I’ve been fascinated by the amount of muckraking that has been going on lately on 24 hour news. Now because of the profundity of it by itself, these news stations are little more than avenues to spread misinformation, I’m aware of this as I am sure most folks with internet access are aware. What gets me is not necessarily the quantity alone but the direction at which the quantity is being pointed.
At teachers? Really? Did politicians think that infants were just too hard of a target and wanted to go for the second least guilty group of individuals in the united states? We could spend all day discussing how it’s now 9 months off with 3 months of vacation but 9 months of work with 3 months of being laid off (I am not aware of many teachers who don’t have some sort of summer job), or how the average income of a teacher in these news reports is including law school and medical school professors which dramatically increase the average (from between 10 and 20k dollars).
Then once could even look at the anecdotal point that basically every teacher I’ve ever known has had a shitty car, a moderately nice house (that took them years to afford), and made less than I did at Circuit City in my first year of PC repairs. These aren’t the most solid of evidence but I’m hard pressed to look at someone in a run down civic and think they make too much.
Sure corporate bankers are what bankrupted us, and the argument for their bonuses after the collapse was that we didn’t want to lose such talent. And sure the average state cost of paying teachers is trivial and a mere 460 hours, or 19 days of occupation in Iraq costs the same amount (an a split second longer than that costs more). But the military is in large part turned into something of a jobs program, bribing folks into service with the illusion of nobility and then throwing them headlong into battles with people that were (almost always) previously armed by the very same military these soldiers work for. I can understand that there is political gains to be had when military budget cuts hit to respond by lowering the pay of soldiers when their cost on the military industrial complex is, much like teachers, trivial. Sure the vast majority of our nuclear arms is unnecessary (as we need but a small percent of it to wipe out all life on the surface of the earth), but paying to maintain all these weapons is fun and we get to keep those cool radioactive stickers around.
No I think what is most impressive to me. Is arguing about frivolous spending, pointing at teachers, and ignoring that since the war in Iraq has begun we have sent 12 billion dollars into the country and have no idea what happened to it. Not we the people, but the actual military has no idea where all this money went. None! That’s enough money to pay the entire population of teachers in Wisconsin (which makes up less than a 3rd of the entire budget for education in that state) for 4.3 years.
So the Military can just drop 4.3 years worth of an entire states worth of educators in the middle east, lose it entirely, banks can utterly destroy the entire US economy and still get bonuses larger than the salaries of entire suburban towns, and yet the real problem is teachers. Facing one of the toughest jobs in the US, preparing the very future of the country, and ironically likely the very same people who educated these news station reporters and talking heads who never would have gotten their jobs without their educations.
The only reason the teachers are being attacked is because it is a politically sound move. Creating a scapegoat out of those that cannot defend themselves. It is a policy that has been used for thousands of years and it never ceases to be effective. You take a group of people who are innocent and you demonize them, you turn their own friends and families against them. In the end if you control the sources of information you will win the manipulative battle.
Few things in the 1st world are more vile than ignorant narcissists in positions of informational power. We have entire networks populated with nothing but, and while I do think that the internet will slowly take over it will not be without much turmoil and attempts by CEO’s (like the Koch brothers) to regulate the internet in hopes of turning it into the same sort of informationally bankrupt drivel that television and newspapers has become.
This whole thing sounds like the plot to a really bad movie. A series of events that, if published, would have never been believed. It would have been scolded for it’s ludicrous nature and it’s lack of cohesive structure. We are experiencing an absurd series of events that one would almost be challenged to convince a child ever happened.