Will America experience a Lost Generation?

As many as 68 patriots were arrested as they occupied the state capital in California Monday night – protesting against planned cuts to education. With tuition fees soaring – hundreds of demonstrators descended on the capital building in Sacramento calling for a tax on millionaires to help fund public universities in the state.

Over the last five years – tuition at public universities in California has doubled – and - along with it - so, too, has outstanding student debt. For the first time in world history – student debt outweighs credit card debt in America – with students around the nation more than a trillion dollars in the hole.

In November – voters in California will have a chance to approve a referendum to raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year and divert that revenue to education budgets. We just learned that in 2010 – 93% of all income gains in America went to just the top 1%. It’s time for that 1% to pay their fair share in taxes to make sure America doesn’t experience a lost generation.


Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 11 years 13 weeks ago

See my comment in the Live Blog: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2012/03/daily-topics-tuesday-march-6th-2012#comment-122690

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 11 years 13 weeks ago

G8 Move: I think it's possible that the Obama Crew also considered the additional hundreds of people being arrested for Felony Eavesdropping, and the fear of another Chicago police riot ('68).

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 13 weeks ago

I just calculate on Barack Obama as President in 2013, with decent majority in Senate and House. There's no other future for this country. America is divided. Currently there isn't just 'an America' -- there're TWO Americas. It's kinda like two nations. Right-wing America is downright another universe, than Liberal America.

The only person who presently is able to unite this country, is President Obama. If this country had to take another GOP Presidency and Congress majority, it would end up even more divided. We have to get back on FDR's path and rebuild the middle-class, and only President Obama guarantees that.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 13 weeks ago

Really liking what Obama said today. Sure outdistances him from all the other misogynist and obtuse contenders. And unless something really crazy happens before election day Obama is sure to win. I am glad that Obama tended to back down on his previous (what sounded like) unquestioning fealty to the war mongers from Israel in wanting to attack Iran. But, one never really knows just what America is likely to do...after all they (I know...different President) gave April Glaspie the go ahead to let Saddam think we had no problem with Iraq attacking Iran. But this is not the only time that America cannot be relied upon to do the right thing....sparing millions of innocent lives.

That one caller who said that her son worked for Los Alamos and they were all concerned...not that Iran will get an atomic weapon but that they will not have the expertise to prevent their reactors from doing a melt down. Yeah, right! Wouldn't some people in the US just love to see this happen? After all what do you think that Stuxnet worm was all about?

"Different variants of Stuxnet targeted five Iranian organizations,[9] with the probable target widely suspected to be uranium enrichment infrastructure in Iran;[10][11][8] Symantec noted in August 2010 that 60% of the infected computers worldwide were in Iran.[12] Siemens stated on 29 November that the worm has not caused any damage to its customers,[13] but the Iran nuclear program, which uses embargoed Siemens equipment procured clandestinely, has been damaged by Stuxnet.[14][15] Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab concluded that the sophisticated attack could only have been conducted "with nation-state support".[16] This was further backed up by the Finnish computer security company F-Secure's chief researcher Mikko Hyppönen who commented in a Stuxnet FAQ, "That's what it would look like, yes".[17] It has been speculated that Israel[18] and the United States may have been involved.[19][20]"

"In May 2011, the PBS program Need To Know cited a statement by Gary Samore, White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, in which he said, "we're glad they [the Iranians] are having trouble with their centrifuge machine and that we – the US and its allies – are doing everything we can to make sure that we complicate matters for them", offering "winking acknowledgement" of US involvement in Stuxnet.[21] According to the British Daily Telegraph, a showreel that was played at a retirement party for the head of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Gabi Ashkenazi, included references to Stuxnet as one of his operational successes as the IDF chief of staff.[18]"


I wonder just how involved Los Alamos Labs were in creating the Stuxnet worm? Maybe they have good reason to be worried!

I believe that the criminal elite in both the US and in Israel would not hesitate to do something like this....if they thought they could blame Iran for their lack of high-techspertise (made that word up ;-})

Of course, there are those war chicken hawks who would love to be more brazen and risk someone else's sons and daughters in attacking Iran. But, all they will likely do, if they can't cause a meltdown, would be to lob in some bunker buster nukes. This would, of course, cause $10/gallon gas prices for a while...maybe a long while....and the possibility of terrorist attacks against the US in retribution.

Iran has plenty of cash, N. Korea doesn't, but they have lots of nukes...maybe even suitcase nukes....if the Iranians have already bought suitcase nukes from the N. Koreans... and may have already smuggled them into the US....there could be a suitcase nuke in every large city in the US and maybe even in Israel. Now that would be really scary!! Who needs long range missiles to carry nuclear war heads when you can smuggle nukes into a country by boat or airplane..cargo containers....or just walk across the border from Mexico or Canada? Talk about MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)!!!

And besides, as discussed in today's show, we have a lot to worry about right here in our own country...using poorly designed (designed less for safety and more for cutting costs to increase profit) and aging nuclear plants. Who would you rather build a nuclear plant? Someone who has lots of money to pour into building a safe plant, with one's national pride, and competence on the line or one who will recklessly cut costs in order to eek out the last dollar in profits and who will be wealthy enough to move anywhere in the world in the event of a disaster. Capitalists will sell the hangman the noose that will eventually hang him.

And even if Iran never smuggled suit case nukes into every major city in the US....all it would take is to sabotage any of our aging nuclear power plants. It had been claimed by those who designed the WTC buildings that they were designed to withstand crashes by modern jet liners. The containment vessels of nuclear plants, it has been claimed, have been designed to withstand the direct hit of a freight train. But what about those devices that keep the core cooled and the nuclear reaction controlled? Are they as indestructible? What if Iran or some other country has created their own "Stuxnet" worm that will cause a catastrophic failure of our ability to control the rate of fusion or cooling of the cores?

That one expert on nuclear safety on today's show said that none of these nuclear power plants in the US use their own generated electricity for....something...backup generators? (we know how well they worked in Fukushima...don't we?)...or was is more than just backup generators? Didn't catch all that was said but it didn't sound very reassuring.

George Lewis's picture
George Lewis 11 years 13 weeks ago

I think it's time for Apple to start the iUniversity and teach everyone on iPads! I'm not kidding! Why not just hire one set of teachers and have live classes shown over the internet - at MUCH lower cost! It just makes sense... We could be at Starbucks, the beach, etc. and taking interactive classes online! Apple started in the schools (thus the apple logo) - well, now it's time for them to reinvent another industry that's very much in trouble... The educational system! Imagine getting a prestegious degree from A.I.U. (Apple Internet University!)

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 13 weeks ago

That's a fantastic idea....there is so much to be learned just through the various tutorials (video and otherwise) that really costs nothing except the cost of the computer (or IPAD) and the ISP. I remember the pre-internet days when I had dreamed of the future for when we would all have information anywhere we went....not that I made any money off of it....darn...but now the future is here....great stuff on the internet!

No one even needs to leave home...they can fly to places on Google Earth or take University Classes right at home...and it doesn't cost anything...and you don't even need to go through porno scanners or waste gas getting to the airport...or have to sit between two obese people coughing all those hours on the plane..don't have to worry about hotels or tips. But, obviously, if you are still trying to find jobs, not many prospective employers would accept an Internet degree unless you paid big bucks to some University.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 11 years 13 weeks ago

The referendum here in CA will pass. This is despite the gowing anger over Jerry's latest string of vetoes, a few the same ones as Arnold. He vetoes equal employment rights for farmworkers and uprgrades for breast cancer screening? He calls himself a democrat? There are tough decisions to be made here but not on the backs of students, healthcare and hard working farmworkers.

We have million dollar college presidents and University regents with a paid staff of over $200,000 salary on average. Some of these are politically appointed real estate developers who contributed to their campaigns. We do not need a president or board of regents on every campus anymore then we should be paying over a millilon dollars for asst. football coaches. We can centralize our higher education here with a board of directors for the state colleges and one for the university system. End overlapping services and focus on specialized diversity of programs. Allow the students a say in choosing the board members. The goals should be higher education not real estate development and hilton dorm resorts for wealthy students. Make education and living costs affordable for all students. This is how we care for the future.

The latest comments on charter schools are most welcome. The message propagated over and over is that charter schools are here to rescue underwater schools. This is untrue. Here in Santa Cruz a private charter took over our best school. It was called Natural Bridges Elementary. The school had won both state and local awards for teaching excellence. Mrs Pingree was teaching hiku to 3rd graders with a wonder of results. Mrs Garcia and many others were a notch above most educators. The school was sold by our admininstrators to a charter. Parents of students have to pay to attend now. Young public school students on the west side must walk several blocks to a heavy traveled intersection to a depreciated older school building . Charter schools are a back door to vouchers. It is economic segregation. We must end public financing for charter schools.

fusero009's picture
fusero009 11 years 13 weeks ago

In response to the last two posts on self-education and education online from Apple, this kind of DIY movement is already happening, and it's long over due with the obscene debt situation students and their parents are finding themselves in. Ever since I got my B.A. twenty years ago, I've wondered if I could have done a better job myself and not ended up with the $12K in debt I had incurred (I know, that's nothing compared to today's student debt levels). In my humble opinion, I think students everywhere should start boycotting in protest of the financial rape that the American university system is propogating on the public. There are plenty of online resources, like those here below, that students can access, and they can form their own meetups if they want to build a local community around it.

From one article: "Ironically, it's only as recent grads that many of us discover our nascent intellectual curiosity, waiting to wander free outside the classroom. On the flip side, some of us have already discovered it, but once we begin working in the "real world" we suddenly realize there are a lot of cool skills to pick up that weren’t really on our radar in college (e.g., practical ones). But have no fear—DIY education is here!" http://www.gradspot.com/guides/diy-education

Just google DIY education, and here's some examples of what I'm talking about: http://diyubook.com, http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/diy-education-teach-yourself...., and of course www.udemy.com which I recently came across.

There's even a 2009 article by BY Anya Kamenetz | that's worth reading on the Peer2Peer University model - http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/138/who-needs-harvard.html. And then there's her book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 13 weeks ago

Thanks for the great links, fusero009!

Here's a very good site that has over 3000 videos that cover everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, history, and all kinds of subjects.


If you want computer programming try http://www.thenewboston.org/ This young guy is a dynamo of learning about computer programming, mathematics, games, and other subjects.

How about learning about TCP/IP....here is a whole massive on-line, and free, book that tells it all...you can also buy the book if you want. My book has 1536 pages. I just had to have the book after reading most of the on-line stuff. http://www.tcpipguide.com/

And here's another dynamo from Harvard...David Malan...teaches CS50 and other Computer Science classes...all free on-line...along with transcripts, notes, slides, and source code examples. www.cs50.tv note: some of these on-line University classes have some very hard to understand lecturers/professors...but David Malan is easy to understand and definitely not boring. One of the best professors I've ever heard!!

Stanford has a class called CS106A Programming Mehtodology taught by Mehran Sahami...another easy to understand and definitely not boring lecturer/professor. He is also very good!

And if you are trying to learn Arabic, I still am, instead of paying hundreds or thousands of bucks for a course check out this Defense Language Institute (DLI) course that is free and very, very comprehensive. The instructor speech is very, very clear (perfect diction and enunciation in both English and Arabic) and easy to understand even with the background noise which I have been able to remove from each audio using Audacity. There are over 20 pdf books that go along with the audio and other pdfs as well. This was a real exciting find that I have been looking for for a long while. http://jlu.wbtrain.com/sumtotal/language/DLI%20basic%20courses/MSA/Basic...
I was originally was led to this by a Google web site where you can get access to 55 languages..on-line for free.

Here is a very talented young woman who is Arabic, lives in Italy, and teaches languages professionally but has posted many on YouTube. I loved her YouTube videos teaching the Arabic Language...there are lots of them...and watched them all. She is an excellent teacher...very expressive and easy to understand...and very cute...but married.

And here is a wealth of on-line learning for free at an Indian University web site called NPTEL-
http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/courses.php Every course I have checked out was in English and usually their English is very easy to understand. They use very good and state of the art visual assistance devices...usually they don't rely on hard to read and messy chalk boards that the cameraman has a hard time capturing in a timely manner...something that seems to be typical of many of the US Universities. Some of the lectures from US Universities tend to rely on these chalk boards, poor hand-writing, mumbled speech..or speak way to fast...and even when you slow the video down..they still sound retarded. The ones I mentioned before speak very clearly at all speeds. VLC media player is great for changing the speed to just the way you need it.

jaocourtney's picture
jaocourtney 11 years 12 weeks ago

This is a really good idea!!!! Hope something happens with it...

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