If you are not a parent with children in school, you don’t know much about Opt-Out. If you are a parent with children in school, you are very much aware about Opt-Out….
Essentially what is now called crony capitalism simply took over American education during the recession when money was very tight. They immediately tried to classify all children into little corporate boxes which they designed to provide a continuous incoming revenue stream (for themselves)…
Parents knew that children should be learning more about what’s important in life and less about how to act like corporate schill, and so parents looked for a way to stop it. Since all the corporate actions depended on having this one single test show beyond doubt that American children were more stupid they they really were, parents realized that if they could disable the credibility of these test results through not testing their children, then and only then would their requests have merit on boards overseeing education now staffed with crony capitalists. Crony capitalists are those who preach the benefits of capitalism, but get their money from governmental handouts because of who they know in government.
The only way parents would get their wishes heard (they rightly concluded), was to refuse the test which if done on a massive scale would render the published results untrustworthy, costing Capitalists lots of money, and therefore to the crony capitalists, the act of fulfilling the parents’ demands would appear the cheaper option.
And at this point this article is going to leave the topic of education. Because I want to talk about the bigger issue at play here and it basically involves the future of every Americans’ economic freedom.
Throughout out years of history there is something uniquely America about the way we opt out. Back when Britain’s Parliament decided that the Thirteen Colonies must pay some of their costly governance (Stamp Act), most Americans chose to opt out. When the Brits relented and said, “ok, since you don’t drink very much tea, we’ll drop our tax on everything else”, the Americans opted out of drinking tea.
America was founded on opting out…
When the Pullman company said “no” to workers asking for a livable wage, workers opted out of working until those demands were met. Not willing to succumb to that loss of profits, the Pullman company reverted to violence to force people to work, and when that didn’t work, they convinced President Cleveland to force them back with a decree and he did. They returned to work disappointed but the strike movement was born and would soon sweep across almost every industry.
It had to, because Opting Out is the only power (other than anarchy)people really have when things are stacked against them. Although our nation is often deemed a representative democracy, under the surface enough representatives kow-tow to powerful interests, so the will of the powerful becomes the law of the land.
And that shuts the major door which working people have to implement their requests. As long as democracy continues as “majority rules”, you really don’t need “opt out” … Instead, you opt not to return an official you despise and replace him with one more inclined to follow your wishes.
Now with Citizens United in play we are not even in the same world politically, as we were only one year into the Iraqi War (2004) .. As plainly seen by today’s Republican Party, very strange people as candidates are propped up by hidden money and it appears that with so much money, even without popular support weird candidates could still win.
So in those times when government and your bosses business are allied against YOU, you have to take non-governmental action to express your sentiments in a costly enough ways, so you too become part of the discussion….
Talk is cheap; money isn’t.
So if they don’t talk to you sincerely about your money, you hit them in their money…. You opt out of working for them. “Nope, not taking this today”
As Americans we tend by our altruistic nature to put other people’s interests above ours. Not all of us, but most of us really do feel that way. It is why the rest of the world likes us. But the time to worry over your bosses profits before raising the prices for your services, has probably past…. Statistics show so much money in the top 1% came from YOU, because our Republican Congress this past decade let them run their hands through money which should have been yours. You are working far shy of your income potential just because they are paying you much less for your services than they could easily afford. External factors have all been ruled out. The reason you are not seeing your income grow, is because THEY don’t want you to see your income grow.
The simplest way to get more money in today’s world, is to opt out of working for that boss, either permanently or on a strike. Every billionaire sports franchise has suffered a player strike in this century. The owners first balk at not meeting players demands, and the players opt out of playing in their events.
No one can argue that NHL, NFL, MLB, or the NBA employees are impoverished. Players strike because the owners’ profits comes solely from their labor and as profits rise, they certainly are entitled and deserve a cut in on the action. So do those who make cars. So do those who work for airlines. So do those who cook your fast food. So do those who teach.
Strikes are simply about “cuts and percentages of profit”… as in do we cut you in on our huge profit, or on the other side, do we cut you out of your huge profits until you let us in on the action?
Today corporate overreach is so big, it is eating our public schools. Most likely that means it already owns your life…pinched between your bills and your bosses demands. But don’t you really deserve better? Don’t you wish you were paid more for the amount of work you do? Why should you roll-over and resign yourself simply to settling for basic survival, instead of really enjoying your short time on this planet? Don’t the rules businesses use against each other, apply to you too? And the sad answer is that up to now, you DO settle for subsistence because you have been trained “not to rock the boat” or you’ll lose your job. Your obligatory duty has been to keep the charade of normality continuing at your bosses pleasure, an action which plays directly into the hands of the 1%.
“Look at these fools, performing at the highest productivity America has ever seen and doing it for peanuts, while I’m beach-partying.”
For just a little bit more each week, you too could be partying… Which is why I think that the opt out movement is going national here in the US… jumping the confines of education to spread through out the workplace.
It is already prevalent among the millionaires. They’ve been opting out of taxes for years now. They opt out of regulations they don’t like implemented to protect the health of citizens. They opt out of zonings they don’t like. They opt out of environmental regulations. They opt out of following OSHA requirements. They have been opting out a long time, which is why they are so afraid you will too. They know its effectability.
Today, at no harm to your kid, you can opt him out of testing knowing full well that only then will changes get made. Once you succeed, apply that philosophy to the rest of your life… HB 50 is nothing less than preserving YOUR right as an American Citizen, to opt out. Imagine if asking for higher wages put you in jail. It may one day. It has in corporate-run societies of the past. But it will not happen here if your government preserves your basic American Right…. to opt out.