Posts Tagged ‘privatization’

Sex Education Culture Wars in the 60’s and the CRT Culture Wars Today Have One Common Denominator: the GOP’s Willingness to Use FEAR to Limit Dialogue

July 25, 2021 Comments off

As this Washington Post article observes, the GOP of Nixon and the GOP of whoever is in charge today have one thing in common: they are willing to use lies to generate fears that prevent rational dialogue and rational decision making. Here are some key paragraphs from the post:

Yet the facts weren’t what mattered. Culture war, as the right had learned, could thrive on conspiracy theories and half-truths — what mattered wasn’t facts, but fear . As the pamphlet’s authors, Gordon Drake and James Hargis, put it: “If the new morality is affirmed, our children will become easy targets for Marxism and other amoral, nihilistic philosophies.”

At the root of the controversy were real anxieties. Many parents in the 1960s were uncomfortable with the idea of the public school classroom being the place where children learned about sex. The country was in the midst of a rapid cultural shift, and the sex education wars reflected that.

But instead of fostering dialogue and deliberation, Nixon and his compatriots used the moment to drive a wedge between Americans, hoping that they could cleave off a large enough majority to win. A contest run simply on the facts didn’t play to Nixon’s favor, after all.

The GOP continues to seek victory at the expense of democracy… but unlike the 60s when the news was filtered by three major networks, we now have unfiltered internet posts and enablers like Fox and Sinclair networks to amplify and reinforce their lies.

Nationalization of School Board Elections, a By-Product of CRT “Debate”, Adds Another Headache for Public Education, Another Arrow for GOP Quiver

July 6, 2021 Comments off

Russell Contreras’ recent Axios article describes the most recent and chilling result of the movement to oppose “critical race theory”: school board recall elections underway across the country. Mr. Contreras writes:

The big picture: Just halfway through 2021, at least 51 local recall efforts involving K-12 school boards have been initiated this year, targeting at least 130 elected members of those boards.

Recall elections now impact a small number of school districts, but as the article notes, these recalls are the by-product of a national effort to undercut public education by injecting CRT into ALL elections for school boards, an effort that is abetted by Fox News and other national news chains like Sinclair who breathlessly report every local protest at every school board meeting. And, as Mr. Contreras notes, this is a national conspiracy taking place in full sight of everyone. He offers this bullet summary as evidence:

Don’t forget: Elementary school teachers, administrators, and college professors are facing fines, physical threats, and fear of firing as states pass bans to restrict critical race theory in public schools.

  • Citizens for Renewing America, a group led by a White House budget director under former President Trump, offers activists model legislation to craft bans in their states.

  • The proposed legislation says that equity, intersectionality, social justice, and “woke” terms are racist ideas and falsely claims that critical race theory teaches that “one race or sex is superior to another race or sex.”

  • Meanwhile, “Patriots for Delaware” in May endorsed five pro-school-reopening candidates for the state’s elections, highlighting a local push to limit social justice discussions and defy mask mandates.

  • And parents in Pennsylvania formed their own political action committee to support school board candidates running to keep kids in school in person.

The net effect of these reports is to undercut public schools and when these efforts are combined with the defunding of schools, the creation of “education savings accounts” to enable more parents to “choose” non-public alternatives to public schools, and a relentless wave of negative reporting the result is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately that prophecy spells doom for an informed electorate.

Their Foray into Public Education Beginning to Take Root, Venture Capitalists Supported by Neoliberals and the GOP Expanding into Water

July 1, 2021 Comments off

As noted in many previous posts, venture capitalists have created a “marketplace” of public education through two insidious notions: that Americans want “choice” in selecting their public schools in the same way they have “choice” when they go shopping; and that privatization will result in competition that will reduce costs to taxpayers. 

These two notions are accurate. “Choice” in public education IS like the “choice” offered to consumers. Those who are affluent have an abundance of options to choose from, can augment those options with products that enhance their opportunities, and are able to pay more for a product that is durable and superior. Those who are economically disadvantaged DO have choices: Dollar General, the Dollar Store; and Walmart. And to date, the deregulated “privatization” in public schools HAS resulted in competition and that competition, like the competition in, say, restaurants, franchise operations, and small shops, has resulted in many many failed enterprises. The gaps between the “haves” and “have nots” in our economy are mirrored in the gaps between the “haves” and “have nots” in public education and the notion that interjecting “competition” into that divide will solve the problem without increasing the costs to taxpayers is an agreeable fantasy that both political parties have promoted. One look at the results since the advent of NCLB and RTTT tell you all you need to know: “choice” and “privatization” have not moved the needle at all in terms of opportunity but HAVE increased the wealth of those who invested in the scam. 

Jim Hightower has written before on the privatization of public education… and his latest column posted in Common Dreams describes the venture capitalists latest undertaking: WATER!

Wall Street’s sharks smell money in the water. In fact, they are out to privatize, commodify and “profitize” (own) our water. Of course, with ownership comes control, both of water’s use and price. Unsurprisingly, the two core precepts of these Wall Street profiteers are: Water is greatly underpriced, so let’s make it more expensive for all users, including us common drinkers; and water must flow to its “highest use” (i.e., highest bidders), so its allocation should not prioritize nonindustrial farms, lower-income communities or even general public use—but rather advantage high-tech facilities, upscale suburban developments and high-dollar businesses willing to pay the most.

Sound familiar? This is not entirely unpredictable nor unforeseen:…. “The Big Short”, the movie that described the Wall Street crash in 2008, concluded with the suggestion that the next frontier for investment was water… 

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