We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Today, Slovakia has the lowest average salaries in the euro zone. How am I supposed to explain to people that they are going to have to pay a higher value-added tax (VAT) so that Greeks can get pensions three times as high as the ones in Slovakia?
Hmmmmm. In the US, shrinking unions have retreated to the bastions of monopoly - schools and givernment (sp), where they wield great power to plunder the people:
Bob Samuels, the president of the union, says this effectively gives the union veto power over any online initiative that might endangers the jobs or work lives of its members. “We feel that we could stop almost any online program through this contract,” Samuels told Inside Higher Ed.
"... Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations ... The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for ... officials ... to bind the employer ... The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives ...
"Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people ... This obligation is paramount ... A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent ... to prevent or obstruct ... Government ... Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government ... is unthinkable and intolerable."
The cartoon of the teacher, student, and parent hits home with me.
My elder son had struggled with some classes at various times through his schooling. Each time, when I visited the teacher to discuss the issues, I would finish by saying "do what you need to do."
This always elicited a reaction of surprise. Each teacher was unaccustomed to hearing a parent give them significant leeway.
I would always reply "I got better grades because my parents taught me, as a child, that my job was to get good grades. In my career, there was never an instance in which a teacher would be the cause of my bad grades."
I tell my sons about the only "F" I ever received, in 10th grade science. 4 quarter. We were studying engines, and at the time I didn't care for this topic (though I have since changed my view). To make matters worse, I disliked the teacher and my grades had been declining. She had taken a book from me early in the year (it was a Polish/Italian joke book she considered inappropriate) and we had fought over it all year. I shut her out, and started causing trouble in class.
My mother stepped in, resolved the situation involving the book, thinking it would get me to concentrate. But I was done with this teacher. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, I wasn't even bothering to study.
Was it the teacher's fault? Not in the least. It was all my attitude. Of course, I'd never have admitted it at the time....that's just the arrogance of youth. Over time, I saw exactly how I played the situation and have resolved to avoid having things like that happen to me or my kids.
So I always worked with the teacher, letting them know my job was to support them, and letting my kids know they have a job to do when they are in school.
It's possible that "F" cost me at some point along the line - but if it did, I have no idea where, except as a blow to my feeling of accomplishment. I can never get that back.