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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Economics 101 Fail

More on last night's stupidity:
"Why don’t you allow us to do our job and pay the superintendent a market rate for the excellent job he is doing?" Chatinover asked.
Christie argued that he was defending the taxpayers and that by moving between school districts, superintendents are driving up their own pay.
"It’s inflated artificial market value that they create themselves amongst themselves," Christie responded.
Let's have Bruce Baker put these "greedy" superintendent salaries in context:
[Click through to see Bruce's other charts.]

Does Christie really think that this market is completely closed? That people who have the skills to manage a school district couldn't be doing other things? That bright, ambitious young people who would normally consider a career in school administration aren't going to look at this and think maybe there are other fields they should consider?

Econ 101 is all about supply and demand. If you artificially depress the wages of school administrators, you are going to depress number of people willing to do the job. The movement of superintendents - and there's no evidence that I've seen that we have much movement anyway - has nothing to do with it.

Granted, we can have a legitimate discussion about the barriers to entry in educational administration. But that's not what this is about. Chris Christie needs scapegoats, and school superintendents serve the purpose as well as anyone else.

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