The Powers and the Victims
I note something telling and pervasive in the latest anti-TCC assault by Tiverton Democrat stone-thrower Richard Joslin (currently online only; we’ll see tonight whether it gets into the Sakonnet Times):
I know TCC supporters who are elderly, on fixed income and live mostly in North Tiverton. I am not upset about these people. I know they struggle with paying taxes. I think the TCC leadership uses these people and incites them with economic fear. I think these taxpayers deserve assistance.
I believe that the TCC in part is fighting for a large number of older wealthy adults without kids who bought very expensive retirement property here during the real estate boom of 2002-2007. Stuck now with houses whose value has plummeted, they are just looking out for their pocketbooks. Holding onto their wallets trumps any care for the future of education here.
Isn’t that always the storyline from the Left? The ideas are presumed to be in the service of affluent greed, and those without the bank accounts who sympathize are mere pawns. Couldn’t it be that the “root cause” of that right-wing evil can’t be so simply drawn? One hesitates to point out something as obvious as the fact that those on fixed incomes have, if anything, more reason to “hold onto their wallets,” but, well.
In his ideological determination, Mr. Joslin misses a blindspot that leaves him vulnerable to the charge of allowing union benefits to trump local education:
TCC says it wants budget cuts. Tiverton schools have already cut programs in sports, advanced placement, language, music, art and more. So, TCC, cut what else? Oust the teachers’ union? As a 12-year resident and taxpayer I demand that we all make the TCC more transparent. They are arrogant; as newcomers they tell us that we have been incompetent and they know best. They point fingers at respected officials.
I haven’t polled my peers, but I suspect that there’d be a softening of their wallet-grips if the argument weren’t that programs have been cut and teachers need more money, but that teachers’ compensation had been cut and the programs required more funding. Be that as it may, it’s a curiosity, indeed, that those who argue so vehemently for the future of education seem incapable of articulating the thought that, in tight financial times, all increases ought to go to programs, rather than teachers (who make more individually, by the by, than whole households up here in the North).
Count me among those inclined to withhold further contributions from the obligatory charity of public education if the dollars are to be snatched from the table for the enrichment of adults, rather than for the restoration of programs that might allow me to return my children to public education without feeling irresponsible as a parent.