Monday, June 25, 2007

All This, and More

Pressures of the job getting you down? You're not alone. It's getting to be the American Way, to borrow an old expression.

There's a movement afoot to make Americans work their butts off to support not only themselves, but big business as well. If you listen to US Senator Bernie Sanders, he'll tell you we already work longer hours than anywhere else in the free world.

How did it happen today that a two-income family has less disposal income than a one-income family did thirty years ago? How does it happen that thirty years ago, one person working forty hours a week could earn enough money to take care of the family; now, you need two, and they're still not doing it?

Closer to home, reality-based educator commented on this topic:

Notice all the rich corporate types behind the KIPP/longer school day/longer school year movement (e.e., Bloomberg, Gates.) I think they're trying to socialize Americans of all stripes to expect longer work days and longer work years as part of the wonders of globalization. If kids spend 9.5 hours in school, they won't blink later on when they have to work 10 hour days. And if kids get 4 weeks off all year, they won't blink when corporations lower vacation time to 1 week plus a few sick days.

Regular poster Xkaydet65 seems to think I'm missing this point, but perhaps I've just neglected it. I started this blog with my eye firmly on Klein and Bloomberg, and I saw where they were headed. Governor Spitzer, in calling for a longer school day and year (in lieu of smaller class size, no less), has made me acutely aware that electing democrats is by no means sufficient to protect working people.

Here in Fun City, we already have a longer school day and year, endorsed and enabled by Bloomberg and the UFT (Isn't it incredible to find union leaders on the wrong side of this issue?). Despite that, we still have the largest class sizes in the area. KIPP is a symptom, and a sign of things to come if we don't wake up.

A lot of people are all fired up about teachers and why they aren't working more hours. It's remarkable that so few think to ask why everyone else can't work less, like they do in Europe.
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