April 20, 2010


They’re the kind of obscenity-laced schoolyard taunts that could get a student suspended.

But the target of this tirade is New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie — and the perpetrators are the state’s teachers, irate over his calls for salary freezes and funding cuts for schools.

In Facebook messages visible to the world — not to mention their students — the teachers have called Christie fat, compared him to a genocidal dictator and wished he was dead. The postings are often riddled with bad grammar and misspellings.


UPDATE: Reader Neil Sorens writes:

With public sector employment, it is easy to blame the governor/mayor/legislature/etc. for budget cuts that affect your pay or employment, or to blame voters for opposing policies that directly benefit you. Someone who opposes that tax increase that would allow you to keep your job is automatically a heartless bastard (and, most certainly, completely wrong about the issue).

With private sector employment, we can’t always put a human face on the root cause of detrimental effects on our livelihood. We may blame the company leadership, the President/governor, taxes, outsourcing, or just the fickleness of “the economy.”

That’s not to say I support the cause of the public sector employees. Rather, I think that these quirks of human nature are what makes it dangerous to allow the public sector to grow so large.

For example, the problem here in California is that the public sector unions have grown so large and are so politically active that they are unstoppable through normal democratic means. Some people may have the sense to vote for fewer teachers, or less money for public safety, but fiscal sanity can be a difficult cause to rally behind, especially when your opponent is equipped with money, votes, a single-minded purpose, and an emotionally appealing message. We simply have to wait for them to consume everything and then turn on each other, we have to move elsewhere…both of which are happening now.

Yes, California is in trouble, but there still seems to be hope for New Jersey.

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