Wow. A Spectacular lapse by the Federal government. ITT profited for 17 years after the gov knew it was being defrauded. A textbook example of corporate defenders in our government.
Not everybody was a loser in this tale, of course. Going through ITT’s financial filings from 2000 to 2016, I found that the company generated over $12 billion in revenue, roughly 70 percent of it in government-backed student aid.
Beginning in 2001, with George W. Bush in the White House and Republicans ruling the House of Representatives, the winds were shifting in favor of for-profit colleges.
A Whistle Was Blown on ITT; 17 Years Later, It Collapsed http://nyti.ms/2esW0We
Our political dysfunction is causing real and lasting problems.
Is American democracy broken?
There are precedents around the world for the kind of political jolt the United States experienced in November. They usually include a political firebrand who promises to sweep away a system rigged to serve the powerful rather than the interests of ordinary people. They usually end badly, when the popular champion decides to read electoral victory as an invitation to bend the institutions of democracy to the force of his will.
A system of political finance in which many candidates are funded by deep-pocketed single-interest groups like gun rights advocates and environmentalists will increase political polarization, even as it reduces public confidence in the system. So will electoral districts gerrymandered so narrowly for partisan benefit that even holding elections can seem pointless.
move the drawing of electoral districts out of partisan hands, as California has done, would greatly improve the nature of political contests.
A Threat to U.S. Democracy: Political Dysfunction http://nyti.ms/2hOIUFx
We all get so excited when a billionaire claims he will give away all his money. We think philanthropy is so wonderful that it can solve all the world’s ills. Reality is that this type of philanthropy follows the whims of the giver.
In recent years, many of the industry’s elite have pledged financial support to schools, hospitals, police stations and homeless shelters, all while many of the industry’s companies have avoided paying taxes that would fund those same vital public institutions.
Wealth gleaned by way of tax dodges and monopolistic business practices is wealth stolen from the public, even when it is returned in the form of supposed gifts. Philanthropy has the power to do a great deal of good, but so do tax dollars allocated in an equitable democratic system. Perhaps it’s time to adopt a Gospel of Government.
What Can’t Tech Money Buy? http://nyti.ms/1WrhUuw
Of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Except that that’s not how it’s working out these days. It’s working out to be a government for the rich and for corporations.
A recent study found…
that in policy-making, views of ordinary citizens essentially don’t matter. They examined 1,779 policy issues and found that attitudes of wealthy people and of business groups mattered a great deal to the final outcome — but that preferences of average citizens were almost irrelevant.
“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule,” they concluded. “Majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.”
One reason is that our political system is increasingly driven by money: Tycoons can’t quite buy politicians, but they can lease them. Elected officials are hamsters on a wheel, always desperately raising money for the next election. And the donors who matter most are a small group; just 158 families and the companies they control donated almost half the money for the early stages of the presidential campaign.
America the Unfair? http://nyti.ms/1UdlP9G
The Electoral College should not vote for a candidate who is not qualified for the job.
Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes. Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.
Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/2gJkwVt
Why were people so willing to think a tiger would change its stripes?
Of course The Drumpf is serving his own needs first. Of course he lied to those who voted for him. Of course those who voted for him were fools to believe that he would follow through on his promises to them.
He’s outsourcing our economic policy to Wall Street.
“Steve Mnuchin is just another Wall Street insider,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said in a joint statement. “That is not the type of change that Donald Trump promised to bring to Washington — that is hypocrisy at its worst.”
Trump’s Economic Cabinet Picks Signal Embrace of Wall St. Elite http://nyti.ms/2gMB0sN
Protests of policy can work. They have in the past. Protests against a detestable President aren’t going to to change much. This article details many successful protests and the factors that made them successful.
Protests can change policies, however — and often have. In other countries and throughout American history, ordinary citizens banding together have triumphed over governments, even when a single party holds sweeping control. Many of those protests used resources that the opposition to President-elect Trump enjoys today. They can learn from how those victories were won.
The Art of the Protest http://nyti.ms/2f0D8AL