Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Specific Example Of How Unions & Govt Are Killing The American Dream

I agree with most of this article except where Mr. Augustine calls for more government intervention in education. I read this because a friend wrote to me about how unfair conservatives are to unions and government. I still disagree.

Danger: America Is Losing Its Edge In Innovation

Part of the problem is the lack of priority U.S. parents place on core education. But there are also problems inherent in our public education system. We simply don’t have enough qualified math and science teachers. Many of those teaching math and science have never taken a university-level course in those subjects.

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher; in fact, I took early retirement from my job in the aerospace industry to pursue a career in education. But I was deemed unqualified to teach 8th-grade math in any school in my state. Ironically, I was welcomed to the faculty at Princeton University, where the student newspaper ranked my course as one of 10 that every undergraduate should take.

Schools need to be filled with teachers that excel in the knowledge of what they teach, not excel in what teacher's unions feel is necessary to be a good teacher. Some of the most disagreeable teachers that taught classes in which I was a student taught me the most. Many of the most agreeable teachers I had taught me little because they were the student's friend in place of the student's teacher.

Many engineers are entrepreneurs who delight in discovery, invention and profit from those discoveries and inventions. Many cannot afford to be entrepreneurs because of government rules, regulations and laws that do not protect their work and tax it at prohibitive rates.

Unions and government, which are becoming the same thing, are killing our innovation and hard work ethic which are the bedrock of the American dream. The punishment of innovators by government and the mediocrity of unions is a very bad partnership, but who doesn't know that.