Propaganda organs of the left hard hit by lockdown
The nation's blue-state governors seem to be far more enthusiastic about lockdowns than their red-state counterparts, perhaps because they recognize that the small businesses being driven toward extinction are a key component of the GOP base. But if their motives are so ruthless, perhaps they need to reckon with the damage being done to the key propaganda organs of the left: progressive media, higher education, and government schools.
Waves of layoffs already have hit such progressive stalwarts as Vice, Quartz, BuzzFeed, and Conde Nast. Now The Atlantic, controlled by Steve Jobs's widow and previously recruiting highly paid talent, is joining the layoff crowd. (In fairness, conservative media, including American Thinker, have also been hard hit by the catastrophic decline in advertising revenue, but we are roughly 10% of the media landscape at most, so most of the toll comes at the expense of the left.)
Higher education — almost totally dominated by the left — is, if anything, even harder hit. Having driven up tuition at a rate of three times inflation for half a century, colleges and universities are now forced to rely on remote learning, and parents are chafing at paying 30, 40, 50, or more thousand dollars a year for online studies that can be had for free or low tuition elsewhere. Colleges are scared stiff that fewer students will show up in the fall, if they even open their campuses. Meanwhile, salary and other fixed expenses are difficult or impossible to cut. Internal strife is rocking campuses whose leaders are attempting to make cuts to faculty costs.
One of the very few colleges to reopen, Liberty University, is not part of the progressive cabal, but for the rest of the leftist educational swamp, solidarity with the blue-state panic crowd is important.
Meanwhile, the closing of government schools has forced homeschooling on parents, and while many are not up to the task and are longing for the daycare function of public education to return, other parents are discovering that online learning from home may have unsuspected virtues. This poll has got to chill teacher unions and well-paid school bureaucrats:
A RealClear Opinion Research survey of 2,122 registered voters shows that support for educational choice is strong, and that a significant portion of parents are more likely to pursue homeschooling opportunities after the lockdowns end. The results show that 40% of families are more likely to homeschool or virtual school after lockdowns, and that 64% support school choice and 69% support the federal Education Freedom Scholarships proposal
[I]n the name of safety, the Centers for Disease Control are nearly guaranteeing the destruction of public schools in the United States.
They don't mean to, of course. After all, public schools are the government-run and government-approved schools. But right now, every single parent across America is homeschooling. We are all getting a look at the shortcomings of curriculum, bureaucracy, and the people involved. While some teachers have risen to the occasion and tried their absolute hardest to attend to the educational and mental well-being of their students, there are some teachers who are just mailing it in. And there are kids and families that are mailing it in as well. The situation, as it stands right now, is not a sustainable one. (snip)
is it any wonder that the frustration of parents is growing? Some are just going to opt to homeschool next fall to avoid the chaos and to take greater control of their child's education. (snip)
At the rate the districts and the CDC are going, the only kids left in public school will be the kids whose parents can't afford to get them a private tutor/governess, the kids whose parents are not involved to begin with, the kids whose parents need the public school for childcare/meal purposes, and special education kids. And if you think teachers' unions were down on homeschooling before, wait until public school enrollment drops nationwide and districts start losing real money over decreased enrollment. The best part? The unions will have no one to blame but their local government. The longer the school shutdown continues, the more parents are going to make other plans. Public education in the United States may have been unintentionally killed by government.
Yes, the pain from the lockdown is devastating for many people, and many businesses may never re-open. But entrepreneurs are entrepreneurial, and that means that new businesses will start up, replacing and in some ways improving on the old, vanished businesses. (I don't minimize the huge cost to those bankrupted by the lockdown.) But the organs of the left are far less dynamic and flexible — especially those that are run by governments.
The post-pandemic landscape will look different, that much is certain. I am far from convinced that it will favor the left.
Photo credit: Pixabay.