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Travis Rowley: Fire Radical Teachers

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Denying local taxpayers of what they have paid them to do – educate their children – dozens of North Kingstown teachers took to the picket line this week in solidarity with school janitors, who recently received an “average salary cut of $13,000” after the local school committee decided to privatize the town’s custodial services.

As it’s illegal for public servants to strike, every teacher that joined the resistance this week should have been fired on the spot.

And not a second thought should have been given to the quality of education that would result in such a decision. After 75 Central Falls teachers were fired in 2010, “roughly 800 applications” came pouring in – entirely discrediting the unions’ longstanding insistence that wages must remain at their current levels in order to retain good teachers.

Organized government employees can continue their distortion of reality all they want, but they are hardly the victims they portend to be. Rather, they are a corrupt, overpaid, brainwashed, and overly protected class of public servants.

Another economic truism that labor religionists resist is the fact that, if the North Kingstown school committee was to truly offer insufficient benefits and wages to their custodians, then nobody would volunteer for the jobs.

he value of any worker is the wage that he agrees to. This societal arrangement is what is known as the free market system, practiced by the 85 percent of the nation’s workforce that doesn’t suffer from organized labor’s third-party interference. It is a system that values competition and individualism, drives down the cost of living, and lifts the standard of living – for everyone.

In the wake of North Kingstown’s successful privatization of this particular workforce, perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Why were North Kingstown’s janitors being so overpaid for all these years?

“All You Have To Do Is Raise Taxes”

Socialists will have nothing to do with economic liberty, free markets, or “privatization.” That’s where unions come in.

Teachers and janitors this week were being organized by two corrupt rackets – the National Education Association (NEA-RI) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Speaking before a crowd, one female union leader suspected that the entire ordeal is “more about union busting, [that’s] what it’s really about.”

Or maybe the NK school committee is just trying to balance its books, and lower costs for the taxpayers.

Perhaps it’s understandable, however, that labor leaders would simply assume anti-union motivations. After all, I’ve yet to meet a union boss that believes there is even such a thing as “budget problems.” In order to support broken town budgets and unfunded pension systems, public-union progressives have continuously supported every tax-the-rich measure proposed by General Assembly Democrats. And several years ago, former East Providence school committee chairman Anthony Carcieri reported that – after the town’s dire economic conditions were divulged to leading figures within the teachers union – Jeanette Woolley of the NEA-RI “stuck a finger in [Carcieri’s] face” and said, “Don’t you dare tell us that you can’t afford to pay us. All you have to do is raise taxes.”

Keeping in mind the unions’ reflex to solve every problem with another assault on the taxpayers, perhaps it’s time for school committees throughout the state to validate labor leaders’ concerns. In other words, they should engage in “union busting” – otherwise known as “giving taxpayers control over their government.”

Government unions are not only inconsistent with the purposes of organized labor, they’re also instruments of tyranny and public debt. In a free society, public employees (the government) should never have undue power over the taxpayers and their local budgets.

Radical Associations

Before firing all the teachers, however, perhaps it would be fair to make them aware of the types of people standing beside them at the picket line.

This writer has previously laid out the radical ideology and ethics that guides the NEA, perhaps best exemplified by the fact that Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book that praises Lucifer on its early pages – is on this particular union’s recommended reading list. Rules for Radicals is, essentially, a guidebook for community organizers that instructs them to deceive people in order to advance political agendas.

Even more intriguing is “Justice for Janitors,” an outfit of the SEIU. Intertwined with radical community organizing groups such as ACORN, the SEIU’s president emeritus is Andy Stern, who once said, “There are opportunities in America to share better in the wealth, to rebalance the power. And unions and government are part of the solution.” “Workers of the world unite, it’s not just a slogan anymore,” Stern has explained. “It’s a way we’re going to have to do our work.” Stern is also known as an unapologetic champion of organized labor’s culture of thuggery, making remarks such as, “We took names! We watched how they voted! We know where they live!” He has boasted, “We’re trying to use the power of persuasion. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to use the persuasion of power.”

Just as radical as Stern is former SEIU boss Steve Lerner, the architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign. Last year, Justice for Janitors turned up in New York City, openly invoking the instruction laid out by Marxist Ivy League professors Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward in the 1960s – that is, to purposely orchestrate a “profound financial and political crisis” in order to affect change. Activists involved with Justice for Janitors were calling for conditions of “un-governability.” According to them, that’s what makes “poor people’s movements…successful…And then you win victories.”

In New York City, Lerner spoke to a crowd of community organizers about their scheme to “disrupt and create uncertainty” and “bring down the stock market” and “disrupt how the system operates” and “start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement” by calling on “community groups” to “organ[ize] homeowners en masse to do a mortgage strike” “in cities around the country” in order to “redistribute wealth and power” and “put banks at the edge of insolvency again” and “literally cause a new financial crisis.”

That’s Justice for Janitors. That’s the SEIU. These are the people hanging around outside North Kingstown High School – radical anti-capitalists standing arm-in-arm with run-of-the mill union bosses and dozens of duped labor loyalists.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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