In the early 1980s President Ronald Reagan, now a deity to American conservatives, said that “government is not the solution … government is the problem.” Mixing Hayek with Reagan, and sprinkling in generous helpings of conservative thinkers like Ayn Rand, creates the idea that there are two components to a nation’s economy: the productive part and the non-productive part.
Private enterprise is productive, and government — all government — is non-productive. Any dollar that goes to the non-productive side is a dollar taken away from the productive side.
According to this view, the people working on the productive side are benefiting the economy and enriching society. The people on the other side are draining from the economy and depleting society.
If you don’t think conservatives believe this, Google the American Enterprise Institute, a leading conservative think tank, and read one of its policy papers. Or listen to a Bevin speech.
So teachers, and their pensions, are a drain on the economy and a danger to society.