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The Truth About Teacher Salaries

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I mentioned earlier in the program today that I would be telling you of a shocking study on the truth of what public school teachers earn.  A couple of researchers looked into this, and the Washington Examiner editorializes today, and the headline of their piece is:  "Public School Teachers Make More Than Private Sector Workers." 

Now, the reason I'm gonna spend some time on this is because we always hear about how teachers don't earn anything and they're so important.  "It's just not right, Mr. Limbaugh. These athletes, A-Rod, with his $275 million contract, what's A-Rod doing for people compared to teachers?  Teachers do so much more for people.  Teachers are so important, they're so underpaid, it's just not right, Mr. Limbaugh, just isn't right.  Teachers are so important, and we just disrespect them throughout all of our society."  That's the public conventional wisdom.

And as the Washington Examiner writes: "We can already hear the anguished, angry protests of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. But our headline captures the essence of an important new study being released today by Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis and American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs. Richwine and Biggs found that when public school teachers and private sector workers are compared objectively on the basis of cognitive skills -- rather than years of service or educational attainment -- the educators enjoy higher compensation -- contrary to the claims of union officials in public debate and in negotiations with school boards.
"This is seen most dramatically when workers switch from non-teaching jobs to teaching jobs. Such a move typically results in a wage increase of approximately nine percent. 'Teachers who change to non-teaching jobs, on the other hand, see their wages decrease by roughly 3 percent. This is the opposite of what one would expect if teachers were underpaid,' Richwine and Biggs said."  And Mr. Biggs, Andrew Biggs himself has written a piece asking, "Are Public School Teachers Desperately Underpaid?"

"Today, my co-author Jason Richwine and I will be releasing a new study on public school teacher pay and holding an event at AEI. It’s interesting stuff that’s worth hearing about in person, but here’s the short story.  Salaries: Public school teachers receive lower salaries than similarly-educated private sector workers; this leads many to conclude, as Education Secretary Arne Duncan did, that teachers are 'desperately underpaid.' But these credentials-based comparisons are dicey when a single occupation (teacher) generally holds a single type of degree (bachelors or masters in education). Research we cite shows that education is, to put things bluntly, among the easiest college majors -- teachers enter college with below-average SAT scores but earn far higher GPAs than people majoring in history, chemistry, or other subjects. That skews the numbers."

The bottom line with this is that it's another piece of conventional wisdom that has now been stood on its head.  That compared to others, public school teachers are desperately underpaid.  They're not.  They make more than private sector workers, and that's becoming accurate to say about every public sector versus private sector job.  The average public sector employee makes almost twice when you factor benefits into the picture what a private sector person makes.  Now, some of you might say, "So what, Rush.  I thought you were for everybody doing well."  Oh, I am, don't misunderstand.  But private sector people are the ones who are paying the public sector people.  That becomes a problem. 

When the people paying earn only half of the people who are being paid by them that's not gonna work out.  Now, a good deal of the revenue from schools comes from property taxes, you know, the homes and businesses of people who never pay their fair share, many of whom don't have children living at home.  What does this money pay for?  Public sector union teachers, administrators and their facilities and all part of a near monopoly that turns out ill-educated students.  That's what the scores say, that's what business owners say, they all agree.  Yet despite these results, these greedy property owners who are derogatorily called the 1%, they're dutifully paying their property taxes without so much as a thank you. 

You know, yesterday I got off on a rant about it being time that we went after the left's base. They're going after ours as racist and sexists and we are the 1%, and we're the ones not paying our fair share and all of that; and we have to have our taxes increased. We've gotta "do more," when in fact their base make up the nation's losers! Way too many people who vote Democrat are in the loser class in this country, and they're out there with their hands out. They're demanding this and they're demanding that just because they can -- and no matter what they're given, they never say thank you. They just continue to complain that it's not enough; and they continue to claim that others who are providing what they get still aren't paying their fair share; and all of this is encouraged by the Democrats. But we, we are what?

We're supposed to thank all of these public sector teachers. We're supposed to thank these people for the hard work they're doing educating our students -- and we're expected to say that we wish they were paid more. We are expected to say that they are being taken advantage of by the rich, evil 1% who aren't paying their fair share. That's the accepted narrative: "Teachers, principals, administrators rebuke are underpaid, underappreciated; we don't say thanks enough for all the hard work they do. Instead we're overpaying athletes and bankers and everybody else." When in fact the takers and losers that make up the Democrat Party base never say thanks for anything. All they ever say is, "It's not enough," and that's what these guys, Richwine and Biggs, have done at AEI and Heritage. They have studied and they have examined who really is underpaid and who isn't, and it's interesting stuff. It gets a little technical, which is why I have summarized it for you here.

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