Budget Cuts at University of Florida Affect Language Programs

Ronald Kephart rkephart at unf.edu
Thu May 15 17:08:56 UTC 2008

On 5/15/08 11:37 AM, "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com> wrote:

> Budget Cuts at University of Florida Affect Language Programs
> The University of Florida has recently taken $47 million in cuts.
> An article on this is in the Chronicle, at:
> http://chronicle.com/news/article/4435/u-of-florida-plans-layoffs-and-enrollme
> nt-cuts-as-state-funds-fall

The classic definition of a banana republic is a state that depends
economically on tourism and exporting tropical fruit and that's governed by
a greedy, self-serving class. Substitute oranges for the bananas and you
have Florida, whose leaders are the intellectual heirs of people who sold
other people land by showing it to them at low tide and then disappearing
with the down payment.

This current "crisis" is largely a manufactured one, along the lines of
Grover Norquist's "starve the beast" strategy. The beast in Florida is
education, which the Dear Leaders hate (they and their corporate
co-conspirators love "training," though) and educators, especially the
university professoriate. Jeb Bush (known to some as "Jebba the Bush")
wanted to bring higher education and those of us who provide it under
stricter political control, so he broke up the State University System and
tried to destroy the state faculty union. He was only partially successful,
but now Governor Crist is following up by evoking Norquist's tactic, which
is to cut taxes drastically so that money is not available, and then say
"see, there's no money, we can't help it, that's just the way it is, we
don't really want to axe those programs, don't blame us!"

The tactic works because in Florida, as throughout the US, there are enough
pinheads willing to vote for anyone who says "I want to cut your taxes" to
keep this class of selfish and socially irresponsible people in control in
perpetuity. Probably the only way to break the cycle will be with better
education at all levels, but that will require.... higher taxes!

Which means that we're pretty much all doomed.


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