Sunday, August 05, 2007

The History of Political Plunder

Where NCL fits in the topology of bamboozles the American public have empowered.

The NCLB plan followed the playbook that a power and money hungry segment of the Republican party had used successfully in previous campaigns. In the eighties, under Reagan/Bush FDIC savings accounts were undermined by overloading the FDIC system. In those days people of every economic stripe were encouraged to save and were rewarded with a 5-5.5% interest rate on savings. Neil Bush and the Silverado scandal ended the era of individual saving in America. Today, few families save more than they spend.

In the early nineties, the same power brokers undermined Hillary Clinton's campaign to reorganize the health and insurance landscape. High rollers in the medical profession sold their souls to private insurance schemes that today have made paupers out of patients and line assembly technicians out of doctors.

About the time of the 2000 election, the same techniques were used to subvert the need for inexpensive prescription drugs. This time the elderly were targeted to participate in a government-sponsored pyramid scheme that allowed geriatric prescriptions to set an inflated market value that would be subsidized with tax dollars. The drug companies and power brokers would be allowed to loot at will under the guise of a prescription drug plan. Meanwhile, the general public who didn't work for the government (49% of the population) were fleeced because no free market mechanism exists to encourage lower drug prices. More poor families with children, more stressed economic conditions for working folk, and an evaporating medical insurance pool. Nor were the elderly well-served. Bilked into believing the rest of society would pay for their free ride, many were soon shocked into the submission of realizing they themselves were plankton for the drug money sharks greasing the wheels of the Bush administration.

And the most massive shift of tax payer money into private coffers ever, the manufactured Iraq war. By now over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money has been displaced into war-bucks slush funds that grease the political wheels to keep sending billions. The rich can never be rich enough while there are dollars on the table to be had for the taking. The life of loss and limb is no more significant to these people than the plight of families without health coverage, affordable prescriptions, or savings washed away. Pennies for society, billions for military interests whose private armies swell overseas and even at home - democracy itself has become a question rather than an answer.

This history of bait and switch economics brings us to NCLB. By all accounting a small potatoes swindle. The velvet glove of promising to finance shady faith-based education programs using tax-payer money quieted the wheels that money would grease. The teacher's union heads were easily bought off with the idea that the curriculum would be fixed so that teachers would have little more than train kids like dogs - "Sit, Jonny. Now, read Gambler Bill's Book of Bushy Virtues. That's a good boy. Now take this test and goodbye forever. Next!" The money sink tying all together were the testing companies - largely arms of large publishing houses would would reinforce these empty educational platitudes through their own monopoly of media outlets.

But with NCLB, a funny thing happened on the way to continuous plunder. Kids aren't being served. Great teachers were drummed out of the business for not treating kids like parrots. Our corporations are in crisis because graduates can memorize but are paralyzed if they have to think.

NCLB may be the first and only such bunko scheme that is reversible. Taxpayers need not shed a tear for "the little children" though tears are worth shedding. NCLB is an unnecessary and deleterious government program that needs to be ended now.

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