She may get some respect, but she is not likely to get a raise. Members of the USF faculty union held an informational picket recently.
Folks know their 401k plans are getting hammered as they watch the stock market tumble, but it is a little hard to envision what the "credit crunch" the media are yammering about might mean. The President of the University of San Francisco, a small Jesuit college, tried to explain it in a letter to his community today [emphasis is mine]:
I'm not going to pretend I know what action steps they are imagining that will make up for a significant decline in student tuition payments as colleges loans dry up and families loose their savings when their investments plummet. I suspect the good President doesn't have much idea either.
That's the bind we're all in. We don't know and can't imagine what might protect us in a financial meltdown, either individually or collectively.
It would be nice if we had confidence that we have a government working for our interests. But we don't. We've had nearly 30 years of government pretending it worked for our interests by either ignoring the needs of most people or giving super-assistance to rich people. Can we claw our way to envisioning a democratic (small "d") government that weighs the needs of the people, and a frying globe, as of more importance than the needs of the lucky few?