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November 20, 2009

University of California: Adding Injury to Injury

UC fee hikes.JPG

The dirty shame, yet standard operating procedure of America Inc. — especially after screwing it up — has simply been to turn around and dump as much of it as possible — in the abstracted form of paperwork, leg work, extra fees and surcharges, etc. — onto Mr. Consumer, the the heaviest load on the youngest, poorest, least sophisticated.

This Getty/AFP shot, showing a campus policeman at UCLA tasering a student demonstrator yesterday, captures the pain, anger, abuse, degradation and fury over the outrageous 32% fee hike by the University of California.

When are people going to get (America Inc. rounding the last populist edges off the health care legislation as we speak) that the economic tasering of the consumer has been consistent and systemic, and that what’s mostly striking about this photo is the rare example of push back … and the consequences of it.

More power to UC students, and as many pictures as possible, calling bullshit on the “business of the State.”

(Photo: Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. caption: The state allocation for the 10-campus system was cut $813 million, or 20 percent, this year, leading to a hiring freeze, furloughs and layoffs. A student protester was tasered by a police officer during a protest against the increase in student fees at U.C.L.A.)

  • scott

    Will the powerful imagery of the regents running for cover make it into the news?

  • Wordsmith

    This is the video I first saw
    To put this in context (the fee hike, that is), I graduated from a private college. The cost per credit hour is now $728/hour. I worked full-time (40 hours/week) so I usually carried 15 credits, except for the two summer sessions I attended of course. $10,000 per year at a public university just blows me away.

  • lq

    Thank you for posting that video link, Scott. It is powerful and I’ve linked to it. Meanwhile, the spending for the top of the Administrative pyramid at UC continues to increase. Much as I have grown to detest the SF Chronicle since its purchase by the Hearst Corporation, they have been on the UC Regents’ case on compensation and tuition increases. Doesn’t do any good, though; in California, UC is a very protected feifdom. It’s understandable, by the way, that this particular meeting was held at UCLA, not Berkeley.

  • Sandra

    UC berkeley is also at police action today. Students occupying a bldg. As of noon many police not yet tear gassing because of a huge number of people outside supporting kids inside.
    I learned on Democracy Now! this morning that the UC regents have 12 year appointments, most by Republican govs., and that they are mostly investment banker. The American casino of now has lost billions of UC dollars, so far.

  • lq

    Chair of the UC Regents is Richard Blum, husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein. The power of UC in California is enormous. The idea that this incredible public (PUBLIC!) university is raising tuition so much is shocking. This increase plus the additional increase in the ‘Professional Degree Fees’ has made the cost of tuition at UC Berkeley’s professional programs (law, business, medicine, etc.) on a par with the cost of tuition at Stanford. Jesus wept.

  • John

    When I attended a California State College in the 70s it cost me a few hundred a quarter. Prop 13 was the beginning of the downfall of the Calif University System.

  • g

    Of course this is not the first time UCLAPD has tased a student. There was a horrific incident a few years ago in Powell library where they tased a kid who refused to show his ID.

  • g

    UC Regents are not all investment bankers, they come from a diverse background. One is a student, several are women. Except for the student, though, they are probably all rich.
    Here’s the page:
    Worth reading, just to get a perspective.
    Full disclosure, I have a family member who works at a UC; he just received a 10% pay cut. The situation is complicated by the total collapse of the state budget, the CSU system is in equally bad shape, and there are some serious bad times ahead. I don’t think it’s quite fair to blame it exclusively on the regents. I wish they had not voted as they did, but I don’t think it’s a case of them deliberately choosing to raise fees just for the heck of it.

  • different clue

    Hopefully this student and everyone in his position will figure out that the State and People of California created and engineered this situation by tax-prevention methods starting with
    Proposition 13 and moving on from there. The State has spent years withholding and embargoing money from the universities and colleges, has it not? So the regents can either hike tuition or run the universities out of money and then put them into liquidation, which I suppose is also a choice.
    I would suggest not blaming the Regents for responding to the money crunch. Blame the shit-heads who supporte Prop 13, Three Strikes and You’re Out, and other shit-head initiatives; for where the California universities are today.

  • Nemo

    Compliance, compliance, compliance. How dare you complain and protest about these hikes. You can’t pay? Go somewhere else or don’t go to college at all.
    As California’s (other states are in dire straits too) economy slowly collapses, the protests will build. The authorities will not stand for this. Tasering today – much harsher methods refined overseas will be used tomorrow.


    Ahhhh, you’ve again simply expressed great frustration and anger because people are ’suffering’, and you’re offering no solutions.
    What, exactly, should the State of California (far-gone, broke, and near extinction) do to help these kids? Should the Federal Government step in and give them newly-printed or borrowed monies?
    Where does Government get money, if they don’t have it? Oh, before we get to the question of Government bailouts, we must answer: Should any Government be a sourceable money supply to people who are in ‘need’? Define ‘need’ without emotion, if you can. Don’t use the word ‘morality’.
    Friendly reminder: Government does NOT have its own money. They only have what they take from their citizens.
    How much more should our Government take in order to satisfy your and others on the Left’s endless desires for more and more goods and services at Other People’s Expense?
    Are governments (and their citizens) immoral if they fail to supply you and your political bent the nirvana on earth they so strongly desire?
    If anyone on earth needs to read Ayn Rand’s novels, it’s you. As a matter of fact, your subsequent post could be titled “Who is John Galt?”. And you don’t even realize it.

  • lytom

    Money is available to pay the mercenary soldiers from US and other countries to kill and make war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan…and who knows where else the long arm of empire reaches. Yet the empire is unable to value the youth assets who through education have potential to improve the world. Shame.

  • Rafael

    Yes, because the idiotic rants of Ayn Rand will fix all our problems.

  • psychohistorian

    It is all about control and as they start to lose more of it they will resort to stronger measures, including killing innocent folks like at Kent State. Who knows where the country will go from there. Hopefully someplace good.

  • jtfromBC

    Well worth a listen,
    Democracy Now 20:00 min clip
    We discuss the protests and the growing privatization of public education with UCLA student activist Zen Dochterman and the president of the UC American Federation of Teachers, Bob Samuels

  • doug

    You realize that one of the reasons America was such an amazing and affluent place for much of the 20th century was the high quality public educations that were affordable, right? That when this concept is gone, so goes the middle class and the affluence that we and our parents so took for granted?
    In other words, spending billions of taxpayer dollars to blow up people in other countries did not make America rich. The billions of taxpayer dollars spent to educate the taxpayers is what made this country so wealthy.

  • yg

    we must protect the wealthy from being taxed.

  • Rafael

    G.I. Bill.

  • Mike H

    California is out of money …. the piggy bank is broken. When I heard these kids chanting “Whose University … OUR University” all I could think was pay for it yourselves then you spoiled shits.

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