I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don't Let Facts Spoil a Good Narrative!

Facts are stupid things, anyway: (Link is broken; retrieved 6/6/10)

Meanwhile, a look at data from several decades shows that while average teacher pay is higher than the average of all workers salaries -- everyone from landscapers to surgeons, for example -- it grew at a slower rate than all workers' pay grew.
Teachers average pay rose nearly 150 percent between 1985 and 2008.
The average wage for all workers in the state in 1985 was $21,107, according to state Department of Labor and Workforce Development data. The average pay for all workers in 2008, the last year currently available, was $55,282, an increase of 162 percent.
Overall, the rate of inflation over that same time period was 122 percent for an area including New York, Northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
So, how do Christie's stooges spin this one?

What's missing in these calculations are what teachers receive in benefits, said Michael Drewniak, Christie's spokesman. That's the crux of the problem along with the union's expectation that raises of 4 and 5 percent should continue unchecked, Drewniak said.
"It's a gold-plated benefits system they have and it's far out of the mainstream of what the private sector has,'' Drewniak said. "The curve cannot continue to rise straight up in both salaries and benefits. How many people in the regular world are getting 4 and 5 percent raises each year, a gold-plated benefits package and a rich pension?''
We've now hit the point in this country where people who have good health insurance that doesn't cost them a fortune have a "gold-plated benefit."

Think about that.

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