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Re: [xmca] Inside Job

Jay-- The Monday night Daily Show last night (monday) has material that I
might both attract great student interest and perhaps deeper understanding.
does a riff on GE which, while only part of the story, shows how they not
only do not
pay taxes in the US, they get tax money FROM the US. Obama two years ago
denounced their practices. Two weeks ago he made the head of GE the head of
special committee on job creation.

You could start by asking student to figure out what really is going on
here. And point them at your DVD, and then.,..... perhaps engage them in
some local project that, while discussed as social service at least brings
the students in contact with people in settings where the wear and tear of
their daily lives is clear.

Then ask them, in some form, to propose some ways to address the issue.

Note. When they subpoena my e-mail, what will be I accused of? Using public
money to poison the minds of the young perhaps.

Tougher  lots of places than American Academia, despite the pervasive puzzle
for graduate students that Walter is asking us to address. But tough and
promising to get a lot tougher.


On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 9:39 PM, Jay Lemke <jaylemke@umich.edu> wrote:

> Last night I watched a documentary film on DVD called "Inside Job". I think
> that if you haven't seen it, you might well find it worthwhile to do so,
> especially if you live in the US.
> Basically, the film is an explanation of how the global financial meltdown
> of the last 2.5 years happened, combined with an indictment of the political
> and financial systems and leaders who made it happen.
> On the first count, it's an impressive example of the superiority of video
> over print as a medium for explaining complex phenomena. I had a vague
> understanding of most of the points it makes about "derivatives" "credit
> default swaps" etc., but I understood their nature and especially their
> significance in relation to other larger phenomena a LOT better after a few
> minutes of video than after all the reading of print I've done over many
> months.
> On the second count, by putting together in one narrative all the bits and
> pieces of facts about this financial company and that politician that we get
> in the fragmentation of most print and web-based media (apart from books), a
> context was established within which to appreciate the enormous culpability
> of not just the greedy traders but of government non-regulators, policy
> leaders, and the highest echelons of government.
> Of perhaps special relevant to those of us in academic institutions, it
> makes a pretty good case for the corruption of many of the country's leading
> academic economists, ranging from undisclosed conflicts of interest to
> deliberately distorted research-for-pay.
> It points out that it was the US government that was primarily at fault in
> abetting the out-of-control exploitation of nearly everyone by a very small
> number of profiteering firms, and that the extent of collusion between
> senior government officials and those firms was staggering, over a long
> period of time and administrations of both political parties, and has not in
> any way ended but continues under the Obama administration today.
> Hence, not surprisingly, there have been no major criminal investigations
> of securities fraud, conflict of interest, etc. either on the corporate side
> or on the government side, in the US. And the recent financial industry
> reform act changed nothing basic, nor, I think one can conclude, was its
> weakness just a result of Republican opposition but must have also been a
> consequence of the continuing collusion of senior Obama appointees with the
> financial industry.
> As we all know the consequences have relevance for pretty much the whole
> world.
> What are we in higher education doing to educate students about such
> phenomena, which are arguably of far greater importance to their lives and
> futures than our specialized subjects? Or to challenge colleagues in
> economics departments and business schools on our campuses, at least to the
> extent of requiring conflict of interest disclosures in their publications?
> After watching this film, I'm not feeling very happy about business as
> usual.
> JAY.
> PS. I got the DVD from Netflix. I think it's definitely worth an hour and
> forty-some minutes of your time.
> Jay Lemke
> Senior Research Scientist
> Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition
> University of California - San Diego
> 9500 Gilman Drive
> La Jolla, California 92093-0506
> Professor (Adjunct status 2009-11)
> School of Education
> University of Michigan
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
> Professor Emeritus
> City University of New York
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