Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different. —F. Scott Fitzgerald
The rich are different.
Now don’t get confused. By rich, I am talking about those people breathing the rarefied air enveloping One Percent Land. The lucky few who live there are absolutely certain that a) they deserve to be there, and b) the lower classes should not be allowed to climb up. The new oligarchs and aristocrats in this country are all about maintaining their status as Übermensch, free to rule the masses upon whose shoulders they stand. It is with this concept thoroughly in mind (though not necessarily in those terms) that the affluent in this country strive to maintain their status and power, both for themselves and for their future offspring.
Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.” —Barry Switzer
The use of Legacy Admission policies in colleges and universities (particularly private, non-profit institutions) is the most glaring manifestation of this desire. Every policy pushed by conservative politicians has, at its core, a singularly clear goal of maintaining an unbroken line of advantages and set-asides for their aristocratic masters. In their future universe, all schools will be for-profit, selective, and will make heavy use of legacy admission policies.
The sad part about this is that, like identity politics on the right in general, the One Percenters have managed to get others to do their heavy lifting for them. Professional educators—most of whom should know better—are buying into the ideas that lazy teachers, lazy students, overspending, and liberal curricula are the problem. They have manufactured a problem where none exists, and convinced many would-be saviors that their “solution” is the only way. Why else would schools try to instill “sound business practices” in something that is not a business?
Here’s an idea… why not read the research that has already been done on the real problems that schools actually have in educating their students, and work from there? Things like, I don’t know, maybe nutrition? Or socio-economic status. Or maybe environmental. Or even hormonal.
Keep all this in mind every time you hear one of the Hucksters claim they have the cure for our (really not) ailing school system, shouting like Billy Mays that all we need are charter schools, or vouchers, or no teacher unions. Every claim, “solution,” or “budget correction” is about one thing—power. The political power needed to make a perfect educational playground for the 1%, so Little Jonathan can have an unobstructed path to third base without ever coming to bat.
- The 1 percent’s Ivy League loophole (salon.com)
- Silver Spoons (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com)
- Following the Money in For-Profit Education
- Schools Across The Country Are Considering Education Bills Crafted By Corporate Front Group
- For-profit Education: Background