You may have missed this…

Chris Christie is the latest Galtian “it” boy. He got there by being loud, rude and factually challenged–but with a Jersey swagger. And like the other rising stars of wingnutopia, he is racing to make his bones by selling the idea that working people–especially teachers–are greedy little bastards who need to give back most of the wages/benefits they are paid.

It is, of course, all nonsense. In reality, teachers are not overpaid. In fact they are under paid for the job they do. The $1.67 average hourly-rate-per-child that teachers are paid does not look very high when compared to what babysitters get ($6.04) and the average nanny ($12). But unlike babysitters and nannies, teachers have organized into Unions to fight for better schools and a living wage–and that is why they must be crushed.

And the best way to crush these teachers is to make shit up and sell it as a data set that can be sold as an alternative to reality. Fact are avoided by your average wingnutter the way a vampire avoids sunlight. What has made Christie a rising star is his ability to hide his fact-free data set through loud bluster, bombast and bullying.

This was on full display last month in a seven plus hour Twitter fight Christie had with a Facebook poster. The battle between Christie and “stopthefreezeNJ” has been preserved by blogger Jersey Jazzman–who is a good source for following the growing Chris Christie mess.

The Twitter fight was over a math challenged press release that Christie put out pimping the magic of Charter Schools. Turns out that the facts in the press release actually told a story of Charter School fail. But those details didn’t stop Christie from hyping Charter schools as the golden pathway to Galtian Utopia in New Jersey.

Jersey Jazzman set the scene for the Tweets:

I don’t describe this flame war as “astonishing” only because of Christie’s lack of candor and twisting of the facts; we’ve seen this before plenty of times. Nor would I say his evasiveness in the face of a direct question all that surprising as well; non-answering has become the standard operating procedure of the modern conservative pol. [snip]

No, what really made my jaw drop is Christie’s utter disregard for the dignity of the high office he holds. This is a man who not only engages in ad hominem attacks – he clearly relishes them. His first line of attack is to go after the motives of those who oppose him. This not only spares him from having to answer with a more compelling argument; it gives him a bizarre personal satisfaction that shines through even in the 140-character limits of his tweets.

I’m glad that Jersey Jazzman has preserved this example of high wingnuttery. It is a public service. This exchanged happened about a month ago, but something like it happens everyday as Christie and his fellow Republican Confederate Party Governors compete to see who can best lead the attack on workers, the poor and the middle class. Christie is still the Galtian “it” boy, but Scott Walker is fast on his heels. As the competition for head pats, kind words and warm smiles from their Galtian Overlords heats up, there will be a lot more of these kind of things to document–and fight.

Cheers

120 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Not another NJ union post, please. I’m eagerly awaiting to read yet again the $100K a year policeman story.

  2. 2
    Epicurus says:

    Chris Christie is a classic bully, always willing to throw his weight around. (Pun intended.) It’s the new GOP strategy; offer zero compromise with anything other than party orthodoxy. Nice work if you can get it. Please explain to me how it is that “adult conversation” always translates to “give us whatever we ask for”? And what the hell kind of a society is it where teachers are overpaid at $50,000/year and “financial geniuses” take home millions? Which one his helping Society more?

  3. 3
    Joshua Norton says:

    but Scott Walker is fast on his heals.

    Forgive my pedanticism, but it probably should be “heels”. Unless your infering that Christie is recovering from his war wounds.

  4. 4
    Mike in NC says:

    Christie is still the Galtian “it” boy, but Scott Walker is fast on his heals.

    Joshua beat me to it. But — what will end up being Christie’s Achilles heel? After all this slob is just Tony Soprano without the warm and cuddly persona. He has zero future as a national candidate.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike in NC: Yeah but he seems to sufficiently piss off liberals. That seems to be the number one qualification for President these days for the Reps.

  6. 6
    brat says:

    Please also see blog posts by Bruce Baker, who’s a school finance prof at Rutgers.

    http://schoolfinance101.wordpr.....-teachers/

    http://schoolfinance101.wordpr.....r-schools/

    He’s routinely giving the Christie administration heartburn.

  7. 7
    mr. whipple says:

    Dood behaves like a dick, and is therefore irresistable to wingtards.

  8. 8
    Dennis G. says:

    @Joshua Norton:
    @Mike in NC:
    fixed. thanks

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Christie is a clown
    1. he cost his state 400 milion bucks in education money- through his own idiocy. never ever forget that they had an application for race to the top that totally qualified, but….it had the approval of the teachers’ unions…and thus, Christie’s ass removed it.

    2. he cost his state how many jobs deciding to ‘kill’ the NJ/NY public transit connection….and then had the nerve to say that NJ wouldn’t pay back the money that the Feds had sent to them for the project

    3. his behind was in FLorida, during that snowstorm, and tried to blame the Lt. Governor, knowing damn well that HER ‘vacation’ was spending time with a parent who has STAGE FOUR CANCER.

    oh yeah, he’s a swell guy.

  10. 10
    MonkeyBoy says:

    I think that part of the right’s argument is that teachers who teach non-upper class students are essentially prison guards for the inherently uneducatable and their main purpose is to keep the students off the streets.

    A quick google turns up this info on prison guards (no claims about accuracy and no knowledge about benefits).

    $22,010 Entry Level Salary
    $32,670 Average Salary
    $52,370 Maximum Salary

    I think the right won’t be satisfied until the two salaries are the same.

  11. 11
    MattR says:

    Can I just comment how annoying and/or stupid Twitter fights are? Nothing like trying to have a meaningful discussion while limiting yourself to 140 characters.

  12. 12
    phlogiston says:

    Want to know why Republicans always win the message wars? Do this experiment at home: Take a Republican meme of your choosing (young bucks…”greedy little bastards”…DFHs…etc, etc…so many choices…) Now close your eyes and hold it in mind. Watch it ricochet around inside your skull and sink down out of sight. Are you with me so far? Feel that little jolt when it hits bottom? That little spark from the amygdala…the reptile part of your brain? Even though the meme is total bs, even though it runs counter to what you know to be true, even though your rational brain will dismiss it, still and all…under the level of consciousness is a tiny little voice that’s saying: you know what…somewhere someone might actually be playing me for a sucker, taking something that belongs to me …and this thought, in its turn, can lead to the mother of the most potentially pernicious but powerful of human motivators: it’s us against them
    Now if you don’t have a certain level of self awareness, if you’re not inclined to spend time trying to sort through things, or if, like most Americans, you’re too busy scratching out a living, the Republicans are gonna ring the poor little emotional centers of your brain like a bell. It’s important to understand that their appeal is to the emotions, and it is exceedingly useless to respond with rational argumentation. In fact it’s worse than useless because it makes you look weak, defensive, wonkish, out of touch, and condescending. (Think John Kerry)

    All this must have been said before, and probably better, but now what’s going on in Wisconsin is a perfect opportunity to turn the tables. There’s a chance to reanimate the traditional Democratic story and address the most important issue (yes even more important than the deficit because it’s a big cause of the deficit); the increasingly unequal distribution of resources in this country. The rich against the rest of us. We have villains (the Kochs and their ilk) We have our heroes (the folks in Madison) We have the narrative: It’s Republican greed that works to divide and conquer and would have us believe that government is the problem…but it’s plutocrats draining us dry, sucking up 22% of the nation’s wealth before it has a chance to reach our paychecks, and who’s gonna fix this? You think Republicans give a shit about anybody who works for a living?

    They started this class war. How ‘bout a call to arms. Let’s go get em..

  13. 13
    Bob Loblaw says:

    The $1.67 average hourly-rate-per-child that teachers are paid does not look very high when compared to what babysitters get ($6.04) and the average nanny ($12).

    That’s a really misleading and meaningless statistic.

  14. 14
    chris says:

    @MonkeyBoy:
    In NC I think they are.

  15. 15
    va says:

    I can’t understand how Christie has stayed politically unscathed. He’s nationally known for his stupid transportation policies and budget shenanigans, but he ought to be known for his malicious disregard for women’s health and education. Dude’s a misogynist; women hate him. I think it’s time to reintroduce the word “Pig” into the political lexicon, and make it stick to him.

  16. 16
    Snarky McSnarksnark says:

    I generally enjoy reading your posts, but the “per student cost” of teachers trope was just fricking retarded:

    Obama, at $400,000 / year (for 300 million citizens) is a bargain, at only $0.0013 per citizen-year. He is, thus, quite underpaid compared to such CEOs as Steve Ballmer, of Microsoft, who is paid $620,000 / year with responsibility for 88,000 employees–a annual cost of $7.07 per employee!

    Therefore, Obama should run Microsoft.

  17. 17
    Cacti says:

    When it comes to GOP candidates, the “liberal media” doesn’t care about qualifications so much as what fictitious characteristic than can project on them.

    Bush was “the guy you’d like to have a beer with.”

    McCain was “the maverick”.

    Christie is “the loveable lug”.

    Unlike the other two though, Christie doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the 2012 nom.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @Cacti: Christie would have to massively up his God-bothering, and that would just scream fake at this late stage in the game. So that ain’t happening. I’m not even sure why they would bother: there’s enough corrupt dirt when Christie was a DA that would keep him from getting much further than he has. He just got lucky that his opponent was a lousy Democrat.

  19. 19
    Josie says:

    @Snarky McSnarksnark: Maybe it depends on your definition of “responsible for.” Teachers are literally responsible for every single child in each class they teach–if the children is injured or lost, it is their fault. If the child doesn’t succeed, it is their fault. While those children are in school, teachers are “in loco parentis,” and anyone who doesn’t think that is a heavy load, they just haven’t carried it.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano: If his wiki is to be believed in the slightest, he’s a walking insider scandal waiting to be outed by a disgruntled former employee.

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    @Snarky McSnarksnark:

    I generally enjoy reading your posts, but the “per student cost” of teachers trope was just fricking retarded:

    Speaking of fricking retarded, I’ve seen the snappy retort about how many people the POTUS supervises.

    In reality, a public school teacher will directly supervise the work of 25-30 students per hour, for 6.5 hours per day. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never gotten daily work assignments or evalutions from the POTUS.

    But I will grade you on your snark at no charge:

    F

  22. 22
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone: @Corner Stone:

    Not another NJ union post, please. I’m eagerly awaiting to read yet again the $100K a year policeman story.

    Here ya go. Wyckoff, NJ, one of the safest towns in the US, eight year patrol officer, $104K or $111K if hired before 2010. Plus a very sweet benefit/retirement package.

    Not a bad job for a flatfoot in a pretty, well-mannered, no crime town.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie: I gotta tell you. If my son’s teacher “loses” him? I’m going to frickin’ explode over three counties.

  24. 24
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: You prove my point. Would you like to have that responsibility day after day and be told you weren’t worth a decent wage?

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I gotta tell you. If my son’s teacher “loses” him? I’m going to frickin’ explode over three counties.

    When I was in elementary school, my younger brother actually left the playground during recess and walked home without the teacher noticing.

    My parents were very much not pleased.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: And I’d pay all of them that, given the chance.
    An HPD rookie makes roughly low $40K’s. With education that goes up a little. Sergeants make roughly in the $60K’s.
    You think putting your life on the line for $40K makes sense? In 5th Ward Houston, TX? Shit.
    And you keep saying no crime. Interesting. And what happens that one time at 3:00am when they’re going into a building after some convict?
    One time on a ride along with a good friend of mine from childhood we rode up on a newspaper distribution warehouse with the side door ajar at 3 or 4 in the morning.
    Some certain things happened I won’t detail here but I can tell you I understood I never wanted to be a police officer.
    They all deserve to be paid less than 1/3rd what a guaranteed minimum contract in the MLB rates which last I checked was over $350K.

  27. 27
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Cacti:

    Um, the difference is that a public school is not financially contracted by the parents themselves. That’s why the original comparison is apples and oranges.

    The public school teacher is contracted by the school district, which represents both parents and non-parents alike within the broader community, thus leading to the diffused wages. In a system where the parents are more immediately and personally contracting specific teachers/schools/programs for their children (like say, in the private school system), wages are much higher generally.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie: I’m on your side. I want them to increase their pay and start treating like they really are the people we entrust our kids to for 7+hours a day.
    My son’s teacher is great, and I haven’t met a parent who’s ever said they have an issue with their child’s teacher in our school. So maybe we should fight back when people try to abuse the teachers or get over on their backs.
    I just thought the “lost” part was a little beyond the pale. If someone “loses” my son I’m going to turn into Sylar from Heroes.

  29. 29
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Good for you. You live there and pay those taxes. We left.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    now there’s an ad for babysitters at the top of the page.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: I’d pay state income taxes if the proceeds were by law funneled into salary/infrastructure for schools and police/public employees.
    Currently TX has a back door income tax via the property tax. But if there were a mechanism to really, truly put the income tax in the public sphere I’d pay it.
    I want the best people attracted to public service, and give them a competitive reason to take those jobs. Don’t you?

  32. 32
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: It isn’t a subject that is beyond the pale for teachers, at least not for teachers who take kids off campus. We were counting kids every time we turned around on field trips. It is the nightmare of every teacher I knew who has ever escorted children anywhere. I am sorry that it upset you; I didn’t mean to.

  33. 33
    ruemara says:

    @Joshua Norton:
    Maybe he means that Chris Christie is geared at over 4100 an average of 40k heals and is ready for raiding.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker:

    Good for you. You live there and pay those taxes. We left.

    No problem. I believe in society, and that government can be a force for good in people’s lives.
    I am where I am today because government reached out a helping hand to me when I needed it. I made good on that agreement and I think it can be replicated in our future.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie: Not upset at all, I’m sure all teachers take their role very seriously.
    Make ’em sound off next time!
    “One, two, three, four! Please, may I have some more!”
    “Five, six, seven, eight! Chow’s at five, can’t be late!”

  36. 36
    MonkeyBoy says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    In a system where the parents are more immediately and personally contracting specific teachers/schools/programs for their children (like say, in the private school system), wages are much higher generally.

    Where do you come up with that absurd idea? In my area private school teachers are paid less than public ones – one reason being that private teachers have a much nicer working environment because private schools can just kick out trouble making students.

    Maybe in the many areas of the South where all slightly well off white families place their kids in private Christian schools so they won’t have to interact with blacks, private school teachers do make more than horribly underpaid public school teachers.

  37. 37
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: lol–the kids would love that. I’d be afraid of the rhymes they would make up to get to thirty.

  38. 38
    geg6 says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Your statement that private school teachers make more than those in public schools is exactly why no one should take you seriously. I don’t know where you live or what you do or what your social network is like, but it must be pretty insulated from reality if you think that. In real world where I live, private school teachers and charter school teachers make significantly less than public school teachers based on salary alone, and we aren’t even going to mention the massive difference in benefits.

  39. 39
    aimai says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    That is incorrect. My children go to a private school–like all private schools the school labors mightily to bring the salaries and benefits for its teachers in line with the public schools because public school salaries and benefits are always higher. Private school teachers get the “benefit” of lots of nice things but higher salaries than public school teachers is not one of them. Smaller class size, more freedom to teach the way you want, better educated/committed parents, easier students (because students with learning disabilities are routinely kicked to the public schools where they are given the remediation they need with an IEP) are all features for private school teachers. But until recently we *always* lost good teachers to the public schools over things like health care, benefits, salary, and tenure.

    aimai

  40. 40
    Jamey says:

    @Svensker: Then you cannot afford to live in Wyckoff, which is 44th in per capita income, state-wide; 53d nationwide.

    They pay their cops handsomely to keep it White-kopf (as we, in Bergen Co. sometimes refer to the town.) Still, it’s no Alpine. Sorry.

    Tell you what: Vote with your feet. Make the exception of overpaid (in your opinion) employees your public causus belli. There are others who will take your place.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MonkeyBoy: In this area the two biggest private schools pay a fixed decimal multiplier of the average of the five abutting districts’ salary.

    It’s less than 1. And notice how the unions are negotiating the private schools’ compensation scedule for them….

  42. 42
    Jamey says:

    @Corner Stone: That’s why I don’t really grumble (much) about taxes in my Bergen Co NJ burg–way I see it, the schools, services and quality of life in my dumpy little town are pretty good, all-in-all. That, and I can bike to my job in Midtown Manhattan…

    Our cops make 80-110k/annum, too. Not sure I would change it, though; I, too, want the best and brightest attracted to public service. Sadly, over the past generation, we’ve been led to marginalize government and public servants (e.g., the way Sarah-Lou spat out the words, “community organizer”). So now, we’re forced to pay more just to get people to do certain things. Feature or bug?

  43. 43
    jwb says:

    @Svensker: Let me guess. It’s a very rich area. Don’t you know how that works? Those high taxes: that’s how they keep the riff-raff out. My experience is that the rich don’t mind paying high taxes (or high membership fees) or regulating the hell out where they themseves live (think gated communities) if the primary purpose of the taxes, fees, or regulation is exclusionary.

  44. 44
    Jamey says:

    @Svensker:

    I don’t mean to pick a fight, so I’ll stop with this last question. You wrote:

    Not a bad job for a flatfoot in a pretty, well-mannered, no crime town.

    So you’re saying the results don’t merit the pay? The town, which is 15 mi from NYC, was safe BEFORE the cops got there? Or maybe a competent law-enforcement service might have a little to do with Wyckoff being well-mannered and having no crime?

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    My favorite part of the Twitter exchange was this little gem:

    “And if you say we need to get rid of bad teachers, how can you possibly replace them with better teachers when you want to pay them less

    The GOP has no answer for this question.

  46. 46
    Jamey says:

    @Cacti:

    1: Fire teachers; steal their underpants
    2: ???
    3: Profit!

  47. 47
    lol says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Right-wingers commonly refer to teachers as “overpaid babysitters”. So by their own logic, teachers are actually grossly underpaid and that doesn’t even get into the value add of the education they provide while “babysitting”.

  48. 48
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Hmm, I assumed the big endowment private schools paid more into wages. Guess not. Thanks for the correction. That’s a really good scam by management. I’m impressed.

    That still doesn’t mean you should compare independent contractors like nannies and babysitters to “industrialized” employees like teachers working in a compulsory market.

  49. 49
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cacti: They actually do, which is why there’s a big, sloppy kiss to TFA in today’s WaPo.

    It’s more of an ‘answer’ than an answer, which is what you’d expect from George Will.

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    What’s the answer?

    Charter schools?

  51. 51
    dan says:

    Perfect Republican hero. Fat and nasty.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti: They don’t want better teachers. They want cheap “acceptable” teachers. God botherers who will preach the word and keep our chillens from learning.

  53. 53
    Svensker says:

    @Jamey:

    So you’re saying the results don’t merit the pay? The town, which is 15 mi from NYC, was safe BEFORE the cops got there? Or maybe a competent law-enforcement service might have a little to do with Wyckoff being well-mannered and having no crime?

    No, it’s always been safe. It’s upcrust old-line Dutch and the kids either go to Christian Dutch Reformed Schools and then on to Calvin College in Michigan, or the bankster kids go to the very good public schools and on to Princeton. My kid went to the Christian school, where the teachers didn’t make ANYTHING close to what the public school teachers were making, in fact, about half.

    My kid wants to be a university professor and is working on his advanced degrees — his opening salary in the US would be just a bit higher than the Wyckoff cop, tenured position would be about the same as the Wyckoff police chief. He has a friend who is just finishing police school and who has friends in the Wyckoff system and will be soon be on track to making a nice fortune.

    NJ is actually losing population and one reason is the high property taxes. Another of our friends just sold their house and left because of the $18K/year they were paying. She’s a public union retiree with great benefits, so they’ll do very nicely in No. Carolina.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    Listen, I’m sure this is true other places as well, but in TX, if they could destroy the DoE today they would. They absolutely would.
    They hate it, with all of their tiny shriveled up little hearts.

  55. 55
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Joshua Norton: Not to double up but I think “pedantry” is the word you’re looking for.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @dan: Doesn’t it remind you of all the 1920’s editorial cartoons where the creator depicted the villain as grotesquely fat, and somehow imbued them with a sense of evil?

  57. 57
    debbie says:

    I don’t understand why Christie is being held up as some sort of paragon for the Republicans. If he were really good at running a state like a business, he wouldn’t have screwed up the paperwork, lost all that education funding for his state, and then whine about not being given a second chance to get it right. Oh wait…

  58. 58
    Upper West says:

    I read the tweets, and while I agree that Christie is scum and has no real arguments, this also shows the limits of tweets. People who read these quickly (i.e., almost all) are not going to learn any nuances from tweets — and nuances (i.e., charter school comparative results; Newark v. suburbs, etc.) can’t be discerned.

    As a former teacher, I’m better versed than most, and what I picked up from a quick reading of the tweets is a pissing contest — Christie: “You’re ignoring the facts.” Stop the Freeze: “No, You’re ignoring the facts.”

    I happen to know that Christie’s the one ignoring the facts, but I couldn’t tell that just from reading the thread.

  59. 59
    Kool Earl says:

    @va:

    Keep in mind that Christies poll#s in NJ are around 50-50, hardly an overwhelming mandate. As far as national aspirations, there is the two word disqualifier that will keep him from a republican party nomination and that is “gun control”. I hunch that if he decides to run for president, he will end up like Guiliani.

  60. 60
    jwb says:

    @Svensker: If your son is looking at those kinds of salaries, he must be going into a different field than those I know. Most faculty in state schools won’t get anywhere near the captain’s level unless they go into administration. Last I checked starting salaries were in the low $50s, tenure will get you a $3K bump, as will promotion to full professor. In the meantime you get a yearly 0-3% merit increase, unless you get an outside offer, at which point your salary can be reset at a competitive rate. But few full professors in the humanities will break $100K. I know several full professors who are making less than starting assistant professors.

  61. 61
    Elia says:

    I don’t understand how anyone who is even remotely left-wing could contenance this in the slightest when tax rates nationally are so low. I’m assuming NJ has a decent state tax rate because it’s a librul coastal elitist bastion of communism; but the idea that this money can’t be found in myriad other spots is absurd. I understand that as of now the political feasibility of this is close to nil, but that’s no reason in the slightest for someone without the burden of having to win reelection not to vociferously point this insanity out over and over and over blah blah blah until they’re thoroughly shrill.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker:

    My kid wants to be a university professor and is working on his advanced degrees—his opening salary in the US would be just a bit higher than the Wyckoff cop, tenured position would be about the same as the Wyckoff police chief.

    This sounds crazy. Wherever your child is going to teach, I want to make sure I don’t live there.
    Damn money grubbing prof’s. What makes them think they deserve this kind of salary?
    Not on my tax dollars!

  63. 63
    toschek says:

    It’s nice to see this after reading the little cock-slurping hagiography on Christie in today’s NYT supplement.

    I’m so disgusted that the Times is aligning with this anti-union bullshit. I guess once you go all in on aluminum tubes you can never get your credibility back, so why not just sell out completely.

    Bill Keller would return the Pentagon Papers to Nixon and include a handwritten apology.

  64. 64
    amy says:

    Chris Christie is not fat. He’s horizontally challenged.

  65. 65
    Elia says:

    @Elia: This was a p dumb post. In my defense, I have gastritis.

  66. 66
    Jamey says:

    @Svensker: “Always been safe” means that the cops are doing their jobs. Taxpayers have decided to pay a premium for cops who keep the town safe. Further, as I have friends in Wyckoff (I live in Leonia), I might take issue with your characterization of the town as a quaint knickerbocker hamlet.

    A couple of other nits, if you’ll allow: The word, “fortune” is a loaded one. Wyckoff is filled with people who make many multiples of what their cops make–all while creating little or no value to “society,” to say nothing of having ever to face a loaded gun. Bailing them out to save their bonuses cost you and me a LOT more.

    People are leaving Jersey? Maybe for a few days at Disney World over the holidays…. According to the latest census, the state GREW by 3.5 percent. (And, seriously, bully for the union pensioner who can retire comfortably, even if it is in NC.) Jersey schools–esp in towns like Wyckoff–are generally excellent. People move to these towns FOR the schools, then blow town after the kids go on to college (which sounds like what you’re planning). Then more families with school-age kids move in. It’s the circle of life, Simba…

    But one fact remains: those who make their living in NYC aren’t going F*****G anywhere. Where else are they going? They’re not going to take a 2-hr train ride in from Bucks Co; taxes in Ct./NY aren’t much lower. So screw Christie and his rationale for tax cuts that favor bonus-babies.

    Tell you what: I hope your kid makes it–I hope he or she gets a tenured faculty position at a NJ public institution, like Rutgers or College of NJ. I’ll be happy to pay for his or her salary, as long as it continues to make states like NJ magnets for the brightest.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jamey:

    Then more families with school-age kids move in. It’s the circle of life, Simba…

    Oooo…ouch.

  68. 68
    Jamey says:

    @Corner Stone: see: Thomas Nast cartoons.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    “Cause it’ll urt more!!”

  70. 70
    Jamey says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Whatsamatta, can’t you feel the love tonight?

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker:

    Good for you. You live there and pay those taxes. We left.

    I do have to say. It sounds like you got what you paid for, skimmed the cream off the community you inhabited and have now moved on to another location.
    A safe domicile/environment, first class schools/education, your child in a safe & productive college system.
    Now all that’s less important to you and your family so you’ve decided to relocate.

  72. 72
    Svensker says:

    @jwb:

    If your son is looking at those kinds of salaries, he must be going into a different field than those I know. Most faculty in state schools won’t get anywhere near the captain’s level unless they go into administration. Last I checked starting salaries were in the low $50s, tenure will get you a $3K bump, as will promotion to full professor. In the meantime you get a yearly 0-3% merit increase, unless you get an outside offer, at which point your salary can be reset at a competitive rate. But few full professors in the humanities will break $100K. I know several full professors who are making less than starting assistant professors.

    Yes. It does not seem right to me that a tenured professor will be making less than a cop in Wyckoff, NJ, but then what do I know?

    But then you sound like someone who hates the working class and wants to dismantle the social safety network, too, amirite?

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jamey: Fughedaboutit.
    That’s my best Jersey imitation.

    I just have a fundamental problem with someone who doesn’t grasp what their environment does/does not provide them.

  74. 74
    Martin says:

    @MonkeyBoy: That varies a lot by school. Around here, the Catholic schools are all filled with the kids kicked out of public school for doing drugs, etc. It’s good money to the school, and the teachers are paid well.

  75. 75
    Jamey says:

    @Corner Stone: This. Also. A lotta old-guard Dems in Leonia (soshulysts, the lot of them) are whinging because of property taxes. They bought their homes in 1971 for $30k and could sell them today, even in a cool RE market, for $600-750k. But now that their kids are out of school, they are showing up in full-force at BoE meetings to vote down programs like replacing the school roofs with passive solar systems, adding a music teacher (Leonia’s home to about 70-90 full-time symphony/opera/philharmonic/Broadway theater musicians– more than 1% of the total populations; yeah, it’s something of a priority), and other initiatives.

    These elders, lovely folks all, will reap handsome windfalls from their home purchases–far bigger profits than I ever will see. But now that they don’t benefit directly from school budgets (and I would argue this point–see my early notes about correlation between school quality and housing prices), the want ME to subsidize their windfall. I want them to stay in Leonia if that’s what they want. But they need to be able to find a way to help pay the freight to keep this town the sort of place we all wanted to live in at some point in our adult lives. Otherwise, it’s time to cash out, take money out of your pensions (which many have–not just lousy 401 (k)s or 503 (b)s, or look into reverse mortgages. But for some reason, that kind of “tuff talk” makes me an asshole, whereas it would make Christie the centerfold for Tea Party Monthly’s swimsuit issue…

    You said it better and shorter: “Skim the cream and move on.”

  76. 76
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Now all that’s less important to you and your family so you’ve decided to relocate.

    No, we can’t afford it anymore. Our taxes have gone up almost 35% in the last 5 years and that has pushed us over the edge, along with our health costs having doubled in the last 5 years. In the meantime, our house value lost 1/3, our income stagnated (we’re working harder to make less), and our retirement accounts have lost about 20%.

    Most of that I blame on the banksters and the warmongers. But my union friends are bitching about their 3% salary increase and having to pay $25 for medical/dental co-pay instead of $5. And they’re all comfortably retired while we’re busting our buns not to fall off the cliff. It doesn’t sit well.

    Like I said, we bailed. If we haven’t lived up to the American Dream enough for you, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. The American Dream these days seems to be either be a bankster or have a government job. Everyone else can go DIAF.

  77. 77
    va says:

    @Kool Earl:

    Keep in mind that Christies poll#s in NJ are around 50-50, hardly an overwhelming mandate.

    I appreciate that it’s the Liberal Line that Christie “isn’t really that popular,” but I have to say, it’s about the least persuasive thing I’ve ever heard. Since when is 50% not significant support? Don’t waste your breath spinning poll numbers; go after the guy. He richly deserves it.

  78. 78
    Jamey says:

    @Svensker: On this I sympathize with you. Sadly, towns like Wyckoff have priced themselves outside the reach of ordinary folk, even ones who send their kids to private schools.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker:

    Most of that I blame on the banksters and the warmongers. But my union friends are bitching about their 3% salary increase and having to pay $25 for medical/dental co-pay instead of $5. And they’re all comfortably retired while we’re busting our buns not to fall off the cliff. It doesn’t sit well.

    Conservative mission accomplished.

  80. 80
    Martin says:

    @Svensker:

    Yes. It does not seem right to me that a tenured professor will be making less than a cop in Wyckoff, NJ, but then what do I know?

    But isn’t that Wyckoff, NJs problem to justify? Median household income there is $140K. Median household price is $750K. My guess is that they’re swimming in tax dollars relative to the state of NJ. If the taxpayers there want to spend 2x the national average on their police, that’s their business, no? I don’t even see how that’s reflective of NJ in any respect.

    The whole point of state and local taxation and state oversight of public education is that some of those high-income tax dollars will flow up to the state and then down to low-income districts that simply don’t have the tax base to pay teachers even a reasonable base pay, but cities are allowed to pay more if they have the local revenue. That’s a reasonable approach.

    If the police in Wyckoff are making too much, take it up with Wyckoff. But the local theory (which my high-income city also subscribes to) is that they want teachers and police to be able to live in the city in which they work. That way they aren’t policing someone else’s city, but their own. They aren’t teaching someone else’s kids, but their own. If you want the cops to live in a city where the median home price is $750K, you have to pay them more than $40K per year. In my city, because the state limits our ability to pay faculty enough to keep up with housing prices, we offer subsidized housing for faculty hires. It’s damn hard to attract a PhD to a teaching job when they can barely afford a 1BR apartment. A 3% mortgage on a price controlled home goes a very long way.

  81. 81
    Nick says:

    @Epicurus:

    Please explain to me how it is that “adult conversation” always translates to “give us whatever we ask for”?

    Corporate-owned media

    And what the hell kind of a society is it where teachers are overpaid at $50,000/year and “financial geniuses” take home millions?

    a society that gets its news and views from a corporate-owned media.

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: How many kids do you still have in school? What’s your engagement with the community?
    Are you an integrated piece or did you get what you paid for then do the maths and move on?

  83. 83
    Nick says:

    @Kool Earl:

    Keep in mind that Christies poll#s in NJ are around 50-50, hardly an overwhelming mandate.

    in a pretty solid blue state, that’s an overwhelming mandate, sorry. If there was a Democratic Governor in a state like Georgia or Kentucky with that kind of approval rating, we’d be pushing him or her as the next Obama.

  84. 84
    Nick says:

    @Jamey:

    Where else are they going?

    They can do like myself and my friends and come back INTO the city. That means living around scary non-white people though.

  85. 85
    Nick says:

    @Svensker:

    But my union friends are bitching about their 3% salary increase and having to pay $25 for medical/dental co-pay instead of $5.

    No, they’re not, they’re bitching about losing collective bargaining rights.

  86. 86
    Kool Earl says:

    @Nick:

    Nick, New Jersey is a state that has elected republicans to multiple terms in statewide elections so an even split on Christie is what it is.

  87. 87
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What does that even mean? Do I have to show my Girl Scout badges so you can see if I deserved to live in Bergen County?

    Let’s see, we went to a local church and both hubster and I were on church committees and quite active. Volunteered at the Bergen Co. homeless shelter. Raised money for the Food Bank and did food drives. Attended local arts events and local fairs. Shopped at the weekly farmer’s market. Supported the local Emanuel Center (a non-denom. support place for poor families with kids with cancer). Worked at home and used almost exclusively local suppliers/services in my work. Most of our friends and family were in the area.

    My hub grew up in BC and we moved there from Hudson Co. so our son could go to a local private school. Now son’s in college. We had planned to stay in the area but can’t afford it anymore. As I said, the only people who can afford it now are banksters or govt employees.

    Do I pass the Corner Stone test, or am I either not successful enough for you; or some sort of carpetbagger? Please let me know soonest as I am quite anxious.

  88. 88
    Kool Earl says:

    @va:
    I am not spinning anything. I am just pointing out that despite the media attention Christie is getting, his #s certainly isnt all that.

  89. 89
    Elia says:

    @Nick: Not a useful analogy. Ignores the degree to which Christie’s tailored his image to the electorate.

    But I agree that his polls show he’s popular, and that arguing otherwise is wrong but more importantly a waste of valuable oxygen.

  90. 90
    Nick says:

    @Kool Earl:

    New Jersey is a state that has elected republicans to multiple terms in statewide elections so an even split on Christie is what it is.

    New Jersey hasn’t given 50 percent to a Republican in a statewide race since 1988.

  91. 91
    Svensker says:

    @Nick:

    No, they’re not, they’re bitching about losing collective bargaining rights

    Maybe now they are. Last summer, they were screaming about what I said, and it sure was pissing off the folks I was talking to — hairdressers, store clerks, etc., whose incomes were going down.

  92. 92
    Nick says:

    @Elia:

    Ignores the degree to which Christie’s tailored his image to the electorate.

    Union-busting Christie tailored his image to the electorate? Guess Jersey is more conservative than it was when I grew up there.

  93. 93
    General Stuck says:

    @Svensker:

    Do I pass the Corner Stone test,

    That test would have you reach down your throat to scratch your ass. You pass by not taking it.

  94. 94
    Nick says:

    @Svensker:

    Last summer, they were screaming about what I said, and it sure was pissing off the folks I was talking to—hairdressers, store clerks, etc., whose incomes were going down.

    So here’s a good question, why don’t those hairdressers and store clerks say “you know what, they’re right, and I deserve that too, I want a union”

    You know what banksters and millionaires run the country? Because the middle class just accepts that they have to live paycheck to paycheck and gets mad at anyone who has the ability to challenge that? They’re pinning hairdressers and store clerks against cops and teachers while they rake in the profits. Why can you not see this?

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: I like the way you use the word “successful” there Sully.
    It sounds like you made a real commitment to your community. Then your son graduated and it didn’t make sense any more for you to be there.
    Stop bitching about what other people have and just admit you made the economic decision that was best for your family.

  96. 96
    Kool Earl says:

    Nick- when I say 50-50, I mean that as his approval and disapproval rate is at or near the same amount.

  97. 97

    Dennis, many thanks for the link – I wondered why I had so many commenters all of a sudden.

    I’ve been a big fan of Balloon Juice for some time: it’s a real honor to get a mention here.

  98. 98
    Sly says:

    @Nick:

    They’re pinning hairdressers and store clerks against cops and teachers while they rake in the profits. Why can you not see this?

    Because they’re pinning hairdressers and store clerks against cops and teachers while they rake in the profits.

  99. 99
    Nick says:

    @Kool Earl:

    Nick- when I say 50-50, I mean that as his approval and disapproval rate is at or near the same amount.

    I know, but in a state that isn’t 50-50, it means he has a significant amount of Independent and Democratic support, assuming near unanimous Republican support.

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    @Nick:
    The problem is that the msm is giving Christie a lot of air time. He’s drama of the day. They like the tough talk even tho it’s stupid. They aren’t too bright are our msm.
    I think his poll ratings are going to go down this year. His act will wear thin and the effects of his cuts will be felt.

  101. 101
    Nick says:

    @Sly:

    Because they’re pinning hairdressers and store clerks against cops and teachers while they rake in the profits.

    This is why I have little faith in the ability of the American people to actually move in favor of progressive policies, and why I think anyone who thinks Obama can change that by using the “bully pulpit” is an idiot.

  102. 102
    Kool Earl says:

    Nick, if a Christie type had gotten a foothold into NY state and was holding a split I would consider it more significant than in NJ where a repub can get their foot in the door due to the perennialy corrupt NJ dems.

  103. 103
    Joel says:

    @Svensker: I think you’re on to something real; for most people, the windfall profits at major banks is an abstraction. They don’t know anyone employed by these places and are not directly confronted by their excesses.

  104. 104
    jwb says:

    @Joel: Svensker is on to something, but it’s simple resentment: it’s precisely by feeding that resentment that the banksters pit the hairdressers and store clerks against the cops and teachers. Svensker is exhibit A in the success of that strategy.

  105. 105
    Joel says:

    @jwb: Well, how do you fix this issue? Not as easy as it sounds.

  106. 106
    Sly says:

    @Nick:

    This is why I have little faith in the ability of the American people to actually move in favor of progressive policies, and why I think anyone who thinks Obama can change that by using the “bully pulpit” is an idiot.

    Building the middle-class was an intergenerational enterprise. This is why the institutions that support the middle-class are largely invisible to its members. It’s hard enough to convince people to protect something if they derive no personal benefit from it. Usually you have to make some kind of ethical appeal (and this is what the “bully pulpit” people want). It is impossible to convince people to protect something if they think it doesn’t even exist.

    Incidentally, this is why African-Americans are, by and large, left of center when it comes to economic security issues independent of their individual economic security. The institutions that support the middle-class are, by and large, institutions that support the white middle-class. You can’t take something for granted if you never had it in the first place.

  107. 107
    henqiguai says:

    @Bob Loblaw (#27):

    (like say, in the private school system), wages are much higher generally.

    Probably by now this has been answered, but just in case – around here (New England), most private schools pay a lot less than the public schools. Maybe because the private school teacher doesn’t have to deal with every socially, psychologically, physically, and economically damaged student that walks through the door. While still giving up chunks of money out of pocket for classroom materials. And being held responsible for those students to still meet unrealistic educational goals.

  108. 108
    Dennis G. says:

    @Bob Loblaw: @Snarky McSnarksnark:
    I will admit that there are ways you could look at the child care wage comparison as apples to bananas, but it is still a useful one. Also, too, it is a more honest comparison than the shit Christie uses. Teachers actually do have responsibility for the kids when they are under their care. When you pay a babysitter or a nanny to watch more than one kid it costs more. When you pay a teacher it costs less regardless of who is paying.

    The link goes to the TeacherPortal and they came up with the stat. The site provides many other details that add far more depth to the issue of salary and benefits.

    Cheers

  109. 109
    jwb says:

    @Joel: I don’t think the issue sounds easy to solve at all. Svensker is mad and resentful about being forced out of town due to rising taxes and blames the high salaries of the city employees rather than the economic forces that make it so. I believe a lot of people respond that way and that the GOP’s strategy is predicated on stoking such resentments. It’s difficult to address because in an economy such as ours where the rich are sucking up every bit of profit and then some, we’re dealing with something less than a zero sum game, so that one person’s gain is another’s loss, and someone who knows what they are doing can always turn that loss into bitter resentment.

  110. 110
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    Chris Christie is the latest Galtian “it” boy

    I think this conflates galtianism with simple New York bias. The media love New Yorkers (New Jersey being New York Lite). Remember how Mario Cuomo was going to save the Dems? Nope, way too Italian and way to New York — fugetaboutit! Giuliani, a candidate both liberals and conservatives could love in ’08? Nope, too crooked and too New York — fugetaboutit! Bloomberg, the bipartisan wet dream? Nope, way too short, Jewish, and New York — fugetabout! Christie is too abrasive, too fat, and too New Jersey — fugetaboutit!

    The media are mostly based in New York and adore this type of politician, but they don’t wear well outside the Big Apple. And might as well bring this up now, the last time we had a truly fat President was a hundred years ago and it’s probably not a coincidence that this was the beginning of the newsreel era. That is to say, back when most people only ever saw a head shot of a famous person a fat guy had a chance, since then — fugetaboutit!

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb:

    Svensker is mad and resentful about being forced out of town due to rising taxes and blames the high salaries of the city employees rather than the economic forces that make it so.

    IMO, what you also should consider is that Svensker and her family put up with it just long enough to benefit their family through the societal arrangement. Everyone was paying into the pot that tangentially benefited her family.
    Now that arrangement no longer makes sense for her family and she/they have decided enough’s enough.

  112. 112
    Dennis G. says:

    @Shoemaker-Levy 9:
    It is maybe 40% “it” boy, 20% East Coast bias and 40% love of conflict as a driving narrative.

    In my State of Maryland the same issues are being met and resolved, but without the need for drama and pretending that worker–especially teachers–are the villains. The lack of conflict makes this story all but invisible.

    But a bombastic blow-hard picking fights, well that’s news!

    Cheers

  113. 113
    Svensker says:

    @jwb:

    Actually, I blame both, which I clearly said. And I blame the banksters and the politicians more than the unions.

    But how do we get to this great place where clerks and hairdressers make $80K a year instead of $30K? And where taxes aren’t so high that folks can afford to live in the towns? And where cops don’t make more than university professors?

    In NJ, I would have liked to have seen higher taxes on rich folks and an income tax instead of the property tax system. (NJ has an income tax, but it is puny.) I would have liked the Democratic Machine not to buy votes by making unsustainable deals with the unions, and then not to have had successive administrations cover up those deals by tricky accounting and not funding the pensions they’d negotiated. I would have liked tax dollars to have gone to infrastructure instead of to corrupt cronies.

    I would have also liked a shiny black unicorn to appear when I snap my fingers and poop out big gold nuggets.

    Since none of these things are going to happen, at least until the revolution, we’ve chosen to move out of New Jersey.

  114. 114
    lucslawyer says:

    Teachers are NOT the problem…self-aggrandizing uncaring administrators and parents who have been given too much power over what happens in the classroom are….

  115. 115
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    @Dennis G.:

    It is maybe 40% “it” boy, 20% East Coast bias and 40% love of conflict as a driving narrative

    I won’t argue with these percentages, though I personally would weight them differently. Being a New Yorker definitely gets you national face time that you wouldn’t otherwise get, all things being equal. I mean, Ed Koch, c’mon. They kept putting him on TV long after it was apparent that he would never be anything but an ex-mayor with an opinion, and I was always struck by how repulsive he was regardless of his politics. Why did Ed Koch merit more than a passing mention on national television? Does anybody care what the ex-mayor of Des Moines thinks about anything?

  116. 116
    Caz says:

    So hilarious. I don’t think there’s a liberal site out there that uses as many insults as this one. While everyone else is at least pretending to be more civil following the Giffords incident, this site just plows on with insults and hate speech directed at any conservative target they can think of.

    I’ve given up trying to make substantive arguments on this site, but I still visit it to get a good laugh at how out of touch you all are and how much you literally hate conservatives and wish terrible things on them.

    Pathetic. Entertaining. Ignoramuses.

    Good stuff, keep it comin!

  117. 117
    DPirate says:

    The $1.67 average hourly-rate-per-child that teachers are paid does not look very high when compared to what babysitters get ($6.04) and the average nanny ($12).

    …..

    I guess you pay into your babysitter’s pension fund, then? Since they are so equivalent I assume you are attempting to organise them within the NEA. I know you don’t mean it as such, but the basic function of public school teachers IS to be a babysitter and a nanny – it is mainly intended to be day care so both parents can work long hours.

    I know people will never admit it, but judging from the output, that is fact.

  118. 118
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Jersey Jazzman: You certainly deserved it. And we will indeed invade your comments; we’re not terribly shy.

  119. 119
    Dennis G. says:

    @Jersey Jazzman:
    Glad to call attention to the good work you’re doing. I hope more folks will check in to your work.

    Cheers

  120. 120
    bob h says:

    All these clowns, Christie, Walker, and Judge Vinson are competing to get into the Pantheon of wingnuttery.

Comments are closed.