Dollar Democracy excerpts:
|From Chapter 3 (p.73):
Rich Parent, Poor Parent: Inequality in American Education
An American child’s chance of acquiring a quality education depends more on the parents’ income than on almost anything else, including ethnicity.
… The differences between low-income neighborhoods and high-income neighborhoods are clear when we compare two Long Beach High Schools, and two Long Beach Elementary Schools. Because Long Beach’s Jordan High School and Wilson High School are both in the LBUSD, they both receive similar levels of per pupil funding. Yet, the majority of Wilson students’ academic achievement levels were higher than Jordan’s. The majority of Jordan students’ academic achievement levels were far lower than the majority of Wilson students’ academic achievement levels. In this case, the students’ academic achievement rates were correlated with the parents’ income levels. Generally, the higher income levels of Wilson parents produce the social environment which enables their children to do better in school.
As we can see, it is the inequality of parental income that is the major factor: in Long Beach, California, and in the U.S., most high income parents themselves have higher educational levels and more resources to provide their children with a rich, supportive learning environment resulting in higher student achievement. Adequate, equal per pupil funding is necessary but not enough. Inequality in parental income is a major factor in students’ achievement because more affluent parents can provide all the needed support outside of school such as extra academic support including homework, outside tutoring, extra curricular arts and science activities, “academic camps” and well funded PTAs that can spend money as well. Also, higher income families enjoy the benefits of economically secure (home ownership) and physically safe environments, for example, with less crime and gang activity. Most low income parents can not afford these things. Many low income parents, for no fault of their own, do not have resources or time to provide their children with the same rich, supportive learning environment. Many of these parents are forced to work overtime, or hold down two jobs to make ends meet. Until low income parents’ wages and resources are increased, public spending must be increased to provide their children with a similar, supportive outside-the-classroom learning environment as the children of the wealthy. I know this works because I experienced this type of program that was created by the city of Cambridge in England.
Politicians Dismantled California’s Master Plan and Tuition-free Education
… California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, put into place by Governor Pat Brown and the state legislature in 1960, established a system of full government funding for California’s Community Colleges, California State University, and the University of California. …
…When I started teaching at Foothill College and City College of San Francisco in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1976, my community college students were paying $6 ($24 in today’s dollars) service fee for all 12 units. When (former California) Governor Pete Wilson attended U.C. Berkeley Law School, he paid a $37 ($204 in today’s dollars) service fee for a full load of classes. He graduated with a law degree from U.C. Berkeley, became a lawyer, a U.S. Senator, and Governor of California. …
… This system of tuition free public higher education, that enabled any high school graduate in California to develop her/his full talent and pursue happiness and the American Dream by finishing their higher education, became a beacon to the world. It became the economic engine that powered California to the fifth-largest economy in the world. It also laid the groundwork for the development of advanced manufacturing and high technology, that became the foundation of a solid middle class and made California the truly Golden State. …
by Michael Douglas Carlin | American News Service | Book Review
Many questions torment America in the dark night of its soul, but its seems Corporate CEO pay emerges as one of this year’s hottest trending issues. At the midway point to the next election, this and other hotly contested issues are shackled and tackled in Professor Peter Mathews’ must-read new bookDollar Democracy: with Liberty and Justice for Some; How to Reclaim the American Dream for All.
“Despite the country’s dire state of affairs, Mathews remains optimistic, and closes the opus with some viable plan for the people to reclaim the American Dream. The literary equivalent of a one-man million-man march for equality and justice for every U.S. citizen.” Review by Kam Williams, Syndicated columnist
Read this book about Corporations and their pampered and panderingpolitical offspring. Act Accordingly. Our country is in the midst of an uncivil war between the alarmingly powerful, determined to destroy the middle class and the intentionally left behind.
Professor Peter Mathews’ book serves as a counterpoint to those who luxuriate in denying the reality of America’s rapidly changing social landscape. We are dangerously close to cementing a permanent American catastrophe. Mathews boldly and unapologetically asks questions and gives solutions that the media/propaganda machine purposefully ignore. He closes the tome with a checklist of high crimes and misdemeanors and an urgent call to conscience and about what needs to be done next.
Determining our actions today can move us towards either a stronger, more positive future, or a future shrouded in fear, poverty, war. This book is written as a primer for people of all ages and all classes who want answers.
Professor Mathews speaks in a voice that resounds with clarity and conviction as he examines the direct and intentional outcome of separate policies that were advocated, starting with the Reagan administration, to intentionally deceive and destroy the middle class. In a full frontal attack by the corporate manipulators Mathews details how the middle class has become superfluous to the very rich and why various policies were deliberately created to eliminate them. Their defining characteristic is dirty, scorched-earth partisanship carried out regardless of cost. Conservatives are anxious again to finish first – with the big prize-monopoly control of the American government, and the power to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price. People want answers, but our compromised leaders can’t provide them because bold actions carry too much political risk. Meanwhile the corporations are booming and running roughshod over us. They are operating in their own time and space continuum that is increasingly supranational – disconnected from local concerns and their home markets.
Mathews reveals that there are fat corporate balance sheets ready to create jobs and prosperity – just not in America. While corporations feign heartfelt pledges of allegiance to the U.S., they still must depend on the government to protect intellectual property and keep waterways safe so they can deliver their made-in-China supplies to us. This formidable book brings to light of day important new information regarding how the Corporate manipulators are destroying our country.
Dollar Democracy is a riveting read, the text, defiantly disturbing. Mathews’ writing style passionately grounded in integrity and reality. The conclusions of his detective work fit together like sword and scabbard. He gives his reader so much juicy information, a veritable tsunami of corporate skullduggery. He doesn’t mince words and he doesn’t hold back when identifying the cauldrons of chaos they have created. He exposes these and others among the secret corporate power elite as the coolly vicious orchestrators of wars and grand-scale theft. Mathews also details the mind-boggling sums of money their CEO’s reap from the proceeds of their crony capitalism. And what’s interesting is that the fortunes of corporations are totally delinked from the fortunes of the rest of the world. The 2008 financial crisis devastated hundreds of millions of people, but the following year Wall Street revenue hit US$60 billion, a historic high, thanks in large part to the massive injection of public money they received. Average wages in developed countries have dropped since the crisis, but the median pay for CEOs in the US now exceeds $10 million. A CEO now makes about 357 times more than the average worker’s salary in the U.S., up from 181 times in 2009 and 40 times in 1980. The divide between the have-nots and have-yachts is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent capture about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
Crony politicians have made decisions that led to outsourcing good middle class jobs, dismantling our public education system kindergarten through college and university; deteriorating health care that leaves Americans in danger, sick and broke; the destroying of our environment and lives; the polluting of our food through deregulation of big agribusiness, pesticide use and the proliferation of Genetically Modified (GMO) foods; the crash of Wall Street and the Great Recession from which the bottom 99% of Americans have not yet recovered; while the super wealthy are doing better than ever.
Mind-blowing from the beginning, Mathews’ book takes an even more astounding contemporary turn when he declares their efforts over the past thirty years have succeeded. The middle class democracy that made America great is in seemingly irreversible decline. Mathews clearly shows how the Corporations and their crony politicians have hoodwinked America by separating speech and thought.
But wait, Mathew is a political pugilist, ready to lob a whole arsenal of answers on how we can reverse these trends and return middle-class democracy. He proposes comprehensive, bold, visionary solutions to restore America’s formidable democracy and make this country great again.
Can the truth change the course of history? If the truth can heal, then this book is a prescription for accountability. It is a must-read for anyone who believes that following our constitution must be mandatory for the pursuit of good government and that our once vibrant and powerful democracy is not for sale to the highest bidder and the too-clever-for-word machinations of the Corporate Pollution Politics.
Dollar Democracy is really a blueprint for Americans that have had enough. And that means 99% of us.