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Daily drink: Wisconsin and whiskey and rye

The Daily Drink

Bye bye, Miss American Pie. A piece of Americana, the popular union, has gone the way of roasted chestnuts, Yule logs and actual cowboys: something to be eulogized and remembered, but not something you’ll ever actually see. Political Battles Royale, however, are alive and kicking stronger than ever.

I want to be a teacher by next fall, and I am basically conservative. So the Wisconsin public sector showdown tears at me a bit, and I don’t pretend to have the answers. In the realm of education, I’ve decided to enter in with few pre-conceived notions, I don’t want to be parroting anybody’s arguments, and I want real solutions when I do figure out where I stand. Here are a few of the truths I use to evaluate this mess:

  1. Teachers, on the whole, are trying to teach students as they best know how. It does no one any good to bash the actual educators. If you disagree, please tell me why. In specifics.
  2. Public sector unions have a legitimate conflict of interest because they can hire and fire the people who decide their pay checks. Charles Krauthammer does a good job of describing the moving parts of this conundrum, although I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions.
  3. Unions’ singular relationship with Democrats is bad for unions. Unions were most effective during times that they were bi-partisan, because they had the popular support of the American people. You show me one (just 1) union boss who is a Republican and I will give you a dollar ($1 US currency.). No joke. This reality means half of Americans have a reason to not like you, and while the resulting grudges took twenty years or more to build up, I believe it’s part of why we are where we are today. If you disagree, please tell me why. Using specifics and hopefully numbers.
  4. Unions in general have been suffering and feel attacked, because public-sector unions are one of very few areas in union-dom that have healthy numbers. This is an attack by Republicans, not a response to something Democrats or unions did. 
  5. Republicans want to cut off a funding root of the Democrat party. While I think the Governor’s bill may have merit, we shouldn’t be willfully ignorant to this reality.

So I mull and I mull, and I won’t have answer until long after this news cycle is over. I’ll just sit back with a drink and enjoy the battle like most people, with false nostalgia of a simpler time.


About humourologist

A man who is interested in almost everything, I am a writer, blogger, and political junkie since long before graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. Currently an Action For Washington fellow and content editor, I was a maintenance guy (including groundskeeping) for 3.5 years. I enjoy applying the inarguable principles of mundane life to big ideas, and I get beat up a lot for doing this.

3 responses »

  1. THE True Conservative

    I don’t pretend to have the answers… blah, blah, blah. I do, but first let me address your points.

    1. If teachers are trying to, “teach as best as they know how”, then we need to change the way they are taught, because it’s clearly not working. I think there are tons of decent teachers, but I also think there are a ton of crappy ones because there is little reward for making an effort. It’s called market motivation, and there is little of it in the teaching profession. Teachers unions have exacerbated the situation exponentially. You asked for specifics. Watch this and tell me your gut reaction…

    2.Duh. That’s why the federal union should be the same model that the states use. (hint: it’s basicly what Wisconsin is trying to do. That’s why the presentdent hasn’t weighed in)

    4.WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Union thugs are butt hurt that people have caught on to their scheme. Poor babies.

    5. Wait, you meant that we pay taxes so that teachers can pay unions to help elect politicians that keep giving them raises in exchange for continuing help in getting elected. That sounds awesome! Maybe while they’re giving it to me up the ass they can have the common courtesy to give me a reach around? NO? Well, ok, but can you at least tell them to stop calling me a slut? NO? “sigh”
    Bill Gates recently had some thoughts on this issue. (hey even blind squirrels find a nut every now and then.) See here –

    I’d be willing to start with these ideas, but first we have to dethrone the unions, because, and I know you’ll be surprised by this, but they are against pretty much every point he mentions.

    • Alright, would the true conservative in the room, please stand up? And present your answers? Here’s my rebuttal:
      1. To be a halfway decent teacher, you’re putting in 50 hours a week on salary. You can’t do all the lesson planning, sub planning and grading and teaching in 40 hours, unless you just don’t care. And that’s not to be the teacher that gets made into a boring movie, that’s just doing your job. Plus, teachers need to have the respect of the clasroom, or they don’t move ahead with the teaching. And don’t give me market motivation crap about a classroom, this isn’t factory work. It’s more like already contracted work, where they do a set job that was bid already. Only the owner keeps throwing extra work on the job for no extra, because the teacher is obviously lazy. So stop whining about teachers.
      2. Duh mean you agree.
      3. Silence means you agree.
      4. An imitation of how my scenario plays out, means you agree that my facts are correct.
      5. see #4
      I’m so glad that we’re all on the same page here!

  2. Pingback: Repost: When Teachers Cheat « mikeisaacson

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