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Keith W
  • Keith W
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

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How is Political Bias effecting the integrity of our Universities?

Its my understanding that history and economics makes this fact clear; Free Markets work effectively and Controlled markets don't. I Am concerned with the overly Liberal and Anti-Capitalist views many of Americas schools and teachers endorse. If people where taught the truth and not the spin, i believe many University graduates would support the free market rather than oppose it. Instead our schools choose not to mention the millions who died in China after Mao Zedong "collectivized" agriculture, and the failure of every other historical attempt to "collectivize." Rather than having perspective many Scholars, teacher, and their students promote a collective ideology for our country. Any viewpoint is bad when its a viewpoint being fed to you and thinking is being suspended. IS THERE ANYONE ELSE WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SELLING OF PROGRESSIVE IDEOLOGY IN SCHOOLS, AND THE MONOPOLY THAT IDEOLOGY HAS ON OUR NATIONS "PROFESSIONALS?" WHAT CAN WE DO TO ENCOURAGE MORE BALANCE?

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  • Apr 21 2013: When you realize you can't think for yourself, because you were never taught to think for yourselves anywhere in any school system, you might start to realize just how much of a role that politics plays.
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    Apr 14 2013: On one hand higher education in the U.S. is one of the best in the world. Of course that is because of the sciences.

    Certainly not at the high school level

    On the other hand there is definitely a bias as you state. IMO the liberal mentality co opts individuals into the liberal culture tacitly through meme. Of course the kind of salary and benefits a professor makes has a lot to do with it as well.

    The tenure system has creates a situation of co opting as well because the person is impossible to be fired once tenured.

    Another thing that maintains the bias is the accreditation of the school which is over seen by an association that maintains the culture. There was a law school in Colorado that did not use professors but practicing lawyers as they were less expensive and graduated students who passed the bar at a higher rate than Ivy league schools and the school was much less expensive. The accreditation department got wind of this and made them hire real professors or lose their accreditation.

    A friend of mine was telling me of his adventures at the a state university, he being a conservative student and the liberal culture of the campus from the top down.

    Short answer to your question YOU BET it is becoming putrid.
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    Apr 13 2013: .
    'Free Markets work effectively and Controlled markets don't'

    No, it isn't any where near as clear-cut as that. Some people here on this section of TED choose to believe that, but the entirety of either one is ultimately damaging to everyone because there are a series of advantages and disadvantages to both. Neither of which is infallible, as this article displays:
    http://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/08/free-market-regulation.asp
    The end conclusion (that I happen to agree with) is that you can't go all-in with any one model.

    It isn't beneficial to society for the government to subsidize one company over the other
    and its certainly not beneficial to go to a company who wants to mass-pollute and give them a free pass to do as they please (for examples among 100's).
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    Apr 26 2013: Here is an article summarizing research from a 2007 study about the political leanings of professors.
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2007/10/10/moderate-professors-dominate-campuses-a-recent/

    The key finding is that popular beliefs about the political leanings of academics are not confirmed by this research. Specifically, the majority of professors were moderates rather than liberals. Conservatives were, as expected a minority.

    I could throw in an anecdote for myself, but this can be taken only as anecdote. At a famously liberal university, a big chunk of my professors in social science were what was then called Neoconservative. There was great emphasis in economics on the potential of market systems and market mechanisms.

    I would find it hard to believe economics departments and business schools, with business now being the most popular undergrad major, wouldn't continue to emphasize the strengths and potential of market systems.
  • Apr 15 2013: I didn't observe that in my undergraduate days, but I was a physics major and a graduate of Texas A&M.
    • Apr 23 2013: I am about to graduate with a physics degree and a government & politics degree. I've experienced starkly different cultures between the two subject, even at the same university. Personally, I've found that while physicists care about politics in their personal lives, it rarely seeps into the classroom beyond the stressing of importance of funding for the sciences. I would venture a guess this is true in most sciences. The professors I have encountered have been extremely passionate about continuing funding for education and research, but otherwise education and research are a much higher priority than politics while they are teaching. Perhaps the desire for more government funding is liberal, but personal politics vary greatly beyond that one point.

      I don't think it will come as any surprise that their is a lot more discussing about politics in my government and politics classes; however, I found those who I view as the best professors to be the ones who always play devil's advocate. To address Keith's concerns, I think it is extremely important to teach as many schools of thought as possible. If one does prove to be outdated, the history of the idea, it's major components, why it was proposed and why it is now rejected are all important things to understand so people can accurately assess future plans. I do not mean to say students should be told what ideas to follow; I mean to say students must understand the importance of critical thinking. I have found that my different majors have taught me two different ways of analyzing problems which I think is the point of an education. Personally, I believe an education should teach you what to think, but how to think.
      • Apr 24 2013: That's why I noted that I was a physics major, etc. I didn't see this problem as an undergraduate.
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    Apr 14 2013: Politically speaking the message of secular colleges and universities is standard: All political ideology other than progressive, liberal ideology is irrelevant foolishness.
  • Apr 14 2013: Frederick van Hayek tells us that the biggest problems in America are corporations and patent law. Are you saying that corporate socialism and crony capitalism are the free enterprise system? The father of American capitalism Alexander Hamilton created our old tariff system which might be a good idea now. When a society looks at the wrong variables because an elite has a specific agenda, maybe it's hard to see who is misleading who. Maybe there are more than two or twenty-two viewpoints and options.
    • Apr 15 2013: Im suggesting no ideology be taught, i want an objective learning system. How can we correct the problems of our world when we are getting fed only one angle?
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    Apr 13 2013: For those of us who were at university some time ago, it would be useful for you to share the evidence you have that a subject like, say, microeconomics, tends to be taught at university now with an anti-market or anti-capitalist bias.