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Sun Jun 19, 2016, 11:09 AM

 

Campaign Finance Reform and Economic Justice. What we now know.

We know that democrats can divorce big money and still raise enough to compete.

That is a big deal.

Until the past year, the assumption, across the board, was that it was impossible to do.

You can say that this is unimportant or that corporate/big money has no or minimal impact on democratic politicians, while decrying it in republicans, but that's demonstrably untrue.

How campaigns are funded is a substantial part of the fight for economic justice, something I wish we could all agree, is important. I've said it repeatedly and I'll say it again: Economic justice is inextricably linked to social justice. For example, you can't achieve racial justice if schools in poor minority communities remain so woefully underfunded. Environmental degradation impacts poor and minority communities, far, far more than it does middle class white communities, let alone in wealthy communities. This isn't merely opinion, it is easily verifiable FACT. I have provided links because this isn't something that can be argued.

To forestall the inevitable, let me make it clear that I'm not saying that all racial injustice can be fixed via economic means. But I will say this: Some shop clerk wondering if Oprah could afford some astronomically priced handbag, is not on the same level as millions of minority children getting a subpar education in crumbling buildings. I don't take lightly the horrific practices of institutional racism that are not connected to economic justice. I don't discount for a minute the struggles of LGBT folks that have had little to do with economic issues (and some LGBT issues certainly are connected to economic injustice), but most social justice issues are linked to economic justice.

Reducing the impact on policy that the wealthy and corporations have on Democrats is something I wish we could all agree on. And it starts with campaign finance reform.

My intent in writing this is not inflame, but to keep in the forefront an issue I believe is critical. Economic injustice is crushing tens of millions of Americans.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/public-school-funding-and-the-role-of-race/408085/

http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2014/02/22/let-eat-cake-inequality-school-finance/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-poor-neighborhoods-breate-more-hazardous-particles/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/04/15/pollution-is-substantially-worse-in-minority-neighborhoods-across-the-u-s/

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/1/racism-environmentchemical.html

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/is-america-an-oligarchy











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Reply Campaign Finance Reform and Economic Justice. What we now know. (Original post)
cali Jun 2016 OP
upaloopa Jun 2016 #1
cali Jun 2016 #2
Igel Jun 2016 #3
cali Jun 2016 #4
cali Jun 2016 #5

Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2016, 11:16 AM

1. If Bernie had won the primary how would he fund a general election?

You think your $27 a shot could pay for a fight against the repubs?
And how about town ticket candidates like Senators and Representatives and Governors?

We need campaign finance reform but it takes passing laws in Congress. Getting them signed my the President and having them defended in the Supreme Court.

$27 a pop would never get that done.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 19, 2016, 11:39 AM

2. Yes, I think he could have funded a general election run

 

in largely the same way that he funded his primary run. You sound just like all the folks he sneered at his being financially competitive in the primary without corporate/big money, claiming over and over that it was IMPOSSIBLE.

In any case, your pov is part of the problem. I doubt you read any of the links.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2016, 12:05 PM

3. I'll compare two buildings and schools.

The first is still state of the art. Less than a decade out, it was built with wifi, a modern auditorium and sound system. It was built with AP biology, chemistry, and physics labs, fully equipped. It has a video studio and during its announcements broadcasts the announcements live and switches to videotape or video-from-disk when it's appropriate.

"Cheers to our football team, shown here making its winning goal for Homecoming." Then it'll cut back to the student "announcers."

It's first year open it was rated "failing." It squeaked by with a 69.6 the second year. And then went to failing until the new ranking system took effect. Its AP classes were offered in the first year, and second year, and third year. As of a couple of years ago, it had managed to actually give no AP classes. Offered, they were cancelled. It has police called to fights every couple of weeks. Over 100 fights per year. Its dual-credit classes are rare, in history or English.


The second is an IB school. It has AP classes offered in biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science. The first three sciences have at least one teacher that teachers just AP classes. It has a dual-credit English teacher. That's all she teaches.

The second school's orchestra places regularly in the top 5 for the state, top 10 for the nation. One part of the orchestra room is roped off. Bricks are falling out of the wall. The band boy's bathroom toilet doesn't work; a brick hit it and shattered it. Some classrooms, during the recent heavy rains in Texas, had to use beakers to catch rain water ... in the classroom. While you can't see light through the walls, some in the classroom halls are cracked.

The point is that the building is almost 40 years old and is crumbling in places. It's on its second set of carpeting. Paint is off the wall i some classrooms. It's a 1-to-1 campus, which means all students have computers; in most classrooms, most wall sockets don't work.


The crumbling building's student body was "recommended" while the new, state-of-the-art building's student body was ranked failing.

Similarly, I visited a university as part of a job. It had smart boards, projectors, all kinds of whistles and bells. It was a tier 3 school. You can't get into the top ranked schools, you can't get into the also-ran schools, you can get into this one. One notch above an average community college.

For summer school I visited an overseas university that is the premier school in a poor country. It trains decent graduates. It's basically an underfunded tier 1 school, the absence of funds playing out in the limited high-tech programs. So it offers limited research and training in some STEM fields that require a lot of hands-on advanced technology. The blackboard in "my" classroom was not on the wall, but propped against the wall. At least at my Tier 1 US university dept. building the chalkboard was affixed to the wall. (Then again, you could see daylight through the wall in the dept. office, and we're not talking "window" either. The wall cracked right through.)

Quality of building is not the same as quality of the students in them. Sure, surroundings can make a difference--asbestos, mold, slime, etc., are dangerous. If everything's brown and old it's hard to be upbeat. Most of these things are cheap to fix, but that's not where the complaints are (and often cheap fixes are easily cheaply destroyed). If the building is heated, well enough lit, and you can see what the teacher writes on the board, you have history, English, and a good number of subjects. Even at the AP and IB level--or the graduate level. It may not let you hold up your head with pride at how new and nifty your surroundings are, but when you rank a school it's really the students that are ranked. Bricks and computer projectors don't take tests. Much of the educational discourse around surroundings is to make excuses for the students. Remember: Over half of a student's learning depends on things other than the school--that includes the building, the teachers, the texts, and the administration.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 19, 2016, 12:07 PM

4. Sorry, but the inequity in funding- including infrastructure- is not opinion

 

it is not anecdotal. It is fact.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2016, 02:35 PM

5. kick. so much for a substantive discussion of economic justice.

 

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