February 18, 2011

Hey Wisconsin Students: Not your fight

A bill that is being hotly protested in Wisconsin is also a bill that is not being hotly debated as Democrats have fled the state rather than debate the bill. What's really lacking in these protests is some common sense from some of the protesters - the students. Teacher's unions of course you would expect them to say that the Governor is going to ruin the state - he's going to change their state of ease and comfort. But students, this is not your fight.

Firstly, the students protesting limiting teachers' collective bargaining rights are upset about what exactly? Their education? Higher teacher pay means fewer teachers can be afforded and therefore a higher student to teacher ratio. Does that sound like a better education? The argument that you want the best teachers and have to pay for it is more reasonable but it is still a flawed position. That's because with collective bargaining you are raising the pay for the bad teachers along with the good ones. The free market would better ensure that a really good teacher got really good pay, and a bad one didn't get well, any.  That would mean you would be ensuring that you were getting what you paid for.

Secondly, the argument that the Governor is trying to take away voters/taxpayers voices is not valid - he won the election on promises of cutting costs (among other things). You are the ones trying to stifle the voice of the majority within your state. The Governor is not firing state workers. He's simply asking for restrictions on their bargaining chips which frankly have been far too powerful and have helped lead to this state fiscal crisis.

Thirdly, I'm sure Republicans are eager to start pointing fingers at Democrats for shutting down the state government because votes can't take place. That makes the delays self-defeating. And this is not Egypt. You are not protesting for freedom the way many (not all) of the protesters in the Middle East are protesting. You are protesting cost savings. Don't try to manufacture a popular uprising when a protest of 25,000 people in a state with a population of 5.6 million. You're not fooling anyone and you won't win.

Lastly, you are not your teachers. Chances are you won't end up being a public employee or a union member, let alone both. Not if you focus on your own education rather than your teacher's wallet.  That's something to think about hopefully.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disagreement is always welcome. Please remain civil. Vulgar or disrespectful comments towards anyone will be removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This