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The Real Fairy Tale

California’s second-largest teachers’ union as champion of “social justice”

By Chris Reed

(From City Journal, December 13th, 2012)

The online premiere last week of the California Federation of Teachers’ short cartoon, “Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale,” attracted such a torrent of mockery that the state’s second-largest teachers’ union set the video to “private” on its YouTube channel after a few days. Too late. Narrated by actor and self-described socialist Ed Asner, the video depicts an America devastated over 20 years by the greed of the richest “1 percent.” The video’s lowlight shows a white capitalist fat cat standing on a pile of money, urinating on a black woman’s head. (The video was later edited to remove the urine stream.)

With its demonization of success and over-the-top class warfare message, the union film looks like a latter-day production of the New Masses or Ramparts. Critics ripped the cartoon for its shaky history, including its ascription of the housing bubble entirely to rich folks’ chicanery—leaving out the small but crucial detail that the policies of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush inflated the bubble by making it easier for low-income minorities to buy homes with little or no down payment.

The funniest thing about “Tax the Rich” is that the 120,000-member California Federation of Teachers presents itself as an avatar of social justice. In fact, by working in tandem with the 400,000-member California Teachers Association, the CFT enforces a Sacramento status quo that holds minorities in contempt and elevates teachers’ and unions’ interests above all others.

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