Media Blackout by michellesmirror.com
"You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised. . . .
The revolution will be live."
--From the 1970 hit song by Gil Scott-Heron
Last week, the city of Philadelphia's school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers.
But corporate media in
other cities made no mention of these massive school closings -- nor of
those in Chicago, Atlanta, or New York City. Even in the Philadelphia media,
the voices of the parents, students and teachers who will suffer were omitted
from most accounts.
It's all about balancing
the budgets of cities that have lost revenues from the economic
downturn. Supposedly, there is simply no money for the luxury of providing
an education for the people.
Where will those
children find an education? Where will the teachers find work? Almost certainly in an explosion of
private sector "charter schools," where the quality of education -- from
the curriculum to books to the food served at lunch -- will be sacrificed to
the lowest bidder, and teachers' salaries and benefits will be sacrificed to
the profits of the new private owners, who will also eat up many millions
of dollars of taxpayer subsidies.
Why does there always
seem to be enough money for military expansion, prisons, bank bailouts and tax
cuts for the wealthy, but not enough for education--or for jobs, housing,
healthcare, or old age pensions? These
are not "welfare" but are part of the social contract for which we pay taxes
and make social security payments.
In an article reprinted on Truthout on May 10th titled " Why Isn't Closing 40 Philadelphia Public Schools National News?," Bruce Dixon posed this answer:
As was cynically observed in a document called the Hazard Circular, allegedly circulated by British banking interests among their American banking counterparts in July 1862:
"[S]lavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan, led by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a means to control the volume of money. . . . It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that. [Quoted in Charles Lindburgh, Banking and Currency and the Money Trust (Washington D.C.: National Capital Press, 1913), page 102.]"
The quotation may be apocryphal,
but it graphically conveys the fate of our burgeoning indentured class. It also suggests the way out: we must
recapture the control of our money and banking systems, including the issuance
of debt-free money ("greenbacks") by the government.
Meanwhile, in Other Unreported News . . .
That alternative vision was put before a conference in Philadelphia in late April that drew delegates from all over the United States. The theme of the first Public Banking in America conference, held at the Quaker Friends Center on April 28-29th, was that to fix the economy, we first need to take back the "money power"--the power to create currency and credit.
Led by keynote speakers Gar Alperovitz and Hazel Henderson and highlighted in an electric speech by twelve-year-old Victoria Grant, the conference was all about solutions. As summarized by OpEdNews editor Josh Mitteldorf: