Is Edcuation Level A Demarcator Of Class?

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Aristotleded24
Is Edcuation Level A Demarcator Of Class?

I started thinking about this after listening to this interview by Michael Lind, author of How The Professional Managerial Class Ruined Everything. In the interview he essentially argues that  what he calls the Professional Managerial Class is partly responsible for the economic stagnation of the working class. I think he is on to something here, particularly with educational level. Read any MSM news story about the minimum wage, and you will see comments that people on minimum wage should just get an education so they can better themselves. He also mentions that communities in the US and Eurpoe who are embracing right-wing populism once voted for social democrats. Of course, the more educated among us will say that these people are voting against their class interests. Are they really? Has anyone meaningfully attempted to cater to their class interests in the last few decades? This is where the issue of lower cost education comes in, which is one of the only things the left is offering this group. Take someone working in a low-wage job. Lower-cost education might help this person in a few years get a better job, but how does it help this person right now?

I agree with most of what was said in this e-mail. We need to stop this useless focus on trying to "educate" everyone, and instead advocate for meeting the needs of the working and lower classes as a whole, in the economic situation they are in.

Aristotleded24

The botched response to the coronavirus pandemic is to me a perfect example of why the unelected professional class should never have this much control over this many aspects of our lives for this amount of time ever again. We like to think of professionals as dispensing objective advice, however they come at things from a parcitular vantage point. Most of these professionals have a decent income, and as Fareed Zakaria pointed out, can weather social distancing better than the working class. I've already explained how people on the lower end of the income distribution are not only more vulnerable to covid, but also the negative impacts of social distancing. The dictates of the professional class come across as micromanaging so much of the choices people in their lives make, but they have little control over the big picture. Let's take the issue of nutritious food, for example. Junk food is generally cheaper than good food. The professionals might argue that we need to have a junk food tax to discourage unhealthy eating and offset health care costs. That's fine for them, because they can afford good food anyways. If you have lower income and are struggling to make ends meet between rent and utilities, you can easily fill yourself up with fast food for under $10 a meal. So add the tax and the cost of the meal just went up. Are there any calls from the professionals to look at the agri-business models that encourage and subsidize the production of unhealthy foods? Or even take the mandate to do social distancing. Easy for the professionals to say. Their income is not affected, and they can afford the computers and internet connections that allow them to connect remotely with people. What of the working class people who can't afford computers, who might not even have the internet at home, and can't even go to a library or other public place to use it because the public places have been shut down? Or my favourite, "stay at home." Easy if you're a professional and you have your own house. The "essential workers" in Amazon warehouses and meatpacking plants are working in conditions that spread infectious diseases, and their bosses won't deal with that because that costs money. So again, being on the lower end of the income scale, you have little control over the big picture aspects of your life that impact your health, but you're being told to stand at a certain spot when you shop for groceries to stop coronavirus. And by the way, guess who else lives with these low-wage workers? Often, it's their parents, who due to age are more vulnerable to coronavirus, the very people social distancing is to protect. Let's also remember that journalists are also part of this class, and thus the slant of the media will generally reflect this viewpoint, and not the viewpoint of the working class.

This is not the only aspect where professionals fail the working classes they claim to serve. Professionals often come from middle-class backgrounds, and often those attitudes and values colour their work. During the Tina Fontaine murder trial in Winnipeg, we often heard from young, Aboriginal women that when they turned to social services for help that often they felt judged and looked down upon. Professionals often have a great deal of technical knowledge in their field, which often makes it hard to scrutinize or challenge their advice. We also have to realize that they might not always see the bigger picture, and must take that into account with their advice.

As to the pandemic, I truly believe that "We The People" have been sidelined not only in the initial response, but in the reopening of things as well. Why are things going the way they are? Why is it okay for people to attend protests against police brutality, but churches have limits on how many can attend, even for outdoor services? Why did the City of Winnipeg open spray pads, but kept washrooms closed? Why are we all of a sudden cleaning down every surface we can, whereas before such behaviour would have been flagged as obsessive compulsive disorder? We need to make sure that next time something like this happens, that we have a seat at the table and meaningful influence over how responses to these kinds of situations are handled.