Friday, February 18, 2011

Save the Starving Teachers' (unions)

I guess they still have trouble with the concept of being broke:

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor, of unleashing an "assault" on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would nullify collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

Somehow the United Auto Workers created a perfect storm:
They sucked GM dry and killed it. They should have suffered the fate of any parasite that kills its host, but this president stepped in (with our borrowed money) and they wound up owning part of the company. We couldn't afford GM, and we can't afford to bail out every state once their public employee unions have sent them the way of GM.

If the state of Wisconsin is going broke, it's no "assault" to try to get the budget under control.

Wisconsin teachers salaries happen to be available online. A random sampling, by age, because teachers' pay is done by seniority, not merit:
32 year old, total compensation: $79,000
57 year old, total compensation: $89,500
61 year old, total compensation: $103,000
57 year old, total compensation: $118,000
58 year old, total compensation: $110,000
41 year old, total compensation: $103,000
42 year old, total compensation: $105,000
I'm not saying that these teachers are overpaid. I'm not saying they should take pay cuts. I'm just saying that they're not going to starve if they temporarily give up the right to coerce more out of a budget that everyone can agree is under water already.

Here's a question for Wisconsin teachers to ask themselves: Do I need a raise so badly that I'm willing to raise taxes on neighbors earning less than I do?

(full disclosure: Lumberkid is planning on going into teaching)