Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"I can't make a living on 500K"-- a message to the whiners

I have been stewing about this all day. In fact, I have been getting angrier and angrier, and I figure it is better to write about this than to yell at some unsuspecting undergraduate. Be forewarned: This is not a diary about education, though I suppose it the ultimate outcome about all of this is that education will be affected.

Long story short: If I have to read about one more Wall Street whiner who is pissed because he or she didn't get the usual annual bonus, I am going to scream. I will probably blow a vessel if one more complains about $500K salary caps.

Last fall, the Bush Administration gave the banks billions of dollars with few or no strings attached. The bank, instead of starting to loan that money out, hoarded it, used it for conferences, and paid execs bonuses. That's right, our taxpayer money went to reward the yahoos who helped to get us in this mess.

So yesterday, the New York Times had an article about how some folks on Wall Street thought it was unfair that President Obama was placing a $500K salary cap and bonus cap. Today, Obama called for "common sense." Sorry, it's not common sense. It's FAIR.

The folks on Wall Street claim they deserve the bonus because they work harder than other people. Ehm, tell that to police and firefighters who risk their lives everyday. Tell that to hospital workers. Tell that to teachers who work in less-than-ideal conditions. If we follow through on their logic, there are a lot of people who are due some pretty amazing bonuses.

The bigger issue for me is the hypocrisy that is operating here. Yesterday there was an article about Tom Suozzi threatening layoffs if the unions didn't take a 7% pay cut. Question: is he taking a pay cut? Are the managers taking a paycut? How about the judges and other non-union workers?

I understand that we are living in tough times, but let's be real here. The people who are telling us we need to tighten our belts have no intention of tightening theirs. I just found out that they have put an 18 month salary freeze in place for folks here. I wonder if the state legislature is freezing their salaries as well.

Just sayin'

Monday, February 2, 2009

I miss Joe

Tonight I went to a celebration of the life of Joe Kincheloe. I dragged Mr. Edubabbler with me because I wanted to introduce him to more of my world. It was a rough night.

I have to admit, I am not one for public mourning. I prefer to do it in private, being alone with my thoughts and feelings. My mother hates that about me. After my sister died, all my mom wanted was to talk about it. I wanted to simply think and be. It was the same tonight. There were all of these people there, sharing stories about Joe. There was a presentation about Joe, his life, and his work. All I could think about was the fact that we were having this celebration of his life because he is no longer with us.

But, I got to hug Shirley, the love of his life. And I got to hear stories about Joe I'd never heard before. Most important, I got to see video of him, and I heard his voice again. I do not want to lose the sound of his voice in my mind. I need to hear his gentle prodding and love as I continue my work to make his (all our) vision of possibility a reality.

Peace, Joe.