Walmart University for Social Work

(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

I’ve been researching just how deep the Corporate Hand has reached into the bowels of the Universities of America, and just how much it directs curriculum and policy thereof in preparation for my interview with Noam Chomsky.

Even a jaded cynic as myself found my flabber thoroughly gasted by what I have discovered. It goes far beyond the Economic or Business School’s infiltration one would expect. The right-wing Chicago Boys model has infiltrated even the traditionally most Liberal of Departments: Social Work.

The list of donor’s to Washington University – St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work reads a who’s who list of Neo-Conservative Think Tanks,

Citigroup is on the lengthy list, as are the following: MasterCard, Levi Strauss Foundation, MetLife, the Federal Reserve Bank, Ford, the Kellog Foundation….and yes, that really is the New America Foundation on the list…the same NAF with ties to the Council on Foreign Relations and that is funded by fabulous characters like Goldman Sachs, Walmart, and Google–just to name a few.

Small wonder that the Chair for the Center for Social Development, Michael Sherraden, has concluded that the poor are only poor because they don’t invest enough in banks. Small wonder, funded by banks and insurance companies, that Timothy McBride PhD, health economist and associate dean for public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis recently opined that mandated health care purchase is a MUST to address social health problems.

“In particular, insurance companies need to know that everyone will be required to purchase insurance so that the insurance pools are large enough to cover those with pre-existing conditions who will be required to be covered under the legislation, without penalty for their health conditions.”



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Universities are churning out young men and women who at every level have been indoctrinated into “free market capitalism” (read predatory capitalism) as the only viable solution to society’s every woe.

And you wonder why we call them sheeple?  

Here is a brief interview with Michael Sherraden.

He outlines a convincing seemingly left leaning argument for creating “accounts” for a child’s educational needs. Savings accounts are not a bad idea in and of themselves, unless you have them in a Bank that has failed, as may be the case as this collapse unfolds.

His broader argument, as outlined in his book is far more nefarious. He blames the poor for being too ignorant to know they can afford education, being too short-sighted to ever think about the future, and squandering their money away instead of investing it in the market.

PhotobucketThis man has an army of young PHD students working under him doing research on poverty who are studying the efficacy of different strategies to “teach” poor kids and families how and why they need to save money… because if those people would save their money instead of blowing it all on lotto tickets, there would be no poverty, see!? As he said in that interview, we poor folks don’t give any thought to the future–we simply live for the moment.  

Sherredan’s research was “instrumental in the design of Universal Savings Accounts, a 1999 proposal by President Bill Clinton that would enable all working people to have a 401(k) retirement plan.”

The introduction of the “401k” plan alone is what killed the retirement benefit package that Unions fought long and hard to obtain.  The recent Wall Street collapse has seen millions of people dependent on those 401k’s for their retirement wiped out completely, while the Banks and Lending Institutions that played the Ponzi Scheme with their monies remained solvent by grace of our tax dollars.

The New America Foundation lauds Sheddaden’s recognition by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most “influential” people in the World.

“Bravo to Michael for this well-deserved recognition. His truly seminal work on assets and the poor has already changed thousands, if not millions, of lives worldwide, especially those living in poverty,” remarked Ray Boshara, Vice President of New America and co-founder, with Sherraden, of the Global Assets Project.

The New America Foundation’s Board of Directors are all people who would profit from a forced investment and mandated health care purchase system. This is who is paying for and creating the direction of research in what should be the most Liberal and Radical Academic School in the World – the uncontested leader in their field of Social Work.

   * Eric Benhamou – Chairman & CEO, Benhamou Global Ventures and Chairman, 3Com Corporation

   * Scott Delman – Founder, Capital Z Investment Partners

   * James Fallows – Chairman, New America Foundation

   * Francis Fukuyama – Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

   * Ted Halstead – Founding President & CEO, New America Foundation

   * Noosheen Hashemi – President, HAND Foundation

   * Laurene Powell Jobs – President of the Board, College Track

   * Kati Marton – Author and Journalist

   * Walter Russell Mead – Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

   * Lenny Mendonca – Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute

   * Steven Rattner – Managing Principal, Quadrangle Group, LLC

   * Diane Ravitch – Research Professor of Education, New York University

   * Eric Schmidt – Chairman & CEO, Google, Inc.

   * Bernard L. Schwartz – Retired Chairman and CEO, Loral Space & Communications Ltd.

   * Anne-Marie Slaughter – Dean, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

   * Laura D’Andrea Tyson – Dean, London Business School

   * Christine Todd Whitman – President, Whitman Strategy Group

   * Daniel Yergin – Chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates

   * Fareed Zakaria – Editor, Newsweek International

If one gives any thought whatsoever to addressing the concerns of poverty, the actual well-being of the population in this Country, they cannot help but being dismayed if not outraged by the Leaders of Research to deal with those concerns making statements like this:

(McBride again)

“They saw the individual mandate as a provision to require individuals to fulfill their individual responsibility to pay for health care they might receive anyway if they got sick, and not be free riders on others who pay for insurance or pay taxes,” he says.

Framing the poor as “free riders” does not seem compatible with being a department Head of a School for Social Work.

(Sherraden, in a Letter to the Editor to (seriously!) Goliath Business News)

JARED BERNSTEIN SUGGESTS that in IDA programs, “the poor cannot save enough to make much difference.” But for a social scientist such as Bernstein, shouldn’t this be an empirical question?

Choosing to not address the very sound observation that the poor do not have the liquid assets above the cost of living to invest, in fact many of them cannot meet the cost of living is hardly what one would expect from a Dean of Social Work.



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While Universities such as the University of Michigan which spawned Michael Shrerredan are being considered by State Legislators to become privatized, realize that much of their funding is already via Private Donation for DESIGNATED spending, artfully euphemized as “expendable restricted funds.”



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There is a direct-line relationship to the Liberalism of State Funded Education in the 60’s to the “Expendable Restricted Fund” corporate interest curriculum of the present. The resulting increase in tuition is the most obvious result, but it also restricts access to the under-privileged whose interest’s and whose input created the “University Environment” that directed the Social Reforms of the 60’s and early 70’s.



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The corollary between Endowment and actual expenditures would have to be researched by someone with more training than I, and certainly more access and time.

The language itself is CHILLING, when you go back and consider University of Washington’s Social Work Program and it’s sponsors, and compare it to the University of Michigan’s model. (which I chose as my model for the nifty graphics)

Must be spent as specified by donor…”



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This leads you back to Michael Sherredan being able to present the very safety net for the economically challenged as the problem.

(as written for All Business magazine)

“Welfare policy has sustained the weak, but it his not helped to make them strong,” he states.

Nowhere does he champion job creation, fair pay, universal health care, business reform, tax reform, mental health care, free higher education or even racism being problematic.

No, he writes prolifically for Right-Wing think tanks and Mega Corporate business journals; going so far as to penalize the poor for using his “investment” models for anything but further investment in the system ala over-priced University Studies…. studies slated by their very nature to produce more people like him. God forbid, the price they would pay for having to spend it on luxuries like food, shelter or transportation to their slave-wage places of employment.

IDAs would allow people to invest money over the long term for specific purposes, such as post-secondary or graduate education. There would be heavy penalties for uses other than those designated, the author suggests.

The roots of the Elite Class having co-opted our Educational System go far deeper than I had imagined, are so intertwined and insidious that the only possible conclusion that can be drawn is that any chance of change or rebellion has been put down at that level entirely. Reform will not come from Universities, it shall have to come from the streets.

While British Students Protest their government’s planned tuition increases fairly effectively, their counterparts at UC Berkeley they are only addressing the smallest portion of the US Business Based for-profit Educational System.

We cannot create a generation of free thinkers, of people with real solutions for the coming humanitarian crisis’s in this country with a legion of Walmart indoctrinated drones.

this message paid for and provided by the generous donations of absolutely no one….

6 comments

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    • Diane G on December 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm
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    we should fear… its the intelligent, the educated/indoctrinated who serve Mammon that should truly terrify us.

    • Diane G on December 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm
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    I think it is really important we know who is funding our higher educational system and WHY.

    For the record, I had a poster object to my use of the term “sheeple” at WITR, thinking I was using it in the degrading way of Jones or something, so I will clarify here as well.


    I did not use it in any declarative statement, rather ASKED why the term has gained common usage, which I find a valid question in light of what has happened to our Institutions of Education.

    If there is a criteria in place to eliminate any research or questioning outside of one standard – that being the pro-business model – than it is no small wonder that people have begun to notice an increasing group-think mentality amoung the American people.

    We have the Clearchannel/Fox news cycle pouring the “one” message out to the working class, and now our institutions pouring out the “one” message to the Academic class.

    How can this not produce the group mentality pervading oour culture, and the notice thereof by free thinkers coining the term in the first place?

    Again, the irony may be missed by people who object to the term or find it offensive… but language is a tool, and the cringe factor (or pc’ness) has never been a particular block in my writing.

    In context of the greater body of work, my intent in using the term is fairly clear.

    They want us to be bots that spread the propaganda for them on every level.

     

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