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'Starving the Beast'

New documentary explores the philosophy and players behind cutting state support for higher education.

By Ellen Wexler, Inside Higher Ed

Starving the Beast opens with James Carville, a well-known Democratic strategist, standing behind a microphone at Louisiana State University.

“They say,” he tells the crowd, “education is a commodity.”

By “they,” Carville means the reformers -- an assortment of politicians, think-tank leaders and university administrators -- who believe that colleges should operate like businesses. That like any other good or service, a college education has a price. “It’s a barrel of oil, it’s an ounce of gold, it’s a stock,” he says. “It’s anything.”

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