Tag Archives: work from home

Education in New York: Stop Trying, Stop Lying, Pursue Alternatives

Year after year, deal after deal, the United Federation of Teachers continues to jack up the cost of providing even a decent education for NYC’s children, by ordering its politicians to irrevocably allow them to work fewer years, fewer hours with children, and fewer days, with less accountability, and get paid more for it compared with the people who don’t matter.  No matter how high spending goes, no matter how high taxes go, no matter how much other needs are neglected, no matter what other services are cut, it is never enough.  Even after doubling to a level far above just about anywhere else, as shown in my prior post.

And since that works out so well for them (or at least some of them), and because they have developed such a sense of entitlement that they are completely incapable of enlightened self interest (the belief that in the long run self-interest requires accounting for the needs of other people too), it will never, ever, get any better.

After the 2008 25/55 pension deal for NYC teachers, the last straw and the deal that ended “school reform” in New York, I thought about what could be done for seven years.  

And the title of this post is the formula I came up with.   All you have to do is start with a blank state, without the UFT contract, its repeatedly retroactively enriched pensions (that might have been increased again last night at 3 am in secret but can never then be reduced), the bureaucratic mess coming down from the state under UFT/NYSUT orders, and the Department of EducationEarly Retirement, and you’ll see that for far less money than was spent in NYC in FY 2019 (and vastly less than today) it would be possible to have a class size of 12, with teachers who are paid more in total compensation than the average person who is paying for them.  Like the U.S. health care system, for which we are already paying as much as developed countries do for universal health care, if New York’s school system didn’t already exist no one would dare to suggest it.

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Rebenchmarked Current Employment Survey Data for 2020: New York City Was Clobbered Last Year, But the Long Term Data Is Still Very Positive

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released rebenchmarked annual average Current Employment Survey data for 2020 and prior years on March 15th 2021.


More than any other year, there is reason to take the data with a grain of salt.  State departments of labor faced the challenge of collecting the data during a pandemic, while working at home.  An appointee of Mr. Transparency, Donald Trump, was in charge of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during an election year.  The BLS was hacked by the Solar Winds computer virus late in 2020.  And this data source is most inaccurate during sudden shifts in the economy, due to the need to guesstimate the number of workers employed in new businesses and businesses that closed but were not surveyed.  Large revisions often follow and the unemployment tax records roll in.  There was more than one sudden shift, many businesses closed, and some opened in 2020.  That said, many people worked to produce the best data they could under the circumstances, and this post will discuss what it shows.  

It shows the biggest year-to-year private sector wage and salary job loss for New York City since at least 1950, and perhaps ever.  A job loss that was larger, on a percentage basis, than any U.S. area of any size save the state of Hawaii.  A job loss that was significantly larger than had been reported prior to rebenchmarking.  And yet there is another way to look at the data. New York City still had more private wage and salary jobs in 2020 than it had in any year prior to 2014 – and a boom in self-employment is on top of that.

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