Bye bye, Betsy DeVos

There are three ways to get rich from what’s variously called a multilevel marketing or network marketing or referral marketing scheme. One way is for you to be a charismatic Jim Jones type who has no difficulty putting your conscience to sleep — if you have one — and using your natural charms and powers of persuasion to talk bushels full of people into joining your “downline.” Another is to get lucky and have such an actual Jim Jones character or two in your downline. The third way, and the only way that’s just about guaranteed, is to start your own network marketing company and rake in a Boeing 777 amounts of cash from all the gullible fools who join up.

Whatever option you have available to you, your wealth will come as the direct result of suckers who will start poor and stay that way. For them, getting a worthwhile piece of the cash grab is a mathematical impossibility. The vast majority of the real money is reserved for the select few, and those few make gaslighting you into a positive art form — that is, blaming your failure to make any money on you and you alone, and ignoring the mathematics.

I prefer to call these companies pyramid schemes or Ponzi schemes, because that’s what they actually are. They’re zero sum games with lots and lots of losers and damned few winners. They all have cult-like followings and multiply faster than rabbits. They are aberrations in the world of otherwise legitimate business.

Betsy DeVos is an heiress of one of these scams called called Amway. No, that’s not pig Latin for “Wam,” it’s the original pyramid scheme that has ripped off a lot of poor people in its relentless, and heartless pursuit of money for many decades, and made the founders breathtakingly, staggeringly, obscenely, disgustingly rich. Rich enough to own 10 super yachts and a fleet of jets.

Betsy DeVos is the outgoing Secretary of Education, one of a handful of Trump cabinet appointments who is sufficiently evil and conscienceless to have lasted Trump’s entire first and only term. She will be gone in January, and the anticipatory champagne corks have been popping across the land and in the homes of American educators on that account. Public school educators despise her, and for good reason.

DeVos is notorious for rolling back and rewriting Obama-era guidance and regulations, including those that protect the rights of transgender students, students of color and survivors of campus sexual assault. She also revoked higher education regulations that curb bad actors in the for-profit college sector. She blocked the discharging of student loan debt for borrowers who were defrauded by unscrupulous lenders.

DeVos has consistently shown herself to be a friend of the filthy rich elite and the enemy of the voiceless, working class, little guy. Betsy DeVos is a woman of legendary tone deafness who is almost absurdly incompetent. Her departure is being universally praised and celebrated by almost all teachers of both parties.

Above all, DeVos, an evangelical Christian, ignored the needs of America’s public schools to “build God’s kingdom” instead. Throughout her tenure she has actively promoted private evangelical schools — the province of the rich, white elite — over poor, inner city schools. Most recently, DeVos used the $2 trillion coronavirus stabilization law to redirect money intended for public schools and colleges to private and religious schools instead.

Fortunately, as a bonus counterweight to DeVos’ departure, the incoming First Lady, Jill Biden, is an intelligent and talented educator. Unlike the outgoing First Lady, Dr. Biden has actually worked for a living.

But I digress. Back to DeVos. Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, had this to say about the departing DeVos, “We are so excited to see a return to support for public schools because, while we have a lot of work to do in order to be able to serve each and every student, public schools are where that’s actually going to happen. I am so hopeful and it’s such a good feeling after not having that for so long.”

Much normality will soon be restored to government in America, normality that has been missing from the world the last four years. It will be a delight to show the toxic monster in the White House and his pirate ship of buccaneers the door, and watching Betsy DeVos go — who has justly earned the moniker “Cruella DeVos”— will be a particular delight to educators and right-thinking people everywhere. And, as ever, ladies and, gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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