Guest post by Paul Horton.
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
I can still remember my Econ 101 Professor define "the Crowding Out Effect." He told us in his endearing urbane twang that the "crowding out effect" prevented long term economic recovery from a recession when too much public investment did not allow private investment to rekindle economic growth. Probably the last LBJ Keynesian at a major Texas university, he defended high levels of public spending during recessions. He was endearingly folksy, someone who knew how to tell stories about New Deal price supports in historical and ethical contexts.
Lately, however, the phrase "crowding out effect" has begun to take on a different meaning for me. I am one of the dwindling breed of early seventies idealists who entered the teaching profession before teacher's unions had any clout, when one who chose to teach had to work one or two extra jobs to pay for auto insurance, a room, and food.
Many teachers who have put in at least thirty years feel as though we have made real sacrifices to remain teachers. My Econ 101 professor would call this an opportunity cost. We thought it was honorable to sacrifice the income potential that a more lucrative profession would afford us. We paid our dues, and apprenticed under master teachers. On the home front, many of us had second thoughts about the virtues of sacrifice and honor when we realized how expensive raising children could be. At least if we were poor, we could think highly of ourselves.
My how things have changed! Most of us cannot believe what is happening to our profession now.