"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Empire Strikes Back

Think of the decentralized information of the Internet as the rebels in Star Wars.   The teachers' unions and educational bureaucracies are the Empire.   The battle to overcome the Empire's dominance in education will be long, but it's a battle for freedom (and lower costs).   Not surprisingly, the Empire will occasionally strike back, as in this story:

California lecturers, who make up nearly half of the system’s undergraduate teaching teachers, believe they have used that bargaining power to score a rare coup. The University of California last week tentatively agreed to a deal with UC-AFT that included a new provision barring the system and its campuses from creating online courses or programs that would result in “a change to a term or condition of employment” of any lecturer without first dealing with the union.

This is what unions do -- put pressure on employers to limit the ability of competitors to compete with them for their jobs.   It's a racket, and its victims are the parents of UC students who have to pay exorbitant costs for college education, when the delivery of knowledge/information/education could be much, much cheaper for most courses and most kids.

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