As civil servants, public school teachers relinquish parents as clients — an arrangement most conducive to tending to the individual educational demands of children — and substitute for them the government. Teachers thus enter into a reciprocal tyranny with the government such that, while they suffer themselves from the arbitrary policies and restraints of a centralized authority, they reap the benefits of a monopoly political influence over elected politicians sensitive to the damaging popular effects of disruptions to their manufactured sacred cow. In either case, however, each side is compensated by the other either with money or control — commodities which both covet — but it is the taxpayer and the parent who formerly owned both that suffer the most without any compensation. Terence Corcoran provides a shining example of this in today's Financial Post:
[An] important source of tyranny and absolutism in the school system is the fact that the teachers are under Civil Service. As a result, once a formal examination is passed — and this has little relation to actual teaching competence — and a little time elapses, the teacher is on the public payroll, and foisted on the children for the rest of his working life. The government bureaucracy has fostered Civil Service as an extraordinarily powerful tool of entrenchment and permanent domination. Tyranny by majority vote may be unpleasant enough, but at least if the rulers are subject to democratic checks, they have to please the majority of the voters. But government officials who cannot be voted out at the next election are not subject to any democratic check whatever. They are permanent tyrants. "Taking something out of politics" by putting it under Civil Service certainly does "increase the morale" of the bureaucracy. It elevates them into near-perpetual absolute rulers in their sphere of activity. The fact that teachers are under Civil Service is one of the most damning indictments against the American compulsory system of today.
Read the rest here. They've got your children and your taxes… so what are you going to negotiate with?
The same crises that plague private pensions — brought on by the same wonky assumptions, unfavourable laws and mounting deficits — is ripping through government-run plans. The big difference is that while private sector plans such as Nortel's must face funding realities, governments and their unions are looking at limitless supplies of taxpayer cash to bail them out.
Crossposted at Dust my Broom
Friday, June 30, 2006
Posted by MapMaster on Friday, June 30, 2006