Letters to the Editor

Teachers, Pay gap, Kevin Johnson

The Securities and Exchange Commission will require public companies to report the ratio between their chief executive’s annual compensation and the median pay of employees.
The Securities and Exchange Commission will require public companies to report the ratio between their chief executive’s annual compensation and the median pay of employees. The Associated Press

Teachers deserve more respect

Re “Teacher shortages spur nationwide hiring scramble” (Page 1A, Aug. 10): There was a time when teaching was a noble, respected vocation.

Unfortunately, greedy interests conned people into thinking that unions are bad and teachers were overpaid, so they set out to destroy public schools by persuading us to cut funding. They profited by creating a testing industry and abused charter school rules to line their pockets with public funds.

Now, to attract new teachers – rather than providing a worthwhile, stable career path – they want to lower the bar, which they will use as an excuse to say, “Public teachers are unqualified; let us privatize them.”

We need to stop this cycle. We need to respect teachers, attracting the best and brightest through good pay and freeing them from tests.

James Wells, Roseville

Marketplace law not being followed

Is the so-called invisible hand of the free market really impartial? If so, why, if there is a critical teacher shortage in California, are teachers from preschool through post-graduate education, paid so much less than the administrators who oversee the bureaucracies of the schools?

Bureaucrats don’t seem to be in short supply; one would think that they would be paid a lot less than teachers. Instead, we hear of individuals with little or no teaching experience, namely former UC President Mark Yudof and current UC President Janet Napolitano, being given fast-track tenure at a prestigious public institution, so that when their stints as administrators end, they can return to a profession they never practiced in the past and pull in six-figure salaries, with sabbaticals and benefits.

So much for the law of supply and demand.

Kathryn A. Klar,

Richmond

Publish or go private

Re “CEO pay gap is just what we feared” (Editorials, Aug. 10): The Republican minority on the Securities and Exchange Commission bemoans the recent rule to publish the pay gap between chief executive officers and typical workers in publicly traded corporations.

Unless corporations choose to borrow all they need from banks, they need to use market exchanges where stocks are traded. As an investor, I should be entitled to all information about any company whose stock I might wish to buy.

For people who want to deny me access to that information, my solution is for them to take the corporations private. We should reserve space for the miracle of honest capitalism in our public markets for those businesses wanting to be good corporate citizens in exchange for the legal privileges they enjoy.

Bill Martin, Quincy

High CEO pay is justified

There is no rhyme or reason for the CEO pay rule. There is never a mention of the education, skill sets, responsibilities and time required by chief executive officers, compared to rank-and-file employees.

Employees on the clock punch in and out. CEOs are on the clock 24 hours a day, deal with market forces, competition, suppliers, staffing, financing and more. CEOs can be summarily fired for poor performance.

Yes, the rich do get richer.

How do small businesses grow into large corporations? Capital abhors a vacuum, and smart business people know that they have to keep capital invested all the time in order to show a return and conserve principal. For this risk, they are rewarded with riches.

Bill Walters, Carmichael

No excuses for KJ’s actions

Re “Scandal can hurt district’s vision” (Local, Marcos Breton, Aug. 9): Marcos Breton suggests a few ways one could justify the mayor’s use of city staff to work on his personal projects on city time, saying some are for “good causes” and that helping the mayor find photo ops increases Sacramento’s “visibility.”

The mayor is a public servant entrusted to be a good steward of city assets. He should be held to the highest standards of conduct, including avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. That has to mean not treating city assets as his own ever, no matter what. The claim that work on city time by city staff to enhance his personal image or his nonprofits should be considered “city work” because when he looks good the city benefits is absurd. Diverting city assets to his own use raises at the very least the appearance of impropriety and possibly breaches a fiduciary duty.

Miles D. Wichelns,

Sacramento

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