Got this from Stan Dubinsky. I got it without any context, so I don’t know who produced it, or anything else about the campaign it’s a part of (help me out, Stan — do you have a link?).
Most of the way through it, I was thinking, “You’ll never get anywhere with this.” That’s because the kinds of people who are the reasons higher education was never funded at a competitive level in South Carolina, and has been incredibly slashed from the already-low levels to a fraction of those levels, really don’t give a damn about the considerations depicted in the video. When the video asks the viewer to imagine “no social workers,” I’m thinking that the Tea Party types are going, “Hell, yes! Sounds great to me!” (And no, historically the “Tea Party” has not been a factor, by that name. But the mentality that it represents has long held sway in our state, and is one of the main reasons we lag economically behind much of the rest of the country. )
But then I get to the end and realize, this little film isn’t aimed at them. Or at me. It’s aimed at people in a position to give private dollars to prop up the institution. The makers of this video assume that the public conversation is long ago finished, and lost. In this piece, they’ve moved on.
And well they should. Several rounds of cuts back, the Legislature was only funding between 12-15 percent of the cost of running our supposedly “public” institutions of higher learning. I don’t know where the percentage is now. These formerly state institutions now look to the state as one of many, many donors it has to line up.
And this video is one way of doing that.