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COVID-19 Reveals Viral Discrimination, Higher Ed Should Pay Attention

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/23/covid-19-reveals-viral-discrimination-higher-ed-should-pay-attention

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Just like with healthcare and with any kind of safety measure that is only available to some, there is an urgent need to prevent the inequal access to education, and the dumbing down of the (American especially) mind by design, by disinvestment in publlic higher education thats being forced on countries under the guise of trade liberalization/trade in services. (Led by the US and other rich countries) They are trying to force people who think independently out of education by globalizing it. The only way we fix all these problems is by leaving or modifying the trade instruments that are at the root of all this disinvestment in human needs. The concept of a “public good” is alien to the deals to privatize everything, which reduce everything to money. Its a totally corporate future thay are pushing us into, with private education. What happens when the jobs and eventually, endowments dry up? Only the rich will be able to pursue an education because there wont be jobs to justify public investments in it. Once they reduce everything to dollars and cents, the loss of good jobs will mean the loss of public education. The logic goes why educate if it doesnt lead to decent wage employment. So the calculated values of human life will plummet because they estimate that based on income… So everything, especially education and the environmental regulation will be recalibrated gradually going from a decent home to - we dont know but unless we get some change soon we’re going to be stuck because its a one way street, deregulation, and disinvestment/privatization because of these backroom deals. We have no idea, and nobody is telling us this. The media certainly isn’t.

In other words, the people we elect no longer have the ability to change what we think they can change unless they remove us from these deals. The EUA (eua.eu, formerly eua.be) has written quite eloquently about this, over the past 25 years or so, their statements are worth reading (you may have to hunt for them because the web page they are on now is broken, please email them)

They reach into every aspect of society and basically put everything on autopilot. Most people cant yet wrap their heads around just how much has been changed and is being changed.

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Interesting observation. I agree that we are seeing the consequences of policies that have misidentified some of the issues we face with a corporate model. Trade policies being one variable. As you say healthcare policies are the most obvious with potentially worse unintended consequences for people. What I don’t get is how susceptible people are to propaganda on this. Dumbing down has been going on for a long time and went into over-drive in the last 30 years.

Education will be privatized to fit the corporate model and healthcare will be governed by artificial intelligence based on probability. Big Mistake.

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Yes, exactly, and there will be zero accountability, everything being decided literally by a binary blob that humans wont be able to decipher easily.

Healthcare - hospital beds and procedures will likely be auctioned like subprime mortgages or hotel rooms/airline seats, internationally. Rates determined by all sorts of intrusive data mining of everything people do to determine the all important variables, not just how much exercise you get or where you go (whetherits healthy or toxic) also quite possibly, drectly or indirectly, it will more and more devolve down to economics, to determine if ones lfe is worth saving, which will likely be in part based at least in part on how much you SPEND. (and not just on health insurance/copays/deductibles) Even inn an emergency where the government got a temporay ability to pay peoples bills, they still are obsessed with minimizing the number to whom that could apply by denying people proof of infection - the ticket to healthcare for the uninsured.

Health insurance is a financial service… For financial services, the situation is quite bad, (this includes health care) We’re stuck with the regulatory ceiling supposed to be what we had in Feb 1998, (Google “Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services”) a fact which virtually nobody in the US realizes. (except perhaps the people at Public Citizen who once in a very very great while remind us of it, but not enough.) The ACA which violated that ceiling, appears to me to have been a temporary emergency “protectionist” measure. (See the statement of G20 at Huangzhou in I think 2016) re “Protectionism” which we’re supposed to get rid of now that that emergency is “over” and its unclear to me whether another emergency (COVID-19) could reuse the same measure to extend it for another ten years. (does anybody know?) But if it cant we can expect healthcare and any other area (higher education is one) to get the same kind of treatment as IT, large scale outsourcing of jobs via global staffing firms, loss of literally millions of jobs in teaching, nursing, engineering (public works, etc) and basically most of the decent jobs left in the country. Soon.

The shift to privatization will also mean who is doing the jobs will shift to the employees of overseas firms that go to great lengths to hire workers through guest worker programs, and not “locals” as they put it. Because of cost, although in theory minimum wages apply to their workers (as of a few years ago), it isnt just that few Americans with advanced degrees want those $9/hr jobs. Those workers wont have any independence as one mistake (which could be as simple a thing as giving a patient care their insurance metal level didnt entitle them to, or allowing some intellectual independence in a classroom, ) could ruin a subcontractors life, because their presence in this country depends on that job and that job alone) Similarly for Americans who will likely increasingly depend on exempt jobs (requiring a security clearance) They also will be on a very short leash because security clearances and independent thinking dont mix… The result will be a totally corporate state or membership in a precariat who not only are not getting by, will have to survive in a nation without jobs, without any safety net (its forbidden re-establishing safety nets that have been liberalized already, again, leaving an ever tightening noose choking off all ‘public goods’ that started tightening decades ago) Its likely to me that this will profoundly destroy all breathing spaces for any kind of communities that make life livable here and in all other countries that buy into this kind of ‘agreement’ that nobody would ever have agreed with or voted for.

Also, in order to create the exempt jobs, the level of fear and paranoia - and the amount of surveillance/phoning home hardware in every possible thing, in many cases powered from RF so even embedded in clothing, shoes, plumbing (to monitor for epidemics, of course) HVAC and ducting, non-electronic objects, requiring armies of service people, think “Brazil” by Terry Gillam (film) will have to ramp up. because there will be a lot of hungry mouths to feed. Something similar happened during the Depression with Prohibition. For the rest of us, there will be prison labor, slavery. And a hospital to prison pipeline , something like Centrelink in Australia, (also called Robodebt) but with debtors prison for the poor sick, triggered because of rescissions or ‘material misrepresentations’ on the forms determining eligibility for health insurance (mostplans will be indivdual plans because most jobs will be self employment, most corporate jobs being done by subbcontractors - global temps) But we’ll be back to the way things were in 1998, as far as regulation, that means rescission and medical underwriting returns to the way it was then. People who accicentally misrepresent health status (pre-existing conditions left out) or have unreported income - using it to get health benefits they are not entitled to receive- then will have it clawed back. In the case of hospital bills, that will trigger a massive rebilling back to the inception of the now cancelled policy at the uninsured rate. This wil mean that instantly a patient has an debt unpayable in their lifetime. They may also become a felon. So, prison. The numbers could be staggering.

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The Corona Virus is a most telling variable here. Most obvious in accreditation of a system that has become unaccountable on various levels. (something like the mortality level) I think this is where the most obvious flaws are, accreditation and regulation. I do see some need for change and some small benefit but it doesn’t begin to make up for the harm some of these policies impose and so often recorded as history. Even now the use of historical trauma for reasoning as base line on a daily basis. (perseveration in the darkest part of our natures is not therapeutic) I could be wrong but for me it is a sign of hopelessness.

Most of these examples accurately acknowledge the perceptual changes of community and family first by alienation and then by re-ordered thinking. Where conformity to a group is mandatory and group thinking preferred. There are more but you have touched on and expanded this as a global issue. It is much bigger than I imagined.

I’m not sure if I understand what kind of accreditization youre referring to? But I think maybe this might be helpful. A huge key issue is self esteem. We need self exteem to be preserved in these - and all communities (because all Americans will soon be in a similar boat as those already frozen out, we just dont see it yet) For this reason, its important to continue all of these kinds of educational activities. And not succumb to the money is everything agenda thats being used to destroy any learning that doesnt inure people to what is becoming a trap.
Science and math are essential, and nobody can understand that until they realize how badly non scientific professions are likely to be impacted by automation…

So people need math more than anything because it will be valuable for a lifetime, and probably the best predictor of high wages is proficiency in math.

But even a good or very good education in math and science may not be enough for young Americans simply because the business community is being urged to offshore jobs - and the public sector is being forced to!

Additionally, whatever degrees young people earn’s value will be much diluted by the enlarging of the labor pool by a factor of at least an order of magnitude, eventually.

FTAs require cross-recognition of professional qualifications to the degree that licensing requirements are not a barrier to employment. What that means is that all roughly equivalent degrees must be deemed equivalent as regards employment eventually. In order to bring that about, professions are supposed to develop what they call “disciplines” - The various professional organizations have been tasked with doing this but its by and large only actually been completed in the accountancy field (accounting) See Patricia J. Arnold, Disciplining Domestic Regulation : The World Trade Organization and the Market for Professional Services, 30 ACC., ORG. & SOC. (2005). Lack of completion of these “disciplines” may have implications for jobs in that we may fall back to the earlier Uruguay Round commitments. (I think that is India’s argument) Others ay that all committments are pending completion of what they call a “single undertaking” That is the US position. Or are you talking about things like compensation for historically underrepresented groups? That is a controversial area because these changes also are framed as compansation of a sort for a different group who also claim entitlement as historically underrepresented groups the oligarchies of developing nations. The previous conflicts and debts are now it seems deemed to have been solved, (debts to ethnic groups, women etc) and so all attempts to continue to solve them seem to have been subsumed by these new obligations. This is a potential area of great controversy. You can get a feel for this huge gulf’s width by reading an article “The Limited Case for Permitting SME Procurement Preferences in the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement” I dont have the author or a link handy but Google Scholar should find it. maybe its on SSRN too.

“Most of these examples accurately acknowledge the perceptual changes of community and family first by alienation and then by re-ordered thinking. Where conformity to a group is mandatory and group thinking preferred. There are more but you have touched on and expanded this as a global issue. It is much bigger than I imagined.”

Indeed, the ability to have an identity is the key to having rights. I think Arendt touched on this in her Origins of Totalitarianism, the chapter on the decline of the nation state, and her treatment of it is very good. I think the state of statelessness is a very real danger as the shift to a corporate model will leave billions of people out because the corporate model citizenship (cashless society, etc) will require a positive balance (credit will end for entire groups of people whose economic futures will be deemed hopeless even if they have always paid bills on time. This will leave large numbers of people in a deep state of limbo, rootles and unable to call any place home or have address or possibly even vote (where would they vote?) So its a huge voter disenfranchisement project that hopes to greatly reduce the numbers of potential voters, for many people survival will require divesting themselves of rights - (in order to get a job) Many young people have already figured this out and are working in foreign countries but agains their rights revolve around their employment and it can end at any time- This neutralizes the society of the democracy, leaving only the economic world, nations reduced to being bundlers of the rights to exploit markets, packagers of the rights for corporations, ) A great many people may be permanently rendered poor, through no fault of their own (sudden decline in the value of all labor they might be seen to be able to do) and getting out of this kid of labeling will require wealth that is not dependent on easily devalued or already devalued labor and skills. Its going to be like “Old Europe” again, where significant assets which will only come from substantial incomes - incomes that wont be available to most Americans via labor any more will become the only means in most cases one will have the assets to pursue advanced study, eing a so called “expert” (despite the fact that many so called experts “breath” of knowledge is disturbingly narrow, their own discipline alone) But perhaps in order to supporess the insigts of a new kind of scholar whose words might be a bit to true for those in charge to want to hear, these developments clearly go to great lengths to disempower all but a very few as far as having a voice- They seek to only instantiate people as members of the group of those who have the right to speak and be listened to, who have sufficient means to navigate the “costly screens” put in their ways. We’ll go from a country and a world that put high value on practical skills, ad honest labor to one seeking to devalue those skills as much as is even remotely possible, shooting ourselves in the foot when something new and challenging comes along, becuse we will have bred the ability to think out of people.

Its tragically wrong that they are trying so hard to devalueall of our labor to the lowest common denominator instead of pull the wages of the best in developing countries up. But that thretenns their leaderships who basically want everything to remain the same, here too. Look at what happened when we had a candidate who challenged the status quo.

So at best wages nationwide will take a nose dive and largenumbers will lose jobs once these changes become final. Disinvestment in education is a symptom of the greater problem which is a desire to disengage from the people to whom one could and should be said to have a debt. To make them vanish in some way. Those stealing the planet clearly do have a moral debt to those they are stealing it from. One that they go to great lengths to deny but they cant nullify t by their usual tricks. They have no satisfactory answer nor do they want any responsibility to compensate any of us so they created a new, fake debt that cancels their real debt out, by means of this artificial and arguably illegitimate construct, the “trade agreements” which a substantial body of literature points out the ‘democracy deficit’ or ‘democratic deficit’ . As we still acknowledge that government is “of by and for” the people (although we have goven corprations personhood, the ‘demos’ is not limited to them only at the nation state level, yet, however it is at the higher global economic governance level) lacks legitimacy, however none of it makes the obvious suggestiions of what needs to happen to gain it, peple have to actually buy in to it. Instead they are trying to multilateralize it among other oligarchs somehow their mutual assent to steal the world from its people makes up for OUR lack of knowledge or consent. (and the change is supposed to be ‘forever’ it cant be voted away in four years! Otherwise what would be the point of all this effort on their parts to take over?

Obviously it doesnt, (last forever, as maybe an asteroid hits the earth and extinguishes all life or similar, but as long as the natins and money remain even total changes of governent dont discharge these obligations, they made sure of that… See what happened to South Africa and their NHI - national health insurance, voted for a decade ago, they still donthave any)So, once a country is trapped in they really couldn’t care less for our consent were it not for appearances sake. (See the anemic “debate” on Youtube on “EU’s Multilateral Investment Court and its alternatives” <video name )

So this is how literally one hundreth of one percent of the world steal it from the remaining 99.99 %!

I have a web site policy space dot xyz where I have a lot on this lack of democratic legitimacy, see the keyword index on the left. You can see how this all was created and read the papers - all lacking the missing element, voters - informed consent - lacking any attempt to actually inform anybody, voting, nomatter whom it is for, is likely to have VERY unexpected consequences these days.

People, you must inform yourselves, please dont expect others, least of all politicians to do it for you. Also NGOs, (i.e. "civil society’ ) dependent as they are on corporate cash, (They admit that, even!) are increasingly captured also and sometimes nearly useless on the issues they claim to address for this reason, or close to it, pr perhaps even worse. (They dont wnt to solve said issue because they depend on it remaining unsolved for their jobs) That certainly applies now in a number of areas where politics are captured and voters perpetualy unable to get anything fixed, despite having been promised it again and again so many times they lost count. Politicians now lie by habit on issues like this. Even the good ones make huge lies of omission. We have to go to the root causes which have been placed elsewhere, in the case of healthcare and education, in Geneva, in no small part. Education International (EI) has written a lot on this, as has the PSI public services union, also based in Europe. Also you look on my site under EUA you’ll find some of their statements. they represent the accrediting organizationn for thousands of universities in Europe, so thats a good citation that shows that this problem is real. Here in the US people will basically find nothing about it, because we are the country (along with some of the richer Western European nations, and some other nations determined to get the payback from countries like the US who they think owe them) we’re all where much of this problem originates. Its been this way since the 1980s - without let up. Basically this problem was created by an alliance of oligarchs who want to pull all the ladders to success up…

I look at accreditation as definition of what you are going to consider as important, monitor, and regulate. It is essentially what defines the rules. I was thinking in terms of healthcare programs (because I have familiarity over a significant period of time for comparison) How the rule book expanded and got larger and the regulation contracted and got smaller. Then using the same tools became self-regulatory with some pretty harmful consequences. It is part of the reason why we spend more money than anyone else on healthcare, have chronic illness, contaminated hospitals that actually create disease and then spread it communities, and other unintended consequences. Additionally, a disconnected population that can’t discriminate the difference or have learned to consider this normal. Similar to the college scandals where top colleges were equated with decision making power and well being became corrupted by wealthy people buying their kids entrance over actually qualified applicants. This is part of the same result. All the attention given to entrance examination that is disregarded by simple yet vital regulation.

I agree there are exceptions to these rules and should be, as societies do need to change and evolve. I have a different perspective but there is agreement on those touch stones that we use to measure change on various levels.

I have to say I think globalization is really a poor social organizational tool or we are just very bad at it.

Basically this problem was created by an alliance of oligarchs who want to pull all the ladders to success up…

Nobody asks the question "succeed " at what.

The solutions are spiritual in nature, what you write about is some kind dystopian, dysfunctional future.
If we go there it’s the end game.