“The lack of money is the root of all evil.” — Mark Twain
PAY ‘EM: DAY 2
First things first: The Chicago Teachers Union strike is not about the children. So let’s stop that silly, mawkish pretense this instant.
The teachers are going on strike because management wants to squeeze their pay and benefits, extend their work day, and expand class sizes. These are workplace issues, not We love children and only want what’s best for them issues.
If teachers and management wanted only what’s best for the children, the city would be throwing bushels of money at the teachers in an effort to get them back in the classroom and the teachers would be telling them not to bother because they (the teachers) would be more than happy to work for peanuts.
The kids are getting screwed royally in this mess. They’re missing the continuum of daily attendance in school. It may take weeks for them to get back in their groove, depending on how long this strike lasts.
Parents who work are getting screwed, too. Tens of thousands of families in Chicago are scrambling to make arrangements to make sure their kids aren’t roaming the streets all day while teachers walk the picket lines.
Very little benefit is going to come out of this craziness for anybody other than the teachers.
And that’s okay.
People get hurt in strikes. Customers and clients and vendors and and everybody else who depends on an industry starts hurting when that industry is hit by a strike.
One of the potential hammers either side has in a work stoppage is the collective anger of all those aggrieved parties. If a striking union plays its cards right, customers and clients and all the rest will start putting heat on management to make a deal.
The union has to control the PR side of the contretemps. In this case, the Chicago Teachers Union has to convey the message that its members are not rich, they’re not asking for wheel barrels full of precious metals, and — for pity’s sake — all you out there need them.
If the union does it right, it’ll walk away from this with nice raises for the teachers, a manageable workday, and class sizes significantly shy of the capacity of the Wrigley Field bleachers.
And if the kids and the families of Chicago get their knees scraped in the process, so be it.
I’m behind the teachers 100 percent.
I only ask them and some of their supporters not to try to bullshit me or anyone else. Teachers don’t go on strikes because they’re thinking of nothing but the children. They go on strikes because they’re worried about paying their mortgages and dreaming of sending their kids to college.
Nothing wrong with that as a casus belli.
Here are the highest-paid careers in the United States this year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Pharmacist — $112,160 average salary a year
- Air traffic controller — $114,460
- Sales manager — $116,860
- Airline pilots — $118,070
- Financial manager — $120,450
- Industrial-organization psychologist — $124,160
- IT systems manager — $125,660
- Marketing manager — $126,190
- Natural science manager — $128,230
- Architectural and engineering manager — $129,350
- Lawyer — $130,490
- Petroleum engineer — $138,980
- CEO — $176,550
- Dentist — $161,750 to $204,670
- Doctor — $168,650 to $234,950
Who’d have a problem if teachers ranked anywhere in that list?
Me? I’d be thrilled to see teachers knock sales managers or financial managers off. And industrial-organization psychologists? They’re getting paid that much dough just to delve into people’s heads so they can make the workforce more pliant and submissive?!
Not only would I help the teachers throw them out, I’d give those sons of bitches kicks in the ass on their way out the door.
ONE MORE THING
Take a look at this luxury baby stroller:
The Nicest Ride On The Block
I don’t know how many people own one of these baby limousines. I’m willing to bet, though, that tens of of thousands of parents — maybe hundreds of thousands — would buy one if they could.
Now, how many of those people do you think want Chicago’s teachers to stop making trouble and go back to work?
I’M NOT FINISHED YET
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sends his kids to a private school.
That, my friends, is an outrage.
He is saying, essentially, that the schools — his schools — aren’t good enough for his kids.
The Emanuel Gang
Mayor Richard M. Daley and his old man, Richard J., both sent their kids to private schools as well.
What would people say if Bill Gates, while he was running things at Microsoft, carried a MacBook around with him wherever he went?
Mark it: The day I’m acclaimed King of the United States, I’ll decree that all municipal officials must send their kids to their local public schools.
They just might start seeing things a little differently.
OLD TIME (REALLY, REALLY OLD TIME) POLITICS
The technology already exists to generate video images of dead politicians and celebrities saying precisely what you want them to say in real time.
Big Think contributor Dominic Basulto speculates on the 2016 Republican National Convention when the star of the show will be Ronald Reagan lambasting Hillary Clinton or Julian Castro or Alec Baldwin or whoever will be the Dem standard-bearer.
“Sandra Fluke Has Sex!”