Jon Stewart shows the irony of Teacher Justice vs Wall Street Justice
Jon Stewart continues to show why he will be missed. One hopes that his excellent research staff stays on with the Daily Show. These excellent researchers have the ability to provide context to prescient issues that are easily digestible across cultures and ideologies. Suffice it to say that equal justice under the law is a fallacy Americans continue to delude themselves about.
Jon Stewart starts the piece by showing several news clips detailing the extent to which many Atlanta area teachers cheated. They inflated test scores to protect their jobs and inflate their paychecks.
“Are their analogous reference points between the Atlanta cheating scandal and the Wall Street meltdown?” Jon Stewart asked. “What was the actual fraud committed in each?”
Jon Stewart then masterfully showed the similarities between what the teachers did and what Wall Street bankers/operatives did. More importantly he showed that market based incentives used in education resulted in the same kind of fraud one finds on Wall Street. The model of treating every aspect of our lives with a capitalist market driven tenet leads to the same problems at a higher cost since it generally affects us all. There is in fact a place where market based approaches work better. However values do not come from markets. They come from a evolve social construct that allowed the realization of a more humane existence.
The unfair and rather sad realization is that the justice system fails to be blind in the way it distributes punishment. In the Atlanta case, teachers were treated with disdain, publicly excoriated, and received harsh punishment including jail time. In the case of Wall Street, very few paid any price whatsoever. If America is to be the bastion of freedom and fairness, it is essential that we stop looking through colored lens, accept reality, and do something about it.