For those following such things, the strike by West Virginia school teachers, with an average annual pay of $45,700, is rather impressive. Yes, they want decent pay for themselves, but this is also about the quality of education for students in West Virginia.

We know that rich people think that teachers should be willing to educate children for nothing, but that is not the way the world works, at least in an economy where the government has not acted to ensure that unemployment is very high. Good teachers will look to the better-paying jobs in other states, or leave the profession altogether.

Even someone very committed to teaching would like to be able to have a decent home, be able to pay for their own kids upbringing, and also have some money for retirement. If the pay in West Virginia is not enough to allow for this, they won't stay. This will leave the state with high turnover and teachers who don't care much about educating children.

It is also worth noting that this strike is taking place at the same time the Supreme Court is hearing the Janus case, which is a right-wing effort to deny public employees' freedom of contract. (If Janus wins, they will not be able to have contracts that require everyone who is represented by a union share in the cost of representation.) This is yet another effort to tilt the playing field so that workers have less power, and presumably, will have to accept lower pay and benefits.

For those who like to make such comparisons, the average West Virginia teacher makes less than 20 percent of the average doctor, less than 10 percent of what many highly paid specialists earn, and probably around 1 percent of the salary of the hedge fund and private equity crew that get paid to lose money for university endowments. There's nothing like a system where people are rewarded on merit.