November 15, 2011

Seems like old times in Berkeley

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 6:01 pm

Striking students pass through Sather Gate
Striking students gather on Sproul Plaza Tuesday.
Music was part of the program at Sproul Plaza Tuesday

The fact that broadcast news media want to cover an issue in about 90 seconds works to the advantage of the Conservatives because most voters don’t want to get a complete picture of a complex issue and the student strike at University California Berkeley will provide an example of how the rush to oversimplify destroys journalism’s reason for being.

In the Sixties the University system in California was an outstanding opportunity for young people in that state to acquire an affordable education.

In the Seventies, Prop 13 was sold to home owning voters as a way to save money. The property tax had provided the funds for affordable educations. When Prop 13 passed, businesses saved large amounts of money when that tax was eliminated from their overhead expenses. Did they pass the savings along to consumers?

Wealthy families are used to expecting that their kids will be college educated and become industry management. The potential for middle and low class families sending their children to college may have seemed like the underclasses were stealing opportunities for large salaries from them so it behooved the wealthy to put the cost of education beyond the capability of the middle and lower class.

The fact that Prop 13 benefited business immensely made its passage a double payoff for the wealthy.

Can an explanation of how the passage of Prop 13, more than 30 years ago, caused the current student unrest, be reduced to a few words that fit on a bumper sticker?

Can the opposing force’s message of “Reduce taxes, increase jobs” be refuted on a bumper sticker?

So today students strike to make the point that they want the opportunity for an affordable education just like there was in the Sixties and the people who don’t want to restart a tax burden they managed to eliminate just say “trickle down” and dupe the voters who don’t examine the history of an issue.

To the best of this photographer/columnist’s ability to cover the start of the UCB student strike on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, we can report that we did not see a single instance of any student burning his draft card.

Doesn’t that prove conclusively that change has been delivered, just as promised?

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