MI Legislators Don’t Want MSU to Teach About Unions


The incredibly far-right Republicans that control Michigan’s state legislature have a brilliant and appalling new idea. They want to punish Michigan State University by taking away $500,000 in funding if they continue to teach courses about labor union organizing.

Michigan State University could risk losing $500,000 if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.

A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It’s a reaction to MSU’s recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.

Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.

“I believe in academic freedom, and you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university,” said state Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, who chairs the panel that directs higher education funding in the House.

“But this is a case where I think we’re almost encouraging labor disputes, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

No, you don’t believe in academic freedom. You say you do, but you don’t. What you believe in is using your power to punish people for advocating ideas you don’t like. You’re an authoritarian asshole, like most of your colleagues. I lived in Stevensville for a few years as a kid. I wish I still did just so I could vote against this jerk. If unions didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to kill them.

Comments

  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Oh, come on, Ed. This is completely evenhanded.

    They also have a proposal to take away money from schools who discuss the pros and cons of, or the how-to’s of, legally incorporating a business (for profit or otherwise). No law school in the state will be teaching a BusOrgs class after this.

    Right? RIGHT?

  2. Mr Ed says

    I think he is on to something. We have many right but just as the right to organize can lead to labor disputes other rights can lead to things that are unpleasant too. We should forbid the teaching of nine of the ten amendments in the bill of rights. It is fine to have a right against self incrimination but knowing about it can lead to long court cases. Michigan Republicans better government through ignorance.

  3. eric says

    “I believe in academic freedom, and you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university,” said state Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Oceania, who chairs the panel that directs higher education funding in the House.

    “But this is a case where I think we’re almost encouraging people to think we were at peace with Eastasia, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

  4. Chiroptera says

    I’m guessing these legislators are also against comprehensive sex education since that would encourage teen promiscuity?

  5. terlenka says

    This is exactly the kind of political interference that can endanger MSU’s accreditation. I hope (but have doubts about how many will care) that voters will hold them accountable when that happens.

  6. says

    Marcus Ranum “I bet his academic freedom would dry up really fast if someone wanted to teach why socialism is a good idea.”
    NOW YOURE JUST BEING RIDICULOUS! LABOR IS SOCIALISM!

  7. smrnda says

    Labor history gets largely erased from history in the US, which is probably one reason why labor has been so successfully attacked.

  8. John Pieret says

    you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university

    Damn! You’d almost think that university students expected to be educated instead of just being told what they’re supposed to think!

    we’re almost encouraging labor disputes

    No more MBAs then either. After all, it takes two to tango! Teaching students how to maximize profits by keeping wages as low as possible is also encouraging labor disputes.

  9. says

    Also, no more law classes. Educating attorneys only guarantees future challenges to our job creators.
    Why,it’s almost guaranteeing future lawsuits against corporations, and that kills jobs and makes the baby Jeebus sad.

  10. Michael Heath says

    smrnda writes:

    Labor history gets largely erased from history in the US, which is probably one reason why labor has been so successfully attacked.

    I received a B.A. from MSU. Our business history and econ classes included plenty of labor history. Plus our econ classes required us to appreciate labor inputs every bit as much as we understand capital inputs.

    All that in spite of the fact many of my econ profs were consultants to Republicans back in the 1970s and 1980s while the business profs were consultants to big business – particularly GM, Ford and Chrysler along with their Tier 1 and 2 suppliers. This was back when the GOP had a sane wing to the party, prior to conservatives taking over and moderates fleeing.

  11. smrnda says

    @Michael Heath

    I was thinking of education before the collegiate level, since most people in the US don’t go to college, and that the type of people who would benefit most from a labor union are people doing jobs that don’t require a college degree. The state of Texas virtually erases labor unions from their history textbooks.

  12. says

    My recollection is tempered by the fact that I either slept through history classes or entertained wild fantasies about having unprotected sex with all of the hot girls–who sat there in prim atterntiveness in their plaid skirts and blazers–but I seem to remember that the Haymarket Riot, The Rouge River Strike, The Battle of Matewan and allathem other times that the laborcommies tried to take over MurKKKa was thwarted by the Pinkertons and other brave patriots.

  13. D. C. Sessions says

    you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university

    For instance, thermodynamics.

  14. says

    wonder if letting them know that a new course, “The evolution of the labor movement in the U.S., since the War of Southern Treachery”.

  15. says

    I wonder if letting them know that a new course, “The evolution of the labor movement in the U.S., since the War of Southern Treachery” would make their heads, s’plode?

  16. dingojack says

    ‘No more ‘Criminology’ courses; they just encourage crimes, no more ‘Peace Studies'; they might encourage peace and definitely no more ‘Women’s Studies’, such courses only encourages the studying of women (and hoo-boy does that get awkward in lifts)’.

    Maroons.

    Dingo

Leave a Reply