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The Roots of the Philanthropists Drive to Privatize Public School

August 29, 2018

Diane Ravitch wrote a post yesterday titled Why Philanthropy is Bad for Democracy: An Interview with Anand Giridharadas. After reading this interview a few days ago in the Daily Intelligencer I read a New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert titled Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age and began writing a three part post that will appear this weekend.

In reading Diane Ravitch’s post and the comments that accompanied it I was reminded of the roots of the anti-government movement that resulted in the privatization of public services that is underway today. As noted in earlier posts, the Powell Memorandum written in 1973 provided the impetus for businesses to engage in the affairs of government, an engagement that resulted in Ronald Reagan persuading voters that “Government is the problem” which, in turn unleashed deregulated capitalism on the world. In response to this anti-government and pro-business tilt, Bill Clinton and Al Gore promoted the idea that government needed to be “Reinvented” by introducing market theories into the operation of government at all levels.

Unfortunately, at tis juncture, the idea that government can actually HELP people is so noxious that the GOP uses the label “government schools” to run down public education, and no one in the Democratic party is running on a platform that “Government is Good”. MAYBE the Democratic Party will look at its name and at the very least run on a platform that DEMOCRACY is good and persuade the public that DEMOCRACY is being stolen from them by privatization and profiteering.

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