Gutting public education is like tearing down the icon of the social mobility
-there is no such thing as a free market;
-greater macroeconomic stability has not made the world economy more stable;
-free market policies do not make poor people rich
-making rich people richer does not make the rest of us richer
-A "get what you deserve" society sounds good, but even the losers need some minimums;
-we are not at the whim of a global economy, and a degree national protectionism is good for us, not more free trade.
What does this have to do with teacher's wages and benifits? Instead of resenting that teachers have managed to hold onto mid-century pay and benefits, we need to demand more for ourselves. Those who are old enough to remember the 70's will recall a time when anyone willing to work hard would have a job for life, with a good pension and benefits, and a strong social safety net.
We need to ask ourselves, "what happened?" We've been tightening our belts for 30 years now, and things are only getting worse. Why has the middle class lost so much in the last few decades? See above. We need to stop electing Neoliberal governments who just keep giving us more and more of the same medicine that has led to bleak times we now live in - more of the same is not helping. Unionism, social democracy, and the middle class peaked in the 70's - we need to stop the feeding frenzy on the last few remaining hold outs and we need to start demanding more of our political leaders.
Who cares about teachers? I do. Well paid teachers, working a well funded education system are not only emblematic of a healthy middle class society, but they also facilitate it. Gutting public education is like tearing down the icons of the middle class, and with it , the very notion of social mobility.