To The Contrary Updated: 03/18/06
'Bias' in beholder's eye
To the Contrary
Email This Article Print This Story
Subscribe To Print
By Charles M. Kelly Special To The Herald
After noting in his column of March 15, that the faculty at Stanford University included 275 registered Democrats and just 36 registered Republicans, Thomas Sowell suggested that politics has intruded into the hiring process at many colleges and universities: Professors must "...see teaching as a means of social change -- meaning change in leftward direction."

Others have made similar charges against professional journalists. The fact that they are overwhelmingly registered Democrats leads conservative critics to try to convince the public that they are "biased liberals."

Of course, one could be a liberal ideologue and then go into teaching or journalism. But the more likely sequence is that true professors and journalists adhere to the scientific nature of their professions, and objectively observe what's actually going on in our society and the world. As a result, most become liberals and vote Democratic.

If professors and journalists do have a consistent bias, it's the belief that government must represent the interests of the total society: Rich and poor, investors and workers, majorities and minorities, as well as the physical environment. As a result of this bias, if you choose to call it a bias, they have no choice but to antagonize the right-wing conservatives who are causing most of today's economic and international problems.

The disaster of Iraq, the explosion of billionaires and multi-millionaires, the skyrocketing deficit, the disintegration of the middle class, and the huge income and wealth disparity between America's rich and poor are now obvious to everyone. It doesn't take any "bias" to report or describe the disastrous effects of our country's conservative policies of the past 30 years.

Clinton and NAFTA

This period also includes the time when Clinton stole the Republican cause of globalization by pushing NAFTA through Congress. At least Clinton raised taxes on those who benefited most from globalization, instead of granting them tax breaks.

Today's right-wing conservative bias, on the other hand, is that government should represent the interests of the wealthy and the powerful at the direct expense of the working-class.

Take, for example, taxes. Today's government policy is deliberately designed to benefit our new aristocracy at the direct expense of workers. For example, Barron's -- probably our most influential conservative financial publication for serious investors -- noted: "By gradually taking capital out of the tax base through reductions in levies on dividends, capital gains and inheritances, Bush is transforming the income tax into a pure tax on wages. If Bush can finish his work, the capital gains, dividend and estate taxes may disappear entirely."

The wealth gap

How's that for an almost dictionary definition of an aristocracy? We're creating an economic and political system in which wealth is inherited, the income from wealth is not taxed and the tax burdens are shifted to those who work for a living.

The relentless downward trend for good-paying working-class jobs is occurring throughout our country as we exchange jobs that pay decent wages for jobs at poverty level wages. At the same time, of course, the incomes of our new aristocracy -- top corporate executives, investors, and the inheritors of wealth -- are skyrocketing. As a matter of fact, the tax breaks that have been given to our new aristocracy have probably exacerbated the problem, as these people invest in today's emerging economic powerhouses: China and India. They put their money in those countries with the lowest wages, worst working conditions and the fewest protections of workers and the environment.

It's about time that the voting public realized that the majority of today's journalists are the most objective reporters of what's happening in our society, and most college professors are the best objective analysts of economic, social and environmental issues. The right-wing defenders of America's wealthy and powerful, like Mr. Sowell, are trying to divert attention from the failures of right-wing conservative ideology by discrediting the very ones we should be paying attention to.

Chuck Kelly is a retired management consultant in Tega Cay, and is author of "The Destructive Achiever," "Power and Ethics in the American Corporation," and "Class War in America." He can be reached at

This weekly column features opposing views from readers. These opinions are contrary to those expressed on this page or which otherwise take issue with something that appears in The Herald. All commentaries submitted become the property of The Herald and may be republished in any format.

'Bias' in beholder's eye - 03/18/06

Shopping Buy and sell anything and everything in one stop.
Subscription Who's Getting The Chair?
Buzzies Find the best place to get a bagel or a good lunch.
Photo Reprint Order photos that have been displayed in print or online.