Subconsciously Hoping To Fail?

I mean, really, what is wrong with me?

When we last left my PoliSci 202 course, I had gotten into it over Affirmative Action and the use of agitprop in the class with the professor and then was popped by the PC police for “attacking the messenger” in the forums when I gently pointed out some hyperbole being used by one of my fellow students when she pulled numbers out of her ass to try and push her side over the top in an argument.

So this week we’re talking about the bureaucracy of the federal government and Budget and Monetary policy, including the Fed. In one of the additional reading handouts for the class, the professor misstated a couple of things. And being a curmudgen-in-good-standing, I could not stop myself from correcting him.

He pulls some quotes out of some collectivist claptrap of a book titled “The Spirit Level”, stating that the Top 10% of Americans earn 70% of all income and the Top 20% earn 80% of all income.

That’s bullshit and everybody here knows that. But the still-in-high-school and those freshly out who are also taking this class don’t. So I call him on it. Very gently. Simply asking if he can double check those figures because all the info I can find says something different. I included this link in my post.

For those too busy to click, the numbers break down like this:

The Top 10% earn 46.44% of all income in the country but pay 70% of the taxes.

The Top 25% earn 67.52%  and pay almost 86% of all the taxes.

I even suggested that maybe he had accidentally transposed the percentage of taxes paid into the percentage of money earned.

And in order to cover my ass fully, asked my fellow students if, after reading the above numbers (and reminding them that a married couple with college degrees working in Washington State, something they will most likely be someday if they are successful in their collegiate endeavors, would put them squarely into the top 10% of income earners) do they think a Progressive Tax Rate is the most fair.

No takers as of yet, but they have until Sunday to reply.

Why is college level PoliSci feeling more and more like arguing with the bottom feeders at the Daily Kos?

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12 Responses to Subconsciously Hoping To Fail?

  1. Barron says:

    Because they are the bottom feeders at Daily Kos?

    I saw an article last night in the Daily Evergreen (WSU’s paper) that some state senator from the Seattle area is trying to REQUIRE a class on student loans.

    Included in this class will be a bunch of things that I didn’t qualify for while going to school. So I would be forced to pay for a class that ultimately is useless. About the only smart thing is they will also discuss the prospective wages of different degrees. However I can guarantee you the schools are going to skew that because that’s how they make life long students!

  2. dfwmtx says:

    “Why is college level PoliSci feeling more and more like arguing with the bottom feeders at the Daily Kos?”

    Because you’re getting further and further into the liberal indoctrination process. You’re past the 101 level course when differences in thought could be shurgged off as ignorance by the indoctrinated, and more and more differences in beliefs and even disagreement will be treated more and more like heresy from the annointed priests of the PoliSci professorship.
    You’d be getting a similar reaction if you’d spent years in a Catholic seminary and days away from making your vows you suddenly said, “C’mon, this whole virgin birth thing just ain’t scientifically possible.”

    I applaud your tilting at windmills, sir.

  3. Thor says:

    “Why is college level PoliSci feeling more and more like arguing with the bottom feeders at the Daily Kos?”

    Because it is.

    I have a friend who just finished up is Doctorate in PoliSci at the University of Chicago. It drove him absolutely nuts dealing with the faculty their but, it also made him triple check is arguments, facts, and sources. They made a significant effort to bring him into the department once he finished his PhD. just so that they would have a libertarian to point to on the staff. He turned them down.

  4. DirtCrashr says:

    Thor beat me to it.

  5. Kresh says:

    “Why is college level PoliSci feeling more and more like arguing with the bottom feeders at the Daily Kos?”

    Because you’re where they’re made.

  6. Bria says:

    Where are you going to school? I’m over in Redmond, I need to steer clear of wherever it is you are taking classes. Not Evergreen, I hope. That would explain a lot.

  7. Phil says:

    Bria, I’m in Auburn @ GRCC (aka: Evergreen North, except with actual technology courses and no paper mache puppet major)

  8. Bill says:

    Things have changed. Its been 30 years since I took a PoliSci class, and admittedly I took them at the time of the birth of the Reagan Presidency, but my PoliSci classes were the place where the smart people hung out. I took classes at a community college and at a private 2 year college, so that may have played some part in my classes differences, too.

    We had GREAT discussions.

    My youngest daughter had a PoliSci class at that same community college 4 years ago, and she had to present a paper on one of Amendments in the Bill of Rights. She chose the 2nd Amendment. He paper was so persuasive, (and I had no part in it other than to point her at a few online sites) that the professor asked her to present it for the class. Afterwards, he told her that she was well informed enough that he felt obligated to exercise a right he had never thought pertained to him. He subsequently pursued a Concealed Weapons Permit, purchased a handgun and then a rifle.

    She turns 21 in 7 weeks, and has already requested a handgun for a present, as she will be obtaining her CWP immediately upon turning 21.

  9. Ted says:

    Bill, congrats to your daughter! It sounds like she’s a solid, informed citizen, and we need as many of those as possible. I’d also dearly love to see a copy of her paper, if she’d be willing to share.

  10. Bill says:

    @ Ted,

    I’ll see if we can find it. She was just home last week, and we were laughing about it, but it was done on an old computer, which has since been trashed. She thinks we have a copy, but can’t remember where.

    I downloaded all their school papers onto a CD, and gave it to them, but she, like any teenager, filed it somewhere and doesn’t remember where the special place was!

  11. Bill says:


    She is now at a much larger, state funded, college. She has found it much more liberal, and wondered what one of her profs there might think!

  12. mark says:

    The data provide a great rebuttal to the prof, however, noting that it is 2005 data…7 years is enough for things to change, esp. with reports of the gap between rich and poor growing. Also, I am surprised that $365,000 income gets you into the top 1% nationally, but here’s a link to some 2010 data that holds these same levels.

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