From Diane Ravitch: The trade journal Alpha recently reported that the hedge fund industry’s top 25 earners collected $21.15 billion, a whopping 50 percent over their total the year before.
A hedge fund manager in 2013 needed to take in $300 million just to make
the top 25. Ten years ago, in 2004, an aspiring hedge fund kingpin only
had to grab $30 million to enter the industry’s top 25 elite.
But the real enormity of America’s annual hedge fund jackpots only
comes into focus when we contrast these windfalls with the rewards that
go to ordinary Americans. Kindergarten teachers, for instance.
The 157,800 teachers of America’s little people, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics tells us, together make about $8.34 billion a year.
fund America’s top four earners alone last year grabbed $10.4 billion.
From Moyers & Company's Sam Pizzigati:
Hedge fund billionaires are indeed investing colossal millions in charters, educational entities — often tied closely to for-profits — that take in public tax dollars but operate independently of local school board oversight.
fund manager cash has gone both to individual charter schools directly
and into political war chests to support candidates who want to see
charter networks expanded. Thanks to this cash, charters have become a
major fact of American educational life, with a “market share” that rivals traditional public schools in many big cities.
Also in that landscape: plenty of high-return investment opportunities
for hedge fund managers. A federal tax break known as the “New Markets”
tax credit lets hedge funds that invest in charters double their money in seven years. Charters have become, notes one education analyst, “just another investor playground for easy money passed from taxpayers to the wealthy.”
The final indignity? The families of those kindergarten teachers who
make less in a year than the average top 25 hedge fund manager makes in
15 minutes pay a greater share of their incomes in taxes than hedge fund
moguls pay on theirs, thanks largely to a notorious tax code loophole —
known as carried interest — that Congress has not yet seen fit to plug.
It's also important to note that our Legislature gives many tax breaks to huge companies like Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon. So those companies don't pay their fair share of state taxes.
As well, some don't get taxed by the City of Seattle for impact fees from their expansion. (Impact fees would likely allow a downtown school to coming into being much faster.)
And yet, you still hear Gates and Bezos complain about Washington state's public education system.