"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It's Not About School Achievement, and It's Not Even About the Budget

We know now, even those among us who have been too busy working to notice, that for the past 30 years the real agenda by big money has been about privatizing public institutions, advancing fundamentalist ideology to control behavior,  and snuffing out the public space in favor of a corporate state. 

All the hype about bad schools and greedy teachers and militant gays and evil Muslims has masked the poison on the tip of spear aimed at the heart of American democracy.  It has always been, as Grover Norquist has crowed for so long, about weakening government enough so that it can dragged into the bathtub and drowned.  

As Rachel Maddow documents in the clip below (please watch both sides of the break), what is going on now is the fabrication of a crisis through the magnification of a problem that was created by the same big money that now wants to use the effects of that 2008 Wall Street heist to destroy the middle and working classes in America, while seizing permanent control of the remaining government.  It is, in effect, the Shock Doctrine in practice on a massive scale.  Examples in Maddow's report:
  • Scott in Florida cuts K-12 education $1.7 billion, while slashing corporate and property taxes
  • Kasich in Ohio makes draconian cuts to collective bargaining the centerpiece of his annual address (heavily heckled, by the way)
  • Michigan's Rick Snyder raises taxes on seniors and poor people and those giving to public universities in the amount of $1.7 billion, while giving $1.8 billion in tax cuts to Michigan's wealthy.  Also, Snyder's cutting of state aid and bankrupting towns is accompanied by a new law that gives Snyder the power to declare any town in financial emergency, with an emergency administrator appointed by the Governor who can then strip union rights, existing contracts, and even dismiss elected officials to the point of overruling and suspending local governments.  Oh yes, these emergency administrators may be corporations hired by the Governor for this task.
Watch it, including the Naomi Klein segment.  Fortunately, the American people have awakened in time to stop the catastrophe if we will act in a determined and concerted fashion over time.

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