Sunday, February 28, 2016

Shouldn’t Bernie Sanders Want to Underpay Teachers?
...Take public education. There is essentially a “single payer” for education within school districts. The teachers, principals, custodians, textbooks, and school buildings are all paid for by the government. Yet Bernie Sanders would never argue that the government should use its near-monopoly to push teacher salaries below market levels. In fact, raising teacher pay to be on par with the salaries of other college graduates is a perennial goal of progressives. Americans “must do everything we can to support our educators,” Sanders says on his website. “Something is very wrong when, last year, the top 25 hedge fund managers earned more than the combined income of 425,000 public school teachers.” But by Sanders’ own cost-cutting standard for single-payer systems, the supposedly low pay of teachers should be celebrated as a major success of public education!

To see the inconsistency another way, imagine Republicans trying to portray a cut in education spending as merely “savings” generated by “limiting reimbursements to education providers.” Sanders would have an arm-waving fit, warning that education quality would suffer. Somehow he has no similar concern when doctors are the ones being squeezed. So here is a question for a reporter to ask: “Senator Sanders, given the benefits of single-payer systems you’ve described, shouldn’t you want to underpay not only doctors, but teachers as well?”