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Pay Inequities

July 5th 2005

Teachers Pay debate

In light of the recent battle between the teachers’ union and the Salem-Keizer school district, I’ve realized the immense indignity society has been subjecting teachers to. The basic job of a teacher is to educate.  The people who are to further a generation’s intelligence are being, on average, about $30,000 a year (if they have their masters.)

Meanwhile, rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube’s latest piece of cinema “Are We There Yet?” grossed $18.5 million in its first weekend. The sheer and insane amount Americans are willing to pay for entertainment is astounding as well as disgusting. In 2002, Americans spent $7.7 billion to see movies in the theatre and $15 billion on music. The year 2000 witnessed citizens spending $19.92 billion on video rentals and purchases. Computer and video games generated $6.02 billion in sales in 2000.


And the people who occupy these professions are paid handsomely. An average professional actor (of non-celebrity status) makes an easy income of about $53,843 a year. A teacher earns about $30,000 a year. Simon Cowell, who is obviously an asset to the future of America, makes a perverse $2 million a year.

And thank god that this $2 million was spent to bring us the likes of Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson’s newest hit, “Since U Been Gone,” lacks proper spelling and leads one to believe that maybe a portion of Cowell’s $2 million should go towards education.  In addition to this gross dependence on the entertainment industry, Americans also harbor a patriotic love of athletics. In fact, this lustful affair drives citizens to spend nearly $8 billion on spectator sports annually allowing even the worst paid basketball team in the league to bring in $24,262,775 a year.

What would we do without the likes of jocks, celebrities, and pop stars.  Apparently, save a lot of money.  It was nearly an impossible task for the Salem-Keizer school district educators to achieve a better income. Teachers wanting more pay? Who do they think they are, Rasheed Wallace? Now there’s a man who deserves millions.

Before teachers receive a new contract and the credit they deserve, they will have to demand society’s respect. It’s not a matter of raising taxes; it’s a matter of undoing a deeply laid foundation of diversion-obsessed Americans who are more than willing to spend their livelihood on football games and movies.  Until this indignity is apprehended, educators will continue to suffer.  Well, they and the capabilities and intelligence of the future.

By Molly McHugh
Molly is a freelance writer



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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM