Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Apple avoids California taxes and bankrupts California schools

How Apple sidesteps Billions in Taxes
RENO, Nev. — Apple, the world’s most profitable technology company, doesn’t design iPhones here. It doesn’t run AppleCare customer service from this city. And it doesn’t manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby.
Yet, with a handful of employees in a small office here in Reno, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states.
Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.
California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.
Setting up an office in Reno is just one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars each year. As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world.
Almost every major corporation tries to minimize its taxes, of course. For Apple, the savings are especially alluring because the company’s profits are so high. Wall Street analysts predict Apple could earn up to $45.6 billion in its current fiscal year — which would be a record for any American business.
Apple serves as a window on how technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age and ill suited to today’s digital economy. Some profits at companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft derive not from physical goods but from royalties on intellectual property, like the patents on software that makes devices work. Other times, the products themselves are digital, like downloaded songs. It is much easier for businesses with royalties and digital products to move profits to low-tax countries than it is, say, for grocery stores or automakers. A downloaded application, unlike a car, can be sold from anywhere.
Read the entire article.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dolores Huerta to receive Medal of Freedom

Farm worker movement hails Dolores Huerta’s 
‘Lifetime of self-sacrifice and deep dedication
United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez and Cesar Chavez Foundation President Paul F. Chavez issued the following joint statement from the farm worker movement’s Keene, Calif. headquarters on the announcement that President Obama will present Dolores Huerta with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Cesar Chavez once described Dolores Huerta as “completely fearless, both mentally and physically.”
Over six decades, Dolores Huerta put the nonviolent fight for civil and labor rights ahead of her personal interests, and sometimes before her personal safety. Like all the farm worker strikers and boycotters, she accepted a life of voluntary poverty for many decades. Her dynamic and inspiring leadership through the most difficult and turbulent times in the farm worker movement’s history established her not only as a leader of farm workers but as a role model for women and men across this nation and beyond.
We congratulate Dolores on receiving the nation’s highest civilian honor. No one is more deserving after a lifetime of self-sacrifice and deep dedication to defending the poorest and most abused people in our country.
Dolores Huerta is an Honorary Chair of DSA. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

SOS: Save our Schools

by Deborah Meier,
Dear Diane,
HELP!!! SOS!!! "Reformed" schools are literally becoming reform schools for the poor. It's a sign of "the future" as some people envision it. Although, of course, these are not the schools for the reformers' kids.
Mitt Romney "declared that this century must be an American century," and President Barack Obama insists that "anyone who tells you that America is in decline ... doesn't know what they are talking about." Well, it's hard to argue with Romney since his "must" is a preference, not a prediction. But I do worry about Obama's statement because it contains truth, and it covers up a potential falsehood. (See "America's Place in the New World," by Charles A. Kupchan in The New York Times.)
But why should we care if we're first? (See last week's letter!) If the first is a nation we respect, being second is just fine. What we care about is the health and welfare of our nation's people and their future prospects both economically and politically, not our place in somebody's ranking system. We might also like a president who hopes for the best for other nations' people, too. And, while American business may not be in decline, it has the advantage of transferring its own future health and welfare to almost any nation it chooses. The American people have a harder time following suit. Indeed, global business has no country. Our inventiveness won't help if we off-shore the production of the inventions "made in America"—to nations that operate with 19th century sweat-shop wages and working conditions.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lets Talk Taxes

by Duane E. Campbell
California, like most states, needs additional revenue to fund schools and to invest in the future.  Our  public schools are in crisis - and they are getting worse. Their decline  is a direct result of massive budget cuts imposed by the legislature and the governor in the last four years.  Total expenditure is down by over $1,000 per student. The result is  massive class size increases.  Students are often in classes too large for quality learning.  Supplementary services such as tutoring and art have been eliminated.  Over 14,000 teachers have  already been dismissed  and thousands more face lay offs .
California schools are now 47th in the nation in per pupil expenditure and 49th in class size.  Our low achievement scores on national tests reflect this severe underfunding.
Of course the economic crisis of 2007 to the present caused by bankers and  their  lobbyists  made matters worse.  The state took in some $30 billion less in taxes due to the collapse  and thus had less to send to the schools.  School budgets have been cut by some $10 billion. 
The question for the anti tax advocates  and the Chamber of Commerce,  and ultimately for California voters this fall, is can the economy prosper with a poorly educated work force. California grew and prospered from 1970- 1994 based upon a well educated work force.   The wealth that funds our current highways, parks, universities, community colleges   and jobs is based upon  past public investments.  Then, in the period between 1994-2008 over $10 billion in corporate tax cuts  were passed  making the current  economic crisis much worse. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dr. Manning Marable receives a Pulitizer Prize

Manning Marable.  Co founder of the Anti Racism Commission , of anti racism work within DSA , and a distinguished scholar and activist was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for 2012  for his final book, Malcom X, A Life of Reinvention.  Manning was a mentor for me.  He co-authored the third chapter in my book for the first edition, Choosing Democracy: a practical guide to multicultural education. (1996)
See his obituary here:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Community Organizing as School Reform

National Growth of Community Organizing: Essential to School Transformation  Published on April 3, 2012
Author:  Keith Catone with Mark R. Warren
The recent "A Match on Dry Grass" conference at Harvard Graduate School of Education underscores that community organizing has become a powerful force for education change, and nurturing its growth is key to achieving equity for underserved youth living in high poverty.

The persistent failure of public schooling in low-income communities is one of our nation’s most pressing civil rights and social justice issues. Many school reformers recognize that poverty, racism, and a lack of power held by these communities undermine children's education and development, but too few policy - and decision-makers seem to know what to do about it.
Community organizing represents a fresh and promising approach to school reform as part of a broader agenda to build power for low-income communities and to address the profound social inequalities that affect the education of children. In AISR’s work in New York City and elsewhere, we have seen the power of communities, parents, and youth to transform their schools when they engage with educators and researchers to demand change and develop informed decisions. An emerging national field of education organizing reflects the growing visibility and power of this movement.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

People's History On The Economy

Occupy the Universities

But there is more. It is also crucial not to allow casino capitalism to transform higher education into another extension of the corporate and warfare state. If higher education loses its civic purpose and becomes simply an adjunct of corporate and military power, there will be practically no spaces left for dissent, dialogue, civic courage, and a spirit of thoughtfulness and critical engagement. This is all the more reason to occupy colleges and use them as a launching pad to both educate and to expand the very meaning of the public sphere. Knowledge is about more than the truth; it is also a weapon of change. The language of a radical politics needs more than hope and outrage; it needs institutional spaces to produce ideas, values, and social relations capable of fighting off those ideological and material forces of casino capitalism that are intent in sabotaging any viable notion of human interaction, community, solidarity, friendship, and justice.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Hired Guns on Astroturf...- Not school reform

Dissent Magazine - Spring 2012 Issue - Hired Guns on Astrotur...
If you want to change government policy, change the politicians who make it. The implications of this truism have now taken hold in the market-modeled “education reform movement.” As a result, the private funders and nonprofit groups that run the movement have overhauled their strategy. They’ve gone political as never before—like the National Rifle Association or Big Pharma or (ed reformers emphasize) the teachers’ unions. 

Devolution of a Movement

For the last decade or so, this generation of ed reformers has been setting up programs to show the power of competition and market-style accountability to transform inner-city public schools: establishing nonprofit and for-profit charter schools, hiring business executives to run school districts, and calculating a teacher’s worth based on student test scores. Along the way, the reformers recognized the value of public promotion and persuasion (called “advocacy”) for their agenda, and they started pouring more money into media outlets, friendly think tanks, and the work of well-disposed researchers. By 2010 critics of the movement saw “reform-think” dominating national discourse about education, but key reform players judged the pace of change too slow.

Read the detailed analysis of Michelle Rhee and other "reformers" who are making millions off of "school reform." 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Flunking the Test  | American Journalism Review

Flunking the Test  | American Journalism Review
How the media covers school issues.

Pink Slime Economics- Krugman

Paul Krugman, The big bad event of last week was, of course, the Supreme Court hearing on health reform. In the course of that hearing it became clear that several of the justices, and possibly a majority, are political creatures pure and simple, willing to embrace any argument, no matter how absurd, that serves the interests of Team Republican.
But we should not allow events in the court to completely overshadow another, almost equally disturbing spectacle. For on Thursday Republicans in the House of Representatives passed what was surely the most fraudulent budget in American history.
And when I say fraudulent, I mean just that. The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.

Banning Ethnic Studies in Arizona

Critical Race Theory and Arizona.
In recent weeks, the state of Arizona has intensified its attack in its schools on an entire branch of study — critical race theory. Books and literature that, in the state’s view, meet that definition have been said to violate a provision in the state’s law that prohibits lessons “promoting racial resentment.” Officials are currently bringing to bear all their influence in the public school curriculum, going so far as to enter classrooms to confiscate books and other materials and to oversee what can be taught.  After decades of debate over whether we might be able to curtail ever so slightly the proliferation of violent pornography, the censors have managed a quick and thorough coup over educational materials in ethnic studies.
I have been teaching critical race theory for almost 20 years. The phrase signifies quite a sophisticated concept for this crowd to wield, coined as it was by a consortium of theorists across several disciplines to signify the new cutting edge scholarship about race. Why not simply call it “scholarship about race,” you might ask? Because, as the censors might be surprised to find, these theorists want to leave open the question of what race is — if there is such a thing — rather than assuming it as a natural object of inquiry.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.