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Privatization of public education is a failure

Dale Hansen | Posted 06.06.2016 | Education
Dale Hansen

This election cycle has been heavy on rhetoric and light on policy. Given that nearly 50% of Americans consider themselves angrier than a year ago - w...

Cashing in On Charter School Failure

Donald Cohen | Posted 05.06.2016 | Education
Donald Cohen

Allowing more charters schools -- online or not -- without planning and oversight robs communities of stable, safe schools where children can learn from great teachers. All children deserve a quality education.

Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let's Look at Los Angeles

Alan Singer | Posted 05.05.2016 | Education
Alan Singer

Advocates for charters schools like to talk about their unwavering commitment to student success, parental choice and the benefits of privatization, b...

Scamming the Country's Veterans: Efforts to Privatize VA Health System

Dean Baker | Posted 04.25.2016 | Politics
Dean Baker

If there was a real reason to believe that the current system is badly hurting our veterans, and that they would be better cared for under a privatized system, then it would be reasonable to support the transition. But this is the opposite of the reality.

A Toll Road That Harms Taxpayers and the Environment

Donald Cohen | Posted 04.26.2016 | Politics
Donald Cohen

Not only is North Carolina giving up the right to control an important public asset for the next five decades, they've made it harder on themselves to make changes to address one of the biggest challenges of our time, climate change.

K-12 Education for Sale - Buying and Selling Kids' Futures

David A. Pickler | Posted 03.14.2016 | Education
David A. Pickler

The for-profit assault on public education is real - and growing. It's a deft turn of phrase, "school choice" - until you scratch the surface and...

When Government 'Saves Money' and Gets 'Smaller' We All Lose

Dave Johnson | Posted 02.10.2016 | Politics
Dave Johnson

Many say we should "run government like a business" and "save money" by "cutting spending" and "making government smaller." Does this work? Do We the People really save money by doing these things?

Congress's 270 Pages of Fantasy for FAA Funding

Andrew Schmertz | Posted 02.09.2016 | Politics
Andrew Schmertz

The U.S House of Representatives has introduced a FAA reauthorization bill that has more fantasy in it than a George RR Martin novel. The bill, known ...

Swearing an Oath -- Part 2: The Kristallnacht of American Public Education

Frank Breslin | Posted 02.09.2016 | Education
Frank Breslin

Given this unambiguous show of support for charters, how could our governors have the chutzpah to swear an oath to protect public schools, as this would pose a crisis of conscience, not to speak of a conflict of interest akin to setting a fox to guarding a hen house?

Swearing an Oath -- Part 1

Frank Breslin | Posted 01.31.2016 | Education
Frank Breslin

Since taking their oath, many governors have begun to close public schools. By violating their oath in so public a manner, they have shown that perjuring themselves means nothing to them, as does the fact that their first act in office was an act of perjury.

Is the Tragedy in Flint an Opening for Privatization?

Donald Cohen | Posted 01.28.2016 | Politics
Donald Cohen

Many are familiar with the tragic details of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. But a key chapter in the story is being overlooked. In February 2015, almost a year before the news of lead poisoning gained headlines, the world's largest private water corporation deemed Flint's water safe.

The Tragedy in Flint Is What Conservatives Mean by Smaller Government

Donald Cohen | Posted 01.24.2016 | Politics
Donald Cohen

The tragedy of Flint should never have happened, but at this point, the evidence is undeniable and the suffering is real. Fixing Flint is an urgent priority. Fortunately, (although far too late) the truth has finally sidelined the spin-masters who spent years denying the problem.

Plutocrats in California Decide to Wait Until 2018 Before Trying to Gut Public Pensions

Joseph A. Palermo | Posted 01.19.2016 | Los Angeles
Joseph A. Palermo

The millionaires and billionaires who want to gut public sector pensions in California have decided to put off their anti-labor ballot initiatives until after the Roberts Court imposes its "right-to-work" regimen on the whole country this June.

The Battle Over Yosemite Names Is Bigger Than You Think

Donald Cohen | Posted 01.20.2016 | Business
Donald Cohen

The battle over Yosemite Park's names isn't just about the famous Ahwahnee Hotel. Yes, it and the names of four other historic properties are part of the park's history. The Ahwahanee was named in 1927 and the Wawona Hotel was named in 1879. But it's really about corporate control of public goods.

Thinking Globally and Systemically: The 2016 Food Justice Summit

Andrea Brower | Posted 01.15.2016 | Hawaii
Andrea Brower

Control over food, and the resources necessary to produce food, has had a long and intimate relationship with the economic logic that currently rules ...

Obama's 2 Mistakes That Lost the Country

David Morris | Posted 12.21.2015 | Politics
David Morris

Early this year President Obama spoke before the Cleveland Club. After the speech 7th grader Alura Winfrey inquired, "If you could go back to the first day of your first term what advice would you give yourself?" Obama reflected for a moment and then blithely explained he would have worked harder to sell his economic policies.

How Did We Become Incarceration Nation?

Les Leopold | Posted 11.03.2015 | Politics
Les Leopold

How is it that America, supposedly the beacon of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world, has more prisoners than any police state?

A Culture of Cheating at the University?

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 11.02.2015 | Education
Warren J. Blumenfeld

Though I will never justify any student engaging in cheating, I also must ask what we as educators and educational policy maker are doing that lowers students' zest for learning.

How USAID's Secret Think Tank Funding Hurts the Poor

Till Bruckner | Posted 10.05.2015 | Impact
Till Bruckner

Over the past two decades, support by USAID and other Western donors has led to an explosion in the number of think tanks in developing countries. However, much of this money is still being given and taken behind closed doors, threatening to hurt rather than help the world's poor.

Don't Put Privatizer and Payday Lender Lobbyist on the USPS Board

Dave Johnson | Posted 10.05.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

At a time when people are proposing that the USPS reinstate public banking -- a service that would help millions of Americans -- Barnett is clearly the wrong choice for the USPS Board.

The Folly of IRS Privatization

Nathan Newman | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Nathan Newman

This mania for privatization has reached the Internal Revenue Service and taxpayers should be worried that tax investigations might become a political prize handed out to campaign donors. that profit-oriented companies engage in controlling tax investigations instills a whole different level of fear.

And Yet Another Attack On Our Postal Service

Dave Johnson | Posted 09.30.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

When that so-called "day of reckoning" comes, will We the People who benefit from all of the services that the USPS does provide and could provide end up being delivered a bill of goods?

Pope to Visit Jail Full of Private Contractors With Horrible Track Records

Donald Cohen | Posted 09.24.2015 | Crime
Donald Cohen

The Pope has said, "The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be." Our criminal justice system is a striking example of the reverse.

Privatizing the Apocalypse

Jonathan Alan King | Posted 09.22.2015 | Politics
Jonathan Alan King

Nuclear weapons have been in the headlines for years and yet all attention in this period has been focused on Iran. Almost never in the news, on the other hand, are the perfectly real arsenals that could actually wreak havoc on the planet, especially our own.

From the Blue Ridge Comes a Resounding No

Donald Cohen | Posted 09.01.2015 | Crime
Donald Cohen

The Johnson County commissioners recognize that outsourcing isn't the answer: "Any type of privatization would be detrimental to our county, citizens, and staff of Northeast Correctional Complex." They also honored public service by dedicating a day each year in recognition of the prison's current staff.