The Daily Show: Crisis in Dairyland: For Richer or Poorer (Teachers and Wall Street)

Thank you for “getting it” and expressing it in such a way that makes people laugh…then think. 🙂

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6 responses to “The Daily Show: Crisis in Dairyland: For Richer or Poorer (Teachers and Wall Street)

  • Kendrick Macdowell

    Brutally funny, as Stewart typically is. But I’m not sure what we’re supposed to “get.” Stewart’s brilliant comedic riff very shrewdly, but inaccurately, makes this dispute an “anti-teacher” issue, mindful that Americans have a strongly favorable view of teachers. Yes, Milwaukee teachers make north of six figures in salary and benefits.
    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/04/maciver-institute/maciver-institute-says-average-annual-salary-and-b/.

    The core dispute, however, is not with the teachers, but the teachers union, and what that union does with its enormous treasury. In addition to being the leading special interest lobby group, in money and hours, in the state of Wisconsin, http://gab.wi.gov/node/1283, and being a relentless money and organizational juggernaut for the Democratic party, the teachers union “protects” its members with this kind of nonsense: filing a lawsuit claiming that exclusion of Viagra from health insurance plans constitutes sex discrimination against male employees.
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/100108249.html.

    Quite apart from the cost of the ridiculous lawsuit, the cost of adding Viagra to the health insurance plans would be $786,000 per year – the cost to keep perhaps a dozen first-year teachers employed. The teachers union needs it wings clipped. It’s an organization that cares first and foremost about its own power, not the best interests of the teachers it professes to represent.

    • lbwoodgate

      “The teachers union needs it wings clipped. It’s an organization that cares first and foremost about its own power, not the best interests of the teachers it professes to represent.”

      That would appear to be the case in this particular instance Kendrick but this detracts from other issues that are more legitimate than whether male members are unfairly discriminated against. I would side with you and others who point out that such medical coverage is a waste of tax payer money in lieu of teachers being laid off. And I think most people who oppose Gov. Walker’s efforts to kill the unions collective bargaining rights would agree too.

      But let’s stay focused. This is not about what some perceive as too much power by unions as it is a concerted effort by corporations with conservative biases to quash an entity that tends to donate to their adversaries, the Democrats.

      Let’s also remember that the public union workers out there protesting would probably not be there in the first place had not Walker and his Koch Bros. friendly Republicans cooked this crisis up by pushing “through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January.”

      The “austerity” measures Walker and his senate and state house GOP buddies are pushing through have been questioned by Wisconsin’s state fiscal bureau.

      “The state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.

      ‘Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,’ says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.” SOURCE

      So I would challenge your contention that the “core dispute, however, is not with the teachers, but the teachers union, and what that union does with its enormous treasury” and is, or should be, more about what corporate interests are trying to do to eliminate what little power some middle income families have to protect their self-interets by pointing out singular aspects of the unions that appear odious on the surface.

      The public employees union has conceded every monetary request Walker has made. What has big business conceded?

    • SpinnyLiberal

      I read about that ridiculous lawsuit. The Union’s power with the Democrat party is huge of course. And big pharma and health insurance companies has tremendous power with the GOP. For both sides, they are our money “wells” and look out for themselves. In the end, the teachers “benefit” from the Union effort. Not as much as the Union itself, I’m sure. Those “Cadillac” benefits are to make up for the “Pinto” salaries. Stewart pointed out that the Right pundits kept talking about $250K not being “rich,” so they shouldn’t get the tax hike. So upwards of 6 figures – let’s say $110K – for teachers. What would the pundits say about that total compensation?

      They won’t say anything because they know it’s far from “not rich.” Instead, they’ll point to how the school system sucks and how it’s failed the children. How the bad teachers are kept because of their union contracts. This is where we get to the anti-teacher part of it, however thinly veiled. They only work 9 months out of the year, all those holidays, and those sweet contracts. And our kids are still doing poorly. In that clip with Diane Ravitch, she points out a huge factor in student performance – poverty.

      Anyway, people may hate the unions, but they still represent the little guy – teachers, police officers, fire fighters. They will get the shaft in the end.

  • lyttleton

    This feels like the next issue for Jon Stewart to make his own (like the 9/11 First Responders Health Bill), where, if he really digs in with his biting satire and insight, he could make a huge impact. It’s clear he has a passion for the issue.

    Of course, the health bill was tied directly to New York, and his impact in other states (specifically the conservative-leaning ones) may be negligible. But this is what The Daily Show does best these days: Bringing light to the serious abuse of power that almost uniformly benefits the rich.

    • SpinnyLiberal

      I hope so too. He might because his mom is a teacher.

      It’s awesome that he is bringing these issues to light. Kinda sad that it takes a comedian for people to listen. After the forcible rape thing, his commentary, plus a lot of angry calls made them drop the adjective.

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