Monday, July 8, 2013

Class Sizes Are Not The Only Things Growing

Corporate decisions are to families what a hurricane is to a growing tree. 

Perhaps you have seen that the latest jobs report came out.  Only 47% of adults are working full time.  
“The report, however, also provides clear evidence that the the nation is splitting into two; only 47% of Americans have a full-time job and those who don't are finding it increasingly out of reach.” 
If you are in the “middle” of your life, you probably know plenty of hard-working friends that in this past month have lost their jobs.  It's the end of the corporate quarter.  It’s reorganization time.  Out with the old, in with the new and the less expensive. 

And, the mantra has been that schools should be run like businesses.  However, in education, reorganization is called “reform.”

Reorganize... Reform, right?!  Good for the nation!  Good for the future!  Cut expenses, make money and it will all trickle down and water the trees.  Growth.

You have seen the growth:
  • Swelling tax loopholes (for large corporations, not average citizens) squeezing budgets into deficit.
  • Emerging markets and budding privatization schemes that transform public community resources into for-profit entities – all the while devouring taxpayer funds.
  • Advancing families as “human capital” and updating cheaper labor tactics.
  • Rising middle and lower class debt through pay-cuts and underemployment.
  • Prune more for growth and a better future

Do we really understand the kind of gale force winds that are stirring?  The kind of growth in wealth that is our country?  A Harvard business professor and economist, asked that very question.  You may find the answer and the reality a bit shocking:

In cash-strapped economic times, it is comforting to know that CEOs are shamelessly making 273 times the wages of the average worker yet blaming “greedy” teachers.  Even the New York Times Executive Pay Report details a 16% growth for CEOs these difficult economic times. 

Can we question why we have difficult economic times?  Why are these times so much more uncertain?  Here's a quick journey back in time to CEO vs. average worker salary ratios:

CEO to Average Worker
  • 1965:  20.1-to-1
  • 1978:  29.0-to-1
  • 1995:  122.6-to-1
  • 2000:  383.4-to-1 
  • 2012:  272.9-to-1, far higher than it was in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s.

The Economic Policy Institute report shows:
"From 1978 to 2012, CEO compensation measured with options realized increased about 875 percent, a rise more than double stock market growth and substantially greater than the painfully slow 5.4 percent growth in a typical worker’s compensation over the same period."

 Diane Ravitch points out:
Think how busy they must be outsourcing jobs to low-wage nations. Tough job, but someone has to do it.

So, growth is accepted everywhere.  CEO compensation… class sizes… underfunded school formulas… school closures... “experts”… overregulation…

Have you seen what else is growing?


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