wonderful news! this is the final blog post. Write about Twilight of Equality?.
The Twilight of Equality is a misnomer; We are not equal. Everyone is born with a different predisposition, mental faculties, and physical abilities. In this country as well as across the globe, the rights of people have been suppressed for generations, whether its political or human or economic. We are not even equal in the eyes of the law. We create and enforce the laws, but we are prejudice so the law cannot treat everyone equally. The Twilight of Equality implies we were equal at one point in our past which is not true; civility and equality has never existed throughout human history.
Seized by neo-liberal ideology, the American government has allowed corporations to expand greatly through deregulation, under the guise of economic liberty, to the detriment of the American people. Congressmen and Senators receive campaign contributions from certain industries and are thus less likely to sponsor or vote in favor of a bill that harms those businesses. Just as likely, a Congressmen owns stock in a corporation and thus will not pass harmful legislation the same reason as the one who received contributions but will sponsor a bill to improve their economic well-being and thus his as well. This quid pro quo is absolutely legal but it strikes at the heart of their purpose in Washington which is to improve the state of the country including those who do not donate hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is rarely reported on by the mainstream media because those corporations own all the media outlets. In fact, nearly everything we hear, see, and read is controlled by five entities. John Mayer sings in “Waiting for the World to Change,” “they control the information , so they can bend it all they want.” David Gregory never asks why GE never paid any federal taxes last year while hosting ‘Meet the Press’ because it is sponsored by GE, who also owns NBC. A fraud has been perpetrated by these corporations on the American public that if corporations can expand unregulated then it is good for the economy as a whole and for everyone in it, but it almost always leads to the accumulation of wealth by the top percent, taken from the exploited lower classes. The collapse of the markets in 2008 and in years prior have been the result of neo-liberal philosophy.
In Twilight of Equality, Lisa Duggan expresses her opinions about neoliberalism in a very straight forward, passionate manner. At first the book was confusing because she was using very technical terms, but while reading it I grew more accustomed to her writing style. Her main focus was how neoliberalism only benefits the rich upper class of America, while its hurting everybody else. She argues about the distribution of wealth in america and gives an example of schools cutting programs to maintain balance in their budget. The argument that is made is for the average student who could be deprived of this loss of a certain program. He or she is a paying student and should be able to indulge in the benefits of what the institution has to offer. Also one of her proposed solutions is to raise taxes for the wealthy while making tax cuts for the middle and lower class. This would help balance the distribution of wealth in the country because the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. I believe that she makes a valid argument and some of her ideas should be implemented to some degree.
Before reading Twilight of Equality by Lisa Duggins, I did not really know what the term neoliberalism referred to. I had heard this term before in my social studies classes but never really understood what it meant. I thought this book was very confusing to me because there was a lot of words and terms that I was not used to hearing, that I needed a dictionary to look up what the words meant. Lisa Duggins argues that this system works better for the corporate side of America rather then the middle class or lower class. On page 32 in the first paragraph, she attacks what money is spent on in schools. When their is not enough money is schools, the school systems cut what they feel to be “unnecessary”. An example of this is in the CUNY system, where the students now pay to go to school, had the introduction to poetry classes has been cut. So if anyone is interested in reading and writing poetry they now cannot have that opportunity to do so in school and have to go to other places to find it. On page 50, she discusses the gay culture. One aspect she discusses is in a gay couple, which one would be considered the woman and what person would be considered the man. Society should not make people decide which one person in a couple is going to act like a woman and which one is going to act like the man. People feel like if one person acts more like a man and the other acts more like a woman then the couple is more like a heterosexual couple. THis is part of her book because this is forcing an acceptable approach on people.
Chapter two of Lisa Duggan’s The Twilight of Equality, focuses on the public education system at the college level. Although the initial attack was against the Women’s studies Program at SUNY New Paltz, the overall attack was a racial one. More privatized universities would not normally come up against such an issue, rather they would face sexual harassment charges on the coach of the men’s football team. Throughout this chapter, Duggan examines how the government has tried to corporatize the public university system in order to create more subservient employees. Therefore, by extracting the more “liberal studies” from the public universities (such as the women’s studies program), public schools can replace those classes with more conducive ones to the ultimate ends of the economy.
We don’t realize how something like this becomes an attack on the minority group, the black, the immigrants, the poor, the not white. Towards the end of chapter two, Duggan makes a statement that more thoroughly explains the reasoning behind privatizing education: “attacks on public higher education…aimed to privatize education by reducing the overall proportion of public funds supporting higher education and by redesigning college and university curricula to more directly serve private business needs” (42). So the overall goal as iterated above, is to produce a docile group of graduates so they can immediately delve into the work-force (for a big private business) and achieve their goal in becoming middle class citizens-with rights. As a CUNY student, it’s upsetting to think that I’ve not been permitted the same opportunities as the Ivey league students, but I suppose there must be a lower class in order to help run the system created by the upper class to maintain the homeostasis of our economic system, that isn’t failing at all! When the our system does fail, who gets the butt end of the stick? Does all our hard work as loyal middle class workers pay off? How secure is working under the fist of a private business, when two simple words (“you’re fired”) can squash you like a bug? For those who go to college wanting to come out as middle class citizens- college is the biggest scam since Social Security.
Twilight of Equality by Lisa Duggan, Duggan tries to show what the neoliberal system is doing to society. In this system those who are benefit are very few. The system works for the upper class and corporations. Everyone else who doesn’t fall in that category are not gaining anything instead they are suffering. Duggan tries to encourage a system where the wealth would be distributed to those who need it the most. This however seems impossible due to the fact that most people are not in favor of change that does not gain them in any way. As I read the book I was very confused but now that I finished it, I believe I understand what Duggan is trying to point out, and what she thinks should be done. I think changing the system is a great idea since it would help many. But like always things are easier said then done. Nobody that has authority would agree to change the system because then they wouldn’t be gaining but losing.
In the Twilight of Equality by Lisa Duggan, she speaks mainly about the effects of neoliberal capitalism on America. Neoliberalism is a type of free-market capitalism that reminds me much of the lassiez-faire economy of Britain in the 1840s. The government does not have any hand in the economic businesses of the common people; they merely just regulate the laws. The effects that consists of different economic and social/cultural issues that the political side of this neoliberalistic capitalism failed to understand and notice. She claims that although there are many economic and cultural effects, the government does not realize these effects. The neoliberal politics have affected the economy by maintaining an upwards flow of resources. This would enable the poor to stay poor, and the rich to get richer.
Duggan also mentions the annual conference at Barnard, which was frowned upon at first, until it was established for so long that people got used to it. Then, the conference at SUNY New Paltz raised uproars as the womens studies of the 1997 Conferences were too controversial for the common people. There was a conflict of academic freedom, and the ability to control what you want to learn. The media changed the outcome of the outlook of the conflict because they claimed it to be a battle of culture wars, and not what it really was with the involvement of politics and economy.
From there, Duggan explores how the HRC, the organization that supports gay and lesbian partnership, went against their ideals and supported anti-abortion. This would go against the ideas of sexual freedom that the HRC supported.
Author Lisa Duggan believes that free-market economics and neoliberalism have contributed to a shift in wealth distribution in the United States over the years. We have all heard and read about the outrageous redistribution of wealth that has occurred over the last thirty years, and particularly during the last decade. But economic changes like this do not occur in a vacuum, they are always linked to politics. The Twilight of Equality? searches out these links through an analysis of the politics of the 1990s, the decade when neoliberalism-free market economics became the truth. After a brilliant historical examination of how racial and gender inequities were made into the very theories of the neoliberal model of the state, Duggan shows how these inequities play out today. In a series of political case studies, Duggan reveals how neoliberal goals have been pursued, demonstrating that progressive arguments that separate identity politics and economic policy, cultural politics and affairs of state, can only be unsuccessful. In the end, The Twilight of Equality? not only reveals how the highly successful maneuvers of neoliberalism have functioned but, more importantly, it shows a way to rejuvenate and unite progressive politics in the United States today. Lisa Duggan’s well-reasoned argument is that true progressive change must occur not in parts, but as a unified whole. This book is a great text if you wish to understand the basics of neoliberalism. Duggan’s writing is very flowing and clear. The examples she uses perfectly highlight the ways in which neoliberalism has come about and how it hurts our country.
Lisa Duggan makes a very interesting argument in Twilight of Equality that certain social and economic issues cannot be separated from each other and they have. She makes a point that politics have only appeared to have been working under the guise of putting the two issues together but are instead pushing them further apart. Social instability has resulted from this. In other words, many economic benefits are not going to the poor and middle class people but are instead traveling up to the top of the social hierarchy and helping the rich. The poor and middle class are left to pay any and all economic expenses while the rich get left to be responsible of any little or no taxes to pay at all. I believe she is trying to get the point out that in order to help bring social and economic issues together, we need to have a better distribution of taxes for each social class instead of having the rich pay little while the poor pay more. Adding to this point, the occupy wall street movements were a direct response to this. After the massive recession happened, many middle to lower class people lost their jobs and their money while the rich were able to hold to most of what they had. This event shows the consequences of an uneven tax distribution among the social classes. Politics in recent years, despite all that has happened, has not done much of anything to help this get any better.
From time to time I hear that life is not fair. I hear that the distribution of wealth is unequal and must be changed. Nevertheless, it is not fair that small part of the society, the rich people, will benefit more than other people. The question of how the country distributes its wealth to its society is an interesting one and occupies many; however, is there any formula, which can satisfy everybody?
My dear reader, I’m not rich and don’t like the way it’s working; however, economics is a very complicated discipline; it is not black and white. Nevertheless, to economics usually accompanied politics and different points of view, which determine the game’s rules. A strong and healthy economy is not just to say redistribute the wealth. It is all nice to say, but in real life to stimulate the economy, the government has to push the strong people, the rich, and give them incentive to hire more people and decrease the unemployment rate. Nevertheless, rich people hiding behind corporations and their only goal is to make money, if they will have tax increase, for instance, they will fire people to balance again their profit.
On the other hand I believe that government is responsible for its citizens. It has to support people but not to finance them. People have to show that they are working to receive benefits from government and not sit back, and make other people work and get benefits on their back. It is a long debate whether we need to redistribute the wealth and how; however, we can’t just say take from the rich and give to the poor.
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