Sunday, June 07, 2009

Seeing Two Different Worlds: and only one reality


Some folks see the world through eyes clouded by the warmth of government employment. Below is a standard reply to my previous post:
In general, I would say most teachers agree with that sentiment. I know few teachers who complain about pay. They chose the work they do and they know that just because a kid fresh from an MBA program can pull down a six-figure salary in his/her 20's while most teachers work 30 years and often don't reach that figure with the same amount of education, they are okay with it. It comes with the territory. I know a lot of teachers who just wish the state would fix the funding system so they wouldn't have to rely on taxes (teachers pay them, too).

When they say it's about the kids, they are talking about making sure high-quality teachers are in the classroom-- that usually translates to making sure salaries are competitive. Any district's payroll usually takes the lion's share of the budget. It is a people-intensive business.
This has to be a post from someone living on a government salary. There is no other way to explain why the writer believes that individual life decisions are subject to absolute guarantees.

The writer presumes a world where anyone seeking an MBA can obtain one. And that everyone with an MBA has a job and makes a six-figure salary, starting from their 20's. Huh? Who would even make such a claim? Someone with a guaranteed salary and lifetime employment, of course. And who has a guaranteed salary and lifetime employment? A government employee.

The writer equates a masters in education with an MBA, as if the market values both the same. But that is not the case. In fact, there are no market alternatives for the holder of a masters in education -- only government schools value a masters in education.[1] And even government schools are not in the market for teachers with 10 years of experience, regardless of the masters degree.

The next proposition is equally as nonsensical: That teachers pay taxes. Teachers, as government employees, are, on net, tax recipients -- they receive more taxes than they pay. For teachers, the mode of taxation is of no consequence. In all cases they win out -- in all cases their salary is paid at the expense of their neighbor's productive employment.

Of course, teachers want the state to fund government schools. Why? Teachers believe that such a system will benefit them over the current system -- a system based on, for the most part, locally-voted property taxes.

It's all about the kids. Really? Am I to believe that teachers are so altruistic that they fight for higher salaries to benefit the students -- that they are forced to take higher salaries so that new teachers will enter the teaching field.

Finally, the high quality teacher defense is over the top. Given that it is the teachers themselves who fight for guaranteed employment for all teachers, no matter how lousy.

Watch the John Stossel video (above) exposing teachers defending the current system. And then tell me it's all about the kids.

Notes:

[1] I know, some private companies do value a masters in education. But these companies are the pilot fish of the government school sharks.

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