When I was 14 years old I had a great babysitting job. My next door neighbor and his wife both worked at Pratt and Whitney building jet engines; she was on the night shift, he on days. He would leave for work at 6:30 a.m. and she would get home at about 7:30 a.m. leaving about an hour requiring a babysitter for their four year old. All I had to do was show up every morning at 6:30 with something to read and sit on the couch for an hour. I recall reading Moby Dick on this job, which made for a great book report. Never once was the kid ever awake, so at a dollar an hour it was an easy five bucks a week; much better than mowing lawns or shoveling snow, two popular areas of opportunity for guys my age in rural New England. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and my babysitting job ended abruptly when my employer was killed in a barroom brawl one Friday night. The surviving mother and child moved back to Massachusetts.With the passage of Proposition 82, Californians will no longer be trusting their four year old to a neighbor kid, not than many do now. Currently, about 62 percent of Californians send their 4 year old to a private day care provider and that number is supposed to rise above 70 percent with a state takeover at a projected cost of $2.6 billion dollars. Prop 82 would provide babysitting/day care for all the four year olds in California. The caregivers or whatever they are called will be required to be credentialed teachers and they will be paid at the same rate as similar teachers working in California grades K-12.Im sure we can all agree that providing quality daycare for four year olds requires people with a four-year college degree plus early learning/teaching credential. According to your voter pamphlet, (You did read your voter pamphlet didnt you?) the average pay with benefits for K-12 public school teachers in California is currently $76,000 per year. Lets see, perhaps 1,500 hours per year divided into $76,000; wow, over $50 per hour. Is this a great state or what?Since at least half of the involved four year olds will be children of immigrants, I suppose we’ll have plenty of opportunities for bi-lingual teachers and with the Senate working to open up our former country to more immigrants, job opportunities created by prop 82 should be virtually limitless. All this good stuff will be paid for by a tax on rich people, and that serves them right anyway. I wonder what will happen if there aren’t enough rich people to go around?Prop 82 raises the top tax rate in California to 11 percent, the nations highest and continues a growing trend of taxing one specific group to support a program that mostly benefits another group. Not very healthy for a democracy I would think. Prentiss Davis is a Truckee resident.
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