The Arizona Desert Lamp

Now with 100 percent more slavery!

Posted in Media, Random by Connor Mendenhall on 6 February 2009

I don’t often comment on the content of the Wildcat opinions page out of professional courtesy, but I’ll make an exception for a quick dip into the frothing crazy-brew of today’s Mailbag, in which English grad student Greg Grewell explains that he’s been cheated by the upcoming mandatory furloughs meant to ease this year’s budget cuts.

So who’s doing the cheating? State legislators like Russel Pearce and John Kavanagh, who proposed a budget with deep cuts to university funding? Arizona governors like Janet Napolitano, who kept spending as the budget deficit ballooned beyond a billion dollars, or Jan Brewer, who signed off on this year’s austere offering? University president Robert Shelton, who’s moaned about cuts without putting much effort into patching the gap with private funds?

No, stupid. It’s the entire system of market capitalism. From the last paragraph of the letter:

The system of capitalism doesn’t care how one profits – whether it be by enslaving human beings as was done in centuries past, by selling salmonella-laced peanut butter, or by cheating. And cheating can take many forms: from cheating the people’s government of tax dollars to cheating workers out of retirement investments to cheating under-paid teachers with mandated furloughs.

Greg Grewell
English graduate student/doctoral candidate

A challenge, then, to Greg: You start an all-slave salmonella-laced peanut butter firm, I’ll start up one that just, you know, mashes up peanuts, and we’ll see who the market rewards. This will officially settle who’s to blame for your mandatory vacation.

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One Response

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  1. greg grewell said, on 30 June 2009 at 11:20 am

    Hey, Connor. That’s cute cut and slicing a bit out of that letter, then twisting the context. For one, I’m a grad student, thus not affected by any furlough. Furloughs apply to employees–i.e., faculty and staff. (Nonetheless, I was due a course release for having passed comprehensive exams but was told that the custom was withdrawn due to budget concerns.) Second, my letter isn’t about just Arizona’s problems but rather the larger systemic problems that, sure enough, do trickle down to as well as exist in this state. And the cheating reference is not to those you mention but to the relation between the students who are most known to cheat and have admitted it–business students–and the the sort of “cheating” that goes on in big business—where business students go to profit. See the first line of mine you quoted above. That’s the context. Lastly, the challenge. No thank you. I do my best not to participate in and thus be complicit with those sorts of operations or, whenever of however I can help it, exploitive systems. Have a swell day blogging off.


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