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February 12, 2011

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SashaNaomi

Thanks for posting this, Isaac. I don't think people are really aware of how much the destruction of unions is destroying our country. People always want to blame the unions, which are usually comprised of middle class women and minorities, rather than going to the top. There's a lot of spin on the public education situation in NYC. Cathie Black (who, let me remind you, has no teaching experience. She was on the board of Coke.)says the city wants new teachers because they want fresh ideas and energy. Of course the real reason behind that has to do with money: new teachers start at a lower salary than old teachers. Much of the same can be said of the mass marketing of charter schools: charter schools are non-union, which means less money to shell out. Public schools are having teachers cut left and right and many times it is not because the teacher is bad at his/her job. It's a money thing. Principals are dealing with the cuts by hiring substitute teachers (paid per diem wages, no health benefits, pension, etc.) to do the job of salaried teachers. Who wants to go into a profession that doesn't provide a salary or health care? So, this leaves us with less teachers, which means more kids fall through the cracks, which means fewer high school graduates, which means more people without jobs and fewer taxpayers.
I know your post wasn't specifically about teachers' unions, but Public Education in NYC is just one example of how the destruction of unions is widening the gap between the rich and the poor. The middle class is dying. When the middle class collapses, you end up with a Third-World kind of situation. You end up with revolts. It's not the unions that are destroying the economy. It's the guys at the top who refuse to increase government regulation.

Chris_H

The sad thing is that it totally distracts from the main villains: the bankers who *actually* have money and screwed everyone over. Battling over scraps is the perfect way not to have people coming @ you w/ pitchforks.

ED Kain (also at BG) wrote about this more @ Ordinary Gentlemen (a blog that seems to have very, very diverse authors and commenters)
http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2011/02/12/the-public-pension-problem/

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