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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

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Can someone back large inheritances and NOT back guaranteed minimum income without hypocrisy?

It would seem all the arguments against giving everyone a minimum income, that it would lead to idleness, sloth, and a couple of other synonyms for laziness, would also apply to those who inherit great wealth.

George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, the Koch brothers, and many others had a pile of money waiting for them before the umbilical cord was even cut. I don't particularly care for any of them, but would righties say they are lazy layabouts because they never had to worry about paying the rent or where their next meal would come from?

Of course there are people who came from money that we on the right admire like Gore Vidal, JFK, and FDR.

Why would the rest of us having a modest floor of income be bad if some are going to argue that being showered with money didn't hurt those lucky few?

Big Profits in Not-for-Profit Charter Schools

If you get into an argument with Wall Street driven education "reform" advocates, one of their defenses is that many (and in some states most) charter schools are non-profits.

How can they be a scam to enrich the already wealthy when they are set up like a frickin' charity?

Here's one way: they overpay their executives up to a hundred times as much per student as actual public employees get like a state education commissioner.

Actually, this doesn't sound that different from the trust and foundation scams the wealthy run: they avoid inheritance taxes by setting up charities that give money to their children as well as some worthy causes (though the causes are even suspect on some issues).

However, operating non-profit charter schools can be very profitable for charter school executives like Eva Moskowitz. Moskowitz earns close to a half a million dollars a year ($485,000) for overseeing school programs that serve 6,700 children, which is over $72 per student. By comparison, New York State Education Commissioner is paid a salary of $212,000 to oversee programs with 2.7 million students or about 8 cents per student. In other words, Moskowitz earns about 100 times more than King for each student enrolled in a Success Academy Charter School. Carmen Farina, New York City School Chancellor is paid $212,000 a year to oversee 1.1 million students or about 19 cents per student.

According to my calculations and The New York Times, other non-profit charter school administrators also make some very heady profits. The head of the Harlem Village Academies earns $499,000 to manage schools with 1,355 students or $369 per student. The head of the Bronx Preparatory School earns $338,000 to manage schools with 651 students or over $500 per student. The head of the Our World Charterearns $200,000 to manage schools with a total of 738 students or $271 per student. The local head of the KIPP Charter Network earns $235,000 to manage schools with 2,796 or $84 per student. By comparison, the chief educational officer of Texas is paid $214,999 to manage a system with almost 5 million public school students.


Robert Hughes and New Visions for Public Schools is another example. New Visions operates 4 charter schools, operates a school support network, and, claims to be the largest education reform organization working to improve New York City public schools. As president of New Visions, Robert Hughes earns $333,500 on 2012. The highest paid New York City teachers with 22 years of experience can earn $100,000. A New York City high school principal with 22 years of experience as a principal earns $154,000 a year.

I have one misgiving about publishing these figures. Once Eva Moskowitz sees what CEOs are earning at KIPP, Our World, Harlem Village, and Bronx Prep, she will probably be demanding even more money to run her non-profit charter schools.


RAVITCH: BREAKING NEWS: Chile to End Public Funding of Private Education

"The pursuit of profit is not a good objective for educational institutions. It is not a good ally of a good education," is obvious when you look at Wall Street driven education reform here, but those words were spoken by the CHILEAN equivalent of the Secretary of Education not ours.

How much longer are top Democrats going to soil themselves and screw our kids out of a good education before they admit they have made a horrific mistake?

NO politician that I know of demands that the private schools they send their kids to about the "reforms" they are forcing on public school kids.

If they don't want it for their own kids, we certainly don't need it for ours.

Under the dictator Pinochet, Chile became devoted to the free-market theories of libertarian economist Milton Friedman. It adopted a voucher system and embrace choice.

Over the years, the schools experienced growing social segregation and little or no improvement.

A vigorous and outraged student movement in Chile demanded changes.

Just today, a news story appeared saying that Chile intends to end public subsidies for private schools. (Oddly enough, the story is from Shanghai!)

We will keep watch on this breaking story.

The story says:

Chilean Education Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre Thursday reaffirmed the government's commitment to ending private education."The pursuit of profit is not a good objective for educational institutions. It is not a good ally of a good education," Eyzaguirre told a press conference.

The administration of President Michelle Bachelet, who took office in March, has proposed an ambitious overhaul of the education system to provide affordable, quality education, as demanded by a national student movement launched in 2011.

The government's proposed reforms basically call for greater public spending on education, free primary education, and an end to state-subsidies of private schools and to profit-oriented universities.

"The state needs to withdraw from many productive activities, but not those that are considered a social right," said Eyzaguirre.

The current educational system, which was increasingly privatized by the previous pro-business administration, creates more tension between the nation's privileged and working classes, the minister said.

State support for universities will have to be phased in slowly, the minister indicated, as many of the centers of higher education have not been certified.

"We can't be throwing around public money without ensuring quality," he said.

To finance the education reform, Bachelet has proposed increasing the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 25 percent, an initiative opposed by the business and conservative political sector, but expected to be adopted by the country's legislature.

Shanghai Daily story

Ravitch story

Obama tries to confirm we're an oligarchy with "summit" with billionaires kids

This was probably in the works before that oligarchy study came out, but it's difficult to think of a more in your face confirmation.

The base of the Democratic Party is ignored, but the college age CHILDREN of billionaires are begged for their input before they bother to buy access and make demands like their parents.

My favorite line is highlighted below, a definition of "impact investing" that generates a social benefit AND returns a "meaningful" profit.

I wonder if they were talking about the success of privatized prisons and the effort to privatize public education, the latter being pushed by "philanthropists" hoping to set up a cash cow of taxpayer dollars akin to the Department of Defense (with equally lax oversight).

If you needed more confirmation that we live in a country of, by, and for the rich, this is it.

Can't we just have ONE party for the very wealthy and one for the rest of us?

On a crisp morning in late March, an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes filed into a cozy auditorium at the White House.

Their name tags read like a catalog of the country’s wealthiest and most influential clans: Rockefeller, Pritzker, Marriott. They were there for a discreet, invitation-only summit hosted by the Obama administration to find common ground between the public sector and the so-called next-generation philanthropists, many of whom stand to inherit billions in private wealth.


One topic that seemed to generate intense interest among the wealthy heirs was impact investing, which refers to a socially conscious form of investing that seeks to generate both a social benefit and a meaningful financial return.


Mike Ruppert calls out CIA director for drug running to his face

Mike Ruppert killed himself today. He was one of the bravest and best informed critics of government wrongdoings at the highest levels.

Here he is doing what we wish most reporters would do.

Check your W-2 for health insurance cost and ask righty friends to do the same

Maybe I hadn't looked before, but I noticed on my W-2 line DD that said "Health Insurance Coverage," $6,393.28.

And that's just for me.

My wife's insurance covers the three of us for $22,604.25.

Since most people get their insurance through their jobs if they have it, I suspect they have no idea how much it costs.

Those who are self-employed or for other reasons have to buy their own insurance would know how expensive it is.

Before I had a job that covered me, I would compare the cost of buying insurance to my most expensive out of pocket spending, and insurance was always more. At best, it spread out the costs evenly.

If people had looked at this before Obamacare passed, I suspect it would have changed the debate dramatically, with at minimum, more people behind reining in the insurance companies, and possibly even more people wanting to drown them in the bathtub.

Besides asking people if they looked at this number, you could also ask them to guess what it is first. I doubt that most would be high enough and when they see the real number, they'll realize how well the free market has been taking care of them.

TOON: Hobby Lobby strays from its Christian upbringing...

Faces of Common Core: real kids crushed by corporate crafted curriculum

If Democrats want to widen their margins in elections, they might consider siding with students, teachers, and parents instead of Wall Street when it comes to K-12 education policy.

RAVITCH: Public School Principal Decides to Homeschool His Youngest Child

My wife is a public school teacher and I teach at public community colleges, and we are facing a similar dilemma: we know that the corporate reform agenda has creating new and worse problems rather than solving any that actually existed before they took over, so we are trying to figure out what kind of private school we can afford for our child and how we can afford to have more than one if public schools continue to put the avarice of the wealthy ahead of the education of our children.

It's ironic: the people who can afford to send their kids to private schools are fucking up public schools so badly that parents who can't afford private school have to figure out how to pay for it anyway.

Why don't Gates, the Waltons, Eli Broad and the like set up a chain of private schools to try out their pet ideas, or better yet, "reform" the elite prep schools they send their children to and see how many of their wealthy friends keep sending their kids there? And leave our public schools alone.

That they don't tells you they don't know or particularly care if their reforms work--they just see a half trillion dollar pool of money spent on public education each year and want to divert as much of it as possible into their own pockets.

Some people here don't like litmus tests for candidates, but any democrat who treats public education like a luau pig for the wealthy should not get our money or campaigning efforts, and should be primaried by anyone who will try to stop this.

Tim Farley has had it. He knows what the state and federal government is mandating is wrong. He knows it hurts children. He will do his best to protect the children from these harmful and spirit-deadening demands. But he will home-school his youngest child. He explains why here:

Tim Farley writes:

My wife and I have finally hit the breaking point. We can no longer sit by and watch the educational system that has been co opted by Bill Gates and his corporate cronies in the name of "education reform", harm our youngest child. Jessica and I are the parents of four wonderful children (7th, 5th, 3rd grade, and kindergarten). Although we would like to homeschool all of our children, due to several factors, we will only be homeschooling our youngest, John Paul.

John Paul is a bright and energetic boy. He was born with a heart defect, and at two years old had open heart surgery. As traumatic as that experience was for my wife and me, it didn't seem to have any long lasting impact on him. He is a little spitfire. At least he was. He no longer likes going to school. In fact he hates going to school. It is not his teacher, as one of our older children had the same teacher and had a fantastic experience. It is the developmentally inappropriate standards and the "rigorous" demands placed on 5 year old children that has changed. Kindergarten is supposed to be a time of exploratory learning and developing social skills. Unfortunately, it has become an assembly line environment of "drill and kill". The inane assignments that lack any sort of creativity have crushed his love of school.

Recently I stumbled upon this video which illustrates what many thousands of children and parents are experiencing on a daily basis due to the Common Core. My child could easily be one of those in the video.

At first, I felt that by choosing to homeschool, we were giving in to the "reformers". It was our hope that the state legislators would have taken real steps to slow down the rushed implementation that has been widely described as an "unmitigated disaster", a "train wreck", and as "institutionalized educational abuse". The legislators have failed. The Commissioner has failed. The Board of Regents has failed. The Governor has failed. We will not allow our children to be "collateral damage" while the politicians figure out how to fix the mess that they created.

My son will be provided individualized instruction by a loving mom and a former educator. He won't be reduced to a number. We are truly blessed that this is even an option for us, as many parents lack the resources to make this choice. We only get one chance to get this right. There are no do-overs.

I will keep you posted as we embark on this new journey.

Tim Farley
(Elementary and Middle School Principal of a school in the Hudson Valley)


Judge: Probation for du Pont heir in 3 year old daughter's rape

You would think that there would be some crimes so heinous the wealthy couldn't buy their way out of prison time, but this proves that wrong.

Since this judge doesn't think this guy belongs in prison, maybe she should take his place. Seriously, she should be investigated and removed from the bench.

A Superior Court judge who sentenced an heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter wrote in her order that he “will not fare well” in prison and suggested that he needed treatment instead of time behind bars, according to Delaware Online.

Court records show that in Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards confused several criminal justice authorities in Delaware, who said that her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists.


Defender Brendan J. O’Neill, whose office represents defendants who normally cannot afford a lawyer. “Prison is to punish, to segregate the offender from society, and the notion that prison serves people well hasn’t proven to be true in most circumstances.”

O’Neill explained that he has previously argued that case if a defendant was too ill or frail for prison, but he had never seen a judge cite it as a “reason not to send someone to jail.”

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