Because you get fucked by them.
For some reason, the West Coast has this infatuation with “propositions”. As near as I can tell, they are mob actions that force legislators to pass the laws they propose (let’s not even go into the Washington license tag fee fiasco). To my knowledge, no voter-endorsed proposition has ever been rejected by that state’s legislature.
The latest indecent proposal to appear in Washington state is I-1240. (Personally, I wish they’d put stylized names on these things instead of numbers – how elegant “Student School Freedom Proposition” would sound! Is that what it really does? Probably not). This improper “prop” is about making charter schools legal in the state – whatever that means. The ads and flyers blather on about how 44 other states have started charter schools, so Washington should too. I love this argument – reminds me of what my mom would say when I’d want to do something I saw someone else do: “So if Johnnie jumped off a bridge, you would too?” Forty-four other states have cases of West Nile virus – so Washington should too!
Reading off this flyer I got today in the mail, it says the new law (notice it’s already assumed to be a law once the prop passes) will “allow up to 40 public charter schools”. Hmmm….
Does that mean NEW schools will be built, presumably to take students who won’t be going to public schools anymore? And the now less-populated schools do what? I assume, lay off union teachers and close. It promises “strict accountability” – yeah, uh huh, No Child Left Behind, that worked so good – but I think the only “accounting” to be implemented will be by the bookkeepers of these private schools totaling up profits.
I can see how this would work – take your kid out of public school, get (example figure) $3000 per kid to pay for his/her schooling in a charter school. I’d be guessing that the basic tuition at your new local charter school to be say, oh (example figure) $5000. Meaning now you have to cough up (example figure) two grand for the same schooling you got before. Great deal there!! Kinda like those deals of “Get $50 back!” – if you buy $500 worth of merchandise, that is. But hey, the technique works in business, might as well use it for schooling our kids.
Endorsements, endorsements, endorsements on the flyer, from many important state newspapers. Hmmm, none from teachers unions or school districts, or educational organizations. Well, that just shows how backwards those people are.
I heard or read somewhere studies have shown that people are paying private “technical schools” three, four, five times the tuition for the same training and education they could get from their local state-run community college. But how much cooler is it for your diploma to say “University of Phonyix” than “Lakeside Community College”??? YEAH!!
So I-1240 will probably get “passed”, and the people of Washington will get fucked, as usual. Why so cynical? Actually it’s reality, my friend. Let me tell you the story of the last big “proposition” that went through in Washington state, the one that closed the state liquor stores in favor of selling booze through retail outlets. This was a big one, much discussed – in fact it took two tries to pass it. And the ads were apparently from both sides – the state should get out of the liquor business; kids will now find it easier to get booze; liquor prices will be cheaper through a store; Emergency Responders Against Liquor Law Change; this is good and why; this is bad and why. All thoughtful considerations. All of it, both pro- and anti-state liquor store propaganda, smoke and mirrors. Nothing but hype, both sides, made-up stuff that was so far from the reality of the proposed change. So, the public finally approves of private liquor sales, the big changeover happens (600 state liquor store employees lost their jobs, BTW), the big day arrives – and Surprise!! All the booze at stores is MORE expensive than it was in the state stores!!! WTF….????
Later, talking with some people in the know, I found out the real reason the law was changed was to, yes, enrich large businesses and reduce the state’s revenue. This wasn’t about cheaper booze for the consumer, or to save our kids from unscrupulous booze stores. It was about maximizing profits for business. Because it turns out that the major income source, by far, for the state liquor stores was from the restaurants, bars, and other liquor-using venues that bought all their booze through the state. And one of the key provisions of the fucking over was that NO TAXES would be paid on BUSINESS SALES of liquor from distributors and big stores like Costco, or anyone selling to a business. However, for the poor suckers like you and me a new added 20% liquor tax, PLUS a $4 /liter extra tax, was to be ONLY levied on the consumer. All of which, needless to say, pushed the final price of your preferred poison to more than or the same as you’d paid before. Notice that this is the same old case of YOU pay taxes, but the well-off don’t have to. This revelation clarified the rumor that Costco was buying ads for BOTH of these “sides”. Well ... did ANYBODY present the real sides of the debate beforehand? Nope. WTF….???
So won on this? The distributors who sell the booze, the warehouse stores that many small businesses buy their supplies from. THEY got to keep the profit mark-up that otherwise would have gone to the state as revenue. I seriously doubt last June 1st bar and restaurant patrons saw their mixed drink prices drop by a quarter to a third of what they’d been the day before --- that money went to the owners, the suppliers. So who lost? The poor schmuck who saw no savings or even a loss on his purchases of liquor – and of course the Washington residents who now are deprived of the benefits that state liquor revenue gave them in schools, state police, highway maintenance … all that shit that doesn’t matter. At least to wealthy people.
So, Washingtonians, vote for this charter school scam, don’t vote for it, be assured that all you’re being told about it has nothing at all to do with the real effects of the indecent proposition. Me? I plan not to vote for it – in fact not going to vote at all, ever again, for the rest of my life (personal lifestyle choice). The game is rigged; all you see is illusion, whether laws, propositions, politicians . But if you still believe in the game, then I’ve got some choice real estate in Aleppo, Syria I want to sell you.