"The district said it offered teachers a 16 percent pay raise over four years and a host of benefit proposals."
"The Chicago school system has a dropout rate that’s close to 50%."
"Public-sector unions are an outrage. They need to be torn down -- all of them -- and eliminated."
Out: “For the children.”Ace.
In: Blame the children. Screw the children. But then, that was always the teachers’ union’s way.
"Strange, they keep saying "for the children," but every utterance out of them concerns being personally paid more."
DrewM posting at AoSHQ.
"And by 'for the children' the union means more jobs for their members, lifetime employment, more time off, weaker evaluation standards and oh yeah, a TWENTY-TWO percent raise."
Yeah, it's wonderful, isn't it, the dedication the Chicago Teachers' Union has for their holy calling to educate the children? It's always for the children when they walk off the job and strike because a guaranteed raise of 4% per year in the worst recession since 1930 isn't enough money.
When a first-year teacher only--"only!"--earns $56k per year. Yeah.
* * *
And longshoremen are preparing to strike, too. These are people who earn, on average, $125k per year in wages alone.
* * *
So GM's losing money? How the hell can that be?
"General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August," begins this Reuters piece.
It's not a difficult thing to accomplish when your sales have been in the shitter.
The lack of interest in the car has prevented GM from coming close to its early, optimistic sales projections. Discounted leases as low as $199 a month helped propel Volt sales in August to 2,831, pushing year-to-date sales to 13,500, well below the 40,000 cars that GM originally had hoped to sell in 2012.Reuters is being kind. GM originally planned to sell sixty thousand of those junkpiles.
...the car is priced at $42,000 and each one costs GM about $80,000 to build.
GM said it allocates development costs across the lifetime volume of the program. Reuters calculated the per-vehicle development costs based on the number of Volts sold through the end of August.So naturally the per-car cost-to-build will drop a GM sells more of the cars.
And it's a piss-poor market to be floundering in anyway. The Prius owns the hypermiler econobox market.
Other such vehicles haven't done nearly as well. Nissan's pure-electric Leaf, which debuted at the same time as the Volt and retails for $36,050, has sold just 4,228 this year, while the Honda Insight, which has the lowest starting price of any hybrid in the U.S. at $19,290, has sales this year of only 4,801. The Mitsubishi i, an even smaller electric car priced from $29,975, is in even worse shape, with only 403 sales.Reason #1 the Prius dominates? Its MSRP starts under $20,000, that's why, and it's got the Toyota reputation behind it. Reason #2? People see a Prius and know what it is, which the typical Prius owner wants in order to maximize his smug emissions.
A Chevy Volt looks like a Chevy This which looks like a Chevy That which looks like a Chevy Other Thing. A Toyota Prius looks like a Prius, not a Toyota This, That, or Other Thing. And it also costs half as much as a Volt does, and gets the exact same fuel economy.
* * *
Two bits of economic news.
Karl Denninger says, with regard to consumer credit, "That ain't so good."
And Ace headlines this post: "The Economy Isn't As Bad as the Numbers Suggest. It's Worse." He quotes Mort Zuckerberg: "The real unemployment rate is closer to 19%."
Even as I contemplate a return to the workforce myself--I interview on Wednesday--I remember that on average things just suck out there, and it's not going to get better as long as we keep playing stupid numbers games.
* * *
This is not at all surprising if you know anything at all about the relative risks involved. Smoking is better for you than being gay. Which is to say, if you're gay and you start smoking you are not significantly lowering your live expectancy, because statistically speaking you're a lot more likely to die of AIDS than lung cancer if you're a homosexual male.
Smoking reduces your life expectancy by 10 years, but being a gay male reduces it by 20. We tell kids not to smoke because it's bad for them, but we encourage them to be gay if they feel like they're gay.
Well, no one said anything has to make sense. Shit.
* * *
In church yesterday--I can't believe I forgot to mention this--during the time that is set aside in worship service to share joys, I was able to tell the congregation that I have a job interview scheduled for the first time in years, and I got a round of applause for that. Heh.
* * *
Lemonzen came by yesterday and brought her cat Critter, as mentioned. We spent some time sorting the pile of junk my sister had designated as "yard sale stuff" in May of 2011, and some went into a bag for recycling and some went into the trash, but most of it is going to get priced and put out for sale on Saturday and Sunday.
I'm also going to drag out the jon boat, powerwash it, and put a "for sale" sign on it. Not sure what I'll ask for it yet.
...naturally, then, I flopped like a damp rag, all day. I slept until 5 PM, which means now (at 7 PM) I still have to go buy cat food and cat litter; and I'll just have to go get the permit for the garage sale on Tuesday. *sigh*
While digging through stuff, though, I came across this booklet of baby names from the 1950s. I started picking out the more...unusual...names from it and reading them aloud to Lemonzen, and when I got to "Cadwallader" we both totally lost it.
"You have to name your panda that!"
"Yes!" I said. "It's perfect!"
...this book is perhaps one of the last times that anyone suggested in print that "Edsel" was a good name for a baby boy.
* * *
Anyway, I'd better go get in the shower and get some cat food, before my cats start imagining me roasted on a plate with an apple in my mouth....