Man, even when the Oregonian Editorial Board is reporting on some genuinely good economic news, they just can’t help themselves from ginning up a class war against teachers and other public employees.
In the case of today’s editorial, it’s some painfully passive-aggressive jabs at the folks who educate our children and keep us safe.
After delivering the news that Oregon’s economy is improving (thanks only to the private sector, according to the online headline), Erik Lukens & Co. dive into this:
“The weakest employment sector: government employment, with many of the job losses coming in education. All told, the state shed 1,200 government jobs, after seasonal adjustments, in June. But that's not a big reason for concern.”
Not a big reason for concern? Tell that to the mother who had to explain to her child why his favorite teacher got fired. Tell that to the student, who’s now crammed into a classroom with 36 other kids struggling to be taught. Tell that to the teacher, who’s now unable to pay rent or buy food at local businesses.
Then, Lukens and friends dive into a six-paragraph argument about—I guess—why the private sector is better than the public sector. And just in case you haven’t figured out their blatant political agenda yet: Yes, they find space to attack public pensions.
It’s painfully obvious that the Oregonian is following the lead of the state’s most powerful corporate lobbyists. They’re trying to drive a wedge between working Oregonians by demonizing (or at the very least, belittling) the work done by teachers, nurses, firefighters, and other public workers.
It’s their way of distracting you from the fact that their beloved tax breaks have grown out of control, even while we cut school budgets.
Frankly, if the Oregonian were interested in helping to create a better future for all Oregonians, they’d say something like this:
“There’s some great news out today about Oregon’s economic health. In most sectors, we’ve increased jobs and are providing opportunities for Oregon families. Unfortunately, there’s also some bad news, as the reports show big drops in jobs among teachers and public employees who provide basic services.
“While we should applaud the growth in private sector jobs, we have to recognize that the loss of teachers and other education professionals means we’re disinvesting in the services that will safeguard our future. Worse, we’re shortchanging the next generation of Oregonians by sticking them in overcrowded classrooms and taking away critical educational opportunities.
“The future of this state depends on us investing in our schools and basic infrastructure that allows families and businesses to thrive.”