As we all are well aware, California is in a period of profound financial uncertainty, which has left its citizens facing unprecedented austerity measures.
Despite these harsh realities, we here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP) are not at all convinced that such insolvent conditions require everyone to tighten their belts. Call us naive idealists, but our Darwinian sense of fiscal ethics leads us to believe that only a vast majority of Californians need suffer the pangs of pecuniary restraint.
Recently, UCMeP was thrilled to learn that we are not alone in our blue-blooded budgetary beliefs.
As most of you have surely heard, on December 9, 2010, 36 of the UC’s highest paid executives and administrators sent a particularly precocious letter to President Mark Yudof and the UC Board of Regents. In this tenacious missive, the magnanimous millionaires invoked their natural right of affluent existence by demanding an additional $5.5 million per year in pension benefits – in addition to a meager $51 million dollars in back pensions they claimed they already deserve.
Should the UC refuse, these fervent viceroys vow to put their money where their genteel mouths are and fight for “what is right.” Displaying an unflinching sense of selfless righteousness, they promise to wage a “costly and unsuccessful legal confrontation” which will surely be for the benefit of the entire UC.
With the UC facing elephantine budget woes that include an already $21.6 billion unfunded pension obligation, populist irrationalism has led many at the UC to hastily condemn the demand as “tone deaf.”
Lest one be left with the deplorably false notion that these administrators are simply motivated by greed, it is important to note the highly principled grounds of their modest entreaty, particularly their estimable appeal that the UC fulfill its “moral and ethical obligation.” Of course, the obligation they refer to has nothing at all to do with the UC providing excellence in affordable public education to the state of California. Rather, the signatories draw on the Regent Richard Blum School of morality, which avers that every available resource be used to ensure that the filthy rich get richer while struggling workers lose their jobs and unprecedented numbers of students go into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt-slavery just to go to school.
Having been fully convinced by the moral dimensions of the argument propounded by the Gilded 36 (the name to which these administrators answer), UCMeP was devastated to hear UC President Mark Yudof and UC Regent Chairman Russell Gould’s recent public declaration that the UC had no legal obligation to raise the pensions of its highest-paid executives. Yet given all we know about the Regents and President Yudof (whose own annual pension will reach $350,000 a year by 2015), UCMeP is confident that by the time the March Regents’ meeting rolls around (when the issue will be decided), our plutocratic leaders at the UC will have seen the light and will do what is only fair – give millions of dollars to people who already have millions of dollars.
But until that time comes, UCMeP ardently believes that something must be done to immediately relieve these 36 individuals of their unfortunate and undeserved financial worries.
UCMeP has long been a champion of the UC’s wealthiest – albeit most under-appreciated – public servants. Past UCMeP philanthropic endeavors include the wildly successful Adopt-a-Regent Campaign (ARC) and the drive to “Help Buy Mark Yudof a Plane.” In continuing our philanthropic commitment, UCMeP is proud to announce a bold and brand new initiative aimed at helping those administrators who are terrified by the prospect of a retirement pension only worth millions.
We are calling for the creation of the Bereft Administrators’ Relief Fund (BARF).
The aim of BARF is simple: in the two months leading up to the March Regents’ meeting, UCMeP is asking each and every one of you to not only donate money, but also to help collect money for these downtrodden administrators. Unlike previous UCMeP endeavors, BARF is a grassroots campaign carried out by you, the concerned students, teachers, and employees of the University of California.
BARF is modeled on the astounding success of other grassroots humanitarian relief campaigns undertaken at the UC, which benefitted similar causes such as the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Although these administrators didn’t lose their homes, they sure could use another one.
After everything the Gilded 36 have done for the state of California, the very least we can give them is BARF.
If these administrators are going to get all the BARF they deserve, we must make BARF a collective effort. To this end, UCMeP will be providing interested volunteers at every campus with BARF Bags ©, which can be used for gathering donations. Or, you can make your very own BARF Bag © by following the easy instructions provided below. All the BARF collected (cash, check, notes of encouragement, canned food, etc.) should be mailed to:BARF c/o Dean Christopher Edley 215 Boalt Hall Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
If you are interested in volunteering or coordinating the BARF effort at your campus, we encourage you to e-mail UCMeP’s Berkeley chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We here at UCMeP sincerely hope that you will take part in this noble effort to help California keep its promise to the UC wealthiest administrators.Instructions for making your very own BARF Bag ©: 1. Print out the BARF emblem found here (in color or in b/w). 2. Cut out the BARF emblem. 3. Acquire a brown lunch bag. 4. Using tape or paste, adhere the BARF emblem onto the front of the bag. 5. Now you have your very own BARF Bag ©!!