Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just send money, suckas!

Do you recall the news stories last year about the city manager in Bell, California (population 36,664) who was being paid $787,637 a year? Ask yourself: Was that civil servant so talented, so valuable, that private firms in the area were beating down his door offering him that much money?

Of course not. Which brings us to a column in the Edmond Sun in which my friend Stuart Jolly, state director of Americans for Prosperity, points out that more than 200 superintendents in Oklahoma are paid in excess of $100,000 a year. Another 16 school superintendents are actually paid more than the governor (who earns $147,000). Jolly writes:
The governor manages a state population of 3.6 million, a budget totaling nearly $7 billion, and dozens of agencies. While the responsibility of educating our children is an absolute priority, it is difficult to argue that the responsibilities of a district administrator are more challenging than the state’s governor.

In the state’s largest district, Tulsa has a student population of 41,493 and the superintendent makes $256,000. At the other end of the spectrum, the superintendent of the Cleora school district, with a student body of only 140 students, makes $126,000—a whopping $900.60 per student. By comparison, a U.S. Army general fighting the war in Iraq with 28 years of service and commanding 20,000 soldiers makes only as much as the governor.

Kevin Williamson, author of the newly published The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, reminds us that socialism works very well ... for the rulers.

Certainly the educators and administrators who run the [public school] system are largely pleased with it, as they should be; the noncompetitive nature of government-run education provides them with salaries and benefits far exceeding what they plausibly could earn in the private sector. 

Unless of course you believe the private sector is willing to pay someone a quarter-million dollars annually to oversee an operation in which half of the finished products are unsatisfactory.

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