Talk radio is the perfect forum for cowards like Casey Bartholomew, one of the Jersey Boys. The minute he gets challenged, he can spew out an irrelevant question to a caller who isn't used to the format, demand an answer, and hang up on them. In an open debate with a knowledgeable opponent, he wouldn't last long enough to wipe the spittle from his chin.
Today, in the six o'clock hour, the Boys had on a caller who was a teacher (Karen from Warren, I think). She tried to explain to him that a 10% cut in her pay is going to severely affect her family; Bartholomew's response was to mock her by fake crying. He then demanded to know what she made; she wouldn't tell him, insisting (correctly) that it was irrelevant to her argument. He hung up on her.
Another teacher came on next; she immediately told Bartholomew she made $55 thousand. She said her house was in jeopardy, because she couldn't understand how she could make her payments if she took a 10% cut. Bartholomew said - and, no, I'm not making this up - that she shouldn't have purchased the house; apparently, home ownership is now a dream deferred for teachers. And he called her "babe." Gee, wonder where that's coming from...
He then told her that everybody else in the private sector has been taking these hits; people in the public sector have been "insulated" from the realities that the rest of the work force has to face.
Let me now prove that Casey Bartholomew is the biggest fool on two feet:
- Here is the Employment Cost Index for the New York-New Jersey Area. Yearly compensation cost inflation is 2.2% in the Mid-Atlantic region; it's 1.7% for wages alone. The private sector has not taken a big compensation decrease this past year; if they had, there would be literal rioting in the streets.
- The legislation proposed will cut the average teachers salary by around 10% when you add in higher co-pays and deductibles. See above.
- Teacher pay has lagged behind the average wage in NJ for over 20 years.
- Since spring of 2010, teacher contracts were settling at 1.6% raises.
- A NJ public employee with a bachelor's degree makes an average yearly salary of $56,641; in the private sector in NJ, that average is $89,041. The gap is wider for workers with a masters: $107,328 for the private worker vs $69,171 for the public worker.
So, no, you friggin' idiot, not everybody has been taking this hit. And, no, you massive tool, teachers have not been "insulated" from changes in wage inflation.
(And I ask myself: isn't it time for me to start ramping up the campaign against the propaganda machine that is NJ 101.5?)