Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Open Letter to the State of Wisconsin

To the People of the State of Wisconsin:

I must be candid with you. Today, your state embarrassed itself before the entire Union. In the face of a crisis, many of your public "servants" acted in a manner unbecoming of officials charged with protecting the public's welfare. Yes, 14 of your Senators (all belonging to a particular party recently removed by a free election) fled your state, an act of sheer cowardice that justly became a source of derision throughout the other 49 states. Whereas Democrats in some other states, notably Andrew Quomo in my own state of Ne York, have had the courage to face facts and propose the tough measures necessary to counter them, your party of the Left literally ran away from the problem.

This will be the story largely seen on the news, but a far worse tragedy is occurring. Many of your schools were shut down today, not due to any physical factor but because thousands of your teachers put their own needs before those of their students. As a man seeking a position teaching history, this leaves me thunderstruck. Supposedly, these protests are "about the children!" How are your students better served by the public funding teacher pensions? How are your students better served by collective bargaining? How are your students better served by not dealing with the $3 billion in debt hanging over their heads?

Everyone knows the answer: the students are not served. Of all people, those educating our children should be aware of the financial situation most Americans and their governments find themselves in. Millions have lost work or taken part time jobs; very few have seen raises; almost all have taken huge hits in terms of their retirement. For any public employee to complain about having a public paid pension at this juncture is unacceptable behavior. Public employees should be grateful to have a job, a pension, and health care; many, many of their fellow citizens lack these necessities. To demand more from those who have so little to begin with is surely not the message we should be sending your state's children. Public employees live off of the work of their fellow citizens via taxation; when the citizenry faces tough times, public workers need to understand this and make appropriate accommodations, always keeping in mind their privileged position concerning pay and benefits.

I humbly offer my services to any Wisconsin school district seeking a dedicated history teacher who understands the privilege of teaching and the responsibility of collecting a paycheck from taxpayers. So long as school is in session and I am physically capable of educating, you will find me in the classroom eager to teach. History is my passion; I try to teach even without a paycheck due to my belief that only a citizenry educated in history will be capable of maintaining freedom and a democratic form of government.

There are such educators out there. If the union rules can be removed, such teachers can replace those only dedicated to the paycheck and the pension. That would best serve the needs of your students.

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