What Veritas? On Why America’s Best Universities Must Be Nationalized

By Chandrashekar (Chandra) Tamirisa, (On Twitter) @c_tamirisa

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In the future, only if you attend America’s all-government educational institutions you will be eligible to serve in government and run for any public office.

The best in the United States military, after high school, are trained by the military academies: West Point in the State of New York, Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

We, the tax payers, pay for educating our citizens with an aptitude for voluntary military service to rise to the highest levels in the military for safeguarding the interests of the United States in a non-partisan and professional manner, untouched in the armed services by politics but under the command of civilian policymakers and elected officials or politicians. More academy graduates are elevated to generals than non-academy enlistees (Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was an exception having enlisted in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps – ROTC at the City College of New York – and later in the US Army).

The military model of education appears to be also better suited for our policymakers-and-politicians-in-training.

Shanghai Ranking Consultancy of China provides annual rankings of the top educational institutions in the world. 8 out of the top 10 are American in overall rankings and 2 are British.

Of the 8 American universities only 1, University of California at Berkeley, is a public university. The remaining 7 are all privately funded by their students, alumni and endowments.

One look at the roster of government bureaucrats (examples: Federal Reserve Economists, Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency), judges and presidents of the United States, Americans and non-Americans working in international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank Group, reads like an ‘alumni who’s who’ of the 7 private American universities in the top 10 (I have a graduate degree in Applied Economics from The Johns Hopkins University in Maryland which is ranked somewhere between 10 and 40 for economics and other allied social sciences by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy).

The revolving door between the US federal government and the global DOW 30 private sector corporate interests circulates the graduates of these universities between the public and private sectors, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company being two salient examples.

Only the 535 members of the United States Congress more evenly represent America in terms of their education credentials because they are elected from every one of the 50 states and are local to their states. Most members of Congress revolve out of the Congress to serve as partners in K-Street lobbying firms in Washington (I am not on K-Street) as, for example, Tom Daschle of South Dakota had done lobbying for health care reform after he lost his re-election for the United States Senate to John Thune.

Any public finance student will immediately understand that in the contest between interest groups only about 250,000 Americans, mostly white Christian and Jewish men and women alumni of these 7 universities, stand to gain from the work of every generation of Americans in approximately each 18-year period: the power and wealth of the United States, and increasingly of the world, is concentrated in every year’s graduating class of about 2000 students from each of these universities whose selection process is not entirely transparent and tends to be inter-generationally biased (example, Barack Obama Sr earned a PhD in Economics from Harvard before he returned to Kenya because of American racism). World Economic Forum at Davos, for example, completely relies on recruiting to the world’s top corporations from the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s top 10 universities.

It is problematic in a country, where the rule of law of equal opportunity prevails over the whims of men, for 7 private US universities funded entirely by private interests to dominate the global political and economic structure. This group think is, in fact, the cause of America’s current predicament.

American people will be better off if the Ivy League, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), California Institute of Technology (CalTech), University of Chicago, and Stanford University are all nationalized rather than be arbitrarily allowed to exercise the private academic and alumni privileges of their small group, inter-generationally, through the revolving door in government and finance.

We should let the tax payers, us, own, not only the military academies, but also our best universities if they are to serve all of our interests better.

Better yet, our government might as well recruit from our public universities, all educational expenditures fully paid for in exchange for mandatory 20 years of salaried and pensionable public service as in the US military. One public university in every state, as it used to be, means 50 no fee, tax payer paid all-government educational institutions for post-secondary school education but only to prepare graduates for direct recruitment into public service – executive branch bureaucracies, judiciary (including judges and Supreme Court justices) and policy and politics (elected officials, their staffs and political appointees) combined. We will then no longer need either a John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard or a Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton unless they want to be nationalized.

In the list of the top public universities shown below, for example, 5 are military and 10 are civilian.

 (Source: Forbes Magazine, August 05, 2009)


About Chandrashekar (Chandra) Tamirisa

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