Sunday, November 27, 2011

Protest at Baruch Monday Nov 28th 4:00pm Against $1500 Tuition Hikes.

CUNY Students Rally for Education and Against Anti-Democratic Lock-Down
November 27, 2011

Contact: Dominique Nisperos (510) 788-0085, Elizabeth Sibilia (347) 249-2326
New York, NY– In a defensive move, City University New York’s (CUNY) Baruch
College President Mitchel Wallerstein announced yesterday his decision to
cancel all classes beginning after 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 28th at
the school’s Newman Vertical Campus. The lock-down coincides with the 4:30
p.m. convening of the CUNY Board of Trustees, to finalize contentious votes
on across-the-board $1,500 tuition increase and the allocation of up to $15
million to expand security inside CUNY schools.

The campus lock-down is planned even though CUNY’s own legal department
shows that the meeting falls under New York State Open Meeting Law and is
legally required to be open to the public, including any CUNY students who
wish to attend as long as the room is at legal capacity.
“This desperate and unethical move by the Board of Trustees and Baruch
officials represents a victory for students and the public” explains Priya
Chandrasekaran, a doctoral student in Anthropology at The CUNY Graduate
Center who also teaches at Hunter College. “They've gone to such great
lengths to shut us out on the 28th because they finally get that we have
the power of numbers, righteousness, and ideas on our side.”
Chandrasekaran like many students and faculty opposing the fees see the
cancellations as a further example of the misdirected priorities of the
system’s administration rather than what Wallerstein asserts is necessary
to “ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff during the period
surrounding the meeting.”

A week prior to the scheduled meeting, hundreds of CUNY students were
denied access to a purportedly public hearing at their own university. A
peaceful attempt to hold an alternative hearing and sit-in in the
building’s lobby was met with CUNY security officers wielding batons to
jab, shove, and hit students and faculty. Despite administrative claims
otherwise, video evidence documents that CUNY Officers initiated an
unprovoked attack on students and the presence of New York Police
Department Officers within the school. 15 students were arrested, several
injured, and five held in jail overnight in New York’s central booking.
University faculty view these acts as attempts to silence the growing
dissent at CUNY and have responded to the brutality with a student
solidarity campaign, collecting more than 2,000 signatures petitioning for
the resignation of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein--who also doubles as a
Trustee of the JP Morgan Funds.

"I'm proud to teach at a university where students take their education so
seriously that they are willing to protest to defend it, even when faced
with brutal police violence,” says Anthony Alessandrini, Associate
Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College. “The violent
attacks on student protesters at CUNY and other universities is an attack
not only upon their right to express their views, but an attack upon their
fundamental human right to pursue their education.”
A coalition of students from across CUNY’s campuses has organized students,
staff, faculty, community and union members for A People's Assembly to
Defend Education, a rally for increased access to public education,
democratic decision-making, and against policing and police brutality. The
event will convene on Monday, November 28, at 4:00 p.m. Outside of Baruch
College’s 25th Street Vertical Campus building.

Follow @OccupyCUNYGC on Twitter

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Growth Rate of Bachelor's Degrees.

Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz made an important point a couple of years ago about how the growth rate of people getting bachelor's degrees is slowing down.

Anyway, I have a cruder measure of this phenomenon than they do.  I just took the raw/simple measure of BA attainment from CPS data.  The Table below measures the rate of growth of people with "4 or more years" of college education.  The two numbers are just two different ways to calculate "average annual growth rates" because the data isn't there for all the years in the series. 

2000 2010   2.93%


1980-2000 3.58%


1960-1980 5.49%
1965-1980 5.56%

1940-1960 2.75%

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Texts on the Financial Crisis.

I don't know why its taken me until now to just centralize this in one blog post.

This American Life Episode #355: “The Giant Pool of Money” (iTunes: 99cents 1 hour)
Matt Taibbi: The Great American Bubble Machine

Inside Job: On Netflix. I have not found any place to watch this for free.

Gary Gorton on the Financial Crisis

Charles Calomiris on the Financial Crisis
The above link is a direct link to the October 29, 2009 EconTalk podcast. You can play the podcast directly from the site or download it. If you prefer, you can also subscribe to the podcast through the ITunes Store.

William Black on the Financial Crisis
This is also from EconTalk.  It is newer than the Calomiris podcast though Black does mention him.

Median Income in the 5 Boroughs.

So, it turns out that Wikipedia has already covered this.  It isn't clear, but I believe these numbers are from the 2010 census.  I was wrong about Queen's median income:

age in
New York City$48,631$75,80918.5%
New York State$53,514$77,86513.7%
Staten Island$66,985$81,4989.8%
United States$50,140$69,19313.0%

I highly suggest reading the whole income section from this Wikipieda page.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Three Videos About The Rise of the Subdivision

In some ways I think the videos below are better than the readings in giving you a sense of what it is like to build and live in post-war suburbia:

I'm not sure if this is professionally produced but the video below gives you a sense of the relatively quick evolution of the subdivision from Levittown, NY to Levittown, PA.  Most usefully the video lists the six kinds of houses available in PA in contrast with the two available in the first NY project:

The next video is a series of industrial  videos.  I like it because it focuses on construction.  I don't think people think a lot about technological advances in home building but it's important to remember that there was a lot of what you can call R&D that went into both the process of building and the materials used.  Of course, the irony of asbestos shingles as the wave of the future isn't going to escape anyone.  Anyway, if you don't watch the whole thing watch the last minute of the video it is a really fascinating time lapse of the construction of a house in a single day:

Finally, here is a video produced by Redbook magazine in 1957.  It's another industrial video and this one is clearly targeted at advertisers.  This is a really important video to watch for a couple of reasons.  The anthropological tone on the video is fascinating and while it's useful as a historical document about the demographic being described it also gives you a clear picture of how sophisticated advertising had become by this point.  Again, think of this as a kind of "technology" that is developing (and continues to develop) driven by the sciences of psychology, sociology etc.