Monday, August 02, 2004

Updated at August 2, 2004 at 7:55 pm

Hardballing with Barack Obama and Public Affairs show host Jeff Berkowitz, airing tonight at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV] through-out the City of Chicago

“...The Free market tends to tier the system in a radical way,” Barack Obama asserts

Barack Obama: …What I am saying is that the free market tends to “tier” the system in a radical way and I have confidence and I have faith that we can still create the kinds of public school systems that worked for generation after generation. I mean the question we have to ask ourselves is what’s changed from the previous generation where public schools taught my grandparents, taught your parents, taught you and were entirely successful.

Jeff Berkowitz: You want to know what’s changed. I will answer that question.

Obama: Go ahead.

Berkowitz: Dennis Byrne [Chicago Tribune columnist] answered that question and he raised it [the issue] with you. He said this is a chance for you to show your independence and your freedom from the teachers’ unions, from the educational bureaucracy—

Obama: So, you are saying what’s changed—

Berkowitz: He is saying they are stifling the kind of competition and growth that you and I and others saw in public schools previously [although come to think of it, I believe Barack went to a private prep school, and then, I know for sure, he went to private colleges and a private law school, so perhaps he [Barack] did not see quite as much of public schools as I saw, nor will his kids, apparently]--

Obama: No, no,—

Berkowitz: It is a very different world out there now.

Obama: No, no, but, here is my point though. And, that is, there were teachers’ unions then and the schools were—

Berkowitz: Now, they [teachers and former teachers’ union members] are one out of ten delegates to the Democratic Convention, much stronger then they were then. We can’t do this whole program on this. Let’s go over to health care.
Jeff Berkowitz, host of Public Affairs, can be reached at