The Powers That Be: A Lesson for the Children of NYC

I drafted this a week ago and had hoped I'd never have to post it; unfortunately, reality got the better of hope and David Steiner caved cravenly to a billionaire and his power. A nice set-up, though for my little fable, as follows:

The Powers That Be decided they wanted more terms in office despite the people's previous votes in favor of term limits, and they took what they wanted and laughed and said, "So what are you going to do about it?"


The Powers That Be created a separate oversight board to give an appearance of independent oversight and review and then filled almost entirely with their own never-dissenting members, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be said education wasn’t real unless it could be tested and measured, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be decided that teachers were the problem with education and that the answer was privatization and union-busting, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be organized and reorganized and re-reorganized the school system into total chaos, all the while distancing themselves further and further from the unwanted voices of public school parents, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be closed schools and moved children around like warehoused inventory and pitted parents and neighbors against one another, all on behalf of charter schools, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be created a data collection system that they only controlled and added to it a massive public relations staff so that all education data could be manipulated and selectively reported and spun to hide their lack of positive educational results, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be decided they could still tap the “education marketplace” for more money and formed an alliance with the most hateful publisher/broadcaster in America, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be went behind closed doors and selected one of the least qualified members of their club to run the school system, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be saw that a few individuals wanted to open the selection process for public input and comment and they got their batteries of lawyers to validate each other’s actions and quickly squashed that effort, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be saw that a tiny sliver of the public was roused from its sleep, so they circled their wagons in support of their chosen candidate and went on television and got their celebrities to be quoted in the newspapers and said you don’t really need to know anything about education to run a school system, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


The Powers That Be formed a commission among their past membership to create the appearance of an independent decision about the future of over a million children and then went behind closed doors to find a compromise that would mollify the public outcry without otherwise changing a thing, and they laughed and said, “So what are you going to do about it?”


And the people of New York stirred briefly on their couches, tossed down a couple more potato chips, and thumbed their channel changers so they could watch “The Biggest Loser” without the slightest sense of irony, and they laughed and said, “What time does ‘Dancing with the Stars’ start?”


The Powers That Be got their wish, since they had controlled all the strings that mattered all along, and they knew that no matter how outrageously they abused their power, all would still be well with their world, and they laughed and said, “So what’s next? Not that the people will be able to do a damned thing about it.”

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