Thursday, November 20, 2008

an open letter to the governor

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

I realize you have difficult choices to make during this fiscal and economic crisis. As a member of the California Faculty Association, and a member of the Alliance for the CSU, I have already let you know that I believe cutting the budget for the CSU is a shortsighted and ultimately destructive move. The CSU contributes to the state's economy. It's the best, most secure investment the public can make.

It's important that you have all the information pertinent to these decisions, and that is the reason I'm writing to you today.

I earned a PhD in philosophy at Duquesne University in 1996. I have taught philosophy at CSU Stanislaus for 10 years. Teaching philosophy may not make any direct, sizable contribution to the economy, and I can't say I'm responsible for much economic growth, but I am at least a marginally functional member of society, and a taxpayer.

Cuts to the CSU budget would threaten my job. Since what I teach is philosophy, I'm sure you'll recognize that I clearly have no marketable skills outside of higher education. Certainly corporate America has no place for me.

I would have no choice but to turn to a life of crime. I would be forced out of quasi-productive employment into anomic, desperate felony. From being somewhat-less-than-thoroughly-useless to the many students at the CSU, I would be thrust out into the world, totally unhinged, having utterly lost any sense of right and wrong, and with no prospects for any job (did I mention: philosophy), would simply have to begin burgling, thieving, and mugging.

I hasten to point out that, although I have no criminal record, I do have some relevant experience, particularly of picking locks, breaking & entering, vandalism, petty larceny, and loitering and vagrancy.

I don't mean to threaten anything, of course. I just wanted to make sure you were properly informed about the potential impact of the fiscal choices you and the legislature have to make.

Thank you for your consideration,

Chris Nagel, PhD

I mean, consider these options:


I don't want any of those. I'm not angry/crazy enough, for starters.

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