The people who say there is no difference between the MA and the PhD are also those who say that if there were no tenure, everyone would be FTE with benefits. They have a really different idea of the university than I do and it appears to be a for-profit community college.
I believe in the unity of teaching and research but I have a more Humboldtian education than I had realized heretofore. Many people do not, and in fact in the United States the other vision is that of the English college.
I remember that even when I was a child, adults would argue about this. Some said the “teachers” at the community college were better, and others pointed out that the university did research.
Everyone seems to believe there is a conflict between teaching and research but in the Humboldtian model there is not, that is to say, there is hardly. There is, however, a great conflict between the idea of the college that transmits knowledge, and the university that creates it.
There are, of course, possible problems with the idea of constant progress, constant revolution, constant production.