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Gibson writes: "'Groups like ALEC, StudentsFirst, Democrats for Education Reform - in order for them to function and raise money and get private contributions, they have to show that schools are failing,' Cantor said. 'Schools in the US aren't failing. Schools with lower income kids have lower test scores, but that's a failure of society...We have to catch up with all those difficulties with no resources.'"

Students and parents from Lafayette School marched to their alderman's office March 21. (photo: Bill Healy/Chicago Public Media)
Students and parents from Lafayette School marched to their alderman's office March 21. (photo: Bill Healy/Chicago Public Media)


Carl Gibson | How the ALEC Agenda Forced Chicago's School Closings

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

07 August 13

 

his week, from August 7th to 9th, Chicago is hosting the 40th annual gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is an organization of corporate lobbyists and mostly Republican state legislators who meet behind closed doors to write corporate-approved "model legislation" to be introduced in statehouses nationwide the following year, legislation aimed at enriching corporations at the expense of the environment, workers' rights, healthcare and education. I recently participated in a Moral Monday-themed action with roughly 50 others at the Palmer House Hilton. I and five others were arrested in an act of civil disobedience while blocking the entrance to the "Empire Room."

Earlier this year, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the closing of 50 public schools, the vast majority of which serve low-income children in high-poverty neighborhoods. While the unelected Chicago Board of Education slashed school budgets and forced the firing of thousands of school employees and educators, Mayor Emanuel gave out millions in tax breaks to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange - his top campaign contributor - a new stadium for DePaul University, and possibly even more for Wrigley Field. The city isn't broke, but rather has simply made clear that corporate profits are a higher priority than public education.

The situation in Chicago is not unlike the situation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the city council has ordered the closing of 23 public schools, also in impoverished neighborhoods. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett slashed $1 billion from public education while simultaneously handing out $800 million in corporate tax breaks across the state, meaning a direct transfer of wealth from schools to the pockets of corporate CEOs. If one connects the dots, it's easy to trace all of this back to ALEC. Here's how ALEC's agenda is harming schools like those in the city hosting their annual conference.

Systematically Depriving the State of Revenue

Mayor Emanuel cites Chicago Public Schools' $1 billion deficit as a cause for his closing of 50 public schools. But Chicago is far from broke – the money is simply being given away to other non-educational ventures. The ALEC agenda operates the same way.

The Center for Media and Democracy's "ALEC Exposed" wiki has published an exhaustive database of ALEC's model legislation sorted by category. ALEC's 1995 "Sound Federal Fiscal Policy Resolution" blames higher deficits on higher taxes, rather than ALEC's other model bills aimed at repealing estate taxes and capital gains taxes, which generate significant tax revenues and are overwhelmingly paid by the super-rich. By systematically starving states of revenue by cutting taxes for the rich, a revenue crisis is created with budget cuts presented as the only solution.

Redirecting Public Funds to Privately-Run Charter Schools

Chicago Public Schools estimates that Rahm Emanuel's budget cuts are affecting classrooms to the tune of $68 million this year alone. But the Raise Your Hand Coalition puts that number closer to $162 million when accounting for the money given to privately-run charter schools. Those cuts have led to over 2,000 layoffs in the CPS system, of which approximately 1,300 are teachers.

The education reform movement gets plenty of funding from Wall Street banks and hedge fund titans to advance its cause, creating elaborately-produced documentaries like "Waiting for Superman." Walmart, well-known for its anti-union views, contributed millions to make the movie "Won't Back Down," where Maggie Gyllenhaal portrays an everywoman character who just wants the best education for her child, and the anatagonist is a bullheaded teachers' union boss selfishly pursuing her own interests rather than improving education. The charter school movement's argument contends that by letting schools operate on an independent charter, they get more autonomy in their communities and have more control over their budgeting process, and that those innovative ideas can then be applied in a public school setting.

On paper, this sounds harmless. But studies have consistently shown that public school students do better than their charter school counterparts. The Ohio Department of Education released a study last year showing that, among other results, public schools graduated 90% of their students, while charter schools only graduated 30%, even linking proficiencies with poverty levels in every instance. The real reason is cities like Chicago and Philadelphia are instead diverting public funds from public schools to charter schools at the insistence of millionaire charter school backers. This is simply one step toward privatizing more schools, thus widening the opportunity chasm between the sons and daughters of privilege and those living in poverty.

Keeping the Classes Divided

Many school systems, like those in Chicago, are funded through property taxes. This obviously leads to schools in wealthier neighborhoods having more resources than schools in poorer neighborhoods, like the ones Rahm Emanuel closed this year.

Phillip Cantor teaches Biology, Environmental Science and AP Psychology at North Grand High School. He said that while his school wasn't one of the 50 that was closed due to the budget cuts, North Grand High is still affected indirectly due to the influx of new students that were uprooted from their former schools. He added the charter school movement's agenda ignores the root causes of inequality in the education system.

"Groups like ALEC, StudentsFirst, Democrats for Education Reform— in order for them to function and raise money and get private contributions, they have to show that schools are failing," Cantor said. "Schools in the US aren't failing. Schools with lower income kids have lower test scores, but that's a failure of society … We have to catch up with all those difficulties with no resources."

Cantor believes in community-oriented solutions that turn schools into community centers that can provide resources for parents in economic distress. He says that if schools can't help distressed parents provide a stable home environment for children, then that limits students' ability to learn in the classroom.

"I have a student in my class trying to learn molecular biology as a 15 year-old, but he just spent the night sleeping on a chair in a basement apartment with 15 other people, several of whom are making tamales because that's how they pay their rent, five of whom are drinking and playing cards and gambling," Cantor said. "How can he stay awake and how can he learn about DNA when he's not ready to learn?"

Busting Teachers' Unions

Michelle Rhee of StudentsFirst is one of the most outspoken detractors of teachers' unions. She quit her job as DC's chancellor of schools after firing roughly 200 teachers and putting another 700 on notice based on student test scores. Since then, her StudentsFirst organization has become a nationwide effort funded by millions from big finance and has recently dumped considerable sums into union-busting efforts in Ohio and Michigan.

Cantor is a member of the Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU), and participated in the citywide teachers' strike in Fall of 2012. The strike was the first one authorized by the CTU in 25 years, and was called after they refused the city's offer of pay increases for some and layoffs for others, and when the city refused their demands to expand programs like art and music in underfunded schools.

"They've had their share of controversies in the past, but I've never been prouder of my union," Cantor said. "Our strike had support of both the students and their parents."

A 2002 study by Arizona State University found that students learning from unionized educators statistically achieved more than those learning from teachers who didn't have a union. This could be because unionized teachers can advocate for students openly without fear of retribution from principals or school boards. It could also mean that unions like the CTU tend to be some of the only groups that advocate for equity in school districts.

"The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Schools in high value areas and wealthy suburbs do really well in terms of test scores. Their parents pay a lower property tax rate than we do in Chicago because the property is worth so much more," Cantor said. "They constantly raise taxes for schools and they don't mind, because those are their kids. But we don't yet have the political will in this country to do that on a massive scale. The people in power want to educate their kids, not all kids."



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+29 # dkonstruction 2013-08-07 09:41
Scarcity under contemporary capitalism is almost never "natural" (just like "natural disasters" are more often not created and or exacerbated by human meddling e.g., Katrina) and this includes our fiscal problems. These have been created to push a right-wing agenda over the last 35 years to roll back all of the gains made by working people (including more equitable tax rates, worker safety/protecti on legislation, minimum wage laws etc.) since the late 19th century and before the gains made during the Progressive Era that led to the development of the first sizable middle class this country ever saw and addressed for the first time the extreme income inequality that had always been one of the hallmark's of capitalist development.

Time for people to start rejecting the notion that we have a "fiscal crisis" and can't afford things like fully funding our public schools (not to mention providing real, affordable health care to all; jobs for all; rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; etc). Until we realize that scarcity is a myth and one perpetrated for political reasons we are doomed and locked into accepting the austerity mythology that for the most part both political parties have bought into.
 
 
+19 # L. Sabransky 2013-08-07 09:44
Thank you very much for this article - very timely. I live in Chicago and will be attending both the film screening/panel discussion and protest tomorrow. Hope to meet you there.
 
 
+14 # cordleycoit 2013-08-07 09:59
The schools issue was brought ab out by the rich and kept boiling by the rich. Public education was brought about by the rich to teach children to sit still and do piecework in the late eighteen hundreds. It improved under the influence of Dewey Goodman and others. Class size is everything and classes with more than fifteen students are difficult to manage, more than twenty impossible to teach. On arts and music it comes down to master/signifie r.
 
 
+13 # btfeldman 2013-08-07 10:34
Amid the cacophony of education arguments, the secretly overriding common-denomina tor for real achievement GAINS is intensive teaching for those kids who need it most. This means tiny groups of children per real, permanent teacher and the opposite of tearing down schools and teachers.
 
 
-35 # MidwesTom 2013-08-07 10:52
Several times the author lists "the failure of society". I assume that what he is talking about is the end result of what was once known as the Great Society Program. Which in effect substituted the government for parents in raising and paying for children, thus literally destroying the family structure, and actually in some cases encouraging childbirth as a means of economic survival. Until society corrects this situation we are forever perpetuating an underclass.
 
 
+16 # dkonstruction 2013-08-07 11:30
Quoting MidwesTom:
Several times the author lists "the failure of society". I assume that what he is talking about is the end result of what was once known as the Great Society Program. Which in effect substituted the government for parents in raising and paying for children, thus literally destroying the family structure, and actually in some cases encouraging childbirth as a means of economic survival. Until society corrects this situation we are forever perpetuating an underclass.


There were many things wrong with the Great Society Programs and I am the first to criticize them. That being said, however, the failure of the Great Society Programs has nothing to do with the retreat from this countries commitment to high quality public education including primary, secondary and higher education.

In the 1930s California had one of the worst public education systems in the country. They then decided to invest massively in their education system including creating a free higher education system that became the best in the country. As a result, California's economy took of in no small part due to the now highly educated workforce they were turning out. So, you are mixing and confusing apples and oranges. The Great Society Programs were indeed in many ways a disaster as programs that were intended to deal with poverty in this country but that is a very different issue nor does it address the new problem of privatization and charter schools.
 
 
-10 # MidwesTom 2013-08-07 14:08
My wife taught foreign language for two years in an inter-city high school. One of her students had earlier received a D in English, so the counselor sent the student to her class. when she gave him an F (failed every test, and missed several classes). she was then called to the Asst. Principal's office and told that she had to change his grade to passing, because her wanted to play College sports and needed a C. She refused to change it, but the Principal did change it. She quit there that sprains.

Alabama just enacted dual standards for minority students. Then people wonder why there is stall racial tension in this country.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2013-08-08 13:05
Quoting MidwesTom:
My wife taught foreign language for two years in an inter-city high school. One of her students had earlier received a D in English, so the counselor sent the student to her class. when she gave him an F... she was then called to the Asst. Principal's office and told that she had to change his grade to passing, because her wanted to play College sports and needed a C. She refused to change it, but the Principal did change it. She quit there that sprains.

Alabama just enacted dual standards for minority students. Then people wonder why there is stall racial tension in this country.


cite source for Alabama enacting "dual standards for minority students."

In my experience only (some) white people "wonder why there is stall (sic) racial tension in this country."

If your wife was going to and did quit that "sprains" (sic) why did she permit the principal to change a grade of a student in one of her classes without challenging it? Why did the school even send a student who "had earlier received" (this is redundant...if they "received"....p ast tense...it must have been earlier) a D in English into a foreign language class (unless the foreign language was his/her -- can't tell from your description of the student since you refer to the student as he and her)? Would it have made a difference if this were not an "inter-city" (sic) school and if not why mention this (other than the fact that it is code for "minority student").
 
 
-19 # MidwesTom 2013-08-07 11:03
The of the contributing factors to this article is the financial situation of Illinois. The author mentioned the tax breaks given to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. They came about when the legislature raised taxes two years ago, and several companies announced that they were looking to relocate. The Mercantile Exchange actually optioned ground and initiated a move to Carmel Indiana, where their taxes would be about half or those here. In order to keep them and many other major employers in Illinois, the state gave out tax breaks that totaled more than the new tax was to bring in. They kept the jobs, but dug one more shovel full of your financial grave.

Remember that all state offices in Illinois are held by Democrats, and the legislature is in special session to solve our $100 Billion pension crisis, with no solution after 5 weeks.
 
 
+15 # dkonstruction 2013-08-07 11:34
Quoting MidwesTom:
The of the contributing factors to this article is the financial situation of Illinois. The author mentioned the tax breaks given to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. They came about when the legislature raised taxes two years ago, and several companies announced that they were looking to relocate. The Mercantile Exchange actually optioned ground and initiated a move to Carmel Indiana, where their taxes would be about half or those here. In order to keep them and many other major employers in Illinois, the state gave out tax breaks that totaled more than the new tax was to bring in. They kept the jobs, but dug one more shovel full of your financial grave.

Remember that all state offices in Illinois are held by Democrats, and the legislature is in special session to solve our $100 Billion pension crisis, with no solution after 5 weeks.


All the studies that have been done about why big firms move have shown that business taxes (which are a small % of their overall costs) are the reasons. A study was done on this in NY in the 1970s when businesses were moving and the reasons given were not taxes but rather: high costs of rent (which meant they had to pay higher salaries); poor public education system (which meant they had to pay their workers more as the parents wanted to send their kids to private schools); and poor public transportation (which meant they couldn't get their workers to work on time).

Bullshit propaganda is just that.
 
 
-11 # MidwesTom 2013-08-07 14:23
"All the studies that have been done about why big firms move have shown that business taxes (which are a small % of their overall costs) are the reasons."

Illinois is an interesting case, we have the lowest credit rating of any state, we already have a 10.25% sales tax in Chicago, workmen's comp rates that are much higher than our neighbors, and one of the state's answers to the financial problem has been to hire a record number of inspectors in literally every agency. Our local DNR manager told me that this is the largest staff that he has ever had, and that he is supposed to therefore increase his district fines.

Illinois has not cut any major program. I am afraid that Chicago is just ten to fifteen years ahead of Detroit. Chicago is the murder capital of the country. Less than 50% of it's students graduate from High school. Money alone will not solve it's problems.
 
 
-11 # MidwesTom 2013-08-07 16:06
The one thing that might save Chicago is the high end growth in the immediate vicinity of the downtown area. I sometimes refer to this as the Indianapolis approach---simp ly remove all low income neighborhoods that are close to downtown. Chicago is using this approach on the south and west sides. The state is another matter. I do not think that they can raise taxes without really negative consequences; which leaves cutting programs, and pensions. Stay tuned, some very unpopular decisions may be coming.
 
 
+3 # xflowers 2013-08-07 18:24
To both of you I've just read your interesting debate and thought I would add a few words. Dkonstruction, I think you are absolutely right about what great education has meant to California, which is why it pains me to see the state throwing much of that away. I have friends that had to leave the Bay Area and move up to Seattle after adopting because the real estate was too expensive to put their kid in a good public school and they couldn't afford private education. MidwesTom, your description of Illinois, most particularly Chicago really does make it look like a basket case. The problem is you have no ideas, at least not stated here. Getting back to education which I agree is key, Gibson makes a really good point. It's not the schools as much as it is the social dysfunction created by poverty. That existed before the War on Poverty, which is why Johnson created the program. It didn't solve it. We still have acute poverty with all the social problems that go with it. That's what is key and must be solved. Why do we have such an economically stratified society which leaves growing numbers feeling hopeless and acting out as hopeless people have always done trying to survive.
 
 
+2 # Mrcead 2013-08-08 05:09
Your "solution" is merely phase II of the plan to restructure Chicago that started many decades ago. What I mean is that it was a plan from the gate to ruin the city in order to "save it" and thus reshape it to design. The "problems" that face the city are man made. People had to actively quit doing their jobs properly in order for the city to decay. There is only one way to run a city and Chicago has been fine up until the demographic shift so again, for social reasons, people will turn their backs and allow society to crumble until they get their way - so be it but it has it's price - infamy in history.

Gentrification just doesn't happen, it has to be purposefully planned. The only thing that stops progress in America is the will to do so - end of.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2013-08-08 13:14
Quoting MidwesTom:
The one thing that might save Chicago is the high end growth in the immediate vicinity of the downtown area. I sometimes refer to this as the Indianapolis approach---simply remove all low income neighborhoods that are close to downtown. Chicago is using this approach on the south and west sides. The state is another matter. I do not think that they can raise taxes without really negative consequences; which leaves cutting programs, and pensions. Stay tuned, some very unpopular decisions may be coming.


you must then also love the Robert Moses approach to "development" since he hated poor folks (especially those who weren't white) as much as you seem to. The negative effects of Moses' development work is still being felt here in NY (including the thousands of public housing residents who were stranded in their high rise buildings in the rockaways where Moses dumped them to get them the hell out of NY's "downtown" (luckily the folks on the lower east side fought him -- the only ones who won -- and were able to maintain this part of lower Manhattan as affordable housing for poor and working class (and over time mostly minority) folks at least until the 80s when the gentrifiers and developers and pig politicians like Giuliani forced almost all of them out over the next couple of decades.
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2013-08-08 13:18
Quoting MidwesTom:
The state is another matter. I do not think that they can raise taxes without really negative consequences; which leaves cutting programs, and pensions. Stay tuned, some very unpopular decisions may be coming.



NYS has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country and business is doing just fine so this argument is simply bull and does not hold up to scrutiny.

NYS also had (it was repealed by our Neanderthal state legislature until it was partially put back in the last session but not fully since our neo-liberal Gov. Cuomo opposed this) a millionaires tax with no "negative consequences" so this one too is just bull and does not hold up when you examine it honestly.

So, of course the only thing that right-wing ideologues include as fiscal/budget options are cutting the programs and raiding the pension funds of working people whom they have always despised, never supported and have been trying since Reagan (if not before) to do away with completely.
 
 
+1 # CarlGibson 2013-08-08 00:42
Excellent comment, dkonstruction. Someone brought up a similar point on the HuffPost version of this story, and I quoted you in the comments thread.

See it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/how-the-alec-agenda-forced_b_3719263.html?utm_hp_ref=chicago
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2013-08-08 08:04
Quoting CarlGibson:
Excellent comment, dkonstruction. Someone brought up a similar point on the HuffPost version of this story, and I quoted you in the comments thread.

See it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/how-the-alec-agenda-forced_b_3719263.html?utm_hp_ref=chicago


Thanks Mr. Gibson for the kind words and for using my comment. I always enjoy and more often than not agree with your writing (and where I disagree my criticisms are usually in the spirit of constructive criticism and usually aren't because I disagree with your overall perspective.... my biggest problem with much of what comes from liberals/progre ssives/"the left" these days is that even when their analysis of the problem is good -- and there is far too little of this i'm afraid -- they too often have no real practical ideas as to what to do or how to change the situation beyond a kind of reactive politics that has led to us getting our butts kicked for at least the last 35 years. keep up the good work and thanks again for your kind words.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2013-08-08 08:10
Quoting dkonstruction:
[quote
All the studies that have been done about why big firms move have shown that business taxes (which are a small % of their overall costs) are the reasons.



Realized there was a typo in my original comment...the first line should read that "business taxes are NOT the reasons" that businesses move.
 
 
+12 # JJMK3 2013-08-07 11:06
New Boat Marina's - New Airport for the Elites here in Northern Michigan. Yet we are laying off teachers and cutting programs for those in need...... "Money has Clout; always will."
 
 
+7 # Barbara K 2013-08-07 14:53
JJMK3: I am a Michigan resident. The crooked gov wants to bankrupt Detroit and build a new hockey arena. Where is the sense in that. There is no way I would believe it is not on purpose. If they can build a new hockey arena, they can use that money to save Detroit. It is all political. And the rich will get richer, while the poor get nothing. Look what they did in Benton Harbor, and the Pontiac Silverdome. These are a bunch of vultures tearing this state apart. We need to VOTE THEM OUT. We have people who were not elected taking over the state and firing the people we did elect. This state needs some big time investigating and we need Anonymous to watch our next election. Something is crooked with that too. They are now working on taking away voting rights and womens rights. GET THEM OUT, including the Tbagger Secretary of State and the Judge sitting on the recall petitions for the past 3 years.
 
 
+10 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-08-07 12:43
Let's not overlook Arne Duncan's poisonous part in all this. As CEO of Chicago schools in the last decade, he closed neighborhood schools and replaced them with charter schools. In 2009, appointed Secretary of Education by Obama, one of Duncan's highly suspect initiatives was to encourage states to vie for federal education dollars by submitting proposals that include reforms such as expanding charter schools.

It's an open secret that the destruction of our public schools is high on the agenda of America's Corporatocracy. What seems to elude so many otherwise intelligent progressive is that a large number of so-called Democrats in very high offices are actively promoting this educational death spiral.
 
 
+5 # Act of Defiance 2013-08-07 18:26
Yes, and apparently it eludes most of those logging on here -- or you would have gotten a few more thumbs up.

Isn't it interesting how many will applaud an incisive comment when you leave Obama and his cohorts out of it but will shy away from it if you name names. It's as though they still can't believe that they've been had.

Brings to mind the sage observation of an unknown philosopher who once remarked: "The longer it takes you to realize you've been had, the more thoroughly they had you."
 
 
+4 # letsfixit 2013-08-07 14:18
We need to stop identifying all the symptoms of failure and start looking at the causes. The US is number 8 of the top industrialized nations and the spiral continues downhill. Math and science whizzes are recruited for the financial services and derivatives markets- and produce nothing. Teaching is a critical skill but people are so drug over the coals by the time we need those senior retired people in classes to teach, they just amble off to assisted living and die. (another loss of what family means) We are critically mismanaging the capabilities of this nation. We are creating jobs that pay nothing and continue to migrate jobs that COULD pay something to china. Until Congress decides to start working FOR the nation instead of processes that exacerbate our current dilemma the only direction is to go downhill. Everyone talks about how great the XL pipeline is for jobs, but excuse me, its ONLY $35 billion. We spend that much in less than two weeks printing money for bond purchases. We are completely not paying attention.
 
 
+3 # Mrcead 2013-08-08 04:54
Penny wise, pound/dollar foolish is the saying and it fits the state of America.
 
 
+4 # modernjacobin 2013-08-07 15:26
The 1% wants the 99% as dumb as possible. As Tom Paine said way back in 1792, it is only "aristocratical and monarchical government that requires ignorance for its support."

Well, the 1% are our new "aristocratical and monarchical govt." That's why they love Downton Abbey, lusting after pretend estates on the Hamptons, with their pseudo-Gothic, colonial recreation of past 1% Gilded style architecture. (n.b., they love the past because they are assbackwards.)Y ou betcha they want to hang onto their power and $$$, whether Repug or Dem!

That's why they hate education for others as much as a vampire hates light. And why they hatch up facetious BS like "you can't throw money at education." Meanwhile, of course, they send their spawn to the likes of Andover, Kent, and other private schools costing upwards of $40,000 a year enroute to the grade-inflated, overrated, overpriced, likes of Harvard, Yale, Princeton.

Do note that ALL of those who've proposed dubious ideas on education are elite educated. Hence, GWB (Phillips, Yale, Harv.) w/ his abysmal No Child. And why Santorum (Catholic school) complains that college is "elitist" despite a law degree. On the Dem side, there's Rahm (Sarah Lawrence, Northwestern)wh o sends his brats to a pricy prep school while he shuts down schools in already underserved minority areas. The same goes for Bloomberg (Hopkins, Harvard) and his onetime school chancellor, Cathie Black.

No wonder they are clueless about public education!
 
 
+2 # tbcrawford8 2013-08-07 16:54
The US's downhill race to oblivion is escalating and reflects the pattern of other civilizations' death throes throughout the ages. The American democratic experiment had a pretty good run, but it's over. Those who don't want to acknowledge this are doomed to repeat history. I encourage the rest of us to cope the best we can...
 
 
+5 # Mrcead 2013-08-07 20:00
Sorry but let's call a duck a duck.

The REAL reasons Republicans want to dismantle public sector jobs:

1. To come in and fill the would be peerless market voids with a company(s) they own shares in thus instantly becoming billionaires - if not already. Retirement, education, medical, investigation, legal, zoning, etc.

2. To keep the classes divided because the government is the #1 employer of minorities since most minorities aren't socially compatible with the prevalent American social dynamics (for whatever reason) and thus are not seen as competitive(thi s reason is probably the #1 reason technically since it goes against everything Republicans believe in) and certain people in their eyes should remain at a specified socioeconomic level to keep "the order" as they want it(hence the name "conservative") - a pick and choose labour force from burger flippers to engineers. Government jobs with pensions circumvent this system (duh, why they were created in the first place - to give people an incentive to stay in the same life stagnant job for 20+ years - could you imagine a fire department that hired and fired multiple times yearly because of a competitive atmosphere? What would the service be like? Don't pay your bill, your house burns down - ask Vicky Bell http://rt.com/usa/home-pay-fire-bell-299/).

3. That's about it, Republicans aren't all that deep.
 

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