The reason most of us have seen little gain from economic growth over the last three decades is that the rich have rigged the rules to ensure that money flows upward. Through their control of trade policy, Federal Reserve Board policy, and other key levers of government, they have structured the market to weaken the bargaining power of ordinary workers and benefit the CEOs and Wall Street crew. As a result, the typical worker has seen almost none of the gains from economic growth over the last four decades. Most of this rigging comes in before-tax income.
Some research suggests that charter schools perform no better than existing public schools. And even if we wanted to, it would be nearly impossible to take the charter movement to scale. So why are the billionaire "disruptors" of the hedge-fund world so hell-bent on establishing charter schools? Money and influence may help to explain it.
Will we have charter school-backed securities that these hedge funds can speculate in and manipulate the price of? Charter school bubbles that will blow up in our faces? If charter schools don't make quite as much money as the hedge funds think they will, will there be a massive disinvestment in schools?
Using public funds to build professional sports facilities is an ineffective, inefficient strategy for promoting economic development -- and, one might infer, an especially unseemly use of scare resources in a city like Milwaukee where 29 percent of its nearly 600,000 residents live in poverty. But in our new Gilded Age, big money has no shame.