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>Teachers Pay Freeze : I’d love to see 30,000 new, young, hungry, enthusiastic teachers enter the system

>The State Teachers Union warned of chaos in the classroom and “irreparable damage to every shcool system in the state.” I am not a teacher basher, in fact I think we have a lot of very good to excellent teachers in our system, people who really care about their subjects and the kids in their classroom. I know my kids come home from school each day happy and having learned something. But somebody has to get the teachers to understand that the tide has turned and their union is not acting in their best interest. Their union has been exposed for what it is; a huge lobbying cartel that uses children as leverage to further demands that can no longer be met in the economics of today. Unions provided a great service to their members throughout history elevating workers out of poverty and abuse. They morphed into machines that elevated workers to levels superior to many who pay their salaries. Just as the stock market can not go up forever, salaries and benefits can’t keep going up either. Unfortunately we now live in a country where almost 45% of people do not pay any federal taxes and public employees on average make more than private sector employees when benefits are included. That simply can not continue.

It has nothing to do with whether someone likes teachers or not. It is simple economics. A society can not continue to grow and expand if fewer and fewer people are paying for it and the ones that are paying for it are forced to pay more and more. The State of NJ is a microcosm of what is happening in our country. We’ve taxed and spent, spent and taxed and now there is no one left to tax but plenty of people who want to spend. Things have to change, economically there is no alternative. Property values are going down, tax receipts are going down, private sector incomes are going down, spending simply can not go up, the negative spread has gotten too wide.

Unfortunately all great societies come to an end at some point. See the Romans, the British Empire, etc….We are past the beginning of the end of the American Empire. Our moral fabric has been destroyed, (see Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Enron, Madoff, all the gossip magazines, etc…) our will to make tough decisions and live with the results is gone, our standing in the world has been severly damaged, we no longer have the respect of our allies and we are no longer feared by our enemies. Economically the United States is only now years away from being bankrupt. China is going to own the United States, they probably already do.

Everything needs to be looked at in context. The potential of 30,000 teachers retiring sounds frightening. I’ll take the other side. I’d love to see 30,000 new, young, hungry, enthusiastic teachers enter the system, teachers who haven’t been jaded by the system and the union, 30,000 new teachers who realize how tough it is to find a job in any profession, 30,000 new faces bringing fresh ideas to stale schools, 30,000 new teachers that know they are better than the system and they don’t need the false protection of tenure but would love the opportunity for merit based pay so they can make more money than the artifical pay scale that holds them to the same standards as everyone else. Change is good, it isn’t easy, but it is good. Let’s try it, it can’t be worse than what we have now.

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