With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Bill Gates is back on top of the Billionaire Boys Club* this year, with $54 billion in personal wealth. Then there's $30b more (tax free) in his foundation to use for investments in things like BP Oil as well as in school "reform."

According to Forbes, other big school reform players in the BBC include: Warren Buffet, Bill's $30b partner in the Gates Fund, #2; N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, #10; the Walton's, #4,7,8,9, 98, 136 ; ultra, ultra conservative, Philip Anschutz, who bankrolled Waiting for Superman, #34; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who just bailed out Newark's school system and strengthened mayor control over the city's schools, #35; Eli Broad, whose training academy fellows run most big city school systems, #44; George Lucas, #98; Oprah Winfrey (sign the petition to get Ravitch on her show), #130; Michael Milken, #170; and Meg Whitman, California charter school player and candidate for governor, #332,

I know there are other BBC members who are local school reform players, voucher advocates, union busters, and charter cheerleaders, like DFER's Ravenel Boykin Curry IV (I just like saying his name) and Whitney Tilson. Sorry if I overlooked any of you. But you didn't quite make the Forbes 400 list. Better luck next year.

I also wanted to mention the Koch brothers (no pun intended), who share the #5 position. They aren't players in public school reform. In fact they hate the very idea of public anything. But they do bankroll the Tea Party.

* Yes, I know there are a few women on the list and one African-American. But c'mon. It's still a white, male club. Oh, and yes, this is just the U.S. version of the Boys Club. In fact, Gates still trails Mexican tycoon, Carlos Slim in the international race to the top.


  1. You forgot Carl Icahn.

  2. Be sure and read Robert Reich's piece, "The Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer, and the Democrats Punt" at Huffington. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-super-rich-get-richer_b_737792.html

    Reich says the Koch bros. who fund the T-Party, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion.

    I thought WE were in a recession.

  3. You forgot the Bush family! Neil's name is on several publishing companies' boards. And his mother Barbara made that generous donation to schools in New Orleans, provided they only spent the money with certain companies, all connected to Neil... And Jeb is attempting to completely destroy public schools in Florida vis his puppets in the state legislature.

  4. Don't forget the Bush family! Neil is connected to several publishing and test developing companies. Barbara made a very generous donation to schools in New Orleans, with the stipulation that it must be spent with companies on an approved list, all connected to Neil...And Jeb is working as hard as he can to eliminate public schools in Florida, using his "puppets" in the state legislature.

  5. What about Zuckerberg. He takes $110 million in FB stock, which he then writes off against capital gains. He uses it to drive a political agenda of mayoral control and merit pay. It's the old Golden Rule. Whoever has the gold gets to make the rules.


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