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Archive for December 14th, 2017

The ongoing racist and sexist legacy of PRWORA, ‘Moynihan’ and, for example, The Ford Foundation [published Dec 14, 2017].

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What would you call this post?  After reading, if you have a better title, comment and tell me.  Until then, in full, it’s:

But as posted in condensed form, I took out the ‘commentary’ part of the title, which may save some blog’s sidebar vertical acreage under on “Most Recent Posts,” making for a subtitle:

….”(Divide and Conquer Tactics, Keeping (most) Women In Their (subdominant) Assigned Places while Placating, if possible, while and continuing to exploit men of color, prisoners, and the public in high-stakes, profitable, and rigged conflicts” …[[followed by Date info.]]

This material was formerly (but before publication there) labeled and in place as the Preface and “Pre-Preface” (I already had a “Foreword” and was starting to run out of meaningful section names) to:

The Money Maze: Following Multi-State, Multi-Candidate PACs + Super-PACs through Rapid Formation and NameChanges. (Giffords, ARS PAC + Lawyer Steve ‘Hurricane’ Mostyn (1971-Nov. 2017). (started Dec. 4, 2017 as a follow-up to my Dec. 3 “NRA (not) on the Record”** + preface to upcoming “Robin Hood Foundation” (or “RHF”) *** posts. Both those posts had been weeks “in the pipeline”.  The case-sensitive, WordPress-generated shortlink to this one ends “-87w”).  [[for what those “** / ***’s” refer to, see “The Money Maze / Giffords PAC” post referenced here.]]

This post as first published (including an extended footnote) is 16,000 words.  Where it started may be seen by what looks approximately like this (next image) and is about halfway down the post. Feedback welcome — use the comments field.  Keep it relevant, please; I won’t publish ads disguised as comments.

(Screenshot from my post of similar name, to be published Dec. 14, 2017. The image to left is from another blog I started in 2013 around the theme of the [poor, unreliable and dysfunctional, though still informative] condition of the TAGSS.HHS.Gov database)

I am attempting to post AS I continue to learn topics, rather than hoarding the information for publication in some professional journal for colleagues only (not that I’d probably qualify for one) on the principle that those of us NOT likely to be subscribing to the same need some way to understand and discuss what those who DO have been doing, while we were struggling to deal with the impact of social policy over the generations and the existing caste systems based on in what economic sector, over time, we and our parents and grandparents (as it applies) have been functioning. This includes speaking in language not limited to the prescribed ‘jargon’ in fashion for assigning positive values to sometimes dubious operations and activities.

For example does using the phrase “randomized controlled trials” (or “RCTs” for short), or previously more popular, “randomized evaluations” make any sponsored activity somehow more like medicine, or more scientific? And at what point is running RCTs on poor people’s “behavioral economics” (decision-making) while not reporting equally about one’s own financial activities and characterizations as an organization within the created fields — scientific? For that matter, is “social science” as a whole really science, or more of the collection of information with a view to practice and as such more of an “art”?

Whatever social science WAS, those helping run and fund it now have declared it a “new day” and the past thousands of years of learning are apparently nothing compared to what’s coming. And that’s coming from a decorated (“University Professor”) endowed or at least named (Alfred J. Whitehead III) professor at an elite (Harvard) private university, speaking as head of the fairly recent “Institute for Quantitative Social Science” which has already got its spin-off nonprofit, which within the first few years of operation has already changed its business name.      “Restructuring the Social Sciences: Reflections from Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science.” (quoted below, the article associated with the next image explains the significance of being named Harvard “University Professor”).  See Para. 1 of “Message from the Director” of the IQSS (“IQ.Harvard.edu”)

As you may deduce from that last title (pale-yellow background, blue borders just above), there’s another post on the Robin Hood Foundation (or “RHF”) in the pipeline which getting out “The Money Maze” I hope will expedite.  The Money Maze refused (so to speak) to be expedited as planned when I became also mentally absorbed with the topics below, in part because of the major media coverage of the national budget, tax reform, etc. with next to no consideration for the state of the tax-exempt sector, or naming major players in it affecting the economy, admitting that they can indeed and do outsource assets also.

Re-patriation of corporations makes the news, but as I discovered by looking, The Ford Foundation (a fraction I’m sure of Ford Motor Company itself) is (@ FY2015) holding $10.6 BILLION of its Total (Gross) Assets of $12.2 BILLION labeled “Investments – Other” and where the tax return (here, a Form 990PF) instructs filers to name those investment funds, giving three examples, Ford decided instead to produce a series of numbers. Were these held inside or outside the USA?

ICIJ regarding street address and PO Box in the Cayman Islands assoc. with a $28M transfer (Capital distribution) from an off-shore partnership by Ford Fndtn (per a recent return). No direct connection has been made from that partnership to the entities in the diagram that I know of, but it does show the potential. See ICIJ disclaimer (on nearby image or its website)

ICIJ disclaimer that merely being offshore doesn’t mean “illegal.”(International Consortium for Investigative Journalists)

We don’t know, however, I did note that $28M was transferred from a Cayman Islands-based partnership (not found by a basic name search), and that the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), (see “U.S. Under Pressure as World Presses for Financial Transparency” (May 2016) and an internal link to a similar discussion in the Guardian) in part through leaks to them, has been publishing about some of the purposes to which off-shore trusts are being put (although simply having them is NOT per se illegal).  Image from the Ford Foundation tax return showing a partnership address matching the PO Box shown in the diagram above, Grand Cayman… is in the body of the post. As tracked to the mailbox address shown, ICIJ has shown connections to that specific address, presumably a registering agent for multiple entities outside the Cayman Islands.


This post will reference interactions and commonalities (obviously not so much in overall SIZE!) several of the following organizations.  Trust me, this connects with the subject matter above.  The table re-appears again below as do tables of other organizations which, keying off some of these (and like these, also backed significantly by the Ford Foundation), are taking it to a whole new level (global) and faster (accelerating specialty technologies to get more people faster on public benefits, and/or technologies to speed up the movement of money outside the U.S. to better compare how poverty here correlates to poverty elsewhere, and what the (elites in specific fields sponsored for this specific purpose for decades) could do, while maintaining their own upper or middle-class lifestyles and social niches, manage and run “randomized controlled trials” (and that IS the theme and what they’re called) to discover “what works best” in solving the intractable social problems such as — poverty.

In the list below, which entity do you think MIGHT be best positioned to throw the most weight around by picking and choosing favorite organizations to get the grants while putting the investments “where the sun don’t shine” and paying reduced taxes on them, obviously (the natural goal of ANY business is hardly to pay as many taxes as possible, and ignore ways to get around paying as much as the average middle or lower-income person might?

Total results: 6. Search Again. (I compiled this table from 6 different searches)

Center for Family Policy and Practice WI 2015 990 10 $299,210 36-4038873
MDRC NY 2015 990 68 $121,599,657 23-7379473
Urban Institute DC 2015 990 55 $165,064,431 52-0880375
Brookings Institution DC 2016 990 63 $473,918,510 53-0196577
Fund for the City of New York, Inc. NY 2015 990 51 $115,865,634 13-2612524
Ford Foundation NY 2015 990PF 428 $12,242,896,362 13-1684331

Meanwhile, (see this again, and more tax tables below) when it comes to welfare reform and restructuring government to better internationally align it with other countries globally, and produce, I guess, a more just, equitable and sustainable world, Ford in just one year has funded many nonprofits I already know (MDRC, Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, Fund for the City of New York) from their roles in evaluating and conducting projects for “welfare reform” and as associated with major personalities (professors, PhDs, etc.).

The subcontractors, assets controlled, and payroll for nominal hours per week (let alone full-time) employment within these sponsored nonprofits, and what they are doing with their (a) maintained assets and (b) millions of dollars of grants (some, mostly private, some, about half from government) is yet another cash-flow circuit on the home (domestic) front, whether New York, Delaware, D.C., or in the case of Ford Foundation itself, Michigan. And something to behold.

When it comes to the Robin Hood Foundation-connected (spinoff) nonprofits also, I see at least two spinoffs in recent years under the direction (Chairman of the Board in one case) and credited to a single individual, Michael Weinstein, formerly for many (about 14) years “Chief Program Officer” at RHF.  These two spinoffs were (and as organizations still are) SingleStop USA, Inc. and ImpactMatters, sharing common board membership and, it seems, policies.

However, RHF chose only to feature one of those two in their announcement about Mr. Weinstein’s move:  ImpactMatters.

ImpactMatters is identified (on its own web page) with “Innovations for Poverty Action” another nonprofit dating back to only about 2002, and so far, clocking in at about $35M of government grants in a single (recent) year, while working alongside the MIT-based, and MIT-professor-initiated “J-PAL” or Abdul Lateef Jamil Poverty Action Lab.

Which I see is now as a US nonprofit taking directly also from the UK DID (Department of International Development), while based in Cambridge Massachusetts. And focusing globally (especially but not only in Sub-Saharan Africa) what has already been tried and successfully managed to disrupt families and help get more of them ON welfare while promising the opposite, domestically, in part as demonstrated through the MDRC (1974 forward and acknowledged to have been started by a combination of the Ford Foundation and federal agencies).

The best place to see such connections is not, generally speaking, organizations speaking about themselves on their own websites, or promotional foundations speaking about them (or even nonprofit publications such as “Philanthropy Circle” or others announcing new personnel) but by sooner or later getting to where they are registered and what financials they may have coughed up… For example, a recent article announcing the new executive director of “Impact Matters” (which was Michael Weinstein) had an earlier link to their searching for more staff — which was on no related website whatsoever.

I go over this again separately on another post (in the pipeline…), just bringing it up here for repetition and points of reference.

$16M USD for Governance, Crime and Conflict Research including some from a Development-oriented part of the (see “former British empire,”) UK. Link to J-PAL website here which at the top declares: Our mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We do this through research, policy outreach, and training while minimizing the name of its billionaire Saudi namesake on the logo (and, in fact, barely referencing it on the site). “J-PAL AND IPA makes sense as J-PAL doesn’t seem to have registered itself separately from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, i.e., “MIT, while IPA actually did (although it’s a NJ corporation, not an MA one). Money donated TO MIT would be difficult (if even possible) to trace, while through IPA at least must be recorded on an IRS tax form under US Internal Revenue Code”

“randomized evaluations in 80 countries” a J-PAL recent home-page call-out amid the various photos and links to project descriptions.

A closer look at the various organizations also shows major focus on behavioral modification tactics for the poor, as further emphasized by an organization started by one of the J-PAL originators which began as “Behavioral Ideas Lab, Inc.” but then changed to “Ideas42.org.”  On following those leads, I found that Behavioral Ideas Lab, Inc.” was a successor to a Harvard Center called the IQSS (Institute for Quantitative Social Science), and connected through board membership (and President) a man Eldar Shafir now directing a 2015-inaugurated Kahnemann-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy. At “psychology.Princeton.edu.

[Better link:  https://www.princeton.edu/news/2015/05/04/gift-establishes-kahneman-and-treisman-center-behavioral-science-and-public-policy

If I may compile some of this and warn about the trend of corporations paying big bucks (and through a variety of multi-layer disguises of where the money actually came from, including by having it come from one place, be reported on a second’s Form 990, handled by a third, and then periodically switching it up; choosing website names which do not match organization names, and so forth.

The Princeton connection to “IDEAS42.org” comes in part from Israel, through military training needs (obviously this will involved the fields of motivation and behavioral modification strategies), and Brown, Harvard, MIT (of course Princeton) with a dash of Stanford, and more.

This is interesting and relevant to the direction public policy is moving, so….FYI:

Eldar Shafir has sterling academic credentials (his bio on that website: BA Brown, MIT PhD, now professor of psychology at Princeton) as well as some background in the Israeli military, and I see in only 2014 he was being interviewed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, talking about how he got interested in this field, which he answers up front.  (For the curious, my awareness of him came only through reading tax returns for what is now “Ideas42” — he was on the board of directors and for at least some years, President):
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Written by Let's Get Honest

December 14, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Posted in 1996 TANF PRWORA (cat. added 11/2011)

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Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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