Teacher Strike During Depression

John Seiler:

California’s out-of-control government unions just can’t help themselves. The La Habra Education Association struck last week, but is going back on the job as Christmas Vacation approaches. Might as well get paid for not working.

The school district is calling for 2% pay cuts. Given the imminent cuts in the state budget, which will hit schools hard, that’s reasonable. It’s more than reasonable. Compare that to the 100% pay cuts millions of Californian taxpayers have suffered as they have been laid off or fired during the Depression.

Thousands of teachers have been laid off across the state. So there’s no shortage of substitute teachers to fill in for the strikers. Unions call strike-breakers “scabs.” But if your family is starving, any job looks good.

And union members themselves should bear much of the blame. Their unions backed the record wild government spending at the national and state levels that is a major (but not the only) cause of this Depression. (Other national causes: Bankrupting wars that have lasted almost a decade; inflation and artificially low interest rates by the Federal Reserve Board; unpredictable tax policies; over-regulation; general anti-business attitude under Democrats and Republicans.)

The teachers in La Habra seem to think this is 2006, when property values were skyrocketing, state revenues were pouring in record amounts, Arnold had “terminated” every single state trouble and Nirvana had arrived so why not overspend? It was a delusion, of course, as unreal as the plot of one of his ridiculous movies.

Now things are different. Treasuries are empty. Taxpayers are broke. Tens of millions stand in unemployment lines. All government workers are going to have to take even heftier cuts in pay, perks and pensions — or lose their jobs.

Welcome to the real world, Neo.

Dec. 15, 2010

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