I know that I have devoted a great deal of time covering Kaplan University. The crime syndicate continues to bob its head in the frothy sea of neo-liberal economics on a daily basis and little is covered in mainstream corporate press.
For example, according to the Orlando Business Journal, Florida has issued $1.7 billion in tax breaks and other ‘incentives’ to businesses — you know, the corporate ‘job creators’— since 1995, with the expectation of creating 225,000 new jobs, reports the St. Petersburg Times. Yet only about one-third of those jobs have been filled (http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/morning_call/2011/10/incentives-create-fewer-jobs.html).
Among the largest recipients of the tax incentives is the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Lake Nona, Florida which got $155 million in tax breaks. Meanwhile, the notorious Kaplan University in Orange County, Florida which got $2 million in tax breaks on a promise of 750 jobs, created only 500 jobs (ibid). So ‘welfare queen’, Kaplan, gets our tax money through many doors. First of all, it profits from Title IV funds which it gets for each body bag it enrolls in its nefarious for-profit university scam. It then gets state and local tax breaks under the auspices that it will create jobs; low paid non-union work, of course.
All of this, even though Kaplan Higher Education laid off 130 South Florida employees, part of a total workforce reduction of 770 employees in the state in December of 2010. Kaplan had been one of the fastest-growing employers in Broward County in recent years. The job cuts “were across the organization — managerial and non-managerial,” said Cheryl Stopnick, spokeswoman for Kaplan in South Florida. Kaplan employs about 2,600 workers in the region (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-12-08/business/sfl-kaplan-university-layoffs-120810_1_kaplan-university-kaplan-college-kaplan-higher-education).
The state of Florida is looking to renegotiate contracts with companies like Kaplan that did not create as many jobs as promised; all this while the Attorney General of Florida investigates the scurrilous institution for criminal fraud and as Kaplan continues to reduce its workforce as the company proceeds to pay out hard cash for in settlements for fraudulent activities.
Kaplan is currently being investigated in at least sixteen states for its alleged fraudulent business practices and is the subject of numerous federal inquiries. As the investigations march on, Donald Graham, the major stockholder in Kaplan through his holdings of the parent company, The Washington Post, feasts on insider trading as you can read in my article on his family sale of $70 million in Washington Post stock within the last three years.
This is how neo-liberalism works. The government pays for-profit fraudulent companies like Kaplan to create low paying jobs while in fact they lay off workers, steal Title IV monies and leave students uneducated and in debt purgatory for life.
It is a crime and if Eric Holder, the Attorney General and his cohorts were not in bed with corporate America, they would claim it so and indict this company under RICO. Don’t hold your breath.