Saturday, April 19, 2014

Media Mendacity--NY Post Covers the MTA Contract

I'm always amazed at the audacity with which the truth is twisted in our media. The MTA came to an agreement with Governor Andrew Cuomo over a five year contract, and the Post is upset because they view it as costly. Evidently paying people to work is an inconvenience that ought to be avoided at any cost. But here's how the Post sees it:

...the 34,000 TWU members who work for the state-run MTA just got a great deal from Gov. Cuomo: five years’ worth of raises, plus a bunch of new goodies.

That sounds great, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want a great deal? I haven't had a raise in over five years, and I certainly want a great deal. But then you come to this:

...they can expect 8.25 percent raises over the five years between 2012 and 2016. That’s likely to run only slightly behind inflation.

Wait a minute.  It's running slightly behind inflation? I'm not an economist, but doesn't that mean MTA members will effectively be earning less by the end of this contract? I grant that it's only slightly less, but how on earth does making less equal a great deal? I'd have thought earning more would be a better deal, and earning less, even a little less would not be a good deal at all. Yet the Post editorial board thinks it's great. But there's more:

The average transit worker can expect to earn above $75,000 with this $6,000 or so raise — and will only have to pay $400 more in annual health-care costs in return.

So they actually get even less. Sure, 400 bucks a year probably won't fundamentally affect your lifestyle. But when you're already making effectively less money it doesn't particularly help either. Here's another thing that upsets the NY Post:

They’ll now have two weeks’ paid maternity and paternity leave, plus better dental and eye care, as Samuelson said yesterday.
Wow. That's awful. How can we give new parents time with their children? What if everyone had dental and eye care? That would be awful! Why should we encourage working people to take care of their eyes and teeth? How does that help our country? And why should we care whether or not they're healthy? Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?

It's a little scary that if you read this uncritically, you'll think that it's reasonable. If you read David Brooks uncritically, you'll think that Common Core is reasonable. Does anyone seriously believe that the corporate interests that pimp Common Core want our kids to question the bilge that passes for commentary in the Post?

What's reasonable is leaving an America with more, not fewer, opportunities for our children. And that means, at the very least, casting a critical eye on the sloppy nonsense Rupert Murdoch would have us accept as journalism in our beloved US of A.

Examined further at Perdido Street
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