To Billionaires, Union Busting is called "Philanthropy"

It must be nice owning a major news media outlet. It gives you a megaphone to post virtually any vile thing that you want, and the right-wing is sure to echo it. Failed Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has unleashed an absolutely massive attack on teachers unions.



It’s one of the biggest education-focused gifts in philanthropic history: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced he would spend $750 million over the next five years to expand charter schools.

“You can legitimately call it unprecedented,” said Megan Tompkins-Stange, who studies education philanthropy at the University of Michigan. “A gift of that size historically has had the power to reshape a field.”

It's a "historic, unprecedented, philanthropic gift." How come it doesn't feel that way?
Yes, this great man is spending all of this money to help us undeserving, little people.

America owes Michael Bloomberg a debt of gratitude for supporting charter schools with his fortune (“Why I’m Backing Charter Schools,” op-ed, Dec. 2). No doubt he will have to brave insults launched by the teachers unions, but those of us whose kids attended charters know he’s right.
...Starting in fifth grade, NCS students dramatically increased their scores in math, reading and science. Scores for district students in the same income group dropped.

Gee, I wonder why scores for the same students in public schools starting dropping at the same time? It must be because of those evil teachers unions, amirite?
Or maybe, just maybe, it's because charter schools can pick and choose the best students, rejecting those with learning disabilities, which then get dumped on public schools, who by law can't reject any child.
Meanwhile, those public funds gets redirected to private charter schools, thus leaving already strapped public schools increasingly underfunded.


Adding schools to an area when enrollment is declining can force shrinking schools to close.
Some see that as a feature. “If a school district has to close a school because of movement to schools of quality choice, I think that is what needs to happen,” said Kemp.
But closures are highly controversial, and often face intense opposition from families whose children will be displaced.


Just so we are perfectly clear, Bloomberg is investing this mountain of money into charter schools, not because they are almost always non-union (which they are), but because it helps poor minority children. You see it's billionaires that care about poor children, not those elitist public school teachers.

Although a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union thankfully ended this week, the damage has been done. The unlawful walkout exposed an indifference not just to science but to the emotional and academic well-being of more than 340,000 schoolchildren. It also showed why President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders need to break the grip of teachers unions over the country’s public schools — or risk irreversible damage to the students who can afford it least...
Given the transmissibility of the omicron variant, it’s inevitable that Covid cases will rise as schools reopen. But the health risk the variant poses to children is far outweighed by the proven cognitive and emotional harm caused by remote learning...Under the guise of promoting the safety of students, union leaders had demanded working conditions that far exceed what’s necessary for them to do their jobs safely.

Note the consistent theme in right-wing sources of how essential workers, like teachers, are suddenly not essential when it comes to their safety at work or pay.
Many teachers earn less than a family living wage, up to a quarter of the workforce leaves teaching annually and about one-fifth are forced to seek a second job.
This has led to a severe nationwide teacher shortage.

Despite having the advantage of serving relatively few students with disabilities, pre-pandemic research suggests that charter schools perform about the same as nearby district schools on standardized tests.
Also, many charter schools were also slow to fully reopen, including Success Academy, which Bloomberg touted.


Teacher shortages are chronic in some districts, and getting worse. More than half the principals surveyed by the EdWeek Research Center who said they closed schools during the latest Covid wave did so because they didn’t have enough staff. The number of education job openings overall surged by nearly 75% this fall compared to the same period last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite all of these facts, the "solution" for the billionaires is to crush teachers unions. That will lead to worse working conditions and lower pay for teachers. Which will lead to bigger classrooms, worse teaching candidates, and somehow better schools???

Essentially, this is all part of a wealthy wide-ranging plan to crush public education in this country, and this is being done by demonizing school teachers.

Indeed, attacking teachers and schools over both Covid-19 and “critical race theory” is a primary Republican organizing strategy. As of December of 2021, eight Republican-controlled states had passed anti-democratic laws restricting teachers’ ability to teach the truth about US history. In Tennessee, teachers who teach about the history of racial discrimination risk losing funding for their schools. In Wisconsin, Republican legislators passed a law that would result in multi-thousand-dollar fines for teachers who mention topics like race or equity. In Texas, teachers are being required to teach “both sides” of topics such as the Holocaust and slavery. And in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has introduced a bill that would empower parents to sue teachers for teaching the truth about US history. Meanwhile, just last week, a school board in Pennsylvania explicitly instructed teachers not to teach about the January 6 insurrection.

Through it all, the White House, the federal Department of Education, and the Democratic Party have done nothing to defend teachers or public education.
...Meanwhile, the very real dangers kids and teachers face in schools—like Covid-19 or school shootings—have been met with learned helplessness from the media and leading Democrats.

Ah, yes. BOTH sides of the Holocaust and slavery. That's what is important. Not doing something about school shootings.
This country has lost it's f*cking mind.

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That I've been covering for years.

You did a good job, but let me remind readers that Charter Schools are primarily about and by and for Profit. No other goals.

After Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans the NO Public School System was destroyed for good.

Michael Bloomberg sees a similar opportunity now in NYC.

Especially since the New Mayor is his puppet and has already named as NYC Schools Chancellor a guy who owns/runs so-called "Hybrid Schools." You guessed it. Charter Schools by another name.

In his 12 year reign Bloomberg authorized 360 charter Schools. Fewer than 250 still exist. They ruined NYC Public Schools and then failed the students enrolled in these nightmares of profit not education gone awry.

12 users have voted.


zed2's picture

firms and we msut not allow anything we control to stand in the way. Nursing too, Unions are probably seen as a trade barrier by the WTO. I dont know. Certainly we cant let anything stand in the way of trading in education services. India is likely to be entitled to staff those services jobs if they can bid lower, note they may not even actually have to be qualified to do them for less. If the government certifies them which it turns out is a process that is VEY VERY CORRUPT. You see rich families are used to getting everything they want. Government officials buy jos in order to get bribes to do this. Its the NORM rather than the exception in much of the world, I am not joking!
Watch this. What do you think?

They will likely make up the credentials, they can fake them, we have to accept fake degrees if we are given them by foreign colleges even if they dont usually check out. Buying degrees is endemic in India by all accounts. 8 out of 10 "doctors" in India are fake according to the WHO. Google that phrase.

Note that is a huge percentage of problematic visa applications. 20% have some kind of fatal poblem with the application for high skil jobs. That means that only 20% check out well enough to not be shot down. Note, this is from Hyderabad, they were from the Telegu language area. .. Look up what the US immigration service said in their 2008 secret cable about this problem.
It sounded like they were just buried with appliations and SOmany of them were bad. Look it up on wikileaks. They are searchable. Visa fraud is a huge thing in India.

Also Google "payback for the world trade agenda", and a keep in mind that these jobs being a debt due them for being a party to a treaty, that even if there is a huge shortage of quaklified workers we can be fairly sure they are under huge pressure to approve them and let them come in because its a debt we are supposed to pay in jobs. Please investigate what I am saying. It sounds nuts doesnt it? So verify this for yourself, I made a number of assertions. Find out if they are true, do it now. Its a national issue so you can bet that both parties will agree to look the other way just to get bodies in there to kill the unions, I bet. Look up is diploma fraud common in India, I am talking about buying diplomas without ever actually stepping into a classroom. Buying a diploma by paying for some clerk to create a record in their colleges computer.

Education is terribly underfunded in the developing world. In fact many developing countries don't even have public higher education. Some dont evenn have public primary education. (K-12)

Its also common for very poor families (a LOT of families are very very poor in part because of neoliberalism) to not send girls to school, because of this horrible DOWRY makes them see girls as a liability they cannot afford. so they KILL them at birth.

The ill"logic" goes, their husbands family would get the benefit. A girl's family often has to pay husband's family something called a dowry. However if the husband who often has never even previously really met his "wife" (or maybe she is really young when married) , has a job lined up in the US already, the dowry declines by huge sums. It gets closer to nothing, which is good. But.. this stilis the husband in the US. Say they might pay $30,000 for an IT job that places them here. Isntthat just nuts? Please research what I am saying, don't just take my word for it. Tell you what, ask the Indian IT workers you know.

What if that similar approach starts being the norm for teachers in public schools. What will taxpayers do? Will they continue funding such public education, if its turned into crap, NO.

See they have gotten it all figured out. UNfortunately the reason for all this stuff are huge and evil problems caused by the evil trading system and customs that existed in Western countries THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, NOT TODAY. BECAUSE OF DOWRIES

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snoopydawg's picture

Although a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union thankfully ended this week, the damage has been done. The unlawful walkout exposed an indifference not just to science but to the emotional and academic well-being of more than 340,000 schoolchildren.

Kids lost a week of school and it caused irreparable damage, but have they forgotten what happened just a year ago? Kids lost much more than just one week. But Mike doesn’t have much to worry about since democrats bailed on union a long time ago.

And in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has introduced a bill that would empower parents to sue teachers for teaching the truth about US history.

I think that horse has died long ago after someone forgot to close the barn door. I learned that Indians were bad and cowboy's job was to keep people safe from them. I don’t remember anything about the military’s roll in the Indian genocide. In fact I learned nothing about that nor the truth about our many wars. I also learned that we were the heroes in WW2 and Russia was always our enemy.

But then…

11 users have voted.

I feel like I’m riding in the backseat of a '66 Thunderbird with Thelma at the wheel and Louise riding shotgun whilst heading towards a cliff.

Bloomberg spent in the four months of his 2020 primary campaign. His total per Open Secrets was $1,096 million.

Essentially, this is all part of a wealthy wide-ranging plan to crush public education in this country,

Long-term yes. In the near term, he and his BFFs want all the public education dollars to flow into their coffers. It's a twofer, bankrupt public education and local and state governments.

13 users have voted.
zed2's picture

They are supposed to not do anything that stands in the way of foreign or US corporations. Public primary schools have a carve out but when they started letting private schools in that risks it all. Read the US Gambling case and see how the clicking of the ratchet (I mean the noose-tightening effect) can be completely silent, in locking .

Antigua-Barbuda sued us for restricting online gambling, when we had been alloowing it, which caused a one way trap so we were not supposed to disallow it afterward. Antigua-Barbuda had a right of establishment. Its the same with health insurance. Insurers have a legal right to establish their business which prevents government from helping anybody who might possibly buy the insurance. and we lost. Please look that case up. US-Gambling look up its impications. You will find a lot. We lost.

The UK also signed GATS so now all the once public services (now the official name is SGEI or "services of general economic interest) of the UK social safety net are being dismantled. On one hand it was their governments desire to commit the UK to liberalize these services, bilaterally (financial services) They could have made healthcare single payer like Canada did in the early 90s and now if health insurance was completely noncommercial like Canada's they would be able to have a single payer system like Canada, and it would be free. But now for the last 11 days because of Brexit, the NHS has technically been illegal, as far as I can tell. Hopefully I am wrong. BUt I cant see how I could possibly be because the rules are fairly spelled out. I know that when I explained this rule here it seems nobody sees it, but the fact is Ive explained it at least 50 times here, but its very important rule.

Its the law. Tony Blair did it back in the 199. Now foreign countries have a right to demand the government stop competing with their for profit services. People are mentally in denial, they think somebody will rescue them. This Learned helplessness is common in the US too. They will likely have millions of homeless in the US soon.

You see the British seem to be adamant that insurance industry is to be fully commercial. I cant see how Bernie sanders could have told people that we would have a publioc healthcare system to people jstby voting for democrats. Thats justwrong, its a blatant lie. This is the United States. dont people know what that means. I swear to God this is the truth.

You can read up on it in the trade literature. Markus Krajewski is an expert on the rule Gta rticle 1:3 that is involved thats doing this. The United States could somehow set back the legal clock or travel in time to 1992 or 1993, we could have public healthcare and hundreds of people a day could live when now they diue because the healthcare here is not available to poo people as it should be. Please keep that in mind., What was happening in 1992-1993 while the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO was being negotiated? Those jobs (nursing, teaching and so on) were bait to the 3rd world countries to sign the agreement.

What could have caused the lack of agency that they did not do this? Was somebody paid off, bribed? They really should look into that, I bet somebody was. Because of this deal they want our opwn people to fuck up because they have already promised away the jobs and the foreign workers work for so much less. They are not at fault for this its US politicians who might have been intimidated or threatened by some politicians. or perhaps political parties. There was a whole theater involving the Blue Cows or something like that. What a huge scam. was used to create theater of cruelty. Its all very slick isnt it. Very professional of politicians to get their way, and sell our peoples lives away. The fact is were likely to lose 42-46-24% of our jobs to outsourcers. The Harvard University replication study of Alan BlindrBlinder study says we will lose up to 40% of our desk job. Harsh, whak nind of housing cn people afford,

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orlbucfan's picture

only slightly removed from being a cracker (state native). My sister is a Math genius who has worked with full military clearance for the War Department aka "DOD." She has also worked in Finance. She is set for life. That said, she is a dedicated Math teacher in public schools. She absolutely despises charter schools. Down here they're are considered a ridiculous joke along with everything else in Tallahassee. The teacher requirements don't exist. We've had charter school scandals involving "teachers" with felony criminal backgrounds. No lie. The latest on-going scam is stealing our tax dollars for these religious/X-tian "schools." That's been going on for decades, mind you. Michael Bloomberg, along with such garbage as Gates, Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg and the Sacklers, needs to be lined up and shot. But, this is not a just world. BTW, I think you're referring to the Blue Dogs, not Blue Cows. Rec'd!!

8 users have voted.

Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

zed2's picture

The billionaires too for doing this.Everyone who can affords to, moves someplace warmer, both climatically and emotionally. Leaving the billionaires with the other losers in society here, oppressing everybody who they can. They would like that.

I always knew Trumps wall would end up keeping Americans in. Not Mexicans out.

4 users have voted.
zed2's picture

still value their employees. But the exemption they get from WTO and outsorcing is under attack by foreign countries, so their very narrow not being forced to globalize (because "its national security") may end. THis happened last year and I had some interesting conversations with foreign trade savvy people about it. Evidently its an issue, countries keeping foreign firms and workers out by falsely claiming a service sector or contract is exempted for national security reasons. It wont be that way much longer if they abuse it, and it seems they often do. Japanese immigrants to the US (I forget the name they use, starts with "hib" maybye "hibuskaya" People who had survived the atom bomb in 1945 - thatwhat that word means- and US (POWs at the time) survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who had been injured by the atomic bomb used to have to get medical care from doctors paid by the Japanese government, who came here and held multi day clinics here! Thats because the US insurance industry were so adamant that they and their health insurance would not cover it. I dont know if the VA did, they should have, but, I dont know- I read that a few people in the US were atom bomb survivors and could not, did not get healthcare insurance for that reason, at one point, years ago. While I was reading an article on all risk insurance policies in a legal journal (dont forget I am not a lawyer, doctor or anything like that!). There, these blanket exemptions were brought up.

If anyone wants to learn more about exclusions for national security, Ive posted links on this, here quite frequently. Particularly Article 1.3 the services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority exclusion, or governmental authority exclusion for short. There is also a separate 'emergency" exclusion. Also thingslike "force majure" which is different. Anyway, in GATS and the WTO any exclusions are very very narrow because if they werent countries would use them all the time to protect various high paying jobs, defeating the entire purpose of these things.

Its a huge debate- the dispute over what is exempted from WTO rules (particularly the AGP or Agreement on Government Procurement, NAFTA, CAFTA, TAFTA, TISA (pending) US Columbia, Korea US , and others, I think there are maybe around 30 of them, some cover procurement - meaning government purchases of good or services.. Also domestic regulation is disciplined by WTO rules, and jurisdiction is so broad there is very little that is not under it. Really.

That means that starting in 1947, GATT was intended and did radically change, it internationalized, the selling of goods (tangible things, commodities, etc) and starting in 1995 GATS radically changed services, "everything you cannot drop on your foot" But its been done very gradually is has really barely even begun, because of all this protectionism, Trump, etc has held it up. But now Biden is there and so- full speed ahead?? I think thats whats expected overseas.

GATS I know has a national security exemption - What must be bid out and what can be exempted on national security grounds? Its a bigquestion because it boils down to whose countries firms get the jobs and how much they pay too, it may so even more if they win exemption from the resuirement they pay a legal US wage. Which I know has ben a very divisive subject for a very long time. Foreign countries are demanding the right to pay as little as they want. Do you see why, given that they have to win bids, be the lowest bidders? .

I think the case involves Russia and Ukraine or both. It is on the WTO dot org site, and it was just a year or two ago. I wasn't so into it reading it and I am not a lawyer either so it didnt hold my attention that long. But there might be some info if any of you are security clearance holders worried about the privatization of your subcontractor jobs and then them becoming subject to the various international treaty rules on national treatment, most favored nation, government procurement, tendering of bids, and so on.

Privatizing war is a big thing, though. Be aware of that. And not just wars, everything that involves money. They really want to do it. If we have put somebody in a position where they cant get insurance for the rest of their life (let alone the cost if they could) Health Insurance policies routinely doesn't cover war injuries, acts of terrorism, etc. Read the fine print. Also home insurance doesn't cover a bunch of different things like damage from terrorism, radiation, and so on. People are on their own. Manyolder nuclear power plants, as far as I know, almost all in the US, are a similar GE deign thats the same as the ones at Fukushima that went into the loss of the ultimate heatsink situation, when the power went out. The scary thing about that is solar storms, which happen completely randomly. Where I live, (the northeastern US) has a specific problem. Millions of years ago this area had a great deal of volcanic activity and now the area is just a thin layer of earth sitting on top of volcanic (igneous) rock that doesnt conduct electricity much at all. This means that when there is a solar flare, a few minutes later a stream of charged particles will hit the Earth and it induces direct current in wires, striong DC EMP in wires. This has all sorts of very destructive effects and its quite possible it would knock the entire electrical grid out in this part of the country for some time. I could get into the technical aspects of this or send you to more information on it. Suffice it to say that many people are veryu worried that we could lose our electrical power here in the Northeast for an extended period of time. Now, lets go back to the problem with the GE boiling water reactors. Remember multiple reactors went critical when they lost power?

Well, lots of the nuclear reactors in the US have this problem. There are several possible interventions. Onlyone of them is in place, we need for them all to be in place for nuclear energy as we have it today to be safe. The risk of failure is just too great. We should prioritize this or take these power plants offline, dismantle them, one or the other. Also no cashless surveillance state can be implemented as planned. Because we need cash so people wont starve if the power goes out for a long time.

But especially we need those nuke plants to have backup power for longer. Much longer, not just a week or two, they should be able to have an alternative source of water for cooling that can survive without external resources for many months or even years. Power may have so many demands put on it bu beureaucrats who as we see now, obviously do not understand science.

What are we doing now? We have two space craft that are semi permanently orbiting in space in a position where if the sun spews out a CME heading our way we will get a few minutes wrning. And at that moment we mustimmediately send out a warning that is guaranteed to readh all power companies all around the world, yes, even places that arent our friends. And at that moment they must cut the power, just switch it off and lift the bars connecting their massive power transformer to the long wires that feed them. This is because of that DC pulse. Because otherwise that DC pulse will make the transformers which are huge, and expensive and difficult to replace will catastrophically fail when that DC pulse reaches them. One has to understand electromagnetics to understand why, and I am not up to explaining the whole thing now. Power out everywhere for a long long time, multiple nuclear meltdowns all around the world at the same time, just remember that!

This is why we need to avoid becoming an international pariah state. We cant afford it. Because if somebody really hates us all they have to do is detonate a small nuclear device in space high enough for the EMP it creates to blow a bunch of transformers - these power transformers will pop. This could happen if there is a solar storm too, like we had in 1859. Nasa has extimated there is a one in eight chance of a Carrington Class event every decade. That figure now is quite likely an underestimate because there was a near miss just a few years ago which changes the math used to derive that figure.

Anyway, please tell anybody you know who might be in a position to kick the asses of the eureaucrats to pay more attention to this or we could be in a real major emergency that would have a disatrous effect on humanity. You se there is no safe dose of radiation, unlike what they say. Gamma radiation causes cancers in direct proportion to its presence. Cell repair capacity is a finite resource that gets used up.

This scenario is not in the plans . Lots of nuclear power plants would immediately be in a crisis situation with no water cooling and regulating their cores.

Millions of peoples communities might become uninhabitable and unsafe like Chernobyl and Fukushima for a very long time.

The government likely couldn't pay for it either. They would quite likely not handle anything like that gracefully, not now. Too many special interests that would just leave the taxpayer holding the bag.

Read John Hershey's "Hiroshima"

3 users have voted.

unions and zillionaires, but for me the main problem is that the right to an education is not, like health care is not, a right afforded US citizens. Public schools can range from dismal to outperforming private schools depending on the wealth, or lack of, of the school district, since schools are mostly funded through property taxes. So as wages have shrunk the ability for many to fund schools through taxes have shrunk. The poorer the district, the more problems they have to deal with. Hunger, housing (or lack of), safety, lack of technology and internet.

If we had a government that was responsive to the voters, education could be improved. Bush 2 and his No Child Left Behind used the budget to twist schools into a pretzel. The same could be done for the good if both parties weren't on the lookout for what ever donor strolls through their office with a wad of bills.

4 users have voted.
zed2's picture

There is a very large need for better online education options. Pople also need to be able to test into work qualifications without exception. When people teach themselves some knowledge domain sothey are the equivalent of others in a field, its essential that they be able to get credit for that knowledge. Without having to pay thousands of dollars.

Often people may have qualifications that are only recognized in one country. They may be valid qualifications, and they may be quite capable but in some parts of the world fake qualifications are an epidemic!

What can be done?
People are trying to figure out how to prevent a disaster while at the same time, letting capable professionals work.

Formal education is expensive, often prohibitively so for young people. Its unfair to let cost be the barrier it is now.

But its also unfair to turn a blind eye to visa fraud i order to replace capable workers with much cheaper ones.

In the rush to open international borders to foreign workers, we have to be careful.

We're under a lot of pressure to allow a lot more foreign workers into the US. Many may not be qualified. But if Indian corporations accept their qualifications or even if they have sketchy ones, we may be required to allow them irregardless, in unlimited numbers, without any testing or skills verification. I hope not. That would be like spitting in the faces in the millions of Americans who won jobs without them, and do their jobs at a high level of skill. How would you like it if you were forced to train a replacement and asked to remain on call for two years afterward, without a job, and with no compensation for this on call activity? That seems to be the plan, and employers then have no need to provide any benefits under the WARN Act. They have the laying off of workers down to a science.

This is from

"India has argued that the current measures, as with earlier measures, are inconsistent with the terms, limitations and conditions agreed to by the United States in its Schedule of Specific Commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). According to India, US is according less favourable treatment to juridical persons from India having a commercial presence in the US as compared to juridical persons in the US, engaged in providing like services in sectors such as the computer and related services—this is a sector in which the US has taken commitments in its Schedule of Specific Commitments under GATS.

Further, it affects the movement of natural persons seeking to supply services in a manner that is inconsistent with the US’ commitments under GATS, i.e, the Movement of Natural Persons Supplying Services provision. These measures nullify or impair benefits accruing to India, either directly or indirectly, under the GATS. The above-mentioned measures and comparable measures violate several provisions under GATS, India has stated.

Under the Dispute Settlement System of the World Trade Organization, the first step to be taken when a dispute is registered with the WTO Secretariat, are consultations to explore if the matter can be resolved without proceeding further towards litigation. If the consultations fail to yield results then the complainant may request the WTO to establish a dispute settlement panel to study the matter.

The complaint has to be responded to within 10 days by the concerned party and the parties have to enter into consultations within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint. The parties have 60 days to consult with each other for a resolution unless the parties decide to suspend or extend the consultations.

This is the second dispute for the WTO in 2016.

The writer is a journalist with the United Nations"

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zed2's picture


Money = high quality education. Rich people spend thousand of dollars getting their child into the "right" pre-school.

They want to pull back from educating young Americans because they feel their "expectations are too high".

Thats what they say. Young people are not educated enough (however many of the allegedly well educated guest workers they are comparing our young people to, have fake degrees) too high of jobs. American wages are too high. They are offshoring the jobs. Thats the plan.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...but it seems like Antonin Scalia was onto something:

"Words have no meaning anymore."

2 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!