The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Saturday, February 07, 2004

In my previous post I referred to "scandalized denunciations" of the Merc's reporting that 87% of Silicon Valley teachers own their own homes. Here's one example:

Your front-page article about teacher housing will effectively kill any opportunity that might have existed to pass a parcel tax to help teachers with housing. ...

You'll have to excuse me if I don't burst into tears. When driving home last night I heard a radio ad exhorting people not to shop at Albertson's or Safeway, in order to assist striking grocery workers in Southern California. I was aware of this dispute and was listening with one ear until the end of the commerical, when it was announced that the ad was paid for by the California Teachers' Association! If the teachers' union has enough money that they can interfere in someone else's labor dispute -- possibly increasing the price of teachers' groceries while doing so -- it's hard to see why taxpayers should be asked to give them a raise.

I often complain that government schools are a monopoly, in that parents are assigned a particular public school to which they must send their child. But there are analogous monopsony drawbacks as well. In the 14 years that I have lived in California, I have worked for three different employers in the city of Mountain View. But if I wanted to work for the Mountain View public school system, I would have one choice of employer. How would I like it if there were one computer software company that was allowed to hire people in the city of Mountain View? Not very much.



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