Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste?

As reported in an earlier article in March, state and local governments will be making permanent cuts in the public sector. The excerpt following this article from CNN is now reporting the consequences of “a record-breaking layoff binge”.

Rahm Emmanuel told us what to do with a crisis back in November 2008:

The thing about a crisis — and crisis doesn’t seem too strong a word for the economic mess right now — is that it creates a sense of urgency. Actions that once appeared optional suddenly seem essential. Moves that might have been made at a leisurely pace are desired instantly.

Therein lies the opportunity for President-elect Barack Obama. His plans for an activist government agenda are in many ways being given a boost by this crisis atmosphere and the nearly universal call for the government to do something fast to stimulate the economy.

This opportunity isn’t lost on the new president and his team. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives this week.

He elaborated: “Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

So we are now approaching a Summer where massive layoffs of SEIU employees will be out of work and collecting unemployment. Can you think of a better crisis for a community organizer to exploit and advance Socialism through organized union protests? We should know shortly how many state workers will be cut in North Carolina where SEANC has already called for revolution.

David DeGerolamo

State, local layoffs to hit record levels

Don’t look to state and local governments to prop up the job market.

To the contrary, this cash-strapped sector is set to go on a record-breaking layoff binge when the new fiscal year starts on July 1.

State and local governments are forecast to shed up to 110,000 jobs in the third quarter, the first time the blood-letting has risen into the triple digits, according to IHS Global Insight.

“We’re on a downward path,” said Greg Daco, principal U.S. economist at IHS. “It’s not looking good.”

State and local government employment has been a drag on the economy all year, averaging a loss of 23,000 jobs a month over the past three months. Meanwhile, the private sector has created an average of 180,000 a month during the same period.

In May, public employment shrunk by 29,000 jobs, mostly at the state and local level, while businesses created 83,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday. All told, the sector has lost 510,000 positions since its peak in August 2008.

And that’s the good news.

The bad news is that local governments are in even worse shape. Not only are they losing state aid, but they are finally feeling the fallout from the mortgage meltdown. Property tax assessments, a major funding source for municipalities, have only started to drop.

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