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Thin margins in the worst places

I work for a technology company that recently laid off 22,000 employees.

I work for another company that laid off 5,500 people last month.

Big numbers. Astounding numbers, really. Tens of thousands of jobs are suddenly not being done, yet the company moves.

Twitter – a company that has not been profitable since 2019 – recently laid off more than half of its employees.

For the record, if you lay off a single teacher from most elementary schools in America, things will instantly go to hell.

Unlike these large technology firms, schools operate on a knife’s edge. They are staffed with just enough people to do the job and oftentimes, not nearly enough people to do the job.

Eliminate just one position from a school and children will suffer.

Given the role of education in a functioning, productive, expanding society, this is counterproductive, shortsighted, and utterly asinine. It’s stupid beyond measure.

Schools should be overwhelmed by resources. They should have more than enough teachers. An army of paraprofessionals. A platoon of psychologists, social workers, and counselors. Vice principals galore.

They should not be operating on the thinnest of margins.

But they do, primarily because Americans love their schools, adore their children, and admire their teachers, but they hate parting with the tax dollars needed to fund their schools, even though investments made into the public school system yield enormous long-term returns.

Corporations can lay off thousands of employees and continue doing business without their customers noticing any meaningful change.

Lose even one teacher and children and parents will know it and feel it immediately.

America is very stupid when it comes to investing its dollars.