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Earnings and outcomes – is a degree worth it?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 20/06/2017 - 2:22am in

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Our final UPP Foundation/Wonkhe Policy Forum of the year completed the student lifecycle journey with a fascinating panel debate on graduate outcomes and the ‘value’ of a degree, on June 14th at King’s College London Our excellent panel, chaired once again by UPP Foundation’s Richard Brabner, featured: Professor Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education at Cambridge... read more

The post Earnings and outcomes – is a degree worth it? appeared first on Wonkhe.

Team Wonkhe welcomes David Kernohan

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/06/2017 - 11:30pm in

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I am delighted to announce that from this morning, David Kernohan will be joining Team Wonkhe as Associate Editor. David has supported and written for Wonkhe since our inception, both as a featured author and supporting analysis behind the scenes. Many in the sector will already be aware of him as one of the sector’s... read more

The post Team Wonkhe welcomes David Kernohan appeared first on Wonkhe.

Introducing Wonkfest: our biggest event yet

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/06/2017 - 8:00pm in

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Today we are hugely excited to launch Wonkfest. More than twelve months in the making, Wonkfest is not just the biggest event we’ve ever produced, but the start of what we hope will become an annual tradition in the higher education sector: a policy jamboree – two solid days of serious policy debate, endlessly interesting... read more

The post Introducing Wonkfest: our biggest event yet appeared first on Wonkhe.

Wonkhe and HSBC launch new collaboration

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/06/2017 - 8:00pm in

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Wonkhe and HSBC are delighted to announce an exciting new collaboration. Mark Leach, Wonkhe’s founder and Editor in Chief, said: “We are thrilled to be working with HSBC. As the world’s leading international trade and business bank, their global reach and deep relationships with UK universities make the bank an ideal partner.” The collaboration centres... read more

The post Wonkhe and HSBC launch new collaboration appeared first on Wonkhe.

Wonkhe and KPMG announce a new collaboration

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 15/05/2017 - 2:02am in

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Wonkhe and KPMG are pleased to announce a new collaboration.

The post Wonkhe and KPMG announce a new collaboration appeared first on Wonkhe.

Article: ‘The retreat from neoliberalism that was not: Australia’s Building the Education Revolution’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 18/04/2017 - 6:39pm in

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This article examines the durability of neoliberalism in the face of crisis by analysing the Building the Education Revolution (BER), a key part of the Australian Labor Government’s stimulus measures in response to the global financial crisis in 2009. The fiscal stimulus measures enacted by governments in the aftermath of the crisis led many commentators to herald the end of neoliberalism. By examining the design of the BER, however, this article finds that one of the key policy tools of neoliberalism – the outsourcing of public sector capacity – was extended through such stimulus programs. The article argues that a materialist analysis of neoliberalism is better able to understand this phenomenon than the recent tendency to analyse neoliberalism in ideational terms.

http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/xgIreqCxRaUZNpJxSGQn/full

Does UK HE have a retention problem?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/04/2017 - 8:39pm in

In the second of a series of events hosted jointly by Wonkhe and UPP Foundation, an expert panel considered the knotty retention in higher education on 23 March at King’s College London. The panel, chaired by UPP Foundation’s Richard Brabner, was: Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive at Independent HE Ross Renton, Pro-Vice Chancellor Students at the... read more

The post Does UK HE have a retention problem? appeared first on Wonkhe.

When Did Hillary Lose the Election? In 1964.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/01/2017 - 5:16am in

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The half-century story of Democrats’ abdication and decline

By Steve Roth. Publisher, Evonomics

On January 1, 1964, John F. Kennedy posthumously initiated the half-century decline of the Democratic Party, beginning its descent into this moment’s dark and backward abysm of slime. His massive tax cuts for the rich, implemented in ’64 and ’65, were the turning point and beginning of Democrats’ five-decade abandonment of its longtime winning formula: full-throated, unabashed, progressive economic populism. It was the signal moment when Democrats began to abandon the working and middle class. The working and middle class, betrayed and feeling betrayed, have now returned the favor.

Unapologetic progressive economic populism — starting really with Teddy Roosevelt’s slash-and-burn trustbusting, and turned up full-throttle in his namesake’s New Deal — had given Democrats three decades of electoral success. FDR lost two states and eight electoral votes in 1936. He got 523 out of 531. Over four campaigns, he never got less that 432. Eisenhower got a couple of terms as a very moderate Republican, really a progressive, but Democrats’ dominance of Congress and state governments seemed eternal.

Because: that economic populism also delivered success for America. The New Deal, combined with the government deficit spending of World War II, resulted in the greatest burst of widespread growth, progress, prosperity, and individual economic freedom in American history — before or since.

James Carville was certainly right: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Democrats’ remaining progressivism under Johnson — civil-rights legislation, Medicare and Medicaid, and the wholesale movement of liberated women into the workforce — eventually pushed a hot middle-out economy into the demand-driven inflation of the 70s. That torrid growth brought government debt down from 120% of GDP in 1947, to 35% in 1980. (You know what happened after that.)

But even amidst that burst of growth and sustainable government finance, Democrats were abandoning the very source of their economic and electoral success. Kennedy’s top-tier tax cuts were a preemptive, voluntary abdication to trickle-down theory, before “trickle-down” even existed. When Reagan turned that dial to eleven, he was only occupying ideological ground that Democrats had ceded and abandoned to the enemy, long before. It was an epochal own-goal of historic proportions.

Democrats have been kicking the economic ball into their own net ever since. The obvious solution to the 70s inflation was to raise taxes, reducing government deficit spending, to drain off excess demand from a too-hot economy. Instead they acceded to the banker-industrial complex and the diktats of childish monetarism, again conceding the win to an economic belief system that is egregiously self-serving for the rich, and anathema to Democratic progressive economic populism.

That’s when the enthusiastic, progressive Democratic base stopped turning out in force. (Exception: Obama. For other reasons.) Progressive baby boomers have spent their whole lives voting against Republicans and their swingeing, destructive economic policies, not for inspiring Democrats. Think about the Democratic presidential candidates since 1964. McGovern was a true social progressive, but really a one-issue anti-war candidate. Bill Clinton did okay, within the confines of the post-Reagan economic belief system, which he never seriously challenged as FDR did. Obama didn’t either, in rhetoric or practice. His administration’s failure to prosecute a single prominent bankster is arguably the best single explanation for Hillary’s electoral meltdown.

Can you name one full-throated economic progressive Democratic candidate in the past half century? I’m not even asking for fire-eating. Here’s some help: Humphrey. Carter. Mondale. Dukakis. Gore. Kerry. (Are you still awake?) Aside from Obama, no Democratic candidates had the Democratic base flocking to the polls. (Compare: Republicans and their rabid Tea-Party base.) Add Hillary to that rather stultifying list.

Starting in the 60s, Democratic candidates stopped delivering an inspiring economic message. But the real failure was substantive. In their sellout to the enrich-the-rich supply-siders, Democrats abandoned the working and middle class, and the party’s winning legacy of widespread prosperity. The Democratic party elite bought into and helped promulgate an economic belief system (the “Washington Consensus”) in which distribution and concentration of wealth and income not only don’t matter, they can’t matter. The quite predicable results are upon us — decades of working-class wage stagnation, and wealth concentrations that are as high or higher than any period in modern world history.

It’s no wonder the Democratic base feels betrayed. They were betrayed.

Still: despite those decades of weak-kneed collaborationism, Democrats have obviously remained more economically progressive than Republicans. Clinton and Obama managed to raise taxes some, and Obama gave us Obamacare. And the economy has shown the results. Democratic presidents have delivered growth, progress, widespread prosperity, individual economic security, and true personal economic “freedom” that Republicans — the self-proclaimed “party of growth” — can only imagine in their fever dreams.

By almost any economic measure — GDP or income growth, job creation, stock-market runups, deficit reduction, people in poverty…choose your measure — Democrats’ economic performance has unfailingly beggared what Republicans have offered up. That is true for any multi-decade period you choose to look at since World War II, or over the last century for that matter. It’s true at the national, state, and local levels. Republicans constantly promise prosperity and growth. Democrats consistently deliver it (at least compared to Republicans). They’ve kicked Republicans’ economic asses, decade after decade.

Bigger pie? Raise all boats? Talk to the Democrats.

But nobody seems to know that. Did you? And Democrats never even say it — much less repeat it endlessly over decades, shouting it from the rooftops to stir up the base as Republicans would. The old saw is apparently right: “A liberal is someone who won’t take their own side in an argument.”

Perhaps that failure is a result of progressives’ fussy squeamishness about people getting rich. They don’t really like that word. But voters do. A third of Americans’ think they’ll be rich someday. Fifty percent of 18–29-year-olds do. (About 5% of Americans actually are rich, with more than couple of million dollars in net worth.) That squeamishness explains the persistent “anti-capitalist” strain of American liberalism, which is such an electoral disaster at the voting booth.

Democrats have much to atone for in their failure to hold the line on progressive economic principles, their failure to wholeheartedly champion and defend the working and middle classes, their sellout and abdication to the bankster class. But they also have much to crow about. Instead, though, they’ve stood by for decades while Republicans have falsely claimed the “party of growth” moniker, contrary to all historical evidence.

It is the economy, stupid. Voters, Democratic and Republican alike, will tell you in surveys about all the things they care about. But when they walk into the voting booth, they’re going to choose the person who they think will make them, their families, and those around them more prosperous, comfortable, and economically secure. They vote for candidates who they think will deliver better lives — starting with people having enough money to pay the bills. The Republicans realized that forty-plus years ago, and they’ve been winning based on that ever since. “I’ll cut your taxes and deliver economic growth.” Full stop, drop the mic.

Trump showed us that fire-breathing populism wins elections. While his brimstone reeked of many things, economic populism was at the core of his rhetorical fur ball. Even as he prepared to betray the working class at unheard-of levels, he channeled that betrayal straight onto his vote tally. “Audacity”? Obama should grab a stool and go to school.

And Bernie showed us the same thing. His campaign was unprecedented in American political history, funding a full-boat national campaign and outspending Hillary by 25 million dollars, almost completely with small donations. His message of economic populism brought in more than 200 million dollars in donations from 2.5 million people. And he turned out the enthusiastic base, in droves. Presumably he would have done so on election day, as well. Are Democratic political operatives finally beginning to take note?

There is a path out of the wilderness for Democrats. It’s the path they’ve trod before, with huge success. It involves (for once) coalescing around a core message that resonates with all Americans, repeated endlessly over years and decades. “Equality” and “opportunity,” important as they are, are weak beer on the campaign trail. Most Americans change the channel.  Tell them what they want to hear:

“We make America rich.”

The double meaning is fully intended.

 

Related posts:

  1. Engineering a Permanent Democratic Majority
  2. Republican Strategy: “When you’re playing with house money, it makes sense to go all in on every hand.”
  3. Wow: Cooperation. Should Obama Get Credit?
  4. Pro-Growth Republicans III: Yeah, Right.
  5. Everything Sez: “Obama Landslide.” What Gives?

THERESE MACGOWAN RIP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 07/01/2017 - 2:46am in

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Shane would like to say thank you and God bless you to all the people who are offering kind words... Read more »

The post THERESE MACGOWAN RIP appeared first on Shane MacGowan.

Software Freedom After Trump

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/12/2016 - 3:32am in

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I’ll say it: it’s been rough since the election. Like so many other people, I was thrown into a state of reflection about my country, the world and my role in it. I’ve struggled with understanding how I can live in a world where it seems facts don’t matter. It’s been reassuring to see so many of my friends, family and colleagues (many of them lawyers!) become invigorated to work in the public good. This has all left me with some real self-reflection. I’ve been passionate about software freedom for a long time, and while I think it has really baffled many of my loved ones, I’ve been advocating for the public good in that context somewhat doggedly. But is this issue worth so much of my time? Is it the most impactful way I can spend my time?

I think I was on some level anticipating something like this. I started down this road in my OSCON EU keynote entitled “Is Software Freedom A Social Justice Issue,” in which I talked about software freedom ideology and its place relative to social justice issues.

This time, like when I was doing the soul searching that led to the OSCON EU talk, I kept coming back to thinking about my heart and the proprietary software I rely on for my life. But what’s so powerful about it is that my heart is truly a metaphor for all of the software we rely on. The pulse of our society is intertwined with our software and much of it is opaque from scrutiny and wholly under the control of single companies. We do not have ultimate control of the software that that we need the most.

After all of this deep reflection, the values and the mission of software freedom has never seemed more important. Specifically, there are a few core pieces of Conservancy’s mission and activities that I think are particularly relevant in this era of Trump.

Defending the integrity of our core infrastructure

One the things I’ve focused on in my advocacy generally is how vulnerable our core infrastructure is. This is where we need software freedom the most. We need to make sure that we are doing our best to balance corporate and public interests, and we need to be able to fix problems when they arise unexpectedly in our key systems. If we’ve learned anything from Volkswagen last year, it’s that companies may be knowingly doing the wrong thing, covering it up while also promoting corporate culture that makes it extremely unlikely that employees may come forward. We need to have confidence in our software, be able to audit it and be able to repair it when we detect vulnerabilities or unwanted functionality like surveillance.

Software freedom, and copyleft in particular, helps us keep the balance. Conservancy is dedicated to promoting software freedom, defending our licenses and supporting many of our member projects that are essential pieces of our infrastructure.

Transparency

It may feel like we’ve entered into a world where facts don’t matter but we at Conservancy disagree. Conservancy is committed to transparency, both in the development of software that can be trusted, but also in our own operations. We’re committed to helping others understand complex topics that other people gloss over, as well as shedding light on our own financial situation and activities. (This end-of-year giving season I recommend you carefully read the Form 990s of all of the organizations you consider donating to, including ours – check out how money much the top people make and think about what the organizations accomplish with the amount of resources they have available to them.)

Diversity

While hate and exclusion are on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure that our own communities do the right thing. I’m proud to have Conservancy host and to also personally help run Outreachy, making sure that many of the groups that are now feeling so marginalized have opportunities to succeed. Additionally, software freedom democratizes access to technology, which can (in time) empower disenfranchised communities and close digital divides.

Because together, we get it

Perhaps most importantly, unethical software is something that everyone is vulnerable to, but most don’t understand it at all. You need a certain level of expertise just to understand what software freedom is let alone why it’s so important. There are many things we can and should work on, but if we don’t keep our focus on software freedom the long term consequences will be dire. Software freedom is a long-term cause. We must work towards sound infrastructure and look after the ethical underpinnings of the technology we rely on, because if we don’t, who will?

We can’t just be reactive. We have to build the better world.

Please join me in doubling your efforts to promote software freedom. If you can, help Conservancy continue its important mission and become a Supporter now.

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