Agreed. RFID'ing chess pieces, brain implants, insane! Why can't they simply learn the rules? It's not that complicated.
I taught after school chess for several years after I was laid off after 9/11 and ensuing telecom crisis-debacle. Parents and teachers believed chess was good for the children and gave me the opportunity to share my expert knowledge. The per-hour pay was not half bad, based on number, but the number of hours per week was small. You never know who is going to be the next Magnus Carlsen or Susan Polgar and make a life of it. There was an equal mix of girls and boys in my classes which ranged from 8 to 42 kids, aged 6 to 16. One school I taught at most kids had ADD and/or Aspberger's who particularly loved chess and teachers said chess was measurably beneficial for their performance in other classes.
Chess teaches kids valuable life skills such as the ability to analyze, have patience and consideration, develop strategies and tactics and understand the difference, make decisions under pressure given time and resource constraints, take calculated risks, and of course sportsmanship and a good bit of psychology, etc. while still being a safe activity. I suppose tennis teaches many of the same things too, while giving good exercise to the body, however, tennis courts take up a lot more space and tennis probably has more injuries. GO too is a great game, I look forward to the time it reaches the international standing of chess. GO is an even simpler game from a rules point of view but a more complex, in terms of combinations and strategy. Perhaps we are not ready for it.. it boggles my mind. Philosophically, it is difficult to say whether one pastime is better than another, but kids do love chess!
To sum it up, If you want more people teaching or playing chess, you have to value it more. Despite the $1,000,000 tournament in Vegas putting down $1000 for the entry fee is taking a gamble even if you are a sandbagger. There is little money in chess playing unless you are at the top, writing books, or organizing $1,000,000 chess tournaments. Alas, there are benefits from chess that you can't buy with money. I personally got a lot out of teaching chess, but I have to pay a mortgage and support a family, so I am a much better valued programmer. It's good to see that there are chess scholarships now and chess popularity is exploding. I can only imagine a day when a chess coach gets paid like an NBA coach, football coach, or soccer coach...., not.