The Economics of Reigning in Hell

In a great post, maha lays out what the consequences of an extraction-based economy–one that exploits humans–are for the U.S.:

And then there’s the fatigue factor. Workers are worn out and stressed out. They’ve skipped vacations and worked way too much underpaid and unpaid overtime. They are not being rewarded. Their wages are stagnant, even as the cost of living rises. So workers subsidize their employer’s profits by going deeper into personal debt, struggling to maintain a “normal” middle-class lifestyle.
…Back in the days of the Cold War we patriotic Americans were told, over and over again, that Communism is a bad system because it doesn’t provide a personal incentive for people to work. If everyone is going to be taken care of by the state, whether they work hard or not, then why bother? And I think that’s a valid criticism. You can’t deny that Communist countries produce piss-poor economies in the long run.
But I think King Capitalism is making the same mistake. If everyone is going to be pissed on by their employer whether they work hard or not, then why bother? What’s the incentive?

When you’re getting a raw deal, the only thing that matters is the payday. And paydays just suck right now:

…people got used to carrying larger and larger chunks of debt to pay for the stuff they believed middle-class people were supposed to have, but which they couldn’t afford. As I said, they’re subsidizing their employers’ profits by going into debt.

This is no way to run an empire.

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2 Responses to The Economics of Reigning in Hell

  1. Mark P says:

    You make the mistake of assuming that the top executives who run the economy don’t know this. But they do. They have the same incentive that the top executives in the communist coutries had: to make as much personal profit as possible. Why should they care if they’re reigning in hell, as long as their estates are air conditioned?

  2. Dr. W says:

    Degrees of Abuse: Behind the Education Matrix, Evidence of American in Decline
    Before Ross Pero self destructed by insisting people beg him to run for president (1992), he struck a chord with the American people by exposing a growing injustice. That was, the sad fate of people who failed or who fell far from their mark after Ďdoing everything right.í That those who are deserving should have the rug pulled out from under them by those of power and/or wealth is un-American, despicable and once the fraud and intimidation are exposed criminal. There is no group greater affected in this way than those seeking positions acquired via higher education. There are many science PhDs (as well as people with bachelor degrees) out of work or underemployed. After a grueling path and the desire to do good, not to just feather their nest, they are devalued and left to beg or wither. This injustice as well as other educational malfeasance occurs most aggressively at Ivy League universities whose conduct sets the tone for the other institutions. My knowledge stems from the experience I had as a molecular biology post doc at the University of Pennsylvania, the second largest employer in the state and the second largest recipient of research money in the country. The significance of this issue reaches beyond the politically and commercially relevant fact that the scientific capability of Americas future depends on the development and treatment of new scientists. It also affects the nature of educational institutions, the efforts to seek medical cures and to reveal the nature of life on earth, the hopes and dreams of your children and the degree to which freedom in America has become a hollow theoretical boast.
    The background of the situation is illustrated by the company line (, after World War II, demand for basic research grew exponentially in terms of grants from the federal government. The major research institutions grew their programs with the funding, implying an exponential growth in professorships and PhD students (who take classes for a couple of years, then support professors in their research).In the early 1970ís, federal funding growth tailed off into more regular percentage increases. While the growth in professorships eased to match funding, the growth in PhDs did not. This created a surplus in PhDs, which led to the question of what to do with these highly skilled scientists. So, the post-doc position was created. The intent of the government support was thus to provide gainful employment to American scientists, provide additional training and provide professors with access to what is in effect super technicians. The numbers of postdocs have grown from 1,700 in 1971 (National Academy of Science) to over 45,000 today (National Postdoc Association). Many bioscience postdocs must relentlessly cross the country seeking work or are cast off to do whatever fits like a bum seeking discards. If they find post doc work they spend more time in this position than they would like or are pushed out of science altogether as even this work is becoming increasingly unavailable. This is so as there is a time limit for this position at each institution and their ability to find work elsewhere becomes limited as the institutions which are Ďforcedí to raise their salaries look to hire cheaper foreign imports. To put things in perspective 45,000 total post docs is equal to the number of realtors in the Philadelphia area. Hence, the larger points really are that there needs to be more money spent on research and the way it is being spent needs to be re-evaluated with respect to the role and conduct of institutions. Nonetheless, we are left to deal with the present system and it is clear that the actions of the beneficiaries of it show their real concern extends no further than themselves.
    From the viewpoint of most prominent academic, governmental and industrial leaders it is agreed that[1], 1) The country needs more scientists but the brightest and those financially compromised are so demoralized that they are passing on this career path. Thus, loss of scientific capacity will be added to our loss of national manufacturing capacity; 2) Most creative advances come from young/emerging scientists to which grants are down 60%. Overall since 1970 the average age of researchers is up from 42.9-51.7; 3) Reforms instituted by institutions to help the situation have done a poor job if they have done anything at all.
    With the urgency given to the making of ones own funeral arrangements, the institutions business and science professor representatives comfortable in well appointed surroundings, sit around and Ďthinkí of ways to resolve the problem. Like wealth seeking rich medical doctors talking about how the redistribution of wealth to the poor would be the most beneficial way to resolve the nationís health problems, the lip service they come up with amounts to distasteful ways for those affected to avoid the sewage thatís falling on them rather than describing ways to actually end the storm. I donít know why these people are even looked to for solutions when the conflict of interest is obvious. This is not to say that if the scientist contingent were not under the thumb of the institutions that their opinions on anything beyond science (and really science limited to a specific area) would be more useful than are movie stars views on politics. Moreover, professors have no particular love or caring for each other as the peer review process for publication acceptance immerses them in picking apart and attacking each others work. In any case, institutions and their scientists never even suggest that they are responsible for all or a large portion of the problem. They have zero to do with it all just like MDís (most notably the AMA), hospital institutions and pharmaceutical companies have zero to do with the nations health care problem (half of all Americans not or under insured). The current situation has developed with professors willing participants in the process that has made one major thing they were hired to do, teach, become an after thought to the institutions and a punishment to them. The meaningful quality research which was to compliment their work has become an institution building necessity as the institution takes huge bites from the grants. The institution pimps will eventually throw out their grant whores if they donít bring back the big bucks. They will however protect them if they donít produce but this is temporary and embarrassing. Of course the institutions court the pretty professors with hot funded research. All this is worse for professors hired to primarily do research. The writing has been on the wall for decades but did they ever object? No. Did they ever think of the word union? No. Thatís something people in their class do not need right? Anyway, they are more like corporate executives and thatís management, right? So in the end they made it bad for themselves, their colleagues and for their successors. Then there is their worst offence. That is, in the present difficult employment climate they have restricted and taken away the crumbs of research employment opportunities the postĖdoc jobs. Finally, another way institutions have contributed to the problem is that they have made research more costly than it need be for all the reasons you would expect a corporation to require huge profits and to justify bleeding you for them. The sum of all these behaviors has a negative effect on science and scientists. These assertions will be substantiated and clarified in the following paragraphs.
    Just as it is the dream of most men to have a wife who is gorgeous, as caring as mother Teresa and as smart as Einstein, it is the dream of most institutions (corporation equivalents minus the annoyance of stock holders) to attract tons of able labor and maintain the ability to treat them as they like. Towards this end Institutions like the University of Pennsylvania concede to follow recommendations by the National Academy of Science (NAS) for the proper treatment of Post-Docs. The offices so formed at the institution therefore are on their face creatures of the institution. Although it would most certainly be denied, the recommendations are implemented with a light hand. If anything they are weighted towards recommendations to the post doc regarding how hard they must work more than the mentoring recommendations for professors. I know it is not true in all cases but from what I have seen, Principal Investigator professors (PIís) donít want to mentor anymore than Brett Favre wants to mentor Aaron Rodgers. Also, it should not be assumed that they all have this ability. In reality whether they do or do not does not come into play even as on paper there are quite nice mandates for them. In any case, the Post-Doc office should really be an independent post-doc group or truly a joint office. This is because it is the power holding institutions that need policing far more than the post docs.
    Aside from the NAS recommendations for increased pay and health insurance (small relative to the population and out prices a post doc after five years), the other recommendations concerning professor responsibility, communication and the like were easy to follow or follow with little accountability via paper ascertains. The five year institutional post doc limit recommendation before awarding a job however was not. Hence, a crime of opportunity presented itself for the institutions via dismissal versus a job offer. The recommendation could be followed thereby doing the Ďrightí thing for the wrong reason. This enabled them to dump salary, get fresh desperate bodies and avoid hireling or even re-titling people (which would allow work to continue). I was unaware that a job offer was even possible even though I am sure the institutions could show that it does occur at some very small rate. In my case, I was playing without knowing what I was playing for. Furthermore, being barred from future employment by any of the hundreds of investigators at the University of Pennsylvania and being out priced for post doc employment elsewhere relative to a fresh import or new grad seems criminal. The fact though is it is not technically criminal only unjust and slimy as researchers who are without union protection fall victim to the at will doctrine that states abide by. This governmental/corporate compliance doctrine generally means that employers may fire/hire employees for any reasons, no reasons and even unfair reasons. A notable but hard to prove exception to the rule is unfair treatment due to age, race, gender or religion. It would be a step in the right direction if employers were required to show good cause for termination. Under the model employment termination act (META) they would however no states have adopted it, surprise surprise. The government should really sue the institutions for breach of good faith and fair dealing with respect to the way they manage and manipulate these jobs and the immigration department also should proceed against them as will be shown below.
    The absolute welcoming of many many Chinese ‘PhD’s'(as well as similarly motivated foreign PhDís) is also detestable as it makes the situation of overabundant scientists which the post doc position was established to deal with worse. Over half of all Post-Docs are foreign. One reason the jobs do not remain until they can be legitimately filled is because professors want a body in their lab when they want it and if itís a cheap body all the better. Why waste time searching or demanding proper support for a legitimate or even an appropriately trained person when there are bundles of Chinese at their door able to do the grunt work a bit cheaper whether they are trained in that specific area or not. Besides, itís the importance of their work that overrides all else anyway, right? Why should they concern themselves with the promise and potential of other scientists or with the fact that the government and the people of the United States are paying to train and nurture scientists in specific areas of need. As in other occupations it might be acceptable if an employer was to acquire a foreign worker for advantage if that advantage was truly substantial. This however is not whatís occurring here. From a broader view this is yet another example of the devastation of corporate and politically condoned excessive/abusive immigration. If these professors were to believe immigration to be any sort of a national problem they would be the worldís biggest hypocrites. How would you like to compete with every person in the world for your job (welcome to America 2008)? Iím sure there is someone out there who could save your employer a few bucks or offer something you canít, even if it availability. This leads to the question, what are so many Chinese doing here? The answer involves the nature of the people and their government, which are not all that separable. Chinas present government is best described by journalists who are there now covering the Olympic Games. The ďnation is operated by a brutal, greedy, autocracy, more adept at stirring up nationalistic fervor than any since the NazisĒ[2]. Americans are quick to jump to the assumption that their scientists are good deserving souls who lack opportunities. Do not delude yourself that these homogeneous people who will themselves into conformity are separable into good and bad piles. Do not delude yourself to think that they hate their country where the only thing more endemic and engrained than hard work is cheating by slippery advantage. Like simple children and conveniently oblivious duplicitous adults these imports separate China into the Ďgovernmentí and the Ďpeopleí. Their scheme is to benefit from having the best of both worlds, the growing international power of the government and the righteous image of those objecting to repression. Depending on the direction of the wind their feet are in China or where the water is cleaner, the air less polluted and the paychecks bigger. Thus, at least for now, these people mainly desire escape from a communist dictatorship and police state (coming here soon) and in trade present a willingness to work as servants to their PI-lords. They do not fit the bill for hardship or legitimate immigration and god forbid they should have the courage to fix their own system. Yes of course they work but they are desperate for escape, plasma TVís, cars, unshared homes, ect not scientific discoveries per se. Americans conception of Ellis Island type immigrants fails this group. Yet here they are consuming precious opportunities with no regard for those whom they are cheating. Many donít have degrees with truly appropriate majors and I have seen one with a degree that was not even in the biological sciences. Moreover, they achieved through a scholastic system (for example shorter degree times) that is hard for me to believe is like our own or more to the point which was not part of the contract between me, the universities, and the government for employment qualification. There were a few technicians in my lab who in China were MDís one a pediatrician and the other an ophthalmologist. To be treated by either would be a scary proposition. MDís, plumbers, teachers, ect canít just come here and do work without certification but hey you know my time in grad school was no biggie, its OK just walk all over me. The population of the U.S. generally believes that they are here because they are smarter (as do they) however there are five to six times more of every type overflowing their country. I am more than or as qualified as any I have come across and really I donít even think this is the full point. I am a U.S. citizen and the line should begin behind me. These Ďscientistsí come here as indentured servants to investigators who quite enjoy this reverence and who falsify their need to the United States government by overstating their need to the projects (potentially actionable under the false claims act). They often also falsify their skill by doing their writing for them (the essence of being a scientist) under the guise of language difficulties. This is no strain for the PI as they are more than happy to have the labs voice be their own. The Chinese use this entry as a back door to citizenship. To enhance their plan they quickly manifest anchor babies. Even in this country people who get paid less, as they are accustomed to, get much less consideration across the board. Thus via common treatment, the American post doc/scientist becomes third worldized or more accurately one worldized to the delight of the institutions/corporations.
    Beyond handy dandy disposable labor, the university/corporation gets government/NIH compliance because they both want money from foreign students to continue to flow without any blocks at the end of the line. The loser as usual is the U.S citizen who is left holding the bag and the guns which allows the self internationalized corporations/institutions to exist and walk all sides of every street. If you still need to be convinced that institutions are corporation equivalents consider the outrageous tuition rates inflicted on the American people. Do you think this is a rip off but the cost of research is not? Also look at the fact that a hundred college presidents want the drinking age to be reduced to eighteen so that they might escape liability from on campus parties. Institutions have become corporate through their own efforts and/or itís likely that corporations which can easily infiltrate Washington can also get their greedy hands on the money and power of educational institutions.
    The institutions/corporations profits are maximized when salaries and personnel are minimized. This occurs when the number of PIís is minimized and those PIís attain maximal grants. Accompanying this, the necessary lab personnel (post-doc, technicians and grad students) salaries must be kept very low. Thus, the institutions/corporations interests are best served by having the professors they employ bring in big grant money. That this occurs is far more important than how. After an initial few years if a new professor fails at this he/she will be dismissed. Moderate success will halt his/her progression. It must be said up front that these scientists are clearly talented, dedicated puzzle solvers who have worked very hard to be where they are. Nonetheless, once employed they are corporate officers on the ladder of success. If they bring in enough money they progress from assistant to associate to full professor to department head whose research is also funded by the institution. Each is really a little business to themselves. They must bring in millions of dollars in grants to achieve tenure. This pressure on them is what you would expect at a corporation versus an educational institution. The way they handle this can be surmised from what I have already said. The character defects emerge loud and clear. Expect no higher conduct. Scientists are not wiser or more compassionate or intellectual just because they are called doctor. They are subject engineers. In this day and age, an amount of the knowledge they possess is necessary however it should be stressed is not sufficient for wisdom. End any notion you have that they are guided by higher principals. Also, they know the fact that they work on diseases like aids and breast cancer buys them immunity from suspicion. They also know that blinding you with science hides the fact that they are no different in terms of all else. Furthermore, a factor common to the success of many is an exaggerated ability to be singularly focused on their work. Whether by intent or deficiency, to be focused in this way leaves one less affected by the course of human events. Thus, this all hardly is the profile of a person that automatically has the required qualities to determine the fate of others or who would possess keen political perspectives. Nonetheless, because they bring in grant money institutions bestow upon them the earned abilities required to teach, mentor, supervise and lead. Also, since it does not demand superior qualities, it is well within professors capabilities to be both scientists and Donald Gekko like CEOís. Thus, the corporate pressure is passed along and they use/misuse the resources at hand to accomplish their goals.
    If institutions want to act like corporations they should be treated like them with respect to the government subsidies they receive and the tax free status of some or all of their holdings. Please donít argue for the corporations. Whatís good for the corporations of whom I speak is not good for Americans. Itís good for the few individuals at the top of the corporate pyramid. Has anyone been watching the news lately? Donít tell me about how the stock market is an avenue for the common man to invest in the corporations. I have always viewed it as a shell game. How has your stock market investments worked for you lately? Also, the nature of corporations must be reconstructed. In accord with the history of the stock market, corporations need to cease being cloaked abuse boxes and need to first and foremost serve the stockholders. For the sake of all involved, they must be reduced to businesses that can be viewed as honest or corrupt. Responsibility for their actions must be ascribed to living breathing human beings. It needs to be absolutely clear who owns what or what part of what and which country do those persons declare their citizenship. It needs to be established that multinational is only a term to define a businessís financial associations not an entity outside the oversight of any one country. American antimonopoly laws must be applied to multinational conglomerates. Corporations are not competing anymore as their methods of forming has changed to circumvent the laws. If not directly then by consolidation and common interest they are cooperating. Finally, persons achieving corporate favors and influence through political means should be punished severely with the severity increasing with the height of governmental position.
    Americans must take back control of the way the business of their lives is conducted. Men must be free to dream, achieve and succeed with the provision of well earned opportunities. Let there be no doubt that corporate/institutional theft of opportunity is a despicable crime. How does being robbed of the efforts of a lifetime compare to the many pathetic offences that can bring hell down upon you in our society? Americans hold freedom preeminent to all else and this freedom is the vehicle for independent merit based success. We must not only live in a country that gives us the freedom to chase our dreams but also in one that bans those who would prevent us from grabbing them. How far off course have we been led when we allow corporations/institutions control over this. It is to allow them to control menís spirits. As was the case in the depression we must once again fight unregulated industrial capitalism only this time itís an evil of multinational corporate/institutional/governmental pieces. The way to end it is to stop all patronage, realize the meritocracy, create true equal opportunity, elect worthy people. Stop electing rich men who seek more power and wealth. Stop electing poor men who use elected office as the means to their fortune no matter what fairy tales they tell about turned down alternate paths to wealth. The rich have their fellow moneyed supporters and the poor brainless popularists assemble support from single issue zealots whoever they are and whatever the issues. Also, stop validating any election where the voter turnout is ridiculously low. This is not because people are lazy or indifferent, itís because they are not inspired or so disconnected that they are voting no thank you. It would seem that ridding Washington of its corporate cancer would be an urgent goal and one not that difficult to achieve. However it blatantly goes on and dares you to stop it. I see no one jailed as McCain the present republican candidate (temporarily repentant now that his pockets are stuffed and he needs your vote) openly tells you Washington is full of me first and the country second types who are corrupt. Yet, I search for my next meal while they search for their next million dollar bribe. Each new crisis exposes different departments and reveals the same corruption. Not only are Americans compliant to their own theft, they are compliant to their own indoctrination by the corporate/institutional/governmental mob that international trade means there is a global community. This is a fantasy as we can barely generate the unity required to run small thriving economical communities and our cities are disgraceful, dangerous work pit stops. I donít know about you but Iím not a citizen of globalanium. Iím a citizen of the Unites States who is trying to keep it from being sold, controlled, abused and misused by rich and poor alike. We obviously need new leaders. To recognize and develop those with the right stuff we must also provide proper opportunities. These opportunities must place them in a place where opinions are measured and not neutralized and equalized for politically correct reasons as occurs in university institution classrooms.
    What has America become? There is nothing special about a country thatís an abuse free for all. Is the US a hotel, you stay if you pay? This country is not dancing with those who brought her to the dance. This makes her a whore and men donít fight for whores. First the corporate government abandoned Americans who worked in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. Now they are abandoning highly educated skilled workers. Do you think these efforts aligned with increased corporate/institutional profit goals are beneficial to America? How long can you watch corporate lobbyists mold legislation into any form they like? Can you deal with the corporate government spending hundreds of billions on foreign aid which aids no foreign population, on military projects hidden by outlandish secrecy, and on bailouts and favors for their partners in crime? Can you stand by as the gap between the rich and poor increases as even more poor are made from the middle class? I know itís hard to fight the powers that be. You have three choices,(1)believe a fairy tale told to you or that you tell yourself but be deficient,(2) be an accomplice, or (3) save your soul.
    This all impacts the population with regard to achieving medical cures and conducting basic research. A 2005 study in the journal Nature surveyed 3247 US researchers who were all publicly funded (by the National Institutes of Health). Out of the scientists questioned, 15.5% admitted to altering design, methodology or results of their studies due to pressure of an external funding source. In a contemporary study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a similar proportion of the 107 medical research institutions questioned were willing to allow pharmaceutical companies sponsoring research to alter manuscripts according to their interests before they were submitted for publication. If 15.5% are admitting to such behavior, what do you think the real number is? I would put it at 100% for at least one of the above mentioned offences. Thus, as profit maximization and grant attainment is the driver there is no one driving the science research ship. Yes there are departments dedicated to broad areas but it is a loose oversight. Even if I were to be less harsh it still could be said that grant pressure is circumventing attempts to drive the ship. Furthermore, biological research is done in a way more haphazard than most people expect and these factors even derail the traditional train.
    The average person thinks the task of finding cures and basic science research is like orchestrating a moon shot. If it were it would never have happened but in modern times and with real progress in terms of finding cures for illness disappointing is this idea completely unthinkable. Iím not saying to stop continuing to do research in the traditional style or to stop pursuing worthy tangents but an argument could be made for more directed and team oriented approaches. It would be more accepted by scientists if credit for the work is properly ascribed and if they would be given time for independent projects. For example the human genome project could be looked at as an example of a successful directed task/team project.
    Have you ever wondered why initial exciting research headlines are heard once and never again? Well itís because the initial discovery with respect to reality is exaggerated in the media and in a more restrained but effective way in the science publications. If I know you will read something grand into what I have presented why stop you right? The real distance and problems between the discovery and meaningful integration are not really pointed out. Why detract from the sex appeal that will sell the grant? Most discoveries do not generate headlines. They are usually significant but not earth shattering. They are usually not even novel. Once a discovery is made the investigator is able to milk this discovery for grant money (sometimes for the better part of their career) and the institution suckles this milk. What follows is a nuts and bolts affair (filling in the blanks) with the real courage in the remaining tasks residing in the sweat bench work required to extract needles from haystacks. With the PI now the dedicated thinker, reader and grant writer (personnel minimization), this is done by post-docs, similarly underpaid non-unionized non- professionalized technicians and very dependent grad students (salary minimization). Of course this is good and needed work but there is a ready pool of scientists biting at the bit to achieve their own breakthroughs. It really would not take more than a little give on the side of the institutions to make this happen but corporations are only about money. Cures come from breakthroughs upon breakthroughs. What we donít need is Professors merging their own self interest with at best a misguided desire to play world human rights Santa with my opportunity, with taxpayerís money and desires, with bread pulled from others mouths. Donít worry about losing these illustrious beings if you donít allow them their way. Firstly they are not going to pick up their marbles and go home. Secondly, there are really few Einsteinís out there. In fact, there are relatively few in each field that progress that area. The vast majority of workers are so concerned with quickly publishing their findings (if they have any) because they fear being scooped by others doing in effect the same work.
    For potential PhDs the first encounter with professors comes if they qualify for a grad school interview. If it is an Ivy League school this is when you and your children are likely denied acceptance. This is done to accept a foreign student who has played math versus baseball since he was six and thus has a higher math score on the entrance board exam. Although the biology program (in this example) does not require an extreme ability in math the professor can get a grant for his lab awarded based on the board scores and the institution can use the number to keep up its rating. Does it have anything to do with who will be a great, good or even just as good a scientist? No. Does it have anything to do with being what they must teach in every university classroom, fair? No. Does it have anything to do with the hopes and dreams of the people of the city and state it has made its home in for hundreds of years or the country that makes it existence possible, No. Will the public be duped by the proposition that Americans are not as smart as these imports, I guess so. This is an over qualification scam like medical schools employ to keep numbers down and salaries high (even as here competing types of institutions are thwarting this ploy with foreign MDís).
    If the potential PhD students persevere and in many cases
    can absorb some wasted years they may eventually gain acceptance to their second or third choice school. The PhD student next encounters a difficult situation with professors when they come under the absolute control of a research advisor professor. This is when the class work has been completed and the research component to their work is done which produces a thesis of independent research. To find a research advisor they must find one who will want them based on their hard work in their lab as they simultaneously excel in their class work. This advisor now pays for their existence and if any problems emerge the grad student if possible must find another lab and start over thereby losing years of work. It is the most a person can be controlled by another in any employment /education/life situation. George Walker, vice president for research and graduate dean at Florida International University, has said “Only the American bedroom has more privacy associated with it than the relationship between the faculty member and the Ph.D. student,” and “That’s not good.”
    In any case, after a person has jumped through all these hoops something good should come from it. Many of our parents correctly ascribed their struggle and dissatisfaction with life to a corporate/governmental/educational system that failed them. They took comfort however in the fact that they would work hard to see their children had proper opportunities. Thus, when you were young you were told, stay in school, all thatís needed is for you to believe in yourself and you will go far, you will be in a good position. Do you tell your children this? Even beyond our parents efforts, that this is so is part of Americaís cultural fabric. Without this what are we? Why be here? The logic of the situation however is that if you are in a good position someone else will be put out. Since all research scientists need employers, that will be the institution. Actually, by the time you are told to do something that puts you in a good position itís usually too late. By then those put out (in the institution), assuming there is no law to establish fair behavior, will have remedied the situation in their favor and you will be royally stewed no matter what your worth. This then is the point. Only by unfair despicable behavior can this essential promise and path to the American dream be snatched from us. In America let it remain possible that though hard work in any endeavor, you or me or your children can be in a good position.
    1.- Monastersky,R. 2007. The Real Science Crisis: Bleak Prospects for Young Researchers. The chronicle of higher Education. Sept.21.
    Also see Gerald Bracey
    2.- Friess, S. 2008 The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Aug 8.
    Send feedback to Dr.W at

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