Wall Street has had a long, tough fight against the terrible scourge of the all-powerful teachers’ unions. These people, and who knows what they’re really teaching anyway, have for years used their stranglehold on the nation’s politicians to insist that America continue pushing towards universal literacy and that they themselves be able to afford a modest, middle class lifestyle with modest, middle class pension.*
Maligning them in public never quite worked. Most Americans are foolishly blinded by a misty sense of gratitude towards the people who taught them to read and, possibly, to do math problems without obviously counting their fingers.
So, the business activists of the hedge fund movement decided to try something else. First step, steal everything not nailed down. Repeat step one until you have more money than God.
Next step, set up charter schools all over the country. (It helps to accompany this step with propaganda that convinces the media you represent a “robust school reform movement“, in spite of the fact that “there’s not a lot of research to indicate that many of those strategies produce better results.”)
The charter school, btw, is an ingenious sociopolitical structure that encourages more communities to simplify their lives by navigating among a network of myriad private schools run by different private businesses who are accountable mainly to investors and shareholders. This is totally more efficient and moral than everybody paying taxes to the same government for schools that all children can use, accountable to voters, and then trying to collectively improve their quality so that benefits accrue equally to innocent members of future generations.
Next step, have legal tantrums until a court finally agrees that those charter schools are exempt from prevailing wage laws. Take that, teachers who don’t want to struggle through an expensive college education, then work for years to show someone else’s ungrateful offspring how to pass as human, only to end up wishing they made as much as their secretary friends.
Truly, nothing could possibly go wrong with this brilliant plan to make the little people’s lives better.
* Well, it would have been a modest, middle class pension, if the finance industry hadn’t convinced businesses nationwide to eliminate almost all pensions except Social Security. And they’re working on Social Security, you bet’cha. 401(k)s? Yeah, because before you cracked it open (if you had one) to survive the inevitable aftermath of a speculative bubble, you hadn’t already been afraid to look at your statements for months. Sure.