An NEA member, the CEO of a Fortune Five Hundred Company, an elected public official, and a tea partier are sitting at a table. The tea partier, as a taxpayer and member of the private sector, bakes a dozen cookies and puts them on the table. The elected public official takes the 12 cookies and gives 6 to the CEO and 6 to the NEA member. The CEO and the NEA member wolf down all the cookies. The elected official pulls a gun on the tea partier and says “bake more cookies.”
And the moral of the story? Crony capitalism, where companies like GE and Goldman Sachs get money from the government, sucks . . . and so does crony political capitalism. Crony political capitalism is where government officials give higher salaries and benefits with taxpayer money to public employee unions in exchange for: (1) a cut of the wages coming back as political contributions from union dues; and (2) a ready supply of campaign workers and street thugs in the form of union members.
This crony political capitalism has lead to unfunded pension liabilities for public employees of over $2,000,000,000,000.00. That has to be dealt with by shared sacrifice. “Shared” means everyone gets to take a bite of the sh!t sandwich. That includes the NEA and other public employee unions.
Finally, considering that the average salary for teachers ($42k per year)—before factoring in the several months off per year, the very generous health care, and frequently guaranteed-benefit pension plans—now exceeds the average full-time worker salary in the U.S. ($39k), NEA members have far more in common with CEOs these days than with workers in the private sector: they both sit on top of pyramids taking income and benefits created by others.