The twenty-first century although at first sight a move away from the old twentieth century is in significant ways looking backwards a hundred years and more to the vast inequalities which existed before the First World War. In Britain and the United States which appear to be joined in a three-legged race to get back to a dismal vastly unequal society, economic theories and political ideology have joined forces to deregulate and allow the financial sector to set its own limits, or absence of limits, so that a tiny percentage, 0.01% of the population will get rich beyond their wildest dreams. The 99% will find their wages and salaries held down and Pensions trimmed back to level of food and shelter, no holidays, no trips out, no cafe luncheons, no fun spending at all. In the UK the firemen have just been on strike, the teachers and lecturers, the civil servants and the majority of workers in the NHS are all concerned about the extension of hours of work and the cutting back of pension rights. This is in fact the main aim of privatisation, to get a non-unionised work force. So further limits will be easier to impose, so we have Academy Schools, privatised services for the NHS, details of workers out-sourced to private companies, many of which originated in the US and privately run prisons. All supported by British tax-payers but to whom they have no accountability. Most importantly the government cannot be held accountable as these are private firms for example Serco and G4S and others.
These developments are not natural organic growth they are the deliberate decisions of small groups of men acting not on behalf of the country but in the interests of a small elite group who think only of their own personal enrichment utterly without thought for the health and prosperity of the country as a whole. It is possible to make other decisions,all we need is the will to do so.


Reparations: What the Education Gospel Cannot Fix


I promise you I don’t know Coates from Adam’s cousin Leroy. I stopped attending the Thursday night Black People Meetings ™ ages ago when gas crossed $2 a gallon. But, I know that Coates has written a thing at The Atlantic making the case for reparations.

This is good.

When I teach my inequality course to undergraduates, I spend a lot of time on periods of wealth creation in U.S. history and how fundamental enslaved labor was to its distribution. Even my econ majors tend to walk away saying there’s really no redress for inequality that does not begin and end with wealth redistribution. The issue is almost never if reparations is a solution but only if it’s a solution white folks can live with. So, there’s that.

I like Coates’ addendum on his blog. He gives some love to the academics and teachers who slog through survey courses that…

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