Perspective

The NFL lockout is about to end, once the players vote to accept the new deal. Our long national nightmare can finally end. As a sports-loving person, I can understand how fans have been clamoring about when this will end so that they can get back to obsessing about their favorite sport. If my favorites were headed for a work-stoppage, I am sure I’d be just as annoyed.

At the same time though the way people are keeping tabs on the lockout is a bit puzzling to me when I consider some of the other issues going on in the world today. In Oslo, Norway, there was a bombing and it took a long time before major news organizations in the US picked up on the story. Well, MSNBC was talking about it fairly quickly. It was only later that CNN or the other networks picked up on the story. That kind of stuff infuriates me. Then again, when I am looking for relevant news, I am usually forced to look at news sources not based in the US.

This kind of stuff really makes me think about what we value in society. For me, the biggest indicator of what we think is valuable is pay for work. I’m usually thinking of this when it comes to what we pay teachers to educate society’s children. Many people I talk to think that teachers are overpaid. They also believe they are paid a salary based upon 12 months out of a year, even though the teachers only work nine months. I’ve even met one person who was incredulous that he knew a teacher made the same amount of money that he made, despite the fact that he felt he was clearly more educated, having a law degree.

Where to begin? The teacher in question was only making around $50,000 a year. Sad thing, I am sure this teacher had been at it for at least a dozen years and had advanced degrees. Not to mention, the teacher was probably in one of the better paying school districts. Why is it so difficult for our society to pay teachers a decent wage? Why do we run around saying we care about educating children, yet we refuse to pay salaries that allow those who do the educating to live, but not do it paycheck to paycheck? Why is it so hard to think that paying a teacher enough money and giving them supplies so they don’t have to use their own money to get them to educate our kids such a difficult concept?

I sometimes wonder if our kids are getting dumber as each generation goes by now since our education system is so severely flawed. I know that there are other issues besides pay, but that seems to be a big thing in attracting the very best into the profession to do the educating. If education is so important and we supposedly value it, why do we not want the best doing it? And don’t think for a second that people aren’t leaving the profession due to pay. It’s happening. Just see this article about it.

Instead we focus all of our attention on things that in the grand scheme of things don’t matter. Like billionaire owners wanting to take a larger slice of the pie from players. Or companies cutting workers and forcing the remaining workers to do more for the same pay. Or that everyone is paying too much in taxes and thus they have to be lowered. Some day, I hope we will start to get our priorities straight and start focusing on things that REALLY matter and not just things that generally go against personal interests.

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