Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What Money Can Buy

I took a course in college that taught students how to follow the money trails, as we did research on issues of interest to us. I never quite got the hang of it. Susan Ohanian and Rachel Tabachnick sure did.

I was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, home to the DeVos and VanAndel families (and Gerald Ford). It never occurred to me when I was young that their money would be a significant factor in how the whole country is run.

The decades-long campaign to end public education is propelled by the super-wealthy, right-wing DeVos family. Betsy Prince DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA (now Xe), and wife of Dick DeVos, son of the co-founder of Amway, the multi-tiered home products business.

By now, you've surely heard of the Koch brothers, whose behind-the-scenes financing of right-wing causes has been widely documented in the past year. The DeVoses have remained largely under the radar, despite the fact that their stealth assault on America's schools has the potential to do away with public education as we know it.

And there's the Gates Foundation...


  1. Random reminder of study that professor I don't really know is starting. Summarized here. Shorter summary, looking at what it is that the top 1% of America wants. And another tangential series at NYTimes about wealth inequality.

  2. You speak as is if doing away with public education is a bad thing.

  3. It sure is a bad thing.

    I am very interested in alternatives like homeschooling and my son's holistic school, but not all families have the resources to benefit from homeschooling, or to pay for alternative schools. There are many, many children who need good public schools.

    I am quite disgusted with how much damage has been done to public education by the high-stakes testing, and by 'standards' that push kids to learn things before they're ready.

    A child I call my nephew has parents who work in restaurants. If there were no public education, what would there be for him? I think working people would rise up if there were no public schools. I imagine the DeVos family probably doesn't want to completely end public education, just eviscerate it.

    Providing an environment for all children to learn is the responsibility of the society as a whole.

    I am curious who you are, anonymous.


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