Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It’s the Socialism, Stupid!

Here is an interesting post from The Heritage Foundation.  The key part is as follows:

But a new paper by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. and Andrew Biggs addresses the question of teacher pay head on and asks whether teachers today receive the right level of pay. They find that when benefits such as tenure, health care, and pensions are considered, the typical public-school teacher is well-paid: “We conclude that public-school-teacher salaries are comparable to those paid to similarly skilled private-sector workers, but that more generous fringe benefits for public-school teachers, including greater job security, make total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to taxpayers each year.”

The same study goes on to say:

While union contracts help secure overcompensation for the average teacher, they may still leave the most valuable teachers underpaid. School administrators need to be able to hire and fire teachers as needed, basing personnel decisions on rigorous value-added evaluations and setting pay based on prevailing market rates.

But why should this surprise anyone?  It could be predicted without a study.  With government school teachers we have what is perhaps the worst of all possible situations:  socialism in bed with a union.  The devilish children of such a mating will always be horrible inefficiency and great cost to taxpayers.

We sometimes forget that governments owning schools – which they very directly do in most k-12 schooling – is the classic definition of ‘socialism.’

I have always wondered about the mentality of the person demanding more.  If teaching at a government school doesn’t pay as much as you want, why not try something else?  The study reveals the answer:  you are more likely to get more by lobbying the socialist state than by anything else you might do.

I am often amused by the constant calls of well-meaning people to ‘reform’ various school systems.  Hints of that appear in the second quote from the study above.

But you can’t ‘reform’ your way out of socialism.  Giving new power to officials in a socialist school system will not cure the problem.  The problem is socialism.  The ills of government schools are very predictable, and will be persistent, as long as we insist on using the socialist model.

To expect otherwise borders on insanity.

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