Well, we certainly didn’t see this type of government action coming.
Oh, wait, we did, way back in June of 2010 (and before) when we reported that we could Expect 2 MILLION Layoffs By State and Local Governments.
No magic crystal ball could have predicted it, but basic knowledge in a long-lost science known as arithmetic made it possible for those inquiring minds who read past green shoots headlines to see what was coming.
If taking away collective bargaining rights and forcing people to contribute to their own pensions caused protests in Wisconsin, then Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Angel Taveras’ recent actions might just start a mid-east style riot:
The school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.
In a letter sent to all teachers Tuesday, Supt. Tom Brady wrote that the Providence School Board on Thursday will vote on a resolution to dismiss every teacher, effective the last day of school.
In an e-mail sent to all teachers and School Department staff, Brady said, â€œWe are forced to take this precautionary action by the March 1 deadline given the dire budget outline for the 2011-2012 school year in which we are projecting a near $40 million deficit for the district,â€ Brady wrote. â€œSince the full extent of the potential cuts to the school budget have yet to be determined, issuing a dismissal letter to all teachers was necessary to give the mayor, the School Board and the district maximum flexibility to consider every cost savings option, including reductions in staff.â€
School districts around the country are now having to make tough decisions, and this is just the beginning. The notices in Providence don’t necessarily mean everyone is getting fired, but the local government is keeping the door open in case they need to lay people off. But necessity will soon lead to real pink slips and tens of thousands of teachers (and other government employees) losing their jobs.
Union leaders, of course, are not taking the news very well:
â€œThis is beyond insane,â€ Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith said Tuesday night. â€œLetâ€™s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7 , 1941.â€
What’s beyond insane, Mr. Smith, is that our local, state and Federal governments have spent the time-energy-yield of multiple future generationsÂ in the form of credit and have yet to realize what the ramifications of such actions are and will be.
Simply put: We’re broke! There is no more money!
TWO MILLION people in government-funded jobs are going to lose them. There is simply no way out of this, save one, and that’s the printing of more money to bail out every level of government in the United States. It would take trillions of dollars of Fed generated cash infusion to even make a short-term dent. And we can be sure that any such bail out will be a short-term head fake at best. Though we don’t believe that such a bailout is likely, the Fed, Treasury and Obama administration has certainly taken unprecedented and foolish actions throughout this crisis, so it’s always a possibility.
While such actions, if taken, may “save jobs” and pensions for several months, the dollars printed to bail out the government bubble will lead to an even more severe and accelerated collapse trajectory than that which we’re already on.
It’s another Catch 22. Either government employees take the hit now and cut their wages, pensions and even lose their jobs, or, the band plays on until the whole system snaps without warning and sinks like the Titanic.