone who qualified. Then Ronald Reagan was elected. One of the first things he did was change the system to a tuition-based system. My mother went to UCLA in the late 1950s. She could not have attended that university if tuition were required. She went on to work and work hard throughout her career in times where women were not especially welcome in the workplace, much less the management end of the workplace. Yes, Mr. Katz. She was college-educated and she worked a whole lot harder than you are when you just spew nonsense out over the airwaves.

College tuition for those students protesting at UC Davis was $13,000+ this year for California residents. By comparison, in 1995 it was $4,100. When I was attending college in the Cal State system, tuition was $144.00 and the state paid it because I was in the top 10 percent of my class. In 2007 when my son entered the Cal State system, tuition was $2,772. In 2010-2011, it's $4,335. As the parent of a Cal State student and a soon-to-be (we hope) UC student, I can guarantee you those kids are getting nothing handed to them. Nothing, except perhaps a very large bill for accrued tuition.

Yes, they have every reason to protest such things as income inequality and unfair exploitation of their current and future opportunities.

In his must-read New York Magazine essay entitled "When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?", David Frum takes on Fox News with a vengeance. Here's a small taste of the bitters he served them:

Extremism and conflict make for bad politics but great TV. Over the past two decades, conservatism has evolved from a political philosophy into a market segment. An industry has grown up to serve that segment—and its stars have become the true thought leaders of the conservative world. The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much. As a tool of political mobilization, it backfires, by inciting followers to the point at which they force leaders into confrontations where everybody loses, like the summertime showdown over the debt ceiling.

But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy ­errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action ­phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”

Nothing illustrates Frum's point better than Tony Katz in this segment. The full transcript follows.

FOX HOST: And that's something that I do want to ask you about. The idea -- just go get a job -- that would be easy in a climate that isn't where we are right now with nine percent unemployment. It isn't that easy to just go out and get a job. Is it?

KATZ: Well, it's a twofold conversation. It's never necessarily easy but it's impossible if you don't look. And secondly, part of this conversation is that we've created -- as Newt was alluding to -- this fantasy world where kids go to college, everything is paid for, it's an unbelievably beautiful scene, and they expect everything to be handed to them when they leave college because they have professors who teach them everything should be handed to them. When it's not handed to them, they get upset and they engage in this ridiculous conversation on income inequality.

There's no such thing as income inequality. A stockbroker makes more than a schoolteacher and a schoolteacher exists off the excesses of the stockbroker and the capitalist and people who pay into the system to allow the educator to exist.

That's the reality. They're not engaged in reality, they're engaged in fantasy and engaged in violent rhetoric and activities.

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