Friday, July 16, 2010

Bill Gates: Let Retired Teachers Eat Cat Food

Our good pal Bill Gates went to Seattle and told thousands of AFT delegates how much he valued teachers.  Being at a free convention, they applauded wildly.  After all, it cost more than a year's individual teacher dues to send a single Unity member there, and it would be kind of rude not to show their appreciation.  So cognizant of the awesome responsibility of spending our dues money were they, they didn't hesitate to sing, "Na, na, na, na, na, na" to those who failed to appreciate the brilliance and wisdom of the great Gates (whose influence is so vast and far-reaching that even now it's causing the schools of those very delegates to close).

Yet days later, to show how much he appreciates teachers, Bill Gates is telling the Wall Street Journal we're spending way too much on their retirement.  It's interesting to see someone with Gates' money complaining that elderly teachers are excessively living it up.  More interesting still is that he gets Randi Weingarten to publicly announce how smart she is to have dialogue with Gates, and he can't even wait a full week before turning around and throwing a pie in her face.

Fortunately, Ms. Weingarten likes pie.  She's determined to build a legacy as a new kind of labor leader.  She's not some cigar-chomping figure sitting in an office somewhere.  You don't see her out there demanding more money for her members.  Not only does she not demand better working conditions or less time at work, she often seeks precisely the opposite.  That's why she garners praise from folks like Rod "The NEA is a terrorist organization" Paige and Tim "Mutual benefits via firing ATR teachers" Daly.  That's why she makes jokes at her members' expense and casually chuckles over them with Bill Gates in front of thousands of teachers, and who knows how many YouTube viewers.

Make no mistake, an attack on teacher pensions is right in line with who Gates is and what he wants.  If you think America will be a better place by degrading the profession of teaching, if you want to be an at-will employee, if you think Americans don't need decent pensions (which few of us still have nowadays), if you think billionaires should dictate our terms of employment, then Bill Gates and Randi Weingarten are a match made in heaven.

After all, rich people simply know things we don't.   That's why they have so much money, and I suppose that's why Randi Weingarten wants to let them do to us exactly what they did to the American economy.

Only once that happens, who's gonna bail them out next time?  Certainly not retired teachers.  They'll be too busy collecting deposit bottles in stolen shopping carts.
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