America Employees as Many Security Guards as Teachers…
Many of us believe that our world can no longer be viewed as a safe “oyster” where we live without fear of enemies both known or unknown. World events have made Americans much more fearful than we were a mere 20 years ago.
In the United States, we are spending a fortune “protecting” our families, our homes and ourselves today.
Remember running into the store to buy a loaf of bread and leaving your car unlocked?
Or not locking the front door to you home?
Or if you did, leaving the key under the mat?
Well, we all know you cannot do that anymore.
A dubious first for America:
We now employ as many persons providing “guard labor” as high school teachers — over one million of them, or nearly double their number in 1980. In Louisiana, the security guard to population ratio may very well be the highest in the world.
“Guard labor” is provided by private security guards, law enforcement officers, members of the armed forces, prison and court security personnel, and civilian employees of the military: a total of 5.2 million workers in 2011.
That is a far larger number than we have of teachers at all levels.
What does it take to produce a safe and secure society? Guards and prisons or education and income equality?
It’s time for a real discussion in our country about what safety means and how we can achieve it.