- “Localities have chopped 535,000 positions since September 2008…”
USA Today (10/18)
Cuts in government services became conspicuous after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
The first edition of Robert Prechter’s Conquer the Crash saw this coming, even though the book published nearly a decade ago:
“Don’t expect government services to remain at their current levels…The tax receipts that pay for roads, police and jails, fire departments, trash pickup, emergency (911) monitoring, water systems and so on will fall to such low levels that services will be restricted.” (p. 257)
Households throughout Massachusetts know exactly what Prechter is talking about.
In a boston.com article (12/7), the president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association said this about the state’s municipalities: “Revenues have been virtually flat, while their costs have grown, which has meant cuts in schools, public safety, and other basic services for most cities and towns.’’
The same article reports that “Worcester has cut about 450 municipal jobs, including approximately 60 police officers, 60 firefighters, and 100 public works employees…”
Detroit’s WWJ-TV reports (12/6) “Budget deficits and declining personnel are the major forces behind the Detroit Police Department’s decision to end free funeral escorts.”
November 9 saw the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, when officials in Jefferson County, Alabama voted to file for Chapter 9. Reuters said the county’s debt exceeded $5 billion; Jefferson County is home to Birmingham, the state’s biggest city and economic hub.
Financial troubles are also leading to federal cut backs. The U.S. Postal Service has decided to close about half of its 487 mail processing centers:
- “The post office had bad news on Monday for all those who like to pop a check into the mail to pay a bill due the next day: don’t count on it.
- “The United States Postal Service said it planned to largely eliminate next-day delivery for first-class mail as part of its push to cut costs and reduce its budget deficit. Currently, more than 40 percent of first-class mail is delivered in one day.”
New York Times (12/5)
The pace of the deteriorating economic trend appears to be accelerating. Our analysis suggests that it’s part of a larger deflationary trend that has a long way to go.
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