Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Facebook Chill

I generally love Facebook. I caught up with more old friends in 2010 because of it than I had in the previous 10 years without it, and really enjoyed it. But lately, the politics has gotten way too stupid, even for me.

Part of the problem is that my friends range the political spectrum. My libertarian friends are there. My punk rock friends are almost entirely left of center, and generally far left. I have friends on the far right. Political agreement is not something I require of friends.

But lately, in this union fight, the unreason has come to dominate. The partisanship is the whole story anymore, and that's hard to take, because left and right look fairly identical to me in mechanics.
  • Grousing about the Koch Brothers funding the right? Forgetting about George Soros? Or Peter White?
  • Outraged that Republicans would go after unions? Forgetting that unions fund the Democrats?
  • Shocked (I tell you) that Democrats walked out of the Indiana Statehouse? Forgetting that Republicans have done this too? Several times?
Few are those who can acknowledge these things, on either side. So, I've tuned out for a while. I had tried to engage, to it failed. I loved the one where the claim was made that if teachers made minimum wage for every hour they put in, they would be paid $250,000/year.

$250,000 / $7.25 (min. wage) = 34,483 hours
168 hours in a week
8,736 hours in a year

The claims are outrageous. When you can't even bother to pull out a calculator to verify the most basic claims, you're killing your cause. Another claimed that public school teachers are paid less than private school ones. That's so incredibly backwards, and again, kills the cause.
In 2007–08, the average annual base salary of regular full-time public school teachers ($49,600) was higher than the average annual base salary of regular full-time private school teachers ($36,300). Source link, from the US Department of Education.
I never thought I would, as a Catholic School survivor, feel the desire to rally behind my old teachers as The Oppressed. The numbers are what they are.

So, because there is so much bullshit flying around, I'm on a sort of Facebook sabbatical. I still look here and there, because there might be an old friend out there, and because there are a million other things to share besides politics. When I get to that point, you know the stew is thick.


Wainstead said...

You don't bring up politics on Facebook for the same reason you don't bring it up during Thanksgiving dinner. Noone will enjoy the conversation. :o)

Mike Kole said...

Yes, well, I'm slow to learn. I long ago gave up talking politics at family gatherings. It's tough, though, because everybody seeks me out for such discussions, since I ran for office. Curses! My main finding is that all anyone really wants is agreement. Very few are those who want an actual dialogue and are willing to risk their own boilerplate.