Thursday, May 24, 2012

When I Hear the Word Innovation, That's When I Start Running for Cover

If you look over at the right-hand column of this blog, you'll notice that my most popular post is an analysis of buzzwords and jargon used by educational administrators.  My ears are very sensitive to these words, because when I hear them, I know something bad is about to go down.

Case in point, Mitt Romney has been flogging the education issue recently with the usual bullshit language of "failed schools," "choice," "accountability," and, you guessed it, "innovation."  That last word has now been so misused that I can barely believe that politicians are still invoking it.  When Mitt says "innovation" he means government-sponsored giveaways to the growing for-profit education industry and its fat cat corporate underwriters.  Hence his desire to get banks back into student lending, reduce regulations on for-profit colleges, and give federal dollars to K-12 for-profit schools under the guise of uplifting poor students.  (I find it ironic that Romney calls education the "civil rights issue" of our day, but does nothing in his proposals to address our segregated schools, which are more racially divided than they were at the time of the Brown decision in 1954.)

"Innovation" is our modern day "right to work," a disingenuous slogan by the capitalist elite to get the public to behind something that they would not support if they understood what it was really all about.  After all, the banking protections of Glass-Steagall were repealed in the name of "innovation," and Chase Manhattan guru Jamie Dimon has fought against greater regulation of our financial industry with claims that such rules would stifle innovation.

Well, we all know how that's turned out.  Our economy has found innovative ways to commit hair-kari, and Dimon's bank has recently developed completely novel and innovative paths to losing billions of dollars.  Turning our education system over to for-profit entities and letting our bankers run riot do not constitute innovations, but naked power grabs by amoral greed-heads who'd throw their own grandmothers down the stairs if it meant they'd be able to make a buck from it.  That's why when I hear the word "innovation," I hold onto my wallet and run for cover.

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