I have really appreciated the feedback on my last post. Almost all of it has been positive and I know many of you passed it onto friends. I wanted to do a shorter post responding to some of the feedback.
1) I am not blindly loyal to teachers unions. Like most teachers, I recognize the flaws in many teachers unions, particularly the support for unwieldy bureaucracies too far removed from the daily interaction of student and teacher. My main point was to give voice to the underlying motivation behind collective bargaining and union protections. I feel, together with thousands of others, that the attempt to weaken that linchpin of unions under the guise of a budget/economic crisis in no way caused by collective bargaining, is wrong. Reform unions? Yes. Gut them? Now you are talkin’ fighting words.
2) Unions as a percentage of the national work force have been steadily declining, yet union bashing as a percentage of conservative political speech has stayed steady. Why is that? Why does the scapegoating continue while obvious culprits of the economic meltdown continue to get a free pass?
3) I hold President Obama and many of the leaders of the Democratic Party partly responsible for the scapegoating of unions and federal workers. By failing to tap into the justifiable rage over the economic meltdown, and failing to effectively connect that rage to the true sources of our collapse, he has given that rage continued life.
4) If you are looking for a clear, concise article to share with friends that challenges some of the reigning myths about federal employees in particular, you can’t do better than this article from last December.