Mark W. Hendrickson

The NFLPA is negotiating directly with those who pay their salaries—the team owners. The WEAC, by contrast, uses every political tactic it can think of to induce the Wisconsin governor and legislature to transfer money that isn’t even their own (it’s citizens’ money) into their bank accounts. NFL owners are wealthier than the players they pay. By contrast, many of the citizens who are taxed year after year to pay teachers’ salaries and benefits have lower salaries and fewer benefits than those to whom their taxes go.

I should interject here that there is an unresolvable dilemma inherent in the taxpayer-financed, public-school model. Either governments enable public school teachers to hold taxpayers over a barrel and essentially extort money from them by work stoppages, or teachers surrender their right to withhold their labor if the terms of employment aren’t satisfactory to them. Neither option seems just. The only way out of that dilemma is to privatize education, but that idea is currently regarded as too radical.

Finally, the NFL negotiations have not become a divisive partisan phenomenon in an age when too many issues have. We won’t have to worry about the NFL labor dispute inducing President Obama to abuse our constitutional federal order or try to subvert a state’s duly elected government.

Indeed, don’t expect to see any of your favorite pro-football players carrying posters of Hitler or trying to shut down lawful government. Even if you don’t like what the NFL players are asking for, compared to the teachers in Wisconsin, they are pursuing their goals in a dignified, respectful way. Thanks, guys, for upholding a higher standard in collective bargaining. And thank you to all you Wisconsin teachers who are dedicated to your students and don’t support your union’s mandatory shakedowns.

Mark W. Hendrickson

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.