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How Big Corporations Cheat Public Education


How Big Corporations Cheat Public Education

Paul Buchheit

Corporations have reaped trillion-dollar benefits from 60 years of public education in the U.S., but they're skipping out on the taxes meant to sustain the educational system. Children suffer from repeated school cutbacks. And parents subsidize the deadbeat corporations through increases in property taxes and sales taxes.

Big Companies Pay about a Third of their Required State Taxes


One irony that comes to mind is that states often use pride in their education system as drawing card for corporations whose workers will seek out opportunities for their children. Bye bye critical thinking…


We have a problem. Since Reagan’s deregulation mania of the 1980s, US corporations have trampled over one nation after another, leaving a trail of destruction. We should consider that the international community in whole might just about be out of patience. The consequences to the American people could be very, very bad.


Corporations provide most of our jobs. This means we’re stuck, since our (and our families’) survival depend on our jobs.


One very simple solution is to use the IRS to assess and collect these corporate taxes and have it earmarked for each state.


We can’t tax Big Business because they make the tax laws through the politicians they own. Any token corporate taxes get kicked backed to them with interest. Why do we keep insisting on taxation as a solution?

If them with the gold make the rules, why not limit personal wealth and take away their power to make the rules? Who really needs more than a million or two? We can set a wealth cap democratically by yearly referendum.

How can economic democracy, the essence of democracy, be possible if the public has no say about wealth and power distribution?


Remember that schools are funded by local property taxes. It is nonsense to argue that corporations own state legislators and force them to write local property tax laws that favor large corporations.

Legislators in my state (Nebraska) are only too happy to write favorabke tax laws to entice corporations to locate in Nebraska because this will mean jobs for the constituents of the policicians. You don’t really think corporations somehow own state legislators before they locate in the state, do you?

The situation in the federal government is very different. It is in the rational self-interest of corporations to lobby Congress to pass tax laws that favor them. So long as money controls elections, it will be the case that wealthy corporations can affect elections through political donations. Citizens United (money is speech) was a very bad decision because if corporations are people then they have a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If money is speech, then you can’t limit how much money corporations spend on the election of politicians who think as they do, just as you can’t limit the speech of a person.

To paraphrase Orwell, all animals have freedom of speech, but some animals (corporations) have more freedom of speech than other animlas.


I’m a 57 yr old native Californian. I got to attend public schools in Southern California in the 1960s and 70s. All the things that have happened have been pointing toward not just shortchanging public K-12 but eliminating it as much as possible, I think maybe we have about ten years to turn it around. That means tinkering with Proposition 13 here, the third rail of politics. Upping corporate rates and enforcing them. Phasing out charters, which may be impossible but worth a thought. Without charters school districts will be forced to fund all schools equally. I watched with revulsion when the charter movement began, I felt it would lead us right to where we are today.
I don’t see in the long run even the Democrats upholding the tax system as it is now. Districts like Los Angeles are teetering on collapse. We will never go back to the quality of the schools California once had, but we can improve them somewhat.


“It is nonsense to argue that corporations own state legislators and force them to write local property tax laws that favor large corporations.”

Is it nonsense to argue that state legislators will get large corporate bribes if they direct property tax revenues to these large corporations?


Conscious, complicit, calculated tax policy is what lets them get away with these things. They call it a game, using lobbyists, accountants, lawyers and cash to make indifference legal. By being a nation that permits a game like this, we have collectively lost all honest moral compass. This institutionalization of policies that prove to all the world how little the US really takes care of its own people is tragic.

And the Public Education situation is merely the example of the week. In health care and its provision we do just as badly for all the merely greed-bound reasons. In human rights issues and issues of inequality it’s all the same. Sadly, these things are only news because they still persist. The continuing recitation of specifics may be new information, but the politicians are not operating differently.

In my view, it proves the failure of the US Constitution that representatives will only represent the wealthy and their artificial entities.

Consistent practices make the laws into an embarrassment and those who benefit make themselves unaware when facing the public. Such consciously myopic indifference really shows the true colors of the lines of difference we all need to see in order to know who we collectively are.

Embarrassingly shameful in a world and time when there is no legitimate excuse not to require that our public officials admit they know how we can collectively do better, and that we could even be doing the right thing in all these areas.


Plain and simple: “The Best Democracy that Dirty Money Can Buy”-
“Citizens United” needs to be wiped from the face of this Earth…
I can hardly wait for Traitor Obama’s feverishly hard sell of these up and coming Fascist “Free Trade” Deals to rear their ugly head and shit all over us with their Sovereignty destroying mission- Something needs to be done about all of this, and SOON…


We have elected a Government that is so stupid, that it borrows money instead of collecting taxes.


Hillary got paid to speak as Jeb’s privatize education dog and pony show. Lets just say the Flexians**, who both Reagan and Bill Clinton empowered greatly before Bush Jr. iced the cake are probably an even bigger threat to the system than the corporations they feed off of, and Hillary (and every Republican candidate) is of that ethos. Problem is depending on Bernie and a miracle without a revamp of both houses is just a fairy tale that will go badly wrong.

** Prof. Janie Wedel’s Shadow Elite


What rock have you been hiding under? @natureboy is on the button. That olde farce by libertarian-tards that local government is less corrupt is nonsensical, local government is less transparent by it’s very nature, and that must lead to corruption. You won’t find any organ like the GAO at state, local government, and it has gotten worse now that the press has been gutted.

BTW, do you work for ALEC?


The problem is that most “wealthy” don’t actually directly own that wealth, it’s done through trusts, which they control, but without out a taxable “ownership” which is often sheltered in Delaware (The State that DuPont bought) or off-shore. Oddly enough most of the “trust” kids I’ve met in my life were on paper broke, seldom carried cash, they just never paid for anything.

How will we live in this new world? Not where borders no longer exist, but where they have become ever increasingly, the impediment to safety of our health and wealth? This is going to be one of our real challenges in the future!


For every dollar the ultra-wealthy and corporations evade in taxes (giving back to societies that make their success possible) a dollar is taken from the pockets of the poor and (whats left of) middle class - soon to be poor. Tolerating/empowering the accumulation of vast wealth by corporations or individuals does not benefit nations or societies, only more manipulation of political power and ability to buy candidates, elections and legislation.

Public education should be widely funded by income taxes, NOT local property taxes on our homes, the ability to pay. Discrimination in education is the result of local property taxes funding public education - some districts are “rich” and some “poor”, relative to their prop tax base, and children pay the price - not just or equitable, not sustainable, and not wise.


Someone has to pay taxes unfortunately the NC GOP wants working citizens to pay the way but god forbid corporations or their rich CEOs pay anything…Thanks to McCory we pay more than we did before he was governor…he has socked it to the working man in NC…He only saved me $6 week in income taxes yet he raised utility taxes from 3% to 7% and I lost anything I would have gained…His way and all the rest of his vile gang has screwed NC…We need to get rid of this assBag next election…


That’s why I am an advocate of zero-tolerance for any type of privatization. It’s bad enough we have to have insurance companies sucking off the ACA, we did get medical care for (more people) at a compromise. In the issue of K-12 any corporate influence is poison. And it is the area right now they are trying to take.
Interestingly, here in California it’s so bad that even a zip code won’t assure adequate funding, In the Bay Area the town of Lafayette, very affluent, had to have the parents personally fork over the money for a music program a few years back.
I feel the schools may be sort of a last chance for people to put their foot down and demand a reversal of privatization of public services. Here in California there is plenty of unpaid potential tax money available (companies like Google) that aren’t paying shit, Disney is another. Americans displayed some of their biggest stupidity ever when they “allowed” the privatization to begin in earnest across the board regarding services during the 1980’s. Sort of presented as “experimental” as in charter schools. A con job of great proportion, usually pointing out flaws in an existing system and pointing to a “magical” solution through private enterprise. Personally, as a young man I figured it was bullshit and it sure is. Most people are dissatisfied in the long run.


In a sense I think it is too bad Illinois sacrificed principle. They should have insisted that all corporations, including Caterpillar, pay the same corporate tax rate. Illinois has badly higher taxes than other states, and provides worse value for those taxes. So Caterpillar would have been well-justified in relocating to another state. For that matter a lot of smaller corporations less well-known than Caterpillar are relocating out of Illinois. Or going out of business due to competition from out-of-state companies.
– Instead Illinois cut corrupt deals with some of the bigger more influential ‘name’ corporations.
Considered on local terms, there is an amusing element. Inner cities typically have higher taxes and provide less value for money paid than even Illinois. Corporations don’t want to locate there. Inner city schools have a reputation for providing awful education. Graduation rates are lousy, and too many graduates can’t even function at the historic ‘eighth-grade’ level. Corporations don’t locate in inner cities, don’t pay taxes to inner cities and think the product out of inner cities is inferior and don’t want to buy it. That’s life, and they can find good enough workers from other places.
As for ‘Basic Research’, given unemployment we quite possibly are over-investing in technology and ‘labor-saving’ devices and should do less of that. …


While property taxes provide most or all of the funding in most school districts, most states with resource extraction also implement severance taxes. In many of those states, severance taxes fund education as well. The problem of course is those taxes are nowhere near as high as they should be. But yes, there are other and better ways to fund education than through property taxes.