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

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How Local (Truly Representative) is ANY Government Entity with All These Kinds of Nonprofits? (THE Power and Class Divide: The Taxed vs. Those Living off/Managing The Taxed) (Page started Dec. 11, 2018, from Front Page)


How Local (Truly Representative) is ANY Government Entity with All These Kinds of Nonprofits? (THE Power & Class Divide: The Taxed vs. Those Living off/Managing The Taxed).(Page started|published Dec. 11, 2018, from Front Page).

(Case-sensitive shortlink for this Page ends “PsBXH-9l0” <~~middle character is a small “L” not a number “1.”  I.e., those last three characters do not represent the number “nine hundred and ten” (910) Page slightly updated (including wording in the title) in a few places April 2020, when I re-read this page being about to publish a draft post referring to it//LGH April 15, 2020.  With updates, about 3,000 words only; several update sentences or paragraphs I marked with light-blue-background).

This is an extemporaneous informal expression diverted from the Front Page of the blog for smoother reading of that page, but about a reality that should not be ignored.

This reality is so commonly accepted and taken for granted (by many) — exploited by many also — it’s like “the air we breathe,” and from what I can tell, basically has been ignored.  That mainstream media (which is  part of it) ignores it is functionally understandable.  That most “commoners” do, is contributing to our own dysfunction when dealing with our own government/s or seeking to impact them through elected representatives.  

The tax-exempt sector working alongside, with, and ON the government sector, has major clout in large part because that clout was given it by government when the income tax was applied wholesale (but with exceptions) on the population (see bottom of this post).

Like that air, you notice it mostly when it’s either polluted or scarce, leaving us choking. Otherwise, it’s just “there.” 

About half this page (the bottom half) is the actual summary diverted from the main page, and the other (top half) is me talking (thinking) more on the topic.  The division is marked well enough.


Economically, there’s public and private, HOWEVER, much of the private sector operates (like government entities) and is organized to be tax-exempt.

Government** TAXES others for its operations — it doesn’t tax itself on the profits for its own operations.  Gradually it acquires ownership of assets then either sells them to private parties (or sells debt to fund them) — or holds them and charges people to access or use them (fees for services etc.).  The tax-exempt part of the private sector also does this.

(Section and images added Apr. 2020.  “Food for Thought.“)

**”Government” in the USA is  not a singular.  The Federal government yes, but the states and territories, another finite number — and within each state, dozens (must be hundreds) of official government entities exist.  The total of local governments nationwide is counted by the U.S. Census (some kinds are not within the count, such as those spanning more than one state, i.e., Joint Power Authorities, etc. — and I’ve blogged some of these (See “WestEd” and others), and numbers were well over 100,000 as I recall.  Government entities!

https://www.census.gov/topics/public-sector/government-organization.html

 

Certain characteristics qualify an entity as “government” which is discussed on this website also. (Look around…). Among them are typically power to tax, and duty to provide accounts for tax receipts, the power to issue debt, etc.

Public school districts are specialized government entities.  The Schools themselves are programs run by the districts and do not always correspond 1:1 with local county governments,

[End, April 2020 added section with images]

Almost everything about the tax-exempt sector works to perpetuate class divisions and essentially, set up trusts (monopolies, illegal ones) without full public awareness of the collective clout.  Also playing into this, historically (from a LONG time ago) is that corporate laws in the USA enable registration in many states at once without actually having operations in each state or a business presence there.  That’s the maze.  (Search “James Brooks Dill” on this blog, or on-line, and read; at first it was Delaware, but he helped attract major corporations to NJ  for the favorable business climate, while making a fortune (including for the state) in business registration fees, and helping them avoid getting nailed for monopolies.  Early 1900s.

Thus completely monopolies can exist functionally, perhaps technically legally, easily in this setup, and still do.  The public must constantly be “sold and told” the idea that this is good for them (or, as I’m part of it too, “us.”).  But it’s not!

(I may come back and add some links, but don’t count on it…Look it up yourself!)


Part of the strategy is selling the public constantly on scarcity — balanced budget, debt — while hiding the extent of available assets which could be, in fact, sold to satisfy the budget, instead of held — and then tax the public some more to fund the debt.  (See (search on-line) Walter Burien for classic and effective overall summary of the situations.  (And I have several posts with drill-downs and discussions on this also).

He doesn’t talk about tax-exempts (at all, that I can see) but he does about what information the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (“CAFRs”) governments produce tells us. I’ve been featuring on this on the blog since I heard of it, particularly around spring 2012 and afterwards.


We know that people working for tax-exempt organizations as employees (which may include some of their founders — or may not) are subject to taxation.  What I’ll bet most do not know, even if aware of some “inordinately high” salaries of some CEOs (I’ve seen over $1M several times for one person; or a host of “trustee/officer/directors/key/highest-paid employees” on a single organization earning ALL of them well over $100 – $150-$200K often enough.  In the field of medicine, that’ll be even higher), is that _____________***

[*** this incomplete sentence only discovered over a year later.  No, I do not remember what the original intended predicate was… Just keep reading for context… Other points are made…//LGH April 15, 2020.]

Taxable corporations (subcontractors) also deal extensively with tax-exempt entities as a normal part of life and business.  While these subcontractors often are taxed, tracking their part in the tax-exempt entity [which may be supported in part by public resources, or itself providing public services to local, state, or federal government]**funds is complicated by going through a tax-exempt entity which may or may not post (or even make available) audited financial statements on their websites. [**copyedited for clarity, I hope, Apr. 2020].

At almost every point in commercial, normal, business and government life in the USA, we are dealing and interacting with and subject to policies involving the tax-exempt sector.  So why not become at least aware of it when demanding justice, fair play, equity, and more? Or when listening to one’s local community or national/international tax-exempt stating it’s their primary cause too?

Now THAT would be a good conversation.


I bring up this theme often in the blog.  This reiteration is December 2018 and inspired by having to introduce this blog again and where it differs from other blogs concerned about similar subject matter.  I see, I write, consider it a signpost, food for thought, challenge — whatever you wish..


My position could be debated.  One problem — which is my point — you might have in presenting evidence to back it up, is the impenetrability and lack of sophisticated software (and access to designing and controlling it) to obtain this data, crunch the numbers and show a visual.  I know this from having looked — over the years — for public access data and seen in what forms it’s being made available to most of us.

The entities controlling access to that information are themselves tax-exempt (whether gov’t entity or a nonprofit entity, such as Guidestar…Foundation Center.. a few (not that many, really) others…. in the US.

I know how to look up a company and a charity in the UK (England and Wales; apparently Scotland has its own, separate) but what I don’t yet know is whether there’s any parallel for tax-exempt filings made public as exists with the requirement in the US to post those returns (or at least a Form 990-N electronic statement, “we made less than $50,000 this year” which still provides an entity: Name, address, principal officer, registered agent and EIN# — numerical identified).  But in the US, it’s not made available in digital format for producing adequate reports.. While I may not be likely to live to see this changed in my lifetime (nor do I see any movement for it to be changed), it’s still important information to consider when complaining about government or seeking to right wrongs and stand up for ourselves and our families (particularly offspring).


Cont’d from my Front Page…

What’s more, historically and to date, behind and funding if not actually originating those nonprofits which being also NON-stock, PRIVATELY owned and controlled corporations (or unincorporated associations) can be and often are the billion-dollar (assets) and multi-million-dollar (assets) tax-exempt foundations many of us have already heard of and understand to be either politically progressive (Ford, MacArthur, Rockefeller, Annie E. Casey (Baltimore), Open Society (Baltimore), Robin Hood (NYC) and West Coast and (more) MidWest versions of the same general idea).

On the conservative side I guess there’d be Heritage Foundation, and (adding in the religious) Focus on the Family, the Warren Buffet family foundations (some do not contain the family name), (Koch, Scaife) and more.  The West-Coast versions include plenty whose original wealth came from tech advances since the arrival of computers, the internet etc. (Bill & Melinda Gates (Seattle); Wm. & Flora Hewlett, Chan-Zuckerberg (Facebook) etc.).  This is a very poor summary but enough familiar names I hope to convey the basic idea.

These major tax-exempt foundations at times change form (or names) and form their own collaborating networks to better control (us, our communities, etc.) in the name of helping redress past wrongs and “the safety net” or any other number of positive-value causes designed to pull in support, volunteer efforts, and credibility/publicity. These collaborating networks are not always so obvious unless one is following the field overall. I’ve blogged several..  However, one common characteristic is their operating tax-exempt (like government entities) and specializing in programs aimed at the taxed masses.

Positioned midway between the big-bucks and smaller, possibly family-court-connected ones are also midsized “think tanks” too many to number, constantly sounding off about family values, low-income families, inequity, racism, sexism, immigration, and of course, taxation.  Welfare.  etc.  Among these highly active in influencing the courts are (off the top of my head, from prior aquaintance through funding I’ve tracked or rhetoric read over time: Brookings Institute, MDRC (formerly Manpower Development Research Corp.) (Ford-initiated, 1974), The Urban Institute ….

Then there are huge “community” foundations — and getting bigger by the year.

I’ve done some drill-downs on Silicon Valley Foundation (after its 2006 merger doubling size to $1 billion), and in Connecticut, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (CFNGH.org), i.e., Yale University territory.  CFNGH.org doesn’t report its millions of dollars of grants on the IRS form where these are to be reported.  Many of these are also moving assets overseas for investment while selling themselves as concerned for local community well-being.

Does this make sense? – – – 

To go decade after decade concerned about Family Courts and how to reform them without clear reference to the existence of the nonprofit sector as a sector, and without encouraging (in public interest) people to look at individual advocacy or operational (court-connected) nonprofits for a little character assessment, to me, is in(s)ane.  Without this information, where is any solid platform or basis for discussing reality on-line or off-line?

I didn’t even mention, but there’s involvement, of the universities and centers within universities operating also private and public — but, either way, private or public, the major ones are if not part of state government itself, typically also nonprofit, and large enough that tracking funds to their various centers — including centers of fatherhood promotion  — is logistically impossible for the average human being.  I do not know whether or not it would be logistically impossible for average human beings working cooperatively with each other to DEMAND a paper (or financial) trail to/from the most obvious sources (ALL federal branch agencies, and within universities — if universities are not to become “for sale to the highest bidder” ) — mostly because most people just will not do it.  That I can see. “Too hard!…” is the usual complaint.

This blog more specifically features, and repeatedly over time, types of organizations which, networked together, carry considerable clout but are STILL in the private sector — and as such, we the public, do not HAVE to go along with their agenda, policy and purposes unless they are right and we agree.

But — whether by force or through stealth — with this setup keeping most people ignorant of their existence an uninformed public cannot agree or consent.  They have been operating so as to leave the many private, tax-exempt entities’ roundtables undisturbed as they publish and disseminate results among the upper niches / levels of a well-established class system that the US allegedly doesn’t have, which seems to be the point — bypassing informed consent to obtain certain mutually desired (by the collaborating tax-exempt entities working with and for government) outcomes.

…I’m talking [organizations such as] the NCJFCJ, NCSC, NGA (National Governors’ Association), NCSL, NCSEA, [Child Support Enforcement], the NCCD (the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, which I caught listing major international government grants several years ago on its California Registry Charitable Trusts “RRF” forms), NACC (National Association of Counsel for Children out of Colorado, which received HHS grants under “Adoption Assistance” to help set up the field of “child welfare law” and has been trying to digitalize decisionmaking about major public institutions), NADA [for District Attorneys], ICMA (International association of City/County Managers Association), and more like them (including several referring to the mental health directors sector).  I have posted on some of these specific ones, repeatedly over the life of this blog.

In ALL of the above (except “ICMA” obviously) the “N” stands for “National” — yet not one association or organization in this country is, technically speaking, “national.”  It has a legal domicile in a specific state (or in D.C.), or territory and by definition is NOT national. Taken as an overall networked whole, this seems a clear attempt to “nationalize” (and privatize) all major government functions affecting individual citizens and residents across the country, which form is foreign to our basic constitution and principles of government.  It also practically, undermines the impact of local individual human beings upon their respective LOCAL governments when to understand what we’re up against would require, in effect, to become aware of and track ALL the nonprofits wielding coordinated influence to pass state laws that suit their respective interests.

Essentially, take any state-level (or county) government function or (institution):  Family (or Juvenile) Court Judge.  Legislator.  Governor.  Lieutenant Governor.  District Attorney.  Child Support Agency Director.  State Mental Health Director. …the list goes on… and there will often be a similarly-named, private professional (“members-only”) tax-exempt business association to go with it.

[[How something could even be called the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Inc. puzzles me.  How can “courts” associate with each other when by definition they are under (those courts) state legislature authority and ,typically, organized locally?  Courts are not corporate “persons” or real persons — so their “associating” as if they were is poetic license (and misleading), ALTHOUGH that’s still just a private business entity name (“AFCC”).]]

I didn’t even yet mention even the religious organizations (those exempt from even having to file tax returns because of that status) who are major businesses and own significant real estate assets nationwide, and have their respective agenda.  Yes, these are powerful in many ways because historically they have been exempt from taxation unlike many of their patrons, clients, parishioners, followers in daily lives.  Naturally those who are ongoing subject to taxation to support both government and the tax-exempt sector (i.e., what services taxes allegedly cannot afford, the tax-exempt show up and say “we’ll help” and then take both public and private funding (overall; some refuse public; others depend on it), may show up poor on the doorsteps of organizations which, if balance sheets and who controls what is considered, are anything BUT poor.


The existing, established networked nonprofits reflecting government functions has been around a long time (some parts longer than others).  So, typically, have “big-bucks” tax-exempt foundations — family wealth is preserved, not squandered. All of these

So, you CANNOT realistically talk about: domestic violence, fatherlessness as a social scourge, POVERTY, or almost any major causes without taking into account the tax-exempt sector’s impact on government and on basic human rights.  But that’s how such conversations seem to be going.  A gentle reminder — in the US (not including a previous version of it which didn’t stick, in the 1800s) the concept of income tax as required to help the poor and support the government in doing so — only dates to 1913.  The “first hundred years” of this — and with it, the above proliferation of tax-exempt organizations — was only 2013.  Ironically, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (a topic of this blog) claims to have celebrated its 50th anniversary about then, while the 50th Anniversary of the Moynihan Report was not long after (2015).

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Written by Let's Get Honest

December 11, 2018 at 11:59 am

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