Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bill Gates is the perfect partner for Trump. No billionaire left behind.

“But in the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that... whether it’s education or stopping epidemics … [or] in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that [Trump’s] administration [is] going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation.” -- Bill Gates
Okay, so now that Bill Gates has jumped aboard the Trump train, that means no billionaire is left behind. Right? (Bloomberg??).  Gates' comparison of Trump to JFK may sound like a stretch to some. To me too. But Gates claims it's all about innovation. JFK did champion the Cold War space race with the Russians while Trump seems to have joined the other side. But maybe Gates means they both pushed war with Cuba. I don't know. The world's a much different place now. I'm pretty sure Gates wants no part of a trade war with China.

What I do know is that Trump is a perfect fit for the world's richest man and his muscle-foundation. For one thing, Gates is all for deregulation of industry, a promoter of nukes and is one of the world's great all-time polluters. The Gates Foundation's record in Africa (no Virginia, he wasn't just about vaccines) is criminal and the foundation was also one of the biggest stockholders in BP Oil when the great Gulf oil spill happened.

For another, like Trump he's a great believer in strong-man, autocratic leadership and finds democratic processes messy and too expensive and time consuming for someone with his economic leverage.

As an example, Gates was forced to spend millions on a referendum in Washington State authorizing charter schools. It failed three times before winning in 2012 by 1 percent of the vote. Voting is much to stressful and expensive a process for the world's richest man.

As for the rest of the Gates Foundation's education reform initiatives, they won't have to change much under Trump rule. I doubt the Gates' will be dumping any more funds into Common Core Standards, even though Betsy DeVos has been a supporter of CCSS in the past. Gates was already starting to back away from the standards back in August and DeVos is not likely to pursue them given the influence of the anti-common core Alt-right's influence in the regime. On the campaign trail, Trump referred to Common Core as a “disaster” and Trump voters are generally wildly anti-Common Core as well as anything even faintly federal.

Bill and Melinda will likely embrace Betsy DeVos' choice (charter and voucher) mania as they always have. As for DeVos' penchant for blurring the lines between public and private, and between state and religion, Gates has never had a problem with either. I remember the foundation once giving millions to the Discovery Institute, a group pushing the teaching of Intelligent Design.

Gates is big on using student test results as a basis for evaluating teachers. We'll have to wait and see how DeVos falls out on that.

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