How Radical Are the Teachers’ Unions?

Until the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Janus case in 2018, citizens of a number of states, including Minnesota, were essentially taxed to support local teachers’ unions. In those states, no one could legally teach in a public school without paying the union out of his or her salary–which, of course, came entirely from taxpayers. That this situation was allowed to persist for decades should have been a scandal.

Teachers’ unions, like all public sector unions, have always been pro-government and therefore liberal. But I suspect most people do not understand how partisan, and how radical, the teachers’ unions are. A few days ago, I happened to come across this 5″ by 7″ card produced by Education Minnesota. It advertises the union’s political initiative Click to enlarge:

I think that means you share your wealth with them. This is the back of the card:

This is not just hyper-partisan, it is an insane fantasy. “[F]or decades, the richest Minnesotans–and the conservative politicians that choose the rich over the rest of us–have rigged the economy against regular people…” Really? How? Minnesota is one of the most liberal states in the country, with the fifth highest top personal income tax rate, and the fourth highest corporate income tax rate. It is true that Minnesota’s economy is sluggish, experiencing slow growth and below-average productivity and capital investment, but that is because of the left-wing policies that Education Minnesota–by far the state’s most powerful political force–has helped to drive.

And the bit about the “richest Minnesotans” is drivel. Most rich people who participate in politics are on the left. In significant races in Minnesota, DFL candidates typically have three to four times as much money to spend as Republican candidates. The Democratic Party is awash with money, much of which comes from rich liberals. Current Governor Tim Walz’s predecessor was Mark Dayton, a far-left Democrat whose family is worth billions of dollars.

Education Minnesota then lays out, in the broadest possible terms, the left-wing wish list. Basically, it means they want the government to pay for everything. What stands in their way? “To make this a reality, we need the rich to pay their fair share like the rest of us.” Again, this is a fantasy. As every informed person knows, high income earners pay vastly disproportionate amounts of income taxes. And, on top of that, Minnesota is one of the few states that still have an estate or inheritance tax.

Then we have this: “[S]adly, conservative lawmakers are digging in their heels to protect the rich.” It is hard to tell what this refers to. Budget negotiations are taking place, right now, between the Democratic Governor and House of Representatives and the Republican Senate. It is already a given that spending will rise dramatically–again–and, with a multi-billion dollar surplus and billions more flowing in from the federal government, tax increases are not in the offing. But the far Left can never be satisfied.

Worst of all, perhaps, is that many teachers carry the crazed leftism of Education Minnesota into their classroom instruction.

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