One of the most important trends afoot right now is the move to privatize as many government services as possible. Billionaires like Bill Gates, along with hedge funds, are pushing an agenda of privatizing public schools, and funding a PR push in support of that cause with films like "Waiting for Superman" and the NBC "Education Nation" that included a panel with the title "Does Education Need a Katrina?".
This trend is fueled by the desire of the richest Americans to seek new income streams. Instead of spending their cash hoard on innovating new products or businesses that can create jobs and lasting economic activity, they're engaged in a process of rent seeking, which has no productive value. By taking tax dollars that currently provide public services and channeling them to the private sector, which contracts to provide the service at lower cost - and therefore at lower quality - these wealthy individuals can add new income streams while also blunting any effort to raise their taxes to provide these services.