The PIRGs: The Underside of Naderism
Back in 1979 and 1980, when I was in the Students for a Libertarian Society at the University of Minnesota, we worked with the UA chapter of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) in the movement to fight Carter's reimposition of draft registration. MPIRG was funded with the"reverse check" system mentioned by Radley. Students could get"refunds" but only if they bothered to go to a special table in the registration area (staffed by a hapless MPIRG initiate) and asked for it.
The result was that MPIRG had a nice large office while the other student groups, like SLS, had to be satisfied with relative squalor of individual desks with drawers. I am not complaining about SLS's squalor, mind you. We had a lot of fun and were actually able to sponsor some successful rallies and other events. What struck me then, and still now, was the obvious unfairness of a situation in which MPIRG, which was essentially a training ground and special perk for the College DFL (Democrats), was able to get a free ride off the entire student body.
If our experience is any guide, by the way, all this free money did not seem to translate into much action or effectiveness. The DFL politicians-in-training in MPIRG proved to be rather timid and half-hearted on the fight against draft registration. We noticed that they were always quick to disassociate themselves from our"too radical" anti-draft speakers including young rabble rousers like Tom G. Palmer , now at Cato.
comments powered by Disqus
- The ‘nation’s report card’ says it assesses critical thinking in history
- A ‘Quest for Justice’ for Murdered Civil Rights Pioneer, 52 Years Later
- Under Trump, Most Americans Lack Basic Knowledge to Understand Current Events, Study Finds
- Trump wants a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on July 4th
- What Happens When an Entire Campus Is Rooted in the Confederacy?
- Male historian tapped to lead Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas
- Decline in History Majors Continues, Departments Respond
- He’s 75 now. When he started teaching at the University of New Orleans students walked out on his class.
- ‘Fake news’ from 1738 offers lessons for modern historians, says Missouri scholar
- Peter Dreier calls on Americans to build monuments to liberal heroes