Sunday, 29 August 2010

Lancing Chou Ping's Bubonic "Core Value" Discourse

Another day, another devious little leftie waving the red flag in the Timid Times:
"Originally, some smaller private universities had unique characteristics, but in recent years they have made compromises in a flirt with empty neoliberal discourse, causing them to expand rapidly based on market-oriented governance principles. Making cost- effectiveness the supreme goal has caused the core values of these schools to be hollowed out."
I will not defend any particular school here, but just look at that blatant red flag. Mr "Chou Ping", who is apparently the chairman of the Department of Applied Sociology at Nanhua University, would be doing very well to first reconsider the question: "what is a market?" because he is clearly laboring under a non-sequitur conception of "market governance". That a so-called private University may choose to cut costs reflects only their circumstances and not the fact that they are a private institution per se. In particular, their circumstances presumably include having a limited capital base from which to operate and the disadvantage of having to compete against other, larger Universities with extant political connections and of course direct funding from State mandated theft from ordinary people.

Now that I've noticed this complementary story, I'll have a letter to write about this dismal topic when I get a chance...
“Without the law, we refuse to have babies,” the demonstrators shouted."
What utter depravity - what these people are calling for is that other people be forced at gun point to cough up the cash to provide them with services which they have no moral authority to claim or else they will refuse to have babies. I say let them refuse - I certainly don't want such compulsive thieves bearing the responsibility of rearing children in any case.



It would be shameful for any productive person in attendance at the National Education Conference to pay the slightest attention to the insolent demands of the National Alliance of Parents Organization. Not only are these people screaming for compulsory educational services to be procured for their political supporters by means of forced taxation, but they even have the bare-faced cheek to attribute the low fertility rates across Taiwan to the lack of their yearned for stolen services. That is one of the most slovenly and utterly depraved demands on government I have ever come across.

Not only should their demands be pointedly and steadfastly ignored, but moreover, the underlying premises as to what current schools, colleges and universities are actually worth (and to whom) must be brought under the light of critical examination. Mere common sense alone would seem to warrant considerable prima facie doubt about the connection between education and economic prosperity; when University degrees are as common as muck, there is inevitably a debasement of their value. It should come as no surprise to anyone to learn that many large employers across several industries barely have any interest in a candidate's educational background and are much more interested in evidence of initiative and practical skills. This, of course, woud be a no-brainer to anyone with a brain.

Another reprehensible report which ought to be instantly graded "I for ignominy" was that of Mr Chou Ping, the chairman of the Department of Applied Sociology at Nanhua University, which came in an editorial piece today (Sunday August 29th). Ping wrote of some private institutions that their downfall is being brought about by their decision to make cost-effectiveness their "supreme goal" in accordance with principles of market governance. Perhaps I could have the honor of enlightening Mr Ping as to the nature of his stupendous non-sequitur with the fact that, in all probability, such Universities may be struggling to attract students because, in addition to other problems they may or may not have, they are nevertheless attempting the mad feat of competing against National Universities under the handicap of not being able to rely on a funding stream extorted through taxation. Such Universities may be failing, but it is not because they are private Universities that they are failing - it is because their competition has an immoral and financially significant advantage.

In considering these two cases together, I think it is fair to say that the mere presence of such insolent folly around the National Education Conference does not bode well for the future. The policy goals for any honest government should be the removal of state funding and control from the supply of all educational products and services. Such a general policy would not only complement a commitment to the principles of individual freedom which produce wealth and success, but it would also prevent a great many tragic and farcical cases in which time, money, and many other human values that go into education from being wasted in permanent disgrace.

Yours freely,
Michael Fagan.

(Sent: Sunday August 29th 2010. Unpublished by the Taipei Times)

Update: Results of that demented conference? Here's one: subsidies for kids going to kindergarten (which therefore paves the way for further political control of how kindergartens are operated including those that are nominally private). Far from being a reason to have kids, this is yet another reason NOT to have kids.

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