Monday, June 29, 2009

Let's Use Our Heads

I've been gone for so long, I have a lot to talk about, but I just want to express my frustration with something I just saw, and that irks me every time I read it. That is the old canard "Baseball/football/basketball players make millions, so why can't teachers/libraries/other good things?" Okay, let's think about this. Does a classroom or a library serve tens of thousands every day they are open? Does a classroom or library earn huge revenues from television? Do classrooms or libraries sell $7 beers and $3.50 cotton candy to their patrons? Do people buy jerseys and hats from their favorite library? Professional athletes get paid so much because the money is there. People pay to have the MLB or other networks to watch their favorite sports. How exciting would the Library Channel be? Yes, stadiums are subsidized by taxpayers, but so are libraries and school buildings. And I'm sure we spend more on state and local taxes than we have on the sporting events we have attended this year, although we watch lots of sports on television. I'm not arguing that teachers and libraries are not worthy causes, just that they don't have the enormous revenue base that professional sports do. Close our state libraries down to two, like we have two professional baseball and football teams in Ohio, and I'm sure those libraries would be the most wonderful since Alexandria. But who would want to drive potentially hours and fight with half of the state to use said library? We need a sense of proportion on this. Unless we're talking forced confiscation of earnings, which I am adamantly against, people should get paid based on what gets brought in. Sports just have a larger fan base and therefore a bigger revenue base.


GinoA said...

Well spoken!

(as it were)

skatey katie said...

but - i still get hung up on our society's view that "the worth of somebody is how much $ it earns".
so how much value do we place on literacy/education when compared to entertainment?
nah, i'm not a sporty chick. thankfully Bulldog got four boys lol X

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Well, I don't think someone's value is related to how much he earns. One of our friends is a paramedic; his job is saving lives. I'm pretty sure he earns less than a teacher, yet his job is even more important than a teacher's.

I place lots of value on literacy/education. We probably spend more money on homeschool items/books for the girls in a year then we spend on sports. I'm sure we spend more on taxes in a year on public schools/libraries/etc. then we spend on sports.

Thing is, though, even by watching sports on television, we are contributing to the big salaries. Sports shows are able to charge their advertisers based on how many eyes are watching the show. If Bulldog could teach a class of 40,000 on the Bulldog Channel, he'd earn the big bucks too, but that doesn't diminish the value of the teacher doing her best with the class of fifteen. It's just that fifteen can't pay as much as forty thousand.