Karen Lewis is under attack. But do you agree with her?

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is under attack from the right wing again. But isn’t that where a real union leader should be?

At this very moment I still believe there is one party in this country — that is, the party of money, with two branches. 

Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. Please understand that. However, we are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just — off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.

 I don’t think we’re at that point. 

The key is that they think nothing of killing us. They think nothing about putting us in harm’s way. They think nothing about lethal working conditions.

-CTU President Karen Lewis.


9 Replies to “Karen Lewis is under attack. But do you agree with her?”

  1. Karen’s comments were taken out of context…She was offering a history lesson…Haymarket was part of the birth of the union struggle….FDR saved the country from communism through the WPA…History, math, facts…..The teacher’s know history!

  2. “[t]hey think nothing of killing us.” That’s preposterous, and to see 90%+ of teachers in agreement is terrifying.

      1. Fred, I, have tried like you to follow the data on pensions and the budget for some years so I’ve started reading here regularly. I come to entirely different conclusions about the data and hope that you can point me to your posts or sources for your basic points — that a progressive tax, closing loopholes, expansion of the sales tax, etc. are enough to solve the problem. And do you agree with the official unfunded state pension deficit figure of $96B? I think those revenue sources would add $2-3 B, and that the unfunded liability is more like $200B and TRS has only 18% of what it should have, so no reform proposal from anybody really addresses the problem. I’ve told teachers in my family that the 9% of their paycheck going to TRS is going into a sinkhole that cannot be fixed. I keep an open mind and try to report them on my blog at http://www.wirepoints.com. Happy to review and report any sources that you point me to.

  3. Your assertion of an unfunded pension liability of $200 billion is absurd. I’m not about to recount to you years of blogging. You do the work. From my brief look at your blog, you seem to have already made up your mind. But you can start here: The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability’s report on why a graduated income tax.

    1. That report you suggest from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability is where I got the $2-3B figure I mentioned, which does not solve much. The $200B pension deficit is not absurd — roughly that number will be required in 2014 under new rules of the Governmental Accounting Standard Board. The recent State of the States report by Harvard and the American Education Foundation, the report of the bipartisan State Budget Crisis Task force headed by Paul Volker, work of Prof. Josh Rauh at Stanford and others all say the unfunded pension liability for the state is about twice the official $96B that both labor and “reformers” are working off of.

      Teachers in particular ought to know that TRS’ problems are twice as bad as commonly reported, which is documented here: http://www.wirepoints.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1942&action=edit.

      The state is lying to pensioners and you, especially, ought to be questioning their numbers.

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