Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Making Your Case

For the most part I support private sector unions and am opposed to public sector unions, and am following the Chicago School Teachers strike with a somewhat jaundiced eye and an open mind. While I know there are other issues, up to now the only fact I have is that the teachers have turned down an offer of a 4% raise each of the next four years from a present average wage of $71,000 per year, which doesn’t exactly make me want to carry a sign in support of their cause.

Today along comes Attywood, who is a strong unionist and shows a picture of Sally Field holding a “Union” sign. All well and good, but she was fighting the owners of textile mills, not public service and the taxpayers.

Then he tells me that I should know the teachers are on the side of the angels because Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are supporting Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel. Those guys, of course, never support anything but the wrong side, so… Sorry, it’s called “guilt by association,” and that kind of argument doesn’t sway me.

Then he brings out his big guns and says this,
But that's not even what this strike is about, anyway. At its core, the teachers in Chicago are fighting the same bullcrap we're fighting in Philadelphia and in New York and in most other big cities -- the corporatization of American schools by the same geniuses who brought us the housing bubble and the student loan bubble.. We're talking about the hedge-fund know-it-alls and charter school charlatans and campaign-cash-craving politicians who for a variety of reasons -- some perhaps naive, others intentionally corrupt -- want to blow up the thing that made America the envy of the world back in the 20th Century, our system of public education for all.

Wow. All of that is in a four year teacher’s contract in Chicago? Can you say hyperbole? It isn’t about the teachers at all, apparently, the contract that the teachers are being asked to sign is actually about freedom, apple pie and the American way, all of which will be destroyed if they sign it.

Then he says not to listen to him, which strikes me as a pretty good idea, and lets a teacher speak for the teachers, Presumably a teacher who is involved in the contract talks will be able to give us somewhat ,more precise detail on what the dispute is about so that we may make an informed decision as to whom to back.

When you support Mayor Emanuel’s TIF program in diverting hundreds of millions of dollars of school funds into to the pockets of wealthy developers like billionaire member of your school board, Penny Pritzker so she can build more hotels, that not only hurts kids, but somebody should be going to jail.

Okay, maybe not. Sounded like more of Attywood’s “It’s the giant corporations trying to suck the life out of freedom, apple pie and the American way,” and so far we still have no actual fact other than that the teachers turned 4% per year for four years. This is not really the way to sell your case to thinking people.

It certainly is not selling the Chicaho teachers' case to me.


bruce said...

I was thinking something along the lines of "Did they just pull that argument out of their a$$?" Becasue that's about the only rational explaination for it.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Chicago schools are reported to be some of the worst in the nation. Maybe they should just start from scratch.

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