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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:12 AM

 

Why The Rich Need To Scapegoat Teachers (& public employees, & union members, & workers generally)

Every once in a while, the corporate media goes too far and gives away the game: this is apparently a real thing from the Wall Street Journal.



The Onion couldn't top this. Whether it's the sad faces of all these put-upon dejected rich people, or the elderly minority couple who is depressed despite not paying extra taxes (or was that the point?), or the distressed single Asian lady making $230,000 who might not be able to buy that extra designer pantsuit this year, or the "single mother" making $260,000 whose kids presumably have a deadbeat, indigent dad just like any other poor family...mockery is almost superfluous. The thing mocks itself. That $650,000 family in particular is bizarre to the point of incredulity: those people could literally stop working entirely, live extremely well on $180,000 while doing nothing but watching television all day and staying home with their kids, and leave their high-salary jobs with their oh-so-onerous tax requirements to people who actually appreciate them.


David Atkins gets it exactly right when he says that this is a media problem. They actually think this is a legitimate and relevant point of view for a majority of Americans. That we are all worried that we might have to get by with $180K in our golden years: "Dear lord, if I retire and I have to play on a public course, I don't know what I'll do..."

Since this is mostly an education blog, let me add this: the average teacher salary in America for 2011 was $56,069. It is, however, apparently well-worth the time and attention of the media to debate and debate and debate and debate whether or not teachers are overpaid. This is would be the same media that thinks it's important to spell out the horrible fate of those making $650K having to pay $21K more in taxes.

But even aside from this: the self-pity of the 1% can only be enabled with the assistance of a scapegoat. Someone has to take the blame for the vast inequity and chronic poverty of this country. But it can't be the wealthy; why, look at them! They're just as besieged as everyone else! They feel your pain, because they're living it too!

Clearly, the problem isn't that one-third of working families may not have enough money to meet basic needs, or that "the top 1 percent earned 93 percent of all new income while the bottom 99 percent shared the remaining 7 percent. "* No, the problem is... uh... let's see.... Oh, yeah, it's the teachers! Because if everyone went to college, we'd all be making college wages...! This is transparently stupid, but the media elites are running with it: if we had better teachers, the economy would fire right up, and all of this unseemly talk about getting the wealthy to pay more in taxes could just disappear.

It never occurs to these people that we actually need truck drivers and brick layers and home health care aides and sales clerks and shelf stockers and construction workers and waiters and millions of other people to do tough but necessary jobs. And that these people deserve living wages and health care and good schools for their kids and a retirement with dignity. And that making every child "college or career ready" won't do a thing to make their lives better. We need living wage legislation, single payer health care, true progressive taxation, a huge investment in public infrastructure to create jobs, cheap college for those who are qualified, high-quality affordable child care, a full employment policy, expansion of union membership and a bunch of other stuff people way smarter than me can add to this list. We have more than enough money to do all this and to keep incentives for a thriving, well-regulated capitalist system. We've done it before as a country and we could do it again. We have a choice: fix this, or keep blaming teachers for problems they didn't create and can't fix. What's it gonna be, folks?

http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2013/01/why-rich-need-to-scapegoat-teachers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JerseyJazzman+%28Jersey+Jazzman%29

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why The Rich Need To Scapegoat Teachers (& public employees, & union members, & workers generally) (Original post)
HiPointDem Jan 2013 OP
onethatcares Jan 2013 #1
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #2
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #3
Walk away Jan 2013 #4
JHB Jan 2013 #9
Walk away Jan 2013 #16
JHB Jan 2013 #17
Squinch Jan 2013 #5
dotymed Jan 2013 #6
4Q2u2 Jan 2013 #7
BrainDrain Jan 2013 #8
srican69 Jan 2013 #11
ProfessionalLeftist Jan 2013 #10
d_r Jan 2013 #12
d_r Jan 2013 #14
Ishoutandscream2 Jan 2013 #13
hootinholler Jan 2013 #15
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #18

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:42 AM

1. anytime I see income numbers like that

I wonder why the turnip truck just didn't run over me when I was birthed.

Jeeeeeez, I can't even imagine having an agi of 60K let alone 180K.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:49 AM

2. THIS needs to be our priority

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:36 AM

3. +1

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:36 AM

4. If the retired couple are making $52,000 a year in investment income...

and Social Security on top of that...where are they getting the other $90,000 a year? I would love to know because I would love to retire someday!

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Response to Walk away (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:35 AM

9. $25K of that is deductions, the other $65K would be, one might guess...

...annuities of some sort, IRA, pension, etc.

Still doing very well by the standards of us mere mortals.

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Response to JHB (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:39 PM

16. I was hoping that there was some magic upper class money tree...

that I wasn't privy to. I guess I'll have to go back to the lottery line!

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Response to Walk away (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:49 PM

17. There is, but unless already have it growing out of your ass...

...or graft one on via marriage, it ain't so magic for you (nor me).

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:42 AM

5. kick

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:11 AM

6. K&R +1000

This is exactly how our country should and could operate.
We the people can make this happen despite the corporatist PTB (yes, there really are powers that be, who manipulate our world and control the perceptions, etc..)
Wow, it might take us getting off of our asses and acting collectively (millions of us, we don't have to travel far if the majority of us decide to act as one) to demand these changes. We would be surprised at how fast these changes would occur IF we went on an all inclusive strike.
Plan it in advance. Stock up on a weeks worth of food, get some movies..etc. Within a week of a total shut-down, "our" govt. would get the message and begin work on it. We could return to our regular lives with a dead-line when our demands will be met. If they are not met, we may have to increase the strike.
I know how must of us live week to week so it will be a sacrifice, but well worth it.
Of course,most of the wealthy will have to forced to sacrifice so that Average Americans can live decent lives. I think a one week shut-down will make "our" legislators pass some laws quickly. It would definitely make our country more like other developed nations. There the govt. is afraid of the people. Here the people are afraid of "our" govt. Unless they are wealthy.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:30 AM

7. I need to quit my Job

I guess being a working guy does not pay nearly as well as being a cartoon. Hell it looks like I could divorce my wife and would get a pay raise. Does the WSJ have mandatory drug testing. Why are all the people in the Cartoon scowling or frowning, if I made even close to that money I would be smiling and would not miss 5 grand. Hell I will even make a guarantee with the Repubs, pay me like that guy in the cartoon and I will pay the taxes and the 22,000 dollar increase happily.

I am a blue collar guy in the trades, my apprenticeship was 4 yrs long. Consisting of 8,000 hrs of OJT (40hrs/wk x 4yrs).
Classroom requirements of 2,000 hrs over 4 yrs. A lot of time and effort went to my education as well, but many times the Engineers would look down their noses at us and complain that we made to much money. Not understanding that after our wages were cut they were next. All thought that thier college degree would save them from that fate. The saddest and worst part about all of this is how much could those Bankers, Financiers, and Industrialist do sitting outside in the dirt with a soup can and a string if we did not build the building and networks that allow them to do what they do. I guess making someones dream come true does not pay as well as people thought.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:34 AM

8. OMFG!

I have NEVER in all my working life, be it when I was single or married come anywhere near the numbers given in that totally out of touch cartoon. I am an IT pro and my wife is a PHD teacher and our combined salaries don't amout to even a third of what they say a couple earns. I WISH we made 650K, shit I wish we made 200k.

These people don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

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Response to BrainDrain (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:43 AM

11. i feel that i have majorly screwed up in life when i see numbers like that...

i may not be street smart..but i have done evening else as expected...went to college...did my mba...iam still struggling

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:38 AM

10. Hey give me that "poor" $230,000/year and DOUBLE the taxes

I'll take it. Sheesh.

THIS is what they want to call 'middle class' now?

That makes 99% of America very poor.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:47 AM

12. another graphic from that same wall street journal article


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578220132665726040.html#project%3DCLIFFTAXES0102%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive

Look at the percentage increases for the different scenarios. With just the roll back from payroll tax, the percentages of the low income people's go up much greater than for the high income - look at the working poor couple, their taxes go up 446%; the high income couple's tax rate goes up only 3.9%

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Response to d_r (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:56 AM

14. and in the graphic in the OP

that crazy assed thing.

For the two single people, the tax increases are about 1% of their income, for the married couple w/kids about 3 percent.

Now, I'm not complaining about the roll back of the payroll tax, I understand why that had to happen, I understand that was temporary, I understand I'll hope to get social security someday. But the reality that was a 2% increase in my salary which is fractions of these people's. So we real people get the end result of a bigger percentage off our dinner table than this rich folks do.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:51 AM

13. Look how sad and pathetic they look!

Like they don't know where their next meal is coming from. What a horrible disconnect?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:03 AM

15. WHy is the retired couple with 180K/yr sad?

Their taxes stayed the same.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:02 PM

18. they're sad for their class

 

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