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Will Teach for Food


Will Teach for Food

Gary Olson

I recently asked my class on “U.S. Workers in the Global Economy,” what they knew about adjunct professors. One student hesitantly responded, “Aren’t they lawyers, judges, and other professionals who teach a course on the side because they like the experience?”

This is a common misconception shared by the general public. I explained to the students that while non-tenure track professors, known as adjuncts, are among the most talented and effective college and university teachers on any campus and cover a full load of courses (or more) many rely on public assistance to get by.


“The plight of adjuncts who now make up 76.4 percent of all college faculty and teach a majority of all courses is the shameful, dirty little secret of higher education. It’s not hyperbole to name this system for what it is: labor exploitation.”

Add that to the pubic subsidizing these individuals WHILE college tuition and related costs rise astronomically, and the set-up is more proof positive of the disaster that disaster capitalism and its Shock Doctrine are.


When you consider the multi-billion dollar text book and testing industry, which has just enjoyed a huge upsurge in profits thanks to No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top programs brought to us by the Republican and Democratic Parties, it is beyond incomprehensible we can’t pay a living wage to the people who are most definitely educating tomorrow’s leaders.

In fact when you consider all the multi-billion dollar industries in this country, it’s incomprehensible that everyone is not earning a living wage. It’s time that some of the resources we own collectively as a nation are redistributed back to the people who actually get their hands dirty working, rather than to those making stock trades.


I hope to see a lot more high-profile discussion of Dr. Olson’s point that taxpayer payments of welfare and other assistance to folks who are actually working is a very transparent subsidy to low-wage employers.