No politician wants to mention "redistribution" because it conjures up images of worthy "makers" forced to hand over hard-earned income to undeserving "takers." But as low-wage work proliferates in America, so-called takers are working as hard if not harder than anyone else, and often at more than one job.
I followed Khieu Mok, a garment factory worker, and one of the main subjects in the documentary film A River Changes Course, back to her village and as she placed her vote in the ballot box. I asked Khieu what she wanted most from the election -- for herself, her family and her country. She said simply, "All I want is a livable wage."
The intransigence of administrators over these issues reflects the broader corporatization of American higher education, where research is increasingly a commodity to be bought and sold, education a product to be made as cheaply as possible, and professors are laborers stripped of rights and job security.