The recession is still bad. So what should Washington do about it according to The Seattle Times? Make sure to fire people!
The Times recently reported that state full-time equivalent jobs are down a total of 7 percent in fiscal 2010 and 2011. That does not include higher education, which has had few job losses. It includes everything else.
The New York Times reported that? The Times of London? Oh, you mean The Seattle Times. Nobody calls it that, Ryan or possibly Joni. Well that’s pretty terrible for the people involved, don’t you think? I mean at least have a bit of compassion for people who’ll get kicked off work. No? Nothing.
No downturn in decades has been as deep or as long as this. It is news.
I like the implication that if the downturn was as bad as some in the 70’s or 80’s, it wouldn’t be news. Skipping ahead.
There is a thought that the state should not do this — that its layoffs are making the downturn worse, and that it should keep everyone on the payroll. It is a warm thought, but who would pay for it? The state cannot do it with bonds. New taxes on the private sector would probably snuff out as many private jobs as public jobs sustained.
Layoffs are making the downturn worse. Public sector, private sector. It’s not a thought, it’s a fact. The laid off people have less money to spend, they have less money to save and invest. They produce less economic activity. The argument that paying to not lay people off will make the economy even worse, well that’s at least an argument that acknowledges that there are tough choices. But yes, if we lay off teachers, or state patrol or anyone else in the public sector, on top of losing what they do for us, we also lose some of their economic output.