More on Grover and Teacher’s Unions at The Daily Princetonian

Sometimes, I like to summarize an analysis poetically, to give the left brain a rest, but the following poetic summary of my views on cutting teachers to “improve” education was deleted from my post at The Daily Princetonian.

You gonna cut cut cut, pal?
Is that the grand plan, Al?
Well, all I can say to you
Don’t take any wooden nickels,
Don’t eat no yellow snow,
And don’t run around with scissors,
‘Cause sooner or later, alligator,
You gonna cut yourself,
And for the first time in your life
You will see your blood.

I have posted this reply to this decision.

It appears that my first reply to Grover was edited to remove my poetic summary.

I will not repost the poem but will await the moderator’s decision if that has been the case. I don’t recall cutting it at the last minute.

The last two lines may have offended on a superficial reading. But clearly, they were a metaphor for what happens when you so nihilistically call, as Grover calls, for “cuts”.

My experience at Princeton was that for a very good reason, that is to preserve a civil University community, people of good will (who frankly seem to be liberals in large measure) would, as does the President, “tone it down”.

Unfortunately, the Right, at Princeton and in the Nation, felt no such inclination. For example, at the 1989 P-rade (conservative?) members of the class of 1989 carried a sign reading “The Nation in Princeton’s Service: Wall Street here we come”.

To so reverse the University’s raison d’etre is a bit more than campus hijinx. It meant and it means that the servant class needs to know for whom the country is being run, and needs to keep a respectful tongue in its head.

As we have to date been doing. The result is that over the protests of Joseph Stiglitz and your own faculty member Paul Krugman, leaders of the developed world have re-opened the 1980s war on the working class. British VAT tax on the poor and middle class is going to 20%, and a commitment has been made by policymakers to “stop borrowing” when there is no indication that deflationary policies will have a different effect from that which they had in 1937: a W shaped recession, perhaps with no final upstroke on the letter W.

As it was, John Maynard Keynes, when quizzed about the business cycle in the late 1930s, referred his questioner to the Dark Ages.

The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak metaphorically of blood, and to use verse as a way to break the spell of Gradgrind’s prose: this constant grey goo, groaned from on high, about a constructed reality for which we are responsible.


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