“Far-Right Reformers” Is an Oxymoron, a Euphemism for Reframing a Public Service as a Source of Private Profit


The Far Right’s favorite euphemism is “reform.”

Their notion of “reform” is the equivalent of “reforming” a criminal by executing him. Or since many on the Far Right (Ted Nugent, for certain) would applaud that analogy, it is the equivalent of running a chainsaw through the base of a shade tree in order to “save” it. Or, since many on the Far Right see nothing in a tree but lumber, I should probably simply give up on trying to find analogies and turn to examples.

They want to “reform” Social Security by making it a defined contribution program, rather than a defined benefit program—while, not coincidentally, putting trillions of dollars into the hands of the portfolio managers who will handle the retirement accounts.

They want to “reform” public and private pensions by simply eliminating the legal obligations to meet the commitments that they have contractually made to provide them.


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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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