No Rich Folks Left Behind
By Jamie McKenzie
While most folks are stalled, the rich are getting richer thanks to the President, a rising stock market and some generous tax breaks.. The top one per cent and top ten per cent are the only people whose income is increasing. Unlike the many children the Bush administration has left behind and uncounted (Note article, "NCLB Loopholes"), the rich people are doing just fine.
According to a report published in the New York Times on March 29, income inequality is worsening in the USA. Read the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/29/business/29tax.html (subscription required).
Bush has treated the rich so well, the top one per cent has the highest share of national income since 1928. While reported income increased by nine per cent in 2005 for this group, the bottom 90% of the population did not see any increase.
What does this have to do with NCLB/Helter-Skelter? Despite claims of passionate concern for the disadvantaged, the real agenda of the Bush administration has been tax relief for the rich. While poverty is an important contributing factor to school failure, NCLB and President Bush have ignored the social factors and made annual testing and accountability their main reform strategies.
Instead of creating an economy and society that takes good care of the bottom third of the nation, President Bush and his allies have blocked minimum wage increases for a decade and made it easy for employers to exploit cheap labor. Low pay means long hours, absentee parents, poor nutrition and substandard housing. While numerous studies have shown the connection between these problems and poor school performance (Note article, "Meddling, Pandering and Muddling"), this administration routinely ignores scientific research that does not serve its agenda.