Thursday, March 12, 2015
Is Elizabeth Warren supporting Charter Schools not Unions?
There should be some doubt about whether Elizabeth Warren is more interested in supporting the democratic establishment and the union leaders or the majority of the public and the union workers. First of all when I express concern about union leaders I don’t mean to imply that if there is a problem with them they should eliminate unions as the right wing often does. However if the unions aren’t doing as much to support the workers as they could and should or if it is possible to do it in a more efficient way that doesn’t force union workers to support candidates with money from their union dues even when the candidates don’t represent the workers as well as they could or should then a closer look is warranted. Even if supporting the best candidate helps advance their cause it also provides tacit support to a system that gives money an excessive amount of influence which may work against the best interest of the working class in the long run since they have less disposable income than the ruling class.
(This was originally posted on March 15, 2012)
I suspect this might turn out to be the case with Elizabeth Warren.
In two past Blogs about Elizabeth Warren, How sincere is Elizabeth Warren? and Elizabeth Warren is NOT as sincere as she appears!! I explained why I was beginning to have doubts about her. These reasons primarily consist of the fact that she isn’t doing what I think a sincere candidate that wants to reform the corruption would do and the fact that she has received an enormous amount of support from the establishment that she indicates that she is trying to reform. In fact it appears as if her candidacy is a creation of the Mass Media that inspired a lot of people not the other way around.
The following article may indicate even more problems than I have previously recognized:
I have seen very little about what Elizabeth Warren’s position is on charter Schools and this article only mentions it briefly when it says “she favors charter schools and the use of student test scores as a factor in evaluating teachers, as long as teachers help craft the evaluations.” Her web page doesn’t seem to mention it at all that I can find. This is part of the problem that I have indicated in previous blogs about her; she doesn’t seem to attempt to address any of the issues any more than any other politician. Instead she waits for someone to bring it up like other politicians and spins it to her own advantage or what she expects the audience to want to hear assuming that it is within the beliefs that she is trying to support. This is typical of any politician including Elizabeth Warren. Scott Brown also seems to support Charter Schools.
Charter Schools should be considered with extreme skepticism if not outright oppositions; they enable corporations to increase their influence on the schools systems and they add the profit motive which could and often has already contradicted the primary objective of the education system. The most effective way to maximize profits often involves cutting costs as much as possible while the corporations charge as much as possible. Since this is done by politicians who often act behind closed doors it doesn’t provide many if any of the benefits that might be provided through competition when people buy food clothing or any other retail product or service that corporations have traditionally be involved in selling. The ultimate consumer is the taxpayer and the parents and children but they aren’t the ones making the decisions. Instead the decisions are being made by bureaucrats, lobbyists, business people and politicians with a steadily dropping amount of input from parents and teachers let alone students.
This isn’t the first time there was controversy over a Charter School; in 2001 there was a major effort to privatize many of Philadelphia’s Schools they were forced to scale back on this plan due to a massive walk out by students that has probably been forgotten by most people by now. They still privatized some of the schools and they also seem to have learned that they should keep additional activities like this quieter if they want to avoid additional large scale opposition from the public. A review of this take over indicates that the battle over private management continues to quietly rage on (article with additional details PDF file) while the owners of the private companies are contributing to the campaigns of the politicians that push new schools through, perhaps as soon as the public becomes more complacent. Businesses simply don’t give massive amounts of money to a campaign unless they expect to get some kind of benefit in return for that money; in this case it could and probably is the opportunity to make profits as well as increase their control of the education system that prepares the next generation of voters that may or may not be more complacent than the last.
With all the controversy over these schools they may feel that it would be much easier to do if they had a trustworthy “consumer advocate” that is considered the defender of the people to usher it through. Scott Brown might have a much harder time avoiding major oppositions due to the fact that he is already seen as a supporter of big business. As indicated in the previous Blogs about Elizabeth Warren I have serious doubts about whether or not she is truly as much of a “consumer advocate” as the propaganda about her has indicated. This could explain why she is being so quit about the subject. The Mass Media isn’t discussing it nearly as much as the y could and should and a lot of what they do provide may indicate that it is a good idea or that the problems with it may be minimal; however a closer look into other sources may indicate otherwise, which is to be expected if you consider the flaws with the basic incentives for private schools. As Stephen Goldstein (Stop the spread of Charter Schools: They are a scam!) indicates (This post is no longer available but The great charter school rip-off: Finally, the truth catches up to education “reform” phonies makes a similar point) if you Google failed charter schools or charter schools scams for starters and perhaps a few additional terms like corruption there is an enormous amount of information available to indicate that there could be many more problems with this.
This isn’t the first time the establishment has attempted to enable the corporate community to gain an increased control over the schools system in “Harvesting Minds,” Channel One Indoctrination of Kids (my blog review plus excerpts from the book as well and more information about Susan Linn on a similar subject) Roy Fox explored how the corporations were attempting to increase the amount of advertising in schools dramatically and how it was having an enormous effect on the ability of children to learn and recognize corporate scams and participate in the democratic system. Children subject to corporate propaganda, which is what Channel One turned out to be, are much less likely to develop the critical thinking skills they need to participate in a sincere democratic system. Charter Schools are just another way for the corporations to impose their ideologies on the lower and middle classes that can’t afford a better school system.
I have no doubt that in many ways Elizabeth Warren is better than Scott Brown but those things that make her better may also make it easier for her to help usher in these schools when the public becomes more complacent. The truth is that the best thing about Elizabeth Warren after a closer look seems to be the ability of the propaganda machine that made her seem like such a staunch advocate for the consumer and the working class when she is almost certainly not any such thing. Instead she just appears to be a creation of the Democratic party and the corporate media that made her sudden rise in popularity possible.
The fact that she seems to have changed her position after possible consultations with the state’s Democratic establishment, that may have included Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston as well as the contributors to campaigns and other establishment figure that may be keeping a low profile should raise some questions especially when you consider the fact that her sudden rise to fame almost certainly happened with their help not because she rose through a true grass roots effort dealing directly with the working class.
Ironically the right wing has been attempting to prevent the unions from forcing the workers to pay union dues that would help political candidates like Elizabeth Warren and that money may actually wind up helping out the corporations as much as the workers. The right wing may be correct about stopping the donations for all the wrong reasons. They may be opposed to it due to the fact that it enables the Democrats to increase their control of the Congress but the corporations are also donating an enormous amount of money to the Democrats as well and the democrats are having to choose between the best interest of two different groups of donors. There may be a strong possibility that they might be supporting enough rights for workers to keep the union bosses in power and appease the workers without actually giving the majority of the workers as much political power as they expect.
Instead of donating money to democratic candidates who seem to be supporting the corporations almost as much as the Republicans perhaps they should focus more on Grass roots organizing that involves letting the workers control the debate. There was some talk about this possibility during the protest in Wisconsin when Barack Obama declined to put on a pair of “comfortable shoes” and walk the picket lines with the workers or speak up much about the protests at all.
I don’t mean this recommendation to decrease the power of the workers as the Republicans clearly do but to do the opposite and ensure that if their money is used for political purposes at all they have control over it and ensure that it isn’t used to elect a candidate that might usher in Charter Schools against the wishes of the workers and students or do other things that they haven’t been advocating. If this does happen it won’t be the first time.
Many people may have been donating to many candidates like Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean and many others only to find that they either do something to destroy their own campaign like Dean before they get elected or they break their promises after they get elected like Barack Obama. Elizabeth Warren rose to fame largely due to the fact that she was supported by Barack Obama and she also supports many of the same policies that he does, often against the best interest of the majority of the public.
The current establishment rarely if ever does what is in the best interest of the majority; nor do they make much if any attempt to educate the public about many of the most important issues; instead they routinely try to take advantage to the ignorance and lack of education of many members of the public as well as other insecurities and prejudices. One of the clearest issues where they could educate the public on a subject and impose policies that would benefit everyone is the issue of gambling which Elizabeth Warren has also been silent on. Organized gambling clearly has to be rigged in the favor of the house or else the house will go bankrupt so it is essentially a scam. The math on this is relatively simple and a sincere politician could easily educate the public about it and they could attempt to impose legislation that would inform the public about how big a portion of the funds collected are actually returned to the players. If a large percentage of the public knew that they can’t possibly receive much more than seventy-five cents on the dollar that they spend then they would be much less likely to play at all. Instead of doing this the government has been promoting an enormous amount of advertising telling the public “you can win” and preying on the naivety of the least educated and the poorest members of the public.
Governor Deval Patrick and the other two recent candidates for the 2010 Governor’s office all agreed that gambling should be expanded and that nothing should be done to educate the public more about it. They all considered this a good revenue source for the state. Their disagreements on the subject which were hotly contested were on which form of gambling should be used to take advantage of the credulous. This was a very good position from a political point of view due to the fact that the gamblers actually think it is in their best interest to play and they won’t reward opponents with their vote but this does an enormous amount of damage to society by praying on the poor and it doesn’t change the fact that giving money to the credulous this has been overwhelmingly demonstrated with what is called curse of the lottery. this is a routine method to take advantage of those with the least amount of political power but it comes at an enormous cost to society since the lottery is an extremely inefficient method of collecting taxes and it creates an enormous amount of social problems that cost society much more like increased crime and reliance on welfare and lack of education for those that put all their resources into gambling.
I initially thought that this might not have much influence on Elizabeth Warren except for her silence on the issue but a relatively quick Google search on the subject indicates that two of her first advisors were gambling lobbyists. The following statement may be from the opposition that may have their own problems but they raise a good issue, “It’s ironic that a so-called consumer champion like Professor Warren is already taking her marching orders from two well-connected Beacon Hill lobbyists,” said Jennifer Nassour, Chairman of the Mass GOP in a statement on their website. “All her rhetoric about standing up for consumers and fighting the special interests rings hollow when the first two people she turns to for advice are insiders paid to lobby on behalf of the gambling industry.”
This should considered further indication that the political establishment is clearly not designed to provide a sincere democracy and that they have many ways of implementing what many people consider a democracy without actually addressing the best interest of the public. Scott Brown clearly wouldn’t be any better that Elizabeth warren if anything he would be worse in many ways. It is becoming increasingly clear that the candidates that the establishment and the Mass Media present to the public as “viable candidates” are all the ones that have been approved by the elites that control the corporations and have their own agenda. In order to qualify as a “viable candidate,” according to the standards implied by the Mass Media, the fist thing that needs to be done is to collect an enormous mount of money that can’t come any where else but the corporations. The campaigns have become so expe4nsive that they’ve been trying to find way to share the expense without sharing the influence which is why they take union money without providing much if anything in return and they’re also trying to convince an enormous percentage of the public that democratic participation now requires donations which they should give. This is a variation of the poll tax that was banned by the constitution.
Now in order to participate in the so-called democratic process you have to go along with the corporate ideology and pay to play.
That isn’t the way a sincere democracy would ever work!
The most effective way to change this needs to be from the true grass roots level that enables the public to chose their own candidates and interview them from the beginning. Clearly we need to stop choosing from the candidates chosen for us by a corrupt system. Ideally this would involve a thorough Election Reform that puts the real power in the hands of the public not the corporations and political operatives.