Teachers in Los Angeles go on strike on Monday. My wife teaches math in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and tells me that her colleagues are all charged up. The teachers have chosen to wear red as their strike color, so the picket lines and demonstrations will have coordinated look.
The teachers are unified in their disdain for the district superintendent, Austin Beutner, a billionaire known for being pals with local power brokers; he did a stint as publisher of the Los Angeles Times; he was a failed candidate for mayor, and he is a tireless promotor of privatizing schools. Teachers love to deride Beutner for having no experience in education, although he created a lovely charity for giving eyeglasses to poor children and he’s a bigwig behind Cal Arts, the excellent, Disney-created art college. Beutner is seen as a union-busting oligarch and a bad guy in teachers’ circles.
We see red-clad groups of protesting teachers all over town this weekend and we’ll see lots more next week. I rarely draw local cartoons, but there’s good reason for this one. The local newspapers oppose the teachers so my cartoon may not get much press, but my wife will carry it on her sign.
Our talented conservative cartoonist, Eric Allie, drew a cartoon yesterday about the protests in Wisconsin that seems to have touched the nerve among our readers. In the cartoon, featured below, Allie recast the fight going on in Wisconsin, making the public sector union the behemoth, while making the average taxpayers as “the evil greedy corporate monster.”
Here’s a sample of some of the comments we received about the cartoon: VickySP: “I am a public sector worker and I couldn’t disagree more. I took a paycut to take this job almost 15 yrs ago. Not only did I never get back to my pre-public sector pay, I’ve taken pay cuts for the past several years that have put me even lower than when I started. Why do I stay in this job? I took it originally for the job security and benefits – I have family obligations. I’m still there because of the family obligations and the lack of any local job opportunities in my field. Not all public sector unions are the same. Not all are “Goliath”. Look at the facts before you make assumptions.”
Brian Mitchell: “Wonder who the Bankers’ & Stockbrokers’ Association gets to do its corporate cartoons? Sell-out.”
Hhvision: “No wonder cartooning is a dying industry. With a perspective like Mr. Allie’s, it should have passed away years ago.”
David Bruce: “Accurate depiction despite all the marketing spin to the contrary.”
Ron Evry: “I hope the lady in the picture packed her kid’s knapsack with plenty of Brawnyâ„¢ Paper Towels. The hundreds of millions the Governor just gave the Koch Brothers might not be enough for them…”
Steve Berlin: “Considering taxpayers don’t pay for Union pension, once again Conservatives are crying how that mean ol’ David is picking on poor old Goliath.”
Justin Jones: “Wow, what a completely stupid, uninformed, and tone-deaf cartoon.”
Alexander Thorburn Hoffman: “Perfect cartoon. Union thugs vs the people who actually have to pay their salary.”
What do you think about the cartoon: Fair or Foul? Leave your comments below.