Steve Jobs vs. Wall St. Whiners and Teachers Unions

Steve Jobs knew how to create wealth. The parasitic Wall Street protesters and teachers unions want to destroy it.

There are many theories as to who is orchestrating the “Occupy Wall Street” protests – known in some circles as “Kamp Alinsky” and “Kamp Kvetch” – in lower Manhattan and elsewhere throughout our country. George Soros? President Obama? Could they possibly be spontaneous?

No matter. The protesters and their message of social justice, socialism and general hatred of all things corporate will not affect the great majority of Americans. The average Joe and Jill are just trying to pay their bills, raise a family and live a decent life. Hence the Wall Street rabble, a motley combination of bored teenagers, old guard lefties and hard core partiers, many armed with iPhones, digital cameras and many other luxuries produced by corporations, are badly missing the mark. As usual, the protesters’ signs tell the story – none more so than the one that says, “A job is a right. Capitalism doesn’t work.” Could any serious types associate with this fringe mentality?

Enter Michael Mulgrew – the United Federation of Teachers president. Speaking “truth to power,” his tax-the-rich talk at a Wall St. rally fit right in with the angry mob that thinks wealth is evil and that if A has more money than B, A owes B some of it. It’s the mentality that thinks that there is no moral difference between Bernie Madoff and Bill Gates.

What the teachers unions really want is to make sure that every human being walking the planet who wants to be a teacher becomes one. Swelling the roles of the profession – competency be damned – makes the unions as rich and powerful as the corporations they hate for being rich and powerful.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten couldn’t miss the opportunity to throw in her two cents. As always, beating the victim drum, she whined about our country being on the wrong track and bemoaned the country’s “long term structural inequalities.” Whatever.

In highly ironic counterpoint, there is the much-too-early passing of the legendary Steve Jobs. One of the visionary founders of Apple Computers, the 56 year old Jobs succumbed to a long bout with pancreatic cancer last week. Jobs and Apple are perfect examples of capitalism at its best. The products Jobs was responsible for added quality and joy to the lives of millions of people around the world. Jobs was also responsible for helping to make many people wealthy – whether they were employees of Apple or just owned stock in the wildly successful company.

What is not known to many is that Jobs, who donated many thousands of computers to schools all over the country, had very pointed views about the American way of not educating our young. Here are just a few –

“I remember seeing a bumper sticker when the telephone company was all one. I remember seeing a bumper sticker with the Bell Logo on it and it said “We don’t care. We don’t have to.” And that’s what a monopoly is. That’s what IBM was in their day. And that’s certainly what the public school system is. They don’t have to care.”

“I believe very strongly that if the country gave each parent a voucher for forty-four hundred dollars that they could only spend at any accredited school, several things would happen. Number one, schools would start marketing themselves like crazy to get students. Secondly, I think you’d see a lot of new schools starting.”

(Referring to education reform) “The problem there of course is the unions. The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education because it’s not a meritocracy. It turns into a bureaucracy, which is exactly what has happened. The teachers can’t teach and administrators run the place and nobody can be fired. It’s terrible.”

It is terrible. The above comments could come out of a modern day education reformer’s handbook. However, Mr. Jobs uttered these wise words in April, 1995 – and the past 16 years have done nothing to invalidate them. The unions are still the worst thing that ever happened to education and we definitely need more school choice.

Mr. Jobs understood that competition and capitalism make the world a better place. The teachers unions are a special interest whose narrow focus benefits the few at the expense of the many. Is it any wonder then that Mulgrew, Weingarten and other union bosses associate themselves with the anti-capitalist freeloaders, socialists and losers who have nothing better to do with their time than to spew hatred at Wall Street?

(Larry Sand is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.)


  1. Goldwdater 4 Ever says

    Sand hits the nail on the head…..the difference tween what Steve Jobs did – without ANY government assistance – and what the scum occupiers are demanding is exceptionally revealing….and needs to be spotlighted more.

    Most amusing to me so far was the video of occupiers with anti-big business signs texting on their iPhones and Blackberries…..their hypocricy knows no bounds……but in the long run the occupier mob is driving more and more folks in our direction.

  2. Good article. Remember that former NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin 2009 said – “It’s Money & Power, Not Education”. Watch him in his own words at the video below. The unions, acting like the Mafia, demanding ‘protection money or else’, then buying corrupt politicians, or corrupting politicians, with dues, that SHOULD go into the retirement fund of said union. Taxpayers should NOT be funding retirement of union members.

    Union members…are you aware that you are being used by your Communist leaders? They have a far different agenda then what they are telling you.

  3. Alfred L Moniot MD says

    Useless SCUM ALL! Especially 95% of those in teachers’ unions at all levels!
    fmr LCDR, MC, USNR – nuke
    ret expat MD: NBME; ABIM; ABNM; ABR w/spec comp NR and 41 years in medicine

  4. I’m a retired general surgeon so I had 20 years of schooling & had at least 60 teachers. Out of that number I’d say I had 10 GREAT teachers. None of them in primary or high school, 4 in college and the other six were in Medical school. I truly believe that the people who go into education are not the “brightest bulbs in the lamp”. Really bright people go into science, law, or medicine. The main problem with our public schools today are the teachers who after a few years recieve “Tenure” and the teachers unions. It is not easy to fire a teacher. Another problem is the students, many have had no or
    little discipline at home. The Bible says “spare the rod and spoil the child” and that is VERY TRUE.
    Unruly children in the classroom make it diffucult for others to learn. Love your children but don’t be a friend. A swat on the butt when deserved will get the point across better than many “time outs”. But NEVER ” beat” on your child!!

    • B.Burtnick says

      YEA DocBoyer!! Appreciate your comments very much. God bless you and your life’s work.

    • I would like to reply to DocBoyer. I have been both inside and outside education for over 32 years. I am sorry that you believe that you didn’t have any good teachers, other than the 10 you mentioned. I guess that I must have been lucky because I have had many over the years. Primary, high school and at the college and university level. I entered education because I wanted to make a difference. It wasn’t for the money or the time off in the summer. It was becasue I had some teachers and professors said that I would make an excellent teacher. I have been in private schools (19 years), public schools (14 years), and taught at the university level (adjunct) for 4 years, while doing my regualr teaching job.
      I have had numerous students return to visit me saying I was very helpful and influential in both college and their lives outside of school. I believe that I have achieved my goal of not only educating my students but also being a mentor or parent to some whose parents were never around. I don’t know what kind of background (educational or home) you came from other than you did graduate medical school (with bachelor’s in there somewhere and a HS diploma), but I dislike it when people lump all teachers into a category. A few facts for you:
      1. About 30% of public school educators are conservative (I am one of them, have been since I could vote.) I am not a union person by heart, but I do pay my dues.
      2. Teachers deal with from 100-150 students per day. We have to be mother, father, mentor, and teacher to them. How many patients did you deal with in a day?
      3. Teachers many times buy items for use in the classroom and sometimes even for their students to take home. My wife taught for 30 years and spent $1000-$2000 per year on pants, shirts, jackets, even diapers when she worked with 3-5 year-old autistic children. She worked her whole career in Special Education.
      4. Teachers can be fired, tenure is nothing other than due process. If an administrator wants to get rid of a teacher all they have to do is document either what is or is not being done in the classroom. It is easier than you think. I have seen 5 teachers get fired in the years that I have been teaching If I were the administrator I would have added another 5-8 to the list). I have worked with over 100 teachers over the years.
      5. You also say a swat on the bottom instead of a time-out is necessary sometimes, I agree with you, but do that in the classroom and a teacher will be fired and/or sued by the parent.
      6. As for teachers “not being the brightest bulb in the lamp” , the same thing could be said about some doctors. Some medical schools will do what they can to help some students get through and become doctors. Some of the teachers that I work with have been in research, engineers, chemists and wanted to more for the students in our schools today. So they took paycuts to work with some of the bright minds that are in our schools.
      I hope that I have enlightened you and some others that think teachers go into teaching because they couldn’t get another job (in the real world.) I was an electrician, worked at an automotive store, and in retail sores. The most satisfaction that I got was when I entered the teaching profession.

  5. What these Occupy Wall Street folks show is a prime example of their parents not saying “NO” to them! Most definitely an example of unruly children, spoiled rotten children, children that have gotten anything/everything given to them as a child and are of the mentality of GIVE IT TO ME NOW! The entitlement era as I so call it.

    Most interestingly enough is how Jobs believed in Capitalism, believed in School Vouchers, believed Unions are the evil spawn that they are and yet he was a Democrat. Of course he gave money to the DNC not in HIS Name ..but in his wifes name …was he a closet Conservative?

    I seriously doubt any of those whiners have the fortitude that Jobs had in creating what he did! But then when we have what we have in office now, it doesn’t surprise me – they keep adding more fuel to that “entitlement” fire.

    Teachers are spending more time teaching those touchy/feely things and NOT the basics of the 3 R’s. Then we have what we have in today’s society where cashiers can’t even figure out how to make change!

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