External Author Name: 
Liam Julian

Kevin Carey mercifully closes our debate, not by addressing ideas but by instead calling my specific impugning of unions "vague" and concluding that I suffer from an incurable anti-union ailment. (Alas, my doctor prescribed Zithromax, but it hasn't worked.)

Liam then tries again to engage in some kind of vague larger argument about unions. Which is pointless, it's obvious where we stand: Liam dislikes organized labor and wishes it would go away; I don't. People can draw their own conclusions about what that says about our respective takes on education policy. The problem with the kind of generalized labor-bashing on display in this post and on Flypaper overall is that it destroys the writers' credibility when it comes to a range of important education policy issues that involve teachers unions. The next time Liam has something to say about merit pay, tenure, or some other issue where he disagrees with a national or local union, people will just assume his opposition stems from his obvious larger anti-union bias. Frankly, I wouldn't blame them.

This preachy stuff isn't really much fun, is it? Nor does it address the issues. When having a debate about ideas, it's useful to insert ideas into the debate. Is it not possible that my unfavorable stance toward teachers' unions is motivated not by blind hatred but by what unions do? By what are their goals? That's a debate Carey must not want to have. (And he doesn't like my Wal-Mart joke, either!)

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