$20 million here $180 million there, and to paraphrase a line from a Republican who believed in social mobility, Everett Dirksen, “pretty soon you talking real money.” But don’t ask the neo-feudalists Republicans in Mississippi who are secretly attempting to subvert and demolish public education while handing-out advantages to their campaign supporters to count adequately funding public education as something we can afford. These opponents, like some Republicans on the national scene (see Mitt Romney and Steel Dynamics) are seemingly opposed to anything with Federal in its title or being, except when they or their cronies stand to gain handsomely
. In Mississippi they attack things like Common Core Standards in Education, a valiant attempt to improve public education. Could it be that improved public schools could reduce the viability of their crony-infested charter schools (fiefdoms) and their dream of one day privatizing them (expanding disparities in the process)? Observe the neo-feudalists closely and see them cry about spending $37 million a year on remediation for Mississippi high school graduates who aren’t ready for college while not adequately funding districts and then, having applied $37 million to the back end of the process, attempt to inflect the coup de grâce , charge the school districts for the cost of remediation, all the while siphoning-off what public funds were available for charter schools. The hard core neo-feudalist call efforts which resulted in the Common Core Standards and which were begun by Council of Chief State School Officers in 2007, and “developed in 2009 by the National Governors Association and strongly supported by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour” but “embraced by the “Federal” government, in the words of Sen. Angela Burks-Hill, R-Picayune, MS, a “sell-out.” The neo-feudalists claim to be concerned with budgets and what we can afford, so much so that they refuse to even expand Medicaid (refusing to acknowledge or account for the reduction in lost man-hours attributable to preventative care and diversions away from emergency rooms and the expansion in economic development stimulated by accessible medical services the first three years of federal assistance.) Did I mention that Obamacare had provisions for more primary care doctors
The Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the so-called stimulus package) will together support the training of more than 16,000 new primary care providers over the next five years. )
But watch closely as they dam-up the river to make their own personal reservoirs, and charge the other stakeholders for the privilege of viewing the water.
“We [the conservative-controlled Mississippi legislature] pass something to reimburse everyone dollar-for-dollar, every penny they’ve paid in inventory taxes – something with the potential to cost the state $180 million a year – and nobody questions where that money is coming from,” explains Sen. Hob Bryan – D, Amory, Ms.
But that’s just the camel’s head in the tent, Sen. Bryan. I wonder if that inventory tax give-back benefited the big equipment company that recently moved from Jackson to Flowood, Ms., in the Republican stronghold of Rankin County MS, the Governor’s home county? Wonder if the people who sponsored and advocated the tax-give back got any campaign contributions from the recipients of the tax rebate? This reminds me of the lobbyist employment plan, I mean Charter School Law (“Each member of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board must have demonstrated commitment to charter schooling as a strategy for strengthening public education”). And just what constitutes commitment to charter schooling? Contrast this to a simple commitment to accessible good public education for all children. This one line mandates dedication to the concept of charter schools regardless of outcome. Americans should be concerned with good, accessible public education not whether someone has been committed merely, to some, possibly failing, charter-school project somewhere in the known universe, someone who more than likely contributed to the right conservative candidate. Baked into the cronyism-lovers dream law are lots of goodies (you can hire your buddies over other qualified applicants and there are no provisions for fair purchasing practices as the law is also
an Act “TO EXEMPT CHARTER SCHOOLS FROM REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO PUBLIC PURCHASES”).
As for that class warfare in which the lords and their vassals are always accusing others of engaging, this is also a law which drives Mississippians further down the road to serfdom as it reduces the return on labor and abuses labor by prohibiting participation in the public employee retirement system by teachers and makes certain that they are not “covered under the Education Employment Procedures Law.” Section 53 (2) (b) of the law says
“The Education Employment Procedures Law shall not apply to any category of teacher, administrator or other employee * * * employed to work in any charter school * * *.”
And as a further reminder of how right that sage, Tip O’Neill was about all politics being local (also check out the attempt to move government functions from the capital city) there is the $20 million gift to the private sector, (who’s a member of Mitt Romney’s-looking-for-government-to-give-them-something 47%ers?) in Pearl, MS (Rankin County, MS a Republican stronghold). Didn’t Romney and Paul Ryan complain about the government picking winners and losers? Didn’t they take issue with Obama saying that the government provided the background and foundation for many private successes, as in “you didn’t build that?”
“We’re [the Republican controlled Mississippi legislature] giving $20 million to people building a shopping center in Pearl – one they were already going to build – and nobody asks from where that money will come, says Sen. Bryan.”
Wonder if the sponsors and advocates of that provision were or will be the beneficiaries of campaign contributions from the recipients or will get some type of no-show mafia type jobs after leaving office? This way of doing things is possible only because the serfs, just like the people who fought on behalf of a slave-holding society even though most of them didn’t own slaves, can’t imagine life any other way and are comfortable depending on the trickle, from their labor that, falls down. In Mississippi, ignorance is bliss but in the case of the vassals who maintain loyalty to the lords, knowledge is power. What we need are really great Dirksen -Republicans so that we can focus on increasing economic security. Adequately funding public education and expanding Medicaid are equality of opportunity issues. They are ideas for our time. In the words of Senator Everett Dirksen:
“Victor Hugo wrote in his diary substantially this sentiment, ‘Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come.’ The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied.”
In a Democratic Republic, capitalism is a tool used for the distribution goods and services, to meet the needs of the people and not the inverse. Democratic-Republics are not the servants of capitalism. It is not as conservatives, like the Kochs, would have you believe sacrosanct, and they are not our lords whose pronouncements on the proper taxation levels and the distribution of goods and service we are to receive as holy writ simply because of their wealth and position.