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Monday, February 19, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Where are Charlie and Dave, Mrs. Koch’s two mischievous boys? While the Koch brothers have stayed out of the national limelight since the White House was acquired by Trump and Company, that doesn’t mean the two right-wing billionaire brats are any less active in trying to supplant American democracy with their little laissez-fairyland plutocracy. In fact, in late June, you could’ve found them in one of their favorite hideaways with about 400 other uber-wealthy rascals, plotting some political hijinks for next year’s elections.

This is the Koch Boys’ Billionaire Club, which meets annually at some luxury resort to schmooze, strategize, hear a select group of GOP elected officials kiss up to them — then throw money into a big pot to finance the Koch’s planned takeover of America. It costs $100,000 per person just to attend the three-day Koch Fest, but participants are also expected to give generously to the brothers’ goal of dumping $400 million into buying the 2018 elections.

This year, the group gathered in Colorado Springs at the ultra-lux Broadmoor Hotel and resort, owned by the brothers’ billionaire pal and right-wing co-conspirator, Philip Anschutz. Among the recent political triumphs that these elites celebrated in the Broadmoor’s posh ballroom was the defeat this year of the Colorado tax hike to fix the states crumbling roads. After all, who needs adequate roads when you can arrive in private jets? This attitude of the Koch’s privileged cohorts explains why the public is shut out of these candid sessions. A staffer for the Koch confab hailed such no-tax, no-roads policies as a “renaissance of freedom.” For the privileged, that is — freedom to prosper at the expense of everyone else.

This self-absorbed cabal of spoiled plutocratic brats intends to abandon our nation’s core democratic principle of “We’re all in this together.” If they kill that uniting concept, they kill America itself. Their agenda includes killing such working class needs as minimum wage and Social Security and privatizing everything from health care to public education.

For example, Betsy DeVos and her hubby are part of the Koch brother’s coterie. They are lucky enough to have inherited a big chunk of the multibillion-dollar fortune that Daddy DeVos amassed through his shady Amway corporation. But what they’ve done with their Amway inheritance is certainly not the American Way.

The DeVoses are pushing plutocratic policies that reject our country’s one-for-all, all-for-one egalitarianism. In particular, Betsy DeVos has spent years and millions of dollars spreading the right-wing’s ideological nonsense that public education should be completely privatized. She advocates turning our tax dollars over to for-profit outfits — even to private schools that exclude people of color, the poor and the disabled, as well as to profiteering schools known to cheat students and taxpayers.

Bizarrely, Donald Trump chose this vehement opponent of public-education-for-all to head-up the agency in charge of — guess what — public education. Rather than working to help improve our public schools, the Trump-DeVos duo wants to take $20 billion from them and give it to corporate chains.

To see the “efficiency” of this scheme, look to Arizona, where state Senate president Steve Yarborough pushed a private school fund into law. One of the corporatized schools, called Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, has taken more than $73 million from Arizona taxpayers, paying its executive director $125,000. His name is Steve Yarborough. ACSTO also pays millions of dollars to another for-profit corporation named HY Processing to handle administrative chores. The “Y” in HY stands for Yarborough. And ACSTO pays rent to its landlord.

As Wall Street banksters, drug company gougers, airline fee fixers and so many others have taught us over and over, most corporate executives are paid big bucks to take every shortcut, cheat and lie to squeeze out another dime in profits. Why would we entrust our schoolchildren to them?

Populist author and radio commentator Jim Hightower writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America’s ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

12 Responses to Does Anyone Really Think Corporate Profiteers Are Going To Educate Our Children Well?

  1. Unfortunately, Betsy DeVos image of American School Children is a mostly White classroom (with the token Black, Hispanic or Asian child) with no sign of a wheelchair, polio crutches, hearing aids, or any other assistance devices with the exception of black-framed glasses. All the children are in “uniforms”, with no unnatural hair color (except for bleached blondes), no tattoos, no body or facial piercings (except for appropriately sized pearl studs in the girls’ lobes), all sitting attentively at their desks with paper and pencil, ready to write down everything the teacher says.
    What about children of Color, or the disabled? Oh, they can go to “Alternative Schools”. You remember them – toilets clogged, water fountains that look like science experiments, peeling lead paint on the walls and window frames, crumbling asbestos insulation on pipes and ducts, windows that rattle, and no means for handicapped students to go above the ground floor without being carried, old burned-out teachers ready for happy hour. That way they can be kept out of sight.

    • i’ll match my public school education against any private, parochial, or home schooling available anywhere in the US. My experience with religious, parochial, and private schooling was that it was all inferior. To be blunt, it all sucked. I got better teachers and an overall educational experience from the various public schools I attended while moving frequently as an Army Brat.
      After finishing high school, I started my college education with the benefit of a National Merit scholarship, and then transferred to one of the military academies. There was nothing really new in the various academic course offerings till I got to the second half of my sophomore year, and it’s not due to taking low level basket weaving courses. I started off in calculus, which I mostly slept thru for three semesters, coasting to easy A’s. Graduated with a degree in Astronautical Engineering, went on to fly fighter jets for the next few decades.
      First of all, one has to realize that an education is a self imposed condition. Our public school system gives our kids every opportunity they need to get every benefit an education can give, but only if one is willing to grasp it.
      For the unwilling, the lazy, the arrogantly stupid, there is no amount of educational opportunity that will improve their condition. Such human detritus will toss off such chances to move ahead, much to the disappointment of their families and friends.
      Coasting thru their young lives on their parents’ wealth with the security blanket a private or parochial education provides brings forth only the most worthless spoiled brats, types who will never mature into what they should become. That feeling of entitlement never really goes away. It’s the new aristocracy, and it’s the most un-American thing I can imagine.
      In my various experiences in front line combat ops, my adventurous squadron mates were never from private or parochial systems. Those aristocratic types seemed to be happy to have gotten their MBA’s and stay home.

  2. A corporation who wants to run a school, control our SS, run our Medicare, etc. wants to do it to make money. That is the only reason. They want to take our tax money to do those things an so far the track record has been very bad to iffy at best. If Pres. Bush had privatized SS the way he wanted and feels he failed by not doing, we would have nothing left in SS. The melt down caused by Wall Street is proof of that. There are things ONLY the government can do that private companies can’t do and the things I mentioned above are those things. All I know is that I and my buddies all went to public schools and tuition free public collages and received world class educations. An important factor that Fred Weems below point out is the desire to get that education and be able and want to take advantage of it has to be there as well.

    Our parents made that thing one and we, as we got older understood how vital it was to get that education. Our elected leaders got the message and responded to that. If you complain that the government is not responding as it should then you’re the one who selected that government. It’s the citizens fault for not throwing the bums out and thanking them for doing a bad job by re-electing them. That’s like getting involved with a snake in the hopes it won’t bite you, and then it does because that’s what snakes do.

    Corporations are there to make money for the share holders and if they take over and run public systems they will work to reduce costs, charge more and collect bigger profits until they can’t then close it down. That is repeated throughout history many times over. In the end we will all lose and when that happens it could be too late to fix it. Here in America we get the government we want. DO NOT blame government for failure to do the public work when we are the one’s who gave them the opportunity to take and not give.

    What we actually need are leaders who look out for our interests [which is their interests] and put them into office and make sure the people who they appoint are expert in their areas and care about serving us. DeVose is exactly the opposite of that and will harm our educational system in the mad rush to privatize it so she and those she actually represents can make money off our backs at the cost of our children.

    Prepare to be bitten by the snake.

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