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Mon Oct 19, 2015, 11:46 AM

Do you know who Dmitri Mehlhorn is?

Last edited Mon Oct 19, 2015, 12:19 PM - Edit history (1)

Dmitri Mehlhorn (yes, that really is his name) is a venture capitalist and private equity attorney who is the author of the Daily Beast hit piece, "Bernie’s Socialist Dreamland Is BS". A self-described "Democratic activist", his "activism" largely revolves around being the co-founder of the pro-charter school, teacher union-busting group, StudentsFirst -- which is, to say, he fronts a small group of venture capitalists who are chomping at the bits to grab a share of your tax dollars which would otherwise go towards public schools.

StudentsFirst's cornerstone goal is the total abolition of teacher tenure, and its secondary goal is the replacement of educator's defined benefits retirement plans (guaranteed retirement benefits) with "defined contribution plans" (non- guaranteed retirement benefits). These defined contribution plans would be managed, naturally, by Wall Street hedge funders such as Dan Loeb, whose name might be familiar to you as one of two major players (the other being vulture fund villain Paul Singer) who shook down American taxpayers for several billions of TARP bank bailout-designated dollars -- and then used the money to ship every single Delphi union job overseas to China.

But back to Mehlhorn himself. Some of this "Democratic activist's" recent personal musings:

1) "The #TPP is good for progressive causes and social justice."

2) "The evidence in favor of charter schools is becoming overwhelming."

3) "You know, Julie, government-run monopoly schools reinforce residential segregation."

And though Mehlhorn posts Kabubi-style "Let's laugh at the Koch brothers" blurbs and makes fun of Donald Trump, he also writes papers for the American Enterprise Institute, his StudentsFirst group employs ALEC bullet points, and he retweets Cato Institute propaganda.

This Stanford, Harvard, and Yale-educated venture capitalist likes to portray himself as though he were a character out of The Grapes of Wrath:

http://dropoutnation.net/2014/10/07/why-teachers-have-no-voice/

"In many of my early memories, my mom told me about her work as a teacher as I sat on a makeshift wooden platform between the front seats of my family’s Volkswagen van. As we drove through the tough neighborhoods of Richmond, California in the 1970s, she told me she became a teacher to work for a world where people were no longer judged by the color of their skin. She also told me she was in a union, like her grandmothers who’d been seamstresses in New York City in the early 1900s."


Can't you just smell those homecooked grits? Picture the moonshine brewing in the tub? That's Mehlhorn's setup for this:

"Unions are structurally biased against student interests...the hope is that eroding traditional union power will empower pro-student teachers"

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Reply Do you know who Dmitri Mehlhorn is? (Original post)
brentspeak Oct 2015 OP
Octafish Oct 2015 #1
madfloridian Oct 2015 #2
jwirr Oct 2015 #3
Bluenorthwest Oct 2015 #4
madfloridian Oct 2015 #5
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2015 #6
riversedge Jul 2016 #7

Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Mon Oct 19, 2015, 12:27 PM

1. Funny how many ''Democratic activists'' don't like Unions.

Must be a New Democrat thing, like Pete Peterson.

PS: I heard about what the guy wrote on DU -- wouldn't recognize his name without the association, however. Thank you for the heads-up, brentspeak!

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Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Mon Oct 19, 2015, 12:48 PM

2. Thanks for exposing Mehlhorn. He is not a good source for DUers to use.

Recced.

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Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Mon Oct 19, 2015, 12:51 PM

3. In other words he is a Third Way Corporatist.

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Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Mon Oct 19, 2015, 01:32 PM

4. A Union Busting conservative shill with a name like a Groucho Marx character.

 

nt

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Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Mon Oct 19, 2015, 04:22 PM

5. Kick

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Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Mon Oct 19, 2015, 07:01 PM

6. Mehlhorn's article "is paint-huffing levels of idiocy"

Matt Bruenig is not happy about partisans who google a few things about a country and then try and fit the snippets of information to support their candidate:

Here Come the Idiots

...
If by “fiscal discipline,” one means that Denmark’s government spending and government revenue levels are similar, that’s definitely true. But Denmark gets there not by keeping spending low, but by keeping government revenue high. In 2013, DK’s government revenue was 22.9% percentage points of GDP higher than the US. In terms of US GDP, that’s the equivalent of $3.8 trillion of additional government revenue in 2013. If the US wants to be more like Denmark, it will achieve that by taxing way more and spending way more, not by trimming earmarks, which are budgetary rounding errors.

Denmark does not balance its budget every year. Notice how sometimes the blue line is higher than the red line, especially after the Great Recession. This is because sometimes it doesn’t make sense to balance a budget, and creating a constitutional amendment to require it may be the dumbest fiscal idea circulating in the world right now.
...
Nordic countries have heavily organized labor markets. In 2012, two-thirds of Danish workers belonged to a union, and many non-union members are covered by sector-wide union contracts. It is national labor agreements, rather than government statutes, that establishes much of what we would call “labor market regulation.” For those who only think the government is capable of “regulating,” this alternative way of doing things is often described as featuring a very deregulated labor market. For instance, you’ll often hear people say Denmark has no minimum wage, even though national service sector labor agreements make it such that McDonald’s workers in Denmark pull down $20 per hour.

Melhorn is right that Denmark has a flexible labor market, i.e. a labor market where turning over and reallocating labor to new jobs is not difficult or discouraged. But the way it achieves that is through massive government welfare expenditure. In 2011, Denmark spent 2.2% of its GDP on public unemployment benefits and another 2.2% of GDP on active labor market policies (public employment services, retraining, and employment subsidies aimed to help the unemployed get jobs). By comparison, the US only spent 0.8% on unemployment benefits and 0.1% on active labor market policies (ALMP). So in the most recent US GDP terms, Denmark is spending around $390 billion per year on unemployment benefits and another $390 billion on ALMP. For comparison sake, the yearly ALMP expenditure alone is more than 10x the amount of money Clinton is proposing to spend on creating debt-free college.

http://mattbruenig.com/2015/10/18/here-come-the-idiots/

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Response to brentspeak (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2016, 01:09 PM

7. A RW con man who uses tax dollars to enhance his privatization efforts.

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