Two groups that have been spoken about often during the 2020 pandemic have been school teachers and restaurant workers. Though both groups have a large number currently not working, the two groups are dramatically different in how they have been treated by our governments. Let’s take a look at the difference and compare/contrast their realities.
School teachers are largely public employees and they principally belong to public employee unions. It is estimated there are more than four million teachers in our country. They are principally represented by two unions – National Education Association (NEA) with 2.2 million members and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) with 1.7 million members. In the well-known ruling (Janus), the Supreme Court made it illegal for these unions to command membership. The unions (in cahoots with state governments and local school districts) have placed significant obstacles in front of anyone wanting to opt out. Teachers have their money taken out of their paychecks beginning the very first day on the job. Those funds are used to buy political influence at the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Some say the teachers’ unions are the largest contributors to Democrats with only meager amounts going to Republicans.
The teacher’s unions have largely stated their members will not work during the pandemic. Initially the California division of the unions stated not only would they stay home but wanted certain public policies to be changed before returning to the classroom. They demanded single-payer, government-provided healthcare; full funding for housing California’s homeless; a shutdown to publicly funded, privately operated charter schools; and a new set of programs to address systemic racism. To pay for all this, they want a 1% wealth tax, a 3% income surtax on millionaires, and increased property taxes on businesses. They also want $250 million from the federal government unions. At least the people of California voted down the property tax increases.
The remainder of policies are in the hands of their hand-picked California legislature and the federal government. At the federal level they have possibly the biggest political harlot in American history, Speaker Pelosi, on their side. She has told the world that it is dangerous for teachers to return to the classroom. She knows that is a lie, but she stands in front of a mic and states it anyway because she is owned by the national unions.
We now have the science that it is harmful for the kids staying home. They have little chance of exposing their teachers to COVID and their teachers have little chance of getting the disease from the kids. Once again the party of science uses it when it is convenient.
The teachers still refuse to return for a couple reasons. The unions are socialist organizations. They insist on treating every teacher the same in compensation despite the variance in their skills. STEM teachers are paid the same as others despite the higher demand and specialized knowledge. The thing that is honored by the unions is seniority. Thus, they refuse to return to the classroom because the teachers who are over 50 years old have a higher level of risk from the disease even though the risk is still extremely low until you reach the age of 70. There are few, if any, teachers at that age because they have retired to receive their government funded pension and rich health care plans.
The second reason they have not returned to the classrooms is the teachers are receiving full pay, health insurance and pension while on this prolonged self-imposed vacation. Some are trying to teach remotely, but that has proven to be an abject failure. The “mask” of the teachers caring about the students has been fully ripped off for everyone to see. They belong to a union that is racist and cares only about its members.
The Los Angeles School system has now been closed down without any science behind it.
Then there are the restaurant workers. There are an estimated 13.5 million of them. The life of many of these workers since March has been go home, stay home, hope your employer gets a PPP loan, wait for a call back, get a call back, shut down again, wait for a call back, try to look for another job, can’t find another job, get a call back, feel fortunate you are one of the few, have to work outside where the seats are far away from the kitchen, customers complain their food is cold because you had to bring it from the kitchen a long distance away, sweat to death because it is 100 degrees outside and you are walking back and forth, then the weather turns and you are delivering the food in 45 degrees. Then you are shut down again. You ask why. Your employer asks why. You get nothing but orders from the health department. You cannot understand. Your employer and you have taken every precaution, but you are sitting at home again hoping to get unemployment benefits that take forever to arrive. Then you find out your restaurant has closed for good. It could not survive the constant turmoil brought on by government edicts and excessive costs to comply.
Small business in America has extremely high favorability rating ranging to near 90%. Despite that elected officials crap on them all the time. A lot of them mouth platitudes about small business during their campaigns then do everything to stall them, harm them and put them out of business.
Two national health officials validated what we knew already — There is no science that outdoor dining is a risk for COVID contraction. Yet California and officials of other states shut down restaurants and their workers.
There were 660,700 restaurants in America in 2018. The National Restaurant Association has estimated that 110,000 restaurants have closed permanently. It has been estimated that 50% of full service restaurants will permanently close. Drive down the street and see the “for sale” and “for lease” signs on restaurant after restaurant. Another shutdown, with no science behind it, will kill off an even greater number as body blow after body blow cannot be endured. They will cause the permanent loss of millions of jobs and people scrambling to figure out how they will support themselves. The workers will not be receiving paychecks nor will they be receiving health insurance and pension contributions like the public-school teachers.
Though people love small businesses and the workers at their restaurants and similar businesses, they keep electing these politicians who make it challenging on a normal day to start and run their businesses and have done so much during the pandemic to harm them. Hundreds of people can walk around a Costco while restaurants cannot even have 25% capacity with significant safeguards for customers and workers. Why is that? Simply a function of money lining elected officials’ pockets.
Public school teachers’ unions have been a blight upon our society for years. In previous columns, we have delineated how racist these unions have become. The problem is largely generated because parents like their kid’s teacher while not acknowledging they enable these racists unions to exist. The parents think their kid’s teacher cares when it has become quite clear they only care about themselves. If you belong to these despotic unions, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Stop coddling them. They are not your friend nor your kid’s friend.
Instead, start giving your local busser, server, cook, chef, restaurant owner the love they deserve and demand that your elected officials do as well. If anything, this pandemic has shown they are the people who are there for you, care about you and take the personal risks to make your life better.