Date: April 16, 2011 9:41:19 AM CDT
Subject: I OPPOSE senate bill 22 and so much more (open on 4/17/11)
Dear Scott Walker,
I OPPOSE senate bill 22 and so much more. Tonight I want to revisit the letter written by the almost 9 year-old who understands your bill. Here is the letter:
Dear Governor Scott Walker,
My name is XXXXX XXXX and I am almost 9 years old. My parents were talking about what is going on in Madison and I asked a few questions about the government. If I’m 9 years old and I can understand what you’re trying to do with the bill, maybe you should try spreading your story the way I would understand it. Here’s what I understand about the bill: The money that goes into teachers’ retirement and health care funds comes out of tax-payer’s pockets. We’ve promised something that is unsustainable (unsustainable means can’t go on forever). It’s either change the way benefits are paid for, or some teachers and public workers lose their jobs. The other big part of the bill is about workers’ “rights”—the rules that the employers have to follow so they don’t hurt the workers. Your Bill makes it so that workers can join the union if they want to, if not they can talk to their boss to work out rules. What the workers don’t understand is that they think they have no rights. But they still will have rights just like every American. They think you believe that they don’t do a good job so they get paid less. But that is not true. We don’t have enough money to pay them as much. Like if something did not buy one of my dad’s trees because they can’t afford it, that doesn’t mean they don’t like trees. The workers think you don’t care about education. But that is not true. I believe in you. I always wish I could shout: “GO SCOTT WALKER!!!” But I don’t because teachers might be mad at me. Hope my suggestions help!! XXXXX X. XXXX
When I emailed you about this letter on Thursday night, I wrote about how I was impressed with the level of metacognition and overall grammatical correctness of sentences. Let’s be honest though, the child’s explanation provided is over simplistic and largely targeted at teachers. He or she refers to taxpayers having to pay for teachers’ retirement and healthcare. I know that deferred compensation can be difficult to understand. Maybe this will help clarify; teachers get paid less money on their paychecks, so the rest of the earned money can fund retirement and healthcare. It is like getting paid for chores and having some of the money go directly to a “fund for the future”. This is not a phenomenon strictly restricted to teachers. Deferred compensation has been known to occur in other public and private sector occupations. It also seems like the author would benefit from discussion about how currency changes from being taxpayer money to earned income. Once a citizen provides a good or service and is paid, the money then becomes earned income for the worker. It is like getting paid to make the bed. Once the money is paid to the worker, it is earned income. I find it interesting that the almost 9 year-old student is concerned about teachers being upset with him or her for his or her thoughts about the bill. It makes me wonder about the environment that this child is being raised in. Overall, I find teachers to be some of the most caring, compassionate, and patient people I know. They are able to respect differing perspectives and opinions without becoming mad. In my 12 years of teaching, I have never witnessed or known about a teacher becoming upset over an almost 9 year-old’s political views. This is conjecture on my part; perhaps there is some parental projection fueling the idea that a teacher would be mad about a student’s stance on the bill. I OPPOSE senate bill 22 and so much more.
It's never too late to begin your happily ever after :)