New Trier: Day of Counter-Programming

I hope you all enjoyed your indoctrina…sorry, study of civil rights and racial inequities here at New Trier High School. Now that you have been properly proselyti…sorry, enlightened of your full debt to society, we continue our series that will prepare you for life beyond these hallowed halls.

While your previous session focused on guilt, today’s seminar will hopefully elicit more useful feelings such as anger and disgust. Today’s topics offer a melange of national and local politics, government labor, and how they all act and interact in the most stupefying and hypocritical ways. For those of you bewildered how our state and local governments got into this mess and why they expect you to bail them out, we believe this session will provide some useful insights.

All sessions will be recorded for future viewing for those of you that might prefer to thrust your fist through a wall or scream into a pillow in the privacy of your own home.

Morning Sessions

  • One Insane Party: Why Chicago residents vote for the same political party over and over yet expect different results.
  • Buy Your Neighbor: How the Chicago Teachers Union pays neighborhood groups pennies on the dollar to protest on their behalf.
  • Your Union, Your Coffin: Examining the arcane process of attempting to leave your union or join a different one.
  • My Left Foot: A simulation using advanced bionics to demonstrate how the Democrats could have substituted anyone’s left foot over Hillary Clinton and won the 2016 presidential election.
  • S-E-I-U, Wouldn’t Wanna B-E-I-U: A real-world case study from Los Angeles showing how SEIU willingly bargained for lower wages for their own members in exchange for businesses hiring more dues-paying members.
  • Danny Davis, Where Art Thou? Tracing the economic stagnation of Chicago’s West Side over the past 20 years.
  • I Eat, You Pay: A beginner’s lesson on pension debt. (pre-requisite for afternoon pension-related sessions)
  • I’m Just a Bill: How Bill Clinton’s signing of the 1994 crime bill led to the mass incarceration and systemic breakdown of the urban family.
  • Final Fantasy Finance: Many public sector folks often cite Ralph Martire’s union-funded Center for Tax and Budget Accountability as the one source of truth in public sector funding and financial analysis. CTBA incessantly and unabashedly calls for higher taxes where taxpayers have no choice but to pay. In this proof-of-concept, we move CTBA economic theories out of its public sector vacuum and into the real world to see what would happen when:
    1. An employee demands a large raise in which his employer is not forced to comply.
    2. A company takes a low-selling, poor-quality product with many better and cheaper competitors and raises its price expecting to increase revenue.
  • This is Library: For all you aspiring social justice warriors, we discuss the the proper etiquette for protesting.

Lunch

Farm-to-table gruel (no refills, no substitutions)

 

Afternoon Sessions

  • He Sells Sanctuary: The examination of Rahm Emanuel’s deceitful practice of attracting illegal immigrants heavily reliant on social services to a bankrupt city that cannot afford them.
  • The 4%’ers: We reference union reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor to examine the multiple layers of public sector union management who actively lobby for higher taxes on working families to subsidize their $200,000+ salaries.
  • VoucherPlus: We give a Chicago 3rd grader the amount CPS spends to educate him and watch his family turn it into a full-blown parochial school education with enough money leftover to pay 4 months worth of rent.
  • The COLA Wars: Uncover the many ways a bottomless government pension can increase after retirement.
  • Retirement Supe: A cooking demonstration using the proper ingredients and extreme heat required for a school district superintendent to burn through his/her fair share of retirement benefits in less than 10 years. (guest sous chef: Linda Yonke)
  • Fair Scare: How unions use agency fees to mask their monopoly on representation.
  • The Flighty Quinn: In a simulation of Illinois’ financial predicament, we provide students with a $8 invoice (Illinois had a backlog of $8 billion in unpaid bills in 2011), proceed to give them an extra $32 to pay that bill (Illinois generated $32 billion from the 2011 tax hike alone), and see if they pay off that entire bill in the time allotted (Illinois needed 4 years and could only pay down half).
  • A Pension in Contradiction:  A 45 minute round table discussion as follows:
    • First 20 minutes: A group of public sector workers and retirees explain all the inherent evils and inequities of Wall Street and corporate America.
    • Next 5 minutes: Attendees pose questions such as:
      • If Wall Street is so evil, why do you invest your entire retirement savings with them?
      • Don’t corporations lay-off and outsource employees to meet the insatiable hunger for large investment returns that your pension systems require?
      • If your pension just invested in local farms and businesses that were not as profitable but socially responsible, would you be willing to take a reduced pension?
    • Last 20 minutes: Everyone stares at each other in awkward silence.
  • Dream Weaver: A deep dive into how a former teacher from a poor south suburban Chicago district named Reggie Weaver magically transformed his meager teacher salary from 30 years ago into a $281,000 teacher pension today. (hint: it’s not magic)
  • Pension Roulette: In response to the belief there is only one outcome in the pension debate – that a pensioner paid his/her fair share and is entitled to what was promised – we use an Illinois Gaming Board sanctioned roulette wheel to demonstrate the 34 other negative outcomes on a career’s worth of compensation that would have occurred if the state had indeed fully funded their pensions all these years because there would have been little money leftover for anything else.
  • Old Fogey Paradox: The phenomenon of retired public sector workers who complain about the inequities of Illinois’ flat income tax system while their retirement income is exempt from state income tax.

Epilogue: A Letter from the Student Body

Dear Ms. Yonke,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice another day in your seminar for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us feel guilty for who you think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions: a piggybank, and a pawn, and a basket of white guilt, a princess, and a white collar criminal. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,

New Trier Student Body

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