Government austerity and the economy

In other recessions since World War Two, government employment was stable, and helped stabilize the economy.  Not this time.

Mike Konczal said the cutbacks are mainly a result of conservative Republican ideology, which asserts that government services are unnecessary.  Just one state, Texas, accounts for 31 percent of the loss in government jobs.  The 11 states the Republicans won in the 2010 elections account for slightly over 40 percent.  That’s a total of more than 70 percent.

Now it’s true that this recession is the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and it also is true that many state governments have constitutional requirements for balanced budgets.  But fewer than a quarter of the states account for more than 70 percent of public sector job cuts.   This indicates that the recession is being used as an excuse by right-wing Republicans who are hostile to public services on principle.

Click on Public Sector Layoffs and the Battle Between Obama and Conservative States for Mike Konczal’s full analysis on the Next New Deal, the blog of the Roosevelt Institute.

Click on America’s Hidden Austerity Program for more from Ben Polack and Peter K. Schott, two Yale University economists.

Hat tip for the graphic to The Big Picture.

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2 Responses to “Government austerity and the economy”

  1. Atticus Finch Says:

    This could also be an indication that Government employment was already bloated to begin with. I think a balanced budget is necessary – even if it means cutting Government jobs (my wife is a teacher and I hate job cuts!). There is no way, in the long run, we can keep up continues deficit spending…

    Like

    • philebersole Says:

      I might say we need to get rid of parasitic school teachers in order to raise the incomes of job-creating hedge fund managers, but not everybody would recognize this as sarcasm.

      So I’ll say that replacing a budget deficit with an education deficit is not good economy.

      I am in favor of improving the efficiency of government, and of eliminating unnecessary activities, but I don’t think that is what is going on in Texas, Wisconsin and the other states where public services are under attack.

      Like

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