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.

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.

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.

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?

About the author: 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.

4 Responses to Steve Jobs vs. Wall St. Whiners and Teachers Unions

  1. CaliMama says:

    I have forwarded chunks of this article and the SJ quotes to my contact list. Steve Jobs adds significant crediblity to this topic! I know Bill Gates has also been actively involved in reforming public education. Perhaps you could expand upon the alternatives; include other reputable people like Gates who have offered alternatives. Excellent info!

  2. CaliMama says:

    “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.” Many of the parts inside the Apple products are designed and supplied by OTHER PUBLICLY TRADED companies located in California. These include high tech jobs. My point is, Apple directly employees many people but indirectly employees many, many more. Apple’s suppliers, many publicly traded companies, are also listed on NASDAQ, and increase the wealth of their employees with ever-increasing share prices and of course, investors (401K plans everywhere). Apple’s SUPPLIERS employee their own local design engineers, test engineers, marketing engineers and entire wafer fabrication plant staff including engineers, programmers, specialized equipment technicians, marketing staff, HR staff, executive team and the list goes on! And then Apple’s suppliers have their own list of suppliers and the benefits continue to ripple through our state’s economy. I don’t think most people fully understand or appreciate how significant a company like Apple is to the health and well being of our economy!

  3. chris says:

    Those who want to do away with worker’s rights and environmental protections are brainless, and will deserve the soulless world they create. Shame on those greedy, greedy amoral people who elevate the corporation and millionaires over the human being. You better hope Jesus is a myth, because if He sees what you’re doing, you’re going to be in big trouble.

  4. veggiedude says:

    Steve Jobs thought teachers should be paid $100,000/yr but that wold never happen while the school unions existed. You can see him explain it in this video from 1995: http://tinyurl.com/3qpgfvb

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