This year marks the 10th anniversary of the University Theme at WIU. By bringing internationally renowned speakers to campus, the University Theme offers students, faculty and community members the opportunity to enjoy candid and personal interactions with world leaders. Discussions that begin with the lectures often continue days and weeks later in residence halls, coffee shops and classrooms.
Most Illinoisans seem torn between anger about state pensioners supposedly getting rich off taxpayers, and concern about state-worker neighbors caught between incompetent lawmakers and greedy credit agencies in cahoots with big banks. The real debate should be one timid types in Springfield (or Washington) avoid: What do citizens want government to do and how will it be funded?
Education doesn’t tell students what to think but how to think. However, too many textbooks and legislators seem to see education as indoctrination, a troubling trend, especially as the nation celebrates Labor Day.
Generally, some textbooks ignore or marginalize labor. Specifically, some lawmakers in states including Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas oppose instruction in critical thinking and impose fanciful notions as fact – if it pleases their extremist base.
All summer, the press has occasionally covered the “LIBOR Scandal,” but many stories have been a lot of “inside-baseball”-style financial confusion. Actually, the situation affects working people much more than has been noted.
As tempting as it is to blame a U.S. President for insufficient job growth – whether Barack Obama or George W. Bush – jobs come from employers, not politicians. Sure, White House leadership is important, ideas from the executive branch should spur government action to help businesses hire, and a president sets an administration’s tone. But presidents can’t exclusively take the blame – or the credit – for jobs.