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Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Virtually everything going on in public education today is determined by Wall Street and the corporations that it serves. Corporate standardized tests are sold to school districts across the nation because these corporations have used their financial muscle in the corrupt federal government and in corrupt state houses to ensure that US children are the most tested in the world, which makes America’s school children big profit makers for the testing industry, which includes such publishing giants as McGraw-Hill. The McGraws have been close buddies with the Bush family since the Great Depression. This is why George W. Bush selected the McGraw-Hill business plan as his standard for education reform, and which he erroneously titled the No Child Left Behind Act. Of course, it had nothing to do with enhancing the education of US children.

Standardized testing is all about redistributing income from the taxpayers of the 99 percent to the parasites of the 1 percent. The reality is that standardized testing has absolutely nothing to do with student achievement, but it has everything to do with generating corporate profits.

Finland has the highest standardized test scores in the world. The children of that nation are the least tested in the world. That’s because the Finnish educational system is for its children, and it is not used to generate corporate profits.

Because of the massive reliance on standardized tests, over the last thirty years, US school districts have shaped their curriculum to meet Wall Street’s expectations for testing industry profits. You read that correctly!

Now the billionaires and millionaires are going after more of the $1.3 trillion public education market, helped along by bought off Wall Street senators such as Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell, and it won’t have anything to do with ensuring better education for our children. It’s all about profits, not children, and certainly not education. That’s precisely what education reform has been about for the last thirty years: profits, profits, and more profits, and all at the expense of the education of our children.

For more on Wall Street’s latest attack to redistribute taxpayer funds for public education to the publishing corporations, Wall Street and the rest of the parasites of the 1 percent, click the link below.

how-wall-street-power-brokers-are-designing-the-future-of-public-education-as-a-money-making-machine–truthout.org

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On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.”

They called for an to GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM’s position paper said, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food.” That includes “infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” According to the AAEM, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”

Check out the complete story below.

Doctors Warn Against GM foods

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An act by Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden tells us much about the backroom deals between congress, the white house, major corporate players and others of the 1 percent during the last six months. All of this was predicted on the pages of this blog.

Wyden who pretends to represent the people of Oregon on social issues, and who represents Wall Street and, mostly out-of-state, corporations on all economic issues, once stood against the secrecy and lack of transparency in the on-going negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the biggest free trade treaty of all time. That means it’s also the biggest income redistribution scam of all time, and it will also usurp many local and state laws. Like Nafta, these laws will be challenged in secret tribunals presided over by corporate lawyers who will be called judges. You won’t get to be there.

Wyden expressed worry about Internet freedom and the TPP last year. Curtailing such freedoms would prove a disaster for many of his actual constituents; Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and many other corporations. Of course, keeping these stock prices high is in harmony with the desires of executives from such notorious income redistribution corporations as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and numerous hedge funds, which are also represented by Wyden against the interests of the people of Oregon.

During the spring of 2013, Senator Wyden announced that he was against fast track for the TPP. Fast track is defined by Wikipedia as, “The fast track negotiating authority (also called trade promotion authority or TPA, since 2002) for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that the Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster.”

It’s likely the TPP will never be approved by congress if every congressman and senator demands changes to the terms of the agreements. That’s because many Americans would not be happy that their jobs will be shipped overseas because of the treaties, and they’d call their congress person and let them know this.

A few days ago, Wyden announced that he supported fast track for the TPP. This suggests that behind closed doors, entirely in secret, the senator who once deplored the secrecy of the negotiations behind the TPP, negotiated an even more secret deal with President Obama that will make the corporations mentioned above happy should the treaty become law.

In other words, Wyden’s announced support for fast track means the 1 percent have formed ranks behind the treaty in order to redistribute more income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Wyden knows this treaty will wipe out a couple hundred thousand jobs in the US textile industry alone; and that it will put half a million or more people in Central America’s textile mills out of work.

That’s because Vietnam is going to be part of the TPP. Vietnam has lower wages and worse working conditions than what is found in Central America. Central America’s textile mills will migrate to Vietnam. The mills in Central America receive their tread, yarn and fabric from United States textile mills, and this supports about 200,000 US jobs. However, Vietnamese mills get their yarn, thread and fabric from China. The wages there are considerably lower than in the US. So the US jobs will migrate to China. When that happens, the difference between the old higher wages of the US (and Central American workers) and the new, cheaper workers of China (and Vietnam) will go into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices. The losers of the 99 percent might get unemployment benefits, if they happen to live in the US.

These textile jobs, and the jobs that will also be lost in other industries, allow people to pay taxes. The loss of these jobs means that financial support for schools, fire, police, road maintenance, the social safety nets and other government services, will diminish. The quality of life for the 99 percent will further diminish. K-12 classrooms will become more crowded, pension benefits will ebb, fees for the use of parks will go up, college tuition and fees will soar even more, public employees will have less money to spend; and all of this will depress demand for goods and services even more, which will in turn place downward pressure on private sector wages.

The TPP will also send hundreds of the thousands, perhaps millions, of Latin Americans scurrying into the United States illegally in search of work, pushing down wages here, and putting greater financial pressures on social services, just like Nafta did.

These examples are just a tiny tip of the economic tsunami that’s going to sweep hundreds of billions of dollars every year out of the pockets of hard working Central Americans and United States citizens and into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent.

All of us of the 99 percent, in both North and South America, as well as all over the Pacific Rim, are in this together. We’ll sink even more if the TPP becomes law. Should that happen, the 1 percent will simply have more of our money to rig the economic game against us by corrupting government even more than it is. Oh, and by the way, we can’t forget that the Dow Jones will climb higher, since the money that will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via the TPP will be used in part to bid up the price of corporate stocks and bonds. Wall Street likes that. Therefore, so does Wyden.

The apex of corruption is Ron Wyden. He knows everything and more of what’s written in this story. He doesn’t care. He represents only one thing: organized big money. That’s why he’s a study in total depravity.

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The editors of the Oregonian Newspaper, the largest newspaper in Oregon, endorsed a bill at the state level that would prohibit the banning of genetically modified (GMO) crops at the county level, except in Jackson County, which already has such a measure on the ballot.

The corporate propagandists at the Oregonian, who erroneously call themselves editors, failed to mention a number of things. One, of which, is that out-of-state multinational GMO corporations, such as Monsanto and Syngenta, are pouring money into Oregon lobbying firms and legislators. The propagandists didn’t mention that Syngenta is a corporation based in Switzerland, and that all GMO products are banned there. There was no mention in the editors (propagandists) endorsement that all independent studies show health hazards to humans from GMOs.

Tests on rats reveal that GMOs cause tumors, shrunken and deformed sexual organs, and other things. There’s no mention in the editorial that more than a decade ago, a USDA study predicted that once GMOs entered the US food chain, the incidence of allergies would rise. In the first six years after GMO’s entered the food chain, food allergies shot up nearly 300 percent and are still rising.

GMO plants either contain the Bt or the Ht toxin. When an insect bites into a plant with the Bt toxin, the toxin causes its stomach to expand until it explodes. Studies show that almost all women, fetuses and newer born children have these toxins in them. See gmo-toxins-are-in-nearly-all-pregnant-women-fetuses.

GMO’s have also been linked to the demise of bees. Whether true or not, the large GMO corporations and the corporate propaganda machine have worked overtime to distract our attention from the possibility that GMO plants are killing the bees. See death-of-the-bees-genetically-modified-crops-and-the-decline-of-bee-colonies-in-north-america.

Furthermore, German cows fed GMO corn have died in large numbers. The deaths and the GMO have been scientifically linked. There’s a large lawsuit for damages against Syngenta. See Syngenta_Charged_for_Covering_Up_Livestock_Deaths_from_GM_Corn

The list goes on and on, but the propagandists at the Oregonian newspaper conveniently ignored all of the massively mounting evidence of the health hazards to humans. What’s more, in any story about GMO’s in the Oregonian, not one has ever mentioned any of these health hazards.

In addition, the propagandists have used the newspaper as a vehicle to oppose the labeling of GMO ingredients so that people won’t know when they’re being poisoned.

None of this can be called investigative reporting, or even reporting the news. It’s called propaganda, pure and simple. It’s a corrupt rigged game.

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Allergy Rates Are Still Rising. Thank you GMO’s. Thank you Monsanto executives. Thank the folks at the Food and Drug Administration whose studies of GMOs predicted this would happen as early as 1995. And thank you President Obama for supporting Monsanto and GMOs by signing the Monsanto Protection Act.

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A doubling of student loan interest rates that happened on July 1st primarily benefits Wall Street investment banks such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  These companies buy the student loans (which remain in the hands of Sallie Mae as the paid service provider). The companies then issue bonds backed by the student loans, and sell them to rich investors, hedge funds, investment banks, corporations and such.

The more interest students are forced to pay, the higher the bonds can sell for, and the more attractive they are to investors, especially since their guaranteed by the government. In other words, America‘s educational policies are intended to redistribute the income of the 99 to the 1 percent via higher interest rates.

This shows how corrupt the US government and both political parties are; almost, and perhaps all, of the economic policies, or anything that touches on economics and finance, that has been legislated by the federal government during the last thirty years has redistributed vast amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the federal government and the Federal Reserve have given tens of trillions of dollars to rich investors, investment banks and hedge funds to bail them out when their stupid investments turned out to be bad. This is a rigged game that shows how the government acts a corrupt conduit for a parasitic class of 1 percent.

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From the Pew Research Center

 

According to new research from the Pew Research Center, this year, a record 36 percent of young adults (18-31 years) live with their parents. That’s up from 34 percent in 2009, the year the Great Recession officially (so we’re told), but not really, ended.

Since 1981, the percentage of young adults living at home hovered around 31 percent. The Great Recession continues to change that.

As usual, the folks at Pew don’t seem to understand the underlying reasons why this has occurred. They cite three reasons why the trend is increasing. By the way, the phase “Millennials” is used to describe the 18 to 31 year old people in their report.

1. “Declining employment. In 2012, 63% of 18- to 31-year-olds had jobs, down from the 70% of their same-aged counterparts who had jobs in 2007. In 2012, unemployed Millennials were much more likely than employed Millennials to be living with their parents (45% versus 29%).

2. “Rising college enrollment. In March 2012, 39% of 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in college, up from 35% in March 2007. Among 18 to 24 year olds, those enrolled in college were much more likely than those not in college to be living at home – 66% versus 50%.”

3. “Declining marriage. In 2012 just 25% of Millennials were married, down from the 30% of 18- to 31-year-olds who were married in 2007. Today’s unmarried Millennials are much more likely than married Millennials to be living with their parents (47% versus 3%).”

Those reasons seem okay, but they’re like looking at a house that’s burned down and saying a fire caused that. Wouldn’t a more important question be, “What caused the fire?” Ergo, they’re saying more Millennials are living at home because less of them have jobs. The more important question is, Why is this so?

The answer is that over the last thirty years, the federal government has been corrupted by big money, and so our favorite politicians continue to pass legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as corporate trade treaties, erroneously called “free trade treaties.”

The result is that less and less of the income produced in the United States goes to the 99 percent. The 99 percent took home about 92 percent of the national income in 1978. The economy created almost 4 million private sector jobs that year because the 99 percent had enough money to demand the goods and services necessary to create those jobs. That’s almost 250 thousand private sector jobs per month that was created, despite the economy being about 50 percent the size of today, and with only about 58 percent of the population.

In the last three months, the economy has created an average of 175 thousand jobs on average, a fairly high rate for the last thirteen years, and a massive underachievement worthy of Bart Simpson. That’s because the 99 percent nowadays only get about 68 percent of the total income produced in the nation, so the demand for goods and services is far less than those days when the 99 percent had a voice in the federal government.

The 1 percent doesn’t use their money to buy the goods and services necessary to create jobs. They purchase such things as derivatives, stocks, bonds, gold, politicians such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, and legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

The war against the middle class continues, more and more income and wealth is being redistributed to the 1 percent via the corrupt federal government every week, so that this low grade Depression we’re in will get worse in the long run. So we can anticipate a growing number of young people will have no choice but to live with their parents in the years to come.

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There’s an old saying. One picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a picture. Just think about it. Some of these children are probably working for Chinese contractors, who are manufacturing stuff on behalf of corporate America. In other words, the 1 percent is having a financial field day at the expense of children. They’re redistributing childhood from Chinese, Indian and Pakistani children so that they can have greater profits. These jobs might have once been your jobs. That’s what free trade has brought.

“In order to investigate the situation of child workers in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, a labour rights NGO called the Shenzhen Workers’ Self-help Association carried out a survey of 37 privately-owned factories. It discovered child workers in 54 per cent of the random sample of 37 factories. A massive 200 child workers were found in one factory alone! Indeed this snapshot research clearly suggests that child workers are common in Shenzhen, working most often in small factories, and/or in factories with relatively poor working conditions. Legislative restrictions of child labour have not removed the problem from Shenzhen, but merely pushed it into less formal and poorly regulated workplaces.”

Click below for the full story.

Informalization of Labour in Asia/Child Labour in China–Asia Monitor Resource Centre

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Of course, this farm bill is just another prime example of a scam to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, from the poverty striken, and in particular, from poverty striken children to the rich.

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There are many ways that corporations earn money. They manufacture goods and services, for example. However, there are other ways, as well. For example, they use their political clout to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Notice from the graph above that corporate profits as a percentage of GNP dropped from the mid 1960′s to the early 1980s. So did the taxes they paid. After the 1 percent began to take complete control of the US government in 1980, which was called the Reagan Revolution and rightly so, the off shoring of American jobs accelerated. Corporations increased profits because of the difference between the old US wages and the new lower wages overseas, as well as the differences in salaries, benefits and environmental costs.

That’s one of the major reasons corporate profits are rising higher and higher, during this time of weak demand, breaking record after record. Every year, one to three million jobs are exported. Because free trade treaties pave the way, millions of other potential American jobs are created by US companies in foreign nations. Without those treaties, it wouldn’t be possible for corporations to do this. Those jobs would be created in the US in the absence of those treaties.

As those jobs are shipped or created overseas, our roads, bridges, schools and social safety nets have been in a slow motion thirty-year collapse because much of our tax base has been shipped or created overseas.

Under President Ronald Reagan, the 1 percent and their tools known as corporations began to receive tax cuts and more and more tax loop holes with which to avoid the payment of taxes. New overseas tax havens allowed the rich and corporations to avoid paying bazillions of dollars in US taxes. That’s another one of the reasons why our roads, bridges and schools are crumbling. Our tax base has been weakened.

Pushing corporate after-tax profits higher and higher is one of the primary goals of Wall Street. This keeps stock and corporate bond prices rising. If profits sink, especially in the long-term, rich investors (such as hedge funds) are likely to sell their stocks and bonds, which sinks the price of corporate shares and weakens the ability of corporations to issue bonds.

Corporations also create profits by jacking up prices. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that only an increase in the supply of money creates inflation. To some degree, that’s true. Post-World War I Germany is a prime example. However, in that case, the excess printed money made its way down to the people, who bid up the price of goods. That’s not happening now. The Federal Reserve has been printing up tens of trillions dollars for several years now and inflation is relatively in check because that money has gone to rich investors, hedge funds and banks, rather than to the people.

However, that hasn’t stopped US corporations from simply jacking up prices for working folks. Look at the graph below. Notice how closely the real inflation rate has mirrored the rise in corporate profits. This suggests that market after market is largely controlled by a few major corporations that control their prices.

Typically, a major corporate player in any market will jack up prices, which will be announced in the corporate press. If its rivals follow, then the increased prices will stick. If the so-called rivals refuse to jack up their prices, the company that jacked up its prices will retract the price increase. This phenomenon was first noticed by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith in his book Economics and the Public Purpose. I studied it and noticed how correct he was.

Here’s the real bitter part of this truth. The US government has changed how it measures inflation twenty times since 1980. This allows corporations to jack-up prices in hundreds of markets without anybody knowing. Sure, people notice price increases in the number of products and services they purchase. However, most people don’t have any idea how pervasive this income redistribution scam is. The US government is a partner is this coverup.

Simply raising prices allows corporations to increase profits. So the money you pay for something goes into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate earnings, dividends and share prices.

The graph below measures inflation the way it used to be measured by the government and shows how the modern and official government statistics for inflation differ from what they would’ve been had the government continued to measure inflation the way it did back in 1980.

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