What The Market Will Bear (A Rant)
And I am only worth 5 figures (and low ones at that)?
Why does he have even the remotest possibility of working again in his field?
And even if he is not rehired by the NFL - he's made a fortune (if he managed it correctly) and needn't work at all. But he will no doubt work at something. He'll make tons of dough. He'll peddle his story; he'll crop up on talk shows and as some sort of "expert." He may even play the mea culpa game and become the new darling of the masses.
Yet I worry that due to budget cuts, I may not get all my classes in the fall - thus reducing my income (and potentially eliminating my health benefits).
Why is that?
It's what the market will bear. Capitalism tells us that an athlete, even a tarnished athlete,is worth far, far more than a teacher.
What does that tell us about capitalism? Our value system?
I was at my family's reunion over the weekend, and once again had to listen to one family member knock my profession.
I hear this all the time: You knew it was a low-paying job when you took it. If you're stupid enough to do that job for that kind of money -then that's what you deserve.
And what if I, and others like me, took our brains (for yes, we are the intellectually elite) and our education (yes, we are highly educated) and left academia. What if we walked out full force - all of us - from K-12 and through the postsecondary ed system - just walked out?
Who would teach the nurses? The politicians? The other teachers? The business moguls? The administrative assistants? The government workers? The market analysts? The stock brokers? The mortgage brokers? The business managers?
And don't tell me that clearly, we did a lousy job educating some of those folks (just look at the mess we're in now, you'll say - didn't educators educate the people who caused this mess?). We don't teach morals and values (contrary to what the far-right seems to think - that we do teach such things and of course teach the WRONG ones). I teach my students to think, to examine, to explore -and come to their own decisions. Some of them do well with that; others ... turn into scumbags. But they were really scumbags before they walked through the door of my classroom.
What would the city, county, state, country do if all the underpaid and under-valued educators walked out?
Where would your capitalist and what-the-market-will-bear attitude be then?