Monday, August 03, 2015

I Wonder What Econ 101 Could Tell Us About This

I always get amused when people point to certain jobs - usually public sector ones - and complain about how they pay and benefits are too generous. You know, bus drivers, teachers, etc. If it's such a good job, you go drive the damn bus! My local transit authority has had job listings for bus drivers every time I've looked.

Make it a crappier job with crappier pay and people will leave. It's true that job security is an enormous perk in a society in which few people have it. It's also true that job security is an enormous perk which allows school districts to pay their workers a lot less. Take it away, and...
Teachers can’t hotfoot it out of Kansas fast enough, creating a substantial shortage expected only to get much worse. Why?

Well, there’s the low pay. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average teaching salary in 2012-2013 (the latest year for which data were available, in constant 2012-2013 dollars), was $47,464, lower than the pay in all but seven states (Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia), though not by much in most of them.

Last year, job protections were cut by state lawmakers, who have also sought to reduce collective-bargaining rights for public employees.