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SUBSCRIPT: Mercenaries — or just promoting those 'affairs'? Some notes on the bizarre Brizard bureacuracy's expansion or How To Spend A Half Million Dollars on Bureaucracy While You're 'Cutting Bureaucracy' — And 'Broke'

Anyone who believes anything that comes out of CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard (or his doubly expensive "Office of Communications") probably purchased some CDOs from those nice young men who went around selling sure-fire investment opportunities a few years back. Some people purchase bridges to nowhere, some people buy swamp land in Florida, and some people believe Brizard when he says that CPS is too broke to pay the raises it is obliged by contract to pay this year to the system's unionized workers.

Jamiko Rose, the Chicago Board of Education's newly appointed "Chief Community and Family Engagement Officer" ($152,000 per year) at the Board's September 28, 2011 meeting. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.From now on, we're going to take a little time now and then to profile just one or two of Brizard's bizarre mercenaries. Those are the guys and gals working in central and "network" jobs that are, to say the least, strangely related to the education of our children or the well being of schools.

Here is the latest: What is the difference between a "Chief Officer for Community and Family Engagement" and the "Officer of External Affairs and Partnerships"? (C'mon. No "Desperate Housewives jokes...).

By now, fans of Rahm Emanuel's new leadership team at CPS know that CPS has cut the "bureaucracy" to the bone -- to the bone you hear! -- and then some. Brizard said it. Rahm says it all the time (one time a Substance reporter heard him claim that Brizard had cut "bureaucracy" by $400 million, but Chris Mather and Becky Carroll quickly clarified that one).

So how to explain the following.

Barbara Lumpkin (above center) is the CPS "Officer of External Affairs and Partnerships" ($154,000 per year) and has been since her appointment to that newly created position two years ago by then CEO Ron Huberman (above right). On the left is Alderman Willie Cochran. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.On August 24, 2011, the Chicago Board of Education approved the appointment of one Jamiko Rose, a young lady with no CPS teaching experience (nothing new there; to be an administrator under Brizard and Emanuel, it's best not to know anything about teaching...) to the position (newly created, it seems) of "Chief Community and Family Engagement Officer." Salary: $152,000 per year. Remember: This is the system that denied raises to its actual workers because it's broke, blah, blah, etc., etc.

But here's the catch. CPS already had a "Officer of External Affairs and Partnerships" (newly created back when Ron Huberman was CEO — that only seems like a long time ago) at a salary of $154,000 per year. The "External Affairs" chieftain is Barbara Lumpkin. Her $100,000-per-year "Director of External Affairs and Partnerships" is a guy named Albert Sanchez Jr. (Yes, "really...").

Rose, Lumpkin, and Sanchez (jr., don't forget that part) are all non-teachers who never ever taught in a CPS classroom. Which makes them perfect for highly paid CPS jobs under the Reign and Rule of Rahm.



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October 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

By: John Kugler

Crony Capitalism

is a term describing a capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.

Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.

In its lightest form, crony capitalism consists of collusion among market players. While perhaps lightly competing against each other, they will present a unified front to the government in requesting subsidies or aid (sometimes called a trade association or industry trade group). Newcomers to a market may find it difficult to find loans or acquire shelf space to sell their product; in technological fields, they may be accused of infringing on patents that the established competitors never invoke against each other. Distribution networks will refuse to aid the entrant. That said, there will still be competitors who "crack" the system when the legal barriers are light, especially where the old guard has become inefficient and is failing to meet the needs of the market. Of course, some of these upstarts may then join with the established networks to help deter any other new competitors. Examples of this have been argued to include the keiretsu of post-war Japan, the print media in India, the chaebol of South Korea, and the powerful families who control much of the investment in Latin America.

Crony capitalism is generally associated with more virulent government intervention, however. Intentionally ambiguous laws and regulations are common in such systems. Taken strictly, such laws would greatly impede practically all business; in practice, they are only erratically enforced. The specter of having such laws suddenly brought down upon a business provides incentive to stay in the good graces of political officials. Troublesome rivals who have overstepped their bounds can have the laws suddenly enforced against them, leading to fines or even jail time.

States often said to exhibit crony capitalism include the People's Republic of China; India, especially up to the early 1990s when manufacturing was strictly controlled by the government (the "Licence Raj"); Indonesia; Argentina;[1] Brazil; Malaysia; Russia;[2] and most other ex-Eastern Bloc states. Critics claim that government connections are almost indispensable to business success in these countries. Wu Jinglian, one of China's leading economists[3] and a longtime champion of its transition to free markets, says that it faces two starkly contrasting futures: a market economy under the rule of law or crony capitalism.[4]

[1] Peronism and its perils on Economist.com accessed at August 28, 2009

[2] Having it both ways on Economist.com accessed at December 30, 2007 (subscription required)

[3] Hu Shuli, crusading Chinese business journalist on Economist.com accessed at December 30, 2007 (subscription required)

[4] The road ahead for capitalism in China on The McKinsey Quarterly accessed at December 30, 2007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism

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